Snohomish County Attorney in Everett, WA
phone (425) 399-7192 (Ext. 129)
fax(425) 259-2033

I’m Joel Nichols and I’m a partner at Deno Millikan Law Firm, PLLC.  My practice focuses primarily on employment lawpersonal injury, construction law and estate planning. I also enjoy advising small businesses on a variety of transactional and employment-related matters.

Although born in Massachusetts, I was raised by a single mother in Shoreline, Washington after my father was killed in action in Vietnam in 1970. I grew up enjoying music, drama and sports. I didn’t think about becoming a lawyer until my freshman year in college when I had to fight the Social Security Administration to receive survivor benefits as a dependent of a deceased veteran. I earned an English degree from the University of Washington in 1988, then attended law school at night while working full-time during the day as a service manager and dispatcher for a local heating oil company. I obtained my law degree from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma in the summer of 1992, and was admitted to the Washington State Bar Association in 1993.

From 1994 through 1999, I had my own law practice in Seattle, representing individuals and small businesses in many of the areas of law in which I still practice today. In 1999, I became the Director of the Unemployment Law Project in Seattle, a non-profit legal services organization dedicated to fighting for people’s rights to receive unemployment benefits. I also served on the Unemployment Insurance Advisory Committee of the Washington State Employment Security Department from 1999 to 2002.

In 2002, I joined the Deno Millikan Law Firm. I have been an active member of the Washington State Association for Justice (WSAJ) for over twenty years, and was Chair of that organization’s Employment Section in 2005. I served on the Board of Trustees of the Snohomish County Bar Association (SCBA) from 2012 to 2015.  I have been a featured speaker on employment issues at numerous seminars, have served as a part-time Administrative Law Judge with the State of Washington Office of Administrative Hearings, and have written articles for the Trial News and Defense Magazine. I am also a member of the Washington Employment Lawyers Association (WELA).

In 2015, I argued and won a case before the Washington Supreme Court making it easier for employees to pursue wrongful discharge claims against their employers when fired for actions they take in furtherance of public policy, such as whistleblowing.  See Rickman v. Premera Blue Cross, 184 Wash.2d 300 (2015).

When not practicing law, I enjoy singing in the Sno-King Community Chorale and spending time with my daughter who shares my love of music, theatre, sports, and nature. I’m a lifelong music fan, with tastes ranging from Johnny Cash to Frank Zappa. I love the energy generated from playing live music. I’ve been a drummer and percussionist since I was ten, and have played in symphonic, rock, and jazz bands all my life. I like to see live music any chance I get. I’ve also had a lifelong passion for the outdoors, having hiked hundreds of miles in the Cascades and Rocky Mountains since my youth. I also enjoy fishing, golfing, swimming, and biking.

Now that you know a little bit about me, I look forward to getting to know you. Give me a call at 425-259-2222 or email Deno Millikan today!

Areas of Practice:

  • Employment & Labor Law
  • Personal Injury
  • Family Law
  • Businesses  Law Litigation
  • Estate Planning
  • Construction Law
  • Real Estate

Bar Admissions:

  • Washington, 1993
  • S. District Court Western District of Washington, 1994


  • University of Puget Sound School of Law, Tacoma, Washington, 1992 – Juris Doctor
  • University of Washington, 1988 –Bachelor of Arts, Major: English

Representative Clients:

  • Employees
  • Individuals
  • Small Businesses

Classes/Seminars Taught:

  • Unemployment Hearings, Washington State Association for Justice, 2002 – 2004
  • Unemployment Hearings, Unemployment Law Project, 1999 – 2002
  • Continuing Legal Education Seminars sponsored by the Snohomish County Bar Association, 2010-2014

Professional Associations and Memberships:

  • Washington State Bar Association – Member
  • Snohomish County Bar Association – Member and Trustee
  • Washington State Association for Justice (WSAJ) – Eagle Member
  • Washington Employment Lawyer’s Association (WELA) – Member
  • National Employment Lawyer’s Association (NELA) – Member
  • Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (WACDL) – Member
  • National College for DUI Defense (NCDD) – Member
  • Unemployment Law Project in Seattle, 1999 – 2002 – Director
  • Washington State Employment Security Department Unemployment Insurance Advisory Committee – 1999 – 2002
  • Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, Employment Section, – Chair, 2005 – 2006

Past Employment Positions:

  • Unemployment Law Project, Attorney/Director, 1999 – 2002
  • Joel P. Nichols, Attorney, 1994 – 1999

Pro Bono Activities:

  • Volunteer, SCBA Family Law Clinic
  • Volunteer, KCBA Homelessness and Newcomer’s Project
  • Unemployment Law Project
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