Meet our legal team
Our team of experienced professionals are here to assist you.
Legal Assistant & Paralegal
Sonya Fischer has extensive experience as an advocate for vulnerable populations. Her activism stems from parenting a child with severe developmental disabilities. The institutional barriers she experienced as a young mother inspired her to speak up and create change for others.
A member of the Oregon State Bar since 2003, and selected as an Oregon Super Lawyers 2009, 2010 and 2011 “Rising Star,” Sonya brings compassion and first-hand legislative knowledge to the practice of law. She combines her legal expertise with her understanding of education and service delivery systems to create successful strategies for her clients. Sonya understands her clients' struggles and utilizes a collaborative approach while building a solid record to preserve her clients' rights.
Sonya began her advocacy efforts while attending Warner Pacific College where she organized parents of children with disabilities to secure important early intervention services. She was soon hired by Multnomah County, where she assisted the families of children with disabilities in accessing services and facilitated the planning and delivery of services for early childhood education, domestic violence and homeless youth.
In 1991, while completing her master's degree in Public Administration at Portland State University, Sonya began working as an intern for the late senator Frank Roberts, where she spearheaded new disability parking permit legislation. Sonya worked in Salem for 13 years.
While working with the Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities, Sonya helped create a system of in-home supports for children with severe disabilities and facilitated the passage of legislation making it possible for children with disabilities to continue attending the same school when living temporarily outside their parents' home. As legislative staff to Senator Frank Shields, Sonya developed a package of early childhood legislation that resulted in a statewide childcare provider training program that incorporated the importance of healthy brain development for young children. Sonya most recently served as the Director for State and Legislative Federal Affairs for the Oregon Department of Human Services.
Sonya graduated from the Lewis & Clark Law School, where she was recognized for her leadership and contributions as both a Joyce Ann Harpole Scholar and a member of the Cornelius Honor Society. The Harpole award is a peer-nominated award given each year to a law student and a practicing lawyer who are notable for balancing a fulfilling life with the study or practice of law. Sonya was also recognized for winning the mock trial competition. While in law school, Sonya spearheaded a pro bono program for law students to assist families with their childrens' special education planning.
Sonya is a member of the Board of Governors of the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association, where she previously co-chaired the Family Law Section. She is past President of the Clackamas Women Lawyers. She is past Secretary of the Clackamas County Bar Association and chaired the Policy Committee for FACT: Family and Community Together. She served as a delegate for the Oregon State Bar. She is also involved with Oregon Women Lawyers, and The Arc of Multnomah County. Sonya is a member of the Governmental Affairs Committee for the Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce. She was very active in her childrens' educations, previously serving on school foundation boards and budget committees as well as volunteering in the classroom.
Professional Associations and Memberships
Areas of Practice
Joanna Posey became a lawyer because she wanted to help people find a respectful and thoughtful resolution to their conflicts. Joanna takes pride in being able to empower her clients during an otherwise stressful and emotionally charged time in their lives. She finds it extremely gratifying to help a client take the first steps toward a new beginning, and enjoys working to resolve the unique issues in each case, be it developing a consistent parenting plan that fits a family’s nontraditional work schedule, or finding a creative way to divide marital assets.
Joanna believes that a strong family is a person's most valuable asset, and is committed to helping her clients maintain civil relationships with their spouses during times of stress and transition. She has special training in the Collaborative dispute resolution method which helps families resolve their disputes holistically and outside of court. Joanna also offers her services as a mediator to help parties reach agreements in family law cases.
Joanna’s experience ranges from divorce and adoption to business advising and estate planning. As Managing Attorney at Fischer Family Law, PC, Joanna is dedicated to ensuring that her clients have the information they need to make informed decisions. To minimize the stress and anxiety that accompanies family restructuring, she places equal importance on both client education and client advocacy, with the goal of achieving the best possible outcome based on a client’s choices about his or her case.
Joanna began her legal career as a paralegal at a law firm in her hometown of Memphis, Tennessee, before moving to Portland for law school. In her second year of law school, Joanna clerked for the Honorable Robert E. Jones for the United States District Court, District of Oregon. Since moving to Portland, Joanna has worked at firms with a wide range of practice areas, from business advising and strategy to elder law and intellectual property law.
A competitive pool player with the American Pool Association, Joanna’s aptitude for playing the angles is reflected in her hobbies as well as her work life. She is skilled at solving strategic games and puzzles, and her ability to examine an issue from every side has helped her develop a balanced approach to family law cases.
Joanna takes inspiration from Mary Oliver. Some of her favorite quotes include: “Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable,” and, “You must never ever stop being whimsical. And you must not, ever, give anyone else the responsibility for your life.”
Independent adoptions are ones in which prospective parents are advised by an adoption attorney instead of working with an adoption agency. Joanna represents clients on both sides of independent adoptions, which can include birth parents, step parents, partners, and others seeking to adopt a child who is already known to them.
Mediation is a dispute resolution process in which the parties retain a neutral third party to help them reach agreement. A mediator does not represent either party and cannot provide legal advice, but she can provide information about the legal process and guide a discussion to help the parties reach resolution. Mediation can be used to resolve entire divorce cases or to reach agreement on one or two particular issues. The process generally involves the parties sharing information and goals and brainstorming solutions in the presence of the mediator. Once an agreement is reached, legal documents must be prepared so that the agreement can be filed with the court.
Cindy began her legal career at the age of 16 when she was offered the opportunity to work for the city attorney, Kulla & Ronneau. She has worked ever since in the legal field with a continuing passion for the field of Family Law. Prior to joining Fischer Family Law, PC, she worked for 10 years with a family law firm in Beaverton, Oregon. Cindy was with the firm from its foundation through its tremendous growth, using her knowledge and experience to build good rapport with the judges, their staff and other departments within the courthouse. Cindy is a seasoned legal assistant with a can-do attitude embodying the principles of compassion, empathy and understanding.
Brenda Winikka (Of Counsel) has teamed with Sonya in the practice of law for over four years. She graduated from Willamette University (B.A., history) and Lewis and Clark Law School. She was admitted to practice in Oregon in 2004. Brenda enjoys working through the procedural and relational challenges that come with practicing family law. An Oregon native, Brenda practices in Yamhill County out of her office in Newberg, where she lives with her husband and three children. Her favorite things include family road trips, the view from the top of Chehalem Mountain and coffee crème brulee at the Garden View Restaurant in Silverton.
Brenda works to show compassion to her clients while achieving the best outcome possible. Recognizing that family law disputes do not have “winners” and “losers,” she works to bring resolution to conflict.