About Us


Walstead Mertsching P.S.

Walstead Mertsching provides a broad range of legal services to individuals and businesses throughout Washington, Oregon, and the nation.

Walstead Mertsching PS traces its beginnings to early 1925 when Howard J. Atwell (1880-1962) and Ronald Moore (1897-1968) opened an office on the second floor of the old Masonic Building in Kelso, Washington. Atwell left the firm to become a Cowlitz County Superior Court Judge in 1934, and Moore continued as a sole practitioner. Jerome R. Walstead (1913-1981) joined Moore as an associate in 1946, after serving in the judge Advocate General Corps of the U.S. Army during World War II.

After Walstead became a partner, the firm began adding additional attorneys in the ‘50s and ’60s. Many of the Attorneys employed by the firm have gone on to become owners. Charles T. Mertsching (who is now retired) joined the firm in 1960. A few years later he was followed by Odine H. Husemoen and D.L. “Don” Donaldson. In 2007, Mr. Donaldson retired from the firm. Mr. Husemoen retired in 2011. The firm has since added the following owners: John A. Barlow, Barry J. Dahl, Stephen L. Wanderer, C.C. Bridgewater, Norman C. Dick and Frank Randolph – all have since retired. Mark S. Brumbaugh, Michael A. Claxton, Matthew J. Andersen, Brian Brault, Nicole M. Tideman, and Margaret M. Dick are the firm’s current shareholders.  Hannah M. Cowden is an associate attorney with the firm.

In addition to Judge Atwell, two other firm members have served in public office: Alan Hallowell, as Cowlitz County Superior Court Judge, and C.C. Bridgewater, Jr., first as Cowlitz County Prosecuting Attorney and then as a Justice of the Washington State Court of Appeals, Division II.

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