Kevin Hochhalter

Top rated Appellate attorney in Lacey, Washington

Olympic Appeals PLLC
Kevin Hochhalter
Olympic Appeals PLLC

Practice Areas: Appellate; view more

Licensed in Washington since: 2010

Education: The University of Iowa College of Law

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2022 - 2024 Selected to Rising Stars: 2018 - 2020

Olympic Appeals PLLC

4570 Avery Ln SE
Lacey, WA 98503 Visit website


Attorney Kevin Hochhalter is the founder and owner of Olympic Appeals PLLC in Thurston County, Washington. A top-rated attorney with more than twelve years of legal experience, Mr. Hochhalter focuses his practice solely on appeals. He has achieved notable success handling civil and family law appeals before the Washington Court of Appeals and the Washington Supreme Court as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit and the Federal Circuit.

Through his practice, Mr. Hochhalter provides exceptional appellate service and support not only to his clients directly but also to other attorneys who may not have the same level of experience in this area. Appeals typically require a unique skillset and do not follow the same procedures as traditional trial cases, and Mr. Hochhalter has invaluable knowledge of how judges approach these types of cases as well as the research and writing skills necessary to build the strongest cases possible for his clients.

Whether working with a client directly or providing support to another attorney, Mr. Hochhalter strives to deliver the highest level of personalized counsel possible while maintaining open communication throughout every step of the process. Recognized for his outstanding professionalism and service, he has earned high peer review ratings on Martindale-Hubbell* as well as many other accolades from his peers. He has also received Superb client ratings on Avvo along with many referrals from his satisfied clients.

A 2000 graduate of Brigham Young University, Mr. Hochhalter worked as a graphic designer in Issaquah, Washington, before returning to the university to receive his Master of Public Policy in 2007. He then attended the University of Iowa College of Law, where he obtained his Juris Doctor with High Distinction in 2010, graduating Order of the Coif. While in law school, he won Best Brief at the McGee Civil Rights Moot Court Competition and he received the Joan Hueffner & Stephen Steinbrink Real Estate Award.

Mr. Hochhalter is a member of the Washington Appellate Lawyers Association and the Domestic Relations Attorneys of Washington. He participates in the local bar associations of Thurston County, Tacoma/Pierce County, and King County. He is a member of the Appellate Law Section of the King County Bar Association and the Solo and Small Practice Section of the Washington State Bar Association.

*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

Practice areas


Focus areas


  • 100% Appellate

First Admitted: 2010, Washington

Professional Webpage:

  • Graduated Fifth in Class, University of Iowa College of Law, 2010
  • Washington Rising Stars, Super Lawyers, 2018 - 2019
Educational Background:
  • JD, University of Iowa College of Law, 2010
  • Master of Public Policy, Brigham Young University, 2007
  • BA, Brigham Young University, 2000
Pro bono/Community Service:
  • From 2017-2021, one-third of my caseload was comprised of court-appointed appeals on behalf of indigent criminal defendants. I took these cases at well below my ordinary fee in order to do my part to ensure access to justice and to protect constitutional rights for all., 2021
Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • How to counsel your clients who want to appeal. Understanding standards of review and weeding out issues that are bound to lose., Presenter, Family Law Appeals: When to Say No, Domestic Relations Attorneys of Washington annual meeting, 2022
  • 2-hour panel discussion at the 2023 Washington Appellate Judicial Conference. A discussion of appellate lawyers' views on the practice of family law appeals in Washington State courts, for the benefit of the judiciary.  I was honored to be selected for the panel. I helped develop the curriculum for the presentation, but unfortunately fell ill just before the event and was unable to attend. My materials were presented by the other panelists., Panelist, A View from the Podium: Field Notes from the Land of Discretion, Washington Appellate Judicial Education Conference, 2023
  • Basics of appellate procedure in Washington State Courts, from filing the notice to post-opinion motions practice., Presenter, Nuts & Bolts of Appellate Practice, Clark County Bar Association Nuts & Bolts CLE Series, 2018
  • When a case is appealable; complications in multi-party cases; supersedeas bonds; and what to do with a COA division split., Presenter, Appellate Practice Tips for Trial Lawyers, Thurston County Bar Association Construction CLE, 2021
  • When an appeal is ripe; how the trial record can limit an appeal; and how to preserve a good record., Presenter, Just When You Think It's Over... Family Law Appeals, Domestic Relations Attorneys of Washington annual meeting, 2021
Representative Clients:
  • Private individuals and businesses: I represent a wide variety of individuals and businesses in civil and family law appeals., 2022
  • Washington State Office of Public Defense: From 2017-2021, One-third of my caseload was court-appointed appeals on behalf of indigent criminal defendants. I took these cases at well below my ordinary fee in order to do my part to ensure access to justice and to protect constitutional rights for all., 2021
Verdicts/Settlements (Case Results):
  • Thacker v. Skov, 2023 WL 6386967 (2023, unpublished) Appeal of DVPO termination was moot where a subsequent family law trial would have overruled the DVPO., 2023
  • State v. Tysyachuk, 13 Wn. App. 2d 35, 461 P.3d 403 (2020). Trooper’s training and experience combined with driver’s swerving within his lane, causing another driver to change lanes, created reasonable suspicion of driving under the influence., 2020
  • Cowan v. Cowan, ___ Wn. App. 2d ___, 534 P.3d 853 (2023) A DVPO does not preclude full consideration of the question of abuse in a subsequent family law trial. Relocation does not open the door to new §191 findings without a petition to modify., 2023
  • State v. Ferguson, 25 Wn. App. 2d 727, 524 P.3d 1080 (2023) Trial court's COVID-19 protocols were not an abuse of discretion., 2023
  • Yerbury v. Yerbury, 25 Wn. App. 2d 1017 (2023, unpublished), 2023
  • Pref. Contractors Ins. Co. v. Baker and Son Constr. Inc., 200 Wn.2d 128, 514 P.3d 1230 (2022). Claims-made insurance policy that lacked both retroactive and prospective coverage was contrary to public policy. , 2022
  • In re Parentage of R.V., 22 Wn. App. 2d 300, 511 P.3d 148 (2022). (On consultation with trial counsel.) Parentage Act provision precluding establishment of parentage by perpetrator of sexual assault was constitutional. Substantial evidence supported the finding. , 2022
  • Lavington v. Hillier, 22 Wn. App. 2d 134, 510 P.3d 373 (2022). Damages for trespass by temporary use of real property without permission are not limited to physical damage to the land. , 2022
  • In re Detention of P.R., 18 Wn. App. 2d 633, 492 P.3d 236 (2021). Clarifying the standard for whether the State has a compelling interest in involuntary administration of antipsychotic medication to avoid substantially prolonged detention in a state facility., 2021
  • State v. Listoe, 15 Wn. App. 2d 308, 475 P.3d 534 (2020). State’s peremptory challenge of the only African American juror should have been denied., 2020
  • Marriage of Weiser, 14 Wn. App. 2d 884, 475 P.3d 237 (2020). Enforcing divorce settlement that required military husband to reimburse ex-wife for partial disability waiver of military retirement., 2020
  • In re Marriage of Nehring, Wash. Ct. App. No. 52217-9-II (Mar. 17, 2020): No facial legal error in arbitrator's dissolution decision. Award of attorney's fees on appeal to client for defending frivolous appeal., 2020
  • State v. Brooks, 195 Wn.2d 91, 455 P.3d 1151 (Jan. 23, 2020): Under particular facts of the case, State's amendment of the charging document after close of trial was not prejudicial to defendant., 2020
  • In re Marriage of Winters, 11 Wn. App. 2d 935, 456 P.3d 862 (Jan. 23, 2020): Trial court's own motion under UCCJEA is subject to requirements of CR 7 to provide the parties adequate notice of the issues and an opportunity to present argument prior to a decision., 2020
  • Porter v. Kirkendoll, 194 Wn.2d 194, 449 P.3d 627 (Sept. 26, 2019): Landowner directly liable for instructing loggers to cut neighbor's trees. Tort Reform Act applies to timber trespass, now a strict liability tort., 2019
  • In re Custody of S.M., 9 Wn. App. 2d 325, 444 P.3d 637 (July 1, 2019). A parent may establish adequate cause for modification or termination of a nonparental custody order by showing that the parent is no longer unfit or a danger to the children., 2019
  • Dalen v. St. John Medical Center, 8 Wn.App.2d 49, 436 P.3d 877 (Mar. 19, 2019): "Predetention restraint" of a potential mental patient pending evaluation under RCW 71.05.050 is only justified if hospital staff has a reasonable suspicion that the patient presents an imminent likelihood of serious harm or an imminent danger because of grave disability., 2019
  • Porter v. Kirkendoll, 5 Wn. App. 2d 686, 421 P.3d 1036 (July 17, 2018): Landowner directly liable for instructing loggers to cut neighbor's trees. Tort Reform Act does not apply to intentional tort of timber trespass., 2018
  • State v. Butler, 2 Wn. App. 2nd 549, 411 P.3d 393 (Feb. 20, 2018). Conviction overturned due to unlawful seizure., 2018
  • Arden v. Forsberg & Umlauf, PS, 189 Wn.2d 315, 402 P.3d 245 (2017) (affirming 193 Wn.App. 731, 373 P.3d 320 (2016)). Seeking to require disclosure to the client of insurance defense counsel’s ongoing relationship with the insurer. 5-4 decision against., 2017
  • Nichols v. Peterson Northwest, Inc., 197 Wn. App. 491, 389 P.3d 617 (2016). Construction contractors owe an independent tort duty to avoid damage to persons and property other than their work., 2016
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • Domestic Relations Attorneys of Washington, 2021-23, 2023
  • Washington Appellate Lawyers Association, 2021-23, 2023
  • Washington State Bar Association (Small Practice Section), 2018-2023, 2023
  • King County Bar Association (Appellate Section), 2019-2023, 2023
  • Tacoma Pierce County Bar Association, 2018-2022, 2022
  • Thurston County Bar Association, 2016-2023, 2023
  • Clark County Bar Association, 2018-2022, 2020

Office location for Kevin Hochhalter

4570 Avery Ln SE
Lacey, WA 98503

Phone: 360-717-5024


3 Years Super Lawyers
3 Years Rising Stars
  • Super Lawyers: 2022 - 2024
  • Rising Stars: 2018 - 2020

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