Attorney Profile

My firm is dedicated to assisting clients with the most important part of their life – their family. Although your family may be changing as you separate or divorce, that change does not have to turn into a legal battle that may harm your relationship with others.  If you have children, no doubt they will be affected by the separation, but they can also be harmed by the process. The process option you select and the attorney you hire will affect not only the legal outcome of your matter, but it may also affect your ongoing relationship with others and, if you have children, their well-being.

Since January 2011, my law practice has been as a sole practitioner. However, most of my legal experience since 1985 has been working in larger firms in the area of family law litigation. Since December 2006, although I still regularly engage in family law litigation, I have focused my work more on collaborative practice or mediation for the resolution of family law disputes.  In addition to my experience in family law litigation, collaborative practice, and mediation, I have experience in the areas of personal injury law, criminal defense, bankruptcy, and estates. Although I do not handle cases in those areas, that experience broadened my knowledge and understanding of the law and how it affects individuals.

EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE

  • Graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1985
  • Attorney with a law firm in Fairfax, Virginia from 1985-1986
  • Law Clerk, Washington County Court of Common Pleas from 1986-1987
  • Attorney with a commercial litigation firm in Pittsburgh from 1987-1989
  • Attorney with a general practice firm in the Mon Valley from 1989-2001
  • Attorney with two family law and divorce firms in Pittsburgh from 2001-2010

COURT ADMISSIONS AND ASSOCIATIONS

  • Virginia State Bar, October 2, 1985
  • Pennsylvania Bar, May 5, 1987
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
  • Member – Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA)
  • First Chairperson – PBA Collaborative Law Committee
  • Member – PBA Family Law Section
  • Member – PBA Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Committee
  • Member Allegheny, Butler, and Washington County Bar Associations
  • Founding Member – Collaborative Law Association of Southwestern Pennsylvania
  • Board Member – Collaborative Law Association of Southwestern Pennsylvania
  • Member – International Academy of Collaborative Professionals
  • Matrimonial Inns of Court, Pittsburgh Chapter, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008

I have the education and experience to handle virtually any type of family law litigation. However, there are other less painful and possibly less expensive methods for resolving family legal disputes such as collaborative law and mediation. Over the past nine years, my practice has changed a bit and it can be summed up by the following quotation:

“Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can.  As a peacemaker the lawyer has superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough.”   Abraham Lincoln

Although I am comfortable in a courtroom and it is what I went to law school to do, I have come to realize that in many cases my client’s interests are better served by avoiding the courtroom. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss your legal options to resolve your matter.