MEYER, OLSON, LOWY & MEYERS REFLECTING ON SUCCESSES IN CHALLENGING CASES A SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT TO THE SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT

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1 MEYER, OLSON, LOWY & MEYERS REFLECTING ON SUCCESSES IN CHALLENGING CASES A TO THE Los Angeles Family Law Practitioners 1

2 FAMILY LAW PRACTITIONERS 2015 Every day there are families and individuals who are looking for counsel to help guide them through some of the toughest times in their lives. From divorce to annulments; spousal support to child support; child custody to visitation; pre- and post-nuptial agreements to name-change cases; adoptions to emancipations parties are always looking for the proper representation from an attorney or mediator. The road to the courtroom or mediation table need not be as arduous as you have heard. Keep this issue of Los Angeles Family Law Practitioners as a guide, as it features many dedicated lawyers and professionals whose aim is to make these transitions as seamless and as congenial as possible. This publication give you the opportunity to become acquainted with the leading family law firms, attorneys and specialists in the Southern California area who may be available to represent you during the good times as well as the difficult ones. SCOTT PIERCE GROUP PUBLISHER FALL Women Leaders in the Law 2015 FEATURED IN FORTUNE.COM FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT LEGAL LEADERS AT OR 2 Los Angeles Family Law Practitioners

3 An exclusive interview with LISA HELFEND MEYER Lisa Helfend Meyer is an accomplished family law strategist and trial attorney who has exclusively practiced family law for more than 30 years. She concentrates her practice on high-conflict child custody litigation, while also representing high-networth individuals in complex dissolutions. Her clients include celebrities, professional athletes, and prominent business executives. Here, Meyer, who is certified as a family law specialist by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization, reflects on the growth of her firm, Meyer, Olson, Lowy & Meyers, LLP (MOLM), which she founded with partners Doreen Marie Olson, Dana Lowy, and Felicia R. Meyers. While many law firms are facing mass layoffs and even closures, MOLM continues to expand, recently opening an Irvine, Calif., office; what do you attribute this growth to? Lisa Helfend Meyer: We ve been able to remain a stable presence in the family law community because of our focus on bringing in the right people. Over our history we ve hired new attorneys who have become trailblazers in the legal profession; and, with a current roster of 19 attorneys who all exclusively practice family law, we can offer a collective depth of experience that distinguishes us from other family law firms in California. I think clients also appreciate that we are discreet advocates, as many of them are high-net-worth individuals with multimillion-dollar estates and high-value assets. Their cases may involve high-conflict, sensitive issues, but you won t read about them in the news, and that s the way our firm likes it. What resources does your firm offer when it comes to these highasset cases? LHM: With complex marital property issues business valuations, hidden assets, deferred compensation, tax implications, assets characterization, real estate holdings we ve truly seen it all. And not only are our attorneys experienced in analyzing financial estates, but they also work with forensic accountants, private investigators, securities and tax professionals, and other financial consultants to safeguard our clients interests. Most importantly, though, we use our experience and resources to tailor our services to our clients specific needs and situations, securing successful outcomes through a more personalized approach. So you take a more holistic view when advising clients? LHM: Right, because while we are unafraid of confrontation and always prepared to successfully present our clients cases to the court, we also empathize with our clients circumstances and want to empower them during this difficult process. When people come to us they are going through one of the worst periods of their lives. Many of them are highly successful in business and are used to being in total control; and, as a result, a lot of pent-up, painful emotions surface during their divorce. We help them work through these emotions to where they can start their new lives in the best place possible. Regardless of whether we are representing men or women, we want our clients to know that they re not just enveloped in this horrible process where they have no control they have options. And part of that is making sure they are involved in the process and understand that choices have consequences. You have an impressive track record of trial success in an area of family law that is particularly emotional high-conflict child custody litigation. What drew you to this area? LHM: In my practice I handle everything from contested adoptions and paternity matters to issues of support and child custody. I also focus on complex child relocation, or move-away, cases within California and the United States, but also internationally as well. These, then, are challenging matters, which require attorneys with both the legal knowledge and emotional fortitude to handle all of their complexities. Our clients have a great deal to lose, so it is all the more satisfying when we win. And ultimately, I enjoy the challenge of trying cases, as I would rather roll up my sleeves and tackle matters people think are impossible than take on cases I could do with my eyes closed. MEYER, OLSON, LOWY & MEYERS LLP Santa Monica Boulevard Suite 1425, Los Angeles, CA ph: fax: Michelson, Suite 340 Irvine, CA ph: fax: Los Angeles Family Law Practitioners 3

4 FAMILY LAW PRACTITIONERS 2015 HOW TO MODIFY A CHILD SUPPORT AGREEMENT TALK TO A LOCAL CHILD SUPPORT ATTORNEY Either parent can ask the court to modify a child support agreement. Whether the court will actually grant your request is another matter. Child support laws vary by state, but most courts need a very good reason to make changes after an agreement has been turned into an order. YOU MUST PROVE A CHANGE OF CIRCUMSTANCES When you ask for a modification of child support, you generally must prove that something significant has happened in your life that makes the amount you are paying or receiving no longer appropriate. For example, if you are now supporting additional children, a judge might consider this a significant change of circumstances. If the children for whom you are paying support now reside with you instead of the other parent, this would also qualify as a significant change. YOUR INCOME MAY BE A FACTOR If you agreed to a certain amount of child support based on income you are no longer earning, this change in your situation could be grounds for a child support order to be modified. The amount of income you ve lost must be significant. Some states have laws that the change in your income must affect your child support amount by 10 to 20 percent before the court will modify an order. This could happen, for example, if you ve lost your job and are now collecting unemployment. Voluntary changes of income don t count. You cannot simply quit your job and expect to pay less or receive more child support as a result. A court also might modify a child support order when the parent receiving support starts earning a great deal more income than when the court first granted the order. TIME LIMITS MAY APPLY Some state courts discourage parents from seeking modifications of child support by limiting how often a change can be requested. You may have to wait as long as three years for your request to be considered, especially if the reason for your request is not significant. NEGOTIATED AGREEMENTS CAN BE HARDER TO MODIFY In some states, it is more difficult to modify a child support agreement than a post-trial child support order. This is especially true if you agreed to a specific amount of child support in a separation agreement, and the agreement was included in your divorce decree. Some states regard separation agreements as contracts, which are more difficult to modify than court orders. A FAMILY LAW LAWYER CAN HELP The law surrounding modification of child support is complicated. Plus, the facts of each case are unique. This article provides a brief, general introduction to the topic. For more detailed, specific information, AS SEEN ON please contact a family law lawyer. 4 Los Angeles Family Law Practitioners

5 Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek Amy Cantrell Standing left to right: Angela Woolard, Meryl Fox, Gerald McMahon, Sandra Joan Morris, Tamatha Clemens, Christina Peralta, Carrie Rubi Sitting left to right: Marianne Barth, Deborah Beard S ince its founding in 1948, Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek (SCMV) has become a recognized leader in Southern California for the full range of business and litigation services. The firm is both one of the largest and oldest legal practices in San Diego, and with its history of strong advocacy, it has earned its status as a fixture in the community. Our firm thrives on providing excellent client service to businesses, families, and individuals, says Gerald McMahon, who chairs the firm and heads its family law practice. With more than 40 attorneys, there s hardly a field we don t touch, and being able to provide that breadth of experience is an important part of our client commitment. Many of the firm s lawyers are experienced in multiple areas of law, and together they can handle almost any legal issue or eventuality in a case. This is particularly true of SCMV s family law department, where McMahon leads a team with more than 150 years of combined legal experience. Family law matters involve pressing emotional and financial issues, and the lawyers and paralegals in our group are wellversed in all of them, he notes. SCMV s family law services include prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, adoption, marriage dissolution, legal separation and annulment, child custody and visitation, child and spousal support, and paternity matters, both in court and mediation proceedings. The department typically represents high-net-worth individuals, and the fact that its lawyers are experienced in other areas of law as well has proved invaluable, as family law encompasses a variety of estate, tax, and business issues. McMahon and attorney Marianne Barth, for example, bring to the practice years of civil and business litigation experience a vital resource for understanding and successfully resolving the complex financial issues that are often present in divorce cases. In addition, McMahon notes: Sandra Morris recently joined our firm, and we couldn t be prouder to have her on our team. Previously, she and I were usually on opposite sides of cases, and I can say from experience that she is very smart, aggressive, and able. Morris has acquired extensive training and experience in mediation, collaborative law, arbitration, and settlement negotiation during her 45-year career as a family law attorney. She has occupied almost every family law leadership position there is, including serving as the national president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and as chair of the Certified Family Law Specialists Committee of the San Diego County Bar Association. Morris is a diplomate of the American College of Family Trial Lawyers, which is limited to the top 100 family law trial lawyers in the nation, and a member of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. McMahon is also a member of the invitation-only American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, in addition to the American College of Trial Lawyers, American Board of Trial Advocates, and Louis M. Welsh chapter of the American Inns of Court. Beyond SCMV s family law attorneys, clients benefit from the expertise of the firm s tax, pension, corporate, and estate planning attorneys, who work closely with the family law group when such issues arise in a case. And, while the firm always strives to achieve amicable resolutions, its skilled team is prepared to attain swift and successful litigated outcomes when necessary. We aim to provide clients with the most informed and insightful counsel possible, McMahon notes. That has been our goal for almost seven decades, and it remains the guiding philosophy of our firm. SELTZER CAPLAN MCMAHON VITEK 750 B Street, Suite 2100 San Diego, California ph: Gerald L. McMahon ph: Los Angeles Family Law Practitioners 5

6 R U O Y! Y E DA V ER E TO S RE FIL O PR LEGAL LEADERS P R E S E N T S SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA S TOP RATED LAWYERS OF 2015 PUBLISHING ON NOVEMBER 30TH A STAND-ALONE MAGAZINE IN Please contact Legal Leaders at or

7 PROTECTING YOUR FAMILY MATTERS Phillips Lerner is a Los Angeles-based family law firm. While proud of its history of achieving notable results for its clients, PL is also committed to encouraging women in family law and in the legal and business professions generally. Founder and Managing Principal Stacy D. Phillips, C.F.L.S., serves as a mentor and advocate for women (and men) in their varied professional endeavors. Phillips speaks on issues related to women, has made a special effort to include outstanding women in her firm, and fosters business development opportunities by hosting a holiday networking dinner each year, attended by over 200 women leaders. AZITA AVEDISSIAN More than half of PL s attorneys are exceptional women lawyers, all of whom give back to the community. Azita Avedissian serves on the Executive Committee of the Family Law Section of the Beverly Hills Bar Association and also sits on the Board of Regents of the Armenian Prelacy Schools. Robyn Santucci, C.F.L.S., serves on the Board of Directors of OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center which honored her with the Spirit of Hope Award for her outstanding philanthropic work. Robyn also volunteers for the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law helping low income litigants. A former partner at a national law firm, Pauline Martin refocused her practice area when she joined PL after being impressed by how the firm handled a case for a family member. Pauline served as the Chair of the Board of Step Up On Second, LLP the largest non-profit mental health organization in Santa Monica. In addition to practicing law and being involved in the community, everyone at PL participates in the firm s annual Adopt-A-Center Program. Since 1999, the firm has aided local non-profits serving women, families and children. Each year, the firm selects a deserving charitable organization in Los Angeles, then underwrites and organizes an event for the families served by the non-profit. This event is attended by firm members, friends and supporters, raising funds and awareness for the organization. PL maintains its involvement with the recipient organization throughout the year. STACY D. PHILLIPS PAULINE MARTIN ROBYN SANTUCCI 2029 CENTURY PARK EAST, SUITE 1200, LOS ANGELES, CA PH: Law Office of Margo Bouchet Margo Bouchet is an accomplished sole practitioner who over the past three decades has built a thriving family law and mediation practice in Southern California. Bouchet has a history of favorably resolving cases without costly litigation, and she credits this track record to her mediation training (Bouchet is certified as a mediator/arbitrator by the National Bar Association Panel of Mediators and Arbitrators) and her Christian background. Helping couples settle their marital disputes without rancor, and seeing them then move on with their lives in a positive way, is very rewarding to me, Bouchet says. I ve found that clients appreciate how I use both my mediation expertise and the tenets of my faith to encourage amicable resolutions whenever possible. Bouchet is deeply committed to family, both her own and those of her clients. I was drawn to this area because of my personal experience and the experience of family and friends with divorce, she notes. As a single parent, I raised twin sons, both of whom are college graduates, and a daughter, Rahkel, who has followed in my footsteps and is now an attorney licensed in five states. Beyond her practice, Bouchet spends a significant portion of her time giving back to the community and her alma mater, Howard University School of Law. Bouchet regularly provides free legal services to underserved families through the First African Methodist Episcopal Church Legal Clinic, and her efforts on behalf of her alma mater led the Howard University International Alumni Association to name her as an Outstanding Alumni. Other recognitions Bouchet has received during her distinguished career include being inducted into the Hall Of Fame of the Langston Bar Association and appointed by former President Jimmy Carter to the U.S. 9th Circuit Judge Nominating Commission. LAW OFFICE OF MARGO BOUCHET PH: / Margo Bouchet Amy Cantrell Los Angeles Family Law Practitioners 7

8 FAMILY LAW PRACTITIONERS 2015 PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENTS: THINKING AHEAD You just got engaged and almost out of nowhere the words prenuptial agreement come up. Talk about a romance-killer, right? Probably, at least a little bit. Let s face it, at first glance, asking for a prenuptial agreement doesn t exactly show your ever-lasting faith and trust in the relationship. It s almost like you re expecting the marriage to fail. The truth of the matter is, prenuptial agreements are very common, and emotion aside, they make good sense for many couples. SOME BASICS In simple terms, a prenuptial agreement or contract is where a couple sets out some ground rules about how the marriage will work before they actually get married. They re also called premarital agreements or contracts. They re valid and enforceable in every state and the District of Columbia. In fact, most states have adopted the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA), which helps with writing and enforcing prenups. These agreements can and usually do cover just about everything in case the marriage fails, such as: How the property the couple acquires during the marriage and brings into the marriage will be divided Who is responsible for paying which debts the couple incurs during the marriage and any pre-marital debts each had In most states, an agreement can state how much alimony or spousal support one spouse will pay the other and for how long Many prenups also have clauses stating that the agreement isn t valid unless the couple remains married for a certain number years and that the agreement is invalid if one spouse is unfaithful during the marriage There are some things that can not be settled in prenuptial agreements, like custody and visitation of couples children. Also, in most states, one spouse can not waive or give up their right to alimony in a prenup. NOT JUST FOR THE RICH ANYMORE Prenuptial agreements have been around for centuries, and they were popular in Europe with royal families who wanted to protect the family fortune from gold-digging suitors. Today, while it is true that prenuptial agreements make the headlines only when a billionaire or celebrity has marital problems, everyday ordinary couples are making prenuptial agreements. You should think about a premarital agreement if you: Already own a home or other real estate Own stocks or have a retirement account or 401(k) Have children from a previous marriage Have much more money and assets than your soonto-be-spouse Will be supporting the other spouse or your family while other spouse goes to college or graduate school NOT SET IN STONE Just because you do everything right and the agreement is signed, sealed, and delivered doesn t mean you are locked into the agreement. At any time, you and your 8 Los Angeles Family Law Practitioners

9 spouse can agree to cancel or rescind the contract. Or, as Tiger Woods recent predicament shows, the agreement can be changed. Just like any other prenup, the exact terms and language of Woods prenup are private, but it s been reported the prenup was changed so that instead of getting $20 million in case of a divorce, Tiger s wife, Elin, would receive substantially more. In addition, under the original agreement, the marriage had to last 10 years before Elin could get anything. Under the new agreement, the marriage only had to last seven years. So, as you can see, a prenuptial agreement may be changed as the needs or circumstances of you and your family changes. SOME DO S AND DON TS If you re thinking about asking your fiancé to sign a prenup, or if you have been asked to sign one, there are several things to consider: Hire an attorney to write the agreement, or at the very least, to look it over before you sign it. You and your fiancé should hire separate attorneys, too Make sure that it lists all of the assets and debts of each party Don t wait until the last minute. Any discussions about a prenup should take place very early in the engagement. And be honest about why you want (or do not want) an agreement Get it signed well in advance of the marriage, or else it may be invalidated later. That s because signing it just before the marriage makes it looked like one spouse was forced or coerced into signing it Try not to think of it as an unromantic forecast of bad things to come. Rather, think of it as prudent and careful planning, like your will and other estate planning documents Getting married is an exciting time. It s also a stressful time. There s a lot to do and plan for, not to mention that you re making a life-long commitment. Bringing up the subject of a prenuptial agreement adds to the stress, of course, but it may be for the best. Unfortunately, divorce rates in the US are high. And one good way to protect yourself in case your marriage fails is to make a prenup. AS SEEN ON QUESTIONS FOR YOUR ATTORNEY My fiancé and I live in Ohio but we re getting married in Tennessee. We may or may not move to Tennessee after the marriage. Do we need Ohio or Tennessee lawyers to help with a prenuptial agreement, or does it matter? How much will you charge to look over a prenuptial agreement that I wrote myself? Can you explain any problems or answer questions from both me and my fiancé? Before we got married, by fiancé and I talked extensively about a prenuptial agreement. We came to an agreement on just about everything, and we even have some handwritten notes. We never actually had the agreement put into writing and signed. Now we re getting divorced. Is the prenuptial agreement enforceable? John J. Gilligan, CFLS John J. Gilligan, founding partner of Brandmeyer Gilligan & Dockstader, LLP, has extensive experience specializing in California family law, probate litigation and estate planning since Prior to becoming a founding partner for Brandmeyer Gilligan & Dockstader, LLP, Mr. Gilligan founded Gilligan Law Corporation. Since 1985, Mr. Gilligan has served as Judge Pro Tem in the Superior Court for family law and domestic violence matters. He is certified to serve as a Superior Court Mediator, having received his mediation credential from Pepperdine Law School. He is also qualified for service as Court Appointed Minor s Counsel. Mr. Gilligan is a member of the American Bar Association, Los Angeles and orange Bar Associations, Irish-American Bar Association, Los Angeles Trial Lawyers Association and Orange County Trial Lawyers Association. Mr. Gilligan has lectured extensively on family law matters, authored numerous articles focusing on legal issues that stem from divorce and is the author of three Court of Appeal published opinions. Mr. Gilligan is certified by the State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization, as a certified family law specialist since Only 10% of California s family law attorneys have earned this additional education and title. BRANDMEYER GILLIGAN & DOCKSTADER, LLP One World Trade Center, Suite 2150 Long Beach, CA ph: fax: Los Angeles Family Law Practitioners 9

10 A TO THE FAMILY LAW PRACTITIONERS 2015 DO I NEED A LAWYER FOR A DIVORCE? TALK TO A LOCAL DIVORCE ATTORNEY Even if your divorce is friendly and you ve reached a mutual agreement with yo ur spouse about custody and property, obtaining help from a professional is often a good idea. A divorce decree is a court order and it could affect you for the rest of your life. Mistakes can be hard or impossible to undo, so you want to make sure you get it right the first time. DIVORCE ATTORNEYS KNOWS THE LAW Divorce laws are not one size fits all, and every case is different. State laws vary and a local attorney will know your rights under the legal system in your state. If your divorce is uncontested, an attorney will know whether the terms you ve worked out are fair. If your spouse is contesting the divorce, a lawyer will be ORDER CUSTOM REPRINTS OF FAMILY LAW PRACTITIONERS PLEASE CONTACT OR MEYER, OLSON, LOWY & MEYERS MEYER, OLSON, LOWY & MEYERS MEYER, OLSON, LOWY & MEYERS REFLECTING ON SUCCESSES IN CHALLENGING CASES REFLECTING ON SUCCESSES IN CHALLENGING CASES REFLECTING ON SUCCESSES IN CHALLENGING CASES A TO THE Los AngeLes FAmiLy LAw PrActitioners 1 A TO THE Los AngeLes FAmiLy LAw PrActitioners 1 Los AngeLes FAmiLy LAw PrActitioners 1 10 Los Angeles Family Law Practitioners

11 in a position to meet that challenge and advocate for your best interests in court. AN ATTORNEY WON T OVERLOOK DETAILS When you are navigating through a divorce, you will benefit by having a complete understanding of all the issues involved, such as the value of your assets and how you should divide those assets with your spouse. This information can be found by using legal discovery methods such as depositions, subpoenas and requests for your spouse to produce documents. Attorneys know how to use these tools, and they know how to analyze the information once it is uncovered. AN ATTORNEY WILL HANDLE FOLLOW-UP DETAILS Your divorce is not necessarily over when you receive a decree. For example, a judge might order your spouse to share a pension or other assets with you, but the decree might not automatically divide those assets. More paperwork will likely be required to achieve this. When you retain an attorney to handle your divorce, the attorney usually takes care of these follow-up tasks. AN ATTORNEY IS NOT ALWAYS NECESSARY If you and your spouse have no children, own very little property, do not have much debt and have only been married a short time, a divorce can usually be completed with a minimum of fuss. You might be able to handle the paperwork yourself, but you should still ask an attorney to review the documents before you file anything with the court. A lawyer can make sure you haven t made any serious mistakes. Many attorneys will look over your documents and charge you only an hourly rate. You don t have to retain the attorney to handle the entire divorce process. A DIVORCE LAWYER CAN HELP The law surrounding divorce is complicated. Plus, the facts of each case are unique. This article provides a brief, general introduction to the topic. For more detailed, specific information, please contact a divorce lawyer. AS SEEN ON Karen Brown CFLS* Scott Gailen ith nearly 40 years of experience Win complex family law, general business and entertainment litigation, Ms. Brown is an accomplished trial attorney dedicated to providing prompt and professional service to her clients most pertinent needs in complex family law litigation. Ms. Brown has been practicing family law exclusively for 15 years. Ms. Brown has an extensive background in representing clients in difficult family law matters including custody disputes, highly contested financial matters related to divorces, and pre-and post-nuptial agreements. Having concentrated on family law in recent years, her experience has included simple divorces and multimillion-dollar cases involving real estate and other assets. Not only does Ms. Brown provide clients with expert legal counsel, but also with the care and attention required in highly sensitive and often stressful litigations. She has utilized her diverse experience by providing advice and counsel to clients through innovative solutions that have saved them thousands of dollars in legal expenses and years of protracted litigation. *Certified as a Specialist in Family Law by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization FAMILY LAW OFFICE OF KAREN S. BROWN Wilshire Blvd., Suite 400 Los Angeles, CA ph: fax: SCOTT GAILEN, INC., a Professional Law Corporation, located in the San Fernando Valley, in Chatsworth (Los Angeles County), California. racticing law since 1980, founder Scott Gailen Pformed Scott Gailen, Inc. in In 2013, 2014 and now again in 2015, Mr. Gailen was named a Top 100 Trial Lawyer in California by The National Trial Lawyers organization. Mr. Gailen has extensive trial and courtroom experience to the point that he has gone to trial in over 175 cases and been in at least 3000 court hearings and appearances throughout his continued illustrious career. Through the years, SCOTT GAILEN, INC. has remained dedicated to helping clients protect their legal rights in the areas of FAMILY LAW (child custody/ visitation/support/domestic violence orders.; Mr. Gailen is known for his hard work and tenacity, while at the same time upholding the professionalism of the legal profession for the benefit of his clients. SCOTT GAILEN, INC Linfield Lane, Chatsworth, California ph: fax: ALM LEGAL GROUP ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES LAURA GUNAWAN MAXWELL HIRSCH ULEI KOU BRIDGET MCDONALD MARCY PALACIOS GEORGE SCHWIMMER GRAPHIC DESIGNER ASHLEE REDD CONTENT MANAGER ANIKHA RIDDICK COVER PHOTO AMY CANTRELL PROFILES WRITER SEAN STONEFIELD BUSINES MANAGER COLLEEN HANSON GROUP PUBLISHER SCOTT PIERCE Los Angeles Family Law Practitioners 11

12 Claery & Green, LLP Amy Cantrell C elebrating nearly a decade of service at Claery & Green, LLP, founding partner Lance Claery has maintained one of Southern California s foremost family law firms by carefully selecting a group of experienced and dedicated legal professionals. With its broad collective expertise, this team of advocates is able to offer knowledgeable counsel in the full range of divorce and family law issues, including complex matters such as move-away and child support cases. When clients come to us, they re going through a rough period in their life, and we want them to feel like they have someone on their side during this stressful time, Claery says. The benefit of having a team is that not only do we have the resources to handle their matters, but we can also ensure that they feel comfortable and informed throughout the process. Cleary has been handling family law matters for more than a decade. Focused in the field throughout his career, Cleary first became interested in family law while completing his undergraduate degree in family studies at the University of Maryland. As part of the school s internship program, he volunteered for the Hope Housing project, which helps families in the poorest sections of Washington, D.C. Working with families in these low-income areas, I saw that what they really needed was help with their legal issues, and that s what turned me on to the law, he notes. Partner Eli Hammond is a Certified Family Law Specialist (CFLS) who has nearly a decade of extensive family law experience. He has handled a multitude of family law cases from complex (jurisdictional, and financial) to emotionally charged (custody and domestic violence) issues with the strength and dedication a family lawyer needs to fight for his clients. Adamant that clients of Claery & Green, LLP receive optimal results, Eli is aggressive and at the same time fair. I take an aggressive approach for our clients, thereby improving their bargaining position both in settlement negotiation and/or litigation. Hammond says. This philosophy has helped me become a zealous advocate for my clients when they are truly in need of legal assistance. Given their broad expertise, this legal team represents people across the economic spectrum, from multimillionaires to clients of more modest means. Claery notes that having this varied client base allows them to empathize with each client s circumstances. For family law attorneys, being able to communicate with clients is essential to being successful in their cases, he explains, and we can always relate to where our clients are coming from. CLAERY & GREEN, LLP ph: toll free: Century City, Los Angeles Address: 2121 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 2900 Los Angeles, CA Mission Valley, San Diego Address: 8880 Rio San Diego Drive, Suite 370 San Diego, CA From Left: Eli Hammond & Lance Claery

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