We help people navigate unpleasant life situations. To me, that means using our knowledge of the law and human behavior to help people get through personal chaos. Sometimes, these situations happen to people who have done their best to make good decisions in life but somehow find themselves answering to courts and the legal process. Other times, it happens to people who have made bad choices and are being forced to deal with the ramifications.
I pride myself on having put together a team of lawyers and administrative professionals that have a broad range of life and career experiences. I believe that one size does not fit all (especially in the legal world) and that having different perspectives matters.
In some law firms, you can hear crickets as the attorneys click away on their keyboards. Not here. Sure, there are quiet days but in the realm of a family and criminal practice things are always moving. Cases are being resolved, witnesses are being interviewed, and experts are being retained as we focus on finding the most efficient way to help clients get healthy results. Good lawyering results in good resolutions prior to trial. It also means being ready to let the court make decisions and being confident in our ability to get justice at the trial and appellate courts levels.
It also turns out that I find my work unbelievably rewarding. As I tell my kids, finding a career with meaning is everything. For me, some of that meaning has come from places where I did not get paid at all. For example, I served as Cooperating Counsel for the ACLU and found it incredibly fulfilling. Long before Obergefell v. Hodges, I served as lead counsel in the first same-sex adoption case in Arizona. And the second and the third and so on. While in the wake of evolving law, I was present when the first seven (7) children in Arizona were legally adopted by parents of the same sex. Although it is a very small footnotes in decades of legal fights for equality, getting to be a part of that and to be present with those families marked me. It reminded me of why we fight the fights we fight.
I am the product of a schoolteacher and I definitely enjoy following in my mother’s footsteps. As a former adjunct law professor, I had the opportunity to teach in a graduate/law school classroom. While I do not have that classroom now, I still get the chance to teach a few times a year. I lecture on child abuse reporting at local medical and PA schools and occasionally serve as a guest lecturer at ASU Law. A few years back, I was given the opportunity to present for Yale University. In addition to teaching and lecturing in the classroom, I have also been able to instruct at legal education events and help fellow attorneys understand the intersection of family, criminal, and juvenile law.
I currently serve as the Chairman of the State Bar of Arizona’s Client Protection Fund. Prior to being a Trustee, I was an appointee to the Arizona Supreme Court’s Task Force on the Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure. I am also a member of the National Child Abuse Defense and Resource Center (NCADRC). I have been fortunate in my career to receive recognition for my efforts, as in 2012 and 2015 I was named “Mentor of the Year” by the Arizona Children’s Law Center and in 2018 I was recognized by the Defenders of Children
If you have made it this far and wonder what I am like in real life – you can always find me following my teenage boys to their sporting events, binging Netflix, listening to Podcasts and running (slowly).
- Guest Lecturer
- Yale University, School of Medicine, Physician Associate Program
- Midwestern College of Osteopathic Medicine
- ASU/Diane Halle Center for Family Justice ‘CPS in Family Court’ (2013)
- Mandatory Reporting Seminar for schools within the Catholic Dioceses (2012)
- Trial Basics for Family Lawyers (State Bar of Arizona)
- Arizona State Association of Physician Assistants 2012 Primary Care Conference (2012)
- Aid to Adoption for Special Kids (AASK), Rise Services, AmeriPsych and Mentally Ill Kids In Distress (MIKID)
- Adjust Law Professor, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law
- State Bar Conference Faculty (2018)
- Court Appointed Advisor Training, V.L.P., (2009 – 2016)
- Training Blitz (Resource Parents Advanced Training)
- CLE by the Sea
- Family Law Rules Task Force
JD, Sandra Day O’Conner College of Law, Arizona State University
BA, University of Arizona