For the women in Dickinson Wright’s family law practice, the ability to guide people through the legal and emotional challenges associated with family discourse is what attracts them to this area of the law. When Dickinson Wright combined its practice on January 1, 2013 with the Phoenix law firm of Mariscal, Weeks, McIntyre & Friedlander, the firm acquired one of the largest family law practices in Arizona. Dana Levy and Marlene Pontrelli both certified specialists in family law by the State Bar of Arizona joined the firm as members, and Sarah Barrios and Marki Stewart are associates. Together the women make up one-half of the Phoenix office’s family law department.
“Our practice is very hands on” says Dana Levy. “Clients want someone who they can rely upon and have confidence in to help them every step of the way as they maneuver the legal process.
Marlene Pontrelli echoes that sentiment. “Our job requires a careful balancing of helping clients on a personal level with the emotional issues and conflict that accompanies family law cases, while simultaneously providing legal advice on issues such as support, custody and property division.”
On any given day a family lawyer engages in a wide variety of tasks such as preparing testimony for trial, conducting cross-examination of an expert witness, drafting a property settlement agreement, reviewing a business valuation report, calculating child support, working with a client to formulate a parenting plan, consulting with a potential client, or engaging in mediation in an effort to reach an amicable resolution of disputed issues. For the women in Dickinson Wright’s family law practice, maintaining a broad range of legal knowledge, and possessing efficient and persuasive writing and verbal communication skills is key to ensuring client satisfaction.
In addition to their legal excellence, the family law lawyers have a broad range of other interests and talents. Some are marathon runners, others devote time to teaching family law at Arizona State University or coaching the mock trial team, and others enjoy reading and traveling. Each of the women feels the need to maintain their own personal balance while simultaneously meeting the needs of their clients.
The Dickinson Wright family law practice is highly respected by the bench and the bar, receiving numerous accolades. Several of the lawyers are named in Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America. However, despite these recognitions, the gratification of the job comes primarily from clients. The cards received during the holiday season from clients and former client showing smiling children and happy faces, along with the heartfelt notes that accompany the photos remind the lawyers of how they have truly made a difference in the lives of others.
To learn more about Dickinson Wright's Family Law practice, click here.