“Make it about you. You get to.” That might be the entire first page in attorney Benjamin T. Hodas’ playbook. Ben Hodas, as almost everyone knows him, is a Board Certified Marital and Family Law Attorney concentrating in high asset, high net worth divorce. His practice philosophy comes down to a “logical change in perspective” on almost every front.
“Rather than begin our strategy focusing on the other spouse’s worth, we first focus on our client’s worth,” Hodas said. “We empower clients to confidently assess their own worth to the relationship. Beyond the black and white of assets and accounts, we understand and advocate the nuance of the relationship and our client’s contributions to it.”
The cases Hodas works often encompass substantial assets. This fact has important implications. “At the heart of these cases is the need to protect my clients and, many times, their children’s way of life, security and future prospects.”
Hodas cited another good reason not to begin formulating a strategy from the perspective of the other spouse’s worth: Ignorance. “Clients often don’t know their spouse’s worth. Not yet.”
This is going to hurt.
In another perspective change, Hodas refuses to sugarcoat the harsh reality of divorce. “Divorce is an incredible effort. Maybe it’s a tug of war. Maybe it’s all out war. Maybe it’s something in between. Undoubtedly, there are winners and losers.” Hodas approaches his cases with a focus of purpose and logic that removes emotion. “My job is to assess the conflict, draw the boundaries of acceptability, and develop the action and exit strategies,” he said. “Nothing about that is made easier by my being emotional. I get to be emotional when we’ve delivered the outcome my client deserves.”
For every action, there is a reaction.
Divorce has many faces. Hodas says it’s important that the means be appropriate to the situation. “So often our tactics, if not our strategy, is informed by how the opposite spouse conducts their business. This will be as reserved or as charged as they make it.”
Attitude is not everything.
No amount of perspective change can make up for the hard work that goes into these cases. And, effort without experience is hardly beneficial. Ben Hodas has spent many years working at the highest level of the practice, beginning at the very launch of his career in 2002. “I had the opportunity to learn under the best of the best. As a young lawyer I was a sponge, which I continue to be today.” Hodas is a student of his legal practice area and has gone to great lengths to establish and strengthen his professional profile within the legal community, both locally and nationally, including becoming board certified in 2014.
Board certification is the single highest individual honor achievable by member attorneys of the Florida Bar. Less than 7 percent of Florida attorneys are board certified.
“In marital and family law, certification is even more prestigious and difficult to obtain,” Hodas said. Pass rates are historically low, and less than 1 percent of marital and family law attorneys share the distinction.
Hodas added, “Board certification tells you I’ve done this work, and I understand this work well. The distinction holds me to a higher standard, and it lets my clients know they can, too.”
Recently, Hodas was named vice chairman of the Florida Bar’s marital and family law board certification committee, which he’s served on since 2015.
The company you keep.
At the highest level of divorce and family lawyers is a small cadre of collegial attorneys who take great pride in setting the expertise and outcome bars for the practice. “These are the lawyers who want the big cases, the more complex the better,” Hodas commented. “It’s a badge of honor to count myself among them.”
Hodas said these relationships go to the heart of what he believes the practice of law should always be about. “We don’t get to stop learning. We shouldn’t want to. The more we know and can share about tactics, lessons learned and even the state of the practice, the better we are for our clients and our firms.” Hodas concluded, “I’m all about the outcome. Anything in keeping with my professional ethics and best practices, that helps me bring clients the appropriate outcome, I’m going to do.” Gregory DuBose