The attorneys at Jaburg Wilk are considered among the best in their respective areas of law. From administrative and real estate law to intellectual property and family law, the firm excels in every practice area. In the family law group, the four attorneys and support staff work hard to address the variety of emotionally charged issues that often accompany highly contentious cases while being creative and flexible in the approach adopted for each client’s unique circumstances.
Mitchell Reichman, a shareholder and family law specialist, has been practicing law for three decades. He specializes in high conflict and complex domestic relations cases at Jaburg Wilk.
“What attracted me to this firm was the possibility of creating a significant group to practice family law within a larger firm,” Reichman explains. “I had been practicing on my own when I was approached by Gary Jaburg, a good friend of mine. They were interested in having a family law practice as part of the firm as they did not yet have one.”
Reichman was interested in specializing in family law after handling a variety of other types of cases prior to joining Jaburg Wilk.
“I have a good depth of experience analyzing financial information in terms of valuation issues generally, business and professional practice valuations in particular, characterization of assets and assessment of needs,” Reichman says. These issues can be of paramount importance, especially when interlaced with spousal maintenance issues.
The Jaburg Wilk Family Law Group Dynamic
Under Reichman, the family law group has grown to four full-time attorneys. “Our group has a diversity of strengths in the context of family law, our experience, our ages and backgrounds,” says Reichman.
This difference allows each member of the team to bring something unique to the group. “It is advantageous because we collaborate with each other, using our strengths to help the clients. Sometimes a particular situation or issue is best handled by one attorney, compared to another,” explains the attorney.
Reichman continues, “One of the things that makes us different is that we all believe in a problem-solving, practical approach to our cases. We work to put our clients in a position to obtain a favorable outcome which is different in each situation. Each case presents different dynamics in a family law case.” The firm is focused on problem-solving and they educate and manage expectations of the clients during every step of the process.
Each member of the family law group contributes to the success that Reichman has built at Jaburg Wilk.
Jason Castle is the newest member of the team. “His diverse background and qualifications give him a special perspective and presence within our mental health community,” Reichman says. “These qualities make Jason particularly effective serving clients in cases where there are disputes concerning children and what is best for them.”
“Larry Hirsch has been part of the team for almost 10 years,” Reichman explains. “His perseverance and attention to detail make him particularly effective in cases that involve complex business or financial issues. Larry also has the ability to simplify his presentations to make them more easily understood in the courtroom.”
Attorney Mervyn Braude joined the firm 17 years ago. “He is a delightful, charming and warm-hearted person to work with. Mervyn is smart, funny and effective. He looks for creative solutions to help our clients obtain favorable results. Mervyn thinks well on his feet and is as effective in the courtroom as he is at the negotiating table,” says Reichman.
For these four attorneys, they benefit from being part of a law firm of more than 30 lawyers. “What a lot of people don’t appreciate in a divorce are complexities such as transfers of interests in businesses, partnerships or real estate. In these situations you need a skilled transactional lawyer to execute the work. Luckily for our clients, we can simply go upstairs and have access to some of the most skilled lawyers in the state to assist us.”
A Firm Culture
For Reichman, Jaburg Wilk has supplied him with more than the tools to be a successful family law attorney.
“We want our lawyers to be engaged in the practice of law and do good things out in the community. Both are important,” Reichman explains.
The firm organizes various events so that everyone can participate in charitable events. “We have a tradition; on the last Friday of every month, everyone who brings in $5 is allowed to wear jeans. The employee of the month then selects an organization of their choice for that month’s funds to be donated to.”
Recently, the firm shareholders outlined the 21 fundamentals of their firm, known as The JW Way. The JW Way is more than a mission statement.
“For the family law team, these can be critical,” Reichman says. “There have been times where a client will come in with very limited information – like they had a friend who went through a divorce or they have a little bit of information from various sources. It’s important to leave your ego at the door. It’s easy to get caught up in contentious litigation. Many times, attorneys that practice family law tend to exhibit aggression without thought because they think that’s what the client wants them to deliver.”
Redirecting aggression, staying focused and keeping the client educated while explaining things thoroughly are very important. “Psychologists and health professionals tell us that divorce is the most traumatic event to happen to a person other than the death of a spouse or child,” adds Reichman. Some fundamentals of The JW Way include demonstrating respect, listening fully, honoring commitments, walking in your client’s shoes and being passionate about the client experience.
As for the future of the family law group, Reichman says they are on a trajectory of steady growth. “We are growing and I anticipate that our group will continue to grow,” Reichman explains. “We are currently seeking an additional lawyer and I expect that our group will include at least six lawyers and an additional legal assistant within 24 to 36 months. While it is difficult to predict what our practice group will look like in five or 10 years, with care in choosing who we bring in and our continued diligence in applying our firm values and philosophy, I expect we will continue to add lawyers to our family law practice group.”