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Dischell Bartle Dooley Adds Four Attorneys To Its Team

Dischell Bartle Dooley Adds Four Attorneys To Its Team

Dischell Bartle Dooley has added four attorneys with a combined 115 years’ of experience.

The lawyers joining the firm are Jessica L. Torres, Robert G. Rosen, George E. Saba Jr. and Theodore A. Schwartz. 

“We know results matter to our clients,” said Dischell Bartle Dooley Managing Partner Frank Bartle. “The addition of these four attorneys broadens our expertise so we can continue to provide the best counsel.”

Torres, an associate, most recently was a law clerk for the Honorable Carolyn H. Nichols of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania. She also clerked for the Honorable H. Geoffrey Moulton Jr. of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania. She has a J.D. from Widener University and a double B.S. from the University of Puerto Rico.

Rosen will be of counsel to the firm. He has been at attorney with the Office of Robert G. Rosen in Lansdale since 1980. He has deep roots in the North Penn area. He was a member of the board of directors and the board secretary of the former North Penn Chamber of Commerce, now the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Montgomery County, from 1982 until his retirement in 2014. He was also a member of the Montgomery Township Planning Commission for 10 years. He served in the U.S. Army, retiring as a captain. He has a J.D. and a B.B.A. from Temple University.

Saba will also be “of counsel” to the firm. For his entire legal career of almost 34 years, Saba has handled trial work including large exposure personal injury cases, commercial and construction losses as well as professional liability and insurance lawsuits.  He is Board Certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy in both Trial and Pretrial Advocacy.  He is the past president of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association and has been recognized as a “Super Lawyer” 14 times. 

Schwartz enjoyed a 47-year career representing seriously and catastrophically injured individuals in Medical Malpractice, Product Liability and Automobile Litigation.  He is a Past President of the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association (now the Pennsylvania Association for Justice), where he also lectured and authored a publication dealing with Pennsylvania Practice and Procedure for 28 years. He is also a Past Governor of the American Association for Justice, and has taken many leadership positions in the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association and the Philadelphia Bar Association.

The addition of Torres, Rosen, Saba and Schwartz gives Dischell Bartle Dooley 17 attorneys. The firm assists clients with personal injury, workers’ compensation, Social Security disability, real estate law, land development, zoning, family law, wills, trusts and estates, employment law, civil litigation, business law, municipal law, education law and criminal law matters.

Liz Billies Authors Book Chapter

Liz Billies Authors Book Chapter

Family law attorney Liz Billies has written a chapter for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s upcoming book on “Child and Spousal Support.” Liz’s chapter is on child support adjustments to basic obligations. The book will be available this spring. Liz is an experienced family law attorney with expertise in divorce, pre- and post-nuptial agreements, equitable distribution and custody and support matters.  She has been honored as one of the “10 Best Family Law Attorneys for Client Satisfaction in Pennsylvania” by the American Institute of Family Lawyers for five consecutive years.  

DBD Sponsors and Supports the Methacton Field Hockey Team in Play 4 Cure Game

DBD Sponsors and Supports the Methacton Field Hockey Team in Play 4 Cure Game

DBD is a proud sponsor of the Methacton Field Hockey Team, who participated in the annual Play 4 the Cure Game on Saturday, October 13, 2018. With the help of DBD, the team surpassed their goal of raising $2,800 by $1,700!

Congratulations to everyone who participated in this worthwhile event.

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DBD Supports LLS's Chester County Light the Night Walk

DBD Supports LLS's Chester County Light the Night Walk

On Saturday, October 13, 2018, DBD partner, Liz Billies and her team, the Running Objections, participated in the Chester County Light the Night Walk to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  The one mile walk, which took place at Wilson Park Farm benefited the Leukemia endeavors to raise research dollars to find cures for Leukemia and other blood cancers.  Liz’s team raised approximately $1,000.00 towards this worthwhile cause.

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Two Partners Named Super Lawyers; Two Family Law Attorneys Recognized As 2018 Rising Stars

Two Partners Named Super Lawyers; Two Family Law Attorneys Recognized As 2018 Rising Stars

Two Dischell Bartle Dooley partners have been named Pennsylvania 2018 Super Lawyers and a partner and an associate have been named 2018 Rising Stars.

Frank Bartle, Dischell Bartle Dooley managing partner, is a Super Lawyer for the 10th year in a row. For more than 35 years, he has counseled businesses, individuals, non-profit organizations, municipalities and school districts on labor, land development, litigation, personal injury, real estate and zoning matters. He is recognized as an expert by peers and often is a consultant to other attorneys.

Mark Dischell is a Super Lawyer for the 15th year in a row. Recognized as a leader in family law, Dischell is a litigator with more than 35 years' experience in divorce, support, child custody, property distribution and grandparents' rights. Dischell is known for the long-standing relationships he maintains with the clients and families he assists. He has been named to "Best Lawyers in America" by his peers for 25 years in a row and chairs the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and the Family Law section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association.

Liz Billies, a partner at the firm, was named a Rising Star for the 9th year in a row. Billies handles all areas of family law, including preparing pre- and post-nuptial agreements, obtaining no-fault and fault divorces and litigating and settling equitable distribution, custody and support matters. Clients value her collaborative and cost-effective approach to legal representation.

Inna Materese, a family law associate, is a 2018 Rising Star for the first time. Materese's focus is helping her clients achieve their individual goals through a collaborative, resourceful, pragmatic and compassionate approach. She handles all areas of family law, including high-asset divorce, complex custody issues, protection from abuse and support matters.

"Our firm has a long tradition of Super Lawyers and I am proud that Mark, Liz and Inna have been recognized for their excellent work," Bartle said. "They know that results matter and are always working to achieve the best outcome for clients."

Super Lawyers, part of Thomson Reuters, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area.

To be eligible for inclusion on the Rising Stars list, a candidate must be either 40-years-old or younger or in practice for less than 10 years.While up to five percent of the lawyers in Pennsylvania are named to Super Lawyers, no more than 2.5 percent are named to the Rising Stars list.

Five Years of Client Satisfaction!

Five Years of Client Satisfaction!

For the fifth year in a row, DBD Family Law attorney Elizabeth J. Billies was honored as one of the 10 best Family Law Attorneys for Client Satisfaction in Pennsylvania by the American Institute of Family Lawyers. Congratulations Liz!

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KIDS DON’T DECIDE THEIR OWN CUSTODY AND FAULT DOESN’T MATTER

KIDS DON’T DECIDE THEIR OWN CUSTODY AND FAULT DOESN’T MATTER

*This article was written and originally publish by Judy Malmon on SuperLawyers.com and can be found in its original form here.

By Judy Malmon

Divorce is ubiquitous. Many of us know someone who’s been through the process, or have been divorced ourselves. Stories of divorce are on TV, social media, the internet—nearly everywhere you look. Despite this, there remain a surprising amount of misconceptions.

What you think you know about divorce isn’t necessarily true.

Kids Don’t Choose

Lansdale family law attorney Elizabeth Billies, of Dischell Bartle Dooley, says that one of the most common errors she encounters is the belief that children over a certain age (usually 12 or 14) can decide their own custody arrangement. I have so many people that come in and say, ‘My kid can decide where they want to live.’ And I have to tell them, ‘No, that is not what the law says.’”

Pennsylvania custody law outlines 16 factors that go into a judicial determination of custody based on finding what would be in the best interest of the child. Within these factors is one that takes into account a child’s “well-reasoned preference.” But this is only a factor, not dispositive in itself, and is considered in light of their maturity and judgment.

Billies shares a story from early in her career to illustrate the rationale behind this law: “In one memorable case I worked on, the girl was 15 or 16, back when MySpace was popular. The dad lived out of state, and he found evidence in his daughter’s MySpace postings that she was hanging out with guys who were 19 years old and drinking. They showed in the custody trial that mom was trying to act like a friend, not like a parent, and exercising poor judgment. In that case, custody was transferred to dad, and the child had to move. Obviously, that was not the child’s preference, but it was in her best interest, and is an example of why preference can’t rule the day. Because why should a 12 year-old know what’s best for them?”

No Fault Means Exactly That

Another common misconception Billies sees regularly has to do with property distribution under no-fault divorce. “People think if someone cheated on them, abused them, was not good with money, that should really count for something in the division of property. And it just doesn’t.”

In a no-fault divorce there is no examination of the behavior of the parties related to the dissolution of their marriage. “When it comes time to divide up assets, I tell my clients to look at it as a dissolution of a business,” says Billies. “It’s a business transaction. That makes the emotional piece really different.”

Billies recommends working on emotional issues with a therapist or friend, while keeping the legal end of things more practical. This also helps keep the legal bill down, as fighting with your ex through your lawyer can be very costly.

Pennsylvania is an equitable distribution state, meaning that property between divorcing spouses is not divided evenly in half, but apportioned according to what a judge considers fair in light of factors such as relative income of each spouse, anticipated retirement income of each, duration of the marriage, and other factors deemed relevant (but not fault-related behavior). Assets that were owned prior to the marriage or a gift or inheritance are generally not part of the marital estate.

Prevalent misinformation can leave you with incorrect assumptions about your divorce or custody situation. Talk to an experienced family law attorney to make sure you have the best information and advice.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Consultation

How to Get the Most Out of Your Consultation

By Inna G. Materese | Esquire

Most people don’t visit an attorney’s office happily. After all, why would one need an attorney if everything is going swimmingly? It is therefore understandable that most clients are unsure of how to proceed when scheduling a consultation with a lawyer. However, the solution to your legal question often begins to form at that initial meeting with competent counsel and it is important to get the most out of the first visit. So, how does one get the most out of a legal consultation? So glad you asked.

  1. Choose (your counsel) wisely. Many clients (understandably) shy away from consultation fees and only seek out free consultation. In doing so, they are potentially eliminating the attorney they need. Consultation fee avoidance can cost you big time in the long run. Though you may ultimately choose not to work with the attorney with whom you consult, it is important to ensure that the attorney you’re meeting with takes the time to get to know and understand your specific circumstances. You will likely find that a paid consultation lasts longer and is more in-depth than those offered free of charge. It is quite likely that you will walk out of a paid consultation with an evaluation of your specific case and a strategy for tackling your legal issue. If you shy away from an attorney you believe can aptly handle your matter because he or she charges a consultation fee, you may be shortchanging yourself down the road.
  2. Do your own recognizance. Before you meet with an attorney (or sign a retainer, for that matter), understand whom you are hiring. There are many, many attorneys out there and many, many resources to help you find the right one. Consult the local bar association for active bar members who practice in the field you are looking for. You may wish to consult with an attorney with a certain number of years of practice or certain credentials. This information, as well as attorney disciplinary records is likely available online. Evaluate whether the attorney you are considering has relevant experience, participates in relevant associations, is respected by the legal community, and/or has positive client testimonials.
  3. Get your ducks in a row. Being prepared is the best way to get the most out of your time with an attorney. Know as much as possible about the facts of your situation and identify the things you don’t know. It is often helpful to jot down notes regarding specific timelines, dates, details, and other pertinent descriptions. Compile any and all documents to support your understanding of the situation. For example, if your legal issue involves a dispute over a contract, make sure to have the contract handy at the meeting, as well as any documents evidencing your position. The easier it is for your attorney to assess the situation, the more productive your consultation will be.
  4. Remember that details are essential. Your attorney will likely ask you extremely specific questions about every detail of the issue. They are not doing so to be nosy. Instead, he/she is attempting to truly assess your case. Though it may be frustrating to clients at times, most cases turn on small threads of information and the manner in which the law applies to those very particular circumstances. Include all possible details regarding your issues, even if you may not believe it is relevant or noteworthy. Don’t be afraid to share with the attorney in your consultation. While some information may be personal and/or feel embarrassing, your attorneys needs to know anything that can affect your case to properly advise you and your consultation is confidential.
  5. Facts, Facts, Facts (and more facts). Nothing is a bigger shock to a potential client’s system than to hear an attorney redirect him/her away from their feelings about an issue to more mundane facts. But, remember those details we mentioned above? Your attorney needs as many of them as possible during your meeting. While we always keep in mind that the situation that brought you to our office is sensitive and can be extremely emotional, keeping your focus on the factual circumstances is the best way to get the most bang for your legal buck.
  6. Bring your goals but leave your prejudices at the door. When you meet with an attorney, it is important to have an idea of what you’d like to accomplish, even if it is not quite fleshed out yet. Make sure your attorney is aware of your goals so he/she can advise you appropriately. However, it is equally important to remain flexible, adaptable, and receptive to input. Your consulting attorney may advise you that your goals, in their original form, are not quite feasible or, well, legal. Or, an attorney may advise you that the process for accomplishing your goal may look quite different than what you envisioned. Be open to professional advice. After all, that’s what you’re here for!
  7. Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions during your meeting. While your consulting attorney may wish to explain a certain concept or obtain certain information before answering, it is important that your questions are addressed. Before you leave, address any questions you may have about legal options, fees, retention of your attorney, possibility of success, attorney experience, etc. Doing so allows you to not only evaluate your legal circumstances but also helps you evaluate whether this attorney is the right man or woman for the job.

Keeping these tips in mind when you visit an attorney will help you have a more effective consultation and help you find the best attorney to collaborate with.

DBD Family Law Attorneys Serve in Leadership Roles in 2018

DBD Family Law Attorneys Serve in Leadership Roles in 2018

Elizabeth J. Billies and Inna Materese, DBD Family Law attorneys, are serving in leadership roles in the Family Law Section of the Montgomery County Bar Association for 2018. Ms. Billies is serving as the Chairperson of the Friends of the Court Committee, while Ms. Materese is chairing the Dickman Seminar Committee. 

Both attorneys are also on executive committee of Doris Freed Inn of Court for the 2017-2018 term. Ms. Billies serves as the treasurer of the organization, while Ms. Materese serves as secretary. 

 

DBD Partner Jon Young Follows Up Trial Victory with a Win in the Superior Court

DBD Partner Jon Young Follows Up Trial Victory with a Win in the Superior Court

By Inna G. Materese | Esquire

What happens when a home seller refuses to return escrowed funds in a home purchase gone wrong? Attorney Jon Young knows.

The home purchase began like most others. The buyers agreed to purchase a home from the sellers and put a deposit in escrow, pending an inspection of the property. The inspection revealed that the septic system was not appropriate and the well water to the home was not portable. This is where things went awry.

Though the buyers refused to repair the septic system or negotiate a credit for the repairs, they also refused to return the buyers' $70,000 deposit. That is, until Jon Young stepped in. Jon was able to secure a judgment at trial ordering the return of the funds to the buyers. In an October 26, 2017 decision, the Superior Court affirmed the ruling.

Congratulations to Jon and his clients!

 

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO US!

On August 3, 1977, three partners began Dischell Bartle & Dooley with the goal of bringing superior legal services to the Lansdale, PA area. Though our offices and our reach has expanded, our mission remains the same: to bring outstanding legal services and a sense of civil commitment to our clients and our communities. We are so honored to have served you for forty year and look forward to serving you for forty more!

Come See Us at Lansdale Day!

Come See Us at Lansdale Day!

By Inna G. Materese | Esquire

Come visit Jon Young at the DBD booth at the 2017 annual Lansdale Day Arts and Crafts Festival! To learn more about the event, visit the information page.

DBD is proud to sponsor this family friendly event and the support the North Penn Rotary Club.