I was born in 1945 and lived in Kansas City until I was 12, when my parents moved to Las Vegas. I completed high school in Las Vegas and then attended the University of Nevada in Reno. I have lived in Reno since 1968, with a hiatus while I attended the University of Colorado, School of Law in Boulder, went through Infantry Officers Basic Course at Ft. Benning, and served as an Assistant District Attorney in Humboldt County, Nevada.
I was admitted to the Bar in 1970. For the last 20 years I have devoted myself entirely to family law. Before that I had a general practice, emphasizing civil litigation, business law and personal injury. While a deputy district attorney in Humboldt County, I tried a murder case. When the last of the Dalkon Shield cases were resolved, I began to practice only divorce law. I have been President of the Washoe County Bar Association; twice Chair of the Family Law Section of the State Bar. The firm has three times been Pro Bono Firm of the Year as selected by Volunteer Lawyers.
I am a member of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, where I serve as Parliamentarian in 2009-2010 and a Member, of the Executive Committee for 2009-2010. I served on the committee that authorized the Bounds of Advocacy and The Client Handbook. I was Treasurer of the Academy’s Foundation. I served as Chair of the Nevada chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.
I am one of the hundred members of the American College of Family Trial Lawyers.
I was elected by my peers to Best Lawyers in America.
Currently, I am Trustee Emeritus at Sage Ridge School, and in the past have served as Trustee.
I have four children: Aaron, David, Noah and Leah. Aaron is a painting contractor in Reno who has climbed extensively throughout the West and on Baffin Island. David owns two restaurants in Reno with a partner (Silver Peak) and graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. Noah has a degree in automotive engineering and is the co-founder of the Reno Bike Project. Leah is a graduate of the U. of Texas, where she was a scholarship athlete in crew. She was a champion squash player in high school.
Life experience: I lettered in boxing at the University of Nevada and boxed for the U.S. team in the 1973 Maccabiah games in Israel. I oversaw an apartment complex for a year while in law school. I was President of the UNR Senate and Temple Emanu-el (twice). I have been a construction worker, a Keno writer and a waiter. My hobbies are reading, cycling and, well, reading.
Approach to the practice? Here are the rules I follow:
The idea is to solve problems, not simply try cases or make motions or draft pleadings. Litigation is usually not the answer to most problems, though no one in the firm is afraid of the courtroom. A courtroom is, under most circumstances, a bad place to resolve complex human problems.
Alternative dispute resolution (mediation and, sometimes, arbitration) is a valid, viable alternative to trials and should be exploited if appropriate.
The children come first, but parents almost always know what is in their child’s best interest.
Nastiness does not equate with effectiveness.
I tell the whole truth and expect my clients to do the same. The firm will only make complete and full disclosure. We are not interested in game-playing, half-truths or in “hiding the ball.” A half-truth is a whole lie. We will not abide being lied to by our own clients.
Be judicious about the litigation process. Cost is an important factor–you can put your kids through college…or mine. Some, often much, of the cost of a divorce is in your control.
I want to determine what is fair in any particular case and seek to reach agreement in that range; if that is not possible, the case should be tried after exploring mediation.
It is our job to get the case over with as quickly and inexpensively as possible, consistent with a fair result for my client. A divorce effectively brings life to a halt and the time it takes to resolve a case should be as short as possible.