Three Dischell Bartle Dooley Partners Named Super Lawyers and Two Attorneys Recognized As Rising Stars

Three Dischell Bartle Dooley Partners Named Super Lawyers and Two Attorneys Recognized As Rising Stars

Three Dischell Bartle Dooley partners have been named Pennsylvania 2019 Super Lawyers and a partner and an associate have been named 2019 Rising Stars.
 
Frank Bartle, Mark Dischell and Bob Iannozzi, Jr. are Super Lawyers and Liz Billies and Inna Materese are Rising Stars. George Saba, of counsel to the firm, was also named a Super Lawyer. 
 
Dischell Bartle Dooley has a long tradition of Super Lawyers and I am proud that Mark, Bob, Liz, Inna and George have been recognized for their excellent work,” said Bartle, the firm’s managing partner. “They all understand that results matter to our clients and are constantly working to achieve the best outcome for them.”
 
Frank Bartle, Dischell Bartle Dooley managing partner, is a Super Lawyer for the 11th year in a row. For more than 35 years, he has counseled corporations, individuals, non-profit organizations, municipalities and school districts on real estate, zoning, land development, business, labor, litigation and personal injury matters. He is recognized as an expert by peers and often is a consultant to other attorneys.  

Mark Dischell, a firm partner, is a Super Lawyer for the 16th 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.
 
Bob Iannozzi, Jr. , a firm partner, is a Super Lawyer for the first time. He was named a Rising Star for 10 years in a row starting in 2008. His practice is focused on real estate, land use, zoning, municipal law, property assessments, general litigation and wills and estates. An effective communicator, he has strong persuasion and legal-writing skills with an adept ability for preparing organized, well-reasoned legal documentation. His superior case handling is the result of strong organizational and time management skills and a careful attention to detail.
 
Liz Billies, a firm partner, was named a Rising Star for the 5th 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 Rising Star for the second 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.
 
George Saba, of counsel, is a Super Lawyer for the 15th time. His practice is focused on personal injury, complex litigation, construction, professional liability and insurance coverage. Saba is certified as a Civil Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy in both trial and pretrial advocacy. He has handled complex, multi-million dollar claims in various jurisdictions across the United States, including serious personal injury claims.
 
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.

Liz Billies Named One Of PA’s 10 Best Family Law Attorneys For Client Satisfaction

Liz Billies Named One Of PA’s 10 Best Family Law Attorneys For Client Satisfaction

Dischell Bartle Dooley family law attorney Elizabeth J. Billies has been named one of the 10 best “Family Law Attorneys for Client Satisfaction” in Pennsylvania by the American Institute of Family Law Attorneys.

The American Institute of Family Law Attorneys (AIOFLA) is a third-party attorney rating organization that publishes an annual list of the Top 10 Family Law Attorneys in each state. Attorneys who are selected to the "10 Best" list must pass AIOFLA's rigorous selection process, which is based on client and peer nominations, thorough research and AIOFLA’s independent evaluation.

This is the sixth year in a row that Billies, a Dischell Bartle Dooley partner, has been honored as a “10 best” family law attorney.  Her practice areas include divorce, pre- and post-nuptial agreements, equitable property distribution and child custody and child support.

“Liz is a tireless advocate for her clients who practices with a high level of compassion and attention to detail,” said Dischell Bartle Dooley Managing Partner Frank Bartle. “She is very deserving of this recognition and we congratulate her.”

Happy Coparents, Happy Life?

Happy Coparents, Happy Life?

By Inna G. Materese | Esquire

What would you do in the name of coparenting? Gwyneth Paltrow and her new husband Brad Falchuk are doing something that would be surprising to most married couples. You see, the actress and her writer/director husband are choosing to only live together part-time in the name of coparenting.

Due to a custodial arrangement that has Falchuk assuming custody of his children from a previous relationship three days per week, the couple maintain their own residences and cohabit in Paltrow’s home only four days each week.

The non-traditional setup is a type of “nesting” schedule. “Nesting” is a transitional arrangement whereby, typically, divorced or separated parents attempt to maintain a stable next for their baby birds by rotating in and out of the home and taking turns being on duty for the kids. The child or children in such arrangements stay put in the home while their parents transition from home to home. While such an arrangement may have its benefits, in most circumstances it is temporary given the possible cost thereof (both financial and otherwise).

While this form of marital arrangement may not be for everyone, the couple are proving that effective coparenting can be done. Read more here.

Aretha Franklin’s Handwritten Wills Show Benefit Of Formal Wills

Aretha Franklin’s Handwritten Wills Show Benefit Of Formal Wills

When Aretha Franklin died last August, lawyers said she did not have a will. But in early May, the singer’s family found three handwritten wills in her Detroit home. A hearing is now scheduled in probate court in mid-June.

Dischell Bartle Dooley partner Jack Dooley says handwritten wills are considered valid. A holographic will, as a handwritten will is called, must be in the handwriting of the testator, the person making the will, and must be signed at the end. Evidence that the person writing the will lacked capacity is permitted to be entered as part of a challenge to the will, Dooley said.  

Although Pennsylvania is liberal in providing for heirs in the event of a death without a will, Dooley says a formal will can help avoid challenges while establishing who is in charge of your estate and how your property is to be distributed.

“Developing a will does not have to be a complicated process,” says Dooley. “It is time well spent and can often save your heirs further stress after a family member’s passing.”

Place Of Residence Can Impact Child Support

Place Of Residence Can Impact Child Support

Child support laws vary from state to state, particularly when it comes to whether a parent will be obligated to pay for post-majority expenses relating to college. 

In Pennsylvania and Delaware, the law is such that children are considered emancipated upon the age of 18 or graduation from high school, whichever occurs last. Thereafter, neither party has any obligation for basic child support or to contribute to college tuition and related expenses.  Conversely, in New York and New Jersey, a parent can be obligated to pay for post-majority support, as children are not necessarily considered emancipated until after college graduation. 

The New Jersey Appellate Division recently addressed the differences between Pennsylvania’s and New Jersey’s approaches to college support in the case of Flynn v. Flynn.  In this case, the parties were divorced in Pennsylvania.  Their child support obligation was initially determined in the Commonwealth and was part of their Property Settlement Agreement, which was incorporated into their Divorce Decree.  Sometime thereafter, both parties and the child moved to New Jersey and registered the Decree there. 

After high school graduation, the parties’ son began attending college, thus resulting in the issue of whether the parents could be held responsible for payment of his college expenses.  The trial court found that, because the parties and the son resided in New Jersey, the payment of college support could be compelled pursuant to New Jersey law.  However, the appellate court found that because Pennsylvania initially determined the support obligation of the parties, Pennsylvania law should still be applied. Applying Pennsylvania law resulted in the termination of both parties’ child support obligations upon the son’s graduation from high school.  Thus, neither could be compelled to contribute to his college expenses or basic support. 

The Pennsylvania appellate courts have not yet addressed such a scenario.  This is interesting, as it is rather common for people to move from state to state, particularly between Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The Flynn decision raises a lot of questions.  First, what would Pennsylvania do if the situation was reversed?  Moreover, the fact that the parties had gone to court in New Jersey about support since moving there did not seem to make a difference to the appellate court as to whether Pennsylvania law should still be applied. 

I find it interesting that the fact that the initial Support Order had been litigated and modified after its initial determination in Pennsylvania carried no weight in the New Jersey appellate court’s decision.Also, what about situations in which only one party move to a state with post-majority child support?Finally, how many people are going to consider all other states’ possible child support rules when they are determining an initial support award? I am sure parties are not considering what a potential move to another state five or ten years later will do to their support obligation.  It will be interesting to see if the Flynn decision results in further litigation regarding this issue in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania. 

If you have an interstate child support issue or any other questions related to child support, please contact our Family Law attorneys by calling 215-362-2474 or by email at info@dischellbartle.com.

PAL Carnival Sponsorship

PAL Carnival Sponsorship

Dischell Bartle Dooley proudly sponsored the Pottstown PAL Carnival.  As a result, several children were able to enjoy unlimited rides. Davis and Alana, featured in the photo, were two of the kids who benefited.

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Proposed PA House Bill Addresses Void In Custody Law

Proposed PA House Bill Addresses Void In Custody Law

Anyone who has dealt with the family court system knows that it doesn't always punish rule breakers as much as one would like or think they deserve. 

One such example is in the area of child custody contempt.  After a party violates a custody order, the other party will generally file a custody contempt petition seeking redress in the courts. An often cited reason for contempt is that one parent has withheld the child/children from the other parent in violation of the physical custody terms of the order. 

However, as the law presently stands, Pennsylvania judges are unable to award make-up time to the aggrieved parent for this violation. That remedy is not specifically set forth in the custody contempt rules.

Legislators in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives are hoping to change that.  Members have proposed House Bill 437, which would specifically state that an award of make-up time can be a resolution of a custody contempt petition.

While the bill has some detractors, the bill's sponsors are hopeful to have it passed this year.  Stay tuned for more updates.

If you are experiencing custody issues, please contact our office to consult with our experienced family law litigators.

Dischell Bartle Dooley Helps Bring Ainsley’s Angels To Montgomery County

Dischell Bartle Dooley Helps Bring Ainsley’s Angels To Montgomery County

Dischell Bartle Dooley will again welcome Ainsley’s Angels Yellow Stairway 12k/6k to Montgomery County this May.

The Lansdale law firm is returning as the presenting sponsor for an important event that spreads the message of inclusion. The race begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 11 in the parking lot of the Pennbrook Parkway office complex, where Dischell Bartle Dooley is headquartered, at 1800 Pennbrook Parkway.

With a mission that believes everyone should be included, Ainsley’s Angels welcomes individuals of all ages and all disabilities to join its angel family and compete in endurance races of all lengths. All rider athletes participate in races for free and racing chariots are provided for free to everyone who needs one to compete. While most road races focus on the runner as the priority, that is different for the Yellow Stairway and all other Ainsley’s Angels Race Series events.

“The Yellow Stairway Race is a wonderful example of what can be achieved when we come together as a community,” said Dischell Bartle Dooley Partner Bob Iannozzi Jr. “Dischell Bartle Dooley is proud to once again host the riders and the runners on this very special day.”

The Yellow Stairway is the third race of the 2019 Ainsley’s Angels Race Series. The race series is a culmination of 12 endurance events being held across the nation where the main focus is getting as many individuals with special needs off sidelines and over finish lines. Race locations in 2019 include North Carolina, New York, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Virginia and Texas.

“Ainsley’s Angels has been in our community for four years and we are thrilled to be bringing back an inclusion themed race to the area,” said Monica Miller, Yellow Stairway Race Director. “I am in awe of the support we’ve received from our community to help us put on this spectacular event. After months of planning, we look forward to race day where we get to see smiles on our rider’s faces. Their happiness just beams from those racing chariots and it gives fuel to the individuals who are lending their legs. It is truly a magical day to witness.”

PA's New "Clean Slate Law" Makes Sealing Of Criminal Records Possible

PA's New "Clean Slate Law" Makes Sealing Of Criminal Records Possible

While expungement is still available to those seeking to completely remove certain offenses from their record, Pennsylvania now has a new and broader law that provides for the sealing of eligible criminal records.
 
The state’s “Clean Slate Law” went into effect in December. The law allows residents of Pennsylvania with non-violent misdemeanor records to have those records sealed if they have stayed out of trouble for 10 years and paid all fine.
 
Sealing will occur automatically between June of this year and June of next year for some cases. In other situations, a petition must be filed with the court. Dischell Bartle Dooley attorneys can assist with the filing of a petition before automatic sealing starts. Our attorneys can also help you with a petition to have a criminal record expunged. 
 
Why is it a good idea to seal your record?  Criminal records are widely used on a day-to-day basis, for example, by employers seeking to hire or landlords making a determination of which tenant they would like in their property.  Sealing your record gives you an opportunity to move forward from past mistakes.
 
If you are interested in sealing or expunging a record, call our attorneys at 215-362-2474 or click here to email our office.

Parenting Coordination Returns To Family Law

Parenting Coordination Returns To Family Law

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court in August issued new rules for Parenting Coordination. Effective March 1, Parenting Coordination will again be a part of Family Law. It was eliminated by a Court ruling in 2013.

The new rules state that a “Parenting coordinator shall attempt to resolve issues arising out of the custody order by facilitating an agreement between the parties and, if unable to reach an agreement, recommend a resolution to the court.”  

The Parenting Coordinator does not determine major issues such as who obtains physical custody or a parent’s relocation, but rather the nettlesome issues such as places and conditions for transitions, the child’s participation in recreation, childcare arrangements, clothing, and many more mundane issues that trouble parents and custodians.
 
“Parenting Coordination is a very good thing for clients, lawyers, the courts and, most importantly, the children of the Commonwealth,” said Dischell Bartle Dooley attorney Mark Dischell.
 
After a final custody order has been entered, a judge may appoint a parenting coordinator to resolve parenting issues in cases involving repeated or intractable conflict between the parties affecting implementation of the final custody order, according to the Court’s rules. A parenting coordinator should not be appointed in every case. The appointment may be made on the motion of a party or the Court’s motion, the rules state.
 
A Parenting Coordinator must be licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as either an attorney or mental health professional with a Master’s degree or higher, according to the Court’s rules.  
 
A Parenting Coordinator can be helpful when the parties in a custody dispute have difficulty reaching an agreement, Dischell said.
 
“There are times when the parties in custody litigation can’t emotionally or financially continue with a process in the courts,” Dischell explained. “Parenting Coordination is an important option in those situations.”
 
For more information on Parenting Coordination, call Mark Dischell at 215-362-2474 or click here to email him.

 

 The Benefits Of A Prenuptial Agreement In The Headlines

The Benefits Of A Prenuptial Agreement In The Headlines

As you may have heard, Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, and his wife Mackenzie, have separated and are intending to divorce. 

Unfortunately for Jeff, he and his wife did not have a prenuptial agreement.  Therefore, if they are unable to agree, they will have to go to court to divide up their fortune of approximately $136,000,000,000. 

However, prenuptial agreements are not just for the wealthy.  Any parties contemplating marriage should also contemplate whether they would like to enter into a prenuptial agreement.  Many parties are already doing so, as legal professionals have seen a rise in prenuptial agreements in recent years.

However, not all prenuptial agreement are created equal.  If a prenuptial is not prepared correctly, it could be declared null and void and result in court proceedings.  Click here for a recent article from CNBC regarding prenuptial agreements and the pitfalls to avoid. 

Should you be contemplating marriage and are interested in learning more about prenuptial agreements, or if you are already married and are interested in entering into a postnuptial agreement, which can set forth how your property is divided in the event of a divorce, contact one of Dischell Bartle Dooley's experienced family law attorneys by calling 215-362-2474 or click here to email.

 

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.