Not everyone can deal with such complicated and emotional issues as divorce, child custody and adult abuse on a daily basis. That’s why the attorneys of Green Cordonnier & House LLP take pride in their strong reputation as competent and caring family law practitioners.
“We see people at the worst stage of their life: They’re angry, grieving, depressed. We have to somehow not let that demeanor affect us and be able to, as professionals, guide the client through the process, whether that’s divorce, child custody, etc.,” says partner Margo Green. “It takes a strong mind and a hard skin.” Started in 1999, the firm was established as a boutique family law practice, and at the time, was the only of its kind in the area.
“I had my own firm, Margo L. Green and Associates, which I started in 1989,” Green recalls. “I was approached by Justin Cordonnier and Michelle House, who worked at a large firm downtown and were looking for something different.” Interested in expanding her business, Green believed that creating a partnership also would increase her firm’s presence in the community.
The benefits to clients of a smaller firm are many, Green says. “We work as a team,” she notes. “We have grown to include seven lawyers and five support staff, and the partners work with our highly skilled associates on each client’s case, so we offer the advantage of having two or three attorneys’ opinions. Everyone in the office is focused on a client’s case, helping to solve the problem. And if a partner can’t be reached, an associate or paralegal always can.”
Green Cordonnier & House LLP holds an AV rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating awarded to attorneys and one attained by fewer than 7 percent of all law firms in the country. Another distinction: The firm represents both genders equally. “Some firms represent only men, but we believe by representing men and women, we have the ability to understand how both a husband and wife think during a dissolution matter and can solve the problems for whoever comes to us.”
The firm also employs experts available in accounting, appraisals and other issues that may arise during a divorce. “It’s important for a law firm to have experienced professionals to turn to,” Green says. “Our list has definitely grown over the years, and more and more experts are being called into family law.” She also notes that within the last five years, clients are more willing to litigate their cases because the issues are so difficult to settle. “There seems to be more courtroom and litigation work than before, and with the family court system, cases are processed more quickly, which doesn’t always allow clients to resolve their differences and go through the grieving stage.”
The process can be overwhelming for anyone to handle, which is why Green stresses the importance of finding an attorney you can trust. “Clients should look for empathy in their family law attorney and hire one they respect,” she says. “While your attorney doesn’t have to be your best friend, she should be someone you can confide in, take advice from and trust. We put our clients’ needs first, which is most important when dealing with such delicate matters.”