The Faces of St. Louis Law: Hais, Hais, Goldberger & Coyne

Susan Hais and husband Sam Hais of Hais, Hais, Goldberger and Coyne. Photo by Jason Mueller

At a time when law firms nationwide are laying off staff, Hais, Hais, Goldberger & Coyne recently took on a new partner and two associates. “We even remodeled our offices to create more room for everyone, it’s like a vote of confidence in the future,” says founder Susan Hais. “I can’t think of a better way to celebrate our 30th anniversary. Our business hasn’t been impacted by the recession at all, we’re more solid than ever.”

    Sam Hais, her husband and law partner, attributes the firm’s enduring success to the skill, commitment and experience of the people who work there. “We want the best possible results for our clients, and you can’t do that without top-notch staff,” he says. “Our clients have an entire team behind them, and they benefit from the unique expertise of each member of that team. We’re a real law firm, not just a collection of practitioners sharing the same office space. We brainstorm with each other and bring our combined resources to our clients.”

  Those resources are considerable. Partner Elliott Goldberger, Sam explains, has practiced law for 25 years and written extensively on child custody issues. Associate Robert Dennis has an MBA and other advanced degrees; his wife, Amy, also an associate, has a background in real estate, tax, and general litigation. “Susan has been practicing law since 1974, and I was a judge for 26 years,” Sam says. “Our paralegals are the gold standard, they’ve been practicing at least 25 years. Together, we bring a variety of experiences and contacts to the table.” 

    The recent hires are no exception. “Kieran Coyne, our new partner, is a former sole practitioner who’s done a lot of guardian ad litem work for the court,” Sam says. “His background gives him not only legal expertise, but a deep sensitivity to custody issues. That’s important, because men today want as much time as possible with their kids, and want to be considered equally as important as the moms.”

    Associate Kevin Greene started out as a paralegal with the Haises. “He’s so dedicated, he went to law school at Saint Louis University at night,” Sam says. “Our other new associate, Joseph Lambson, a Washington University grad, is brilliant and incisive but also has a wonderful way with people.”

    Susan Hais says that, in addition to a highly skilled staff, the firm’s focus on family law has been essential to its success. “Some firms try to be all things to all people and take a multipurpose approach,” she says. “But I don’t think a single firm can do everything equally well. General practices aren’t equipped to handle the emotional needs of divorcing clients and their children. We’ve created a firm where people feel secure during stressful times. They know we’ll work hard to forge agreements that meet their specific needs.”

    The Haises say that the overwhelming majority of their business is referred by satisfied clients and members of the legal community. “That’s how you develop business, not just through websites or organizations, but by working 24/7 and earning a great reputation,” Susan says. “If you’re always going to cocktail parties or joining clubs, you don’t have time to practice law. And that’s what our firm is about: practicing law and getting the best possible results for our clients.”