Family Law and Attorney Leadership

By Family Law Attorney Tom Marks

I read a great book while on vacation last week on the topic of leadership. You might ask what does leadership have to do with a family law practice. Don’t family law attorneys just deal with divorce, timesharing, children’s issues, equitable distribution, alimony and the like?

Well actually, good family law attorneys are all about leadership. If the divorce attorney is open to new ideas and ways of helping others, then he or she is able to influence, teach and mentor others in the process. When the client arrives in an emotionally and financially vulnerable place, the attorney can exercise integrity and leadership to help the client navigate through the divorce, modification, enforcement or other any other type of family law case.

Good family law attorneys, as leaders, need to have a vision and be able to communicate that to the client. They also need to have good communication skills and to be highly competent in their profession. Great leaders, who happen to be family law attorneys, need to have great people skills and be able to coach their clients through a very difficult process. They need to be open to doing what is in the best interest of the client, even if that means helping them reconcile their marriage and keep their family together. That is called integrity.

I have read a lot of books on leadership and have always tried to exercise the principles I’ve learned not only in my personal and family life but also in my professional life as a family law attorney.

What Kind of Family Law Attorney Are You Looking For?

By Family Law Attorney Tom Marks

Some people want an experienced, more expensive Family Law Attorney and some people want a newer, less expensive Family Law Attorney. Some people want their attorney to be a “bulldog” and some people want someone who cares about them and their future.  Is it possible to get all of these in one Family Law firm? Let’s explore this question.

The Marks Law Firm has several attorneys, with professional rates ranging from $275 to $450 per hour. We also have attorneys with experience levels from 3 to 44 years. The Firm has an experienced team of paralegals with rates of $125 per hour.

So how do you put all of those fees and costs together in the most cost effective, efficient and strategic way? The answer is that we work as a team. The paralegals support the attorneys and do whatever they can under the supervision of the attorneys to keep costs down.

For those looking for a more cost effective source of representation, we pair the paralegals with the more entry-level attorney(s). On bigger more complex cases we utilize the more experienced attorneys along with the paralegals and if necessary the more cost effective younger lawyers.

Of course we have administrative support staff including our Receptionist, Office Manager and Marketing Director.  This provides administrative support that includes having non-legal client questions answered without charging the client. In addition, we bring the client on as part of the team with the paralegals, attorneys and support staff.

The client knows the facts as to what has occurred in the marriage and leading up to the Dissolution of the Marriage, Paternity action or any other family law matter we might be handling for them. I like to say we “row the boat together” or we “plow the field together”. That way the client, as part of the team, works in unison with the paralegals and attorneys in a very collaborative and synergistic way. I have found this team effort to be a great way to be on the same page with the client in presenting our case in Mediation, to Opposing Counsel or to the Court.

We make every effort to resolve each client’s case in an amicable and an uncontested fashion. However, when we find the other side being completely unreasonable and unwilling to resolve the family law matter in a positive realistic way, we are experienced enough and ready to litigate our clients case to the fullest.

You might call that, “being a bulldog,” we would call that “representing our clients zealously”. So we are able to provide the whole range of family law services and competencies to the Client, bringing the Client on to the team of Attorneys, Paralegals, Legal Assistants, and Administrative support staff. Simply put, we care deeply about our Clients. We want to see them better off for having been represented by The Marks Law Firm. We strive to represent our clients with integrity, excellence and devotion. Our clients are our mission.



2014 Marks Law Firm Newsletters – Orlando Divorce Attorney and Family Law Newsletters

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December 2013 Newsletter



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“Mary Had a Little Lamb” Isn’t Just for Kids!

By Attorney Eric Faulkner 

With Thanksgiving in the rear-view mirror, and the holiday season in full swing, I want to share a story about an amazing woman who knew how we can make the most of this season.  That woman is Sarah Hale (1788—1879), and while you may not recognize her name, I guarantee you’ll recognize her impact.Sarah Hale was remarkable.  She did great things at a time when women were viewed as less than their male counterparts.  Sarah was an author, advocate, publisher, and educator.  She is also the individual most responsible for President Lincoln proclaiming Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863.  When you have time, research Sarah’s efforts to establish an official day of Thanksgiving-they were quite impressive!

But I want to talk briefly about something else Sarah Hale did. Something we are all familiar with, but the full story of which few are aware.  Sarah Hale is the author of the beloved children’s poem “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” and the reason she wrote it should be on our minds as we approach Christmas.

Everyone remembers the story of Mary bringing her lamb to school—how the lamb devotedly followed Mary “everywhere that Mary went,” and that the teacher turned out the lamb because of the disruption.  What many don’t know, however, is that the poem is based on a true story.  While Sarah was teaching school a student, Mary Sawyer, actually brought a lamb to class one day!  Understandably, the children were distracted, so Sarah sent the lamb into the courtyard where it patiently waited for Mary.

When the class was released and Mary left the schoolhouse, the lamb came running to her side.  Astonished, other students asked Sarah why the lamb was so devoted to Mary.  They wondered, “Why does the lamb love Mary so much?”  Sarah’s response was both simple and profound.  As the last stanza of the poem reflects, she answered that the lamb loved Mary because Mary loved the lamb.  That night Sarah wrote her famous poem, to reiterate an important principle for her students and for future generations—if you want to experience love, start by loving those around you.

What a profound lesson for us so many years later.  If we all put this simple idea into practice, imagine how it would change our lives.  Do you want to have a better marriage?  Be a better husband or wife.  Do you want to have better boss?  Find a way to be the best employee you can.  Do you want to have more friends or better relationships?  Be a better friend to those around you.  As the poem teaches us, love them first!

1 John 4:19 tells us that we love because God first loved us. I can’t help but think Sarah Hale had this verse in mind when she wrote about Mary’s devoted lamb.  This Christmas I encourage you to read “Mary Had a Little Lamb” with a new perspective.  When you read it, think about the significance of God loving you before you ever knew or cared that He existed.  Meditate on the fact that God loved you “first” and think about what that means for your life.  And then go out and show that same love to those around you.  I promise you won’t regret it!  God bless, and Merry Christmas!

You can view Attorney Eric Faulkner’s Bio here!

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Ronald L. Sims, Of Counsel

Attorney Ronald L. Sims, Of Counsel

Ronald L. Sims, an Orlando native, joined The Marks Law Firm after many years operating his own firm as a sole practitioner. He began serving clients in Central Florida as an attorney in 1967.  His legal career spans four decades during which he has worked in many facets of our system including working on legislative committees, representation before the Florida Supreme Court, the District Court of Appeal, Federal Court, and he has been a certified mediator for both family and civil matters, divorce mediator,  family mediator and legal mediation for more than two decades.

Today, Mr. Sims primarily works in Family Law Litigation and as a Mediator for civil and family law disputes for divorce mediation, family mediation, and legal mediation.   He has  held office in many local charities and organizations over the years, and brings a personal warmth to his practice that is a refreshing change for those going though the difficulties of a family law conflict.


Mr. Sims graduated from the law school at the University of Florida in 1966 after being raised in Orlando and attending Emory University for his undergraduate degree.

Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce)

Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce)

Our Orlando family lawyers at the Marks Law Firm understand that the decision to end your marriage is one of the most difficult and stressful decisions you’ll ever make.  We are committed to helping you through this difficult time by minimizing uncertainty, empowering you, and preparing you for what comes next.  A Dissolution of Marriage can involve any number of complicated issues, including how to value and divide your assets and liabilities, how to calculate both spousal and child support where appropriate, and how to arrive at an appropriate schedule for time sharing with your minor children.

At The Marks Law Firm in Orlando, FL, our focus is on guiding you through these often painful issues and helping you emerge on the other side of your divorce with hope for the future.  If you would like more information about divorce or dissolution of marriage in Central Florida, contact the Orlando family law attorneys at The Marks Law Firm to schedule a consultation.