We focus on all aspects of an estates and trusts practice. In other words, we conduct a broad practice within a narrow niche.
This approach developed from the early experience of the founding member of the firm. In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Fred was a sole practitioner who operated like many other lawyers with a small-town practice: taking on a little of this and a little of that, spanning divorce, personal injury, criminal defense, and of course, estates and trusts.
Two seemingly conflicting ideas about the practice of law became apparent from that experience. On the one hand, in an increasingly complex and specialized world, the importance of the in-depth understanding that comes from having a specific focus became clear. It is difficult to be all things to all people. On the other hand, a great strength of the generalist is that such a lawyer brings to each client matter what he or she learns from a wide range of practice experience. It is easy to be blind to the broader picture if your perspective and experience is too narrow. These two concepts play an important part in how we see the firm today.
Today, in keeping with its general practice roots, the firm continues to engage in a broad-ranging practice within its focused niche. Our approach allows us to incorporate the strengths of both perspectives and keeps us focused on a broader picture.
The law of estates and trusts, like other practice areas, requires the application of a body of knowledge to a specific, very personal, issue.
We are very active in writing and presenting or arranging continuing education courses for lawyers on topics within our field of practice. This “feeds” the academic/knowledge-based aspect of the law of estate and trusts. Similarly, our fiduciary litigation practice requires research and briefing of topics for trial or appeals. Although these activities are designed to advance a specific position, it too deepens our understanding of the law of estates and trusts and keeps us current on developments in the field.
We bring the insights learned from our teaching and our advocacy to both planning and administration. Both aspects of an estates and trusts practice depend on a deep and nuanced understanding of the academic side of the practice. Yet both planning and administration are grounded in the practical. What estate plan will work best for an individual to address his or her unique situation and concerns? How should an estate administration proceed balancing the needs of the various beneficiaries with the time-sensitive demands of the probate court, taxing authorities, or creditors?
Our clients benefit from the contribution of our commitment to writing and teaching, on the one hand, and our active practice helping individuals plan, administer, and/or litigate estates and trusts. Each part of the firm’s practice strengthens the other parts.