Blank Rome Matrimonial Recognitions Roundup

Stacy D. Phillips

An ongoing feature here is a roundup of the recent awards, recognitions, and other important accomplishments of Blank Rome’s Matrimonial & Family Law attorneys from around the country.

Michelle M. Gervais Named to Tampa Style’s 2021 Attorneys of the Year

September 2021 – Michelle M. Gervais was named to Tampa Style’s 2021 Attorneys of the Year list. According to the magazine, the Attorneys of the Year, who were nominated by Tampa Style’s readers, “exemplify a standard of excellence in their profession and have garnered the respect and esteem of their colleagues.” This year’s honorees were profiled in Tampa Style’s September 2021 special issue. Michelle’s Attorney of the Year profile designated her as “The Fixer.”

Marilyn B. Chinitz Interviewed by The New York Times on the Recent Rise in Divorce Filings

September 2021 – Marilyn B. Chinitz was interviewed by The New York Times on how the return to normalcy, or at least semi-normalcy, could mean that couples are finally completing divorces they were forced to delay. Defending a divorced client now “is a lot more complicated and detailed than it used to be,” Chinitz explained. “I’ve had to work through the kind of custody issues that did not exist before COVID-19 struck,” she said. “I mean, who could have ever thought back then that we would be hearing plaintiffs and defendants arguing over whether or not the nanny should be vaccinated, or a request that only people wearing masks could play with their children. And then there’s ‘I do not want my child to be educated remotely — I want him or her in school.’”

Jacqueline Combs Speaks on UCLA Extension Course Panel

August 2021 – Jacqueline Combs served as a panelist for the University of California, Los Angeles (“UCLA”) UCLA Extension course “Women, Wealth and Wisdom: Legal Updates,” which was held on August 25, 2021. Jacqueline and her fellow panelists shared their experiences with and knowledge of important legal topics such as family law, including planning for marriage, divorce, minor children, and pets.

Article: Power Divorces: Do They Have to Be Messy? 

Stacy D. Phillips • August 16, 2021 • Forbes

Celebrities and other powerful people frequently surround themselves with advisors and advocates to secure their assistance in navigating any number of personal or professional endeavors, including marriage. Many celebrities have significant assets to protect when they marry. So how does a celebrity or a wealthy and powerful individual properly prepare for nuptials realizing that it is likelier to fail than to succeed?

Blank Rome Attorneys Recognized in 2022 Best Lawyers in America®

August 2021 – Blank Rome is pleased to announce that eight attorneys from the firm’s Matrimonial & Family Law practice group are among the 117 firm attorneys who have been ranked by Best Lawyers in America® 2022. Those selected in the category of “Best Lawyers,” include Stacy D. PhillipsMarilyn B. ChinitzAlan R. FeigenbaumDonald FrankNorman S. HellerDylan S. Mitchell, and Sheila G. RieselAnita S. Rooz was also selected in the category of “Ones to Watch.”

Michelle M. Gervais Speaks at The Athlete’s Team Webinar

August 2021 – Michelle M. Gervais was a featured speaker at The Athlete’s Team webinar, which took place on August 12, 2021. Michelle and her fellow panelists discussed what athletes need to succeed off the field and have longevity in their careers.

Chambers High Net Worth 2021 Highly Ranks Blank Rome Attorneys and Matrimonial & Family Law Group

July 2021 – Chambers High Net Worth 2021 has highly ranked Blank Rome’s Matrimonial & Family Law practice group in California and New York as well as co-chairs Kristina Royce and Brett S. Ward and partners Marilyn B. ChinitzNorman S. HellerLois J. LibermanStacy D. Phillips, and Mary T. Vidas.

Article: The Ties That Might Not Bind: Oral Agreements with Your Spouse

Alan R. Feigenbaum • July 26, 2021 • New York Law Journal

The determination of how marital property will be distributed pursuant to New York’s “equitable distribution” scheme seemingly continues to evolve year after year. More specifically, how the marital property will be distributed requires, at least under New York law, a closer look at the intricacies of each marital unit—which may well include how a couple lived their lives in the ordinary course.

Morgan Fraser Mouchette Interviewed by Vice on Getting a COVID-19 Vaccination without a Parent’s Permission

July 2021 – Morgan Fraser Mouchette was interviewed by Vice on whether minors can get the COVID-19 vaccine if their parents are divorced and one of them is anti-vax. Mouchette explained that until the COVID-19 vaccines are mandated, the way vaccines like the measles and polio vaccines are, “the custodial parent would be the parent, presumably, to decide whether or not a child is vaccinated.” However, when the vaccine is formally approved by the FDA, and if it becomes, say, a requirement to attend school, she said that, in general, it will be more difficult to opt out of the vaccine, even if the parent who won’t consent to the vaccine is the custodial parent. “Most judges will look at the actual rationale that each party has for why they think this child should be vaccinated or unvaccinated, the recommendation of the CDC, statements by the FDA, the requirements of a child’s school and the recommendation of the child’s treating pediatrician, for example,” she said.

Alan R. Feigenbaum Featured as Speaker for Celesq® AttorneysEd Center Live Webinar

July 2021 – Alan R. Feigenbaum was a featured speaker for the Celesq® AttorneysEd Center live webinar, “Counsel Fee Awards to the Non-monied Spouse in Divorce: What to Consider and When, as Challenges Abound,” which was held July 16, 2021. The hour-long CLE program explored what to consider and when, from the lawyer’s perspective and the client’s perspective, when tackling the issue of counsel fee awards.

Michelle M. Gervais Speaks at the Professional Football Players Mothers Association’s Retreat & Meeting

July 2021 – Michelle M. Gervais presented the session, “Steps in Becoming Wise and Winning,” which was held on July 16, 2021, as part of the Professional Football Players Mothers Association’s (“PFPMA”) Retreat & Meeting.

Kristina Royce Named “Woman of Business” by Comerica Bank Women’s Business Awards Program

July 2021 – Kristina Royce was recognized as a “Woman of Business” by the Comerica Bank Women’s Business Awards Program, presented in conjunction with the Los Angeles Lakers, at a virtual event on Wednesday, July 7, 2021. The “Woman of Business” designation recognizes top women in leadership in Southern California and is a tribute to their professional and community contributions. Kristina was nominated by fellow Blank Rome partner Stacy D. Phillips, who was previously honored by the Comerica Bank Women’s Business Awards Program.

Marilyn B. Chinitz Named to the Attorneys, Activists & Agents of Change Maker’s List by Marquis Who’s Who

July 2021 – Marilyn B. Chinitz has been selected by Marquis Who’s Who as an honoree for its Attorneys, Activists & Agents of Change Maker’s List. The notable list honors “legal minds and change-makers that have shaped our country and continue to fight for our rights and freedoms.”

Michelle M. Gervais Speaks at 29th Annual Nuts & Bolts of Family Law Seminar

June 2021 – Michelle M. Gervais presented the session, “Top 10 Tips for Drafting Prenups,” which was held on June 25, 2021 as part of the 29th Annual Nuts & Bolts of Family Law Seminar, presented by the Dade County Bar Association’s Family Courts Committee and the Dade Legal Aid / Put Something Back Program.

Article: Women’s Resilience, Resourcefulness and Relationships Provide the Foundation for Pandemic Recovery

Stacy D. Phillips • June 14, 2021 • Los Angeles Business Journal

As numerous reports confirm, during the pandemic women have shouldered a greater share of domestic responsibilities, in addition to their jobs. A recent McKinsey study found mothers are more than three times as likely to meet the majority of the demands for housework and caregiving during the pandemic, compared with fathers. The burden is even greater if a woman works from home. We have all either experienced or heard about the exhausting task of trying to “balance” the roles of parent, teacher, cook, daycare worker, maid, and breadwinner during the past 18 months.

Podcast: How to Be the Master of Your Own Destiny

June 2021 – Stacy D. Phillips served as a guest speaker on Her Success Story, a weekly podcast presented by Ivy Slater. In the episode, Stacy discusses: the importance of making a difference in your work; the value of doing what you do best; being the master of your own destiny; the differences between leadership and mentorship; Blank Rome’s Women’s Leadership Summit; how developing relationships in a firm grows and develops a business; and, advice for up-and-coming leaders for tomorrow.

Marilyn B. Chinitz Honored as “Champion for Change” by the Weinberg Center for Elder Justice

June 2021 – Marilyn B. Chinitz has been honored as a Champion for Change by the Weinberg Center for Elder Justice in recognition of her extraordinary dedication to change and justice for older adults. Marilyn was presented with the prominent award at the Weinberg Center’s Ninth Annual Awards of Distinction Breakfast, which was held virtually on Thursday, June 3, 2021.


On behalf of Blank Rome, I wish good health for you, your friends, and your loved ones. As always, my colleagues and I stand ready to assist you with all of your legal concerns.