Blank Rome Matrimonial Recognitions Roundup

Stacy D. Phillips

Another new 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.

Lois Liberman on New York State Bar Association Panel

March 2021 – Lois J. Liberman spoke at the New York State Bar Association (“NYSBA”) webinar A Day in the Life: Personal Perspectives from General Counsels and Partners, held Tuesday, March 30, 2021. Lois and her co-panelists provided their personal perspectives on what it takes to excel in the GC and Partner roles, the paths one can follow, and the challenges that may come along.

Stacy Phillips Panel Moderator for Margaret J. Weber Distinguished Lecture Series 

March 2021 – Stacy D. Phillips was selected to serve as panel moderator for Women in Leadership: Navigating through Power Structures, Personal Challenges, and a Pandemic, part of the Pepperdine Graduate School of Education and Psychology Margaret J. Weber Distinguished Lecture Series. The program was held online via Zoom on Thursday, March 11, 2021.

The Art of Schmoozing

March 2021 – Morgan F. Mouchette served as a panelist for the New York City Bar Association New Lawyer Institute program, The Art of Schmoozing. She joined the other panelists in discussing how to develop schmoozing skills, providing tips on how to effectively and professionally speak to new contacts, colleagues, and even potential mentors in the virtual landscape as well as in person.

Podcast: Divorce During Covid

February 2021 – Stacy D. Phillips served as a guest speaker on America Connects, a podcast hosted by radio host and public relations professional Rob Dalton. In the episode, Stacy discusses the legal issues and difficulties with navigating through a divorce during the pandemic.

Ernestine Mings Selected as 2021 Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Pathfinder 

February 2021 – Ernestine J. Mings, an associate in New York, has been selected to join the 2021 Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (“LCLD”) Pathfinder Program. This hallmark program is designed to provide diverse, high-potential, early-career attorneys with practical tools for developing and leveraging professional networks through relationship-building skills, foundational leadership skills, and an understanding of career development strategies applicable to both in-house and law firm practice. 

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

February 2021 – Alan R. Feigenbaum, of counsel in New York, was a featured speaker for the Celesq® AttorneysEd Center live webinar, “Parenting Amidst Divorce in New York—Will Parenting Ever Be ‘Routine’ after 2020?” which was held on February 26, 2021. The hour-long CLE program explored the complexities of contested custody proceedings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Will the Law Firm Diversity Push Falter as Protests Fade? 

February 2021 – Morgan F. Mouchette was interviewed by Bloomberg Law on whether law firms will follow through on pledges to improve diversity and inclusion, months after the mass protests over racial justice and equity. “What has helped me to stay in this industry and at my firm has been strong relationships with advocates. They consistently look out for me and ensure that I have the things I need to succeed in this corporate environment,” Mouchette said. 

Michelle Gervais Named Among America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators 

January 2021 – Michelle M. Gervais has been named to America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators, an annual directory that recognizes the nation’s most exceptional attorneys in high value, high stakes litigation matters. To be considered for selection to America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators®, an attorney must have litigated (for either plaintiff or defendant) a matter with the fate of a business worth at least two million dollars at stake.

Article: A Decade Later: Are We Far Afield From ‘Fields v. Fields’? 

January 2021 – Alan R. Feigenbaum authored a New York Law Journal article looking back over the ten years since the Fields v. Fields decision: “It has been just over a decade since the Court of Appeals issued its decision in Fields v. Fields, 15 N.Y.3d 158 (2010). Fields ignited a discussion about how courts would, going forward, assess separate property claims. More specifically, the decision in Fields indicated at least to some degree that perhaps some assets (namely, a marital home) are so fundamental to the concept of marriage as an economic partnership that a spouse’s separate property claim to an asset of that sort—no matter how strong—would have its limits.”

Ory Apelboim Among 13 Attorneys Elected Partner at Blank Rome 

January 2021 – Ory Apelboim, an attorney in New York, has been elected partner at Blank Rome LLP effective January 1, 2021. He concentrates his practice on complex matrimonial and family law matters for high-net-worth individuals, including divorce, property distribution, child custody, spousal and child support, and marital agreements.

Podcast: Maintaining Wealth in Divorce with Michelle Gervais, Partner at Blank Rome 

December 2020 – Michelle M. Gervais served as a guest speaker on In House Warrior, a daily podcast presented by the Corporate Counsel Business Journal. In the episode, Michelle discusses the complex nature of maintaining wealth in divorce and other setbacks with host Richard Levick of LEVICK. She also shares her wisdom to our inclination to engage the triumph of hope over experience.

Blank Rome Named a “Most Admired Law Firm” by Los Angeles Business Journal

December 2020 – Blank Rome LLP has been named a “2020 Most Admired Law Firm” by the Los Angeles Business Journal as part of a special supplement recognizing the “top law firms to work for in Los Angeles.” The annual list honors regional law firms that excel in key workplace factors, including company culture, employee compensation, benefits, programs, diversity and women’s initiatives, and work-life balance. The Firm’s Los Angeles office has grown significantly over the years and boasts a robust team of 10 Matrimonial & Family Law attorneys, including four partners.

Michelle Gervais Featured as Speaker on Hot Topics on Prenups and Postnups December 2020 – Michelle M. Gervais served as speaker for the session, “Hot Topics on Prenups and Postnups,” at the 28th 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, held Friday, December 4, 2020.


On behalf of Blank Rome, I continue to wish you good health and safe surroundings. As always, my colleagues and I stand ready to assist you with all of your legal concerns.

Partner Spotlight: Tampa

Stacy D. Phillips

In honor of her city’s recent string of professional sports championships over the past year, this edition of Partner Spotlight highlights my Tampa Matrimonial & Family Law colleague and friend—Michelle M. Gervais. Michelle is a trusted adviser to high-profile individuals, athletes, and celebrities, as well as businesses and financial institutions, in the areas of sports and entertainment, matrimonial and domestic relations, commercial and business litigation, and consumer finance. Please enjoy learning more about her.

Michelle M. Gervais, Tampa
“She Likes Being Known as ‘the Fixer.’”



 

Michelle M. Gervais is a fiercely loyal and tenacious advocate for her clients with a uniquely wide range of experience across the worlds of sports and entertainment, matrimonial and domestic relations, commercial and business litigation, and consumer finance law. Growing up in rural Michigan, Michelle always knew she was destined to be a lawyer and has found fulfillment in the legal profession’s ability to help people both in business and relationships by bringing them together when they are happy and keeping them apart when it no longer works. She began her career in Miami at a boutique matrimonial law firm before moving to Carlton Fields and then Duane Morris. In 2015, Michelle joined Blank Rome’s Tampa office shortly after several of her former colleagues founded the Blank Rome’s Pittsburgh office. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Michelle has been surprised by the emotional dynamics that have led to less cost-benefit litigation decisions and more relentless fights to the finish. However, Michelle has found that the recent transition to remote video hearings has allowed her to be more effective and efficient for her clients because she no longer must travel to appear in person in court cases around the country. And because she can also more easily take pro bono cases outside her jurisdiction, she appreciates that access to justice has become stronger than ever.

To learn more about Michelle and the role football has played in her personal and professional career, read her feature article, My Winning Playbook: Fading into the Fix, in the 2021 edition of NFL THREAD’s The Playbook (Volume 3).

Blank Rome Matrimonial Recognitions Roundup

Stacy D. Phillips

A new 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.

U.S. News & World Report – Best Lawyers® Highly Ranks Blank Rome’s Matrimonial & Family Law Group

November 2020 – The 2021 “Best Law Firms” survey by U.S. News & World Report – Best Lawyers® has highly ranked Blank Rome’s Matrimonial and Family practice group in Los Angeles and New York City.

Stacy D. Phillips Named 2020 “Top Women Lawyer in California” by Daily Journal 

November 2020 – Stacy D. Phillips has been named to the Daily Journal’s 2020 list of Top Women Lawyers in California, which recognizes regional women attorneys who have made a difference to their clients, their firms, and their profession. Stacy has been recognized every year since the list’s inception in 2003.

Nicky Rooz Receives Certification of Recognition at New York State Courts Pro Bono Awards Event

October 2020 – Anita (Nicky) Rooz, an associate in New York, received a Certificate of Recognition for dedicated service to the New York State Courts Access to Justice Program at a virtual pro bono awards event on Thursday, October 29, 2020. The certificate was presented by the New York Unified Court System Office for Justice Initiatives, the New York State Bar Association, and the New York County Lawyers Association.

Michelle M. Gervais Named to List of “500 Most Influential Executives” by Florida Trend

September 2020 – Michelle M. Gervais, a partner in Tampa, has been named to the “Florida 500” for the second year in a row. Published annually as a special supplement of Florida Trend magazine, the notable “Florida 500” list highlights the most influential executives in different economic sectors throughout the state.

On behalf of the Blank Rome family, I wish you and yours a healthy and peaceful holiday season.

 

Partner Spotlights: Los Angeles

Stacy D. Phillips

Blank Rome has one of the top Matrimonial & Family Law practice in the country, with 10 attorneys in Los Angeles, 20 attorneys in New York, one attorney in Tampa, and two attorneys in Philadelphia. In this new feature, I will spotlight some of my partners from across the Firm. In this edition, I wanted to highlight two of my Los Angeles Matrimonial & Family Law colleagues—Ashley Silberfeld and Kevin B. Martin. Many of you reading this know that I was very close to my father. It struck me that Ashley and Kevin are also close to their fathers, who are also ethical, learned attorneys like my father. Their fathers also created children that are similarly ethical people (mensches). Please enjoy learning more about them.

Ashley Silberfeld, Los Angeles
“A go-to person for anyone who has a thorny issue.”

Ashley Silberfeld is an experienced civil litigator and fierce advocate with trial skills that are unique among family lawyers. Ashley followed her father’s footsteps into the legal profession, beginning her career as a toxic tort defense attorney at Steptoe & Johnson. She later decided to transition to matrimonial & family law to help fight for the vulnerable and protect the things most important to them. As the child of a divorce herself, she knows firsthand what families are going through during difficult times. What Ashley finds most rewarding is when she gets to see her clients and their children thrive in their new lives. And as the single mother of a toddler, she also deeply understands the challenges that families with young children are experiencing during the COVID-19 crisis. Ashley even recently conducted a successful argument at a virtual hearing while her daughter sat on her lap.

Kevin B. Martin, Los Angeles 
“Attacks legal problems like a dog with a bone.”

Kevin B. Martin is a dynamic litigator who is also skilled at forensically analyzing balance sheets and other financial and business records. Kevin began his legal career at Alschuler Grossman Stein & Kahan, a boutique civil litigation firm, before following in his father’s footsteps to practice law at the Securities & Exchange Commission (“SEC”) in its enforcement division. He later left the SEC to return to Alschuler Grossman Stein & Kahan and then Bingham McCutchen where his practice focused on SEC defense and corporate internal investigations. Kevin then started his own, first of its kind, litigation insurance program that he eventually sold to a publicly traded insurance carrier. After Stacy Phillips represented him in his own custody battle where, together, side by side, they succeeded in obtaining 50-50 custody of Kevin’s two daughters (who are now in college), he decided to help other families in crisis by “paying it forward” and returning to practice with Stacy as a family law attorney. His unique set of professional and personal experiences allows him to see cases with a different lens that is uncommon in the family law bar. Kevin also brings insights and understanding of the financial side of divorce, while, at the same time never losing sight of the emotional toll this type of litigation has on his clients. Although he always prefers amicable resolution, where the parties retain most control over their own destinies, if the need arises due to unsurmountable legal disputes, Kevin fights tenaciously side by side with his clients, as Stacy did for him.