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).
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 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.