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The Bedell Firm family law team of paralegal Patricia Abraham and attorneys Michael Lockamy, Ashley Greene and Al Brooke. Greene is heading up the team.
Jax Daily Record Monday, Oct. 31, 201612:00 PM EST

Bedell Firm adds family law to practice areas

by: David Chapman

Ashley Greene’s practice over the years has been federal and state criminal defense along with Florida Bar disciplinary defense.

Al Brooke’s has been federal white collar defense and appellate work.

Michael Lockamy’s focus has been on business litigation.

The three Bedell Firm attorneys recently added another area to their offerings: family law.

It’s a first for Florida’s oldest law firm that has long been known for criminal and civil litigation.

Bedell added the new area several months ago after considering it for years, said Greene, who is heading the family law team.

She said many clients over the years have asked Bedell attorneys for family law help, but they’ve been referred elsewhere.

Yet, many of the criminal and civil litigation matters the firm handles have similarities, such as heavy financial analysis and the sheer emotions that come with the topic.

“It was just a natural transition to make,” said Greene.

John DeVault , the firm’s managing director, said he remembers when the possibility came to mind.

He and Lockamy were involved in a “gigantic” malpractice case involving a family law matter from outside the area. It was a dispute over the valuation of a family business.

“I thought, ‘Maybe we ought to consider that,’” said DeVault of adding family law. “It fit all the parameters of things we do.”

The team started taking on cases a few months ago.

It also has some help after the firm brought in someone with more than 35 years of experience.

Patricia Abraham for 27 years served as a senior paralegal to attorney Barry Sinoff, a well-known family law solo practitioner with more than 20 years’ experience. He unexpectedly passed away in March from a stroke.

After working in such a small office for so long, Abraham admitted she was a little apprehensive about joining the larger Bedell firm. An office with 13 attorneys was a little overwhelming.

However, it only took Abraham a second meeting to become comfortable. The group, she said, has the “ideal temperament” for family law.

“You’re helping people through, by and large, the worst period of their lives,” said Abraham.

That can mean splitting families and businesses. Greene said it’s important to have someone who can remain calm and focused, part of the temperament she said she possesses.

Brooke said he entered law 20-plus years ago to help people “who really need help.”

“This is that,” he said.

The three attorneys will continue handling cases in their other practice areas.

As they told others in the legal community of their addition, the team members kept getting the same overwhelmingly positive response.

“They’re happy … they have someone they can rely on,” said Lockamy.

dchapm[email protected]


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