The first is to listen to the client carefully for ten minutes, cut them off, and tell them how ‘they’ are going to proceed based on how the attorney thinks it should go. Because they’re the expert, the field is complicated, the client is too emotionally invested to make decisions, and … well, you get the picture.
This approach usually involves months of promises, shallow follow-through, continuances, and a deep immersion into a process that is hardly a paragon of efficiency.
Movies are made about this approach. One of the best is the Coen Brothers’ Intolerable Cruelty. In this case, the title says it all. Fun movie, but no one would ever want to partake even a sliver of it in real life.
They don’t make movies about the other approach – the logic-based, rational method. Good drama (and comedies, for that matter) needs tension and conflict. The first approach has that. The second, our approach, does not. It would be boring if it wasn’t your divorce we were working on.
Our approach relies on a lot more than a few minutes listening. It requires interaction, communication, and problem solving on the fly. It requires a solid combination of common sense and book sense. It requires my filling you in on what you need to know; it occasionally requires us to tell you things you may not necessarily want to hear.
It does not involve getting mired down in the system, and it most certainly does not involve endless promises and no follow through.
It does involve research, analysis, communication, figuring out what is best for you and your family and working toward that goal quickly and efficiently.
Let’s get this out of the way right now – I’m a jock, a nerd, and a lawyer. None of that is mutually exclusive.
I have been involved in competitions great and small for most of my life. Softball, math bowl, 80’s trivia, and bicycling (in a way). I like competition. I love games. I get my fill of them . . . on my time. Like everyone who plays any game, I like to win. Like anyone who plays any game, I don’t like losing.
Competition is great, in the proper venue. Family Law is emphatically not the proper venue. Family law is about resolving, fixing, healing, being reasonable, and moving on.
I’ve dedicated my practice to helping people move on – I work with clients in family law matters that include premarital agreements, domestic partnership agreements, separation and property settlement agreements, qualified domestic relations orders, and litigation involving property division, alimony, child support and child custody.
I am an active listener and a problem-solver. I understand the financial and emotional vulnerabilities of my clients and use my experience with mediation to resolve many disputes without going inside a courtroom. My goal in any family law dispute is to make it as worry-free as I can for my client. We will work together as a team to move toward the best resolution possible for your situation, and we will do this as quickly, efficiently and as economically as we can, with your help.
I am the step-mother to a teenager. I personally know the struggles of blended families and how challenging on-going custody and financial issues can be. In addition to my personal experiences, I have almost twenty years of family law experience. I have seen a lot and dealt with an array of family issues. I understand what you are going through.
I work well with many other family law attorneys in the community, which will save you time and money. It is common for me to call other attorneys and offer to go to their turf and see what we can do to problem solve for our clients, what we can do to help our clients and what we should suggest that our clients do to help reduce the drama and stress that can sometimes come with a family law disagreement.
When I’m not helping clients take things off their plate and shouldering some of the stress for them, you can find me in all kinds of places, like the softball diamond, the local bookstore, on my bicycle, at the CrossFit gym, fundraising for the National MS Society, traveling, and, yes, still kicking butt in 80’s trivia contests.
Kathleen will tell you this straight out- she had no interest in family law whatsoever when she graduated law school.
It simply wasn’t on the radar.
She started with some real estate law, a lot of contract work – the kind of law that makes lawyers wonder why they went to law school.
Then she came across a family law case, worked with experienced family attorneys and … found her calling. Working with people, families, finding resolutions in the most trying of times, knowing that what she was doing really made a difference, made her devoted to family law. It didn’t hurt, by the way, that she was very good at it.
Now Kathleen brings fierce litigation skills and an ability to compassionately counsel clients through the hardest times in their lives to her career every day. Both her and her clients are better for it.
A native of Asheville, she received an undergraduate degree in political science from Appalachian State University in Boone. She obtained her law degree from Campbell University in Buies Creek, where she was active in Women in Law, won a book award, and served as Vice Dean of Delta Theta Phi legal society.
Kathleen is a walker and a talker. She walks everywhere, has tramped through Iceland, has plans to hike all the Greenway Trails in the county in 2017. If you join her anyway along the way she will regale you with tales of other walks in other places.
When not working or walking, Kathleen is involved in the community. She is an active member of the Wake County Bar Association (WCBA), currently as a member of the WCBA social committee, but previously serving as a board member and president of Young Lawyers’ Division. On the few occasions she is stationary, she’s often entertaining friends and family, whether it be packing her house for brunch, having a few people over to experiment with craft cocktails, or grilling by the pool (she’s known for her shrimp kabobs). Or, maybe, you might find her playing a board game, trying a do-it-yourself project, or reading a crime novel. She also loves to get away from Raleigh, especially in search of a good concert.