Why Choose Catherine
Davis and Weber county is a small legal community where we know each other. I have practiced for over 20 years and that means I know what works and what doesn’t work and why it is good to play well with others. That doesn’t mean I always play by the usual rules. I have learned the most creative and effective solutions come from an irreverent perspective as well as a healthy disrespect for the standard formulas, with a firm understanding of the law and how it is applied. Ultimately, I am committed to developing and executing the most effective strategies that accomplish your goals.
Many firms are set up to handle routine legal matters and high volume. I am not one of them. Every case is personal, because it is your life, your assets and your children, you don’t want a firm that takes a one-size fits all approach.
I pride myself on developing creative solutions when there are complex factual scenarios, tricky legal issues, substantial sums of money, or significant personal or business consequences. I am one of the toughest, smartest, attorneys in the state. I am not afraid of going to trial, but will always look at the most efficient use of my client’s time and money. In addition to having spent thousands of hours in the court room I also volunteer on various committees so I know what new trends, practices and legislation are occurring.
In fact, I am one the lawyers that other lawyers call when they need help. This is due to my experience and my desire to cultivate friendships with other attorneys. After my third year in practice I stopped saying I had seen it all, because I just kept getting proven wrong. I frequently represent other attorneys in their divorces and consult on high asset or complicated custody scenarios. While I am tough, I try to be professional with my fellow counsel, and they appreciate what we do and how we do it. As amazing as this website is, my referrals do not come from optimization and google reviews, they come from referrals from other attorneys, former clients and former opposing parties who recommend me over their attorney. The majority of my mediation cases are with attorneys with whom, I have had the pleasure of facing as opposing counsel. They allow me to mediate because I understand the law and can see both sides of the problem and solutions.
This Is A Chess Game
In order to be successful you must have the end result in focus at all times. Every move is made in anticipation of winning the final game and the ability to anticipate what moves will be made by the other party and how we will respond.
Most firms don’t get the end game; they just get going and begin billing. In the process, they waste clients money following predictable litigation steps to suboptimal, or overly costly, results. This is NOT how I operate. I tailor a strategy, that is constantly re-evaluated as factors change, because just like your life nothing is stagnate and to assume that constant adjustments will not be required is naïve and makes it impossible to reach the final destination and result.
Your goals may seem straightforward, such as maintaining or obtaining custody of your children, acquiring possession of the residence, or even determining the value of a closely held business. However, to get to these results take skill, time and the ability to know what experts if any are required.
Once I know what is most important to you, I will customize a creative playbook that is both cost effective and most likely to achieve your goals.
My Approach Is Not Cookie Cutter
Creative business and legal approaches can save you time and money on the path to success, but they require attention to your individual needs and facts.
Many firms follow the playbook of Litigation 101 exactly. They start with a petition for divorce, go through discovery, file motions along the way, attempt mediation at some point and literally throw spaghetti on the wall and see what sticks. After spending thousands of your dollars they finally start to evaluate your case.
Not only is this costly and time consuming, it also exposes a weakness in the other side. When they can’t go to the next page of the playbook, they don’t know how to respond. I know how and when to disorient and disarm the competition, making traditional playbook moves increasingly irrelevant. Which means they are now playing my game and we play chess not checkers.
I promise that I will look at all aspects of your case with a creative perspective, not just the facts or the law. I will find leverage points I can then effectively use against the other side. I understand opposing counsel and the judge. Specifically the judges track record in similar matters and then use that as the base line in how to proceed with your case. While I can’t look into my crystal ball, I can speak with experience about trial results.
By focusing on your goals and customizing the playbook, I ensure that I am always fighting the right fight, in the right way.
I Will Never Waste Your Time or Money
Early in my practice a supervising attorney told me that people feel better when their attorney charges exorbitant rates, because they are then paying for the best. As absurd as it sounds, this too often rings true.
That is NOT my approach. I work hard to resolve disputes early and amicably whenever possible. I frequently resolve a divorce case in less than 90 days and settle mediations in less than 3 hours. My goal is to make a molehill out of a mountain, because I know you’d rather focus on your taking your family to Disneyland then paying for my children’s college fund. Many mediators or attorneys will not really start working on a case until a certain billing threshold has been met. This is not my business strategy. I know that if you I get you done in half the time you will give me more referrals, plus I don’t need to charge a lot to prove I am the best. I already know I am with the results I have obtained for my clients. My work speaks for itself, I don’t need a billboard on the side of the road to advertise my services.
I will always assess your case early and as we continue the process and advise you on the highest value courses of action. I give you a realistic view of outcomes and associated strategies. Where appropriate, I push for mediation at key settlement points those points in the process where parties have enough information to talk about resolution without continuing an extended legal process. On divorce cases a simple phone call to opposing counsel can resolve the dispute versus sending a nasty letter, or waiting months to get a hearing with the court. I will always be up front with your case and expected results, because that is more important then me earning my retainer. My job is not to be your mouth piece, but to be a counselor in the law.
If an early resolution is not possible, I will work closely with you how to obtain the best results for you. Your case is never about my pride or desire to win, but to protect your assets and family. If at any time you do not feel that I am serving your best interests then you should find another attorney. I keep my client load small and sometimes personalities don’t match. If that is the case I will help you transition to the other attorney so the process is as smooth as possible and you are never left vulnerable. You need to trust your attorney and like them. I don’t like everyone and I can’t expect everyone to like me. As previously stated this is not about my pride but what is in your best interests. Every good teacher will realize that sometimes students have different learning processes and the goal is to help them love learning or at least pass the test. If someone else can do it better then that is what is most important. Likewise if I don’t think I am meeting your needs I will help you find another attorney. My time is to limited to stay in an attorney client relationship that is not mutually beneficial. The majority of my client’s leave as friends, because they almost always need me again when the situation changes.
A Little Secret, I Love Going To Trial
I am top-notch, experienced trial lawyer. Although I will always work hard to resolve disputes early, I am always prepared to take your case to trial and having that as a plan “B” option.
The fact is, many attorneys think that they can anyone can handle a divorce and talk a good game but don’t actually try many cases. Divorce law is complicated, there is constantly changing Appellate and Supreme Court decisions and legislation attempting to “fix” perceived problems in this arena of law because it effects everyone. Attorneys who specialize in bankruptcy or business law and work in downtown Salt Lake always agree to help out a neighbor with their divorce. This is the worst thing that you can do. This is the most important items in your life, your kids, your assets, you future life, why would you trust it with someone who barely dabbles in this type of law and has archaic understanding of what happens in Utah. They don’t know what our judges do and they can’t predict, whether a dad or a mom will get custody because they just don’t know. I do know.
I have done a lot of trials, because sometimes the other side is unreasonable and we just need the judge to decide. At the end of the day, I love having those Perry Mason moments on the stand with a witness where they admit to the secret affair, or selling items just so the other spouse couldn’t get it.
This experience obviously gives me an edge in the courtroom. It also gives me a significant edge before your case even goes to trial. Opposing counsel are well aware we’re not afraid to aggressively try cases, which puts us in a stronger negotiating position. When I walk into the court the judge doesn’t ask my name, because this is not the first time.
My Reputation Works For You
It’s not really who you know; it’s who knows you. And what they think of you. When you hire a lawyer, you hire more than just his or her legal ability. You also hire a lawyer’s reputation and connections. This provides value well beyond the hours a lawyer devotes to your case.
I am well known and highly regarded amongst judges, attorneys, political leaders, and in the business world. As stated I am who the other lawyers call when they need help on a difficult case.
I am well known as a smart, highly committed, and skillful attorney, focused on creative solutions and non-formulaic approaches. Make no mistake: my reputation and my integrity count as much as anything else I will do for you. I will also never do anything in the name of winning that hurts my reputation because once it is tarnished you never get it back, which means while I fight hard, I never fight dirty, because at the end of the day your case will end but my reputation will continue and I want it as an attorney that never backed down for a fight, but always extended a hand of charity. It is possible to be both. I would love to explore how to put our strong reputation, our skills and experience, to work for you.
What I Do
My focus is primarily on family law as it encompasses every aspect of law and at the end of the day it effects more people. A divorce and or custody arrangement is at it simplest point a contract between two people. The difference between family law and business dissolution is people can always make more money, they can not repair time lost with children and other intangible events.
- Custody and Parent Time
- Asset division
- Child Support
- Understanding of Military Issues
- Modifications to orders
- Prenup & Postnup agreements
- Tax Consequences
- Real Estate and Property
- High Asset Cases
- Custody/Parent Time
- Civil Litigation
- All other areas of the law
- Probate Litigation
- Power of Attorney
- Medical Directives
Benefits of Mediation
Mediation often costs a fraction of what a divorce would cost.
The average time frame for a divorce mediation process is 2-4 months.
Divorce Mediators guide and educate people through their parental, financial, and legal options.
Family matters are private. In mediation, you will never set foot in a courtroom.
Divorce mediation can benefit ex-spouses by enabling them to think outside the box
Over 20 years of experience.
Catherine has been my attorney for about 9 years now. She has knowledge and wisdom that I really trust and rely on. I have had full custody of my children for 5 years now and she continues to help me with ongoing issues on a very difficult case. Would definitely (and have) recommend her. Especially for fathers that want someone to stick up for and fight for their rights.
Catherine did my son's adoption. I was so nervous and she was so calm and organized. It turned out to be a great day!! Everything was perfect.
Catherine is the BEST! She is super smart, cares about your case, and did a fantastic job for me!