Pasternak Fidis Law Offices | Bethesda, MD

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News & Events

2014 — FALL

In April 2014, Divorce and Family Law Partner Jan White was a trainer for the Maryland Administrative Offices of the Court for a 3-day training of Collaborative Law Attorneys.

In May and June Managing Partner Nancy Fax was interviewed several times by CNN reporter Brian Todd about the trust issues surrounding the sale of the LA Clippers by the estranged wife of the team’s owner, Donald Sterling. Nancy’s remarks were included in reports broadcast as part of the Wolf Blitzer Situation Room program. In a discussion of what Sterling would have to do to successfully contest the sale Nancy said “This is a classic battle of the experts.” She explained that “he would retain his own . . . neurologists, psychiatrists . . . and have those physicians take issue with the findings of the physicians that found him incapacitated.”

The July 2014 issue of Estate Planning includes an article by Linda Ravdin, “Factor Premarital Agreements and Divorce into Estate Plans.”

Linda Ravdin, partner in the Divorce and Family Law Group, published an article in the American Journal of Family Law Spring 2014 issue entitled “The Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreements Act.”

On July 28, 2014, associate Alex Tanouye, who is part of the Estate Planning and Administration Group, spoke on the topics of the Maryland elective share and intestacy at a seminar held in Gaithersburg, Maryland entitled “The Probate Process from Start to Finish.”

Managing Partner Nancy Fax has been named as a member of the Financial Management Committee of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) beginning in March 2015. She currently serves on ACTEC’s Sponsorship Advisory Committee, Long Range Planning Committee, Membership Selection Committee and State Laws Committee.

Best Lawyers has released their nominations for the 2015 edition. In the Estate Planning and Administration Group, Nancy Fax, Marcia Fidis and Al Pasternak were all listed in the Trusts and Estates category. In addition, Al was named as a Best Lawyer in Tax Law. Divorce and Family Law Group attorneys Linda Ravdin, Vicki Viramontes-LaFree and Jan White were all nominated for Family Law. Vicki was also listed as a Best Lawyer in Family Law Mediation and Jan was also listed as a Best Lawyer in Collaborative Law: Family Law. Best Lawyers nominations are based entirely on peer-review. It is considered the most respected list of attorneys in practice.

Divorce and Family Law Group partner Linda Ravdin was the moderator for a panel entitled “Divorce Practice in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia: Practical Advice and Comparisons” at the Bar Association of Montgomery County, Maryland Law Day on April 25, 2014.

Associate attorney Mary Katherine Hayburn, a member of the Divorce and Family Law Group, has been admitted to the bar of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

2014 — JULY
Linda Ravdin, partner in the Divorce and Family Law Group, published an article in the July 2014 issue of Estate Planning Journal entitled “Factor Premarital Agreements and Divorce Into Estate Plans.”

Estate Planning Associate Alex Tanouye is scheduled to be a speaker at the July 28, 2014 NBI seminar “The Probate Process From Start to Finish,” to be held in Gaithersburg, MD.

2014 — SPRING
Pasternak & Fidis is pleased to welcome Megan Schaeffer to the Estate Planning and Administration Group. Megan studied at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana and received her Juris Doctor degree from DePaul University College of Law in Chicago. Prior to joining the firm Megan was an associate in private practice with a D.C. based firm. Her concentration is in estate planning, including the drafting of complex wills, revocable trusts, and special needs trusts as well as estate and trust administration.

Linda Ravdin, partner in the Divorce and Family Law Group, published an article in The American Journal of Family Law Spring 2014 issue entitled “The Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreements Act.”

On March 27, Jan White, partner in the Divorce and Family Law Group, presented at a D.C. Bar program “You’re Out of (Guide) Line!” The program was designed to provide up-to-date approaches and expert methodology on how to handle child support disputes in high income cases.

Estate Planning and Administration Group partner Anne Coventry is slated to speak at the Judicial Institute in June. The day’s program is focused on “Emerging Issues in Estates and Trusts Law.” Anne will give an address on the topic of “Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets.”

In May, Estate Planning and Administration Group associate Megan Schaeffer will deliver a presentation for the U.S. Department of State Foreign Service Institute entitled “Fundamental Aspects of Estate Planning.” The presentation will be part of the “Mid-Career Retirement Planning Series” which is designed as a retirement check-up for mid-career employees from the State Department and other U.S. government agencies who are more than 10 years from retirement eligibility.

Linda Ravdin partner in the Divorce and Family Law Group was a faculty member for a webinar hosted by the American Bar Association in March. The topic was “Innovative Premarital Agreements.”

In October 2013, Linda Ravdin partner in the Divorce and Family Law Group made presentations on premarital agreements to two groups. In Columbus, Ohio, she spoke to the Ohio Chapter,
American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, on the topic “Premarital Agreements: Representing the Stronger
Party; Representing the Weaker Party.” In South Bend, Indiana, she spoke at the 39th Annual Notre Dame Tax and Estate Planning Institute. Her topic was “Prenuptial Agreements and Divorce: A Minefield or a Solution?”

Client Alert: Maryland Trust Act The Maryland General Assembly passed, with amendments, The Maryland Trust Act (HB 83). This Act largely codifies existing Maryland common law of trusts and makes clear the rights of trust beneficiaries and creditors, and the powers and duties of trustees. Unless vetoed by the Governor, the Maryland Trust Act will take effect January 1, 2015. A future edition of this newsletter will summarize the key provisions of the Act, so stay tuned!

Pasternak & Fidis Sponsors Round House Theatre’s Production of Two Trains Running
This spring Pasternak & Fidis is delighted to partner once again with the Bethesda-based Round House Theatre by sponsoring a production of August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize winning play Two Trains Running. This is the fifth season that the firm has provided support for the repertory company. Partner Vicki Viramontes-LaFree, expressing the views of the entire firm, said, “We are thrilled to be able to sponsor this engaging and powerful work. Round House Theatre consistently offers some of the most exciting stage performances in the region.”

A Wider Circle – CNN Hero Award Winner
Broadcast giant CNN named the Silver Spring-based non-profit A Wider Circle and its founder Mark Bergel as a winner of its Hero Award that highlights the good work of ordinary people who are changing the world in extraordinary ways. The organization was founded in 2001 with the mission to help children and adults who are challenged by homelessness, poverty, and related social issues. Pasternak & Fidis attorney Alex Tanouye, who serves on the Board of Directors of A Wider Circle, said “Mark’s unrelenting work toward ending poverty serves as an example of what is possible, and I am proud that Pasternak & Fidis continues to be a strong supporter of A Wider Circle’s work in our community.”

2013 — FALL
Business, Real Estate and Litigation Group associate Nathan Brill was selected as a fellow in the inaugural Montgomery County Bar Association Leadership Development Academy. The Leadership Academy is a program designed to identify a talented group of attorneys with leadership ability and provide an opportunity to foster and enhance the participants’ skills as future leaders of the Bar Association.

Partner Anne W. Coventry has been selected as the new author of Maryland Estate Planning and Probate Laws Annotated, a Thomson-West publication that is considered an indispensable
reference for practitioners engaged in estate planning and probate matters. Ms. Coventry will provide editorial oversight and commentaries for the book assisted by associate Stephanie Perry who will be responsible for research and annotations. Ms. Coventry succeeds Managing Partner Nancy Fax as editor and author of this authoritative text.

Partner Roger Hayden recently made a presentation at the Maryland Land Title Association
Convention. The American Land Title Association is introducing new standards and criteria for Best Practices to be followed by settlement agents and attorneys. Among the criteria are required employee background checks. Mr. Hayden provided an overview of the law on this topic. He has practiced in the areas of employment law and real estate, title and title insurance for over 30 years. In addition to representing clients, he also acts as an expert consultant and witness with respect to title insurance matters.

The Collaborative Dispute Resolution Professionals (CDRP) has appointed Business, Real Estate and Litigation Group partner Roger Hayden for a second time as Chair of the Civil Committee. Collaborative law is an interest-based process designed to resolve legal disputes on a mutually agreed basis to avoid litigation and address the concerns of all parties. It can be used to resolve disagreements in family businesses, wills and trusts, employment and divorce.

The Estate Planning and Administration Group is pleased to announce that Elizabeth Williams-Walsh has joined the firm as a probate paralegal. Ms. Williams-Walsh is a recent transplant from upstate New York where she was a paralegal for a law practice that specializes in estate planning and elder law. She is a graduate of Dutchess Community College.

Several Pasternak & Fidis partners have been named to the 20th Edition (2014) of The Best Lawyers in America. Selection to Best Lawyers is based on a peer-review survey of more than three million evaluations by top attorneys. No fee or purchase is involved for reviewers or nominated attorneys so listing in this publication is considered a singular honor. For the 2014 Edition Nancy Fax and Marcia Fidis are named for Trusts and Estate Law; N. Alfred Pasternak is named for Tax Law; Linda Ravdin, Anne (Jan) White and Vicki Viramontes-LaFree are named for Family Law; Anne (Jan) White is named for Collaborative Law: Family; and (strong>Vicki Viramontes-LaFree is named for Family Law Mediation.

On July 26, 2013, Divorce and Family Law Group partner Linda J. Ravdin was a speaker
at the 40th Annual Midwest-Midsouth Estate Planning Institute, in Lexington, Kentucky.  The topic of her presentation was “What Estate Planners Need to Know about Premarital Agreements and Divorce.” Ms. Ravdin is the author of Premarital Agreements: Drafting and Negotiation published by the American Bar Association.  She served for two years as an advisor from the ABA Family Law Section on the Drafting Committee on Premarital and Marital Agreements of the Uniform Law Commission.

The Divorce and Family Law Group is pleased to announce the addition of Mary Katherine Hayburn as an associate. Before joining Pasternak & Fidis, Ms. Hayburn was in private practice in Montgomery County, Maryland for six years. She received her law degree from the American University Washington College of Law and her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. Ms. Hayburn’s practice focuses on all aspects of domestic relations law, including mediation, analysis of financial documents, litigation, settlement negotiations and premarital agreements.

2013 — SPRING
In September the Business, Real Estate and Litigation Group welcomed a new associate attorney, Nathan Brill. Nathan joined the Firm after completing a clerkship with The Honorable Katherine Savage of the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Maryland. A graduate of The George Washington University, Nathan received his Juris Doctor degree from Emory University School of Law. He is a member of the Maryland State Bar.

Six Pasternak & Fidis attorneys have been named to the 2013 edition of Maryland Super Lawyers. Nancy Fax, Marcia Fidis, and N. Alfred Pasternak were listed for Estate Planning & Probate. Linda
Ravdin and Anne (Jan) White
were listed for Family Law and Morriah Horani was listed as a
Rising Star in Family Law.

Linda Ravdin is the author of Premarital Agreements: Drafting and Negotiation, published by the American Bar Association in 2011. She served as the Co-Advisor from the ABA Family Law Section to the Uniform Law Commission’s Drafting Committee on the Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreements Act.

In December 2012 Linda Ravdin and Anne (Jan) White were named among the area’s top divorce
lawyers in Washingtonian magazine. Linda Ravdin was quoted in the Washingtonian article on “A Divorce Lawyer’s Guide to a Good Marriage.” Divorce and Family Law Group partner Linda Ravdin authored a second edition of her BNA Portfolio, Marital Agreements (849-2d. T.M.). The portfolio is part of BNA’s Tax Management Portfolio Library for Estates, Gifts and Trusts. It focuses on the requirements for creating and drafting premarital, marital and domestic partnership agreements.

In February, the Estate Planning and Administration Group said goodbye to associate Adam Swaim. Adam leaves the firm to join the development office of the Human Rights Campaign. Later that month the Group added Alex Tanouye as an associate attorney. Alex took his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Maryland. He joins P & F after six years in private practice focused on estate planning and probate issues. In May 2013, Alex was one of two speakers at the DC Bar Estate Planning Committee of the Taxation Section’s luncheon program entitled “Estate Planning for Unusual (and Illegal!) Assets.” He spoke on common pitfalls and recommended planning techniques for atypical, problematic, and even illegal assets.

In December, Estate Planning and Administration associate Stephanie Perry was a panelist for a DC Bar presentation entitled: “Back to Basics: Powers of Appointment.”

Pasternak & Fidis is delighted to announce that Estate Planning and Administration Group partner Anne Coventry has been named as a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC). ACTEC is a prestigious nonprofit lawyers’ group, based in Washington, D.C., whose mission is to promote and enhance the practice of trusts and estate law. Its 2,700 members nationwide have been chosen in a rigorous nomination and selection process and must demonstrate the highest level of integrity, commitment to the profession, competence and experience as trusts and estate counselors.

The 2013 edition of Best Lawyers lists Divorce and Family Law Group partners Linda Ravdin, Vicki
Viramontes-LaFree and Anne (Jan) White
for Family Law and Estate Planning and Administration
partners Nancy Fax and Marcia Fidis for Trusts and Estates.

The Estate Planning and Administration Group is pleased to announce that Matthew Tevelow has joined the firm as a Probate Paralegal. Matt is a graduate of the University of
Maryland and comes to P & F from the Montgomery County Register of Wills where he was a Level 3
Auditor and Office Administrator.

On January 30 and February 6 Anne (Jan) White presented Ethical Guidelines for Collaborative cases to Maryland, D.C., and Virginia collaborative attorneys, financial experts, and mental
health practitioners. As Co-chair of the Maryland Collaborative Practice Council Ethics Committee, Jan was one of three authors of these Guidelines. In addition, as Chair of the D.C. Metro Protocols Committee, Jan published revised Protocols on how to conduct a Collaborative case. Both the Ethics Guidelines and the Protocols are widely used by Collaborative professionals throughout Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

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