LEGAL CONSULTATIONS — WHAT TO EXPECT FROM AN INITIAL CONFERENCE AT OUR OFFICE

WHEN YOU COME IN for an initial conference at the Family Law Firm of Gary J. Frank P.C., what you get is a real legal consultation. Not a short sales pitch, like you get from some other lawyers. In our first meeting, we will discuss your matter thoroughly and give you a solid understanding of your legal rights and how the court system works – and at the end of the meeting we’ll give you a “game-plan,” so that you will know what you can do to reach your goals.  Unlike most firms, our attorneys do not limit the initial consultation to one hour.  Instead, we will take as much time as is necessary to:

• Learn about your family history and the background facts of your matter;

• Obtain important information that can be used to help you with your case in court;

• Listen to your concerns and answer your questions;

• Talk to you about the law pertaining to your case;

• Explain your legal rights under the law;

• Discuss the court process – how it works, how long it takes, what documents must be filed; what information must be disclosed; what hearings are held, and how the judge will examine your dispute;

• Discuss options for peaceful resolution of your dispute outside of the court-system, such as Mediation, Conciliation Services Conferences, Settlement Conferences using a judge pro tem, round-table negotiations between the parties and their attorneys; and other healthy alternatives;

• Talk about legal fees and a range of how much your matter might cost; and

• We’ll give you a “game plan” tailored to your needs and the specific facts of your matter.  The “game plan” is our recommendations and advice regarding what must be done in your case and the steps that you can take to reach your goals.

An initial conference with an attorney is a critical step in the process of finding a solution to your problem. This is where you begin, for the first time, to put together a “road map” of where you want to go and how to get there.

By the time you leave our office after your first consultation, you should have a much better understanding of your legal rights; of how the court process works; of what your options are; and of what you will need to do to reach your goals and resolve your problem.  Many people walk into our office timid and afraid, and leave armed with knowledge and a sense of renewed confidence.

If you are in need of a legal consultation regarding a divorcecustody, grandparent or third-party rights, modification, enforcement, or other family law matter, please check out our web site: http://www.garyfranklaw.com/ .  And do not hesitate to call us at 602-383-3610 or contact us by email.   We look forward to meeting you, and we’re happy to help.

Sincerely,

Gary Frank & Hanna Juncaj

OUR MISSION STATEMENT

Here is my personal mission statement:


I am a Family Law Attorney who cares about my clients.  I understand that my clients are in the midst of a difficult period in their lives.  And by accepting their case, I have made a commitment to be there for them — to help them, to advise them, to support them, and to fight for them.  I will tenaciously protect my clients’ interests by applying the legal knowledge, litigation and negotiation skills, and powers of persuasion that I have gained over my thirty-plus years of Family Law experience.  I will work with each client to creatively explore options for settling his or her dispute in a healthy, amicable, and inexpensive manner if possible.  These options may include the use of alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation, settlement conferences, active negotiation, or collaborative divorce.  However, if a fair settlement cannot be achieved,  then I can be counted on to aggressively fight for my clients’ rights, utilizing the skills I have honed over many years as a courtroom litigator.  My goal is to protect my clients; to preserve their relationship with their children; to assure that they receive a fair division of assets; and to obtain the financial support they need to provide a secure future.   I will continue to be both a caring, compassionate attorney, and a fierce advocate for the best interests of my clients.


Gary Frank is a Family Law Attorney with over 30 years of experience in the areas of domestic relations, divorce, custody, division of property, support, modification actions, enforcement actions, Grandparents and non-parents rights, and all other matters pertaining to families and children.  Mr. Frank’s experience includes acting in the capacity of a Judge Pro Tempore in the Maricopa County Superior Court; and serving on the Governor’s Child Abuse Prevention Task Force.  If you are in need of a consultation, please do not hesitate to call our office at 602-383-3610; or you can contact us by email at gary.frank@azbar.org, or through our website at www.garyfranklaw.com.   We look forward to hearing from you.

IMMIGRATION – THE TIMES HAVE CHANGED BUT THE ISSUES REMAIN THE SAME

From 1981 to 1984 I represented a Guatemalan refugee and her two children in an attempt to help them gain political asylum. I am a Family Law Attorney — I don’t practice Immigration Law.  But this woman needed my help.  A member of her family had been killed by a government-backed “Death Squad” before her eyes.  She was then targeted as a “subversive” because of her association with him, and for being a member of a bible study group (Indians, poor farmers, and Catholics were all considered to be subversives. In fact, priests and nuns were among those murdered by the death squads.) 
Bands of armed-rebels roamed the Guatemalan hills. Their objective was to overthrow the government. But the rebels were killing innocent people, too, and kidnapping for ransom — much like the gangs that are running rampant in Central America today. For months after the death of her brother-in-law, my client was forced to hide in caves in the mountains, and sneak into town to pick food out of garbage cans so her children could survive. When the time was right, this brave woman fled. Carrying a two year-old toddler and a nineteen day-old baby, she made the dangerous trek through Mexico and across the U.S. border. However, it was not long before she was caught, and deportation proceedings began. 
I tried to find an attorney who would handle this woman’s case, but nobody I talked to was able or willing to help.  They said it was hopeless.  So, I took on her case myself.  After three long years of litigation, and over $100,000 in free legal services, I finally prevailed, and my client was allowed to remain in the U.S. with her children. We didn’t win our case for asylum (at the time, the U.S. was backing the governments of Guatemala and El Salvador, making a political asylum case almost impossible to prove). But we prevailed because I was able to keep my client here on appeal long enough for the winds of public opinion to shift. The President ultimately granted amnesty to undocumented workers who could prove that they had been in the U.S. for (I think it was) seven years. Anti-immigrant sentiment was rampant then, as it is now, but intense and unremitting pressure from both the sanctuary movement, and the business community, resulted in the grant of amnesty. The bottom line was that our economy needed those undocumented workers. Ironically, the President who granted amnesty to the “illegal aliens” was Ronald Reagan – a Republican.
BUT HERE’S THE BEST PART — The day I told my client that we had won and she and her children could stay in the U.S. . . . was the same day my wife surprised me with the news that she was pregnant with our first child!

HELP SUPPORT “FOOTSTEPS FOR COREY”

Corey Vargas is a 21 year-old kid who was walking his dog in the desert outside of Phoenix, AZ and fell 30 feet into a dry riverbed.  He broke his back in several places and laid there, paralyzed and helpless, for three long days.

That Corey survived is a miracle.  He surely had a guardian angel watching over him (and sometimes guardian angels come in animal form).  It was his dog, Ace, who stayed by his side and kept him safe until he could be rescued.

Thankfully, Corey has his life back.  But now he is facing a new challenge — he is fighting to learn to walk again.  His medical bills are almost insurmountable.   His rehabilitation will be long and grueling, and will cost even more.  But Corey’s will to live, his positive attitude, and his determination to “make it all the way back” prove that anything is possible.

You can help.  Just by reading this post and sharing it with your friends, you will be making a difference in the lives of Corey and his devoted dog, Ace.

I’m supporting “Footsteps for Corey.”  I hope you will, too.
 

http://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/yb62/footstepsforcorey?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Share&utm_campaign=Isupport

BABY VERONICA – Did the Court Truly Consider the Best Interests of the Child?

The Indian Child Welfare Act, enacted in the 1970’s, was intended to protect Native American Children and their tribes. For decades, many Native American children were taken (some were literally stolen) from their parents and sent to Anglo families for adoption. (According to CNN, at one point, 30% of children on reservations were taken from their parents.) The Indian Child Welfare Act was meant to correct this horrible injustice, and others like it.

But in the 2012 case of Baby Veronica, this necessary and important law may have been applied unfairly. Veronica’s biological father abandoned the mother during the pregnancy. He did not attend the birth. He paid no support and made no effort to see the child after she was born. When Veronica turned four months old, he signed a waiver of his parental rights. However, two weeks later, he changed his mind and commenced legal action to have the child returned to him. This week, the South Carolina Supreme Court finally issued its ruling, requiring that Veronica be returned to the biological father.

Veronica is now two years old. She’s not a newborn baby, she is an intelligent little person. She was abandoned by her father, and voluntarily placed by her mother with an adoptive family who raised her with love and care. Now she is bonded with her adoptive parents. Yet, the Court required her to be handed to a stranger, who happens to be her biological father.  She was put in a car and driven away from the only family she has ever known, as if she were a puppy.

Did the South Carolina Supreme Court truly consider the “best interests” of this child? 

Gary Frank is an Arizona Family Law Attorney and a children’s advocate.  For many years, he represented children in child abuse and neglect cases in Superior Court.  He has been appointed to serve on the Governor’s Child Abuse Prevention Task Force.  He won a Maricopa County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyer of the Month Award for representing a child in a Family Court Custody Action and successfully petitioning to have the case transferred to Juvenile Court, where the child could be protected from her abusive parents.  Our law firm focuses on Family Law Matters, including Divorce, contested Custody matters, Parenting Time disputes, Relocation/move-away cases, Enforcement and Modification actions, Child and Spousal Support, Paternity/Maternity, Grandparent and Non-Parent rights, Mediation, and all other matters involving families and children.  If you are in need of a consultation to learn about your rights, please call us today at 602-383-3610; or contact us by email at gary.frank@azbar.org.  To learn more about our firm, check out our website at www.garyfranklaw.com.  We’d be happy to help you.

Welcome

Welcome to my new blog.  In the days, weeks, and months to follow, I will be posting articles of interest; new laws handed down by the legislature; important cases decided by the Arizona Supreme Court and Court of Appeals; tips for clients and readers; and my thoughts on matters pertaining to Family Law in Arizona.  I hope you find this blog to be interesting and helpful.  Please let us know your thoughts.


Gary Frank


 Check out our web site at www.garyfranklaw.com.