Why is Minyard Morris Unique?

Why is Minyard Morris unique?

Optimal Results

Our firm has been carefully structured over the last 40 plus years to maximize results for our Orange County Divorce clients.  We conduct formalized firm-wide meetings for our divorce lawyers multiple times weekly, where we collaborate and strategize on our pending conventional and high net worth cases. These 'all-hands' meetings give our clients the benefit of the combined experience of all our divorce lawyers. Few, if any, other family law firms devote this significant level of firm resources to strategy and tactics meetings for its clients. Our divorce lawyers analyze cases from all angles to develop the best strategic solutions.  The significant value of this collaboration is impossible to truly value.  Teamwork is a hallmark of our firm’s culture. We develop a targeted, comprehensive, and realistic game plan as we listen carefully to our clients' goals and objectives. 

Our divorce lawyers enter Orange County Superior Court courtrooms armed with reputations of competence, ethics and preparation.  We have a history and reputation for representing people with character who understand the significance of telling the truth.  Obviously, this reflects positively on our current and future divorce clients.

Our divorce lawyers encourage the resolution of contested issues.  Settlement should be explored early and often, not for the first time on the courthouse steps the day of a divorce hearing or trial.  Our divorce lawyers pursue settlement from all perspectives, including: early proactive settlement discussions with our clients, settlement meetings with opposing parties and their lawyers (and experts when appropriate), and voluntary settlement conferences with a retired Orange County Judge or Commissioner.  Our divorce lawyers educate our clients as to the cost-benefit analysis of settlement as opposed to protracted divorce litigation.  We always ask the question: "Is litigation the best business, financial and emotional decision for our client?" If litigation is elected, after thoughtful discussion and agreement with our client, we approach it cost effectively and in an appropriately aggressive manner.

Our divorce lawyers do not follow the philosophy of “close enough.”  We are committed to “get it right” and to “get it right the first time.”

We know when to take a divorce to trial and when to settle it.

Our Wealth of Experience in Divorce

Our divorce lawyers have over 200 years of combined legal experience. Seven of our lawyers are Certified Family Law Specialists. Only 30 Orange County divorce attorneys are Fellows in the exclusive American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML); three are Minyard Morris lawyers. Our wealth of experience in divorce directly impacts the quality of the legal services we provide and the results we achieve for our clients in both conventional and high net worth matters. Experience, by itself, does not guarantee superior service or a great result, but it is certainly a huge advantage.

A significant part of the practice of divorce involves matters that one cannot learn from a book or in a seminar.  We have developed a comprehensive system for collaboration and the transfer of litigation and divorce knowledge among our divorce lawyers that is designed to leverage our collective experience in the Orange County Divorce Courts for the benefit of the firm's divorce clients.  The firm has authorized extensive proprietary materials for the education of its divorce lawyers and its clients.

We are very proud of our experienced staff, which has been called upon by the Orange County Superior Court for advice and assistance.  All of our legal assistants are certified.  Minyard Morris understands that the quality of our non-lawyer staff is vital to the quality of the legal services we provide and the overall client experience in their divorce. Our philosophy, benefits, and culture allow us to hire and retain the best of the best in our staff positions.  Debbie Metz, our Office Administrator, has been with the firm for over 27 years. We have many long-term experienced legal assistants who make up the backbone of our team.  Before she passed away in 2011, our senior legal assistant, Joyce Amick, had been with us for 30 years.  Many of our other staff positions are also held by long-term committed professionals.

Divorce Collaboration and Teamwork

A civil litigation matter generally deals with one issue and one goal.  A divorce case, on the other hand, frequently involves a large number of issues that can be inter-related and can change in the middle of a case.  Generally, there are several different objectives that may even compete with each other in a divorce.  The analysis of these issues and objectives can be quite complicated.  The resources and collaboration of an experienced divorce lawyers team can be very beneficial to a divorce case and the client.

Minyard Morris does not function as a group of solo practice divorce lawyers practicing in a single building.  We work together as a team of divorce lawyers that collaborate as a unit on unique or complex family law issues.  It would be rare for any single divorce lawyer’s perspective, view, and analysis to trump that of a large group of divorce lawyers.  It is difficult or impossible to quantify the added value of the input of an entire team of divorce lawyers all practicing in Orange County. Our clients retain one divorce lawyer but have an entire firm of divorce lawyers contributing to the strategy and execution of the case.

In that our divorce lawyers have diverse backgrounds, educational training, and perspectives, each brings a different view to the analysis and strategy of our clients’ divorces.  We develop a wide array of options for our clients’ consideration relative to achieving their objectives.

Superior Client Service

Divorce is a stressful time.  In both conventional and high net worth matters, our divorce lawyers are committed to providing top-tier client service in order to mitigate the stress of a divorce and make the divorce as painless as possible.

We have developed a system to maintain the highest level of client service based on prompt and regular communication.  Formalized procedures exist to address our clients’ concerns and inquiries.  Our divorce lawyers strive to identify client concerns early and resolve them. This effort includes the use of a written survey sent to each client monthly, a practice we have employed for over 30 years.

Our clients frequently ask divorce firms the question: "If I retain your firm, who will represent me?" When you retain a divorce lawyer at Minyard Morris, he or she will be your primary divorce lawyer. Barring unforeseen circumstances, clients will not retain one divorce attorney and later learn that their case has been assigned to a different divorce lawyer. There is a personal aspect to determining which divorce lawyer to retain.  We understand that clients do not expect to be represented by a divorce lawyer they did not retain. We do not practice "bait and switch."

Our goal is to accept clients whose divorce objectives can realistically be achieved and to provide the highest quality legal service in the most cost-effective manner possible.  Our objective is to create a relationship with each client that extends long after the conclusion of the divorce.  We seek to resolve divorces in the shortest time period possible consistent with thorough preparation and successful results.  The firm’s future existence is dependent upon Orange County Divorce referrals. We are acutely aware that client referrals will occur only if superior service is provided throughout the divorce.

We understand how important your divorce matter is to you and act accordingly.

Divorce Knowledge

The quality of legal services is determined by many factors. One such factor is continuing divorce legal education.  Our divorce lawyers have multiple weekly in-house educational meetings, often including guest speakers that generally address complex and high net worth divorcerelated issues.  We demand excellence from ourselves and that involves a rigorous firm-wide passion for continuing family law education.  It is highly unlikely that any firm of 15 divorce lawyers participates in and attends more divorce related seminars than we do.  The importance of staying current on the most recent divorce cases and statutes, legal trends, and judicial thinking in the Orange County Divorce Courts cannot be overvalued.  Click here to see a partial list of the continuing legal education seminars and conferences participated in and/or attended by our divorce lawyers in the last several years. Our firm is unsurpassed relative to the depth of the divorce education of its lawyers.  In most years, we spend over $100,000 per year on divorce related seminars and related costs.

Professionalism, Ethics and Integrity

Professionalism, ethics and integrity are the pillars of our divorce practice.  These pillars are among the reasons why we enjoy a strong and trusted relationship with our Orange County clients.  These core values are the foundation upon which our reputation is built with our clients, other divorce lawyers, experts and the Orange County Superior Courts.

Practice Limited to Divorce-Exclusively in Orange County

We limit our practice to divorces filed in Orange County.  It is our belief that it is in our client’s best interest to retain Orange County divorce lawyers.  There are many nuances in divorce law.  It is important for a divorce lawyer to know the local practices and the rules followed by the judges in Orange County Superior Court. This knowledge can impact strategy and settlement positions in a divorce.

Community Involvement

Our firm's divorce lawyers and staff contribute time and money to a number of Orange County non-profit organizations.  We believe a law firm should be a vehicle that performs good deeds in it's community.  We recognize that lawyers are uniquely qualified to provide assistance in certain areas of need.  We support the following non-profits, among other national and local charities:

  • Project Youth (formerly Orange County Bar Foundation)
  • Orange County Public Law Center
  • Legal Aid Society of Orange County
  • Orange County Constitutional Rights Foundation
  • Loyola Law School
  • Levitt & Quinn
  • Pacific Marine Mammal Center
  • Human Options - Orange County
  • Charitable Fund of Orange County Bar Association
  • Laura’s House - Orange County
  • Kids First - Orange County
  • FACES - Orange County
  • OneOC - Orange County
  • March of Dimes
  • Anti-Defamation League - Orange County
  • Veterans Legal Institute
  • Northrise University (Zambia)

The firm has given over $1,100,000 to Orange County nonprofits since 2012.

Minyard Morris has a history of support and involvement with the Public Law Center of Orange County and The Legal Aid Center of Orange County. Mark E. Minyard received the Lifetime Achievement award from the Legal Aid Society of Orange County in 2015.  Matthew S. Buttacavoli received the Wiley M. Manuel Certificate for Legal Services in 2014. Minyard Morris was the recipient of the Orange County Public Law Center's 2007 Law Firm of the Year award. Minyard Morris was the 2007 recipient of the State Bar of California Pro Bono Service — Law Firm of the Year (small firm) Award. Matthew S. Buttacavoli served as the co-chair of the silent auction committee for the Public Law Center of Orange County’s Volunteers for Justice annual dinner in 2011, 2012, and 2013. Mark E. Minyard served as co-chair of the dinner committee of the Public Law Center of Orange County’s Volunteers for Justice annual dinner committee in 2011 and 2012. Mark E. Minyard was presented with the SPIRIT award in 2008 by the Legal Aid Society of Orange County.

Minyard Morris alumnus, William F. Wenke, was recognized by the Legal Aid Society of Orange County with its Access to Justice Award presented at its 2008 50th Anniversary Gala. The award was given in recognition of Mr. Wenke’s instrumental role in making the IOLTA program a reality in California. This program requires banks to pay interest on attorney trust accounts and directs the interest to legal services for the indigent. The program has spread across the country and has raised more than $3,000,000,000 for indigent legal services. Mr. Wenke was serving as Co-President of the California State Bar at the time.