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 Family Law clients.  We conduct formalized firm-wide meetings multiple times per week, where we collaborate and strategize on the family law issues in our pending conventional cases and our high net worth cases. These 'all-hands' meetings give our men and women 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 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 family law lawyers enter Orange County Superior Court courtroom 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 family law clients.

We 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 family law hearing or trial.  We pursue settlement from all perspectives, including: early proactive settlement discussions with our clients, settlement meetings with opposing parties and their attorneys (and experts when appropriate), and voluntary settlement conferences with a retired Judge or Orange County Commissioner.  Our lawyers educate 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 firm does 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 try a family law matter and when to settle it.

Our Wealth of Experience in Family Law

Our divorce lawyers have almost 200 years of combined legal experience. Six of our lawyers are Certified Family Law Specialists. Only 28 Orange County family law attorneys are Fellows in the exclusive American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML); three are Minyard Morris lawyers. Our wealth of experience in family law 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 family law 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 family law knowledge among our lawyers that is designed to leverage our collective experience in the Orange County Family Law Courts for the benefit of the firm's family law clients.  The firm has authorized extensive proprietary matters for the education of its lawyers and its clients.

We are very proud of our experienced staff, which is 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 20 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 25 years.  Many of our other staff positions are also held by long-term committed professionals.

Family Law Collaboration and Teamwork

A civil litigation matter generally deals with one issue and one goal.  A family law 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 family law team can be very beneficial to a divorce case and the client.

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

In that our lawyers have diverse backgrounds, educational training, and perspectives, each brings a different view to the analysis and strategy of our clients’ matters.  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, we are committed to providing top-tier client service in order to mitigate the stress of a divorce and make the process 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 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 25 years.

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

The goal of our firm is to accept men and women as clients whose Orange County Family Law 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 case.  We seek to resolve cases in the shortest time period possible consistent with thorough preparation and successful results.  The firm’s future existence is dependent upon Orange County Family Law referrals. We are acutely aware that client referrals will occur only if superior service is provided throughout the divorce.

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

Family Law Knowledge

The quality of legal services is determined by many factors. One such factor is continuing family law legal education.  We have multiple weekly in-house educational meetings, often including guest speakers that generally address complex and high net worth 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 our size participates in and attends more divorce related seminars than we do.  The importance of staying current on the most recent family law cases and statutes, legal trends, and judicial thinking in the Orange County Family Law 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 lawyers in the last several years. Our firm is unsurpassed relative to the depth of the family law education of its lawyers. The firm has spent on average $77,000 per year on family law related seminars and related costs in each of the last 14 years.

Professionalism, Ethics, and Integrity

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

Practice Limited to Family Law-Exclusively in Orange County

We limit our practice to cases filed in Orange County.  It is our belief that it is in a men and women client’s best interest to retain Orange County counsel.  There are many nuances in family law.  It is important to know the local practices and the rules followed in Orange County. This knowledge can impact strategy and settlement positions in a divorce.

Community Involvement

Our firm's 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 its 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:

  • Orange County Bar Foundation (Project S.E.L.F., Shortstop, Higher Education Mentoring Program, etc.)
  • 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
  • Anti-Defamation League - Orange County
  • Veterans Legal Institute

The firm has given over $1,100,000 to Orange County non-profits during the last 14 years.

Minyard Morris contributes to The Orange County Bar Foundation's 'Youth Empowered for Success" scholarship and has established a five-year Minyard Morris $10,000 needs-based annual scholarship for first-year students at Loyola Law School.

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.  The list of prior recipients includes Rutan & Tucker, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, O’Melveny & Myers, Shepard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, Latham & Watkins, Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker, and Irell & Manella.

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.

Minyard Morris is a gold sponsor of the Public Law Center of Orange County's Volunteers for Justice annual dinner.

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.