My search for a competent and compassionate law practice started and ended with Donna Dougherty and her staff of talented law professionals. Initially, I thought I could represent myself, as I had in the past, but I quickly discovered that doing so would be a mistake. Even though it is theoretically possible to learn enough about the proper rules, procedures, and etiquette required to represent oneself, it is difficult, if not impossible to maintain the necessary composure to present a solid case especially when it comes to family matters. Donna, Ashleigh, Caitlin, Gretchen, Lisa, and Cristina supported me when I needed the support to help me accomplish what I needed to for my family.
Donna Dougherty was the perfect attorney for me. If I were looking for a medical doctor, I wouldn’t want to be forced to choose between the reassuring friendly bedside manner of Marcus Welby versus the knowledgeable capability of Gregory House. I didn’t want to have to make that kind of choice for legal representation either. In Donna, I found a wonderful combination of legal knowledge and ability with a warm heart and true concern for her clients.
Donna represented me in a highly contested custody battle. Despite the many challenges presented to her and the difficult fact pattern, she represented my interests zealously. Throughout the litigation process, she was professional — always keeping me apprised of what was happening and my available options — and highly ethical. There were a lot of false allegations made throughout the proceeding by the opposing party yet Donna remained poised. Her cool head and ability to change direction midstream allowed her to always be prepared for the twists and turns the case threw her way. She fiercely protected my interests while keeping my expectations reasonable.
I highly recommend Donna to anyone seeking a family law attorney. Her guidance, compassion and legal expertise were exactly what I needed during the tumultuous proceeding and I am pleased she advocated for and not against me. I think Donna is a superb attorney!
The most critical skill any advocate or counselor can have is the ability to listen, to understand, and to support the client. In a situation as full of emotion as a family separation or divorce, it is even more critical. Donna has this skill in abundance. Her active listening style and calm demeanor provide a comforting setting in which to make the critical decisions required in these situations. In my case, Donna established rapport, and impressed me with her skills and knowledge of the law. She allowed me to vent my frustrations without letting me ramble on — she kept me focused and on topic. She listened and supported my wishes, and brought me back on track when I was tempted to escalate in response to my ex-husband’s actions. She had an uncanny ability to discern my ex’s motivations and provided an extremely creative solution to our dispute. She protected my interests as if they were her own.
If you are angry and want to fight, Donna knows how to win. If you want to negotiate and settle, Donna will help you do that by keeping you on track and calming your anger. My spouse wanted to fight dirty, and Donna’s knowledge of law and procedure prevented him from bullying me. Her assistance during this incredibly difficult time in my life was the sole reason I reached a successful settlement, finalized my divorce and am happily getting on with my life.
Amy, Thank you! My oh my how my life changed after we first met. No kidding, you rescued me.
Donna is the first lawyer I have met who is tough, has a sense of humor and a huge heart. Donna helped me through a custody dispute over my two daughters. I have had the experience of having to use other family lawyers in the past and Donna is the first one I have felt truly represented myself and my children’s best interests. She is an excellent listener and she truly heard and understood my position. I had a case that on the judicial scale is probably only a “three out of 10” but it was the biggest thing I had ever done in fighting for my daughters and Donna understood and respected that. I needed to feel like my lawyer was invested in my case, and she was.
Her approach is professional yet approachable and she is willing to go to court when needed. This is something I have discovered that is not common in family law lawyers and in my case, necessary. I have also realized that it made my position stronger to be prepared to go to court and Donna is excellent at that. She knows how to ask a question that will get to the bottom line. She is always quick to respond to phone calls and was conscious of our budget, but willing to spend time explaining things as needed. Donna was straightforward about what the process would entail and accurate about her cost estimate. Should it be necessary I would also gladly use her services again!
Ashleigh Iszard is an attorney who brings an objectiveness based on her legal knowledge, but also the subjective expertise that allows her to apply that knowledge based on her character. I have witnessed Ms. Iszard review the standards given via applicable laws, then act with compassion in determining ways ahead for her clients. I would highly recommend Ms. Iszard for persons involved in the legal process who desire an expert willing to work with both parties to come to the “best possible” resolution for all.
We were thrilled with the service and winning outcome achieved in our custody case with Amy and Claire on our side. They worked smart and efficiently to keep costs down and knew just where to push for optimum results. Thanks again!
I’m in the military, and had been battling with and dealing with what was considered in my eyes as what I would also assume in society’s eyes, a “Nasty” divorce. I first reached out to Donna for help and guidance with the intent to move forward on the divorce. I then unattained Donna due to me and my wife were “being grown-ups, and working things out.” Donna highly recommended against it due to foreseeable issues later in the future.
I went against those recommendations and indeed, later down the road, I found myself right back where I was prior. It was then that I made the determination to never let myself down, or my counselor down again. One of the astonishing things about Donna and her team was that after I came back to her firm and reattained her, there was no “I told you so” or anything to that nature, it was a mere attitude of “Ok, where are we, and what do we need to do to move on;” it was almost like I never left.
In my experience with the whole divorce process, tempers flared between myself and my wife as do probably most divorcing couples, there were times where it was questionable on what exactly we were fighting over, and because of Donna, she was very quick in regards to bringing me back to reality, on the grounds of which I needed to be focusing on, which was maximizing time with my 8-year-old boy.
As stated earlier, I am in the military and through the entire process, I was stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas, where most of my and Donna’s relationship took place either over the phone or through email. Donna was very flexible with my work schedule. It wasn’t until the day before my divorce hearing, that I actually got to see firsthand how passionate and determined the entire firm worked together to obtain the just-rights for my case. This was essential for how comfortable I felt in that courtroom. After the hearing was over, all members of Donna’s team called Donna just to ask “How did we do? Is he ok? Is he happy?”
I would recommend Donna and her entire firm to anyone due to the care and passion that was displayed over the approximate two years that we had been working together. I would also recommend to listen to her, actually do what she tells you to do, and let her lead you. I vow that she will never let you down.
To Donna and her firm,
Thank you …. no seriously … Thank you.
Words cannot express how much I appreciate the care and compassion you’ve shown toward my family. For the first time since this nightmare started, I feel like I was finally defended properly and someone truly cared about my concern for my son. I hope you know how much it means to me. You’ve restored hope and allowed a large piece of happiness to return to me. From the bottom of my heart I thank you!
After several days of online reviews of local family practice law firms, I contacted Donna Dougherty’s firm for an initial consultation. I met with Donna and subsequently with her associate, Ashleigh; both were personable, thoughtful, analytical, and very focused. They contemplated the complex information that I shared. Donna provided a sobering statement of my chances of obtaining an annulment for a fraudulent marriage in the conservative commonwealth of Virginia. She knew that in the alternative, I would be granted a divorce. Because she was so candid and forthright, two characteristics that I deeply admire and respect, l retained Donna Dougherty’s services.
For the next several months, Donna and Ashleigh worked tirelessly on my case. They asked questions, conducted research, requested documents and names of potential witnesses, strategized on the best defense, and drafted documents for my case. They maintained contact and regularly updated me on the progression of the case.
When Donna argued my case, she methodically laid out the complicated issues. She was masterful in asserting supporting evidence, affidavits, and case law. I was overjoyed when the judge granted the annulment!!
I’m appreciative of the exemplary services that I received from Donna Dougherty’s firm.
Absolutely love these ladies. They were straightforward with me, and explained all the obstacles we would be looking at, but left the ultimate decisions up to me. They took the time to listen and fully understand what I was looking for with my cases, and came up with different strategies on how to tackle the obstacles. They kept me up to date on all communications with opposing counsel, and if something came up, they did not hesitate to call me if I did not respond to an email right away. Ashleigh really came to understand me, and would realize when I was just being stubborn for stubborn’s sake and was able to convince me what was best for us in the cases and ultimately what was best for my child. Definitely and highly recommend them for anything dealing with family law.
I am truly grateful for finding you and having you in my corner for legal counsel. You have always been a compassionate listener and guided me through the confusing legal mazes. Most importantly, you always looked out for my best interest(s), and didn’t allow me to cave in when I just wanted to throw in the towel. You truly made a difference for my kids and I. I can truly say that my relationship with my children is stronger and remains so, thanks to your help. Thank you. I am forever indebted to you.
Since first retaining Donna Dougherty as my legal counsel in 2007, I have followed her to three different law firms. She has always guided me with compassion and wisdom through very contentious post-divorce proceedings; and she has had the added challenge of doing so long distance. I highly recommend her as an attorney.
Amy was on top of everything from day one. She was responsive and easy to work with during the preparation and trial for sole legal custody of my grandson. Amy is very knowledgeable and seasoned in her field and that showed in the courtroom. We won and we were up against some tough opposition. Amy Tobias will not waste your time or your money. You can trust her.