Top Family Law Attorneys in Denver, CO
Epstein Patierno, LLP - Attorneys at Law
Denver: The Equitable Building, Suite 230, 730 17th Street, Denver, CO 80202
Greenwood Village: 6161 S. Syracuse Way, Suite 370, Greenwood Village, CO 80111
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Steve, a third-generation Colorado lawyer, limits his practice to all areas of family law including dissolution of marriage (divorce) and civil unions, custody, nuptial agreements, co-habitation agreements, partition of real estate, adoption, and international cases under the Hague Convention.
Steve has been honored since 2006 as a Colorado Super Lawyer and has earned the peer-chosen designation as a Best Lawyer in America.
Steve is a frequent lecturer to lawyers and psychologists in areas ranging from business valuation to the proper role of mental health professionals to the constitutional rights of parents and children.
As well, Steve is a frequent author of legal articles including the Colorado Family Law Practice Guide on Nuptial Agreements (2006-2013), as well as, for example, “Economic Fault and Equitable Division in Divorce” and “The Death Knell of Fantasy Values.”
In addition to his legal advocacy work, speaking and writing, Steve is available for family law consultation and for appointments as an expert witness.
Steve is a graduate of the Denver Public Schools (Manual High, 1977), Amherst College, 1981, and the University Of Colorado School Of Law, 1985. He is married to Kari, a classical cellist, and has three children, Noah, Anya, and Daniel.
Tina Patierno, a shareholder, founding partner, and Secretary of Family Law Practice, Epstein Patierno, LLP brings more than two decades of family law and courtroom experience to the firm. She is well known and respected in the family law community for her outstanding work in combining various disciplines of the family law practice to address complex financial issues as well as difficult parental responsibility and parenting time disputes.
Tina’s philosophy and approach in most family law cases is to collaborate with the professionals and litigants involved in a manner that preserves the family unit and finances as much as possible via settlement and negotiation, but always being prepared to vehemently protect her client’s interest through zealous advocacy and trial if resolution is not possible or is not beneficial to her client’s interests.
A Texas native, Tina graduated Cum Laude from Texas A&M University in 1989 and earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of Texas School of Law in 1992, with honors. Tina is licensed in the Colorado Supreme Court and the Texas Supreme Court, and previously in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas.
Tina Patierno’s practice has always been dedicated exclusively to family law. Her previous employment has included work at an international law firm in Houston, Texas, Fulbright & Jaworski, LLP and Denver, CO law firm Litvak Litvak Mehrtens and Epstein, P.C. Following a few years as a stay-at-home mom of three boys, she returned to family law practicing with The Wareham Group until 2007 before her return to Litvak Litvak Mehrtens Epstein and Carlton, P.C.
Tina is a member of the Amicus Committee of Family Law Section of Colorado Bar Association. She was a board member of the Metro Denver Interdisciplinary Committee for 8 years and part of the executive board for 6 years, culminating in her role as President of that Committee in 2013. She is a member of the Colorado Bar Association and the Douglas/Elbert Bar Association, receiving the Professionalism Award from the Douglas/Elbert Bar Association in 2006-2007.
In her spare time, Tina enjoys trying to keep up with her husband and three boys, cheering at kids’ games, yoga, working out, hiking, traveling, and reading.
Before Wendy could drive, she knew she wanted to become an attorney. Today, Wendy is a shareholder and founding member of Family Law Practice, Epstein Patierno, LLP, a boutique law firm dedicated exclusively to all areas of family law in Denver, CO.
Wendy’s approach to her cases is one of compassion, dedication and collaboration. She brings over 12 years of experience in the courtroom and in practice with family law, plus another 5 years as a child support paralegal - allowing a complete understanding of all the ins and outs of every case. Family law has been her passion since the beginning, and this experience and passion allows for confidence and successful leadership navigating the individual complexities that come with every valued client.
Growing up in a small town in Northeastern Colorado, where her graduating class boasted 11 students, Wendy then graduated from Colorado State University with a BA in social science. During her college years, she got her feet wet in the law working at the firm of Fischer Brown Huddleson and Gunn, P.C. as an office services clerk. After college, Wendy worked at the Arapahoe County District Attorney’s office, child support enforcement division where she was an enforcement paralegal.
Wendy went on to attend law school and graduated from the University of Denver school of law and entered the Colorado bar in 2003. During her time at DU, she was named “Outstanding Student of the Year” for her work in the family law clinic.
Wendy began her career at Litvak Litvak Mehrtens and Epstein, P.C. (now Litvak Litvak Mehrtens and Carlton, P.C.), a preeminent family law firm where she handled matters both complex and simple, all over the state.
Wendy’s detail oriented approach and commitment to excellence and positive results for her clients sets her apart from other attorneys.
When not working, Wendy enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, reading and attending sporting events.
Courtney Leathers Allen is a shareholder and founding member of Family Law Practice, Epstein Patierno, LLP, practicing exclusively in all aspects of family law. Courtney has been named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers for each year since 2009, for her professional achievement and high-degree of peer recognition.
With a decade of experience in family law, Courtney brings diligence, compassion and respect to address complex financial issues, support, parenting time and decision making issues, and international custody disputes.
Courtney believes that she can best serve her clients, especially those who are parents, by attempting settlement and collaborative negotiation first. When that is not possible, Courtney tirelessly advocates for her clients at trial. In addition to cases involving parties in Colorado, Courtney has represented families from five continents in matters related to international child abduction, international child custody and parenting time, habitual residence, and aspects of The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.
After growing up in Rochester, New York, Courtney moved to Colorado, where she graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with degrees in psychology and Art History in 2000. She earned her Juris Doctorate from the Michigan State University in 2005. There, she also achieved the American Jurisprudence Awards in Matrimonial Practice and Decedents Estates and Trusts, both in 2003. Courtney is licensed in the Colorado State Courts, the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, and the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Courtney began her career at Litvak Litvak Mehrtens and Carlton, P.C. (then Litvak Litvak Mehrtens and Epstein, P.C.) in 2006 and has been exclusively practicing family law since then.
Courtney is the President of Metro Denver Interdisciplinary Committee, and has served on the executive board to the last four years. She is a member of the American Bar Association, and Colorado Bar Association.
She has been an author/co-author/presenter for the Family Law Section of the Colorado Bar Association, the Colorado Judicial Conference Domestic Relations Institute, the Rocky Mountain Paralegal Association, Arapahoe Bar Association, Boulder Bar Association, El Paso Bar Association, Colorado Free University, Fall Family Law Institute, Young Lawyers Family Law Section, and other bar-related functions.
In her spare time, Courtney enjoys practicing yoga, hiking, skiing, biking, traveling and cheering on her beloved Colorado Buffaloes.
John H. Tatlock, a shareholder, has been named one of SuperLawyers’ Top 100 Colorado attorneys, one of the Best Lawyers in America in 2014, 2015, and 2016 in Family Law, and an eight-time Colorado SuperLawyer - for Family Law in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 and for Business Litigation in 2006 and 2007 - John Tatlock concentrates on complex family law litigation and appeals, especially those involving significant assets, businesses, and challenging legal issues. As Special Counsel for Epstein Patierno, LLP, John is a highly skilled trial attorney with more than 20 years of experience representing clients in federal and state courts on complex litigation matters involving significant commercial disputes, mass torts, product liability claims, and securities fraud. In addition, he has represented private equity firms in fund formation negotiations, mergers and acquisitions of fund portfolio companies, and corporate governance issues. Avvo has also recognized John as a Top Rated Family Law Attorney.
John is a graduate of Wichita State University, a former Teaching-Research Fellow in Political Science at the University of Iowa, and a graduate of the University of Denver College of Law. He was a member of the Political Science faculty at the University of Houston and, later, a public policy and government relations specialist at a large, multinational oil company.
John and Laurie moved to Denver in 1985. Their daughters, Erin and Beth, are both graduates of Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, working in the distilled spirits and ski industries, respectively.
Lauren Wylie Gempel was raised in Colorado Springs, Colorado and is a proud graduate of Air Academy High School. Lauren graduated from Colorado State University with a double major in Social Work and Human Development and Family Studies. After college, Lauren worked for a non profit organization in Fort Collins, Colorado, providing case management and independent living support for youth in the juvenile justice system and youth who were emancipating from foster care. After three years, Lauren left this position to attend law school at the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University where she was awarded a Child and Family Advocacy Fellowship.
While in law school, Lauren participated in a variety of family, juvenile and criminal law-related activities. She was the Managing Editor for Family Court Review, Volume 52, handled pro bono cases in the Juvenile Law Clinic, and worked as a research assistant for Professor Andrew Schepard, the Director of the Center for Children, Families and the Law at Hofstra University. Lauren also enjoyed interning in a number of different settings including the Legal Aid Society’s Criminal Defense Practice in Brooklyn, New York, the Adams County Attorney’s Office in Brighton, Colorado, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System’s Honoring Families Initiative in Denver, Colorado, and a judicial internship with the Honorable Jane Pearl, Bronx Family Court, New York City. Her student note, Closing the Crossover Gap: Amending Fostering Connections to Provide Independent Living Services to Foster Youth Who Crossover to the Justice System, 52 FAM. CT. REV. 299 (2014), was published in 2014.
After Law School, Lauren had the honor of clerking for the Honorable Ann Gail Meinster, District Court Judge in Jefferson County, Colorado. After her clerkship, she worked as an associate at Peper Law Office, P.C., focusing exclusively on juvenile, family and criminal representation in the public interest sector. Her work included representation of children as a Guardian ad Litem and representation of indigent parents in dependency and neglect and contempt of court proceedings.
Lauren’s diligent and compassionate approach to family law matters stems from her professional and personal experiences. As a sister to two young men with special needs, Lauren understands the need to tailor her client representation to each family’s unique set of circumstances. When she is not working, Lauren enjoys spending time in the Colorado outdoors or watching cooking show marathons with her husband.
Eric Herr specializes in family law as an associate for Epstein Patierno, LLC. He has nearly a decade of experience serving the Colorado community with regards to divorce, custody, bankruptcy, criminal defense, landlord-tenant issues, and wills and estates in addition to consumer and general civil litigation.
Both in and out of the courtroom, Eric has a reputation as a strong advocate for those he represents. He is skilled at seeing the big picture, and effectively navigates clients to their best possible outcome.
Eric began his career in family law while earning his Juris Doctorate at Western New England University. Specifically, Eric joined the Western Massachusetts Legal Services Family Law Unit in handling difficult domestic relations cases.
Prior to attending law school, Eric graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in economics and a minor in business administration. Today, he is currently licensed to practice law in the Colorado State Courts and the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.
On his free time Eric enjoys running, reading, and hanging out with his wife and daughter.
Chandra Zdenek is an associate attorney at Epstein Patierno, LLP. Since becoming a lawyer, Chandra has always been passionate about family law, and she brings a unique sense of personability and compassion to her clients.
A Colorado native, Chandra pursued her undergraduate studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in political science in December 2011. Chandra then attended the University of San Diego School of Law for law school, graduating in May 2015.
During law school, Chandra completed legal internships in various family law positions, including for the San Diego Department of Child Support Services as well as the Family Justice Center where she helped clients to obtain temporary and permanent restraining orders. Chandra was also an editor of the San Diego International Law Journal and published a comment on the journal regarding international parental child abduction in Fall 2014.
Chandra also has significant civil litigation experience, including several law clerk positions at civil litigation firms and a judicial externship for the Honorable Gonzalo P. Curiel. In San Diego, she worked as an associate attorney for a civil litigation/insurance defense firm and gained experience in all aspects of pre-trial practice, including discovery, complex legal research, working with expert witnesses, and drafting of briefs and coverage opinions. In 2016, Chandra moved home to Colorado to be closer to friends and family, and has been practicing family law exclusively ever since.
In her spare time, Chandra enjoys pet sitting, exploring new restaurants, and spending time at Washington Park.
Jim received his Associate of Applied Science Degree in Paralegal from the Community College of Denver in 1995, and he brings a wealth of experience to the firm. He has extensive experience working on highly complex cases, financial and otherwise.
Jim enjoys working with our clients, and he works diligently and efficiently to meet their individual needs and goals.
In his spare time, Jim coaches youth sports, including Arvada Midget Football and North Jeffco Junior baseball teams. A native of Colorado, Jim enjoys camping, playing softball and flag football, and competing in various 5K, 10K, and half-marathon races.
Jennifer possesses valuable experience working on complicated cases, and she enjoys navigating the complexities and nuances of each case. She diligently assists and works with our clients through their cases to best serve their needs. Originally from North Platte, Nebraska, Jennifer grew up right here in Colorado.
In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys rooting for the Nebraska Cornhuskers football team and battling complex crossword puzzles.
Vickie graduated from the Denver Business College in 1989. Vickie has over 27 years’ experience as a paralegal working in both civil and domestic law. Vickie has worked extensively the last 20+ years on high-conflict/complex asset cases, collaborative dissolutions, and mediation.
Vickie possesses significant knowledge and expertise to help clients navigate through their dissolution cases, allocation of parental rights or post-decree disputes.
Vickie takes much pride in being a zealous advocate for clients with a degree of compassion necessary to help them through what is often the most emotionally turbulent time in their lives.
Vickie enjoys spending time with family and friends, cooking/baking, and enjoying everything Colorado has to offer such as camping, four-wheeling and boating.
Vickie is a member of the Rocky Mountain Paralegal Association.
Jessika received her A.A.S in Paralegal Studies from Salt Lake Community College in 2006 and began working in criminal law. After graduating from the University of Utah with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Jessika relocated from Salt Lake City to work in the Denver County Court as a court clerk.
She began working as a family law paralegal in 2016 and finds meeting the needs of clients very rewarding. With her psychology background, Jessika finds it fulfilling to listen and assist clients, responding to their individual concerns and needs.
In her free time, Jessika enjoys watching sports, reading, and hiking.
Lisa graduated from California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo in 1989 in Child and Family Development with a minor in Psychology. She went on to get her teaching credential from Chapman in early education, teaching for a few years and later going on to work in the front office at Mountain Vista High School. Lisa has a strong background in working well with others and is committed to meeting client’s needs.
Lisa enjoys time with her family and friends. She loves hiking, walking and playing tennis, anything that keeps her outdoors.
Lisa has always had a passion for working with families in a number of different capacities and is excited about her new adventure working as a family law paralegal.
Amie Conger joins us after stepping out of the legal industry for a few years. She worked with Mr. Epstein and Ms. Smock in the past. She thoroughly enjoys Family Law and all the aspects that come with caring for the client in a difficult time in their lives. She is empathetic and can always be counted on to make sure the client is taken care of.
Amie is a Colorado native. In her spare time, Amie, enjoys spending time with her family, watching sports and reading.
Gayla received her BA in History with a Law Studies minor from the University of Colorado at Denver, and received her Paralegal Certificate from Arapahoe Community College.
Gayla’s extensive background in customer/client relations, and previous work as a CASA volunteer for Jeffco and Gilpin Counties, provides her with an empathetic perspective as it relates to the complex emotional issues involved in family law.
Originally from Florida, Gayla moved to Colorado in 2005, due in part to the many outdoor recreational activities the state has to offer. In her spare time, Gayla enjoys running, tennis, hiking, and camping with her numerous and active family members.
Aurora grew up in Cheyenne, Wyoming and moved to the Denver area to complete her undergraduate degree. She received her B.A. in Science from Regis University in Professional Accounting and has her CPA certification.
She is an accounting professional with over 20 years of experience from corporate level accounting functions to small business accounting services. After graduating college, she remained in the Denver area and worked for a local CPA firm and a Corporate homebuilder for several years before deciding to dedicate her time to her four children and family on a full-time basis while still maintaining her professional career part-time. Joining the Epstein Patierno team has given Aurora a great opportunity to get back into the industry with passion and determination.
In her spare time, Aurora enjoys spending time with her family and enjoys volunteering for her kid’s sport teams and school events and stays active by running, hiking, camping, exercising and reading.
Ava Radigan is the Receptionist at Epstein Patierno Family Law. Ava is compassionate and genuine. As the first person many callers speak to, she understands the importance of making sure people feel heard, respected and supported.
In her free time Ava enjoys being with her dogs Tiger Lilly and Zorro, reading, silversmithing, and spending as much time in nature as possible.