News and Views
Press Release

Leading Family Law Team to Join Blank Rome in Los Angeles

Additions Establish West Coast Presence for Firm’s National Matrimonial and Family Law Practice

Blank Rome LLP is pleased to announce that effective July 1, 2016, four attorneys and additional staff from Los Angeles’ top family law firm, Phillips Lerner, will join the Firm in its Matrimonial and Family Law group, bringing the Firm’s nationally recognized practice to nearly 30 attorneys. Joining the Firm are Stacy D. Phillips, Partner; Marc Lerner, Of Counsel; Kevin Martin, Partner; and Pauline Martin, Of Counsel. The team brings extensive experience advising high-net-worth clients on some of the most important legal transitions in their lives, including divorce, custody, paternity, domestic partnerships, and dealing with domestic violence matters.

“We are thrilled to welcome Stacy, Marc, Kevin, Pauline, and the team to Blank Rome,” said Alan J. Hoffman, Blank Rome’s Chairman and Managing Partner. “With a strong foothold on the East Coast, our top-ranked matrimonial and family law group has built a solid reputation practicing in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Florida, and we are very excited to expand to the West Coast with the addition of such an established and well-respected team of family law attorneys.”

As one of Phillips Lerner’s founders, Stacy D. Phillips served as managing principal of the firm. She represents a wide variety of high-profile and celebrity clients as they undergo the significant and often difficult changes involved in divorce and custody issues. Ms. Phillips is a Certified Family Law Specialist, a distinction designated by The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization to a small percentage of California lawyers who are specialists in their areas of practice. Ms. Phillips is one of the country’s most well-known and respected family law practitioners, having achieved virtually every honor available to a lawyer for her work. She is also an author (including “Divorce:  It’s All About Control – How to Win the Emotional, Psychological and Legal Wars,” ExecuProv Press), sought-after commentator, speaker and writer, philanthropist, and a tireless advocate for children and families.

“There are two things that excite me most about joining Blank Rome: having the opportunity to collaborate with my new colleagues from coast to coast, and contributing to the Firm’s deep tradition of, and commitment to, pro bono and community service,” said Ms. Phillips. “For me, it’s all about family, and what we do for a living is support families. Just as each family is unique, so too are their legal needs. As a result, it has become increasingly important to provide our clients with additional resources as they face some of life’s toughest challenges, and the platform that Blank Rome offers us and our clients is second to none. In addition, and equally as important, I am grateful to be able to continue to focus on my civic endeavors and look forward to expanding my efforts at Blank Rome.”

“I have known and admired Stacy for years and could not be happier that she and the wonderful group of practitioners Stacy works with are joining our team at Blank Rome,” said Lois J. Liberman, Chair, Matrimonial and Family Law Practice Group. “The entire team uses compassion, persuasion, negotiation, and aggressive advocacy to help clients successfully navigate important life transitions with a focus of serving the best interests of families. In addition to their successful practices, they’ve given back through active involvement in their communities and are an excellent addition to Blank Rome.”

More than 17 years ago, Ms. Phillips started the Adopt-A-Center Program at Phillips Lerner to support deserving, local nonprofit organizations that provide essential outreach to children and families. Beyond the Adopt-A-Center Program, Ms. Phillips and her late father, Gerald F. Phillips, created the Phillips/Samuels/Victor Family Fund at the Dartmouth Ethics Institute, which funds the Phillips Award in Ethics. This award is presented annually to an undergraduate student at Dartmouth College who has successfully demonstrated strength and interest in applied and professional ethics.

In addition to the Adopt-A-Center Program, Ms. Phillips is involved in a number of philanthropic organizations and legal associations. Ms. Phillips serves on the Advisory Board of Super Lawyers and on the Board of Editorial Consultants for California Family Law Monthly, and is a member of both the Women Presidents Organization and the International Women’s Forum, as well as a Volunteer Mediator for the Los Angeles Superior Court.

For her legal acumen and civic involvement, Ms. Phillips has been honored with regional and national accolades, such as: Top 10 Southern California Super Lawyers (Super Lawyers, 2010-11, 2013 to present), Top 100 Southern California Lawyers (Super Lawyers, 2006  to present), Top 50 Women Southern California Lawyers (Super Lawyers, 2005  to present), Southern California Super Lawyers (Super Lawyers, 2004 inception to present), 500 Leading Lawyers in America (Lawdragon,2006  to present), Enterprising Women of the Year: Top Women Entrepreneurs Award (Enterprising Women Magazine, 2015), Women Making a Difference: Volunteer of the Year Award (Los Angeles Business Journal, 2014), Top Women Lawyers (Los Angeles Daily Journal, 1999 inception to present), and Best Lawyers in America (Best Lawyers in America, 2003 to present), among others. Ms. Phillips is rated AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell, signifying the highest level of professional excellence in legal knowledge, communication skills, and ethical standards.

Ms. Phillips received her J.D. from Columbia University School of Law and her B.A., cum laude, from Dartmouth College.

Additional Team Members Include:

Marc Lerner, Of Counsel

For five decades, Marc Lerner has helped clients resolve their matters through both litigation and mediation. He is well-known for bringing fast and fair resolutions to even the most challenging cases. His multifaceted skills include working in various areas of law, including real estate, business, contract, and transactions. He brings this experience to solve complex family law issues for his clients.

Mr. Lerner has repeatedly been recognized for his legal skills and is rated AV® Preeminent™ (the highest possible) by Martindale-Hubbell. Mr. Lerner has been named a Southern California Super Lawyer every year since the program’s inception in 2004.

Mr. Lerner earned his J.D. from the University of Southern California Law Center and his B.S. from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

Kevin B. Martin, Partner

With nearly 20 years of experience, Kevin Martin handles all aspects of family law matters. He has broad experience in a variety of areas, including commercial ligation, securities litigation, accounting fraud, and governmental/regulatory investigations, and brings these valuable perspectives to his family law cases.

Mr. Martin offers his clients a truly multifaceted outlook, especially those with proprietary business interests. Before joining Phillips Lerner, Kevin Martin and Pauline Martin (below) co-founded Sonoma Risk Insurance Agency, LLC in Los Angeles, where they developed first-of-its-kind and patent-pending insurance products. As the CEO of Sonoma Risk, Mr. Martin raised capital, negotiated countless contracts, and eventually sold Sonoma Risk to a publicly traded insurance company. Earlier in his career, Mr. Martin served as a partner at Alschuler Grossman Stein & Kahan and later at Bingham McCutchen LLP, focusing on commercial litigation. He also previously served as Senior Counsel in the Enforcement Division of the Securities Exchange Commission.

Mr. Martin earned his J.D. from New York University School of Law and received his B.A. from Emory University. His professional affiliations have included being a delegate to the Young Lawyers Division of the ABA, and co-editor of the ABA’s Class and Derivative Action Newsletter.

Pauline M. Martin, Of Counsel

With nearly 20 years of litigation experience, Pauline Martin handles all areas of family law. Her commercial litigation experience, especially in partnership dissolution and employment-related matters, adds a unique perspective to Blank Rome’s family law practice.

As mentioned above, prior to joining Phillips Lerner, Pauline and Kevin Martin co-founded Sonoma Risk Insurance Agency, LLC in Los Angeles, where she helped develop the patent-pending insurance product, “Contract Litigation Insurance.” She was previously a commercial litigation partner at Alschuler Grossman Stein & Kahan, and later at Bingham McCutchen.

Ms. Martin is also actively involved in the community, having served as the president of Step Up on Second, LLP, Santa Monica’s largest nonprofit mental health organization. Ms. Martin’s litigation and philanthropic work are among the reasons she was included on the list of Southern California Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” for three consecutive years. She was also named among the Los Angeles Times’ Women Leaders in the Law (2014).

Ms. Martin earned her J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law and both her B.A., Political Science, summa cum laude, and B.A., History, magna cum laude, from the University of California, Irvine.