Based on 10 reviews
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We hired Mark as part of a four person collaborative team. Much time was spend discussing "goals and values." Very little time was spent on the actual steps that were needed for physical and financial separation. Poor guidance, time wasted, churning bills, unnecessary emotional and financial stress. As a result of this poor guidance, two years later, we are still not finished. I too have heard from other professionals that they have worked with Mark in the past and never will again. Not collaborative.
Mark came to me highly recommended and I would pass on the same recommendation to others. Divorce is a wild ride on an emotional and financial rollercoaster and there are no safer hands for the throttle than Mark's. Mark is the voice of reason when you're in the front car and all you want to do is scream. He's the voice of reason when you're stuck at the top of the ride and just despair over a good outcome. He is highly supportive when you're not sure this ride will ever be over and you will feel good again.
If you chose to work toward a collaborative settlement Mark is who you want. One of his standout qualities is that he is true to the collaborative process, always guiding toward a settlement that both sides can accept. Mark is patient and his financial knowledge and problem solving skills are outstanding. . Mark was a rock during this process and I am grateful to him for bolstering my self confidence and helping to create a settlement that I wanted and had a hand in designing.
After researching the differences between mediation and collaborative divorce, my ex-wife and I decided that collaborative divorce was the best fit for us. Mark represented me and my ex used different counsel. Together, Mark and the other attorney met with us to make sure it was a good fit before we got started. Overall, the process took a little longer than I had expected, but it was well worth it. What I will remember the most about the experience was Mark's caution to not strike a deal that will feel corrosive in the future. In other words, it's not always about the dollars and cents on a particular day, but the big picture of how everyone is going to feel for years to come. This is especially crucial when kids are involved. Although I am an attorney myself, I hired Mark because I knew it would be foolhardy to pretend to have expertise outside my area of practice. Mark helped me asnswer questions that I didn't even know to ask.
My ex and I hired J. Mark Weiss to serve as part of a 4 person team (2 lawyers, 1 counselor/divorce coach, 1 finance expert) to help through a "collaborative" divorce process. I highly recommend the process, especially for a couple with small kids who will need to work together for many years to co-parent their kids.
Having said that, I strongly recommend that anyone wishing to have a successful collaborative divorce stay very far away from Mark Weiss. He is the opposite of what a successful collaborative attorney should be -- he is argumentative, divisive, difficult to schedule, and, I believe, unethical. It was only after he and my ex terminated him that we were able to successfully conclude our divorce.
Even then he behaved unethically, trying to get the other collaborative attorney to quit so that he could say that the collaborative process had failed and not have our success reflect poorly on him. Instead, she stuck with it, we hired a 2nd collaborative attorney, and we successfully finished the divorce while avoiding litigation.
I have worked with many lawyer over the past 20+ years -- many that I hired, some that were hired by the other side in a business deal. I have never had a worse experience with an attorney than the experience I had with Mark.
I happen to know for a fact that several of the professionals who worked with Mark on our case feel the same way, and more than 1 has told me that he/she will never work with Mark again. I don't know if something snapped with Mark (I have heard that he used to be better) but I'm writing this note as a public service to others to avoid what my ex and I had to go through.
Mark came highly recommended to me as a family divorce attorney, by collaborative and litigation attorneys, financial analysts, as well as mental health professionals. To represent me, I needed someone sharp, with strong business/financial knowledge as well as strong interpersonal skills in addition to excellent legal expertise. Mark has it all. He also has a strong network of highly skilled professionals who can step in if needed in a very timely manner. Despite the complexity of our case, we finished within 6 months. I got a good and fair settlement, my financial situation is secured not only for the next few years but also for the long term. Our kids’s future is secured. My personal well being was also always his concern and he would go to great length to secure my well being through the process. Mark came highly recommended to me, and I am honored to be able to highly recommend him as your divorce attorney.
Mark is a brilliant attorney and wonderful human being. He gives true meaning to the term “counselor at law.” Mark understands the emotional burden that divorcing spouses experience and was a constant voice of reason and reflection during my most difficult moments. If you want a lawyer who will use the divorce process as a vehicle to pick fights, settle scores and cause pain on your (soon to be) ex spouse, Mark isn’t your choice. The focus of his representation is guiding his clients through a difficult period without needless conflict or rancor, while ensuring that their legal and financial interests are protected. The “bulldog” approach may appear attractive at the outset of the divorce process to spouses who are angry and hurting, but “take no prisoners” divorce litigation is simply a way for lawyers to earn huge fees that ultimately leaves the parties emotionally scared and financially depleted. Divorce is inevitably painful and difficult as married couple are forced separate their legal and emotional and financial lives. However, the collaborative process is the smartest (and cheapest) way to navigate through the divorce process and enables the divorcing parties to move on with their lives while minimizing the financial cost and financial burden that the process entails.
I went to Mr. Weiss because he is supposed to be a top collaborative attorney. At the time of my intake, my ex-husband and I had just made the decision to separate and I needed guidance during a very emotionally stressful time. Mr. Weiss allowed me to talk for an hour and a half without providing guidance or input. The only thing he did say at the end is that he did not know if the case would be appropriate for a collaborative approach. He then charged me his high hourly rate and I left feeling no more informed than when I walked in. I later called and expressed this in a respectful way to his assistant, who was apparently instructed to shield her employer from cranks such as myself, to express empathy and politely end the call without any sort of apology. I am shocked that Mr. Weiss felt no compunction taking a good sum of money for doing nothing but listen. I will add that I have never written a negative report about anyone before, ever. I am not someone who complains as a practice, to the contrary, it takes a lot for me to feel upset at a service level. I think the reason this felt so awful was because I was in such a vulnerable state at the time and Mr. Weiss seemed to have no compunctions whatsoever about letting me vent on and on, then do nothing and bill me a lot of money. I expected much more of him, and when I called to complain, didn't even get the courtesy of being able to speak to him directly.
He spins the wheel to generate billings. He works with a "collaborative team" and they all call each other and bill you. There was a period of six months while the financial analyst was "working on it." No work product was produced. During that time, Mark billed me $4,000 for his emails and phone calls to the "team." It is predatory. He never advocated for me.
Mr. Weiss handled an extremely complex and challenging custody suit requiring two separate trials and lasting over two years. I cannot say enough positive things about his work ethic and knowledge of the law. He was always extremely well prepared and able to foresee complications that might arise, especially in the courtroom. I was also highly impressed by his non-antagonistic approach and his tireless dedication in representing my case.
I have worked closely with mark on 2 very complex cases and have watched closely as he managed several friends' cases. In each, Mark has demonstrated his unparalled skill as a strategist and expert in family law. I've worked with many of the super lawyers in the Seattle area and Mark is *the standout* amongst his very capable peers. I have absolutely no reservations in recommending Mark.