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About me

Being able to guide a client through a contentious divorce process in an expeditious fashion is one of the keys to being a good divorce attorney. Some cases simply need court intervention while others can and should be negotiated outside of the courtroom. Recognizing the difference is the key to effective representation and achieving the best result for the client.

I am a certified mediator, arbitrator and collaborative law attorney in addition to my litigation and appellate practice.  I am also frequently called upon by judges to serve as a conciliator to sit down with parties and their counsel in a last attempt to resolve their matter before trial.   

I always advise my clients to spend a day in any Probate & Family Court before they begin the process.  It is an educational experience for most clients.  It also promotes a discussion of other avenues available to resolve matters aside from going through the court system including a possible appeal, leading to years of litigation. 

In my over 25 years as a lawyer, I am convinced that court should be used as a last resort.  Litigation is expensive and there often times is a winner and a loser.  Even in the best cases, there is a risk every time you set foot in court and turn the decision making over to a judge who does not know you or your family.  I have become a big proponent of all forms of alternative dispute resolution to resolve client's problems in the first instance.  I find my client's have better relations with their children and ex spouses after a mediated or collaborative settlement.  Client's also report that they feel better about themselves and find it easier to move on with their lives.  They are also much more likely to resolve new issues that come up after the divorce utilizing the same approach.    


Practice areas


  1. Divorce: 50%
  2. Child Custody: 25%
  3. Prenuptials: 25%

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Contact info


101 Huntington Avenue 25th Floor
Boston, MA, 02199-7681


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
2016 Lawyer of the Year, Family Law, Boston, MABest Lawyers2015
2013 Boston Family Law "Lawyer of the Year"Best Lawyers2012
RecognitionBest Lawyers in America2011
Super LawyerBoston Magazine2010
Super LawyerLaw & Politics Magazine2010
AV PreeminentLexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rated2010
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
PartnerAtwood & Cherny PC1996 - Present
PresidentElloramo Farms, Inc.1986 - Present
Special CounselCaremark International, Inc.1992 - 1995
PrincipalLaw Offices of Mark T. Smith1989 - 1992
Of CounselThomas C. Troy & Associates1985 - 1987
Press Secretary/Director of CommunicationsMassachusetts House of Representatives, Minority Leader's Office1984 - 1987
Association namePosition nameDuration
Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Curriculum Advisory CommitteeMember2008 - Present
Massachusetts Council on Family MediationMember2007 - Present
Massachusetts Family and Probate American Inn of CourtMember2000 - Present
Boston Bar AssociationMember1996 - Present
Vermont Bar AssociationMember1992 - Present
Massachusetts Bar AssociationMember1985 - Present
Massachusetts Family and Probate American Inns of Court, Massachusetts ChapterPresident2010 - 2011
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Pierce v. PierceSJC upheld award of alimony to former wife after husband's retirement at age 65
DeMatteo v. DeMatteoSJC upheld parties' prenuptial agreement
Austin v. AustinAlimony waiver in prenuptial agreement upheld
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
Paternity and the Law of Parentage in MassachusettsTrial and Evidentiary Issues in Proving Paternity2002
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
New England School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1984
St Lawrence UniversityGovernmentBA - Bachelor of Arts cum laude1981
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Family Law Conference 2010Alimony: How Long Should It Last?2010
Anatomy of an Alienation CaseParental Alientation2010
New Child Support GuidelinesNew Child Support Guidelines2009
Alimony Summit 2009Alimony2009
High Conflict Divorce CasesHigh Conflict Divorce Cases2008
Ethical Issues in Family LawEthics in Family Law2008
Alimony Summit 2007Alimony2007
Prenuptial & Postnuptial AgreementsPrenuptial & Postnuptial Agreement2006
Family Law AppealsFamily Law Appeals2005
MBA Annual Family Law ConferenceDrafting tips for prenuptial agreements, separation agreements and cohabitation agreements2002
Family Law Appeals Process: A Judicial ViewFamily Law Appeals2002
DeMatteo: How has it altered the standard for enforceability of antenuptial agreements set forth in Osborne v. Osborne?Enforceability of antenuptial agreements2002