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James R. Demmel

About me

I represent individuals experiencing a separation or divorce, including dividing assets, determining income and expense issues (support) and resolving parenting arrangements (custody). I prepare and review prenuptial agreements, midnuptial agreements and cohabitation agreements. I also prepare estate planning documents such as wills, powers of attorney, living wills and trusts; and administer estates. I represent clients as an attorney and I am also an experienced mediator, helping couples to resolve conflicts. My goal is to address my clients’ needs in the most effective and efficient manner to maximize the benefit and control the costs. I want my clients to appreciate the work I have done for them and enthusiastically recommend my services to their friends and family who need legal help. If I cannot help you, I will do my best to refer you to another trusted attorney who can handle your situation.

I prefer to help my divorce and other family law clients resolve their problems in a private, respectful process that minimizes the negative effects of divorce or other relationship change on themselves and their children. I emphasize helping my clients maintain a positive relationship with their spouse or partner during and after my involvement. I strongly believe that individuals achieve the best outcomes by investing their time, money and energy in a purposeful way to reach win-win agreements without court intervention. Divorce can cause great stress for families so I strive to minimize that stress for my clients, while offering creative solutions based on each family’s specific circumstances. I encourage communication between divorcing parents, which allows them to continue jointly raising their children in a cooperative way and helps them serve as positive role models to their children.

When you hire me to represent you, you are getting my services. Not an associate to whom I hand off your matter. I am in practice on my own by my choice. One important reason I established my own law office was to provide personalized services to my clients without the obstacles and limitations of a larger office. I strive to help my clients while being paid fairly for my work. I enjoy the satisfaction of making my clients’ lives better while supporting their families and my family.
I strongly recommend that my clients use the court process (litigation) as a last resort and make determined efforts to resolve conflicts by agreement if possible. At the same time, I am experienced in litigation and will use the court process effectively and efficiently if that is the only option. My job is to help my divorce and other family law clients resolve their conflicts in the best way possible, not to carry on their conflicts as a surrogate in a never-ending battle. My office is located in Cumberland County and I practice primarily in Cumberland, Dauphin and York counties.

I enjoy giving my estate planning clients the peace of mind associated with knowing that their instructions to surviving family and friends are clear, direct and precise through their Wills and that through powers of attorney and living wills they have provided another trusted individual with decision-making authority if they are unable to make their own healthcare or financial decisions.


Practice areas


  1. Divorce: 50%
    13 years
  2. Estate Planning: 30%
    13 years
  3. Mediation: 20%
    13 years


Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

6 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Susan E. Good

    Jim provides effective, efficient and personalized representation to his clients. Jim offers a thoughtful and practical approach to resolving client issues with as little conflict as possible.


    Susan Good Family Attorney
    Relationship: Worked together on matter

  • Jennifer L. Spears Brenize

    Jim is knowledgeable and conscientious, as well as a zealous advocate. He has a true passion for collaborative law and resolving legal issues for his clients.


    Jennifer Spears Brenize Family Attorney
    Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
AV Preeminent RatedMartindale-Hubbell2015
Rising StarSuper Lawyers Magazine2008
Rising StarSuper Lawyers Magazine2006
Rising StarSuper Lawyers Magazine2005
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
OwnerDemmel Law Office, LLC2013 - Present
PartnerSmigel, Anderson & Sacks, LLP2002 - 2013
Association namePosition nameDuration
Cumberland County Bar AssociationMember2013 - Present
Collaborative Professionals of Central PennsylvaniaPresident 2012 - 20132006 - Present
International Academy of Collaborative ProfessionalsMember2006 - Present
Dauphin County Bar AssociationMember2003 - Present
Dauphin County Bar Association, Family Law SectionMember2003 - Present
Dauphin County Bar Association, Family Law SectionChair2012 - 2013
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Widener University School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor2003
Pennsylvania State UniversityCommunity PsychologyOther - Masters1996
Shippensburg University of PennsylvaniaPsychologyBA - Bachelor of Arts1990
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Pennsylvania Psychological Association Annual ConferenceRole of Psychologists in Collaborative Law Process2013
Dauphin County Bar Association Continuing Legal Education ProgramFamily Law Updates2013
Dauphin County Bar Association Continuing Legal Education ProgramFamily Law Updates2010