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Carlos M. Lastra

Divorce and separation Attorney at Bethesda, MD

5.0   109 reviews
Virtual consultation available
Virtual consultation available
  • State Years
    Maryland - MD 23 years
    Dist. of Columbia - DC 30 years
    Florida - FL 31 years
  • Licensed for 23 years
    State MD
    Acquired 2000
    Status
    Active No misconduct found
  • Licensed for 30 years
    State DC
    Acquired 1994
    Status
    Good Standing No misconduct found
  • Licensed for 31 years
    State FL
    Acquired 1992
    Status
    Member in Good Standing No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Carlos

Learn Carlos’s areas of practice.

MY FOCUS IS TO ACHIEVE THE CLIENT'S GOALS IN A PROFESSIONAL, COST-EFFICIENT AND STRATEGIC MANNER.

[Si Hablo Espanol]

“My singular focus is to achieve the client's goals in a professional, cost-effective and strategic manner, to ensure that the results accomplished for my client will remain long-lasting and provide them with peace of mind.”

Carlos M. Lastra is a Partner and Co-chair of Cipriani & Werner’s Washington DC Metropolitan area Family Law practice group, Chair of the Florida Litigation and Family Law practice groups, and a member of its Litigation practice group. Mr. Lastra is an elite lawyer who provides clients with diligent, strategic, thoughtful and effective representation, addressing both their immediate concerns and securing long-term solutions, in arguably the toughest times imaginable.

Mr. Lastra has represented clients in all aspects of family law - from complex high net worth divorces, with closely held businesses and property spanning multiple jurisdictions including foreign countries, to celebrity and highly sensitive divorces, involving hidden assets, and cases involving the acquirement of digital computer forensic evidence, as well as child custody relocation matters, to prenuptial agreements, all with the focus of preserving his clients’ ability to maintain their familial relationships, as well as their financial well-being. Mr. Lastra’s range of family law litigation experience also includes divorce, alimony, custody, child support, paternity, and property distribution cases. He also handles matters involving guardianships over property and individuals, including both minors and vulnerable adults, as well as contempt/enforcement actions, modifications actions, and domestic violence cases in Maryland, the District of Columbia and Florida.

Applying skills honed over thirty years of recurrent civil and criminal trials before judges and juries in federal and state courtrooms in multiple jurisdictions, Mr. Lastra employs his rich trial experience to create a strategy custom-made to meet the client’s objectives, anticipate the opposing party’s tactics, and ultimately achieve his client’s goals. In addition to Family Law, Mr. Lastra has also represented individuals and small businesses, in numerous jury trials, in a wide diversity of cases ranging from criminal conspiracy, fraud, R.I.C.O., and white-collar criminal cases, to contract claims, shareholder’s derivative actions, construction disputes, professional malpractice defense, and other commercial litigation matters.

As a result, Carlos Lastra is a highly accomplished trial lawyer who is sought after and regularly appears on television as a legal commentator, including Court TV, Fox, ABC and CBS, and who has been honored throughout his career with numerous awards and distinctions, including Legal Elite - Washington’s Top Attorneys, Smart CEO Magazine, top “Divorce Attorney” by Washingtonian and Bethesda magazine, Best Lawyers in America, Superlawyers, as well as Family Law Practitioner of the Year. Mr. Lastra’s intricate knowledge of complex domestic-relations cases and his ability to anticipate the opposition to develop effective case strategies, has earned him an “AV” rating, the highest rating possible from clients, peers and judges, by Martindale Hubbell. He is a Top-rated attorney.  

In addition to his legal acumen, Mr. Lastra is fluent in Spanish and is an active member in Hispanic civil and professional organizations. While in law school, he was a Certified Legal Intern, prosecuting felony cases for the Law Offices of Janet Reno, Miami-Dade State’s Attorney. He also served as a law clerk to the Hon. Leonard M. Rivikind.

Awards

Platinum Client Champion
AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating
Client's Choice 2022,2021,2020,2019,2018,2017,2016,2015,2012,2011,2010
Client's Choice
2022 2021 2020 + 8 ...
Top Contributor 2012
Top Contributor
2012

Photos and videos

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Location

Cipriani & Werner PC
Cipriani & Werner PC
100 M Street SE, Suite 600
Washington, DC, 20003
Cipriani & Werner PC
6411 Ivy Lane Suite 600
Greenbelt, MD, 20770
Cipriani & Werner PC
603 E. Fort King Street
Ocala, FL, 34471
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Reviews

5.0 / 5.0
  109 customer reviews
5 Star
 
99%
4 Star
 
0%
3 Star
 
0%
2 Star
 
0%
1 Star
 
1%
Client's Choice 2022
Client's Choice
Client's Choice is an Avvo award granted to attorneys with a significant number of client reviews over 4 stars in a given year.
Posted by anonymous | September 29, 2022
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Clear, Educational, and Honest
I had a two hour consultation with Mr. Lastra concerning my pending divorce and custody matter. I have multiple children with my spouse, including a stepchild from their previous marriage whose life I've been a part of since they were very little. Shortly into our meeting, Mr. Lastra asked me about my children and whether our relationship was biological, and then explained very compassionately that - unfortunately - if it were contested by either or both of their biological parents, he would not be able to guarantee me custody of or access to my stepchild as a de facto parent. He assured me that if he were representing me and I truly did want to pursue it against all odds that he would do everything in his power to help, but cautioned that it would likely be a long and costly uphill battle with an uncertain outcome. As heartbreaking as that was to hear, Mr. Lastra was the first lawyer to really prioritize and ask about my concerns for the children rather than choose to focus on my spouse and our finances and marital property. His honesty about that - the one outcome I care most about - gave me peace of mind that he wasn't just telling me what I want to hear to get me to sign his retainer. Additionally, while his consultation was not free, without my even having to ask, Mr. Lastra was extremely considerate of my budget. At the very beginning of the meeting, he verified the hourly rate that I had been quoted previously and told me how long his consultations with other people typically lasted. Then, every twenty minutes or so, he was kind enough to let me know how much billable time had elapsed and allowed me to set the pace of our discussion accordingly. Throughout the rest of our meeting, Mr. Lastra was both extremely inquisitive and educational. Rather than simply listen to my account of events, he engaged frequently, asking regular questions and taking notes. He also shared a wealth of his own knowledge, pulling from both general law and process as well as experiences gained from similar cases he'd handled in the past. During our consultation, I felt both well listened to and that I was speaking with an obvious expert. Prior to our meeting, I had discussed this matter with a few other lawyers, and while they were all quite professional and empathetic, none of them felt like they were being as realistic with me about the possible timelines, outcomes, costs, and the availability of themselves and their associates to adequately represent me and my family's interests as Mr. Lastra did. Though his rates are above average, my first impression from my consultation is that there is very good justification for it. He has absolutely earned my endorsement.
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Posted by anonymous | February 10, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
The Best Family Law Lawyer
Tough, extremely smart and dependable. When looking for a family law lawyer to represent me against my lawyer husband and his notoriously harsh family law lawyer I was told by an attorney that if my husband hired ——- “he wants a blood bath, not a divorce”. This was 100% true. Carlos turned very bad satiations around and gave me hope and positive movement out of what was my very worst of times. He is very smart, honest and very tough. He stands up to bullies with intelligence and without allowing them to paint you into a horrible person that you aren not.
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Posted by anonymous | October 18, 2022
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Consultation for an upcoming Legal Separation and Custody case
It was a pleasure meeting Mr Lastra. During my consultation, it was obvious that his knowledge was extensive and he helped me determine the best course of action in my upcoming separation and custody case. Not only did he provide ample time to describe what my ideal outcome could be, he allowed me time to ask any questions I had and provided a strategic course of action. He was very honest with me and helped me to put my wants and possible outcome into perspective. I’m glad I chose to work with him and look forward to working with Mr. Lastra in the future.
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Posted by anonymous | October 4, 2022
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Very knowledgable and articulate
I consulted with Mr Lastra to understand the legal landscape of my situation. He made me feel very comfortable talking with him. I was totally at ease. Equally important as his attorney/client manner, he showed a lot of experience as a lawyer. He clearly has a thorough understanding of the laws and realities affecting his area of practice. At the same time, he was able to frame things to me in clear, easy to understand guidance. I’m very happy to have consulted with him.
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Posted by Nicolas | September 16, 2022
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Consultation With Mr. Lastra
Mr. Lastra is an extremely knowledgeable lawyer with a lot of experience in family law. The consultation with him gave me a strong assurance of his capabilities and gave me ease of mind. Everything he said was clear, concise, and to the point.
Posted by Barbara | June 9, 2022
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Smart, Compassionate, Professional
Mr Lastra was called specifically to represent me in a contentious divorce with parenting plan, support, and domestic violence complexities. During our consultation appointment, he listened intently with compassion. Asked thoughtful, pertinent questions and laid out a progression plan. He was clam, concise and practical. I definitely will hire him.
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Posted by anonymous | May 31, 2022
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Professional and Informative
Mr. Lastra was extremely professional and informative as I knew very little about the legal process for divorce. He specifically explained what is allowed when it comes to divorce for Maryland, Virginia, and DC. He also clearly laid out the need to assess value of property and assets before and after marriage, providing advice on what homework needs to be done in advance.
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Posted by Clark | July 20, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Wonderful experience with the Carlos Lastra and his team.
Carlos Lastra and his team are true professionals. At the start of my divorce process I anticipated a nerve racking experience and possible rising anxiety. While my wife and I spoke of a collaborative effort in finalizing our divorce, I did not want thing to get contentious. With Mr. Lastra as my council I was in extremely good hands. He walked me through the process in a thoughtful, deliberate and patient manner while keeping stressors in check. The outcome was exactly what I had envisioned. I am very pleased and would highly recommend his team and services.
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Posted by Lydia | June 29, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Divorce
Great experience overall having Mr.Carlos Lastra as my attorney.Truly a professional and efficient. Divorce was a difficult time and Mr. Lastra was excellent in helping me understand and get through the process.Being Bilingual was specially helpful to me.With his help ,I was able to understand Divorce Process in Spanish and that was very important to me.
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Posted by Preetha | April 1, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Child Custody Win
I hired Mr. Lastra to assist me in divorcing my abusive husband and gaining custody of my two daughters. My very first impression of Mr. Lastra was through my initial phone conversation with his legal assistant. The first questions asked of me were about my wellbeing and safety, which stood out from my phone calls with other law firms who started the conversation around money. Mr. Lastra has been carefully considerate of the nuances of my case since day one, and he has also proven to be intelligent, resourceful, and capable. He was particularly sensitive about unique aspects of my cultural background and took care to better understand them as well. Mr. Lastra's performance in court also stood out to me because he was well prepared and adapted quickly to unexpected circumstances. Ultimately, Mr. Lastra was successful in winning full legal and physical custody of my children for me. I would absolutely recommend Mr. Lastra to anyone looking for a reputable, reliable divorce attorney.
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Posted by anonymous | February 17, 2021
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Consultation and Clarity
After shopping around for a lawyer, we came across Carlos and we are glad we found him. He was easy to talk with, and he made our options clear. He was the only one who provided the level of detail we needed and customized the legal advice to our situation. We also feel that he is aggressive and ready to handle any situation. We recommend Carlos Lastra without reservation.
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Posted by anonymous | January 19, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best Custody Lawyer in Maryland
Carlos handled my difficult custody case. He began strategizing right from the start of our consultation and proved throughout the case to be a master of family law. Mediation could have been a game of manipulation by my ex, but Carlos had prepared me for everything and protected my child’s best interest throughout. Carlos thought of everything drew up a strong all encompassing agreement. I honestly believe Carlos is the reason we are able to co-parent so well. I can’t thank Carlos enough.
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Posted by anonymous | September 16, 2020
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Expert advice exactly when I needed it!
I was faced with a challenging family law situation and reached out to Carlos Lastra for advice and counsel. During our conversation it became clear that I was speaking with a subject matter expert and a leader in the field of family law. The advice that I received was clear and concise, resulting in the absolute best possible outcome for me. In addition, I felt that Carlos took a personal interest in the outcome of my situation.
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Posted by Melanie | September 8, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Amazing Attorney
Divorce isn't easy and having a spouse surprise you with one, makes it that much more difficult. After my initial consultation with Mr. Lastra, I knew immediately that his representation was exactly what I was seeking. Mr. Lastra and his team made a very difficult situation easy to navigate and get through with a positive outcome. I highly, highly recommend Mr. Lastra and his firm!
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Posted by anonymous | September 6, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent Consultation
Once I realized that a custody battle was inevitable, I sought counsel from several attorneys. I ultimately decided to hire Attorney Carlos Lastra, shortly after our initial consultation. The reason is that during our consultation, Carlos provided me with several potential strategies, with substantial detail about how the laws work in these matters. What’s more, beyond a mastery of family law, Carlos is empathetic and puts himself in the position of his clients. This is particularly important as it allowed me to make the most informed decision to optimize time, resources, and desired outcomes. While I would not wish a custody battle on my worst enemy, I cannot recommend Carlos highly enough if you should find yourself in this situation. A consummate professional, with a distinct style that combines legal might and diplomacy, you can rest assured that Carlos has your best interest in mind.
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Posted by anonymous | August 30, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Truly excellent
Mr. Lastra’s help was really exceptional. From our first meeting, I could tell that he was very experienced and was used to navigating very complicated matters. He was very well prepared, courteous and knowledgeable. He really made me feel at ease and his approachable demeanor made me feel at ease. He was able to understand the unique aspects of my situation and his approach was very refreshing. He gave me some solid advice that I have already implemented. I will definitely be using his services.
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Posted by Bjorn | June 7, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Top Maryland Family Law attorney
As a client, I hold attorney Lastra in high regard. He is highly skilled in his specialized legal area, where focus, attention to detail, and maintaining panoramic understanding is paramount. Carlos is personable and adds sincerity to litigation. As an attorney, he effectively manages subordinate staff, and has the ability to compartment, delegate making him valuable in politically impactful cases. A gentleman as well, Carlos is a welcome addition to Washington.
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Posted by Chris | May 22, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
A Great Attorney and Firm
Carlos represented me well. He has the ability to lay out all of the different ways to approach a case in layman's terms. He kept me calm and confident throughout very stressful situations. I was so pleased with Carlos and his team that I began referring my personal business' corporate legal needs to his firm for employment law and contract guidance.
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Posted by A thankful physician | April 21, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
The Right Pilot for your Hurricane (Divorce)
After having four prior attorneys, I finally found Carlos who successfully navigated me through a difficult divorce. In thinking about the divorce experience, hiring a lawyer was a lot like hiring a pilot. I did not want someone who had just flown pleasure craft in smooth skies. After all, I figured there was going to be turbulence and lots of bumps along the way. I wanted a top gun with lots of experience handling tough cases and a record of great results; and a good communicator. What I got in Carlos was an attorney who piloted my case through a hurricane, and at times it was tough, shaky and scary enough to make me cry. Carlos was steady, fearless and had nerves of steel helping me through the turmoil. Like a great pilot, he routinely reassured me as we were traversing my hurricane of a divorce that we would land safely on the other side. Thank you, Carlos, for flying me through the storm, looks like clear sunny skies from here on out…
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Posted by Moon | April 20, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Thanks Carlos!
Extremely knowledgeable and responsive. Carlos has a lot of experience and can help you navigate your situation. I highly recommend him.
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Cost

Rates
  • Retainer Always
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card

Resume

AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Partner
  • Cipriani & Werner, P.C.
  • 2021 - Present
  • Principal
  • Paley Rothman Goldstein Rosenberg Eig & Cooper, Chartered
  • 2014 - 2021
  • Partner
  • Brodsky Renehan Pearlstein Lastra & Bouquet, Chartered
  • 2010 - 2014
  • Partner
  • Brodsky, Greenblatt, Renehan & Pearlstein, Chartered
  • 2007 - 2010
  • Associate
  • Brodsky, Greenblatt & Renehan, Chtd
  • 2000 - 2007
  • Of Counsel
  • Law Offices of James R.C. Dickey
  • 1997 - 2000
  • Special Assistant Public Defender
  • Miami-Dade Public Defender's Office
  • 1996 - 2000
  • Of Counsel
  • Ferro & Dickey
  • 1993 - 1995
  • Attorney
  • Law Offices of Carlos M. Lastra, P.A.
  • 1993 - 2000
  • Associate
  • Law Offices of Richard H. Ferro
  • 1992 - 1993
  • Certified Legal Intern
  • Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office
  • 1991 - 1992
  • Clerk
  • Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Leonard M. Rivikind
  • 1990 - 1990
View all work experience

Education

  • University of Miami School of Law
  • Juris Doctor
  • 1992
  • University of Miami
  • Bachelor of Arts
  • 1989

Sample of Legal Cases

  • High Profile Attempted Murder case
  • Negotiated work release sentence of 10 months
  • Innocent Impaired Client Framed by Boyfriend of 1st Degree Felonies
  • Acquitted of all charges by Jury
  • 40 Years in Prison Avoided
  • Acquitted of all felony charges by Jury
View all legal cases

Associations

  • Maryland State Bar Association, Family and Juvenile Law Section
  • Member
  • 2009 - Present
  • Maryland Hispanic Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2008 - Present
  • Montgomery County Bar Foundation
  • Bar Leader
  • 2006 - Present
  • Montgomery County Bar Association
  • Pro Bono Initiative Committee Chair, Family Law Section
  • 2009 - 2010
  • Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia
  • Member
  • 2009 - 2013
  • Montgomery County Bar Association, Fee Dispute Committee
  • Co-chair
  • 2009 - 2012
  • Montgomery County Circuit Court
  • Settlement Facilitator
  • 2009 - 2011
  • Montgomery County Bar Association, Family Law Section
  • Co-chair
  • 2005 - 2006
  • Montgomery American Inn of Court
  • Barrister
  • 2005 - 2011
  • Montgomery County Bar Association, Family Law Section
  • Co-chair, Program Committee
  • 2004 - 2005
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • Spanish
  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Washington DC Super Lawyer
  • Washington DC Super Lawyers
  • 2023
  • Maryland Super Lawyer
  • Maryland Super Lawyers
  • 2023
  • Maryland Super Lawyer
  • Maryland Super Lawyers
  • 2022
  • Washington DC Super Lawyer
  • Washington DC Super Lawyers
  • 2022
  • Best Lawyer, Family Law
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • 2022
  • Washington DC Super Lawyer
  • Washington DC Super Lawyers
  • 2021
  • Maryland Super Lawyer
  • Maryland Super Lawyers
  • 2021
  • Best Lawyer
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • 2021
  • DC Super Lawyer
  • District of Columbia Super Lawyers
  • 2020
  • Super Lawyer
  • Maryland Super Lawyers
  • 2020
  • Top Divorce Lawyers
  • Washingtonian Magazine
  • 2019
  • Top Attorneys
  • Bethesda Magazine
  • 2019
  • Super Lawyer
  • Maryland Super Lawyers
  • 2019
  • DC Super Lawyer
  • District of Columbia Super Lawyers
  • 2019
  • Top Lawyers
  • Washingtonian Magazine
  • 2018
  • DC Super Lawyer
  • District of Columbia Super Lawyers
  • 2018
  • Super Lawyer
  • Maryland Super Lawyers
  • 2018
  • Top Divorce Lawyers
  • Bethesda Magazine
  • 2017
  • DC Super Lawyer
  • District of Columbia Super Lawyers
  • 2017
  • Maryland Super Lawyer
  • Maryland SuperLawyers
  • 2017
  • DC Super Lawyer
  • District of Columbia Super Lawyers
  • 2016
  • Maryland Super Lawyer
  • Maryland Super Lawyers
  • 2016
  • AV Preeminent Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2016
  • Maryland Super Lawyer
  • Maryland Super Lawyers
  • 2015
  • DC Super Lawyer
  • District of Columbia Super Lawyers
  • 2015
  • Super Lawyer
  • Maryland Super Lawyers
  • 2014
  • Super Lawyer
  • District of Columbia Super Lawyers
  • 2014
  • Top Divorce Lawyers
  • Bethesda Magazine
  • 2013
  • Super Lawyer
  • Maryland Super Lawyers
  • 2013
  • DC Super Lawyer
  • District of Columbia Super Lawyers
  • 2013
  • DC Super Lawyer
  • District of Columbia Super Lawyers
  • 2012
  • Super Lawyer
  • Maryland Super Lawyers
  • 2012
  • DC Super Lawyer
  • District of Columbia Super Lawyers
  • 2011
  • Super Lawyer
  • Maryland Super Lawyers
  • 2011
  • Legal Elite, Washington's Top Attorneys, Reader's Poll
  • Smart CEO Magazine
  • 2010
  • Family Law Practitioner of the Year
  • Bar Association of Montgomery County
  • 2010
  • Community Service Award - Domestic Violence Project
  • Montgomery County Bar Foundation
  • 2010
  • Top Divorce Attorneys
  • Washingtonian Magazine
  • 2009
  • Who's Who in Law
  • Marquis Who's Who in American Law
  • 2007
  • Section Co-Chair of the Year
  • Montgomery County Bar Association
  • 2006
  • Bar Leaders
  • Montgomery County Bar Association
  • 2006
  • BV Rating
  • Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review
  • 2004
View all awards

Publications

  • Maryland Divorce and Separation Law Manual - MICPEL
  • Editor, Pleading and Litigation Tactics in Domestic Cases, 9th edition
  • 2009
  • Small Firm Business
  • Commentary, Anderson Publishing's Maryland Evidence Courtroom Manual
  • 2004
View all publications

Speaking Engagements

  • Montgomery County Commission for Women
  • Sus Derechos Legales en el Divorcio: Resumen y Temas Relacionados
  • 2014
  • Montgomery County Commission for Women
  • Maryland Divorce and Custody Law
  • 2014
  • Family Law Section
  • Immigration Issues in DV and Family Law Cases
  • 2010
  • Bar Association for Montgomery County, Family Law Section, Domestic Violence Pro Bono Initiative
  • Volunteer Attorney Training / Orientation
  • 2010
  • Montgomery County Commission for Women
  • Sus Derechos Legales en el Divorcio: Resumen y Temas Relacionados
  • 2009
  • Montgomery County Commission for Women
  • Maryland Divorce and Custody Law
  • 2009
  • Bar Association for Montgomery County, Family Law Section
  • Family Law Update
  • 2007
  • Montgomery American Inn of Court
  • When Domestic Violence Leads to Criminal Charges - Procedures and Strategies from Arrest to Trial
  • 2003
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (1)
Given (2)
Endorse Carlos
Divorce and separation Attorney | Jun 19
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Carlos is a formidable attorney in divorce litigation (and associated negotiation) in the State of Maryland. I have worked with Carlos on cases and have made a great number of referrals of clients to him with absolute confidence he will do all that he can to achieve a favorable outcome for the client."
Divorce and separation