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Erik Paul Arena

Family Attorney at Bethesda, MD

5.0   3 reviews

About Erik

Learn Erik’s areas of practice.

An Eagle Scout, Erik takes the oath to “help other people at all times” seriously, relentlessly pursuing what he believes is right. Erik guides people through the separation and divorce process with dignity and empathy (especially for their children), and is tenacious in representing their interests. While he realizes that the end of a marriage can be demoralizing, he reminds his clients that self-pity is tempting but ultimately counter-productive. He encourages them to take ownership of their situations and to be active in improving their own circumstances. He champions them in negotiation, mediation, or litigation to resolve their disputes efficiently so they can move forward to the next stage of life.

Erik is particularly experienced in representing high net worth people in property and alimony disputes, including those involving “chasing dollars”—finding money that’s been moved, uncovering concealed assets, or analyzing records and building models to accurately identify income from all sources. Erik is drawn to the hard cases, those nobody else wants or that are long-shot challenges. These often include spousal support, asset distribution, child support, or high-conflict custody and visitation disputes.

Erik is listed in Best Lawyers in America for Family Law and in the Maryland and DC editions of Super LawyersBethesda Magazine calls Erik one of the “Top 10 Family Law Attorneys Under 40.” He also has been recognized by his peers in the bar association with the President’s Citation for Outstanding Service and the Bar Leader award.

Erik isn’t determined only in the courtroom—he’s a “Tough Mudder” competitor who’s done two of the World’s Toughest Mudders (24 hours in the Vegas desert described as “the most extreme, insane, imposing, pulse-pounding, heart-stopping 24-hour obstacle course challenge on the planet”). The Churchill grad brings the same focused commitment to his service to the community where he grew up, which includes supporting Montgomery County Special Olympics athletes and feeding the homeless at Shepherd’s Table (a continuation of “helping other people at all times”).

Licensed for 17 years
State DC
Status Good Standing
Acquired 2006
Updated 06/08/2022
State MD
Status Active
Acquired 2004
Updated 07/12/2022

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

Contact Erik

Lerch, Early & Brewer, Chartered
7600 Wisconsin Avenue
Suite 700
Bethesda, MD, 20814

Reviews

5.0 / 5.0
  3 customer reviews
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Posted by Derek | March 4, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
A Truly Outstanding Lawyer
Erik recently represented me in a very contentious divorce. Not only is he a brilliant lawyer, but he's a wonderful human being. As an in-house lawyer myself, a big part of my daily job is to find good lawyers, and I've hired some of the very best attorneys in their respective fields from the world's largest firms. I can say, without hesitation, that Erik ranks among the best. He has a rare combination technical expertise, strategic thinking and pragmatism. Like all great lawyers, Erik knows the law inside out and has superb attention to detail. More importantly, however, is his understanding of the system and its pitfalls. Unfortunately, the custody portion of my case went to trial. From the beginning, Erik made every effort to facilitate settlement and he was very cost-conscious. I never doubted that he had my best interests in mind, which softened the blow of those inescapably tough compromises. Despite Erik's sensible approach to settlement, we found ourselves in court. During trial, Erik's performance was nothing short of masterful, both in terms of his arguments and delivery. Leaving aside his legal prowess, it was an absolute pleasure working with Erik, even under the circumstances. As a lawyer, I suspect that I wasn't the easiest client. Throughout my case, Erik was understanding and compassionate, yet stern precisely where he needed to be. His perfectly balanced approach inspired a level of confidence that helped me get through this ordeal. All that said, not only do I highly recommend Erik, but I'll forever be grateful for what he did for me and my family.
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Posted by Steve | May 12, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Divorce
I had my first contact with Erik in January 2015. We had a consultation to handle my impending divorce. My first impression of Erik was he was friendly and personable and very well spoken. I quickly realized that he was extremely knowledgeable as well. From our first meeting I knew Erik was the right attorney for me. I explained my situation and I also explained my personal priorities both for my family as well as my goals when the divorce was complete. Through the next 18 months Erik maintained regular contact while we worked together to finish up the process. Whether it was child custody, the sale of the family home or one of the many other things that pop up through the divorce process, Erik was always there. He was always prepared with ideas and suggestions but he also never lost sight of what my original goals were and he worked tirelessly to help get there. Erik is an attorney who "thinks outside the box". He always had suggestions, options and provided direction when I NEEDED IT. Perhaps most importantly he was very compassionate without being intrusive. I would recommend Erik to anyone who needs a great and talented attorney!
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Posted by Deepa | May 11, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
A true advocate for his client
From the moment I spoke with Erik Arena, I knew he was the right person to represent me in my divorce nightmare! He had a strategic approach that I was entirely on board with. He is extremely knowledgeable in his field and a very well-spoken man. If it weren't for his expertise and his knowledge of the court system, my divorce would have been a total nightmare (as I had experienced in another state with another lawyer, prior to moving to Maryland). I was going through a very bitter divorce process and I am so thankful he was on my side. He knew the details of my case better than I did! Erik always took the time to address my concerns and made himself accessible to me. What I especially liked about Erik was his ability to remain calm in what I thought were crisis situations. Erik’s work ethic and attention to the smallest detail and follow up are worthy of my sincerest respect and admiration. I highly recommend Erik to anyone who is in need of a divorce attorney. He truly is an advocate for his client. Thank you, Erik, for all that you did for me.
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Cost

Rates
  • Hourly Rates $ 385-385 per hour
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card

Resume

AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Principal
  • Lerch, Early & Brewer, Chartered
  • 2018 - Present
  • Partner
  • Dragga, Hannon & Wills, LLP
  • 2017 - 2018
  • Associate
  • Dragga Hannon Hessler & Wills, LLP
  • 2011 - 2016
  • Associate
  • Offit Kurman
  • 2009 - 2011
  • Associate
  • Deckelbaum Ogens & Raftery, Chartered
  • 2007 - 2009
  • Associate
  • Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell, LLP
  • 2005 - 2007
View all work experience

Education

  • University of Maryland School of Law
  • JD
  • 2004
  • Bucknell University
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 2001

Associations

  • Bar Association of Montgomery County
  • Co-Chair of Creating an Improved Tomorrow Program
  • 2014 - 2016

Languages Spoken

  • English

Awards

  • Best Lawyer -- DC Family Law
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • 2017
  • Best Lawyer - Maryland Family Law
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • 2017
  • Super Lawyer
  • Super Lawyers Magazine
  • 2017
  • Best Lawyer -- DC Family Law
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • 2016
  • Super Lawyer
  • Super Lawyers Magazine
  • 2016
  • Best Lawyer -- Maryland Family Law
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • 2016
  • Rising Star
  • Super Lawyers Magazine
  • 2015
  • Best Lawyer -- Maryland Family Law
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • 2015
  • President's Citation for Outstanding Service
  • Bar Association of Montgomery County, Maryland
  • 2014
  • Rising Star
  • Super Lawyers Magazine
  • 2014
  • Best Lawyers -- Maryland Family Law
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • 2014
  • Rising Star
  • Super Lawyers Magazine
  • 2013
  • Rising Star
  • Super Lawyers Magazine
  • 2012
  • Rising Star
  • Super Lawyers Magazine
  • 2011
  • Rising Star
  • Super Lawyers Magazine
  • 2010
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Diversity Recognition Award
  • University of Maryland School of Law
  • 2005
  • Public Service Award
  • University of Maryland School of Law
  • 2004
View all awards

Speaking Engagements

  • Family Law University: It’s All About the Children
  • How to Use Discovery to Your Advantage in a Custody Dispute
  • 2017
  • BAMC Family Section Program
  • Property-Related Tax Issues in Divorce
  • 2017
  • BAMC Family Section Program
  • Support Related Tax Issues in Divorce
  • 2016
  • BAMC Family Law Section Program
  • Child-related Tax Issues—What are they and what do you do with them?
  • 2016
  • BAMC Family Law Section Program
  • Phased Retirement for Federal Employees
  • 2015
  • BAMC Family Law Section CLE
  • Modification and Termination of Alimony
  • 2014
  • BAMC Family Law Section Program
  • Evicting the Non-Titled Spouse
  • 2010
  • BAMC Family Law Section Program
  • Tracing Non-Marital Property
  • 2009
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (1)
Given (1)
Endorse Erik
Family Attorney | Jan 26
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Erik is an assertive attorney who knows the law and gets results."