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Jessica Markham

Family Attorney at Bethesda, MD

5.0   8 reviews

also known as Jessica Ghaffari


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About Jessica

Learn Jessica’s areas of practice.

Jessica Markham practices all aspects of family law in Maryland and Washington, D.C. She has trial experience in Montgomery County, Prince George's County, Baltimore County and Washington D.C. courts and is also trained in Collaborative Law. Ms. Markham also handles guardianship matters and is frequently appointed by the Court as an attorney for Allegedly Disabled Adults and as Guardian of the Property. Ms. Markham has also been appointed by the court in Family Law matters as a Child Privilege attorney and a Best Interest Attorney (formerly Guardian Ad Litem).

Ms. Markham is the author of the American Bar Association book published March 2021, entitled “Representing Federal Employees and Their Spouses in Divorce: A Practical Guide.” 

Ms. Markham also has an active mediation practice, helping parties to resolve both custody and divorce/property disputes as a neutral. Ms. Markham frequently serves as a court appointed custody mediator in the Montgomery County Circuit Court Child Custody/Access Mediation Program and as an Attorney-Facilitator through Montgomery County Circuit Court, Family Division Services. Ms. Markham has been approved by the Maryland Administrative Office of the Courts as a Circuit Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Practitioner mediator and serves on the roster of court-approved divorce/property mediators in Montgomery County. Ms. Markham also previously mediated in the Family Mediation Program, Multi-Door Dispute Resolution Division of the DC Superior Court and in 2015 she participated in a study through the National Institute of Justice and Indiana University Maurer School of Law, mediating cases with parties reporting a high incidence of Interpersonal Violence, utilizing both shuttle and video-conferencing methods. Ms. Markham is also on the Court-Approved roster of ADR Facilitators in the DC Superior Court.

In 2018, 2019 and 2020 Ms. Markham was recognized by her peers for inclusion in "The Best Lawyers in America"© in the field of Family Law, for the Washington D.C. Area. The entire firm was ranked in the category of Best Family Law Firm in 2019 and 2020. Best Lawyers is a purely peer review publication.

Ms. Markham served on the Montgomery County Commission for Juvenile Justice, having been appointed by County Executive Ike Leggett and confirmed by the County Council in 2015.

Ms. Markham is honored to have been selected as a Daily Record 2016 Leading Woman. The Daily Record's Leading Women awards honor 50 women who are 40 years of age or younger for their accomplishments in their careers so far. A panel of previous winners selected the honorees based on their professional experience, community involvement and commitment to inspiring change.

Ms. Markham is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. The Fellows comprise a global honorary society of attorneys, judges, law faculty, and legal scholars whose public and private careers have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the highest principles of the legal profession and to the welfare of their communities. Established in 1955, Fellows support the research of the American Bar Foundation.

Ms. Markham has also received a Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating of AV Preeminent in the field of Family Law. Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings are ratings by legal peers reflecting Very High General Ethical Standards and Legal Ability (including Legal Knowledge, Analytical Capabilities, Judgment, Communication Ability and Legal Experience). In addition, Ms. Markham has been selected for inclusion as a "Rising Star" by Maryland SuperLawyers Magazine (2011-2019) and Washington DC SuperLawyers Magazine (2013-2019).

Since 2013, Ms. Markham has had the pleasure to serve as a Judge of various local mock trial competitions, including the Maryland State Bar Association Mock Trial Competition, George Washington University Mock Trial invitational and the American Law School invitational.

In law school Ms. Markham served as a Florida Supreme Court Certified Legal Intern for the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office where she focused on prosecution of juvenile misdemeanor and felony crimes.

Prior to the formation of the Markham Law Firm, Ms. Markham was an associate and then a principal in one of the area's top boutique family law firms.

Ms. Markham has volunteered her time with numerous legal organizations including Wills for Heroes and the Whitman-Walker Legal serving transgender and gender expansive adult and minor clients.

Honors & Awards:

  • "The Best Lawyers in America"©, Family Law, Washington D.C. Area (2018, 2019 and 2020),
  • "The Best Lawyers in America"©, Best Family Law Firm (2019 and 2020);
  • Leading Woman, The Daily Record (2016),
  • Top Attorney, Divorce, Bethesda Magazine (2019)
  • Top Attorney, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Bethesda Magazine (2019)
  • Top Divorce Lawyer, Washingtonian Magazine (2019)
  • Top Vote Getter, Family Law Attorney, Bethesda Magazine Reader’s Poll (2020)
  • Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating of AV Preeminent (2013)
  • Rising Star, Maryland SuperLawyers Magazine (2011-2019)
  • Rising Star, Washington DC SuperLawyers Magazine (2013-2019).

Speaking Engagements/CLEs: Dividing Retirement Assets: From Private Employer Plans to Federal Pensions (American Bar Association, October 2020); Navigating Online ADR: Family Topics (Maryland Judiciary Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office, May 2020); Online Dispute Resolution- Moving Your Mediation Practice Online (Montgomery County Bar Association, April 2020); Retirement and Pension Benefits Issues – Federal, State, and Military (Montgomery County Bar Association, February 2020); Quick to Caucus (American Bar Association, April 2019; Montgomery County Bar Association, 2020); What the Heck is a QDRO and Why Do I Need One? (Montgomery County Bar Association, October 2016); Tips and Tricks for Drafting Retirement Provisions in Property Settlement Agreements (Montgomery County Bar Association, 2016); Litigating a Child Custody Case (Montgomery County Bar Association, 2016); The Legal Process of Separation and Divorce in Montgomery County (Montgomery County Women's Commission, 2012, 2015).

Bar Association, Professional Memberships: Solo/Small Firm Section Chair (Montgomery County Bar); Racial Justice Council, Community Outreach Committee (Montgomery County Bar); MSBA Membership and Content Committee; Montgomery County Bar Association (Member, Family Law Section); Women's Bar Association of Montgomery County (Treasurer 2014-2016, Board Member at Large 2016-2018); Maryland State Bar Association, Inc. (Member, Sections on: Family Law; Juvenile Law); DC Bar (Member, Family Law Section); Former Barrister Member, Montgomery County Inn of Court.

Licensed for 17 years
State DC
Status Good Standing
Acquired 2006
Updated 06/08/2022
State MD
Status Active
Acquired 2005
Updated 11/29/2022

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

Contact Jessica

Jessica Markham
7960 Old Georgetown Road #3b
Bethesda, MD, 20814

Reviews

5.0 / 5.0
  8 customer reviews
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Posted by clark | February 22, 2019
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Jessica Markham
I have known Jessica for a decade as a colleague. Her ability to mediate a case and help the parties reach a resolution is unparalleled. Her knowledge of the law is unmatched. I would recommend Jessica without any hesitation.
Posted by anonymous | February 8, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Pre- Marital Agreement
Jessica and her team were friendly and very easy to work with. I truly felt she had my best interest at heart. They made my process much enjoyable than I anticipated. Greatly appreciated and highly recommend!
Posted by Josh | September 19, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Fantastic Attorney and Law Firm-Exactly What I Needed
Jessica Markham and her team at the Markham Law Firm have represented me since the Fall of 2016 when I found myself in a very unusual, unfortunate, and highly emotional family law situation happening in two separate states (MD and AZ) at the same time. After initially meeting with Jessica it was clear that she was focused, organized and well-prepared for the rather difficult divorce and custody battle that I was about to face. She assisted me with finding a top-notch attorney in Arizona so that I could effectively defend myself in the divorce and custody jurisdiction case that had been opened without my knowledge, and she coordinated with my Arizona counsel to ensure that everyone was always on the same page. Once the Arizona battle had been fought and won Jessica and Leslie were prepared to continue the fight in Maryland without delay. Throughout the process Jessica and Leslie stayed in constant contact with me, and Leslie was more than patient with me when I would tend to ramble and get flustered over what was happening. Jessica even managed to stay active and involved in my case despite being on maternity leave which helped to emphasize just how much she cared. In my opinion Jessica and her team are the epitome of professional and classy, and never once did I feel as though they would consider stooping to the level of unprofessional-ism displayed by the opposing counsel in our case. When the other side seemed to be playing unfair and were dragging their feet, Jessica continued to take the high road and stayed professional and calm and was reassuring despite my frustrations. Jessica, Leslie, and Jillian all made me feel as though they truly cared about what was happening and were supportive of me when I felt like all hope was lost. On the flip side, they were also extremely honest and upfront and blunt during the times that I needed them to be, for which I am beyond grateful. I cannot speak highly enough about how comfortable she and her team made me feel throughout a highly emotional and unfair situation. I would highly recommend Jessica and the other awesome attorneys at her law firm and I will continue to have them represent me if needed in the future.
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Posted by Richard | September 6, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Jessica Markham- expert in Family Law
Jessica Markham is the Gold Standard for a Family Law attorney. Although still very young (35 ), she is mature beyond her years. Up against a veteran combative, uncooperative, and often unethical opponent, Jessica displayed every important legal and interpersonal skill one could ask for. Her understanding of the law, and great sense of timing and strategy were terrific. At all times she was completely organized and well-prepared. Jessica's ethics were of the highest order, and she never once lost her composure, despite encountering numerous difficult and provocative situations. Her total and complete commitment in every phase ( 2.5 years ) and aspect of my case was unquestionable. Her colleagues were also extremely supportive, responsive and competent. Additionally, I believe that she endeavoured to mitigate my legal costs as much as possible, often laying off more mundane work to assistants whose rates were far lower. At one point after a Pendente Lite Hearing, one of Maryland's top criminal attorneys, who by chance happened to be in the courtroom at the same time, waited around for 20 minutes after our post-Hearing caucus, just to get her card and commend her on her " phenominal execution " before the Magistrate. I am certain that Jessica will continue on to become one of Maryland's most highly- regarded Family Law lawyers ( if she is not already ), and that her firm- still in process of formation- will be an effective and influential legal aid for decades to come.
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Posted by Edye | September 24, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Allowed me to get on with my life.
It’s difficult to overstate how grateful I am to Jessica for guiding me, expertly and with real compassion, through a very adversarial and complex divorce. Throughout the process she was a good friend and fierce advocate—genuinely sympathetic and comforting, but also tenacious and thorough in getting me everything I had coming to me. Before Jessica took control of the process, I was disoriented and struggling to understand who I was, to say nothing of managing the dissolution of a 30-year marriage. But Jessica was so competent and thorough and comforting that I was able to simply trust her with everything—and get on with my life. To put it simply, she is the one who made it possible for me to restart my life. I am forever grateful to her for that, and to this day I consider her a dear friend.
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Posted by Gene | August 7, 2015
Jessica Markham
Jessica Markham handled my divorce. She was sensitive to our wish to be as non-adversarial as possible and to my wanting to hold down costs. She is responsive, helpful and very good with her work. I highly recommend her.
Posted by Tara | April 25, 2015
Perfect match
Mrs. Markham has represented me in divorce/custody disputes since 2009. She has proven to be highly competent, flexible and accommodating. I continually get the impression that my case is important to her, despite her busy schedule. Her ability to remain agile and thorough sometimes at a moments notice is impressive.
Posted by anonymous | June 18, 2014
Great attorney
Ms. Markham is a great attorney. She is knowledgable, organized, and personable. Jessica keeps you updated via timely emails, and phone calls. Jessica took the time to listen, and understand my case. To understand my perspective and organize the logic, and of course the law, around it. I cannot thank her enough.
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Contact for Details

Resume

AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Owner
  • Markham Law Firm
  • 2015 - Present
  • Principal
  • Paradiso, Taub, Sinay & Owel, PC
  • 2005 - 2015

Education

  • University of Miami School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 2005
  • University of Maryland
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 2002
  • University of Maryland
  • BS - Bachelor of Science
  • 2002

Associations

  • Montgomery County Commission on Juvenile Justice
  • Commissioner
  • 2015 - Present
  • Family Law Section, Montgomery County Bar Association
  • Program Chair
  • 2015 - Present
  • Shakespeare Theatre Company
  • Mock Trial Committee, Bard Association
  • 2011 - Present
  • D.C. Academy of Collaborative Professionals
  • Member
  • 2011 - Present
  • Montgomery County Inn of Court
  • Barrister Member
  • 2009 - Present
  • Montgomery County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2005 - Present
  • Maryland State Bar Association, Inc.
  • Member
  • 2005 - Present
  • Montgomery County Chapter, Women's Bar Association of Maryland
  • Treasurer 2015-2017
  • 2005 - Present
  • Montgomery County Bar Foundation School Education Mentoring Program
  • Attorney Mentor
  • 2009 - 2010
  • Montgomery County Maryland Bar Foundation
  • Charity Classic Committee; Chair, Silent Auction Committee
  • 2005 - 2010
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

Honors and Awards

  • Rising Star
  • Maryland Super Lawyers Magazine
  • 2017
  • Best Lawyer, Washington DC Metro Area, Family Law
  • Best Lawyers
  • 2017
  • Rising Star
  • Maryland Super Lawyers Magazine
  • 2016
  • Rising Star
  • Washington DC Super Lawyers
  • 2016
  • Rising Star
  • Maryland SuperLawyers
  • 2015
  • Rising Star
  • Washington DC Super Lawyers
  • 2015
  • Rising Star
  • Maryland Super Lawyers
  • 2014
  • Rising Star
  • Washington DC Super Lawyers
  • 2014
  • Rising Star
  • Maryland Super Lawyers
  • 2013
  • Rising Star
  • Washington DC Super Lawyers
  • 2013
  • AV Peer Review Rating
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2013
  • Rising Star
  • Maryland Super Lawyers
  • 2012
  • Rising Star
  • Maryland Super Lawyers
  • 2011
View all awards

Speaking Engagements

  • Rita Rosencrantz Child Custody Training
  • Litigating a Child Custody Case
  • 2016
  • Bar Association of Montgomery County Maryland
  • Tips and Tricks for Drafting Retirement Provisions in Property Settlement Agreements
  • 2016
  • Bar Association of Montgomery County Maryland
  • What the Heck is a QDRO and Why Do I Need One?
  • 2016
  • 2012, 2014, When a Marriage Ends : Financial, Property and Practical Issues Both Wife and Husband Must Consider
  • 2012, 2014, El Proceso Legal de la Separación y el Divorcio en el Condado de Montgomery (Separation and Divorce in Montgomery County)
  • 2012
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (8)
Given (13)
Endorse Jessica
Family Attorney | Feb 26
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"Jessica is a strong advocate for her client while reasonable in her approach to the issues in dispute. She is creative with resolutions and open-minded to other ideas. I highly recommend her."
Family Attorney | Jan 10
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse Jessica. She is an absolute pleasure to work with and is very knowledge in all matters of Maryland family law."
Family Attorney | Feb 13
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Highly capable family law attorney who is dedicated to client success."
Family Attorney | Dec 05
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Whenever I need to provide a referral on a family law or divorce matter, Jessica is the first person who comes to mind. She is tough, smart, and always well-prepared. She also has a good heart, which means a lot when you are going through a tough family ordeal. If I were faced with a situation like that, she'd be the person I'd call."
Unknown Attorney | Jun 28
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I recently finished my second case with Jessica. I was impressed by her skill and knowledge and problem solving approach in both cases. She understands what so many divorce lawyers don't. That is you don't have to be unpleasant to get a good result for your client."
Marriage and prenuptials Attorney | May 04
Relationship: Other
"Jessica is a tireless advocate for her clients and is a preeminent attorney in the field. I strongly endorse her."
Family Attorney | Aug 12
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | Jan 31
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Jessica is a lovely person and a dedicated lawyer to her clients."
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Avvo Contributions

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Bethesda Family Lawyer Jessica Markham
Jessica Markham
Family Attorney
Bethesda, MD
Licensed for 17 years