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Richard Dodd

Divorce and separation Attorney at Bethesda, MD

5.0   35 reviews

also known as Rick Dodd

Free consultation Virtual consultation available
Free consultation Virtual consultation available
  • State Years
    Maryland - MD 9 years
    Dist. of Columbia - DC 25 years
    Massachusetts - MA 37 years
  • Licensed for 9 years
    State MD
    Acquired 2014
    Status
    Active No misconduct found
  • Licensed for 25 years
    State DC
    Acquired 1998
    Status
    Good Standing No misconduct found
  • Licensed for 37 years
    State MA
    Acquired 1986
    Status
    Retired No misconduct found

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

About Richard

Learn Richard’s areas of practice.

5
Practice areas
  1. Child custody
    25%
    Advocacy for each parent's fair access and participation in the upbringing of their children.

  2. Divorce and separation
    25%
    Strategic and empathic divorce planning; principled and collaborative negotiator; experienced trial lawyer.

  3. Alimony
    15%
    Alimony is a highly charged issue which requires careful analysis and skilled negotiation and advocacy to tailor interim support toward a goal of financial independence.

  4. Child support
    15%
    Advocacy for appropriate child support to meet children's needs, shared between parents according to their earning capacities. Petitions for modifications due to changed circumstances.

  5. Family
    15%
    Comprehensive divorce and child custody advice and collaborative representation to promote positive co-parenting for childrens' benefit.

  6. Uncontested divorce
    5%
    I can counsel you and negotiate a mutual consent divorce agreement to spare you the expense and acrimony of a litigated divorce.

STRATEGIC, PRINCIPLED, AND COST-EFFECTIVE FAMILY ATTORNEY.

Strategic, principled and cost-effective family law attorney.

Awards

AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating
Client's Choice 2023,2022,2021,2020
Client's Choice
2023 2022 2021 + 1 ...

Location

Dodd Legal LLC
4800 Hampden Lane, Suite 200
Bethesda, MD, 20814

Reviews

5.0 / 5.0
  35 customer reviews
5 Star
 
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Client's Choice 2023
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 | January 9, 2024
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
The Resistant Divorcée
After a long separation I engaged Rick to represent me in negotiating a divorce. When my wife refused to negotiate Rick filed suit on my behalf; diligently conducted financial discovery and collaborated closely with our financial expert witness; worked effectively with my wife’s first and second attorneys over 18 months; and was tireless in his efforts to advance the case for trial. As I am a lawyer myself, I have admired his strategic recommendations throughout the case and trust his professional judgment as we embark on pre-trial mediation. Though the road is long, his guidance has been sound and reassuring.
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Posted by Walter | December 16, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Co-Parenting and Refinance Coaching to Keep Kids in the Family Home and My Life
Shortly after hiring Rick to represent me in a negotiated divorce and custody settlement, my wife’s attorney surprised me by presenting an incomplete agreement proposing an urgent refinancing/buyout of my interest in the family home, but only tentatively addressing child custody provisions. Rick provided me with parenting plan tools and resources that I shared with my wife, successfully and meaningfully promoting constructive dialogue. Rick understood my needs as a parent and encouraged me to seek co-parenting counseling with my wife to ensure equivalent parenting time with my children. Rick's depth of case knowledge and experience have allowed us to generate clarity in what could otherwise remain a chaotic and difficult process. Due to Rick’s diligence and insights into collaborative divorce negotiations I trust we will negotiate a fairer settlement than otherwise would have been the case.
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Posted by JRP | April 3, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Exceptional strategist and counselor
After my ex-spouse had threatened unilateral termination of my child access, I retained Rick to modify the child custody and support provisions of my outdated and unsatisfactory divorce settlement agreement. Rick was strategic in registering my D.C. order in Maryland, then filing a petition to modify custody and support. He initiated negotiations for a consent order with opposing counsel soon after filing, and persevered after my ex-spouse fired her attorneys and stalled negotiations for months. As the trial date approached Rick was judicious and expedient to avoid wasting time and fees on discovery, opposed a meritless motion for contempt of child support expenses, and coached me through mediation. Ultimately, he negotiated a satisfactory agreement providing for continuing shared custody of our teenaged daughters and child support proportional to our incomes that will restore balance in our co-parenting relationship. Rick had my back at every stage, kept his efforts directed at my objectives, and was a faithful counselor throughout. Thank you Rick!
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Posted by anonymous | December 19, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Restoring a Balance in Parental Visitation
I engaged Rick to represent me in child custody proceedings I had filed in the District of Columbia involving visitation with a mentally ill mother. Although my daughter lived primarily with me and my wife, the D.C. court ordered visitation of three weekends per month with her impaired mother. Rick noted that the D.C. court lacked jurisdiction and refiled the case in Maryland where all parties now live. I expect to receive court custody evaluator services in Maryland that weren’t available in D.C. I appreciate and trust Rick’s expertise and diligence in pursuing a more realistic custody schedule that best serves my daughter's wellbeing.
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Posted by anonymous | June 14, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Highly recommended for custody and divorce issues
I consulted Attorney Dodd at a time when my wife was traveling with my 11 and 16 year old children, against my wishes. I was already concerned that her behavior was contrary to the children’s best interest, and episodes of severe verbal and corporal punishment and erratic driving escalated my concern about their safety. Rick counseled me about divorce and custody options, and encouraged counseling with a Pastor and court-ordered custody evaluation, without exerting any pressure. Eventually I decided not to pursue divorce, but instead arranged counseling for my wife in my children’s best interest. Rick was patient and concerned throughout, and refunded a substantial unspent retainer when I notified him of my decision not to divorce. I would highly recommend Rick to anyone considering divorce and custody issues.
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Posted by Rich | June 5, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Good advice lead to a satisfactory mutual consent divorce
I have no kids in my marriage but did have a complicated property arrangement with my then-wife. I tried for a long time to complete a settlement agreement with my spouse. We went through mediation but my wife got cold-feet and refused to honor the resulting agreement. We then went through several stages alternating small progress and stagnation. I originally hesitated to hire a divorce attorney, being wary of escalating and extending the divorce process, but finally found then engaged Rick. He filed suit to prompt my spouse to hire a lawyer who could provide sound guidance to her about her legal options: alimony, post-divorce health insurance, and allocation of several separately owned real properties between us. Rick negotiated a marital settlement agreement that gave us each what we wanted, enabling us to file for a mutual consent divorce. When we hit roadblocks, Rick provided calm advice I found trustworthy and retained a "we can work things out" attitude through my entire engagement. I appreciated Rick’s sound judgment and patience over more than a year and would recommend him to others looking for a negotiated settlement and mutual consent divorce.
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Posted by anonymous | December 30, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Satisfied client
I retained Rick/Mr. Dodd to advise and represent me in litigation aimed at reducing my substantial alimony now that I've had to retire to care for my chronically ill second wife. I am more than satisfied that he has been diligent in gathering my former wife's financial documents and analyzing our respective residual incomes and expenses to demonstrate that my current alimony is unsustainable. He has been strategic and tenacious, yet civil, in communications with the opposing attorney as we attempt to promote an amicable settlement. I have full confidence in his ability to bring about a good result, whether by settlement or after trial. He has more than met all my expectations, demonstrating empathy and cost consciousness. He has always been quickly responsive to my inquiries; easy to reach, easy to talk to. He has been an understanding and steadfast advocate of my cause. I look forward to a final and fair resolution in the very near future. I highly recommend Mr. Dodd and offer an enthusiastic endorsement of Rick's legal services.
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Posted by anonymous | October 1, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Child Support Case
Attorney Dodd appeared in court to defend me at an interstate paternity and child support hearing on short notice, and thereafter was diligent over several months explaining the law, calculating child support estimates in different states, and guiding me in gathering evidence and preparing me to testify at two subsequent hearings. With his help, we got the case dismissed for lack of proper service of process and lack of necessary contacts with the District of Columbia to justify the exercise of jurisdiction over me, since I live in another state. Rick was an ally and a strong advocate on whom I relied and recommend him highly.
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Posted by James | June 14, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best Family/Divorce Lawyer!!
Going through a divorce process is one of the most emotionally, financially and psychologically draining processes. Divorces are very complicated and very intimidating, but hiring Richard Dodd (Rick) to represent me during my complicated divorce case was, by far, the best decision through that process. Rick was very helpful, responsive, patient, very easy to talk to and always made time for me and hand-holded me throughout the whole process There aren't enough positive words to describe the level of professionalism, expertise, and quality of care given by Richard Dodd. He assisted me and was always very prompt in responding to any questions or concerns that I had. He handled the process with utmost zeal from the time I contacted him, to the discovery process, negotiations with my Ex’s lawyer, to settlement outside of the court. Rick always had my back! Once you work with him, you will understand why he is one of the most highly recognized family and divorce attorneys in the DC Metro area. I would highly recommend this firm to anyone!!!
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Posted by anonymous | June 13, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Helpful, Caring, and Professional
After representing myself for months in unproductive negotiations with my wife’s attorney, during the month before trial I retained Rick Dodd to advise me about the law and calculate various parenting schedules and child and support scenarios, which resulted in a settlement he presented to the judge, saving the cost and uncertainty of a trial. Rick was diligent, creative and calmly reassuring during a most difficult time. I would happily recommend him to anyone going through a divorce, especially involving children’s issues.
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Posted by Andrew | February 19, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Compassionate & Understanding
Mr. Dodd was compassionate and understanding while helping me through the process of separation/divorce. I was kept informed every step of the way and all of my questions were answered no matter how trivial. Even though my situation was probably more straightforward than most, I still felt like a highly valued client. I would recommend Mr. Dodd to anyone without hesitation.
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Posted by anonymous | December 28, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Sound Tactical Judgment
In the year I’ve worked with Rick, he’s worked diligently to negotiate a reasonable marital settlement with my wife, who deserted me three years ago after I retired. My wife’s attorney finally surfaced, six months after I filed for divorce and only three months before trial, and belatedly filed her Counter-Complaint and discovery requests to obtain negotiating leverage. Rick promptly filed to dismiss her untimely claims to protect my retirement savings. I trust Rick’s tactical judgment will see me through this difficult divorce and recommend him highly.
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Posted by Brian | November 28, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Very helpful and level-headed
I appreciated Rick’s advice and persistence in persuading my wife to negotiate an uncontested divorce. I had previously failed to respond to my wife’s divorce complaint which the court dismissed, largely because we couldn’t agree who would accept responsibility for accumulated debt for an automobile that she exclusively drove – until she left it (and accumulated traffic citations) in my driveway when she left Maryland! Rick filed suit on my behalf and negotiated directly with my wife (who was unrepresented), eventually gaining her trust and acquiescence to assign ownership of the vehicle to me. This was a very stressful time in my life but Rick’s coaching was comforting. I'm grateful for his guidance and legal counsel.
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Posted by anonymous | October 4, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent Service & Representation
Attorney Dodd worked with me and my unrepresented husband to draft a mutual consent divorce agreement and expedite filing and obtaining an uncontested divorce, mindful of imminent immigration deadlines, and submitted the divorce directly to the Judge to eliminate the typical 40-day waiting period for a final decree.
Posted by anonymous | September 24, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
A Long Separation
I contacted Attorney Dodd after I had separated from my husband of several years. We had grown apart, yet a financial dependency kept us from moving on with our separate lives. Attorney Dodd helped frame a marital property settlement enabling us to sell our marital home and split the proceeds, but without alimony and keeping our respective retirement savings. With patience and civility we filed our mutual consent divorce nearly a year later. I’m grateful for Attorney Dodd’s efforts to move the process forward at the pace which we both could handle and his continuing assistance through the correct allocation of proceeds from the sale of our co-op apartment pursuant to the divorce agreement.
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Posted by anonymous | February 16, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Highly Recommended. Mr. Dodd is Very Thorough, Polite, and Accessible
I came to Mr. Dodd at the beginning of my divorce. I was served with a surprise notice of divorce and did not have much time to get a lawyer. My ex was also going for full custody of our child. I needed the best lawyer available due to the high-risk situation I was in. Richard Dodd got the results I needed. He warned me of what to do and not to do as well as walked me through the process. I did do some of the paperwork myself (especially getting my own paperwork together during the period of discovery) to save money. I was able to get 50-50 custody without paying child support. That was a HUGE win. I was also able to keep my own assets (stocks and car) and Mr. Dodd negotiated an increased amount for me to get from our marital real estate property. We did not have to go to trial, but Mr. Dodd prepared me to do so if I needed to. Even months after the case ended Mr. Dodd would still pick up his phone to answer my questions or email with me if I needed an explanation. I cannot recommend Mr. Dodd enough.
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Posted by Sophie | December 10, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Represented me in a custody dispute
Within a year of my divorce I engaged Rick to represent me when my ex-husband presented me with a one-sided Parenting Agreement that would have reduced my parenting time with our four-year old to only six nights monthly, with no child support, and giving him sole decision-making so he could relocate and enroll her in kindergarten in the District of Columbia. After mediation was unsuccessful Rick filed a Motion to Modify Child Custody and Support, and after further mediation Rick negotiated a Consent Custody & Child Support Agreement giving me child support and fair parenting time, and even partial payment of my attorney’s fees. Rick was patient, diligent and loyal to the end.
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Posted by Fabio | September 19, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent; very skilled and helpful
I retained Rick Dodd to advise and represent me in divorce proceedings where my wife had terminated visitation with my pre-school children and communications had broken down. Because she was not represented by a lawyer, Rick was patient in correspondence requesting her financial records, and she emailed them the evening before the initial child support hearing. Overnight Rick generated an analysis of her self-employment income which the Judge adopted in his child support calculations. Rick skillfully redirected her testimony to focus on relevant issues. I’m relying on Rick’s judgment and advice while we are still litigating an equitable parenting schedule.
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Posted by anonymous | July 1, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
A Comprehensive and Compassionate Approach to my Divorce
I engaged Rick Dodd after my husband (who abandoned the marriage and was living elsewhere) refused to discuss household and child expenses with me, referring me instead to his snarky lawyer. Rick quickly assessed my case, promptly filed a Complaint and discovery requests for documents and information, and has diligently pressed the case forward despite the court closure during the pandemic. He is both empathic and pragmatic in counseling me, and has demonstrated himself to be a strategic litigator. I have confidence in Rick’s plan for managing the case to obtain my objectives.
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Posted by Jerry | February 12, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Doing (Next To) The Impossible
I thoroughly recommend the legal services of Richard (Rick) Dodd. I found Rick through a couple of referrals. I was seeking to end a long, unhappy (same sex) relationship. As there was never a marriage (and no conventional law that applied but for a partnership agreement), Rick was able to negotiate a settlement for me that, frankly, I was not thinking could actually happen. But he persevered, looked at all the options, and steered me to salvation. We had a terrific working relationship and I felt I was his only client - a good feeling.
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Cost

Rates
  • Free Consultation 10 minutes
Payment methods
Credit Card

Resume

AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Principal Attorney
  • Dodd Legal LLC
  • 2014 - Present
  • Senior Counsel
  • Inmarsat Global Communications
  • 2012 - 2014
  • Senior Counsel
  • Vodafone Global Communications
  • 2011 - 2012
  • Senior Consultant
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • 2009 - 2011
  • Senior Counsel
  • Sprint Nextel Corporation
  • 2006 - 2009
View all work experience

Education

  • Yale School of Management
  • MBA - Master of Business Administration
  • 1997
  • Boston University Law School
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1986
  • Yale University
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1981

Associations

  • Bar Association of Montgomery County Maryland
  • Attorney-Client Fee Disputes Mediator
  • 2021 - Present
  • District of Columbia Academy of Collaborative Professionals
  • Member
  • 2019 - Present
  • District of Columbia Bar
  • Attorney-Client Arbitration Board Panelist
  • 2014 - Present
  • International Academy of Collaborative Professionals
  • Member
  • 2014 - Present
  • Collaborative Dispute Resolution Professionals
  • Member
  • 2014 - Present
  • Montgomery County Inns of Court
  • Barrister
  • 2021 - 2024
  • Bar Association of Montgomery County Maryland
  • Continuing Legal Education Committee Member
  • 2015 - 2017
  • American Mock Trial Association
  • Moot Court Judge
  • 2015 - 2016
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English
  • French

Honors and Awards

  • AV Preeminent Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2024
  • AV Preeminent Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2023
  • AV Preeminent Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2022
  • AV Preeminent Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2021
  • Distinguished (BV)
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2014
View all awards

Speaking Engagements

  • Montgomery County Bar Association, Elder Law Section
  • Getting Paid
  • 2017
  • Montgomery County Bar Association
  • Client Trust Account Management
  • 2016
  • Montgomery County Bar Association
  • Working with Clients in Limited Scope Divorce Engagements
  • 2015
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (7)
Given (6)
Endorse Richard
Family Attorney | Oct 03
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Rick is a practical attorney with a keen mind. He works hard to navigate and understand the needs of his clients in a very sensitive practice area."
Family Attorney | Aug 05
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. I had the pleasure of working with Mr. Dodd on a contentious family matter. He advocated for his client with zeal, yet maintained a professional demeanor."
Family Attorney | Jul 17
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Rick is an excellent family law attorney, with just the right balance of compassion and zealousness for his clients. He is financially savvy and capable of coaching his clients to take decisive action to preserve their assets. He has consulted with me on issues his clients face when selling an underwater marital property and handling potential liability for the mortgage balance."
Unknown Attorney | Jun 28
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Rick Dodd is an excellent attorney and colleague. I have found him to have an extremely keen legal mind, great communication skills, and an unusually strong business sense that’s informed by his MBA background. I trust Rick so much, in fact, that I even referred a close family member to him."
Family Attorney | Jun 28
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I have known Richard Dodd for over 5 years. During that time, Richard and I have collaborated on a number of matters and I have grown to appreciate his expertise in family law and general financial analysis."
Family Attorney | Aug 14
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Rick is a thorough, detailed, and ethical attorney. He is devoted to coaching his clients to pursue principled and pragmatic strategies to meet their family’s needs. While he is a seasoned litigator and trial attorney, I trust that his clients benefit most from his advice with regard to negotiating marital settlements and custody agreements to minimize cost and strife. Because he practices in a county far from my location, I am glad to refer cases to him as I know he serves clients in a cost-effective manner."
Family Attorney | Oct 13
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Rick is meticulous, thorough and caring. His knowledge of the law and attention to detail bolster his strong client advocacy."
View more endorsements
Uncontested divorce
Employment and labor
Foreclosure
Bethesda Divorce and separation Lawyer Richard Dodd
Richard Dodd
Divorce and separation Attorney
Bethesda, MD
Licensed for 37 years
Free Consultation
Virtual consultation available