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About me

Everybody has a special talent, a skill that gives them satisfaction and pleasure. Some are tap dancers, some are prize fighters. I am neither. I help people solve problems.

Over my 30 years of experience in resolving legal conflicts, I have learned and practiced problem-solving techniques that benefit and satisfy both parties without losing sight of my clients’ needs and feelings.

My foundation for this approach comes from my 20 years in the Army. During my five years as an enlisted man, I served as an ombudsman for the residents of lower-enlisted housing areas. The next 15 years I served in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG), negotiating claims against the Army. Over that time, I successfully resolved disputes both grand and small, from claims brought by US and foreign civilians and local governments (as well as other national governments) against the United States down to neighbor-to-neighbor arguments over parking spaces.

Since 1993, after I retired from the Army, I have restricted my practice to family law, predominantly in Montgomery County, Maryland. First as a solo practitioner and now in partnership with my daughter, Prudence Upton, at Avery & Upton, I have handled hundreds of divorce, child custody, child support, visitation, and other family issues, most often bringing them to resolution without the need for a trial.

I am certified as a mediator in both general civil matters and family law, focusing on property and child-related issues. I serve as a facilitator for the Family Law Division of the Montgomery County Circuit Court.

All of these experiences orient me toward Collaborative Practice. In this process, my clients resolve their own problems with their "other parties." They do this with my help and that of experts in personal finances, child psychology, and marriage counseling. Clients who have participated in this process are relieved to work together with their former partners rather than have a result imposed upon them by the judicial system.

I am admitted to practice before the Supreme Court (1984), Supreme Court of Kentucky (1976), Court of Appeals of Maryland (1992), and the DC Court of Appeals (1993). I am also admitted before the various US military appeals courts and the Court of Veterans Appeals. I am a member of the Bar of the Republic of Korea.

Every year I take several courses, workshops, and seminars to learn new skills and sharpen old ones.

I serve as President of the Collaborative Dispute Resolution Professionals, Inc. (CDRP), and I am a member of the Collaborative Law Society, the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, and the Maryland Collaborative Practice Council. I am also involved in the tri-state collaborative coordination group and tri-state collaborative training group. I am a member of the Maryland State Bar Association, the Kentucky Bar Association, the DC Bar, the American Bar Association, the American Association for Justice, the Federal Bar, and the Bar Association of Montgomery County.


Contact info

Avery & Upton

51 Monroe Street
Suite 701
Rockville, MD, 20850-2452

Practice areas


  1. Divorce: 40%
    27 years
  2. Child Custody: 30%
    27 years
  3. Family: 15%
    27 years
  4. Child Support: 10%
    27 years
  5. Domestic Violence: 5%
    27 years


Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

3 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Jac E Knust

    I endorse this lawyer. I have known Bruce for many years through professional associations. He is a very knowledgable and dedicated practitioner who appreciates the value to a client of exploring all settlement options and can assist the client in achieving their goals.


    Jac Knust Family Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Darcy A Shoop

    Bruce is a very dedicated Collaborative Practice attorney who understands client's needs and helps them achieve their goals with great compassion.


    Darcy Shoop Divorce and separation Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community


DCActive 199307/05/2016
KYAuthorized to practice law197607/09/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Listed in DC's Best LawyersBest Lawyers2015
Listed in Maryland SuperLawyersSuperLawyers2015
Listed in DC SuperLawyersSuperLawyers2014
Listed in DC's Best LawyersBest Lawyers2014
Listed in Maryland SuperLawersSuperLawyers2014
Listed in MarylandSuperLawyersSuperLawyers2013
Listed in DC SuperLawyersSuperLawyers2013
Listed in DC SuperLawyers 2012SuperLawyers2012
Listed in Maryland SuperLawyers 2012SuperLawyers2012
Listed in DC SuperLawyers 2011SuperLawyers2011
Listed in Maryland Superlawyers 2011SuperLawyers2011
Listed in DC Superlawyers 2010SuperLawyers2010
Listed in Maryland Superlawyers 2010Superlawyers2010
Listed in DC Superlawyers 2009SuperLawyers2009
Listed in Maryland Superlawyers 2009SuperLawyers2009
Listed in DC Superlawyers 2008SuperLawyers2008
Who's Who in American LawMarquis Who's Who2008
Who's WhoMarquis Who's Who2008
Listed in Maryland Superlawyers 2008SuperLawyers2008
Who’s Who in American LawMarquis Who's Who2007
Who’s Who in American LawMarquis Who's Who2006
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Adjunct ProfessorUniversity Of Maryland School Of Law2013 - Present
PartnerAvery & Upton2004 - Present
Sole PractitionerLaw Office of Bruce E. Avery1993 - 2003
Contract Hearing ExaminerDepartment of Employment Services1992 - 1993
Judge AdvocateUS Army JAG Corps1976 - 1991
Association namePosition nameDuration
Association for Conflict ResolutionMember2011 - Present
Assocation for Family and Conciliation CourtsMember2010 - Present
Collaborative Practice Training InstituteFounding Member2008 - Present
Collaborative Dispute Resolution ProfessionalsFounding Member and Past President2005 - Present
Collaborative Dispute Resolution ProfessionalsFounding Member2005 - Present
International Academy of Collaborative ProfessionalsMember2005 - Present
Maryland State Bar AssociationMember1993 - Present
District of Columbia BarMember1993 - Present
Montgomery County Bar AssociationMember1992 - Present
Federal Bar AssociationMember1984 - Present
American Association for JusticeMember1984 - Present
Kentucky Bar AssociationMember1976 - Present
American Bar AssociationMember1974 - Present
Maryland Collaborative Practice CouncilFounding Member2006 - 2011
International Legal Society, SeoulMember1987 - 1989
International Legal Society, TokyoMember1977 - 1980
Publication nameTitleDate
Strategies for Military Family LawChapter: “Specific Child Custody and Support Considerations in Military Family Law Cases,”2012
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of LouisvilleLawJD - Juris Doctor1976
Hobart CollegeSociologyBA - Bachelor of Arts1971
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Maryland Admistrative Office of the CourtsMultidisciplinary Collaborative Practice Training2014
Maryland State Bar AssociationMilitary Pensions2013
Maryland Administrative Office of the CourtsMultidisciplinary Collaborative Practice Training2013
Maryland Administrative Office of CourtsMultidisciplinary Collaborative Training (twice)2012
Maryland Administrative Office of Courts/Multidisciplinary Collaborative Training2011
International Academy of Collaborative ProfessionalsDoctors do it - why not lawyers; Informed Consent & Collaborative Practice2011
Collaborative Practice Training Institute30-Hour Interest-Based Negotiations & Skills Training for the Collaborative Professional2011
Multidisciplinary Collaborative TrainingCollaborative Practice2010
Multidisciplinary Collaborative TrainingCollaborative Practice2009
Collaborative Practice TrainingCollaborative Practice2008