Patrick “Leh” Meriwether co-founded Meriwether & Tharp, LLC with Robert “Bob” Tharp in 1998. In the beginning, the firm was just two young lawyers who thought that they could make a difference by teaming up together. At present, it is the largest family law firm in the state of Georgia. The firm has over 20 lawyers dedicated to helping clients get through difficult times.
Early on, Leh focused on business litigation and transactional cases. As his practice grew, his business clients found themselves needing help with family law matters. While this was not his first choice in legal practice areas, he found it rewarding to help people at such an intimate level. In 2004, Leh and Bob decided to expand Meriwether & Tharp to handle family law cases on a larger, full time basis. From 2004 to 2009, the firm had an even split of family and business cases.
In 2009, Leh and Bob decided to focus the entire practice on family law. This was a difficult decision, because half of the firm revenue came from its business law cases. At that time, the firm had five lawyers, but they believed that they could best serve their clients by focusing only on family law. They did not like the current family law landscape and wanted to make a change. They began to develop a vision of a better way to practice family law. As their vision became a reality, the firm grew. At present, it employs nearly 50 people focused on family law and helping people through difficult times.
Over the years, Leh learned how to zealously advocate for a client in the courtroom. But, more importantly, he learned that lawyers should work to resolve most family law cases. In some respects, working to resolve cases is much more challenging than litigating the cases. It requires digging in to find out where the problems are and looking for solutions.
To improve his resolution skills, he sought out training as a mediator and arbitrator. He is currently registered as a Certified Mediator and Arbitrator with the State of Georgia. He loves to apply his experience and training to clients to help them work towards the best settlement possible.
When approaching cases, Leh offers clients a cost-benefit analysis. This involves a three step process. First, he assesses the legal strengths and weaknesses of a client’s case. Next, he reviews the financial repercussions and costs of pursuing a specific litigation plan. And finally, he explores the long term 'emotional' price of any particular plan. The emotional price can include the value of ending a case earlier so that the client can move on with their life. The emotional price can also include the toll protracted litigation can have on children. The advantage of being in a large family law firm is that there is a large pool of experience from which to pull from. Using this experience, he can share the possible futures that a client's choices can have so that they make wise decisions.
When Leh is not helping people get through their divorce, he and his wife work together to save marriages. They lead a marriage group twice a year called Thrive. It is an 11 week course designed to help couples make their marriage thrive. This marriage group is through their Church, Woodstock City Church, which is part of Andy Stanley’s Northpoint Ministries. For a time, they also hosted a podcast together called Healthy Married Life. It is still available for download on iTunes and Stitcher radio. You can find their website at www.healthymarriedlife.com. He loves the work that he and his Wife do together to keep couples out of his office.
On a personal level, Leh holds a Black Belt in Judo and was the State Champion in his division while in law school. When not practicing law, Leh has also been active in his sons’ Cub Scouts and Boy Scout activities. He was the den leader for both his sons and ran the Pack’s Cub Mobile Race (with 99 scouts) for five years in a row.
When Leh is not in the Courtroom, loving on his wife, spending time with his kids, or trying to save a marriage, you will find him in his woodworking shop. He is usually either making something or podcasting. He has built his children’s bedroom furniture; his kitchen table; end tables; an entire suite of furniture on his back porch including a swing bed; and even his office desk out of Ambrosia Maple. In his spare time, Mr. Meriwether also uses his woodworking skills to craft individualized and unique pens. Click here to see a link to Mr. Meriwether’s pen selection! If that weren’t enough, he hosts a podcast called The Avid Woodworker (www.avidwoodworker.com).