|Owner||The Law Office of Melissa Moriarty Gast, LLC||2015 - Present|
|Partner||Moriarty & Gast, LLC||2011 - 2014|
|Associate Attorney||The Law Offices of Saia & Piatt, Inc.||2007 - 2011|
|Staff Attorney||Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, Division of Domestic Relations and Juvenile Branch||2003 - 2007|
|Law Clerk||Maguire & Schneider, L.L.P.||2001 - 2003|
|Association name||Position name||Duration|
|Women Lawyers of Franklin County||Member||2009 - Present|
|Columbus Bar Association||Member||2007 - Present|
|Ohio State Bar Association||Member||2007 - Present|
Posted by Theodore P Pennington
I first came to know Melissa Gast in August of 2013 when first confronted with the reality that I was getting divorced. Initially electing to represent myself, I found that I could handle everything coming at me just fine, and really benefitted from being a thorough, reasonable, logical, and analytical person. Then, my soon-to-be ex-wife made a series of adversarial decisions that resulted in false accusations, extensive private and police investigations, open-court lies, and everything one could imagine facing in a worst-case scenario. I selected 10 attorneys to interview within the Columbus area, each one of them highly referred by friends, family, and/or legal professionals. I found Melissa Gast on Avvo and she became #9 on my list - with #10 being a stalwart in the field. MY thoughts were that if none of the first nine made the cut, attorney #10 would have to be the one for me. Covering allot of ground in just two days of my search - I came to the conclusion that none of the first eight attorneys were well-suited for the job.
On the way to Ms. Gast's office, I was enveloped with a sense of foregone defeat, and I even dialed the number of attorney #10 on the way and told her I would be to her office in the next hour. I almost cancelled my appointment with Ms. Gast, but decided to see it through as she was the only attorney on the list that I had picked myself.
Meeting me at the door of her small office, Ms. Gast exuded confidence and compassion. I quickly realized that I did not like the used-car sales floor feel I felt meeting with each of the first eight attorneys. Ms. Gast warmly and efficiently moved through a series of inquiries to gain an appreciation for my situation, my life, my family, my personality, and my goals for this term of my life. Taking close and attentive notes on paper as we spoke, she not once lost track of our conversation and I never felt as though I was "just another client". After about 30-minutes of emotional dumping and factual offloading of information, Ms. Gast demonstrated one of her key strengths as she brilliantly recapped our conversation in perfect form and with emphasis in every correct place, demonstrating her ability to listen, think, feel, and work at the same moment.
Cutting to the chase - Ms. Gast stood at my side and represented me with heart, skill, and diligence throughout the entirety of what turned out to be a 33-month divorce and custody war fraught with a multitude of false allegations involving child abuse in what was termed to be a relentless string of allegations of the worst kind that was brightly capped with nearly 12 days of trial. I asked for one thing - for Ms. Gast to protect me and my relationship with my son. Ms. Gast delivered in EVERY regard with poise, and now that the dust has cleared, I find myself with full custody of my little boy (he was 2.5 yrs. old at the outset and 5.5 yrs. old now) and a bright and safe path ahead of us. Not once did I feel like a number or a case or a job. Rather, I was intimately involved and encouraged to participate and contribute to my own defense as Ms. Gast tailored her approach to meet my expectations and stomach for the war... cookie-cutter is not what this attorney offers her clients.
You can spend a great deal more by hiring a marquee name or an attorney with a scorched earth approach to your life if that sort of thing makes you feel good and you can still sleep at night. You can file all kinds and sorts of motions and replies and challenge every micro-nuance of every nuance and
even believe that mythical story about recouping the legal fees when it is all over via some type of award or judgment. But, if you want to preserve your assets and dignity while protecting your family - and especially if you value honesty, integrity, loyalty, compassion, diligence, truth, skill, professionalism, and legal acumen - skip the marquee names and the egos and schedule a consult with Ms. Gast as soon as possible.
Posted by G=Craig
My 11 yo son was living with his mother in a mentally abusive environment; very unhealthy and dysfunctional. Melissa was able to not only win permanent sole custody for me after a three day trial (over a year after our motion), she recommended based on this situation to try for an immediate Emergency Custody Order. Although that almost never is granted, we won it thereby saving my son from over a year of incredible stress that would have surely occurred had he stayed with his mom while permanent custody and residence was decided. She is very thorough, knows the law well, thinks of the details that wind up making a difference, writes compelling arguments in her motions, know how to create a line of questioning that gets intended results in a succinct way, is quick in a trial situation to exploit opportunities with pointed questions and is very easy to work with. She came recommended to me from another prominent lawyer in a different field and she couldn't have done a better job. For my money, I wouldn't use anyone else.
Posted by anonymous
Melissa Gast was hired into my child custody case with myself and husband. Him and I were still married but separated and seeing other people. I know that sounds strange but we were married two more years because of selling our home and etc and all he did was fight me in court. My ex took my son from my mother's one day while I was on a job interview he took my son to his then girlfriends home it took me forever to locate him I was devasted. He then moved again with his girlfriend and the address was given through the court system. He would say I was on drugs and I had to take a hair test and I passed it. He then had Melissa Gast appointed to the case through his attorney. Since she came in later hearing all the horrible stories she first ordered my son have supervised visits at my mother's house and he couldn't stay with me at my boyfriends. Then it went to unsupervised visits but my son would have to spend the night at my mom's during overnights then Melissa would call my mom and ask questions about how I was doing and random weird questions about my boyfriend. But it was OK for my son to stay with my ex and his then girlfriend at their second place of residence. She even told me i needed to stay at my moms with my son on the overnight visits and not have my mom watching him my attorney advised i did not have to stay there because this was causing alot of conflict with myself and my mother. Custody arrangements and days were changed multiple times through both our attorneys and Melissa Gast doing nothing but confuse my son. I finally got my own place in hilltop west side area thats all I could afford because my ex destroyed my credit. I could tell she didn't find it as appealing as where my ex lived in hilliard. My son told her he was afraid to live there because gang bangers and drug dealers lived there and over a window that was cracked. I had the whole house remodeled painted floor redone new furniture etc I was so upset because he just came out and said these things when I know he was told by his dad to say these things about my house because he doesn't even know what that stuff is. Over the course of time my ex and his girlfriend would deny my phone calls to my son lie about days and times of sporting events then make a mockery to other parents spreading lies about me when I would go to pratices. Then I actually was able to go to games when I got a schedule from another coach because my ex was the football couch. These people constantly harassed myself, my family, my employer, slandered me on social media. The girlfriend even showed up to my divorce and within a month they were married tells you how crazy this other woman really was. They made up lies about myself and boyfriend posting sexual ads on Craigslist to make us look like horrible people and we didn't. I ask Melissa Gast to show me the proof she never did. She upset my boyfriend in phone call interview by asking about the Craigslist post and ask about his sexual orientation and etc then when he told her she was out of line she apologize 3 times. After all said and done she granted him more custody school placement and etc. Then he would never follow the child custody agreement we had in place. At the divorce hearing my retainer was completed with Melissa and I was going to eventually owe her more money that my attorney was going to have my ex pay. I guess I had a bill but she never sent it to me and the judge at the divorce asked her have you been paid she responds yes so it was closed. Melissa Gast then emails me a 600 dollar balance I said what are you talking about I had paid her about 1300 dollars in about 6 months plus I was paying my attorney. She sent me the bill in an email 6 times in a row. I turned her into the bar association with no help from them. She thought my son was in the best interest if his dad. He now has moved to Florida with his wife for a new job he put in a request no judges signature and just moves! More court. Beware of this lawyer!
Leslie Albeit, Criminal defense Attorney
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
Melissa is extremely competent, compassionate, knowledgeable and experienced. I trust her to handle any case that she takes on with the utmost professionalism. She looks for solutions, while not shying away from taking cases to trial. I highly endorse this lawyer.
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