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Erika Salerno Shadowens

Family Attorney at Kalamazoo, MI

4.8   25 reviews

About Erika

Learn Erika’s areas of practice.

5
Practice areas
  1. Child custody
    30%
    Erika Salerno views her relationship with every client as a partnership. She sees her role as one of empowering clients with the knowledge to make informed decisions, and when necessary, zealously advocating for their interests.

    26 years

  2. Divorce and separation
    30%
    Erika Salerno views her relationship with every client as a partnership. She sees her role as one of empowering clients with the knowledge to make informed decisions, and when necessary, zealously advocating for their interests.

    26 years

  3. Family
    30%

  4. Business
    5%

  5. Mediation
    5%

Litigator, negotiator, mediator and trusted advisor, Erika Salerno views her relationship with every client as a partnership.  She sees her role as one of empowering clients with the knowledge to make informed decisions, and when necessary, zealously advocating for their interests.  Erika’s training and vast experience in Mediation and Collaborative Law serve as the foundation for her style which focuses on developing practical and creative solutions to client matters.

 

For over 15 years, Erika has been assisting clients with primarily family law matters including everything from drafting cohabitation and prenuptial agreements to divorces involving complex marital estates.  In 2013, Erika obtained her masters of law degree in healthcare, and is a valued member of the Kreis Enderle healthcare law team.  Erika’s healthcare practice focuses on analyzing healthcare business ventures under the Stark and Anti-Kickback laws, as well as handling HIPAA compliance matters.

 

 

 

Photos and videos

Licensed for 26 years
State MI
Status Active And In Good Standing
Acquired 1999
Updated 10/06/2022
State WI
Status Good Standing
Acquired 1996
Updated 09/07/2022

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

Contact Erika

Varnum LLP
211 East Water Street
Suite 400
Kalamazoo, MI, 49007
Varnum, LLP
333 Bridge St., NW
Suite 1700
Grand Rapids, MI, 49501
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Reviews

4.8 / 5.0
  25 customer reviews
5 Star
 
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1 Star
 
4%
Posted by Richard P. | February 19, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Very much appreciated.
I am happy to write this review in support of Ms. Erika Salerno. I have known Ms. Salerno for over 7 years. She has been there with me from the very beginning when my daughter was born and continues to fight battles with me as they present themselves. In the beginning, immediately I knew that the situation I was facing needed the support of an attorney. I believe most would agree that fathers are set at a disadvantage and not exactly favored in comparison to mothers when it comes to custody battles. After my first consultation with Ms. Salerno, I knew and felt a sense of peace to know that she was going to do everything to fight for my rights as a father. Over the years, Ms. Salerno has been very supportive to me as a father doing his very best to raise a daughter. She is very professional, honest, flexible, and always willing to go that extra mile. I believe she is very diligent and maintains a high level of integrity and moral character. Ms. Salerno is respected among the courts and her peers and I am confident that anyone will be at peace with Ms. Salerno standing in the court room by their side. I have really developed a higher level of respect for those who will fight to do what’s right and in the best interest for their child. I am pleased to say, Erika Salerno is a person I have a high level of respect for, and her services are greatly appreciated to me and my family. Thank you Erika!
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Posted by abbe | August 19, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Erika is the best!
Erika was there for my family when we needed her. She answered her cell phone on a Sunday night and scheduled to meet my family in the next few days. Erika was clearly well respected by colleagues at the courthouse as well, which I admired. She was thorough and turned a custody battle from ugly to settled very quickly. Highly recommend!
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Posted by TJ | August 30, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Very Happy - My best interests at heart
I'm sad to say it, but my situation situation wasn't unique. No experience with the law or divorce. An reasonable agreement thrown out the window by my ex. A spouse trying to do her best to ruin my life. I knew I needed an attorney. Erika came recommended by a good attorney friend of mine she worked with and also third party by another firm. When we first met she was very knowledgeable and clued me in on some things to expect. She knew the opposing attorney and his aggressive "pad the bill" style. I have to admit I may have needed a little more attention than some clients. She gave it. Exactly what she said would happen, happened. I truly feel like she had my best interests at heart. I'm very glad I hired Erika to represent me.
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Posted by Kristi | June 19, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
BEST Lawyer in the business!
Erika is knowledgeable, professional, human (some lawyers are very impersonal), and patient. She handled my parenting time case with ease keeping me apprised of her work every step of the way. When it came to mediation, she was brilliant! I would recommend Erika to anyone who is looking for a solid family/divorce/separation lawyer. She will not disappoint! Well worth the money!
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Posted by Luke | May 2, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Child Custody - Unbelievable Outcome
Erika did a fantastic job with our case even when it got very heated between the other side & their lawyer towards the end. She got us sole legal and physical custody of our daughter which we thought was near impossible. She really cares about her clients and always has their best interests in mind.
Posted by Lisa | January 31, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Outstanding
I have hired Erika twice for two separate occasions. The most recent case she helped me with was a custody issue. She was able to help me keep custody of my son, and to be able to move out of state. With both occasions Erika showed compassion and genuine concern. She goes in to battle and stands strong on the battle for you! I highly recommend Erika and will use her again!
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Posted by Michael | July 4, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Outstanding! A Powerhouse! Highly Recommended!
I live in Nevada and needed an attorney for my custody trial in Michigan. As I was researching online, I ran across Erika on AVVO, Calling her was the best decision I made. Erika fights for her clients like no other! She will take the time to listen and will keep you on the right track! She is very well prepared and will make sure you go in ready for battle. She is very aggressive with witnesses while on the stand and due to years of experience can see the openings to "Call a Spade a Spade" so to speak. I couldn't have found a better attorney for my case! That being said, If you need a powerhouse, I feel she is the best one out there!
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Posted by Carol | April 13, 2017
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
What a sharp and compassionate attorney!!
I contacted Ms. Salerno to counsel with her regarding an upcoming guardianship case. My legal guardianship was being challenged in court by my step-brother. I had just about a week before the trial date and I was not sure what could be done in such a short space of time. I was very impressed by Ms. Salerno She was thorough, clear, compassionate, and extremely well informed. I was very impressed by my interaction over the phone. Even though I was unable to retain her due primarily to the time constraints, she was so helpful. She sent me a lengthy email detailing what steps I needed to do well in court. This timely advice enabled me to go to court, work in my own behalf and ultimately win in the court. I will probably need her services in the future and I will not hesitate to contact her. I would be very comfortable referring her to my friends as well. As a physician, I know excellence when I meet it. Ms. Salerno in my view is an exceptional professional.
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Posted by anonymous | March 24, 2017
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Excellent Service
Ericka's response time was fast and to the point. She was able to answer my questions without leaving any follow-up questions. I like that in customer service. I would recommend her to anyone.
Posted by Jennifer | November 17, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Calm during the Storm
My experience with Erika was definitely positive. She exhibited genuine concern for our situation. Her calm demeanor was a comforting and calming effect while we were dealing with the tribulations of the divorce. Furthermore, she was quite personable and even laughed at our nervous joking.
Posted by anonymous | August 21, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Child Custody
Erika was very great in her advice and approach to the complex issues involved in my child custody case. She has a way of simplifying complicated scenarios to get to the heart of the matter and provide a better understanding. She also forms great resolutions even though the other party in my case had no interest in mediation, leaving litigation in the courtroom as the only means of resolution. Litigating she performs very well posing important questions and arguments many I didn't think of myself. Could not have done it without her.
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Posted by Amy | September 10, 2015
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Wonderful!
I am extremely pleased with Ms. Salerno. I had a consultation with Ms. Salerno in regard to a custody issue. I have worked with corporate attorneys but needed a family law attorney's advice. She gave me stellar and very helpful advice and what steps to take to further proceed with the matter. She is very knowledgeable of Michigan law, and I will be again contacting her. Thank you, Ms. Salerno.
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Posted by Doug | March 25, 2015
Best in Kalamazoo area for child custody
Erika took my out of state case with limited time before trial, and minimal prep. She researched, prepped, litigated, and was a god send. Very intelligent, informative, professional, and highly knowledgeable about child custody laws. Will definitely refer Erika to everybody I can.
Posted by Gary | January 22, 2015
Highly Recommend
I am an out of state single father with a 6 year old living in Michigan. I previously hired an attorney to establish paternity and visitation. Things quickly got sideways and I was in a hole. I knew things were not being handled properly so I did some research and after consultation I hired Erika. Erika was able to step in, take control of the matter and ultimately get me what i wanted. As in most cases, you get what you pay for. I would highly recommend Erika for your custody matters.
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Posted by anonymous | July 11, 2014
I would recommend Erika, if you are looking for an attorney
Erika is knowledgeable, experienced and compassionate and an excellent negotiator. Erika did a great job being my advocate through a difficult time. She knew what to expect and explained all the options to me and fought for what I wanted. Going through a divorce can be overwhelming at times and having Erika as my attorney certainly helped. It was nice having an expert to talk with when I had questions or concerns. When I was first looking for an attorney, I talked with several friends that had been through divorces and one friend who had been through a particularly rough divorce. When I asked him, if he could recommend an attorney he said "Yes, my wife's". That is when I called Kreis Enderle and made an initial apt with Erika. She explained the divorce process to me and what I may be facing as far as alimony and child support if we filed for divorce. She also had recommendations for marriage counselor's and financial advisors. (which I thought was excellent) I would highly recommend Erika if you are looking for an attorney.
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Posted by anonymous | April 3, 2014
custody
Erika was very professional, caring and knowledgeable. I felt like my case was complicated and difficult but her expertise helped ease my mind. She explained each process thoroughly and was very easy to work with. She kept me informed and promptly addressed my questions and concerns. I am very happy with Erika's representation and the outcome of my case and would highly recommend her.
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Posted by anonymous | August 5, 2013
SIMPLY THE BEST!
I cant imagine Divorce to ever be easy. Erika is very professional, sensitive to emotions and takes charge when necessary with respect to you. I had the pleasure of meeting her only for a short time as I chose to make things work with my marriage. If her services are ever needed, I would highly recommend her to anyone! I can honestly say I love her and the sincere compassion I felt!
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Posted by anonymous | December 13, 2012
Amazing results
Erika was available and engaged during our entire process. We had been living with a very difficult grandparent's visitation situation and when the case moved to Kalamazoo a friend recommended the law firm that Erika is associated with. It made all the difference in the world. She was thoughtful and sensitive to the painful aspects of our case. We were able to get the help we needed in resolving long-standing problems. Erika's knowledge of the system and relationships within the legal community were invaluable.
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Posted by Michele | November 26, 2012
She put my mind at ease!
Erika showed me all my options for my divorce. Offered her legal advise and knowledge that would support my outcomes. She is a great listener and understands the complexity of divorces.
Posted by Vivian | November 20, 2012
She was a huge help
Ericka has helped me with a very long custody case that seemed hopeless until we had an attorny that gave us the truth, with knowledge of the law and the exsperience to know what to expect. Thank you Ericka
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Cost

Rates
  • Retainer Always
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card

Resume

AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Divorce and Family Law Trial Attorney and Mediator
  • Varnum LLP
  • 2017 - Present
  • Adjunct Professor
  • Western Michigan University
  • 2011 - Present
  • Shareholder
  • Kreis Enderle
  • 2006 - 2017
  • Shareholder
  • Herrling Clark
  • 2000 - 2006
  • Adjunct Professor
  • Blackhawk Technical College
  • 1997 - 2000
  • Associate
  • Consigny, Andrews, Hemming, & Grant
  • 1997 - 2000
  • Associate
  • Voegeli & Ewald
  • 1996 - 1997
View all work experience

Education

  • Loyola University Chicago
  • LL.M - Master of Laws
  • 2013
  • Drake University Law School
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1996
  • Michigan State University
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1993

Legal Cases

  • In re the Estate of James W. Miltenberger v. Sandra Swartz
  • Denied.
  • Friend v. Friend

Associations

  • Cass County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2016 - Present
  • Berrien County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2013 - Present
  • Michigan Family Law Section Council
  • Member
  • 2007 - Present
  • Kalamazoo County Bar Association, Family Law Section
  • Member
  • 2006 - Present
  • State Bar of Michigan
  • Member
  • 2000 - Present
  • State Bar of Wisconsin
  • Member
  • 1996 - Present
  • Leadership Kalamazoo
  • Member
  • 2011 - 2011
  • Bach Festival
  • Board Member
  • 2009 - 2011
  • PEAKS Networking Group
  • Founding Member
  • 2009 - 2011
  • Executive Women's Golf Association
  • Board Member
  • 2008 - 2011
  • Collaborative Practice Institute of Michigan
  • Board Member
  • 2006 - 2013
  • Collaborative Family Law Council of Wisconsin
  • Board Member
  • 2003 - 2006
  • Outagamie County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2000 - 2006
  • Rock County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1998 - 2000
  • Green County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1996 - 1998
View all associations

Awards

  • Women in the Law
  • Michigan Lawyers Weekly
  • 2014
  • Vlachos Award
  • Legal Aid of West Michigan
  • 2013
  • BV Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2012
  • CV Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2011
  • CV Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2010
  • CV Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2009
  • CV Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2008
  • CV Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2007
  • Outstanding Service Award
  • Collaborative Family Law Council of Wisconsin
  • 2006
  • CV Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2006
  • Drake University Law Review
  • Drake University Law School
  • 1993
View all awards

Publications

  • Michigan Family Law Journal
  • The Impact of Obamacare on Former Spouses
  • 2013
  • Michigan Family Law Journal
  • Appellate Case Summaries
  • 2012
  • Michigan Family Law Journal
  • Appellate Case Summaries
  • 2011
  • Michigan Family Law Journal
  • Early Retirement: A Golden Opportunity or a Mirage for Support Payers
  • 2010
  • Michigan Family Law Journal
  • Ethical Considerations for the Michigan Collaborative Lawyer
  • 2007
View all publications

Speaking Engagements

  • Leadership Kalamazoo
  • Taxes and Public Education
  • 2011
  • Annual Meeting
  • Mediation and Difficult Discussions
  • 2010
  • Family Law Section Summer Seminar
  • Child Custody and Homeschooling
  • 2009
  • Collaborative Practice and Mediation -- Rivals or Siblings
  • Collaborative Practice and Mediation
  • 2008
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (7)
Given (4)
Endorse Erika
Divorce and separation Attorney | Jan 18
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I highly recommend Erika Salerno. Erika was opposing counsel on many of my cases when she practiced in Wisconsin, both in litigated and collaborative matters. Erika was always prepared, organized and an effective advocate for her clients. She possesses an extremely high level of intellect, creativity and integrity. She is hard-working and tenacious in problem-solving for her clients. I recommend her without reservation."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Dec 17
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. As a mediator, I frequently am asked by clients for the names of lawyers to represent them in the process. Erika Salerno is always at the top of the list I recommend. Erika has a strong commitment to the resolution of divorces through mediation and the collaborative law process. She shares my belief in obtaining fair and equitable settlements and avoiding costly and emotionally damaging court fights. She has a thorough knowledge of the law and is a true professional and worthy advocate for her clients. Having her represent a party in my mediations makes my work easier. I highly recommend her services."
Family Attorney | Nov 20
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. I have been a MI attorney for 36 years and a MI divorce mediator for 20+ years and have mediated a number of Erika's cases for her. She is prepared, knowledgeable and a skilled attorney in divorce cases. Bruce Uridge P25959"
Family Attorney | Nov 20
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Erika is a true professional. She diligently represents her client's interest and strives to assist them through the difficult process. Erika's dedication and knowledge are qualities that every attorney should strive for."
Family Attorney | Jul 26
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse this lawyer's work."
Family Attorney | Jun 23
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I had the privilege of getting to know Erika Salerno during the time she practiced law here in Appleton, WI. We had numerous cases in which we represented opposing parties in divorce and family law matters, including both traditional cases as well as many cases utilizing the collaborative family law process. We also served together on two boards of directors, and worked closely in promoting the collaborative process in this area. Erika's ethics and legal and advocacy skills are of the highest caliber. Moreover, she was a well respected leader in our local legal community. Erika played a crucial role in bringing the collaborative process to our area, and in the effort to help local professionals to organize and coordinate their approach to collaborative practice. I have nothing but the highest regard for Erika in all respects, personal and professional. She embodies the highest ideals of the legal profession. I am pleased to endorse her without hesitation."
Family Attorney | Jun 21
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse this lawyer's work. She is hardworking and dedicated to family law issues."
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Divorce and separation
Divorce and separation