I would give Mike and Jessica 10 stars if I could.
When Mike says he feels most alive as a lawyer when in a trial, he is being honest, and that alone sets him apart from 99% of his peers (while being honest makes him unique among all lawyers!) Jessica Phillips is Mike's fully effective teammate, and together they are unbeatable.
My previous three 'Super Lawyers' just wanted to shuffle the paperwork, collect the $400/hr fee, and not really make the most out of the circumstances of the divorce. With assets in the 7 figures, Mike easily saved me some multiple of 6 figures by being persuasive with the judge, not pressuring me in any way to settle at mediation, and working patiently to maximize my best outcome. He and Jessica were also very quick to get up to speed on my divorce, as I hired them in an emergency just 30 days before our first mediation. Their unwavering focus from day 1 was how to best present the case to a judge and jury.
And in that regard, Mike has a carefully honed intuition about judges and jurors, a sense of judgment that makes him such a credible adversary in trial or negotiations. Other lawyers, sensing Mike and Jessica's determination and skill at winning in court, may want to pressure their client to settle rather than go to trial. The dirty little secret among lawyers is that trial work requires a uniquely challenging skill set, and can result in winning or losing in a very public way. You can see why most family lawyers spin the tale that 'trial is just going to cost you a bunch of money to get the same basic outcome as negotiation or mediation'.
Finally, while not a factor in my divorce, Mike has a defense lawyer background, and so if someone is throwing around the 'abuse' pejorative, you want lawyers who understand exactly how to work that angle.
Hire Mike and Jessica. Give them 110% of your support.
And in the years ahead, in the quiet moments when for no reason you recall that anxious and fearful time when life was so profoundly challenging, you will smile at your good fortune in having hired Mike and Jessica.