For decades, when the Region needed legal advice on issues of family law, it turned to John Rhame III at Rhame, Elwood & McClure, PC. Rhame has been practicing law for over 40 years and has handled more than 4,000 family law cases in the Region, but he’s just one man. That’s where Associates Michael "Mike" Brazil and Devon DeMarco come in.
Brazil was born and raised in the Region. He began his career in law as a police officer before he received his law degree in 2020, but he also served in the U.S. Armed Forces during the Global War on Terrorism. He began his career as an attorney at a smaller firm and was recruited by Rhame, Elwood & McClure in February 2022. He saw the opportunity to learn under Rhame as a chance he couldn’t pass up.
“As a new attorney, it was important to practice under Rhame and learn from him,” said Brazil. "He’s been practicing for 46 years, and being able to learn slowly from somebody that had done just about everything in this field was important.”
DeMarco began her legal career a decade ago as a solo practitioner in Maine. After transitioning to the district attorney’s office, she was promoted to deputy district attorney in one of the most active prosecutorial districts in the state. She made the move to Northwest Indiana during the COVID-19 pandemic, and after spending time working at a firm in Chicago, she found herself at Rhame, Elwood & McClure. While DeMarco had plenty of experience under her belt entering the Region, working with Rhame proved beneficial for getting situated in a new jurisdiction.
“In each jurisdiction, there's a lot of local rules and unwritten customs,” said DeMarco. “Having somebody who has been practicing in this area for such a long time is a great resource for filling in the blank of local knowledge and how things are done here. It eases some of the anxiety about being new to an area.”
The family law team at Rhame, Elwood & McClure handles cases ranging from divorce and paternity actions to adoptions and guardianships. The team works together on cases, bringing decades of legal experience to each case. The joint approach taken by the associates means that clients may have six minds working on their case as opposed to one.
“I really like the collaborative approach here,” said DeMarco. “When you hire us, you have the benefit of not just one attorney but three of us that practice family law regularly and other attorneys in the office that have experience in family law as well. You're getting the benefit of having decades of legal experience working on your case because we're always running things by each other and seeing if there are any ideas that other attorneys have about handling certain situations.”
In addition to their collaborative approach, the attorneys at Rhame, Elwood & McClure understand that the key to success in family law is making sure their client is comfortable, calm, and understands their situation.
“We try to get to know the clients and help them understand their situation,” said Brazil. “We have compassion for the dynamics that are involved with client emotions; it can be a whirlwind for them. We have to be able to talk with them. Family law cases are a process, and we'll get through the process. This can be one of the hardest things to go through, so we try to help them with compassion and understanding.”
The family law team stresses the importance of clients having attorneys they can trust both in and out of the courtroom
“Making sure you have an attorney who's really listening to you and is a good fit for you is important because our family life is so much a part of who we are,” said DeMarco. “It's really important to have an attorney who recognizes that your family is going to exist for as long as you do; the way that your case is handled is going to have an impact on that relationship, even if it's a relationship that's coming to an end. A client's long term goal might be maintaining a positive relationship with the other party or it might be something else, but we have to remember that it's not just about the final court order that's produced with family law.”
The Rhame, Elwood & McClure team works with and for their clients. Sometimes this involves going to court, and other times, it involves the facilitation of mutual agreements between parties. The legal system does not have to be antagonistic.
“People generally think of the legal system as adversarial because it's one party versus another, but in practical applications, it can be a very collaborative process,” said DeMarco. “We work collaboratively with each other here on cases, but we also have good relationships with other attorneys, which is important in the family law area, especially because our clients are very likely going to still have to be part of each other's lives. How the parties go through the court process can have a lasting impact on their relationship with each other far beyond the conclusion of their legal matter.”
The team focusing on family law at Rhame, Elwood & McClure handles its cases with compassion, integrity, and a collaborative spirit. This approach brings clients decades of quality legal experience that is sure to leave them satisfied. While Rhame continues to serve the Region, he does not serve alone; Brazil and DeMarco work tirelessly to make sure the residents of Northwest Indiana have attorneys they can trust.
To learn more about the services offered by Rhame, Elwood & McClure, PC, visit its website.