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Bridging Trials and Tribulations in Family Law With Tashina Gorgone

Bridging Trials and Tribulations in Family Law With Tashina Gorgone

June 26, 2024   |   Written by Gladiator Law Marketing
Tashina Gorgone

Tashina Gorgone is a skilled family law attorney and a Partner at Maddox & Gerock, P.C. With a keen focus on complex custody issues and an expansive international practice, she serves clients at both trial and appellate levels. Tashina also actively participates in various legal associations, contributing to her well-rounded expertise. When away from the courtroom, Tashina indulges in community theater across Northern Virginia and cherishes relaxation with her husband and their two beagles, Copper and Penny.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

  • [1:30] Tashina Gorgone shares how and when she knew she wanted to be an attorney
  • [2:09] How college experiences and internships can influence the path to becoming a lawyer 
  • [3:44] Navigating complex custody cases
  • [5:28] How Tashina became a Partner at Maddox & Gerock
  • [7:28] Why it’s crucial to create long-term legal plans with a clear understanding of family dynamics
  • [9:47] Using alternative dispute resolution techniques like mediation and collaborative law
  • [16:26] The benefits of participating in legal associations for networking and ongoing education
  • [22:19] Effective ways to manage the emotional demands present in practicing family law

In this episode…

What does it take to navigate the intricate and often emotionally charged landscape of family law? How does one manage to deliver both compassionate advocacy and rigorous legal precision in the courtroom?

According to Tashina Gorgone, balancing these elements is crucial for a family law attorney. She emphasizes the importance of understanding each family’s unique situation and tailoring approaches that protect the interests of children and vulnerable parties. Her success can be attributed to her comprehensive expertise, unwavering dedication to ethical practices, and prioritization of client-centered care. This dual focus on compassion and courtroom acumen allows Tashina to effectively manage even the most complex cases, ensuring outcomes that are not only legally sound but also truly beneficial for her clients.

In this episode of 15 Minutes, host Chad Franzen is joined by Tashina Gorgone, Partner at Maddox & Gerock, P.C., to explore her experiences and strategies in family law. They discuss high-stakes international custody cases, the challenges of navigating complex legal and emotional landscapes, and the vital role of alternative dispute resolution in achieving the best outcomes.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Special Mentions:

Quotable Moments:

  • “You have to be very delicate, trying to navigate both protecting the children and understanding what the system requires in terms of evidence.”
  • “Court is not our first line of defense… Court is traumatizing. It pulls families apart.”
  • “It’s okay if you get into insurance defense and you realize that’s not where you want to be… It is okay to be curious.”
  • “Being prepared to make your own objections, being prepared to make your own opening statement or closing statement or examination… It’s almost like strength training but for court.”
  • “The first thing that I want to do when I meet with a potential client… we want to talk about what their long-term goals are.”

Action Steps:

  1. Engage with local legal aid services or internships early in your academic career to discover your passion within the legal field: Gaining exposure to various segments of law can help identify where you could make the most impactful contribution.
  2. Leverage alternative dispute resolutions like collaborative law or mediation to reduce adversarial impacts: These methods foster better outcomes and preserve relationships.
  3. Take advantage of networking opportunities provided by legal associations and bar communities: Building a support system and staying informed about developments in the field can vastly improve your legal skills.
  4. Establish firm personal boundaries to maintain a work-life balance and preserve mental and emotional well-being: Managing client expectations and self-care is crucial for anyone in a high-stress profession, especially law.
  5. Integrate creative outlets into your routine to enhance your professional skills: Participating in community theater or similar activities can improve public speaking and quick thinking.

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by Gladiator Law Marketing, where we deliver tailor-made services to help you accomplish your objectives and maximize your growth potential. 

To have a successful marketing campaign and make sure you’re getting the best ROI, your firm needs to have a better website and better content. At Gladiator Law Marketing, we use artificial intelligence, machine learning, and decades of experience to outperform the competition. 

To learn more, go to gladiatorlawmarketing.com or schedule a free marketing consultation. You can also send an email to adam@gladiatorlawmarketing.com.

Episode Transcript

Intro  0:01  

You’re listening to 15 Minutes where we feature community leaders sharing what the rest of us should know but likely don’t.

Chad Franzen  0:12  

Hi. Chad Franzen, here one of the hosts of Share Your Voice, where we talk with top notch law firms and lawyers about what it takes to grow a successful law practice. This episode is brought to you by Gladiator Law Marketing, delivering tailor made services to help you accomplish your objectives and maximize your growth potential to have a successful marketing campaign and make sure you’re getting the best ROI your firm needs to have a better website and better content. Gladiator Law Marketing uses artificial intelligence, machine learning and decades of experience to outperform the competition to learn more. Go to gladiatorlawmarketing.com, where you can schedule a free marketing consultation. Tashina Gorgone is a Partner at Maddox & Gerock, P.C., where she practices family law. She handles all issues surrounding divorce, custody support and property distribution at trial and appellate levels, with a focus on complex custody issues and an expanding practice in the international family law community. When not practicing law, she does community theater across Northern Virginia and hangs out with her husband and two beagles, Copper and Penny. Tashina, thanks so much for joining me today. How are you?

Tashina Gorgone  1:15  

Oh, I’m well. Thank you so much for having me. Good morning.

Chad Franzen  1:18 

Before we started, I forgot to ask you how to pronounce your name. Did I get that right?

Tashina Gorgone  1:22

Gorgone, you hit the hard E.

Chad Franzen  1:25

Gorgone. I’m sorry.

Tashina Gorgone  1:28

My own family can’t agree on how to say it.

Chad Franzen  1:30

So well, it’s great to have you. Thanks so much for Hey. As we get started here, just tell me how and when did you know you wanted to become an attorney?

Tashina Gorgone  1:40

I have to say that for as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a practicing attorney and a trial attorney. Specifically, I think, if I really think about it, I go all the way back to, you know, elementary school, third or fourth grade. I had a brief stint where I thought I wanted to be a veterinarian. I quickly decided that was not going to be for me, and then the rest of my life was trying to find representation in media of female attorneys, and just knowing that that was the path I wanted to pursue.

Chad Franzen  2:06

So how did you get started in the legal industry?

Tashina Gorgone  2:09

I actually started in the legal industry in college. I went to the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and I did two things in college that started to really help guide my trajectory into the practice of law. The first was that I joined the honor advisory board at Mary Washington, where I was sort of a student attorney representing people who had been charged with honor violations in school. The second thing I did was a self guided internship with Rappahannock legal services in Fredericksburg, Virginia, where I got to work as an intern alongside the Legal Aid attorneys in that community helping serve low income and underrepresented people in the community. Those both really shaped my and confirmed, specifically, my desire to engage in the practice of law.

Chad Franzen  2:55

Great. And then was that kind of a big factor in, you know, having you go toward, you know, in the journey the direction of family law.

Tashina Gorgone  3:03

I would say yes, because the Legal Aid environment dealt a lot with the interplay between families. I would also say that my own background, having been raised in part by grandparents and living in an area in Northern Virginia where a lot of my friends and colleagues had very, very close knit families really influenced my desire to go into family law. One of the things that I find that I do specifically is I represent a lot of third parties in custody cases, so grandparents who are stepping in to help raise or take care of their grandchildren when their parents are unable to that was a really motivating thing for me, and I saw there was a need for that when I started my practice, and it just kind of developed.

Chad Franzen  3:44

Are there some kind of tricks you’ve learned or developed in terms of navigating the complexities involving, you know, in terms of custody cases involving, you know, domestic violence or substance abuse?

Tashina Gorgone  3:56

I will say that there is absolutely, there’s no such thing as maybe, like a trick, because every family is unique, and every family needs that sort of special attention given to those needs, but the issues and the interplay of substance misuse, domestic violence often overlaps a lot with those third parity, third party custody cases, specifically, because there’s usually some reason that the parents aren’t able to be the ones to step in and take care of their children. So you have to be very delicate, trying to navigate both protecting the children. That has to be our number one priority, making sure that they’re in a safe spot with people that are able to love and support them, not just emotionally, but physically, financially, in a good health place. And so there’s a lot of complexity that goes with that. And I would say that if there is some kind of tip or trick to it, it’s really just understanding what the system requires in terms of evidence and what you’re looking for in terms of following the proper legal procedure. The procedure is complex. It’s designed. Trying to make it difficult, because they want people who really need these services to come through. And so having a good attorney by your side that is familiar with the system, is familiar with the people in the system, the judges, the other attorneys, those sorts of things, that’s always going to be an elevator to helping you get a desired outcome.

Chad Franzen  5:20

You know, I meant to ask you, before we got into this, how did you kind of, how did your association with Maddox & Gerock come about now that you’re now that you’re a partner.

Tashina Gorgone  5:28 

So it’s Maddox & Gerock, actually, of course. No, it’s It’s Gorgone, it’s Gerock. We like to make ourselves as difficult as possible. So my first job out of law school was with Surovell Isaacs Peterson & Levy PLC logo Surove that then became Surovell Isaacs & Levy, and so they were a firm in Fairfax City that was a little bit more of a general practice firm. And I split my time for the first five or six years between general civil business litigation and family law issues. And I just found myself getting drawn more and more into the family law issues, and as I was doing more of those cases, I found that that’s where I was feeling very satisfied in terms of being able to help the discrete individuals, the discrete families, to get them better, not, you know, better situation, not just for this moment, but for the future. And as I continued to build out that, I started seeing referrals, you know, people passing my name along to other individuals that needed assistance, or I got more involved with bar communities that you know, allowed us to kind of cross reference, or cross network with each other. And so that really allowed me to elevate my own position in the community as somebody who was getting sufficient beyond sufficient experience in this area of law, but also it was kind of this self fulfilling prophecy, right? The more work you do, the more you start to enjoy it, more you then want to do. And so it just really gave me an opportunity to grow in family law, specifically. So when I connected with Maddox and Gerock, it I connected actually with both Kathy Maddox and Julie Gerock, because Kathy had been an opposing counsel in a prior case of mine. And Julie and I are both involved in the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association community, and so I had independently connected with them both, and when there came an opportunity then for me to go into a more boutique focused on family law firm, it was a natural fit. I think we’ve both benefited from it, all of us, and it’s really allowed the firm to continue to grow, having the the partnership that we’ve created.

Chad Franzen  7:28

So back to what you do in terms of family law, can you share some insights into how you help families create long term plans for their legal needs?

Tashina Gorgone  7:36

Absolutely. So the first thing that I want to do when I meet with a potential client or a client that has engaged our services, we want to talk about what their long term goals are, because sometimes they have a very clear idea of what their goal is, but they just don’t have a plan or a vision for how to achieve the goal. Sometimes they come in and they know very much what they don’t want, but they don’t necessarily know what they do want or what they think their child needs. So it’s really picking apart. What have been the dynamics of that family? What are your child’s needs? Are there any special needs that need to be taken into consideration? Sometimes it’s about talking to them about what you know, the the science is, or the psychology behind families. You know, you have families that come in and a parent may not want their child to have any contact with the other parent, or you might have a family come in and they want the other parent to have maybe more contact than you start to realize is appropriate under the circumstances. And so it’s really about trying to help them understand what the needs of their child might be, but also how the personal dynamics of that family might play out in a courtroom setting, because that’s kind of the ultimate bar by which we can determine what we’re going to do and try in terms of trying to keep them out of court. I want to be clear that while everybody in our firm, we are litigators, we are trial attorneys, we know how to go to court and we will go to court. Court is not our first line of defense. For you know, a huge majority of our clients, that’s not where we want them to be. Court is traumatizing. It pulls families apart. It really makes people who have difficulties co parenting or communicating with one another. It makes them more entrenched. And so if we can guide them on a path and help them understand the dynamics of what court will look like and what their limitations in creatively solving our problems would be in a courtroom setting. It allows us an opportunity to look at a much more expansive view of the family and say, Hey, these things that you’re worried about, we can actually resolve them in a much different way than just one judge taking one snapshot of your life over a two, three day period and trying to make decisions that are going to impact you for the foreseeable future.

Chad Franzen  9:40

Are there any approaches, you know, specific approaches that you found effective in terms of alternative dispute resolution, absolutely.

Tashina Gorgone  9:47

So we there’s two things that I would really focus on. One is the more traditional and known about and discussed concept of mediation, and mediation can be where both attorneys and both parties are in a room together with. A mediator. It can be where each party and each client are in a separate room with the mediator going back and forth. They call that shuttle diplomacy, and that can help to lower kind of the tensions and the emotions, because they’re not having to face each other. And so that traditional style of mediation where everybody is kind of exploring what their goals are being heard by the mediator about what their issues are, with a common goal of trying to resolve it. That’s one excellent path for alternative dispute resolution. The other is this concept called Collaborative Law. Collaborative Law is a forum that several of the attorneys in my firm are trained in. Kathy, Julie, and I specifically are the three that do collaborative work. In addition to our litigation, practice and collaborative law is an agreement by the parties at the outset of their separation and divorce case to not litigate. They actually sign a contract where they say that they will not litigate and that they will do a team based much more transparent approach, where it really is all of us, the attorneys, the clients, a divorce coach, a financial expert, in the room together, the room being perhaps in person or over zoom as the circumstances require, being fully transparent, being fully collaborative in terms of we’re all trying to align on the overarching goals. We might have different plans or paths about how to get there, but it’s all option generating. And why would this option work versus this? What are the issues with this option, but the commitment to stay out of court that the client sign off on at the beginning is a really strong incentive to continue to work on things proactively and collaboratively, because that looming threat of, well, if I don’t get it my way, I’ll just pull the plug and go to court. The goal is to eliminate that, and so we do a lot of collaborative work in this area as well. And the collaborative attorneys in this area are tremendously intelligent people, compassionate people, and it’s really clear that they want their clients to be better off at the outcome of their case than just, you know, to put too fine a point on it, like it’s not, we are not in it to line our pockets. We’re in it to bring resolution to these families. And I think that that’s something that mediation and collaboration both do really well.

Chad Franzen  12:13

Yeah, that’s That’s great. So assuming, you know, somehow that doesn’t work and you end up in court. Can you tell us if one comes to the top of your mind about a particularly memorable court case that you handled, and maybe why it’s memorable and what you learned from it.

Tashina Gorgone  12:30

I will talk about one. And I will talk about this because it was actually in the newspapers in India. I had a case Julie and I began working on the case, and then it became more of my case as time passed, so I ended up taking it over. We had a client whose wife had taken their children, and during the 2020, pandemic, COVID 19 pandemic, went to India with the party’s children, claiming that she was going to be returning in a few months. When, you know, social distancing had kind of cooled down, when the schools were going to reopen. In person, it took him a few months to realize that that was not, in fact, the case, and she was not going to be returning with the children. So we had to initiate proceedings here in Fairfax County, where we initiated a divorce case and an emergency custody petition. She did. The wife did, obtain counsel here in Fairfax and tried to get the case dismissed, saying that the children and she now lived in India, and so everything should be done in India. Our judges disagreed with that. We ultimately, time passed, right? None of it happens as quickly as you want. So there’s a lot of patience involved. We ultimately did get my clients sole legal and physical custody of the children, which was excellent. But then, of course, the hurdle became, what’s he going to be able to actually physically get the return of these children? He had a great team in India as well. So we were able to work in close contact with them and send them the orders as they were happening here in Fairfax. They were able to get judicial involvement in India. It unfortunately did make it into the papers a few times in India, and it resulted in law enforcement being involved in India, and the police had to go in, ultimately, and extract the children, but they did come back here to the United States last year, after about two and a half years of legal battles, my client is now reunited with his sons, and it’s for for US, it’s been a happy outcome. Unfortunately, litigation is the nature of it is such that it continues. So this case is not fully done or closed yet, but that was a particularly memorable outcome because it took a lot of work, a lot of cooperation between many different facets and communities and countries even, but ultimately, a good outcome for our client.

Chad Franzen  14:42

How do you kind of you know, I guess it just takes people skills. How do you facilitate cooperation?

Tashina Gorgone  14:49

Well, so cases like that, one, cooperation was a little bit more difficult to facilitate, because when people are incredibly diametrically opposed on what they think is the best outcome, those are the cases where you ultimately have to let a job. Decide the cases that are more poised or posed for cooperation. I think the things that you have to kind of remind yourself of and also remind your client of, is who they’re doing this for you both love your children. Almost always it’s indisputed that both parents love their children. They just have different goals or ideas about how raising their children would look for them. So it’s about reminding them that they are on the same page more times than not, about what the ultimate goal is, and that even parenting in a happy and unified marriage comes with a certain amount of conflict and disagreement about what raising a child might look like. And certainly the two of you who lived with your child for however long this child has been alive are better poised to make those decisions than a stranger in a black robe who will, if all goes, at least as well as possible, will never even see or meet your child. You know, it’s very rare that we actually put the children in the position of needing to come to court. We try very hard to avoid that. So there’s something really to be said for reminding these clients that ultimately you are the better decision maker, and in any other circumstance you would want to be the decision maker. So this is your chance to show that you are capable of doing that, rather than outsourcing the decision making.

Chad Franzen  16:18

Are you involved in any legal associations, and what benefit do you get from those alongside your day to day practice?

Tashina Gorgone  16:26

Thank you. I am, I’m involved in the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, which is an association for the entire Commonwealth of Virginia specifically focused on trial law. I am the upcoming Chair of the Women’s Caucus of VTLA. I’m also on the Education Committee and the Family Law seminar there. And the big benefits for that first are the comradery in the community and the networking that comes with it, right? We have listservs, we have conventions, we have meetings where we’re able to soundboard, we’re able to do our continuing legal education credits. We are required to do a certain number of ongoing education credits per year. So these conventions offer programming so that we can get our education credits. We’re able to build bridges with people who might do a different area of law. So when family law intersects with a bankruptcy issue or a med mal issue or a criminal issue, and those intersections do happen, we know who the trial attorneys are in those other fields to refer our clients out to. I’m also on the board for the Northern Virginia Women Attorneys Association and the Fairfax Bar Association. I’m involved with them, and I conciliate on the Juvenile and Domestic Relations docket for Fairfax County, which is sort of like a quasi mediator on a particular motion docket to try to help people resolve their issues before a judge has to decide them, and the same benefits really aneury themselves to those organizations as well. I’m also a member of the Collaborative Professionals of Northern Virginia and the Virginia Collaborative Professionals in the collaborative world, I’m sure that there’s something else we kind of float in and out of these organizations as we’re asked, or as our availability allows.

Chad Franzen  18:05

What have you found there to be any common misconceptions about family law?

Tashina Gorgone  18:11

Yes, I think one of the biggest misconceptions is that, and it packages into what I was saying earlier. I think one of the biggest misconceptions is that we are all these kind of dogged shark like people that just want to go in and create discord and drum up fees for ourselves and for our own benefit. And I am not going to say no attorney is like that, right? I think in any field of profession, you can find one or two that are responsible for creating that stereotype, but by and large that could not be further from the truth. I think there’s something so unique about the family law bar, which is we really are doing as much as we can to feel while protecting ourselves, but feel what you’re going through, and empathize what you as a client is going through, and trying to help you reach an outcome that is going to make you feel stable, secure and safe in the outcome, because you had such a role in creating it. And so our goals really are about trying to leave the family in a better situation than we found it, knowing that the situation of divorce in most cases is going to be inevitable, and that’s why they come to us in the first place, right? But I often tell clients, I’m not in the business of getting people divorced. There are cases that come through that ultimately the parties are interested in reconciliation. They’re interested in doing a postductual agreement to, you know, try to address some of the things that are coming up in their marriage, so that they don’t go down the divorce route, and we don’t insist that those people get divorced if that’s not what they want. So I think the misconception, really is that we’re just in it to make it as difficult and agonizing a process of for people, and that’s just really not the case.

Chad Franzen  19:54

Good. That’s good. Good to know. Hey, do you find that there are a lot of continuous changes in the field of family law, and if so, how do you stay kind of abreast of those changes?

Tashina Gorgone  20:05

So it’s a two parter, because I think that there are a lot of things happening in the world that can influence the practice of family law, and that’s the first part. There’s not always a catching up of the law to meet those changing developments, and that’s because creating new law or revising law down, you know, the legislature’s job, that’s a that’s a slow process, and it requires a certain amount of agreement and collaboration on their end before it even reaches us to implement and I think a really good example of that is evolution of technology. I mean, I’m not even talking about like aI yet, or, you know, Photoshop, which are all major issues that we contend with, doctoring text, doctoring, video, that sort of thing. We have to worry about that stuff. But our laws are somewhat antiquated in so far as you know, the definition of what hacking might be, or the definition of electronic interception isn’t where it needs to be to qualify for downloading texts from a cell phone yet, and now I’m just one person’s opinion, and I’ve advocated for both sides of that argument when I’ve been in court, you know, saying this statute does apply versus the statute doesn’t apply. But the reason we’re having those disagreements is because the law is not clear on its face about when and how it applies to a lot of technological development. I think another thing we’re seeing, I’ll refrain from commenting on my personal feelings about it, but I think something that just came up last week in Alabama with the decision of IVF and the implications of whether or not an embryo is a child that’s going to have trickle down consequences in a major way for family law, depending on how other courts decide that issue, and what the implications are for people who are getting divorced, who hold frozen embryos in an IVF storage facility, for example, are we going to be facing custody cases with that right now, embryos are part of property distribution, so that’s, you know, a very big change. If we’re shifting from property distribution to child custody, or not child custody, quasi child custody, we’re so far from catching up to those issues that that, you know, we’re all just doing our best.

Chad Franzen  22:08

You know, I’m sure there are a lot of issues in family law that can be highly emotional. How do you kind of handle that? Handle the emotional demands of the practice?

Tashina Gorgone  22:19

Boundaries is, I think, a big one, and one that takes a long time to learn you want to be available for your clients, because you know that they are looking to you to be available for them. And you can’t predict when they are going to have a moment of need. But you also have to know, as an attorney, and particularly in a volatile and emotional area, which family law is that if you aren’t taking care of yourself, you are reducing who is available to take care of all of your clients. Because we don’t just have one client, right? We might have 20, we might have 10, we might have 50, just depending on the size of the firm and the volume at that particular moment. And so if you aren’t imposing self boundaries for I’m not going to answer the phone after this time of night. You know, one of the one of the things I will sometimes say to clients is, if the courts aren’t open, there’s only so much I can do for you anyway, and so I’m not going to take that call at eight o’clock at night, because I probably can’t do anything for you in that moment anyway, except be there with you spinning our rules, so to speak, right? So it’s responding quickly to say, I see this, and I’m going to get you on my calendar at my next, you know, open opportunity. Or it’s just responding quickly to the email to say, I’ve seen this, and I’m going to get back to you substantively, you know, as soon as I am able, so that they don’t continue to spin out and they know that you’re there. But I’ve learned, and it took me years, that taking that eight o’clock at my phone call doesn’t actually help anybody, it just keeps everybody kind of hyper aroused in that moment. So you make the connection to say, I see you don’t do anything that I wouldn’t do, and we’ll reconnect when we’re able to have a more productive, substantive discussion.

Chad Franzen  24:04

I’m sure it helps to have hobbies, as I mentioned, you are involved in community theater. Can you share a memorable experience or two from being involved with that?

Tashina Gorgone  24:14

I absolutely can. Thank you. I got back into so I did community theater as a child. It was something that I really enjoyed all the way through elementary school, and then I just stopped doing it. I don’t really know why. It just became something that was not as front facing in my life. And then in about 2015 I saw an opportunity to audition for a local production of a Sherlock play, Sherlock Holmes, and I just kind of on a whim, said, let’s see what happens. And I went and I auditioned, and it was a more farcical, comical take on Sherlock stories, and I was cast as a Mrs Hudson. And so it just gave me an opportunity. It was not a huge role, but it was a very fun role. It allowed me to. To dedicate the time that I that the show deserved, but because I wasn’t a major lead or anything like that, I didn’t have to be there every single rehearsal, so it allowed me to still balance my work. And that just kind of became, that was my first foray back into community theater, and that just became kind of the catalyst for whenever there are opportunities in the community that I can do. You know, a small role, I love to take it right now, one of the things that I spend a little bit more time doing is I’m involved with a group that does murder mystery dinner theaters. And so, you know, that’s like, it’s a little more improv, and it’s one particular night that I’m committed to. And so just whenever I have that availability, I can say yes, on this Friday night or this Saturday night, I’m going to go, you know, pretend to have committed fraud, or I’m going to have gone and pretend to be blackmailing somebody. And it’s a very fun, involved situation where you get to have dinner with the audience, and they don’t know that you’re involved in the production until you reveal yourself, so they think they’ve been making friends with you this whole time, and then turns out you were in on it. And that’s is a really good release, and it helps keep me sharp for the courtroom, because it involves thinking on your feet, improvisation, enunciation, good public speaking confidence, so it keeps me practiced as well.

Chad Franzen  26:24

Yeah, yeah, I bet does do the skills that you have from your theatrical background and, you know, continuing to practice practice them now. Do they help you at all in legal practice?

Tashina Gorgone  26:34

Absolutely. I number one, it’s something else to talk about at these legal events, where you’re not always just churning talking about the law, which we can be somewhat nerdy about and want to do, but the the idea of being in a courtroom, and the singular focus that your day becomes about what is happening in that room, and having to be On alert to listen to the witness, listen to opposing counsel, try to read the judge, try to navigate working with your client and making sure that their questions are being answered, while at the same time trying to keep track of what evidence has or has not come in. Being prepared to make your own objections, being prepared to make your own opening statement or closing statement or examination. All of that requires such attention to detail, but it also is a little bit performative. You have to be able to exude confidence, you have to speak clearly, you have to be on top of your objections so that they aren’t waived. And I think theater and knowing what your cue is and knowing what your next line is, and knowing that you have to be speaking clearly so that the audience can hear you even in the back, those are skills that interplay with one another and help me feel like when I’m in a courtroom, it’s not that different than being on a stage. In so far as I have to bring the same confidence, I have to bring the same enthusiasm, and so it it’s almost like, like strength training but for court.

Chad Franzen  28:09

As we kind of wrap things up here, is there any anything that you would like to let everybody know about Maddox & Gerock? What makes you guys unique?

Tashina Gorgone  28:24

I would love for people to know that we are a really lovely, compassionate, intelligent group of attorneys that are truly dedicated to helping our clients get the best possible outcome, not just for the foreseeable moment in time, but for the future, as they’re wrapping up this moment in time, be it their divorce, be it a discrete custody modification or support modification, we want the good that we bring into our clients lives to have ripple out effects, so that when clients make referrals to us, they’re making those referrals not just because we protected their interests, which is, of course, our ultimate goal, but because we made the processes seamless and as less painful for them as possible, understanding that, of course, it’s always going to be difficult, but at the same time, we are attorneys that if we cannot protect your interests and get you the best outcome in an alternative dispute manner, we’re not afraid to be in a courtroom. It is, it is where we have sharpened our skills. It is where we are honed. And so I think that there’s just something to be said for having a strong advocate who is also compassionate, responsive and understanding, and we really, we really bring that to our practice.

Chad Franzen  29:37

Great, great. One more question for you, but first, how can people find out more about you?

Tashina Gorgone  29:43

You can find out more about me at maddoxandgerock.com that’s maddoxandgerock.com, you also can just google me. Tashina Gorgone is a pretty unique name, and I am the only one who comes up. So you can find me on Avvo, Martindale Hubbell, Super Lawyers. You can find us on our firm’s website. I have a Facebook page for my professional work, and so we have an Instagram, just social media generally, but a good old-fashioned Google search will get you there.

Chad Franzen  30:17

Okay, great. Last question for you, is there any advice you would, let’s say, somebody you knew, or somebody’s kid you knew, or something decided that they either wanted to go to law school, or they were just finishing law school. Is there any kind of advice that you would give them based on the fact that you’ve been there and done that.

Tashina Gorgone  30:37

For law school, particularly, just practicing law generally, or just.

Chad Franzen  30:40

You know, just as they start their journey into the legal field.

Tashina Gorgone  30:46

I would say that there is no harm in it taking more than one place for you to find your footing. I think people can be very intimidated or scared by the idea of, if I take a job at this place, you know, I’m married to this place, or I am, you know, committing the indefinite future to this place, much like anything in life, sometimes the first thing you choose is not the best fit for what it is you ultimately decide you want to do, and you may not ultimately know what you want to do when you fresh out the gate. And that’s okay. We have this idea that you have to know exactly what you want to do when you go to college, choose your major, go to law school, pick your field of law. I stumbled my way into law. Went not into law, but into family law. I stumbled my way into it in my first firm, I did not think that I was going to enjoy family law, and it has ended up being one of the most rewarding things that I have done. And so it was scary to make that transition into a solely family law firm, but it ended up suiting me so well, it was mutually beneficial. And I I just cannot emphasize enough for up and coming young attorneys, that it’s okay if you get into insurance defense and you realize that’s not where you want to be, or you start in the prosecutor’s office, and you realize that’s not the kind of law you want to do, it is okay to be curious, and the hardest part is making the decision. Everything else is just details.

Chad Franzen  32:08

Absolutely that. You know, that’s really great advice for anybody in any field. You know based on my experience. But hey, Tashina, it’s great. It was great to talk to you. Great to hear your stories and all of your insights. Thank you so much. I appreciate your time today.

Tashina Gorgone  32:21

Oh, thank you so much. You too.

Chad Franzen  32:22

So long everybody.

Outro  32:26

Thanks for listening to 15 Minutes. Be sure to subscribe, and we’ll see you next time.

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