Divorce With Decency

By P. Gregory Frey, Esq.
Wednesday - November 22, 2006
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Discussing a case: Coates & Frey attorneys Jessi Hall (left) and Thomas Farrell are hard at work
Discussing a case: Coates & Frey attorneys Jessi
Hall (left) and Thomas Farrell are hard at work

Almost 20,000 divorces - that’s about how many divorce cases the Coates & Frey law firm has handled during the last 28 years or so. As one of Hawaii’s largest family law firms, we have certainly witnessed more than enough of the sad side of spousal and family breakups.

Early in his career, our firm’s founder, Bradley A. Coates, figured out a way to make the otherwise gut-wrenching process of divorce into a more positive experience for our clients. Brad developed the “Divorce with Decency” approach which our firm employs to this day. Clients have long appreciated our approach, and Coates & Frey has grown rapidly in size and stature over the years. I joined the firm’s litigation department in 1990, and became Mr. Coates’ partner in 1996. I now serve as the managing attorney.

I believe there are four primary benchmarks which explain why our law office has been so successful in helping clients obtain affordable divorces.

1) We’re one of Hawaii’s largest family law firms. With our staff of 10 attorneys and more than 20 paralegals and secretaries, we’re one of the largest in terms of sheer size. We’re also no doubt the largest in terms of volume - having processed thousands of divorce cases in Hawaii’s Family Courts. In each of these cases we strive to employ a principled negotiating style in order to arrive at a fair settlement as early in the proceedings as possible.

2) We’ve been selected as Hawaii’s Best Divorce Lawyer in reader polls of both Honolulu Magazine and Honolulu Weekly, thanks largely to Mr. Coates’ vision and philosophy. Clients like Brad’s approach and our firm’s style. We don’t drag cases out. Instead, we resolve them as rapidly, economically and amicably as possible. We try to settle cases first, a key component of the Divorce with Decency approach, but we are tough and experienced trial lawyers when cases go contested.

3) We have experience providing affordable family law services in Hawaii, and have developed hands-on skill in all key areas of family law practice, including divorces and separations, custody, alimony, property division, child support, child and domestic abuse, paternity and prenuptials. We also operate a low-cost divorce mediation service called “Divorce with Decency: A Mediation Clinic.” When it comes to family law, we’ve handled every kind of case you can think of - and that hands-on experience translates into better results for our clients.

4) We literally “wrote-the-book” on divorce in Hawaii. Mr. Coates wrote Divorce With Decency: The Complete How-To Handbook and Survivor’s Guide to the Legal, Emotional, Economic and Social Issues, in 1999. Brad’s book won the Hawaii Book Publisher’s Award of Merit for Excellence in Guide and Reference Books. In his book, Mr. Coates encourages the handling of dissolution cases in a rapid, straight-forward, economical and harmonious manner.

Bottom line: Our firm’s “Divorce with Decency” mission statement is to provide the experience, skill and sensitivity needed to achieve consistently superior results for our clients.

Perhaps that is why some many of them are satisfied with our services. We invite anyone who is facing a difficult divorce or family law situation to become one of them.

We are here to help.

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