For Thomas E. Shipp Jr., some of his best days are when clients write him a note saying thank you.
Shipp, an attorney with more than 30 years of experience in wills, trusts and estate planning, said he works with families dealing with difficult situations when a loved one passes.
“They’re relying on their confidence in me,” Shipp said.
Shipp, who has worked in Southwest Florida since 1980, recently joined the Martin Law Firm’s principal office in Cape Coral. He said he’s very happy with the new affiliation.
“It’s very exciting to go from a history of a solo practice and small partnerships to an organization that’s a group practice where a client can get many services under one roof,” Shipp said.
The Martin Law Firm is run by husband and wife team Steven E. Martin and Eviana J. Martin. The firm also has offices in Fort Myers and Naples. Steven Martin said he’s glad to have Shipp’s level of experience added to his firm.
“Tom’s been in practice for 30 years and we haven’t,” Martin said. “It’s exciting for us to get Tom’s depth and breadth of experience.”
Eviana Martin agreed, adding, “It’s important to get someone with experience in wills and trusts.”
Shipp, who has been at the firm for almost two months, said with a laugh that he’s getting all the old man jokes in the office. He said that in some firms, lawyers can be territorial but at the Martin Law Firm it’s more like a family.
“What’s really impressed me here is Steve and Eviana created a tight team, working together and helping each other out. I think it’s very unique,” Shipp said.
Although he jokes around in the office, Shipp is serious about his profession. He said that he focuses on the needs of clients in order to gain their trust because they rely on him to make the proper arrangements. He said you don’t get that reassurance when you prepare the documents yourself on the Internet.
“I want to be here when a person decided I need an attorney for a will or a trust,” Shipp said. “It’s part of the ability (of the client) to sit down and get personal advice from someone you have confidence in. With us, you don’t get a printed set of directions, or a toll-free number to call, you get a person.”
Shipp said some of the hardest hurdles he has to overcome are documents that were not properly prepared and he said these documents often affect the family members who have been left behind.
“It’s not just about the money the people inherit based on those documents,” he said. “It’s about the relationship of the family and how conflict can tear those relationships apart or how this moment could bring people closer together.”
Via WINK NEWS – LEE COUNTY, Fla.- The saga surrounding Mindy McCready’s custody battle over her son, Zander McCready, continues.
Mindy McCready’s mother and stepfather, Gayle and Michael Inge, have released the following statement:
“Currently, our grandson is in foster care with strangers with the State of Arkansas. We would like to express our gratitude to the Florida Department of Children and Families for its effort in this case and also to the Arkansas foster family for their help in taking care of our grandson. We would like to plea for his return to Florida before Christmas.
The accusations made by Mindy McCready against us are false and hurtful. These accusations are the same accusations made by Mindy for the past four years and have been thoroughly investigated by the Florida Department of Children and Families and the presiding judge in our grandson’s case. We cannot get into specifics due to confidentiality in any child dependency matter.
The Arkansas Department of Human Services seems to be claiming jurisdiction over this case in violation of the UCCJEA (Unifom Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act). Their position is in stark opposition to the basic principals outlined in the UCCJEA. We disagree with Arkansas DHS’s position as Florida has home state jurisdiction under the UCCJEA and a Florida Court has been involved in this case since 2007. In fact, there was a hearing in the Florida Court that concluded in early November for which a decision was pending at the time Mindy fled to Arkansas with the child. We are our grandson’s legal guardians.
The court in Arkansas has not yet ruled on the claims of the Arkansas DHS and has not yet ruled on the threshold issue of whether it even has jurisdiction under the UCCJEA to hear the case. It is our opinion that the State of Florida has ‘home state’ jurisdiction over this case, not the State of Arkansas. More practically speaking, having a case such as this handled in a state over a thousand miles away from our grandson’s family, doctors, teachers and classmates is an absurd and unjust result and clearly not in the best interest of our grandson. Our grandson is in the custody of strangers for the Holidays. This is the first time in his life he has been with strangers. It is hard for us as a family to see how in any way this is the best interest of our grandson. He is only a 5-year-old boy. He has been stolen by his mother, recovered from authorities hiding in a closet, then put in the care of strangers. How could this possibly be in the best interest of our grandson?
In custody and dependency matters justice delayed is often a failure of justice. Please join us in our prayers that the Arkansas court can reach its decision on the UCCJEA issue sooner rather than later so our grandson can return home to us, his family and friends in Lee County for the holidays.”
LEE COUNTY, Fla. — A WINK News exclusive: The Mindy McCready custody battle heats up. WINK News has confirmed the county singer’s son, Zander, will remain in an Arkansas foster home through Christmas.
Inge’s lawyer told WINK News, Arkansas authorities claim it’s risky for Zander to live with her and her husband.
“At this point, the hearing in Arkansas has been continued until January 13, 2012 and the grandson is living with strangers and he’s not going to be home for the holidays,” said Steven E. Martin, attorney for Michael & Gayle Inge.
McCready recently accused her mother of being abusive toward Zander. Inge denies the allegations. Ultimately a judge will have the final say on who gets custody.