The Family Law Office of David Perry Davis
I graduated from Rutgers University in 1992 and intended to become a High School history teacher. I went through the Family Court system myself in reference to custody of my son and decided to pursue the law rather than teaching. I attended law school with a strong family law focus and landed a clerkship in the Family Part after I graduated in 1996.
For almost two decades now, I have practiced almost exclusively in the Family Part and the Appellate Division. I’ve brought several successful civil rights actions over Family Part issues which have made the system more fair to all.
My own experience in Family Court led me to become a shared parenting activist and advocate. Clerking in the Family Part and practicing since 1996 moderated many of my views. While I am still a strong advocate for a presumption of shared parenting (what was a dream 20 years ago is now a reality on this issue, with equally shared residential custody no longer even considered unusual), preventing abuse of the Domestic Violence Act, fair support awards, and gender equality, I have come to realize that every case is unique. I have advocated for as many legitimate domestic violence victims as I have defended against frivolous claims (over 50 trials). I am a member of the Appellate Practice Committee and have the honor of serving as a Matrimonial Early Settlement Panelist.
I appear regularly in contested and uncontested custody, parenting time (visitation), divorce, child support and related matters in Mercer, Somerset, and Hunterdon Counties (and have a few matters in Middlesex and Burlington Counties). I handle uncontested cases (on an “unbundled legal services” basis) on a statewide basis for a flat fee + filing fee if a Property Settlement Agreement is required). The notable cases section of my website highlights many of my cases. I have litigated before hearing officers, the trial court, the Appellate Division, the Supreme Court of New Jersey, the Federal District Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
My clients have included five fellow attorneys and two employees of the Family Part (note: this does not constitute an endorsement by State of New Jersey) and the brother of a law clerk to a Family Part judge who chose me based on her experience with all the local attorneys who advocated before the court (note: this does not constitute an endorsement by the court).
In sum, having been through the system myself left me keenly aware of the unique challenges and demands of practicing Family Law in New Jersey. I understand that separation and divorce can be emotionally upsetting events. I know the importance of taking the time to listen to your situation, assessing your rights and obligations and providing you with your legal options. Whenever possible, I attempt to resolve family law matters amicably and efficiently. But, when necessary, I am not hesitant to litigate to strongly advocate for your rights and causes in court.
Experience (prior to opening The Law Office of David Perry Davis)
State of New Jersey / Department of the Judiciary
Hon. Donald W. de Cordova, J.S.C.
Law Clerk, 1996 term
Reviewed 25-30 family law motions per week, summarized, made recommendations and discussed each with Superior Court Judge, performed legal research, drafted opinions, discussed motions with attorneys and pro se litigants, mediated disputes.
Camden County Office of the Public Defender
Intern, Summer 1994, Summer 1995, Fall 1995
Represented indigent juvenile defendants in bench trials, argued bail motions, researched and drafted briefs.
Margrabia & Donegan, P.C.
September 1995 – September 1996
Wrote two appellate briefs (both successful). One concerned the erroneous granting of “equitable credits” after the trial Court found the parties’ prenuptial agreement to be valid and enforceable. The other concerned the consideration of improper factors when sentencing a domestic violence offender and the unconstitutionality of sentencing a defendant to attend religion-based A. A. meetings. Legal research and writing, wrote memorandums of law.
Indik & MacNamara, Attorneys at Law
Paralegal / Legal Secretary / General Office Assistant, August 1988 – July 1996
Part-time, as-needed work for Princeton law firm. Deposition reviews, drafted pleadings and motions, basic research, client support, extensive computer work.
United States Army / New Jersey Army National Guard
January 1990 – January 1992
Private First Class / Administrative Specialist / Squad Leader
Completed Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training, Ft. Jackson, SC Letter of Commendation for creating computer program now used to train all U.S. Army Administrative Specialists more efficiently. New Jersey Merit Award.
Rutgers School of Law at Camden
Juris Doctorate, 1996
Dean’s List. Last semester GPA: 4.0
Hunter Advanced Moot Court: Top Ten Brief Award
Am Jur Award (Highest grade in class): Family Law, Spring 1995
Fairleigh Dickinson University
Paralegal Certificate, 1992
Seven month graduate program covering all aspects of legal procedure and legal research and writing.
B.A., History, 1991
Dean’s List. Phi Alpha Theta International Honor Society.
United States Army
Administrative Specialist School, 1990
Alpha Company, 369th Training Battalion
“Fast Track” (honors) award, Commander’s Award for exceeding Company standards.
Mercer County Community College
Dean’s List. Alpha Mu Gamma Honor Society for foreign language study
Extra Curricular Accomplishments & Achievements
Contributing Editor, The Advocate – Rutgers Law School student newspaper (1994 – 1995), Editor of Rutgers weekly newspaper, The Medium (1991). Started “RU Falling From the Sky” (Rutgers University skydiving club – 1989).
Mediation. Former Professional Mediator: State of New Jersey, Department of the Judiciary. Developed an 85% settlement rate while employed as a law clerk.
Language: Near fluency in Spanish. Some Mandarin Chinese, Russian.
Extensive Computer Skills: WordPerfect (advanced functions and macro programming), MS Word, Lotus 1-2-3, PageMaker, Lexis & Westlaw, DOS, Windows, anti-virus software. Complete system installation, operation. Working knowledge of Novell Networks. Set up and operated on-line computer BBS system (SysOp), 1988-1993.