Gary E. Robbins, P.C. 
Sunwest Bank Building, Suite 405
121 East Birch Avenue
Flagstaff, Arizona 86001-4610
& Discovery

It has long been said that the in criminal law, you have bad people at their best, while in family law, you have good people at their worst.


Mr. Robbins often says that if you want the meanest, nastiest attorney in Flagstaff, you don’t want him to represent you.  But he adds that in family law court “mean and nasty” is not only expensive, it is usually counterproductive and inappropriate in a family law case.  Instead, steady and sober judgment is what the client needs.  Unlike more populous counties with multiple judges who rotate in and out of family court, Coconino County has a small legal community with only two family law judges.  These judges know by their day-to-day experience which attorneys tend to be bombastic and aggressive, and which attorneys are assertive, yet reasonable advocates for their clients.  Only a dozen attorneys in Coconino County have the majority of the cases before these two judges.  Like Mr. Robbins, these attorneys have up to a half-dozen hearing during a week before the two family law judges.  


If you have children, both you and your spouse or partner need to work together in the future for the best interests of your children unless there is significant domestic violence or substance abuse.  You need to co-parent your children long after the case is over and the attorneys and Court are out of your life.  You and your spouse or partner will both be there when your children marry and when your grandchildren are born.  Emotions in a family law case are usually already high; the last thing you or your spouse or partner need is for one or both of the attorneys in the case to whip the case up into more of a frenzy. 


On the other hand, while Mr. Robbins doesn't start fights for the sake of fighting them, he will not allow you or him to be run over by an aggressive bullying attorney. Mr. Robbins is tenacious and methodical, and he doesn't back down. 


Mr. Robbins' philosophy is to balance strong advocacy for his clients with compassion for all concerned. 


For example, some attorneys in Flagstaff delight with serving divorce papers on the the other parent or spouse at work, often on a Friday afternoon, when it is more difficult to see an attorney on short notice.  This is very stressful, and starts the case off on a very adversarial basis.  By contrast, Mr. Robbins’ office will usually call the other parent or spouse and let him or her know (a) that he represents you, (b) that you have filed a petition, and (c) that you don’t want to embarrass them at work or home by being served, so Mr. Robbins would be happy for them to pick up the papers at his office.  This courtesy goes a long way to start the case off on the right step. 

Another thing Mr. Robbins does is to try to get off on the right foot with your spouse or partner.  He usually writes a letter to your spouse or partner that will often begin with the following:

As you may know, I represent your husband/wife/partner in the above referenced matter.  S/he asked me to write this letter to assure you that s/he would like to have this matter resolved as quickly and as amicably as possible so neither party continues to incur attorney’s fees and to keep conflict at a minimum.


S/he is also willing to give you an open extension of time to file a response to these documents so long as the parties continue to resolve the issues amicably and make headway toward resolution or reconciliation.  In the event that you cannot, I will notify you in writing to file an appropriate response.  In the meantime, however, as long as the parties are continuing to cooperate, I will not file an application for entry of default.  You can retain this letter as your assurance that I will take no action unless I have first sent you written notification to the contrary.


Please understand that I represent your husband/wife/partner’s interests only.  I cannot offer you any legal advice.  I can communicate with you for the purpose of setting forth any agreement, that you and your husband/wife/partner have made.  Naturally, if you wish to hire your own attorney or seek legal advice, I have no opposition to this and would, indeed, suggest it if you feel uncomfortable with what I have stated above.

The benefit to this approach is that it sets a conciliatory, yet firm tone, not being overly aggressive. Mr. Robbins also often suggests that the parties use a mediator or the collaborative divorce process to see if those approaches can help resolve issues in a less aggressive manner.  

For more information about this approach, please see the videos that are part of this website.