MEET THE FAMILY

This is R+E

You have been given the names of several different attorneys, and you are doing your due diligence by checking out R+E  on this website. Welcome!  We are glad you found us.  You can find out how we got our start in family law in this podcast episode.

This whole thing is a drag, and you would prefer to be spending your time and energy on something positive. We totally understand.  Not only do you need attorneys who know the law, the Judge and how the system works, you need your legal team to think about the big picture, understanding your life is not a game. Decisions made today will impact your future for a long time to come, and working with the right attorneys, not just good attorneys, is critically important.

Every human being longs for belonging and meaning.

At R+E, we are efficiency junkies. If you know your goals, the job of your divorce attorney is to get you there as quickly as the system will allow, understanding there are many variables you are not going to be able to control, and the transaction in which you are involved is about more than just money.  If you do not know your goals, a good legal counselor will give you the guidance and resources to figure them out.  We know even the thought of divorce is deeply personal and acutely emotional for both sides. You cannot ignore those feelings if you want to be healthy as you move through this.

Some lawyers call legal choreography “job security”, but we call it –well, we shouldn’t say what we call it on the Internet. Legal maneuvering for the sake of it is a suspension of common sense, which seems to happen a great deal in family legal disputes by lawyers and the parties. We are blessed to have enough to do without creating more work and more conflict than is necessary to get the job done. Increasing the number of bullets flying between you and your spouse may hurt your kids. They love you and need you to pour into their life in a positive way, not spend your time and energy trying to torch the other person from whom they are partly developing their identity if it can be avoided.

So now, without further introduction, meet our awesome little family.

CRAIG ROBERTSON

Founding Partner

Craig Robertson is the founder of Robertson + Easterling. For over 20 years, he has practiced exclusively high net worth divorce and complicated family law in Mississippi. Over the course of his career he has worked with multiple nationally and internationally known high profile individuals. You will want him in your corner because he believes every case is his most important, and he knows the things you care about deeply are at stake –family, safety, and security. He is strategic, collaborative, creative and extremely competitive. He will direct you to journey the path of health and wholeness despite your circumstances.

MATT EASTERLING

Partner

Matt Easterling is a named partner with Robertson+Easterling and serves as the firm CFO. A graduate of the University of Alabama in Investment Finance, he completed his legal education at Ole Miss. Matt has an uncanny ability to put people in crisis at ease -so much that many clients have remarked that he missed his true calling as a therapist. He is intensely competitive, passionate and patient. Board Certified in Family Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, Matt routinely assists clients with high income and significant net worths.  Matt is a veteran litigator, and has earned the respect of attorneys and judges state-wide during his over decade spanning career.

CAYLAN DUNNELLS

Associate

Caylan is graduate of Mississippi College School of Law, where she excelled in trial advocacy training through her participation in Moot Court and graduated magna cum laude. Both her training in law school and experience with Robertson + Easterling has made her an impressive litigator in the courtroom and an extremely polished advocate. She is a wife, a mom and a dedicated associate who has been a family law specialist for her entire career. Caylan is compassionate, understanding, and hardworking. Being in the courtroom is her passion. And using that passion to help clients through what can be the most difficult season of their lives is the most rewarding part of being an attorney to Caylan.

MAX BUSCHING

Associate

Max received his law degree from Mississippi College School of Law, graduating cum laude. During law school, he received multiple American Jurisprudence awards, as well as the Adams & Reese Pro Bono award. Prior to law school, Max was an upper-school Spanish teacher and varsity basketball coach at Jackson Academy. He brings a passion to helping you navigate the stressful realities associated with family conflict, while providing solution-oriented, compassionate counsel. You will love working with Max because he will help you develop and understand your legal, financial, and emotional goals.

CASSIE DEDMON

Paralegal/Client Care Coordinator

Originally from Rankin County, Cassie is a proficient family law paralegal. She has a huge heart and will grieve with you when you feel low and celebrate with you when you reach the light at the end of the tunnel. Mississippi through and through, she loves spending time with her husband and daughters Mylee and Peyton, who are as bossy, feisty, fun and outspoken as their mommy. The honest truth is you will probably love talking to Cassie more than one of our boring attorneys. She is a big part of the complete service package delivered to you by R+E.

CLAIRE ROBERTSON

Marketing Intern

Claire is serving as the R+E marketing intern who also assists Cassie with client care duties. She is a student at Delta State University.  Her primary job is to make sure our available public information is full of useful information that you can use. She is a local girl, having been born in Jackson, raised in the Mississippi Delta, and spending her formative years in Tupelo. Hustle and hard work is her family legacy. She is creative, full of energy, and always ready to lend you a hand. Claire loves to be challenged, and like her Uncle Craig, will not stop until the job is done.

Need a Little More Convincing?

One of our favorite questions in the initial consultation with you will be: “If we could give you a magic wand and you could waive it and make a wish, what would it be?” We get all kinds of interesting answers. Some are realistic, and some are not.

We know the path you are on is not necessarily the one you would have chosen several years ago, but now that you are here, what would you wish for with a magic wand? What are your goals? More importantly, why do you have these goals? Before you ever sit with an attorney is the time to be defining your expectations and how a group of lawyers like us can help you achieve them. Your lawyer needs to know exactly what he or she is being employed to do from the very beginning? That’s why at R+E, we define goals and make a plan to accomplish those goals in every initial meeting. It is the most important thing we do. Spend time now thinking about achievable goals under less than ideal circumstances.

The Calm Before the Storm

If you are reading this, you are probably in the period of time before a court gives the rules to follow while all this is being sorted out. We like to call it the “Storm before the Calm.” You may be feeling the delirium other people also experience when the reality life is about to significantly change comes into focus- albeit usually blurred by cycling emotion like anger, sadness, denial and bargaining. Maybe someone has moved out or there has been a revelation about an affair. Maybe, there was one more embarrassing situation at the house that has moved you over the tipping point. You may be in the period of anarchy when people act really stupid and do and say a lot of damaging stuff. You may even have been served with papers.  The funny thing is the rules during this time are actually no different than before. Nevertheless, we often get questions like the following:

“Can I change the locks?”

“Can he pick up the kids from school?”

“Can I withdraw money from the home equity line of credit?”

“Can she take the kids to her mother’s in California for the weekend?”

The answer to these questions is usually the same. During the period of time prior to a court order, you can do everything you could do while living together as a married couple. Think about it. While on the same page with your spouse, could you change the locks to your house if you wanted to? Yes, but you could also break your own window if you locked yourself out. Could you pick up your kids from school without telling your spouse? Yes. Get the idea? You can do anything during “the Storm” that you could do before. Now, would it be a good idea for you to pick up the kids without telling your spouse if you do not want negative repercussions? Probably not. Should you break your own window? Maybe under pretty extreme circumstances- Get it? Let us caution you again just because there are no rules, it does not give you a license to do stupid stuff you would never have done while you and your spouse were on the same page. Be respectful to your kids’ other parent. If you would not want it done to you- don’t do it! If you only act after thoughtful consideration and you truly put the best interest of your kids first, you will be just fine. Things will get better and you will find your “new normal.” It just takes time. We can help you find this new normal, and it starts when you contact our office or complete our online intake form.

Patience and Poise

We have meetings all the time with smart potential clients. You’re like that. You know how to get things done. You are successful, organized and Type A, and if you are really honest, you will admit to managing your life more than living it. We do it too. Maybe you can really rock a checklist. We don’t sell you services you do not need yet. It is often evident during our initial meeting that for you to make a decision about the future of your marriage, you will need some information it will be impossible to get for several weeks or even months. We Type A folk’s are not very good at strategic waiting.

We don’t think GNR actually had your situation in mind when they sang about Patience, but the idea is the same. Because you live it, you forget how much life changes over the course of several years. From the perspective of a marriage on life support, it seems the steady beat of the past will continue into the foreseeable future, giving every decision the illusion of life or death magnitude. Let us tell you a little secret based on our collective years of legal experience –stuff changes quickly and time has a way of revealing what you need it to, if you have a little patience, yeah patience.

The other part of a winning divorce equation is poise. To have poise is to have balance, to carry oneself with a sense of equilibrium –a relaxed ready position. Poise is a synonym for dignity. Be steady for your kids, steady in your thought patterns and move forward with cautious optimism, patience and poise.

Many times throughout the process, my R+E attorney told me I needed to have patience and poise. He drove that into my mind and ultimately the wait paid off. We got the settlement we wanted.

We all make choices every day that affect our forever. No question your life can take on a different paradigm in the blink of an eye, but we find in the realm of divorce, this is the exception, not the hard and fast rule. If you are walking through a divorce in Mississippi, whether or not you choose to come see us, open a blank document on your computer and type the words PATIENCE AND POISE. Put it in your favorite font at around 20 point. Now print it. Get some scissors and cut it out and tape it to something you look at every day. Maybe its your computer monitor, maybe it’s the dashboard of your car, maybe it’s the back of your smart phone, but live by the mantra of patience and poise in the heat of divorce and you will be just fine. One of the ways to show poise is to get smart legal counsel by a team like R+E.

Why R+E?

Ask anyone who knows, we have had a pretty good reputation for having done high-end work for a long time. We are not perfect people, but when we make mistakes, we try to make them full speed. We believe in diligence and hustle.

We can help you if you are faced with divorce, child custody and visitation, property division, alimony, child support, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, paternity, post-judgment modification and contempt, alienation of affection, alternate dispute resolution, adoption and every other aspect of family law. We have many high income, high net worth clients with lots of resources.

But We Stand Up for the Little Guy Too

Our attorneys are fierce competitors when the courtroom cannot be avoided, but we will continually protect your welfare, safety and financial future by negotiating and drafting settlements to promote your interests, shield you from future litigation, and uphold the best interests of your children. You will fall in love with our support team because they have walked a mile in your shoes and they care about you and your family.  They are helpful.

For most people, working with an attorney is unknown territory. Lawyers screw things up, right? Family law is especially challenging because so many emotions are present – and rightfully so. At R+E, we don’t ignore your emotions or take lightly the privilege and responsibility of guiding you through the most difficult time of your life- whether that means helping you protect the best interest of your children or your financial future, the R+E team hustles to put you in the best possible legal position to achieve your goals. Sometimes this means a courtroom fight, for which we are always ready, but more often than not you need a reasoned approach to achieving resolution with a 360° analysis of your situation- weighing the costs, both actual and those associated with lost opportunity, and the intangible burdens on you and your children associated with a prolonged family dispute. We know some lawyers are difficult to contact, so we are as accessible to our clients as humanly possible.

It Sounds Crazy, But We Love What We Do

All we do is family law all day long every day. We do not close loans, we do not file bankruptcies, we do not chase ambulances, we do not bill insurance companies. It is all we have ever done and all we will ever do. Well-intentioned “general practitioners” have more to know than they could possibly master. We work in the gray areas of Mississippi family law. We look as hard for what is not there as we do for what is there. Would you have a foot doctor perform a heart transplant?

Family law is open heart surgery.

We eat, drink and sleep family law. We only speak at family law gatherings, all of our continuing education and training is in family law, all of our bar activities are focused on family law- we are lasers, not shotguns.

We Are Goal Centered

At the very first meeting, we put your goals and a plan of action in writing- every time. This is something many well-intentioned lawyers miss. How can your attorney help you if they do not know what you are trying to achieve? They can’t.

If you can’t yet articulate your goals, we will explain your legal options and guide you through the process of identifying your destination- creating a roadmap to get there. We like to draw big, easy to understand pictures. Sometimes our advice is that you should not do anything. If our advice puts us out of work, that’s a good thing, right? Unfortunately, we don’t have to go around trying to create disputes in families to stay employed. We don’t unnecessarily add fuel to the fire. We are creative problem solvers who value traditional and blended families.

We Price on Purpose

At R+E, one size does not fit all when it comes to pricing legal services. An attorney who tells you a price without fully knowing your legal situation is selling himself, and more importantly you, short. We charge a fixed fee for our initial consultation lasting about as long as it takes to find out everything we need to know to completely evaluate what should happen in your case and what it will cost. We prefer to do this in person, but we can also have our initial consultation via telephone or webcam. We start with arming you with information while gathering all the necessary facts to quote you a fair and reasonable price. Our fee arrangement is always clearly spelled out and we will go over it with you line by line if you like.

We think you should know what our services are going to cost before we do anything, but we also recognize factors we cannot control will drive our cost. The calendar, your adversary and the judge, to name a few, are things we cannot control impacting the ultimate price. We are selective. We turn away as many cases as we take. We do not overextend our resources; we keep our caseloads manageable so that when it’s time to go — IT IS GO TIME.

We Give Back

You can only work in the reshaping of families based on negative circumstances so long before it gets to you. We carry your burdens. We cry with you. We hurt with you. We leave a little bit of ourselves in the courtroom every time we go. It is not only the right thing to do, it is imperative for our own health for us to give something back. Our attorneys and support team our involved in our communities and churches. We believe in volunteerism.

We Serve All of Mississippi

Working statewide gives us broader perspective. We are not part of the “good ole boy” system, but we are proud of our Magnolia State heritage and look forward to opportunities to travel around our great state. You probably will not run into us at the grocery store or the ballgame on Friday night. Our kids don’t ride the bus with your kids. We cherish that Mississippi is made up of so many small towns, but we also know your personal life is nobody’s business but yours. We challenge conventional wisdom, but respect local practices and treat our fellow professionals with dignity – no matter where we are. Our commitment to technology makes taking our show on the road easy, and while we may not live around the corner, you will feel like we do because you will always stay informed of the progress of your case- and you will hear it from us, not from your neighbor.

Working With Us is Easy

Getting divorced is a big deal. The lawyers you employ will shape your experience. If you want to work with a “Yes Man” who will tell you what you want to hear, R+E is not for you. If you want honest, thoughtful, reasoned counsel from a proven source of excellence in the law, with a flavor for practicality, call our office or submit an intake form and see if R+E is right for you.  Here is a link about what to expect in our initial consultation with directions to our office.