Hendler for years. “You have an intelligent
dialogue to get resolution for the clients.”
During the decades, cultural mores shifted.
Divorce, once taboo, became common.
Matrimonial law changed. Hendler adapted.
Today, cases hinge upon issues such as
surrogate parenting, same-sex marriage
and the complicated unions of people
from varying cultures. Couples in second
marriages seek prenuptial agreements.
One of Hendler’s clients fought for
possession of sperm at a fertility clinic.
Others argue over their share of millions
invested in business. Some squabble over
visitation rights for the family pet.
Clients walk in with baggage and stress
and heartache. Matrimonial law can be
equal parts business valuations, tax and
commercial litigation, psychology and
child psychology. It is this last issue—
the psychological impact of divorce
on children—that Hendler still finds
troublesome after all these years. He still
sees situations where one party attempts
to use a claim for sole custody as a
bargaining tool to pay less in child support.
is a professional corporation whose members and
associates are trial lawyers specializing in personal injury
defense, medical negligence defense, and administrative
law as it relates to the privileges and licensing of physicians in the state of Maryland. Members of the firm are
AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest possible
rating for legal ability and ethical standards.
Conrad Varner was recently named a fellow in the
Litigation Counsel of America. He is a past chair of
the Maryland Bar Association’s litigation section and
past president of the Maryland Association of Defense
Trial Counsel. He has served on numerous pro bono
boards including the Maryland Disability Law Center,
The ARC of Frederick and Washington County and the
Legal Aid Bureau.
Ed Goundry graduated from the University of Baltimore
School of Law in 1991 where he served as articles editor of
the Law Review. He regularly tries jury trials and handles
appeals in state and federal court. His practice consists
of defending physicians in cases of alleged malpractice,
defending personal injury actions, and serving as a court-appointed mediator. He is admitted to practice law in
Maryland, the District of Columbia, and West Virginia.
Matt Fogelson, an associate in the firm, joined the
practice in 2011. He graduated with honors from
the University of Maryland School of Law where he
served on the University of Maryland Law Journal of Race,
Religion, Gender and Class. As a former trial and appellate
lawyer for the Maryland Office of the Public Defender,
Fogelson has experience in criminal defense.
“For me and most of the lawyers I deal
with, so many [couples] have already been
through couples’ counseling or individual
counseling,” Hendler says. “Often, by the
time they get to me, it’s too late.”
In one case, Hendler successfully helped
argue that a separated spouse shouldn’t
have to pay for her estranged husband’s
graduate school education. In another case,
he won a decision establishing that couples
with joint bank accounts become tenants in
common after divorce, each entitled to 50
percent of the account balance.
Modern technology has complicated
relationships, and by extension, Hendler’s
practice. The disenchanted seek affairs
online. High school sweethearts and
college beaus pop up on Facebook. Affairs
are documented with cell phone records,
Facebook postings, You Tube videos and
emails. It is all fodder for divorce attorneys.
Hendler has also seen another shift: an
emphasis on alternative dispute resolution in
family law. He has embraced this change, too,
attending a Harvard Negotiation Workshop,
becoming certified in 2007 as an arbitrator
LEFT TO RIGHT: Conrad W. Varner*, Matthew H.
Fogelson, Frederick W. Goundry, III
*Selected to 2013 Maryland Super Lawyers
121 East Patrick St.
Frederick, MD 21701
by the American Academy of Matrimonial
Lawyers and completing mediation training
sponsored by the Maryland State Bar
Association this past year.
He will still go to trial without hesitation.
But he also spells out why differences
should be resolved amicably.
“It allows couples to arrive at their
own decisions instead of having them
imposed,” he says. “It is often less
expensive and less stressful.”
HENDLER HAS STAYED ACTIVE IN THE
Maryland State Bar Association and
the American Academy of Matrimonial
Lawyers, a group with more than 1,600
lawyers across the country. “He takes his
professional life seriously,” says fellow
firm member David Rudow. “It is a public
service and it contributes to the well-being
of the bar as a whole.”
For 13 years, Hendler served as his
firm’s managing member, which included
everything from finding office space to
hiring personnel. Last July, he decided to
step down. A younger attorney, he felt,
should take the job.
Rudow describes Hendler as high-
energy, then adds, “If you are practicing
law at 70, you have to be high-energy.”
Hendler and his wife, Royce, have two
grown daughters and live in a townhouse in
Baltimore’s Canton neighborhood. It is an
old but fashionable part of the city, not far
from his workplace. Hendler likes to say that
his grandfather worked his fingers to the
bone so that he could move out of the city
and into the suburbs, while he worked his
fingers to the bone so that he could move
out of the suburbs and back into the city.
From his firm’s sixth-floor conference
room in the center of town, Hendler points
to another building that once housed
Adelberg, Rudow, Dorf & Hendler. The firm
does not often change locations. It also
doesn’t often change members. Adelberg
practiced law for 60 years and passed away
in 1990. Rudow came to the firm seven
years before Hendler and is still there.
Another member, Paul Dorf, passed away
in 2012. He was 86. He kept working until a
few months before his death. He was in the
office every day, in suit and tie, ready to go.
“Most of us like what we’re doing,”
Hendler says. “As long as my body and
mind hold up, I’ll keep working.”