Attorney goes solo

| 15 Feb 2012 | 08:35

    Newton — Ann M. Pompelio now considers her law practice even further rooted in Sussex County. She recently returned to solo practice, and is located a stone’s throw from the Sussex County Courthouse, at 61 Spring Street, in Newton. “I love being in Newton,” said Pompelio, whose office overlooks the square and features a view of the historic courthouse. “I love the convenience of the courthouse.” Pompelio has been an attorney since 1997 and practiced with her husband Richard at their firm Pompelio & Pompelio until he was appointed to oversee the State of New Jersey Victims of Crime Compensation Board. Pompelio said 95 percent of her work is devoted to family law, and 5 percent to other services. From 2001 to 2005 she served as Netcong Borough’s Municipal Court Prosecutor, and has experience working with clients for ordinance and traffic violations, and drunk driving charges. Pompelio said she primarily handles divorce, custody, parenting time, asset distribution, and pre-divorce, and post-divorce issues. “Family law doesn’t end,” she said. Many clients return to her following their divorces if motions require enforcement. In 2009 Pompelio earned her certificate as a family law mediator and encourages clients to seek her out if they would prefer mediation instead of litigation. Pompelio also helps clients decide if mediation or litigation is right for their individual cases. “I focus on helping you resolve your family law issues in an expedient and cost-effective manner, so that you and your family can move on with your lives,” Pompelio said. Mediation, Pompelio explained, allows both parties to reach a settlement together with the mediator acting as a neutral party between the two to help resolve issues. It is not limited to divorce, but can be used to help find solutions for custody, parenting time, support, and issues that crop up after original settlement agreements are established between two parties. In litigation, however, each client retains his or her own separate counsel. Mediation is less costly, Pompelio said, whereas attorneys typically request a retainer from the client for litigation, with any unused portion returned to the client at the conclusion of the case. Pompelio said average hourly rates for matrimonial lawyers run approximately $225 to $375 and higher in Sussex County. She has experience as an early settlement panelist in Sussex County and is a mediator for economic aspects of family law cases in Sussex, Morris, and Warren Counties. In 2009 Pompelio became a part of the law firm Albino, Ullman, Laemers, and Pompelio, LLC. In June of this year the four lawyers amicably decided to each set up their own practices and dissolve their firm. “I learned a lot working with Faith Ullman,” Pompelio said. “She is a good lawyer and marketing person. We are all colleagues and we see each other in Newton. It was a good run to be there for one and a half years.” Pompelio also performs pro bono work with the non-profit group Project Self-Sufficiency where she runs seminars and provides individual consultations for Project Self-Sufficiency participants. Some topics she has covered at Project Self-Sufficiency seminars included information about court procedures, grounds for divorce, custody, alimony and careers in law. She received the Project Self-Sufficiency Mosaic Award in 2007 and the Project Self-Sufficiency Attorney of the Year Award in 2008. Pompelio is on the Board of Trustees on the New Jersey Crime Victims’ Law Center, the pro bono firm started by her husband Richard, who is the law center’s Executive Director/Law Director. Her own practice includes assistance to clients dealing with domestic violence matters. Pompelio said she is available for a free 40-minute consultation. She can be reached at 973-383-3900 or