Fit. That three-letter word comprises everything that makes a partnership work.
When Offit Kurman decided to expand our Frederick, Maryland legal services through the addition of Severn & Kresslein, P.A. last year, our key consideration was fit: how attorneys David A. Severn, Robert J. Kresslein, and Ian P. Bartman would fit into the Offit Kurman team; how our firm could fit the needs of Severn & Kresslein’s clients; how our increased legal capabilities fit Frederick, one of the fastest growing regions in Maryland.
Our Frederick presence grew yet again in 2015 with the introduction of Tracie Clabaugh and Keith Schiszik. Ms. Clabaugh is a real estate, land use, and zoning attorney with ten years of experience at regional law practices. Last May, she received the Associate Member of the Year award from the Frederick County Building Industry Association at the organization’s “Awards of Excellence” event. Mr. Schiszik, meanwhile, is a family law practitioner who has earned awards and honors such as fellowship in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, designation as a Maryland Super Lawyer, an AV Preeminent® peer-reviewed rating by Martindale-Hubbell, and the 2011 Maryland State Bar Association Beverly Groner Award recognizing a “career of professional excellence.”
For Offit Kurman, expansion has always come naturally. But while growth is one thing, sustaining it is another matter entirely. Thanks to our leadership’s strategic vision and careful planning, our firm has managed to maintain a steady pattern of growth while offering our attorneys a cooperative culture and a sense of autonomy few large practices can provide.
“Culture is something that is develops over time and evolves every time someone new joins us,” said Ted Offit, Offit Kurman co-founder and Managing Principal, in a recent interview with citybizlist. “We are comfortable with an evolving culture. It’s part of accepting change and being forward thinking.”
Here is what our expanded legal presence in Frederick means for both clients new to and clients familiar with the firm:
Key Practice Areas in Frederick
Attorneys Severn, Kresslein, and Bartman bring over seventy years of combined legal experience to several of Offit Kurman’s key practice areas:
- Business law
- Family Law
- Real estate law, land use, and zoning
- Real estate and title claims litigation
- General Litigation
- Banking and finance
- Estates and trusts
- Estate Planning
From planning a business to acquiring a place to conduct it and coordinating the transfer of assets, the newly-expanded Frederick group is more than equipped to tackle the diverse legal needs of entrepreneurs, corporations, and individuals alike. Our bolstered business and real estate practices coincide with an ongoing transportation and development boom in the Frederick metro area, so clients can count on a top legal partner for the many challenges and opportunities ahead.
Local Experience and Reputation
Aside from their distinguished legal careers, our new attorneys in Frederick have each proven themselves as leaders within their community.
Tracie Clabaugh is a real estate, land use, and zoning attorney with ten years of experience at regional law practices. She assists developers, homebuilders, lenders, homeowners, and other real estate clients with a wide variety of transactions and land use and zoning matters such as contract negotiations and easement preparation. Tracie is a Board Member for Frederick County Building Industry Association. In May, she received the Associate Member of the Year award from the Frederick County Building Industry Association at the organization’s “Awards of Excellence” event.
Keith Schiszik focuses his practice on complex family law matters involving separation, divorce, and child custody. An accomplished mediator and litigator, he has earned distinctions from national and regional authorities for his skill in settling disputes in and out of the courtroom. Mr. Schiszik’s awards and honors include fellowship in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, designation as a Maryland Super Lawyer, an AV Preeminent® peer-reviewed rating by Martindale-Hubbell, and the 2011 Maryland State Bar Association Beverly Groner Award recognizing a “career of professional excellence.” Additionally, former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley appointed Mr. Schiszik to serve on the Maryland Commission to Study Child Custody Decision-Making to report to the Legislature on changes to make in the state’s custody laws.
David Severn has sat on Frederick zoning ordinance and land management code re-write committees, and is a current member of the Maryland Economic Development Commission, which advises the governor on state economic development and retention policy. He is currently representing clients in several high profile development projects including the Downtown Frederick Hotel and Conference Center, the redevelopment of the Frederick Towne Mall and the re-construction of the new Frederick High School. In a Frederick Magazine lawyers’ poll, David was also voted the best attorney in the categories of zoning/land use and real estate. He has the highest possible rating (AV) from Martindale-Hubble.
Robert Kresslein has served on countless boards and leadership positions in private companies and state associations, including Sheppard Pratt Health Systems Inc., Way Station, Inc., and the Frederick County Democratic State Central Committee. He is the current president of the Maryland Bar Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to upholding and improving honor in the legal profession and promoting the study of law. Bob also acts as treasurer for the Maryland Democratic Party.
A former public school teacher and public relations manager, Ian Bartman was admitted to the bar in 2007. Since then, he has become president of the Bar Association of Frederick County. In addition, he serves as past-president of the board of directors, Mental Health Association of Frederick County. Other honors include membership in the Rotary Club of Frederick, and Maryland Super Lawyers recognition.
Seymour Stern boasts nearly fifty years of legal experience. He is the co-founder of the Maryland Institute of Continuing Professional Education for Lawyers of achievements includes tenures as President of the Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA) and Chair of the United States Magistrate Judge Selection Panel, as well as life fellowships in the Maryland Bar Foundation and the American Bar Foundation, and the highest possible rating (AV) from Martindale-Hubble. Mr. Stern also remains active as a community steward in leadership positions in a number of Frederick County health and education organizations.
Offit Kurman Principal Diane S. Kotkin, has been practicing law in the Baltimore and DC metro areas for over 13 years. As a Principal at Offit Kurman, she chairs the firm’s Estate and Trust Administration Department and concentrates her practice in the areas of estate planning, probate and trust administration, charitable giving and tax. Diane counsels individuals, business owners and families on retirement and estate planning issues, including the preparation of wills, trusts and other estate planning documents to ensure that their assets flow to their loved ones in ways that achieve and support family goals.The Right Location
Frederick’s strong economy and close proximity to Washington, D.C. make it the perfect region for our firm to maximize our growth and service area. With Offit Kurman offices in the neighboring Montgomery and Howard counties, clients can rest assured with the knowledge that any type of legal assistance is only a short distance away.
Looking for legal counsel in the Frederick, MD area? Click here to contact Offit Kurman’s attorneys in Frederick.
ABOUT OFFIT KURMAN
Offit Kurman Attorneys At Law is a dynamic legal services provider assisting clients throughout the mid-Atlantic region. Our firm is well positioned to meet the legal needs of dynamic businesses and the people who own and operate them.
The attorneys at Offit Kurman have made it their mission to be your most trusted legal advisors, the professionals who help you maximize and protect your business value and individual wealth. In every interaction, we consistently strive to earn and maintain your trust, further your objectives, and help you achieve your goals in an efficient manner.
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