Change of venue: Noted family law attorney finds new home with firm


By Tom Kirvan
Legal News

At age 65, when most attorneys are contemplating the end of their career, Richard Victor is beginning a new phase in his legal life.

For years one of the most prominent family law attorneys in the state, Victor recently joined Hertz Schram, becoming Of Counsel with the firm that has offices in Bloomfield Hills and Detroit.

The move to Hertz Schram will afford Victor the opportunity to help the firm build its family law practice, while also allowing him the chance to “experience life with a large firm” that is dedicated to client services.

“For all the years that I headed my own practice, the most attorneys I ever had in my office was four, which is remarkable considering the number of cases that we continuously handled,” Victor said. “Moving to a much larger firm, with its many specialty areas and greater resources, will be a very exciting change of pace for me.”

The decision to shift gears, after spending the bulk of his career as the managing partner of his own firm, was not without its “bittersweet” moments, according to Victor, who has served as chair of the Family Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan and received its Lifetime Achievement Award for his years of legal excellence.

His two sons, Daniel and Ronald, announced their intentions to leave the Victor & Victor firm earlier this year in order to pursue other business interests. In particular, “Ronnie is moving on with his increased involvement in the start-up company Hippino, which is a entity that provides businesses with a personalized platform to communicate with customers while helping support nonprofit organizations,” according to Victor.

“Ronnie is serving as the president and in-house counsel for Hippino, while Danny has decided to open his own family law practice that specializes in appellate work,” Victor said. “It was a special experience to practice law with my two sons, but I admire their own entrepreneurial spirit and I know that they will do well in their new roles.”

For three consecutive years, Victor & Victor was cited by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation’s best family law firms. The firm received the coveted “Tier One” ranking that is a “special distinction that signals a unique combination of excellence and breadth of experience,” according to Victor.

Honors and awards have become almost second nature for Victor over the course of his 39-year legal career. He is a past winner of the Champion of Justice Award, the highest honor presented annually by the State Bar. He also has been named a Diplomate of the American College of Family Trial Lawyers. The ACFTL is a select group of 100 of the top family law trial attorneys from across the U.S. The 100 Diplomates, all members of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, are chosen based upon their recognized litigation skills and courtroom abilities.

Earlier this month, Victor was appointed National Chair of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Professionalism and Collegiality Committee for 2014-15. He will be among the featured speakers at the Academy’s mid-year meeting next March.

­Hertz Schram was one of five area firms that courted Victor as he considered his next legal move over the summer months.

“This firm has a reputation in the legal community as being very special, and that became quickly evident to me,” Victor said. “Their commitment is to people first and profits second, and that is always how I have operated.

“I’ve also known Brad (Schram) since fifth grade, and Howard (Hertz) and I were fraternity brothers at Wayne State, so there definitely was a comfort level with them in joining the firm,” Victor said.

A 1971 graduate of Wayne State, Victor earned his juris doctor from the former Detroit College of Law in 1975. He is the founder and executive director of the national Grandparents Rights Organization, and has made appearances on “The Today Show,” “Good Morning America,” and the “CBS Evening News” along with various local radio and TV outlets.

Twenty-five years ago, Victor teamed with then Oakland County Circuit Judge Edward Sosnick to create the nationally recognized SMILE program, an educational initiative for divorcing parents with children under the age of 18. The program is a product of Victor’s desire to be a “strong advocate for children’s rights in matters of divorce and custody cases.”

Now, in his new role with Hertz Schram, Victor remains committed to “fighting the good fight” for his clients.

“I love the practice of law and for all the good it can do in resolving conflicts peacefully,” Victor said. “I will always be committed to the importance of working together, even in sometimes bitter divorce cases. I will never lose sight of that need.”