WAVE Family Law Fridays on 06/24/2022 featuring Attorney John Schmidt, client Mark Smith, and John Ramsey discuss contested custody, de facto custodian, grandparent visitation, and family law matters.
JOHN RAMSEY: It is family law Friday and with me once again is John Schmidt. He is an attorney at law, and his specialty is, yes, family law, custody battles. He also deals in personal injury law. Yeah, and before we get into the case this week -- and by the way, this is client, Mark Smith, who has also joined us. Mark, thank you for doing that, for joining us.MARK SMITH: Thank you.JOHN RAMSEY: Getting ready to tell your story. But before we do, for folks out there who are watching, I think you're going to like this guy's style, so tell them. What kind of cases do you cover, John?JOHN SCHMIDT: Sure. We do divorce, custody, adoptions, child support, CPS cases. We do criminal defense and some personal injury.JOHN RAMSEY: Okay.JOHN SCHMIDT: Yeah.JOHN RAMSEY: To be clear, this is not a criminal.JOHN SCHMIDT: No. This is not a criminal.JOHN RAMSEY: This is different.JOHN SCHMIDT: This is not a criminal.JOHN RAMSEY: Not at all. In -- in fact, this is a guy, I think you're going to find, like I do, very compassionate, nice guy. A guy I'd like to be my neighbor, that kind of guy. You are that, Mark Smith. So, tell me a little bit about your case and why you contacted John.MARK SMITH: I contacted John a couple years ago. It was involving a case with -- between me and my daughter and my -- my ex-stepson. Anyways, it was about my granddaughter is what it's about. You know it was a custody case I had with them.JOHN RAMSEY: Okay, custody case. So, it's ongoing so --MARK SMITH: Yes. Yes.JOHN RAMSEY: So, needless to say John, I -- we have to be careful here, right?JOHN SCHMIDT: Right. Yeah.MARK SMITH: Yeah.JOHN SCHMIDT: I -- I don't want to get too much into details because we -- we have an ongoing case, but I think it's fair to say it's -- you know, it's -- it's -- he can talk about how well it's progressing --MARK SMITH: Yeah.JOHN RAMSEY: There we go.JOHN SCHMIDT: -- without much of a problem. And -- and if he wants to say nice things about his daughter, he can.JOHN RAMSEY: Okay. So, I just want to be -- be careful here.OHN SCHMIDT: Yeah. Yeah.JOHN RAMSEY: What we will say is this, something that has become very evident to me through talking to you two about this case, is your granddaughter is well-loved.MARK SMITH: Oh, yes.JOHN RAMSEY: There are -- everyone wants her time, but she has spent quite a long time with you.MARK SMITH: Yes.JOHN RAMSEY: And it's gone very well, so you just feel like you and your wife are the best answer for her. That's the basic --MARK SMITH: Yeah, basically.JOHN RAMSEY: -- story.MARK SMITH: You know, we feel that, you know, the child is -- her care is best fitted with us. You know that we've had her for, you know, a certain amount of time. You know, that, you know, and she loves her mom, she loves her dad, but she just loves being with us, you know?JOHN RAMSEY: Okay.MARK SMITH: That's what it is.JOHN RAMSEY: Okay. So, there's the basic case here. Now, let's talk about your experience with John. Why -- first of all, how did you contact him, how did you hear about his -- his work?MARK SMITH: John and me met after I was referred to him by somebody else. They told me to contact -- they gave me a couple of attorneys' names, and they gave me his name, and I called him immediately, first. You know, I looked him up and I said, I'm going to call him because he had a good start, his rating was good. So, I said he must be good then, you know. I called the secretary -- his paralegal at the time, and they said, oh, yeah, John's real good. You need to, you know, come in and see him. And so, I did, and we did that. He told me what I needed to do, so I did that. And then about three or four days later, then I went back to his office, and I hired him, you know, after I was advised under his advisement, you know? And ever since then, it's, like, you know, I've never seen a person or attorney do what he's done, you know. He's -- he's very compassionate, you know, as far as with his clients. I mean, he feels like -- he's been there for what we needed every time. If I've needed something, I can call him. He takes care of it. If my granddaughter, you know, needs something while she's in the office, he takes care of it, you know? He cares about his clients more than I could even imagine, you know?JOHN RAMSEY: In -- in a case like this, you probably knew you were up against it, Mark. It's going to be -- it's going to be hard.MARK SMITH: Yeah.JOHN RAMSEY: And -- and -- and also, emotionally hard, so -- so many different things that need to be contended with and legal things that we're not aware of, you and I.MARK SMITH: That's right.JOHN RAMSEY: This man is -- let's talk about the relationship you have developed with Mark --JOHN SCHMIDT: Sure.JOHN RAMSEY: John if you would. So -- and this happens often with your clients because I'm hearing it every week.JOHN SCHMIDT: Yeah. The -- you know, these are the most important things that they're dealing with and really important to them. And you know, kids and -- and divorce and adoptions and CPS issues, I mean, just the -- really, the most important things in people's lives. And so, we get to know each other and clients who follow the process, and make appointments, and come in and spend the time, and actually take the time to work on their cases with me. We're able to accomplish a lot of results. And -- and Mark and Teresa have been those kind of clients. They've -- they've made the appointments. They've let me know when there are concerns. We've been able to work together and -- and of course, you know, do what it is that lawyers do.MARK SMITH: Yeah.JOHN SCHMIDT: So --JOHN RAMSEY: So, you -- you've been able to get to know his granddaughter.JOHN SCHMIDT: Amazing kid.JOHN RAMSEY: Yeah. Well, let's talk about her.JOHN SCHMIDT: Love for.JOHN RAMSEY: Let's brag about her. That, we can talk about.JOHN SCHMIDT: We can, yeah.JOHN RAMSEY: No one argues that point.JOHN SCHMIDT: No one argues that point.· We -- we love her. She's -- she's -- she's amazing. You know, she -- she -- she draws pictures for me when she's in the office. She give -- she insists on a hug.MARK SMITH: Yeah.JOHN SCHMIDT: And you know, who doesn't like a hug from -- from a child who's sincere, wonderful. And then of course, she plays music, so, she'll -- she'll occasionally play guitar. And she has my cell phone number, so occasionally she'll call and just check in --MAR, SMITH: Yeah.JOHN SCHMIDT: -- which is kind of nice.JOHN RAMSEY: That's nice.MARK SMITH: Yeah.JOHN SCHMIDT: And you know, she'll just call and say she's with her friends or she's with Papaw or, you know, whatever its, and just want to see how my day's going. And --JOHN RAMSEY: There we go.JOHN SCHMIDT: -- so it's really sweet.JOHN RAMSEY: Mark, I could tell you're smiling. I know --MARK SMITH: Yeah.JOHN RAMSEY: It's very evident you love your granddaughter very, very much. You want what's best for your granddaughter. Has this man been what's best for you and your case?MARK SMITH: Oh, it -- it -- he -- yeah, he is. I mean, the -- he's more than just an attorney to me now. He's like a brother to me. You know, I consider him family, you know? For what he's done for me and my family and my granddaughter, yeah. He -- he's -- he's just like -- I consider him a brother right now, you know?JOHN RAMSEY: So, I'm -- so I'm talking to Mark this week. Last week, it was Jessica, and they all said the same thing, that you genuinely care, that you don't mind if they call you when you're on vacation or whatever, that you want to make sure that they're comfortable. But if you had to articulate with people about what separates you from other attorneys, what would you say, John?JOHN SCHMIDT: I'd say ask my clients.JOHN RAMSEY: Well, that's a good answer.JOHN SCHMIDT: I -- I -- I hate to say it. I -- they -- you know, I'm a member of a community of lawyers and -- and frankly, I -- I love and respect most of them. I -- I -- I really can't think of many that -- that are problematic. There are a lot of really great people in the family law bar. And -- and so -- so -- and I -- I hate to say it. I -- I -- I -- I prefer they -- they talk about their experience rather than me toot my own horn. But I --JOHN RAMSEY: Okay.JOHN SCHMIDT: -- I guess that's my answer --JOHN RAMSEY: All right.JOHN SCHMIDT: -- John. I -- I'm sorry. I --JOHN RAMSEY: No. I think it's a good answer. You said ask my --JOHN SCHMIDT: I don't know how to answer it.JOHN RAMSEY: You -- you did it well because you said ask my clients, which says I'm humble, but they'll tell you. And you have told me. You've --MARK SMITH: Yeah. He -- he --JOHN RAMSEY: Articulated it very well.MARK SMITH: If anybody's ever asked me -- if they need somebody, an attorney like -- you know, in any kind of those cases he does, I'd recommend him full, full -- full fold. I mean, he is that great of an attorney.JOHN RAMSEY: Well, I --MARK SMITH: I mean, cares about you. He's hands-on with you --JOHN RAMSEY: I love that.MARK SMITH: The whole nine yards, I mean, the whole time. I mean, he'll call you and say, let's go, we'll start working on the case. I mean, he's not one of these attorneys that you just come in, sign this, sign this, and you're out the door. Not him, he's with you hands-on the whole time, you know, asking you questions, and then he gets abrasive sometimes when you get out of line, you know, when he -- he tells you something, and you speak out of turn, he'd -- he'll tell you.JOHN RAMSEY: Well, if you want the positive outcome, you have to listen to your attorney.MARK SMITH: But that's the -- yeah. That's -- that's what he does.JOHN SCHMIDT: We've had our moments.MARK SMITH: We've had our moments, but that's part of it, you know. But --JOHN SCHMIDT: We've had our moments.MARK SMITH: But it's not bad moments. They're great moments.JOHN RAMSEY: That's right.MARK SMITH: You know, it's just, like, let me -- let me finish what I'm saying, then you can speak, you know. And I'm like -- you know because I speak out of turn. But it's okay. That's what we do, you know.JOHN RAMSEY: And it is about positive outcomes for your clients, for everyone involved. That's what you seek, right? There is some middle ground there with probably every case or close to it, right?JOHN SCHMIDT: There is.MARK SMITH: Yeah.JOHN SCHMIDT: And -- and -- and we do. We -- we try to -- of course, it's up to the judge, and we're fortunate to have some really great family law judges in Kentucky. And -- and so, I think the process works. It just really does work. But it - - it takes clients who are committed to their case and who are willing to do the -- the work because they -- they have to put the time in, too. They have to make me aware of issues that are happening in their lives. They have to say this is a -- you know, this is a problem, I need to have the Court understand this. And then I can work to give them a voice with the Court. You know, it's -- it's not always easy to articulate what's going on with the Court. It's a pressure situation, and -- and I'm very comfortable in that sandbox. Most people aren't. So, I give them a voice. But they have to let me know when there's an issue, and they --JOHN RAMSEY: There you go.JOHN SCHMIDT: -- have to come in, and they have to -- they have to work with me --MARK SMITH: Yeah.JOHN SCHMIDT: -- so that I'm not saying what I want to say, because it's -- it's not my situation. I'm -- I'm saying what he wants said to the Court. I'm helping the Court understand what he --MARK SMITH: Yeah.JOHN SCHMIDT: -- wants to communicate, and then -- and then the Court, of course, makes all the decisions. And we're just blessed to have some really good judges.JOHN RAMSEY: You -- both of you two, I can tell you make a good team.MARK SMITH: Yeah.JOHN RAMSEY: So, I thank you, Mark.MARK SMITH: Thank you.JOHN RAMSEY: Mark Smith, thank you for coming on. John, as always, enjoyed my time with you.JOHN SCHMIDT: Thanks, John.JOHN RAMSEY: Once again, it's the law offices of John Schmidt. There's the information on the screen. John Schmidt & Associates. Give them a call today. If it's family law, he's got you covered, other areas of expertise as well. And these two gentlemen obviously work well together. He can work well with you as well. We'll be right back on WAVE Listens.
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