Attorney at Bort Law
For more than 40 years, Shelley has empowered hundreds of clients to make informed and intelligent decisions regarding the outcome of matters relating to separation, divorce and custody.
Individuals facing a life transition such as separation and divorce need an empathetic advocate to provide professional and compassionate guidance. Shelley ascertains the client’s concerns and goals before discussing various options, which include the traditional court process, mediation and the collaborative process. She encourages clients to resolve disputes amicably and peacefully, to minimize the impact on the family.
Shelley provides mediation services to those couples seeking a neutral party to facilitate and manage the negotiation process. In a collaborative case, she provides legal advice and advocacy that a mediator cannot offer. The parties, attorneys and other professionals sign an agreement committing to work together outside of the court process, which gives parties complete control over the manner and timing in which an agreement is reached. Certain cases are not appropriate for mediation or collaborative process and must be litigated. Shelley is a skilled advocate with many years of courtroom experience. She has successfully tried cases in all aspects of family law in Montgomery, Chester, Delaware, Berks, and Bucks Counties.
With decades of experience, Shelley has written and presented extensively about the financial impact of divorce, custody issues, and prenuptial agreements. She is available to consult on these and other family law related issues.
EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND
Shelley is a graduate of Temple University School of Law and a summa cum laude graduate of the Pennsylvania State University. She is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and the United States Supreme Court.
Early in her career, Shelley was a social worker in the Family Court Division of the Defender Association of Philadelphia. She represented children in detention or residential placement, which became the foundation of her career as a family law attorney. It was in that role that Shelley developed compassion and sensitivity towards children and families in crisis.
Dedicated to the collaborative law practice, Shelley is a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP), a community of legal, mental health, and financial professionals working together to create client-centered processes for conflict resolution and Collaborative Law Professionals of Southeastern Pennsylvania. In addition to membership in these professional groups, Shelley is a member of the Doris Jonas Freed American Inn of Court and an active member of the Pennsylvania, Montgomery and Chester County Bar Associations, where she serves on various committees.
Shelley is a Custody Mediator and Parenting Coordinator in Montgomery and Chester counties, and serves as a Hearing Officer in the Montgomery County Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program.
- Montgomery Bar Association, Former Chair, Bankruptcy Committee
- Montgomery County Paralegal Association Board of Directors, 2016 – Present
- Montgomery Bar Association, Family Law Section, Mediation, Collaborative Law and Small Firm Committees
- Chester County Bar Association, Family Law Section, Alternative Dispute Resolution and Mediation Committees
- Shelley provides pro bono services to Legal Aid and to the Montgomery County Child Advocacy Project (MCAP).
PRESENTATIONS AND PUBLICATIONS
Shelley has given many presentations on the topic of family law and domestic violence, including lectures on behalf of the Pennsylvania and Montgomery Bar Associations and Pennsylvania Bar Institute. Below are some of her engagements:
- Presentation, November 2017 at Drexel University School of Law on Collaborative Practice
- Instructor, Paralegal Studies, Community College of Philadelphia 2015
- Instructor, Main Line Paralegal School 2001
- Presentation and editor, Practice Before the Montgomery County Custody Conciliator, Montgomery Bar Association
- Presentation and editor, Seasonal issues impacting Family Law Practice, Montgomery Bar Association
- Presentation and editor Divorce and Bankruptcy, Montgomery Bar Association
- Presentation and editor, Evidence in Family Court, 2002 Family Law Practicum, Montgomery Bar Association
- Presentation, Domestic Violence and Child Abuse, Gratz College
PAST AND PRESENT PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
- Montgomery County Paralegal Association Board of Directors, 2016 – Present, MCPA Webmaster
- Montgomery Bar Association, Family Law Section, Custody Committee
- Montgomery Bar Association, Chair, Bankruptcy Committee
- Eastern District of Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Conference
- Women’s Center of Montgomery County
- Montgomery Child Advocacy Project
- Montgomery County Legal Aid
- Perelman Jewish Day School
- Supreme Court of Pennsylvania (1981)
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (1981)
- United States Supreme Court (1993)