Dorothy Ripka Archives - Cordell & Cordell

Cordell & Cordell Names Six New Partners to Lead Firm Into 2021

Cordell & Cordell recently announced six new partners are joining the firm’s leadership team:

The newest partners represent the largest group added at one time in the firm’s 30-year history and come from a wide range of Cordell & Cordell offices, stretching from the Northeast to the Midwest. The newly named leaders also hold a diverse set of litigation and management experience.

“We’re proud to be able to recognize and reward several of our attorneys in this way during a time that continues to be unique and challenging, but is a clear indication of their leadership, legal acumen, and value to the firm,” Cordell & Cordell CEO, Managing Partner Scott Trout said.

Despite the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has posed for law firms, Cordell & Cordell has stayed true to its ethos of adapting to adversity and celebrating its team members who have helped grow Cordell & Cordell into what it has become today.

“One of the key practices that has continuously driven the firm’s success during the last 30 years has been our ability to identify like-minded attorneys who are dedicated to client service above all else,” Mr. Trout said. “We strive to establish and maintain an environment that attracts legal professionals to make a lifelong career with our team.”

VIDEO: Dorothy Ripka Comments on Court Ruling Blocking Dads From Delivery Rooms

ripka-wcpo-newsIn a blow to fathers’ rights, biological fathers can be kept out of the delivery room for the birth of their child by the mother, according to a recent New Jersey court ruling.

“It’s very disheartening to hear someone want to take that opportunity away from the father and child to bond,” Lead Litigator Dorothy Walsh Ripka told WCPO News in Cincinnati. “We would hope that parents were considering the impact of that day on their child and the impact on the family unit rather than taking the position of which parent is more important.”

Watch the full report featuring Ms. Ripka.

According to NPR, the ruling involves a couple who got engaged after the woman became pregnant but later broke up. The man sued for the right to be present at the birth of his child, but the judge ruled that requiring the father’s presence would pose “unwarranted strain” on the mother.

“This is really an opportunity for everyone to consider if I am going to become a parent what does this mean and do I have legal rights,” Ms. Ripka said. “If I don’t have those rights, then how do I go about securing those?”

Watch the full report featuring Ms. Ripka.

Dorothy Ripka Comments On Sperm Donor Being Sued For Child Support

wbapCordell & Cordell Partner Dorothy Ripka appeared on WBAP Dallas radio to discuss the State of Kansas suing a man who donated sperm to a lesbian couple for child support.

William Marotta answered an online ad in 2009 from a lesbian couple who were seeking a sperm donor.

According to media reports, Marotta and the women signed an agreement waiving his parental rights, but the state argues that because Marotta didn’t go through a clinic or doctor as required by state law then he can be held responsible for back child support as well as future financial responsibilities.

Ms. Ripka commented on the unique situation with host Brian Estridge and offered tips on how men can protect themselves from a potential lifetime of liability for a child they thought they relinquished rights to.

False Claims of Abuse in Custody Battles

Across the nation, some men believe they are being victimized by court systems that allow women to make unquestioned, false claims of abuse against their current or ex spouses. In response to these claims, fathers’ rights groups and law firms have begun to fight back.

One such law firm is the St. Louis-based firm Cordell & Cordell. Attorney Dorothy Ripka said there is “a stereotype of prejudice (against men), that has existed for a long, long time.  But stereotypes just aren’t appropriate in determining what’s in the best interest of the child.”

To gain the upper hand in divorce and custody battles, some women have begun to seek protective orders with false claims of abuse.

Ripka called protective orders “the most abused process in our court system. People use it to get a leg up in the court system all the time. It becomes a he said/she said. You have to prove something didn’t happen.”