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A partner of the firm, Michael DeHaven is an attorney with over 24 years of litigation experience. His practice primarily focuses on family law matters, including divorce, child custody disputes, domestic violence protective order petitions, and negotiation and drafting of marital separation and property settlement agreements. He also has an active criminal defense practice.Although Mike has handled many different types of cases throughout the years, he has developed a passion for family law. Each phase of his career path has helped him to become a well rounded family law practitioner who is not afraid to go to court when necessary. As an Assistant State’s Attorney for Baltimore County, Mike tried hundreds of court trials and dozens of jury trials, including several murders. When Mike entered private practice, he initially represented members of the Maryland State Teachers Association in civil and criminal matters, many of whom had been falsely accused of child abuse. As a partner in the law firm of Bodie, Nagle, Dolina, Smith & Hobbs, Mike represented corporations in multimillion dollar product and premises liability cases and although he continued gaining litigation experience, he learned the art of negotiation.While at Bodie, Mike transitioned to family law because he wanted to focus his practice on helping people through the often traumatic experience of divorce.
In 2011, Mike and Michael Paul Smith, who is not only his law partner but good friend, left Bodie. They merged their practices with a few other good friends and great lawyers to form Smith, Gildea & Schmidt.Mike’s philosophy in family law matters is simple: a divorcing couple should make every effort to decide what is in the best interest of their child and how to equitably distribute their property. He understands the emotional and financial impact that protracted litigation (especially divorce litigation) can have on a client. Thus, he always tries to negotiate a fair and amicable resolution of family law matters. Mike understands that the parties and their lawyers in a divorce case must focus on the big picture and negotiate in good faith to reach a compromise. Mike always adopts this approach. But, if the opposing party or attorney is unreasonable, he relies upon his vast courtroom experience to zealously advocate for his clients.
Mike is a graduate of the University of Baltimore School of Law and Frostburg State University, where he served in the Student Government Association, was President of the Rugby Club and was Social Chairman of the Kappa Zeta Chi athletic fraternity. Mike is a member of the Maryland State Bar Association (Family & Juvenile Law Section), the Baltimore County Bar Association and the Maryland Criminal Defense Attorneys Association. He is active in several community organizations, including the Martin J. Smith Foundation, which awards scholarships to local high school students, as a member of the Board of Directors; the Carroll Manor Recreation Council, where he has coached and served as Commissioner of the soccer and basketball programs and has been on the baseball Board of Directors; the Greater Jacksonville Association; and Immaculate Conception Parish.