Attorney Profiles - Child:Jody Meyer Yazici

Jody Meyer Yazici

Partner

"I help my clients stay true to their own priorities and values, especially when difficult situations arise during a divorce," says Jody Meyer Yazici. "I always tell them: Don't get caught up in the games. Identify where you want to be at the end of this process, and we'll work together to get you there."

Yazici speaks with authority. With Muller Davis and James L. Rubens she has recently completed the thirteenth edition of The Illinois Practice of Family Law. At 3,000 pages in two volumes, it is the most widely used text in the field by practitioners, judges and law students in Illinois.

After Northwestern University and Cornell Law School, Yazici returned to Chicago in 1994 specifically to write the first edition of the book with Davis, and has been with Davis Friedman ever since. She likes the balance: "I work with clients on a daily basis. Plus, I have the academic side of my practice where I produce a comprehensive reference book that is not only well-accepted but also has really made a difference in the field."

Every week, Yazici skims West's Illinois Decisions that include all the cases published by the Illinois Appellate and Supreme Courts. She annotates the cases that are most relevant to the practice of family law for the next edition of The Illinois Practice of Family Law. "Family law is so fact-specific," she explains. "You can't just plug in a formula. We work together to craft a resolution for each client's circumstances. And my constant review keeps our firm at the forefront of our practice."

In addition to her writing and editing skills, Yazici is a focused listener, who cautions clients about losing sight of their goals. "I always encourage my clients to contain their anger or fear or revenge so those emotions do not drive the litigation process and derail the outcome they seek. Ninety-five percent of our cases get settled because, ultimately, it is the clients themselves who have the biggest stake in obtaining an equitable and workable result."

Keeping emotions in check, Yazici finds, is an essential role of counsel. "I can't act with the same level of emotion as my client. If I get as angry as my client does, I can't accomplish what I need to do. I empathize with them. I know that the divorce process can be painful. But I remind my client, 'My role is to get you out of this situation and get you refocused on goals for your future."

Yazici observes, "Sometimes the demands of the other side are unreasonable, and opposing attorneys can create a lot of unnecessary animosity to divert attention from our primary goal of reaching a favorable and final resolution."

She concludes, "That's not what we do here. Davis Friedman has a really strong ethical reputation that we have cultivated and maintained over many decades. This perspective gives us the credibility to obtain the best results for our clients. It is not accidental that we are the kind of attorneys we are."

Admitted to the Bar

1994, Illinois

Education

Northwestern University, B.A., 1990

Cornell Law School, J.D., 1994

Professional Memberships

Illinois State Bar Association: Family Law Section, Member

Chicago Council of Lawyers, Member; Judicial Evaluation Committee, former member

Accomplishments and Publications

Illinois Practice of Family Law, Co-Author with Muller Davis and James L. Rubens, 2011-present

Illinois Practice of Family Law, Co-Author with Muller Davis, 1994-2011

Illinois Bar Journal, "Best Interest of the Child: The Case for Joint Custody Even in Contested Divorces," Co-Author with Muller Davis, 1996

Strategies for Family Law in Illinois, "Enforceable Civility: A Critical Part of the Judicial Process in Divorce Litigation," Co-Author with Muller Davis, 2011

Illinois State Bar Association Family Law Section Newsletter, "The Consequences of Eavesdropping: Client and Attorney Liability," Contributor, 1996

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