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Dorene Marcus


Senior Counsel

Contact Information

dmarcus@davisfriedman.com vCard

As an accomplished litigator, certified mediator and certified arbitrator, Dorene Marcus brings a broad complement of talents and skills to her family law practice. She excels at complex divorce cases that require a strategic mindset and a comprehensive training in research, analysis and negotiation.  Thanks to her background, Ms. Marcus has extensive experience representing high-net-worth and high profile individuals in all aspects of divorce, including complex parentage issues, child support, property valuation, business valuation, ownership and maintenance.

Ms. Marcus believes that filing for divorce doesn’t have to be an arduous and untenable process, but it requires work from both parties to maintain a civil level of communication and reasonable decorum. “Today, we’re aware of the long-term damage that a protracted and adversarial court case can wreak on a family,” she says. “I educate my clients about the benefits of being evenhanded and realistic, and help them understand the impact that their actions during a divorce will have in its aftermath.  This approach fosters better relationships between spouses and their children.”

In today’s more informed climate, and thanks to the intensive training Ms. Marcus has had in various alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods such as mediation and arbitration, many of her clients opt to explore these methods.  She advocates these approaches whenever possible to achieve equitable settlements in an efficient, cost-effective and above all else amicable way.

Thanks to her early years at a corporate law firm, Marcus also brings significant financial acumen to the table for her clients. Coupled with her background teaching trial practice, she has a skill set that not only allows her to protect and empower her clients, but also offers them a wide range of options. “I’m comfortable and capable in divorce court or around the mediation table. In either case, I can’t overstate the value of versatility,” she notes. “And decades of experience have allowed me to be adept at creating solutions that are tailored to each client’s specific needs, whether through exacting negotiation, effective litigation or creative mediation.”

Marcus is highly respected in the Illinois family legal community and in national legal circles. She serves as a faculty member for the National Family Law Trial Institute. She has also been named one of the Best Lawyers in America by her peers. Her name regularly makes the list of Leading Lawyers and Super Lawyers by the peer review websites leadinglawyers.com and superlawyers.com respectively.  She is a diplomate of the American College of Family Trial Lawyers, an organization limited to100 of the top family law lawyers in the country.

Education & Publication


Dorene Marcus is an experienced litigator and certified mediator in family law disputes, ranging from divorce and complex child custody to support, maintenance and parentage cases. She is a Certified Family Law Arbitrator and Mediator, having earned her certification from both the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and the Association for Conflict Resolution in Illinois. She serves as a faculty member for the National Trial Advocacy Institute. Marcus has also been named one of the Best Lawyers in America by her peers.


  • Loyola University Law School, J.D.
  • Certified Family Law Arbitrator, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
  • Certified Family Law Arbitrator, Association for Conflict Resolution, State of Illinois


  • Admitted to the Illinois State Bar

Honors and Recognition

  • Best Lawyers in America
  • Leading Lawyers Network
  • Super Lawyers

Professional Memberships

  • Fellow, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (National)
    Fellow of the Year
    Vice President
    Chair, Budget and Finance Committee
    Chair, Client Relations Committee
    Chair, Publications Development Board
  • Fellow, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (Illinois Chapter)
    President, Illinois Chapter
  • American Bar Association
    Member, Executive Council
    Chair, Long Range Planning Committee
    Member, Publications Development Board
  • Member, Faculty, ABA Trial Advocacy Institute, University of Houston Law School
  • Member, Faculty, Houston Family Law Trial Institute, South Texas College of Law
  • Diplomate, American College of Family Trial Lawyers

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