Jeffery James Lathem

Jeffery James Lathem

Let a knowledgable and caring professional guide you through this frustrating an
  • Family Law, Probate
  • Board of Veteran's Appeals, Florida: Florida Workers' Advocates, The State of Florida, United States - National Association for Veteran's Advocates
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Summary

I have been practicing law for over 17 years and for the majority of that time have practiced in some area of family law. In the last three years, however, I have devoted my practice on a full time basis to areas of family law and probate document preparation. The technicalities and long term implications of handling family law matters are often less than obvious. The legal forms available for pro se individuals are sometimes insufficient to address all the long term effects of decisions made today. Though engaging an attorney in what seems to be a fairly straight forward process may seem to be a cost efficient means of reaching a mutually satisfactory dissolution of marriage, that is often not the case. The preparation of these documents must be done carefully, with the long term considerations addressed up front or you run the risk of being in and out of court on a routine basis. I would encourage you to at least have a consult with a qualified attorney who can point out these "land mines" to you and help you avoid them in an uncontested divorce. There is no question that the relatively low flat fee for obtaining an uncontested divorce is worth the money now and could probably save you a great deal of money in the future. This is even more true of a contested divorce. I would never recommend attempting to negotiate the frustrating and treacherous process of litigating an adversarial matter such as a contested divorce pro se. The retainers paid for attorneys to handle contested matters keep you out of a great deal of trouble long term and protect your interest for years to come. I can help you through this process with knowledgeable, dependable and professional service that my clients have found initially invaluable and that continues to protect them to this day. Call and schedule a consultation to find out how the professionals at my office and I can help you through this trying time. Let us take your headaches and make them our job to resolve.

Practice Areas
  • Family Law
  • Probate
Fees
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Rates, Retainers and Additional Information
    I accept credit cards, cash and checks. I also provide military and first responder discounts. Some matters are simply flat fee cases while some require the deposit of a retainer. I believe that my prices are not only competitive, but are more economical than most family attorneys. I can do this by maintaining a low overhead and by adopting a reasonable marketing budget. This helps to save my clients money in terms of fees and some costs. Again, chat with us at a consultation to see how we can economically handle your case. During your consultations, I do not watch the clock. I stay with the client until the client understands what they are facing, where the land mines are and what strategies I would employ to resolve their case. Be wary of the "free consultations" advertised. These are often handled on a shuffle you in and out and provide information that is often simply designed to encourage you to sign up and may not serve to educate you about the process as much as they should. Get your money's worth. I endeavor to provide this in my consults and offer you educated opinions related directly to your case. Call and let us help you.
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
Board of Veteran's Appeals
Florida: Florida Workers' Advocates
The State of Florida
United States - National Association for Veteran's Advocates
United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida
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United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida
Professional Experience
President/Owner
Law Offices of Jeffery J. Lathem, P.A.
- Current
In total, I have been practicing for approximately 17 years, however, I decided to hang my own shingle out 8 years ago. It turns out that I'm the best boss that I have ever had. During my 17 year career, I have been involved in some capacity, with family law for 15 out of the 17 years. I have focused almost exclusively on family law cases now for the last 3 years. I handle both contested and uncontested divorce cases, custody cases, alimony, child support, equitable distribution and a range of other areas that involve family law issues. Give me a call and I would be happy to help you navigate the often confusing and seemingly ever changing family law environment. There is a nominal consultation fee, but I don't watch the clock and boot you our of the office after a strict 30 minute or one hour period. I'll stay with you for as long as it takes for me to convey the answer to all or most of your family law or related questions. Should I not know the answer to some or one of your family law related questions, I will refer you to someone that may specialize in that particular area of family law attorneys here in town that may have answers to those questions where I don't have a ready answer. I don't get a referral fee for this, rather, I would prefer to send you to someone whom I think would have the particular kind of experience you need. Otherwise, I will advise you on your situation, any landmines to avoid, and any attorneys that I don't think would be a good fit for your situation. Thus, for your consultation fee with me, you would either get an answer to your questions, or as many answers as I can give you and a referral to an attorney who may focus their practice in that specific area where you need direction. Accordingly, I would invite you to call and set up a consultation with me and let me help you navigate the frustrating and troublesome waters of this area of law. I look forward to your call. Jeffery J. Lathem, Esq.
Education
Stetson University College of Law
J.D. (1998) | Law
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I also received the "Book" award for receiving the highest grade in three classes, which is extremely difficult based on the level of competition as well as the large number of students in each class.
Honors: Graduated cum laude in 2 and a half years as opposed to the standard three year traditional program. I was also ranked in the top 10% of the research and legal writing program.
Activities: I was fortunate enough to be selected to intern for the few positions offered for a Federal Judge and a County Judge internship as well as the National Labor Relations Board. I also clerked for a large Tampa civil practice firm all of which I did while taking a full load of classes.
University of West Florida
B.A. (1990) | Philosophy
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The Philosophy program was extremely challenging. Classes such as existentialism, metaphysics, phenomenology, cosmology, epistemology as well as the logic classes were all more difficult than the curriculum in law school, though the law school process, in and of itself, was more difficult as a whole, actually helped prepare me for law school in the sense that most of my undergraduate classes were taught and tested using the same Socratic method that was also employed by the law school. Thus, I was familiar with the testing style and research and writing style employed by the law school. Each test employed by the law school was approximately three hours of research and writing very similar to a large extent employed by my under graduate degree program. Likewise, the Bar Examination used one of the two days for multiple choice and used one day as issue identification and writing similar to the issue identification, writing and testing required in the philosophy program. Thus the similarity in teaching and testing between the two programs proved invaluable to me in achieving the goals I set for myself in law school and I still employ those techniques on a daily basis in my career.
Honors: Was ranked numerous times on the President's List and the Dean's List. I was permitted to take post graduate level classes while in the undergraduate program.
Activities: I worked full time and attended school full time, which left little time for anything else to do.
Professional Associations
Okaloosa County Bar Association
Member
- Current
Activities: Member of Committee to Amend/Edit/Redraft the Okaloosa Standard Child Visitation Schedule.
Board of Veteran's Appeals
Member
- Current
Activities: Educate Veterans of their rights to medical treatment, psychological treatment and benefits available to qualifying veterans.
Florida Workers' Advocates
Member
- Current
Activities: Educate qualifying workers of benefits designed to help, protect and compensate injured workers of rights to certain benefits.
National Organization of Veterans' Advocates
Member
- Current
Activities: Educate Veterans of their rights to medical treatment, psychological treatment and benefits available to qualifying veterans.
Florida State Bar # 0166911
Member in Good Standing
- Current
Speaking Engagements
Main Speaker, Escambia County Work Camp, Cantonment, FL
Florida Department of Corrections
Presentation regarding fire fighters and first responders from the Heart & Lung Billl
Main Speaker, Bonifay Hotel Conference Center, Bonifay FL
Campbelton Fire Department
Presentation regarding fire fighters and first responders from the Heart & Lung Billl
Main Speaker, Campbelton Fire Department Dinner, Campbelton FL
Campbelton Fire Department
Presentation regarding fire fighters and first responders from the Heart & Lung Billl
Websites & Blogs
Website
Law of Jeffery J. Lathem, P.A.'s website
Social Media
Contact & Map
173 NE Eglin Parkway
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548
USA
Telephone: (850) 796-2345
Fax: (850) 796-2346
173 NE Eglin Parkway
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548
USA
Telephone: (850) 796-2345