About Lisa Armstrong

Lisa Armstrong Articles written 9

Lisa Armstrong an award-winning journalist with credits in The Washington Post, O, Parade, National Geographic, Ms., The Atlantic, The New York Times, MSN, The Daily Beast and other publications and websites. In addition to an M.A. in journalism, she has a master’s in urban planning with a specialization in international development.

Articles written by Lisa Armstrong

How to Have an Easier Divorce in New York

First off, put your anger aside

In 2010, when New York State became the last state in the country to pass a no-fault divorce law—allowing couples to divorce without blaming each other—experts said the law would make the divorce process easier. Not entirely. Gloria Sorrentino had been waiting years for a no-fault divorce law to end her 56-year marriage in the state of New York because she didn’t want to testify in court. Yet when she filed the divorce papers, her husband contested it, so Sorrentino, 79, had to …

Planning for the End of Your Life

How estate planning can give you and your loved ones greater peace of mind in New York

Elder law isn’t just for the elderly anymore. “The term ‘elder law’ is a misnomer,” says Ellen G. Makofsky, an attorney with Makofsky Law Group in Garden City. “You don’t need to be old to use or require the services of an elder law attorney since elder law is really concerned with planning for the possibility of disability and death and putting a plan in place if something should happen.” Four Questions to Ask Yourself When Creating an Estate Plan Here are Makofsky’s four …

How Divorce Differs in New York

We ask local family law attorneys

Until recently, New York had the dubious distinction of being the last state in the country that didn’t allow for no-fault divorces. One spouse had to accuse the other of adultery, abandonment or some other wrongdoing in order to have grounds for divorce. That changed in 2010, but there are still ways New York divorce laws differs from other states when it comes to family law. When Is Earning Capacity “Enhanced?” New York State is virtually the only jurisdiction in the country …

Asking, Telling

18-year Navy vet Stephen Lessard reps soldiers with LGBT matters and PTSD issues

When Stephen Lessard enrolled at Texas A&M on an ROTC scholarship in 1980, his plan was to graduate with a political science degree, serve his four years in the Navy and then attend law school. But Lessard liked the Navy. So much so that it was 18 years before he made it to Georgetown Law—and even then he found a way to mesh the law with his love of the armed services. Lessard did an internship with the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, primarily advising service members about their …

Being a Little Guy

“You cannot be great at what we do if you don’t have compassion for people,” says personal injury attorney Robert Kelner

There are three Kelners working at Kelner & Kelner, a personal injury and medical malpractice firm in lower Manhattan, but only one of them is a name partner. That would be Robert, who followed in the footsteps of his prominent lawyer father, Joseph, the first Kelner in Kelner & Kelner. “I never thought of doing anything else,” says Robert. “When I was 5, I asked my father whether I could work with him one day, and the answer was ‘Sure!’” One of their earliest cases together …

What’s So Funny About ... ?

Family lawyer Sue M. Moss talks comedy, the begging strategy and losing your mind on Oprah

Divorce may not be funny but Sue M. Moss is. “I represent clients going through the scariest, most nerve-shattering times in their lives,” says Moss, 45, a founding partner at Chemtob Moss & Forman. “You can make it a little less horrific if you can get your client to laugh at least once during the process. Also, being funny causes clients to be at ease, and when they’re at ease they can be more rational.” She’s also not above begging. Literally. The wall behind Moss’ desk …

Avanti, Sempre Avanti

Michael J. Amoruso is known as a listener even though he was born with bilateral hearing loss; he’s known for seeing solutions even though he’s legally blind

In 1994, a month after he started at the Vincent A. DeIorio Law Firm in Westchester, Michael J. Amoruso, a recent graduate from Boston College Law School, who was contemplating a mergers and acquisition practice, worked pro bono on a special needs case to help a disabled woman whose parents had spent much of the $3 million she’d won in a malpractice case. “That one case made me realize what I wanted to do,” says Amoruso, 44. “It brought home what I go through.” Amoruso, who runs …

His Excellency

Jonathan Mechanic knows New York better than you do

The panoramic windows on the 37th-floor offices of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson look out over blocks of buildings from Park Avenue to the East River and beyond. For Jonathan Mechanic, the view is like a curriculum vitae. Look out, and you will see at least one building he helped sell, lease or purchase; walk in any direction, and every few blocks, you’ll pass another. These aren’t just any buildings, either. They’re the ones that define New York City—including, in …

And on the Seventh Day, He Rested

No, he’s not God, but his clients rank Ben Brafman just a few rungs below that

The images, awards and press clippings that line the walls of Ben Brafman’s 26th-floor office tell a story. A photograph of Brafman and Johnnie Cochran with their victorious client Sean “P. Diddy” Combs speaks to Brafman’s own celebrity status. A note from another client, scribbled on a courtroom sketch, reads: “I’m writing this while the jury is still out. If I’m convicted I have no regrets as far as my counsel is concerned. You’ve done a brilliant job. Thank you.” He was …

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