Completing its second merger this year, Joseph, Hollander & Craft LLC welcomes veteran family law attorney Ardith R. Smith-Woertz to the firm. This is the second time this year – and the third time in three years – that Joseph, Hollander & Craft has deepened its practice through mergers. The firm has 18 attorneys and offices in Lawrence, Overland Park-Kansas City, Topeka and Wichita. Smith-Woertz will be in the firm’s Topeka office and will serve clients throughout the northeast quadrant of the state.

“Ardith Smith-Woertz has been an outstanding family law practitioner for more than 30 years,” said Julia A. Craft, chair of the firm’s family law division. “Her skill in dealing with domestic disputes earned her an appointment to the Family Law Advisory Committee of the Kansas Supreme Court Judicial Council. She’s a highly skilled mediator and is on the list of Certified Mediators through the Kansas Office of Judicial Administration. We are immensely pleased to have her join our firm’s legal team.”

“I’ve been a sole practitioner for the past 24 years, so my decision to merge with a larger firm was not made lightly,” Smith-Woertz said. “I’ve known the members of this firm for more than two decades. I’ve developed the utmost respect for their talent as lawyers and for their responsiveness to the needs of the parents and children they represent in domestic cases. After lengthy consideration, it was clear that Joseph, Hollander & Craft truly reflected the high standards and client service values I’ve had for my own practice all these years.”

Smith-Woertz focuses on family law, primarily handling cases involving divorce, child support, child custody and residency, parenting, and paternity. As Certified Mediator through the Kansas Office of Judicial Administration, she regularly acts as a mediator/conciliator for parties involved in domestic disputes.

A graduate of Washburn University, Smith-Woertz earned a bachelor’s degree in history and psychology, and later earned her juris doctorate from the Washburn University School of Law. She is admitted to practice before the Kansas Supreme Court and all other Kansas courts, as well as before the United States District Court for the District of Kansas and the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. She has served as a Judge Pro Tem in various divisions for the Shawnee County’s Third Judicial District. In 2010, she was admitted to practice before the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Tribal Court, which handles civil, criminal, Indian Child Welfare matters and juvenile matters for the sovereign nation.

A life-long advocate for child welfare issues, Smith-Woertz serves on the Advisory Board for CASA of Shawnee County. She is an active member of the Topeka Bar Association and served as TBA President from April 2011 – March 2012. She is a past chair of the TBA’s Family Law Committee and continues to serve on that committee, as well as on the TBA’s Bench and Bar Committee, and the Ethics and Grievance Committee. She is a member of the Family Law Section of both the Kansas Bar Association and the American Bar Association.

Joseph, Hollander & Craft LLC has 18 attorneys and offices in Kansas City, Lawrence, Topeka and Wichita. The firm’s primary practice areas include complex criminal defense, DUI defense, employment law, family law, medical malpractice, professional liability defense and commercial law. The firm’s attorneys represent clients in municipal, state, federal and appellate courts and before administrative panels.

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