Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

Spivak Law Firm is BBB Accredited

Washington County PFA Lawyers

Bogus PFAs Turn Lives Upside Down

In many Pennsylvania counties, judges grant more than 90 percent of requests for a Temporary Protection From Abuse (PFA) order.

Judges tend to err on the side of caution, figuring that a person seeking protection must need it. After all, it would be tragic if the person seeking protection wound up injured or worse after a judge denied the PFA.

But judges should also consider how their decision to grant the PFA will affect the accused. Every day, PFA orders evict people from their homes, restrict parents from their children, and threaten people’s jobs and reputations.

At Spivak Law Firm, we are dismayed by some of the PFAs granted by judges based on weak allegations.

For instance, in one recent case, the person seeking protection admitted in her petition that she had not seen or communicated with the accused for a year.

In another recent case, the person awarded protection told the judge that the defendant only communicated with her subliminally.

We were successful in getting both cases dismissed. But the PFAs never should have been granted because the plaintiffs were not in reasonable fear of imminent bodily injury.

They caused unnecessary emotional and financial stress in people who did nothing to warrant a PFA.

At Spivak Law Firm, we provide strong representation at PFA hearings. If you’ve been falsely accused of abuse, call (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

PFA and Domestic Abuse Amid Coronavirus

“Mass shootings garner attention and frighten the public much more than episodes of domestic violence,” according to a recent article in The New York Times. “But domestic violence has a much higher death toll in the United States.”

Each year, some 900 women in the United States are murdered by their current or former intimate partners.

That single-year tally is more than nine times the number of people killed in jihadist attacks on American soil in the past decade.

At their most basic level, both mass terrorism and intimate terrorism of domestic violence are attempts to provoke fear and assert control. Many experts have expressed concern about the rise of domestic violence incidents during stay-at-home orders related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law and criminal defense with a focus on domestic abuse and child custody. For a free consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

PFA Courts Remain Open During COVID-19

Although courts across Pennsylvania have largely closed due to the coronavirus crisis, Protection From Abuse cases are still occurring due to the emergency nature of a PFA.

Spivak Law Firm is continuing to accept PFA clients and provide strong representation at PFA hearings.

A PFA is a restraining order that prevents all contact when there are allegations of:

  • Physical violence
  • Sexual violence
  • Threats of violence
  • Harassment
  • Stalking

A PFA is a powerful tool that can instantly evict you from your home, restrict you from your children, result in termination from your employment and even land you in jail.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate representation in all PFA matters. For a free phone consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Funding For Abuse Victims

 

702075.TIFIn domestic-violence cases, research demonstrates that legal-aid services for women reduce the likelihood they will experience domestic violence in the future.

Unfortunately, President Trump’s proposed budget severely cuts departments that fund programs supporting domestic-violence victims. Additionally, the budget proposes to eliminate the Legal Services Corporation, which provides legal aid to domestic-abuse victims who are married to U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.

Spivak Law Firm helps victims of domestic violence get the legal protections they need at Protection From Abuse (PFA) hearings and by working with prosecutors on criminal domestic-violence cases. To schedule a consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Spivak Law Firm Hires New Attorney

rc-headshot-white-fullSpivak Law Firm is pleased to announce that Rebecca Canterbury has joined our family law and criminal defense practice as an attorney at law.

A Pittsburgh native, Attorney Canterbury earned a Juris Doctor degree from Duquesne University School of Law. During law school, she represented clients at Protection From Abuse (PFA) and child custody hearings while working for Neighborhood Legal Services Association and the Duquesne University School of Law Family Law Clinic.

Attorney Canterbury served as a law clerk for the Honorable Kevin G. Sasinoski of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas – Criminal Division, as well as for several private law firms in Pittsburgh focusing on criminal defense and family law. She began as a law clerk at Spivak Law Firm before joining the firm as an attorney.

While serving as president of the Family Law Society at Duquesne University School of Law, Attorney Canterbury organized and moderated a symposium to address whether Pennsylvania’s Protection From Abuse (PFA) laws strike the right balance for protecting domestic-violence victims while also limiting false claims of abuse.

Earlier this year, Attorney Canterbury wrote an article published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette entitled Impoverished Parents Deserve Their Day In Court on how filing fees in Allegheny County prevent low-income parents from asserting their child-custody rights. The article was reproduced in the fall 2016 edition of At Issue, published by the Pennsylvania Bar Association.

This month, Attorney Canterbury co-wrote an article with Attorney Spivak published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette entitled Clean The Slate In Pennsylvania on the importance of making it easier to expunge criminal records and give people a fresh start in life.

Attorney Canterbury focuses her practice on PFAs, child custody, domestic-violence defense, and criminal record expungements.

Spivak Law Firm offers a free consultation on family law and criminal defense matters. To schedule an appointment, call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.