Diana J Richmond, Family Law Lawyer / RCMV Law
Diana Richmond is so passionate about family law, that she has focused on it exclusively, building a reputation as a good listener, a problem solver, and one who deeply understands the varying dynamics of each case, while also devoted to finding the most efficient and cost effective service available.
Leveraging her almost twenty years of mediation, arbitration and litigation experience, Diana, Alison Chickloski and Sean Moldowan originally founded Calgary-based Richmond, Chickloski, Moldowan in 2011 and then added partners Aaron Vanin in 2014 and Nicholas Van Duyvenbode in 2018.
Now known as RCMV LLP, the firm has proven to be a team that not only complements each other’s strengths, but also a team that strives to help clients in family law in any way possible
As a certified mediator, with training in collaborative law, Diana continues to provide her clients with wise counsel and practical advice. Not content with the status quo, she furthers her legal education with courses and conferences, and staying on top of the latest legal developments.
Her knowledge has been tapped for speaking engagements, as she is often asked to lecture on family law related topics.
As those who know her will say, Diana’s always there to help you find your way in a challenging family law environment.
My Business Magazine asked Diana Richmond about her passions in family law, and how she’s positioned herself uniquely in the field.
MBM: What was the reason you launched your new firm?
Diana: I had been a partner at another firm for eight and a half years. I always knew I could go out on my own.
Everyone on the team is about the same age. We have a really good synergy. We have lawyers that do everything in the office in terms of family law. We have trial lawyers, people that specialize in high conflict parenting, and mediator / arbitrators... We complement each other.
It’s important for people to know what we have is an exceptional, full-service firm.
MBM: What areas of family law do you feel you thrive on?
Diana: In terms of subject matter, I’d say files that involve a little bit of everything. So, there’s tax issues, businesses, child support, spousal support, property. Those would be my favorite type of files.
Anything to do with child support, spousal support, retroactive support, division of property – especially, complicated property issues, whether something is a matrimonial debt or not – exemption issues, dissipation of asset issues. Those are subject matters that I really, really enjoy.
MBM: How would you differentiate yourself from the pack?
Diana: I have the required compassion, understanding and empathy. People’s issues are important to me... I’m definitely a people person, and a solution-oriented person. People open up to me.
I respond to calls and emails on a daily basis. I have a very busy, successful practice because I do take it very seriously. My clients are important to me. This is a service industry. Clients expect and deserve excellent service.
I also will tell clients what I think. If I think they are being unreasonable, I tell them that.
MBM: What is a particularly challenging case, and what you did to overcome it, and bring about a happy client?
Diana: I’m not sure every client is happy at the end of a file, even if you’ve done an excellent job for them. Sometimes clients suffer from emotional and mental issues which make it tough to make them happy, no matter the service you’ve provided them. I always go above and beyond with every client to ensure that they feel understood throughout the process. Some clients need the help of a mental health professional to get them over the finish line. I often work with psychologists and counselors to help my clients navigate the process of a family law file. I have had files, on the rare occasion, where the client still feels like they left something on the table, even after entering into a mediated agreement, with full disclosure and independent legal advice. Those files are tough, where the client won’t let things go and won’t move on. Clients who can’t make rational decisions, and those that base everything on emotion, are tough to deal with. That’s when I usually send them for professional help in the form of a psychologist, and send them for a second opinion from another lawyer.
MBM: How is being a mom and in a family helping you as a family lawyer?
Diana: I think it has made me a little less sympathetic to unreasonable clients in parenting situations. I will often say, ‘You married this person, you chose to have a child with them. There must have been some good things about them, and you are never going to parent the same way. The other person may never meet your parenting expectations... So, you might want to reconsider what you are expecting from this person.’
Also, having a child makes you grow, mature, and makes you have a different view of all of these couples in conflict. It makes you say to them, ‘You should go to a counselor. You should really think about this before going through with it, because there are consequences of this choice that you might not be expecting.’
Dave Gordon has penned more than a thousand articles, and more than five hundred editorials, on every topic imaginable. He writes regularly on domestic and international politics, current events, culture, relationship issues, and much more.
He has spent time in the newsrooms of the Toronto Sun, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Baltimore Sun, National Post and eye Weekly.
DIANA J RICHMOND, FAMILY LAW LAWYER / RCMV / LLP