Patrick “Leh” Meriwether co-founded Meriwether & Tharp, LLC with Robert “Bob” Tharp in 1998. In the beginning, the firm was just two young lawyers who thought that they could make a difference by teaming up together. At present, it is the largest family law firm in the state of Georgia. The firm has over 20 lawyers dedicated to helping clients get through difficult times.
Early on, Leh focused on business litigation and transactional cases. As his practice grew, his business clients found themselves needing help with family law matters. While this was not his first choice in legal practice areas, he found it rewarding to help people at such an intimate level. In 2004, Leh and Bob decided to expand Meriwether & Tharp to handle family law cases on a larger, full time basis. From 2004 to 2009, the firm had an even split of family and business cases.
In 2009, Leh and Bob decided to focus the entire practice on family law. This was a difficult decision, because half of the firm revenue came from its business law cases. At that time, the firm had five lawyers, but they believed that they could best serve their clients by focusing only on family law. They did not like the current family law landscape and wanted to make a change. They began to develop a vision of a better way to practice family law. As their vision became a reality, the firm grew. At present, it employs nearly 50 people focused on family law and helping people through difficult times.
Over the years, Leh learned how to zealously advocate for a client in the courtroom. But, more importantly, he learned that lawyers should work to resolve most family law cases. In some respects, working to resolve cases is much more challenging than litigating the cases. It requires digging in to find out where the problems are and looking for solutions.
To improve his resolution skills, he sought out training as a mediator and arbitrator. He is currently registered as a Certified Mediator and Arbitrator with the State of Georgia. He loves to apply his experience and training to clients to help them work towards the best settlement possible.
When approaching cases, Leh offers clients a cost-benefit analysis. This involves a three step process. First, he assesses the legal strengths and weaknesses of a client’s case. Next, he reviews the financial repercussions and costs of pursuing a specific litigation plan. And finally, he explores the long term ’emotional’ price of any particular plan. The emotional price can include the value of ending a case earlier so that the client can move on with their life. The emotional price can also include the toll protracted litigation can have on children. The advantage of being in a large family law firm is that there is a large pool of experience from which to pull from. Using this experience, he can share the possible futures that a client’s choices can have so that they make wise decisions.
- University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, Bachelor of Arts, 1992
- University of Florida, Levin College of Law, Gainesville, Florida, Juris Doctor, 1995
- State Bar of Georgia, Member (1996 through present)
- State Bar of Florida, Member (1996 through present)
- Court of Appeals of the State of Georgia, Member (1997 through present)
- Supreme Court of the State of Georgia, Member (1997 through present)
- United States Northern District Court, Member (1997 through present)
- Forsyth County Bar Association, Member of Legislative Committee (2009 through present)
- Blue Ridge Bar Association, Member (2009 through present)
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