A well known and highly respected Chicago attorney, Paul L. Feinstein has practiced matrimonial and appellate law since 1980, having obtained his JD degree from Emory University (a "Top 25" Law School) in Atlanta, Georgia. His undergraduate degree was a BA at Tulane University. He became a fellow of the prestigious American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers in 1991. He belongs to the Family Law Sections of the American, Illinois, and Georgia bar associations. He was admitted to the Appellate Lawyers Association in 2010. He is licensed to practice in Illinois and Georgia, as well as the United States Supreme Court. He has written about numerous matrimonial law subjects and is currently on the board of editors of the Matrimonial Strategist, a national publication. He has also lectured before several groups on many family law topics. He devotes a great deal of his practice to appellate and constitutional law and in 1993 was successful in overturning Illinois' automatic asset freeze law in the Supreme Court of Illinois. In 2004, he was successful in having the Supreme Court of Illinois declare the Illinois Child Representative Statute unconstitutional. He returned to the Supreme Court of Illinois in 2012 and was again successful, this time overturning an Appellate Court ruling concerning the definition of income for purposes of child support cases. He handles all litigation aspects of family law issues, including divorce, custody, domestic violence, premarital agreements, and parentage. He also is often called upon to consult in cases which may be going to trial.
While he practices primarily in Chicago, he has handled matters throughout Illinois. He has received Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory's highest attorney rating, "AV." Many of his cases involve complex procedural and substantive matters, and involve high-profile people. He routinely fields many calls from lawyers, who request his opinion on legal matters of first impression, and those who simply wish to know "what the law is" on a particular issue. Legislators and bar associations consult with Mr. Feinstein to obtain his opinions concerning proposed legislation. Paul Feinstein is on the Circuit Court of Cook County Domestic Relations Division's list of court-approved mediators for both financially related issues and custody related issues. He is also court-approved to be appointed as child representative, guardian ad litem and attorney for children in contested custody, removal and visitation disputes.
Notable Supreme Court of Illinois Cases and Results: Messenger v. Edgar, 157 Ill.2d 162, 623 N.E.2d 310 (dissolution action stay held unconstitutional). In Re Marriage of Bates, 342 Ill. App.3d 207, 794 N.E.2d 868; affirmed, 212 Ill.2d 489, 819 N.E.2d 714 (child representative statute held unconstitutional). In Re Marriage of Best, 228 Ill.2d 107, 886 N.E.2d 939 (Amicus Brief for American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers) (holding that reviewing court may consider declaratory judgment order concerning premarital agreement in dissolution of marriage proceeding, even if entered before final dissolution order). Johnston v. Weil, 241 Ill.2d 169, 946 N.E.2d 329 (Amicus Brief for American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers) (court ordered mental evaluations held not privileged). In Re Marriage of O'Brien, 2011 IL 109039, 958 N.E.2d 647 (Amicus Brief for American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers) (actual prejudice required to obtain substitution of judge for cause). In Re Marriage of McGrath, 2011 IL App (1st) 102119, 954 N.E.2d 842, reversed, 2012 IL 112792 (regular savings withdrawals held not income for purposes of child support). In Re Marriage of Earlywine, 2013 IL 114779 (Individual Amicus Brief). In Re Marriage of Eckersall, 2014 IL 117922, case is pending (Amicus Brief for American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers).
Published Legal Writing: Board of Editors, Matrimonial Strategist, 1995 to Present. Legal Publications: Author, Chapter in, Inside the Minds: Strategies for Family Law in Illinois, Book Published 2010 by Aspatore Books; "Defining Income for Child Support Purposes: Recent Developments," Matrimonial Strategist, December 2012. "The Enforcement of Jewish Marriage Contracts by Civil Courts," Matrimonial Strategist, April 2012; "Family Lawyers in Trouble; Recent Ethics Decisions," Matrimonial Strategist, August 2011; "College Expense Issues in Domestic Relations Cases," Matrimonial Strategist, January 2011; "Automatic Restraining Orders in Domestic Relations Cases: Constitutional Challenges," Matrimonial Strategist, July 2010; "Current Trends in Long-Arm Jurisdiction", Matrimonial Strategist, January, 2010; "Perplexing Problems Under the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act", Matrimonial Strategist, June and July, 2009; "Making an Appealing Record on Appeal", Matrimonial Strategist, December, 2008; "Update on Parental Alienation Syndrome," Matrimonial Strategist, July 2008; "Real Estate Minority Interest Discounts In Divorce Cases," Matrimonial Strategist, February 2008; "Taking the Fifth: Pros and Cons," Matrimonial Strategist, August 2007; "Prenuptial Agreements: Recent Trends from State to State," Matrimonial Strategist, December 2006; "Use and Abuse Of Experts In Matrimonial Cases," Matrimonial Strategist, November 2005 "Defining Income For Child Support Purposes," Matrimonial Strategist, February 2005; "Do You Know Your Federal Law? Conflicts of Law Affect Retirement Plan and Life Insurance Benefits," Matrimonial Strategist, June 2004; "Term Life Insurance in Divorce Cases: A New Deal," Matrimonial Strategist, November 2003; "A Case in Point," Matrimonial Strategist, August 2003; "Beyond DNA: Equitable Parentage," Matrimonial Strategist, May 2003; "How Matrimonial Lawyers Can Avoid Disqualification Due to Conflicts of Interest," Matrimonial Strategist, July 2000; "Creative Remedies for Problems Of Short-Term High-Income Earners," Matrimonial Strategist, May 1999; "Tenancy by The Entirety: A Means Of Protecting a Debtor Spouse," Matrimonial Strategist, January 1998; "State's Highest Court Says Workers' Comp Awards are Marital," Matrimonial Strategist, October 1996; "When are Workers' Comp/Personal Injury Awards Marital Property?", Matrimonial Strategist, July 1996; "Piercing the Corporate Veil in Matrimonial Proceedings," Matrimonial Strategist, March 1995; "Ramifications of Asserting the Privilege Against Self-Incrimination," Matrimonial Strategist, December 1994; "Interstate Custody Disputes: Deciphering the Statutory Maze," Matrimonial Strategist, January 1994; "Final Obituary for Percentage Child Support Orders," FairShare Magazine, December 1993; "The Automatic Dissolution Stay--Rest in Peace," Illinois State Bar Association Family Law Newsletter, November 1993; "Citations to Discover Assets," Illinois Family Law Report, September 1989. Legal Lectures: Speaker on Illinois Domestic Violence Act and Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act for Chicago Bar Association, 1982 to 1986. Speaker, Matrimonial Law Skills Course for Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 1987. Speaker, Estate Planning Skills Course for Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 1989, 1990. Speaker, Child Custody Seminar, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 2003, 2005. Speaker, Cook County Child Representative training session, 2003. Speaker, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers meeting, 2004, 2005. Speaker, Advanced Evidence Seminar, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 2008. Speaker, Business Valuation, Financial and Tax Issues in Divorce Seminar, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 2013.