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FORWARD MOMENTUM. Bonnie Rabinovitch-Mantel’s dedication to putting clients first continues to fuel the growth of Primus Family Law Group

“We do everything to ensure that our clients know that their wellbeing is first in our mind all of the time.”
“Family law cannot be practiced as if it were an assembly line. It’s not just as simple as filling out a bunch of forms. Family Law as a general rule is fraught with emotion, trauma, drama, anxiety, and tension. It’s not easy to get divorced, break up the family and then try to move on. These are people’s lives and people’s children and our focus on that is what makes us unique,” says Bonnie Rabinovitch-Mantel, CFLS, and Managing Partner of Primus Family Law Group. “We put our clients first.”
This absolute dedication to putting her clients first is precisely the reason Mantel, who has practiced family law exclusively since 2006, merged her successful solo practice with Kim Marie Staron in May 2016 to form Primus Family Law Group. “I opened my own firm, Families 1st Law & Mediation, in December 2012 after working for 7 years for a larger law firm here in San Diego,” Mantel says. “It became increasingly obvious that in order to be able to help as many people as possible, I had to build a team. All of those going through a divorce deserve to have unparalleled representation during this tumultuous time in their life, and in order to provide that to as many people as possible, I needed the support of fellow like-minded, hardworking, family law professionals. Primus Family Law Group was formed for people who need zealous advocacy, but also need attorneys who emphasize doing what is right and reasonable in light of their particular facts and circumstances,” she adds.


Suffice it to say, in the two years since Mantel was first featured in Attorney Journal, she’s followed through on her vow to raise the bar of excellence in family law representation through taking specific actions. “Talk is cheap,” says Mantel. “Actions speak louder than words.”
As such, earlier this year Mantel partnered with Staron, a tenured and highly respected family law attorney with nearly 25 years of family law experience in San Diego. “Two minds are just better than one. I wanted to be able to help more people, and running a solo practice limited my ability to do that. By partnering with Kim, and welcoming Shane Brengle as an Associate, and Sean Torley a Senior Paralegal, I now have a team of like-minded people who share my same dedication to doing what is right, and reasonable. We share ideas and strategies, and by bringing together our individual strengths to form Primus Family Law Group, we are able to provide this client-first representation to a greater number of people in San Diego. There are so many people who need attorneys who truly care about them, their children and their financial condition,” Mantel explains.
Continuing she says, “Our attorneys, while practicing with the same goals, are all a little different in our respective approaches. I am ‘passionately aggressive,’ according to one of our esteemed San Diego judicial officers,” Mantel says with a chuckle. “Kim and I are quite similar in that regard, and our associate Shane Brengle brings more of a reserved, but still very firm approach. Sean Torley brings a wealth of experience and know-how as our Senior Paralegal, and our office manager Bon Salazar keeps the administrative aspect of our firm running smoothly.”

The complementary skills, styles, and family law savvy of the powerhouse team has quickly elevated the firm in the San Diego area. With a new look, including a new website, all new branding, and a comprehensive new marketing strategy, Primus Family Law Group is in a period of growth, which Mantel expects to continue. “We are growing because we do everything we can to ensure that our clients know that our priority is to help families move forward beyond the raw emotion of this life-altering event so they can focus on what’s best for their children. When there are no children involved, we do our best to help people find a non-combative, common sense approach to their domestic needs, whatever those needs may be,” Mantel says. However, she is quick to add that although the preference is for amicable settlement, the attorneys at Primus Family Law Group are also passionate litigators who stand up for their clients. “It is part of our job to conduct a cost benefit analysis that explains that what one may achieve after lengthy litigation may not always be worth the ultimate upheaval, both emotionally and financially, not just on that party but on the entire family. That doesn’t mean we ignore what the client is entitled to, nor what particular aspect is important to the clients. We always zealously advocate for our client’s position and if litigation is required or necessary we approach that with the same fervor and passion as we approach all aspects of representing our clients.” The approach continues to be well-received, to say the least. “Our focus and understanding of the big picture in each family law case, while considering those aspects that are of particular importance is what we do best, according to our clients,” Mantel says. “To us, there really isn’t any other way to practice family law. We care about our client, we care about their children— the innocents in every divorce action—and we do everything to ensure that our clients know that their wellbeing is first in our mind all of the time.”


Further proof of Mantel’s commitment to putting clients first can be seen through her own dedication to practicing family law as a true expert, by way of earning her Certified Family Law Specialist (CFLS) designation from the State Bar of California this year. To be certified as a Certified Family Law Specialist, Mantel was required to specifically prove significant, actual experience in the areas of: Child Support; Confirmation of Separate Property; Contempt and/or Enforcement Proceedings; Custody of Children; Dissolution of Marriage/Divorce, Legal Separation, or Nullity of Marriage Litigation; Division of Community Property; Legal Separation; Mediation and/or Negotiation of Family Law Disputes; Modification of Support; Psychological Aspects of Dissolution of Marriage; Restraining Orders/Domestic Violence Proceedings; Spousal Support; and Taxation Issues Incident to Dissolution of Marriage.
All told, the certification process involved a rigorous application and examination process which includes successful passage of a written examination, completion of specific tasks in the specialty area, attendance at a prescribed number of approved education programs, and peer review. The effort was more than worth it, according to Mantel, as having attained the CFLS designation subsequently put her in an elite class of only a small percentage of attorneys who have put forth the time, hard work, and demonstration of exceptional proficiency in the field of family law. “Earning the California Family Law Specialist designation from the State Bar of California demonstrates my commitment to my clients to always go the extra mile to ensure that I’m at the forefront of family law education, advocacy, and expertise.”


As far as the future is concerned for Primus Family Law Group, Mantel says the team is forging full steam ahead, and will welcome new attorneys to the firm as demand continues to grow. However, she is firm when saying that only those attorneys with the “same work ethic, commitment to doing what is best for the client, and energy will be welcomed to Primus Family Law Group.”
“We believe in integrity in working with opposing counsel, to lessen the emotional and financial cost for our clients. Our driving force in every case is to get the parties involved through what is ostensibly the most difficult time of their lives with as little emotional and financial scarring as possible, all the while ensuring that the courses of action taken are right and reasonable.”

Bonnie Rabinovitch-Mantel
2635 Camino Del Rio South, Suite 204
San Diego, CA 92108
P: (619) 574-8000

Jennifer Hadley

Jennifer Hadley is a Staff Writer for Attorney Journal

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Filed Under: Featured StoriesPersonal Development

About the Author: Jennifer Hadley is a Staff Writer for Attorney Journal

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