Michael Bertin is emerging as one of Pennsylvania's leading young divorce lawyers, whose combination of skills - as a litigator, negotiator, and in settling complex cases - has set him apart from nearly all of his peers. Moreover, at 42, Bertin, a partner at Philadelphia's prestigious firm Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel, has already made a career's worth of contributions to the profession: He has written and lectured extensively on family law issues, and engaged in ongoing community service work. He's the product of many influences, above all his father: The Honorable Emanuel A. Bertin, the state court judge who was a prominent family law attorney prior to being named to the bench. Naturally then the younger Bertin took an early interest in family law, and he enjoys virtually all aspects of the practice today, from case management to strategy to advocacy.
Bertin is a former Chair of the Family Law Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association, and the Treasurer of the Family Law Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association. Bertin co-authored the leading treatise on Pennsylvania child custody and also helped with a key custody reform measure passed in Harrisburg, for which he received a special achievement award from the Pennsylvania Bar Association. Thus Bertin is emerging as one of the area's new leaders of the state's divorce bar.
Bertin grew up in the Maple Glen area in Philly's northwest suburbs where he was a member of the Upper Dublin High School swim team. He never swam competitively before joining the team in 9th grade - by senior year he was the team's co-captain. He went on to the University of Pittsburgh, majoring in Communications Rhetoric and minored in psychology. At Temple Law School he received the award for outstanding achievements as a law student in the field of family law. Bertin's professional foundation was also formed by working with well known Center City divorce lawyers David Rasner and later Charles Shainberg before joining Obermayer in 2003 where he was mentored by managing partner Robert I. Whitelaw, and Ann G. Verber.
In his years as a partner at Obermayer, Bertin has proven himself to be one of the firm's key practitioners in the area of family law; given his regular writings in The Legal Intelligencer and other publications, he certainly is one of the profession's highest profile young lawyers in the Philadelphia region.
Today Bertin's practice spans the five counties from Delaware, Montgomery, Chester and Bucks counties, to the city itself. Next to his desk is a mounted copy of his book, Pennsylvania Child Custody Law, Practice, and Procedure. Peers say Bertin's done a good job of establishing his own identity in the profession, in part because he's a good negotiator and "capable of seeing the big picture - objectively." What's more, he's proud of striking a healthy balance between his work and home life - something many high-achieving lawyers often struggle to do. Bertin and his wife Sarah have two children; they live in Montgomery County.