Mary Vidas has built one of the most impressive reputations of any matrimonial attorney in the region today - a distinction all the more remarkable considering her vast caseload and unflagging pace. Indeed, Vidas has long been in great demand, representing clients from Cape May, New Jersey, to Lancaster and Scranton, Pa., and seemingly everywhere in between. A tough and exacting litigator and a prodigious worker, Vidas spends most of her professional time fighting for clients before judges - in custody cases, support matters, and all manner of divorce proceedings. Admirers say this 57-year-old attorney's forceful personality took on, unflinchingly, the male-dominated world of trial law, all the while at Blank Rome, a 500-attorney firm where she could easily have been Mommy-tracked into obscurity.
Growing up near Cherry Hill, New Jersey, Vidas had plenty of mentors, including her father, owner of the Acme Piano Co., a longtime fixture of Philadelphia commerce. She went to Georgetown University, with an eye on entering the Foreign Service. She stayed in Washington, working two years at Georgetown's Foreign Service School, but later returned home for law school. Her Family Law professor was Norman Perlberger, who at the time was a partner in Blank Rome's matrimonial department; he spotted Vidas' skills and potential; she joined the fast-growing firm in 1981. Perlberger and partner Len Dubin threw Vidas "into the fire" of trial work - "It was, 'OK, you take the next witness, Mary,' and they left you there to do it. What an education. I had great mentors." Over the years she built on those early experiences, earning a reputation as a shrewd, well-prepared litigator, particularly in contentious custody cases. Rivals say she can't be intimidated. In 1996 she was named a partner of the firm, which today has more than 500 lawyers and 11 offices. Today Vidas' well-appointed Logan Square office has a welcoming feel, despite her frequent court appointments throughout the region: One day she appeared in Camden, N.J., in the morning and Norristown, Pa., in the afternoon.
Ms. Vidas and her husband, Edward Hazzouri, also an attorney, live in Haddonfield, New Jersey; they have two daughters, one is an attorney working for the Obama Pennsylvania Voter ID Election Team and the other is employed by TastyKake in their Sales and Marketing Department. Vidas enjoys theater with her family and friends, loves to play bridge, is a voracious reader and will engage in an occasional round of golf.