Ted chose to become a lawyer because he wanted to advocate for persons who needed a champion in the courts. Since then, he’s learned that although there is a time and a place for advocacy, it is also important for a lawyer to be able to give good advice to his or her clients and to try to resolve disputes through alternative means (such as mediation).
Served as Public Defender
When Ted was a young lawyer, he served as a public defender (he represented both adults and juveniles), guardian ad litem (a lawyer for children), and as an advocate for persons in civil commitment proceedings in Washington, D.C. This provided him with a great deal of trial and appellate experience. It also increased his sensitivity to those who suffer through life’s serious challenges. Many of our clients came from homes where physical, sexual, and/or abuse of controlled substances existed.
Ted believes an attorney and his or her client need to trust each other for there to be a good working relationship. He realizes that attorneys can be expensive; however, it is best if a client really believes and trusts in his or her lawyer.
30 Years’ Legal Experience
Given Ted’s 30+ years of professional experience and belief in hard work, he considers himself to be an elite lawyer in the fields of family law. He follows the professional rules, is mindful of his clients’ budgets, and is a zealous advocate. He has attended a fair amount of continuing legal education courses through various national organizations, and he believes that his communication skills and knowledge level of the subject areas in which he practices are excellent.
Family Law Focuses
Most of Ted’s clients now have family law issues. They are either trying to get a divorce, get custody of their kids, receive a fair resolution of issues like alimony or property, relocate to a different part of the country with their children, or emigrate with their children to the United States under the Hague Convention. Occasionally, he still represents clients in a criminal case or with an offer in compromise with the IRS.
Ted is warm, caring, and personable. His office is friendly and cozy. When he meets a client initially, he records the facts of their case and then develops an initial plan of resolution. He advises his clients how much his fee may be up front, and tries to work within his clients’ means to pay for his fee.
- Member of the Bar for the District of Columbia since 1991
- Member of the Utah State Bar since 1995; also represented a client on Utah’s death row in a state, capital habeas appeal for five years
- Member of the Virginia State Bar from 1997 to 2010 by way of reciprocity with the District of Columbia
- Member of many federal bars
- Member of the United States Supreme Court Bar, where he has petitioned for the issuance of a writ of certiorari seven times
Legal Practice Areas
Ted now works exclusively in family law. He has practiced in criminal defense, tax controversies, juvenile delinquency, and child abuse and neglect.
He has five published opinions in the Utah State Bar Journal. You can read those articles here.
Interests & Background
Ted’s favorite lawyer movie is The Verdict. It was nominated for Best Picture by the Academy Awards people the same year that the movie, Gandhi, was released (which took all of the top prizes). The writing for the film is very good, and the movie speaks much truth about the legal process. The principal ideas of the movie are these: When a person goes to trial, he or she only has a chance at justice. The cards are stacked against a party whose opponent can afford a high-priced lawyer because the evil that the high-priced lawyer from the big firm can inflict on the little guy is great. Yet, when a jury is involved (or in the case of a divorce, when a verdict is decided by a wise judge), the jury can still get justice for the little guy because the people in a jury can cut through the impediments to justice, e.g., the legal loopholes and dirty tricks that an opponent can throw at the little guy through his lawyer. It’s a fairly accurate portrayal of the inner workings of a trial, as well as about how power and influence can impact a trial’s outcome.
In his free time, Ted exercises about an hour a day, either by swimming or running, and occasionally doing yoga. He runs three 10Ks per week and swims about 1 1/3 miles the other 3 days. Sometimes, he hikes or skis in the mountains on a Saturday. He has many friends and enjoys spending time with all of them. He loves movies (particularly independent films), and going to the Broadway Theater from time to time. He also enjoys opera, and has studied voice. He enjoys traveling, reading, and learning new things generally. Ted usually attends the Shakespeare Festival in St. George each year. He spends quite a few hours doing volunteer work in his church. He enjoys watching college football, basketball, and professional baseball. He is from Chicago and is a big Cubs fan. He is also a big Cougar fan and follows the men’s football and basketball games. He thinks it is important to live a balanced life and to keep learning as we age.
Ted is the oldest of nine children. He went to 12 years of Catholic schools in Chicago. He was an Illinois State scholar and could attend any college in the state of Illinois for free. He decided to attend Grinnell College in Iowa, he and received an academic scholarship. When he attended Grinnell, it was known as the “Harvard of the Midwest.” It is still a nationally ranked, liberal arts college. Ted enjoyed attending college there because enrollment was only 1,200 students, and the professor-to-student ratio was excellent. He majored in Sociology. He had a very popular radio show called the Three Stooger Medley Hour on Saturday night with two of his friends. He made the Dean’s List while attending Grinnell. Upon graduation, Ted decided to get a Master’s Degree in the Art of Teaching from Northwestern University in the Chicago area. He taught school for a couple of years in the Chicago area, and then took a job with the IRS in Los Angeles—mostly for high adventure and to experience a different city. It was there that he was exposed to the law through his work as an IRS Revenue Officer. About five years later, he decided to go to law school and attended the Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C. When he applied to law school, WCL was ranked number 38 in the country by the U.S. News and World Report and had a higher ranking than BYU and the University of Utah. The law school has fallen on hard times recently after it decided to make its enrollment larger, lower its entrance requirements, and build a large new campus. Ted’s LSAT score was one point lower than the average Harvard entrance score the year he took the exam. While working for the IRS, he received two awards—one for superior performance, and one for a special act.
Please contact Ted Weckel, Attorney at Law today at (801) 845-9029 to schedule your consultation.