In Your Corner
Dischell Bartle & Dooley P.C. earns clients’ trust—and favorable legal outcomes—through tenacity, preparedness and a commitment to excellence
by Bill Donahue


“Results Matter,” the official motto of Lansdale-based law firm Dischell Bartle & Dooley P.C., is more than just words on paper. The mantra is evident in the firm’s ability to garner favorable outcomes in the courtroom, as well as in the long-term relationships the firm has formed with a growing list of clients.


Such devotion is also the primary reason why clients send holiday cards to their attorneys, and why one client in particular sends a pound cake to partner Mark B. Dischell every holiday season, as thanks for his work in helping her through a divorce 20 years ago. She has hand-delivered the gift to Dischell, without fail, every year since.


“One thing about us that is unique is that we all really give a damn,” says Dischell. “The biggest task we have, in addition to getting a good result and trying cases, is being able to help people through what is often the worst emotional situation they will ever face, other than a death. People involved in family-law cases generally go through three stages—shock, hatred and resignation—and getting them from stage one to stage three is generally the hardest thing that we do, as well as the most gratifying.”


Dischell Bartle & Dooley, which is a general practice, assists clients with a wide range of legal issues, from divorces to municipal-law matters to commercial/business litigation to estates, trusts and elder law, among other areas. Such comprehensive expertise enables the firm to better serve clients across a broad spectrum, according to attorney Elizabeth J. Billies, whose practice is rooted in family law.


“If I have a tax question or real estate question, I can ask [fellow attorney] Eric [Frey], ‘Can you look at this deed? Does this look right to you?’” she says. “It’s a huge benefit to our clients. One, it’s more cost effective than having to go out and find someone else; and two, it’s more efficient to be able to walk down the hall or send an e-mail than have to call someone [at another firm] who has no reason to help you.”


Dischell Bartle & Dooley focuses its practice in the four “collar counties” surrounding Philadelphia—Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery—and some attorneys practice in the city itself. In addition to its Lansdale headquarters, the firm maintains an office in Boyertown, enabling it to take on more casework in areas such as Berks, Lancaster and Lehigh counties. “We’ve gone as far as the client needs us to go,” says Frey.


The firm’s dozen attorneys have many reasons to be proud of their collective accomplishments, none more so than the close bonds they form with clients, which are based in part on successful results both in and out of the courtroom. The firm rarely loses a client to another firm. In fact, a good experience with one of the firm’s attorneys often results in the same client turning to another Dischell Bartle & Dooley attorney for counsel or representation in an entirely different matter.


“I think the predominant impression our clients have of this firm is of our commitment to excellence,” says Joseph C. Kuhls, whose practice focuses on real estate and municipal law. “The extraordinary thing about working here is that … we have clients who become our friends. They come back, and they bring their friends back [as referrals], and it’s because they have an extraordinary experience here and they connect with our people.”


Solving Problems

In addition to its roster of highly skilled and knowledgeable attorneys, Dischell Bartle & Dooley also enjoys a long-tenured support and administrative staff, which provides a foundation of trust and stability for clients. Technology also plays a big role in terms of responsiveness; BlackBerrys are standard issue for attorneys, meaning paralegals and other support staff can communicate seamlessly with attorneys even if they are en route to the courtroom or otherwise predisposed to provide near-immediate answers on pressing legal matters as a way to better serve clients.


“When people are coming to us for help, it’s generally for something out of the ordinary,” says partner John T. “Jack” Dooley, whose practice includes estates, trusts and elder law. “By definition, this lends itself to some stress, and it’s our job to alleviate that stress. To a very large extent that’s what we get paid for—for a client to leave their problem on our desk and walk out and know that it’s being handled. Responsiveness, we believe, is a real key to that.


“If a client is trying to follow up on the status of their legal matter and they’re not getting a quick and adequate response, then we have defeated our purpose—which is, we have not alleviated that stress and in fact we may have added to it,” he continues. “We’ve certainly learned that over the years and we have made it a real focal point in handling matters.”


Because of the often emotional aspect of legal cases, Dischell Bartle & Dooley attorneys often find themselves acting not only as attorneys but also as “friends”—offering counseling and handholding to help clients through difficult times.


“You can’t always keep it purely legal because they’re coming to you and wanting to talk to someone about something that’s very emotional,” says Billies. “One client sent me a Christmas card at the end of the case, thanking me. That meant a lot to me, knowing that even though she was going through a divorce, which is not a fun experience, she appreciated my help and felt she had the best experience she could, given the nature of her case.”


Clients aren’t the only ones who have noticed the firm’s success. Many of the firm’s attorneys have earned “AV Preeminent” ratings from Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest level of professional excellence as determined by one’s legal peers. Also, the firm’s attorneys are routinely ranked among the area’s best by Super Lawyers and other publications that acknowledge excellence in their profession. Dischell, for example, among his honors as a family-law attorney, was named “Lawyer of the Year” by The Best Lawyers in America in the Philadelphia area for 2012.


“We’ve achieved a lot of accolades as a firm locally and countywide, but the thing I think I’m most proud of is winning cases we’re not supposed to be winning,” says partner Frank R. Bartle, whose practice includes business/commercial litigation. “It’s almost like playing a card game; you’ve got to play the hand you’re dealt, and sometimes the hand you’re dealt isn’t very good. … There are times when you flat out win cases that you shouldn’t win just because you did a better job of lawyering than the other side.”


Such results come from the combination of thorough preparedness for each case and the tenacity to get the best possible outcome for every client—without having to break the bank.


“Legal fees are less expensive here than they are in some firms that would provide the same quality of service that we do,” says Dooley. “We have attorneys who are experts in their respective fields, whether we’re talking about family law, wills and estates, litigation or something else. People would normally have to go into Philadelphia for the same level of service we can provide here.”


Dischell Bartle & Dooley P.C.

1800 Pennbrook Parkway, Suite 200

Lansdale, PA 19446

Toll Free: 888-362-3293

Phone: 215-362-2474




Rob Hall is a freelance photographer based in Plumsteadville.