“The legal profession is not represented realistically on television,” says Rebecca Lawrence of Krinick, Segall, Lawrence, Attorneys-at-Law. “I don’t watch the shows,” adds Cathy Krinick. “Most lawyers on TV act like detectives,” says James Segall. “Court procedures are unpredictable,” says Krinick. “Mostly we hurry up and wait.”
The three lawyers merged their practices in March 2017. They handle family, criminal and traffic law. Other areas are personal injury and bankruptcy. Krinick covers a lot of domestic issues, including divorce. “I am satisfied when the child custody settlement is resolved well. The child’s best interests—not desires—are most important. It is not true that a child can make his or her own decisions and choices at age 14. The age is 18,” she says.
There is a box of tissues in her office. “But I am not a therapist,” she says.
Lawrence serves as a court-appointed attorney ad litem (for litigation) for children. “This means that I specifically represent the child’s legal interests. Other professionals will take care of physical or emotional needs,” she says.
The partners offer a free initial consultation. “Our clients come by referral or word of mouth,” Krinick says. We aggressively defend our clients’ rights. They may not like what we tell them, but our information is backed by 70 years of courtroom experience.”
Krinick grew up in Newport News. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina–Greensboro; her law degree is from Wake Forest. For years she was a prosecutor for the Commonwealth Attorney’s office—both Newport News and Hampton. Says Krinick, “I was once punched by a person I was prosecuting. At the sentencing for the murder trial, the convicted criminal felt the sentence was excessive. I was handy, so he gave me a glancing blow. No damage was done.”
Krinick has been in private practice since 1995. She was a founding member of the Greater Peninsula Women’s Bar Association and has been instrumental in encouraging women to enter law. Most recently she served as president of the Newport News Bar Association. She is a strong mentor. “I have been serving as a judge in the trial tactics class for third-year students at the University of Delaware Law School. It is important for law students to apply theory in practical situations. I tell the students that they need to make friends with the judge’s secretary and the court clerks. These people know how to get things done!”
Segall, from Northern Virginia, graduated from the College of William & Mary and received his law degree from Washington and Lee University. His practice is more general, including the preparation of wills and trusts and serving domestic and small business interests. “I am also the ‘I.T.’ person for the office,” he says. He “dabbles” in computers and electronics and often helps family members.
“Virginia is a Commonwealth, one of only four in the U.S. Most people don’t realize the difference between ‘state law’ and ‘commonwealth law.’ It can be important, particularly in choosing between a jury trial and a trial by judge,” Segall says. “In Virginia,” Lawrence adds, “the jury is allowed to pronounce sentence, as well as to determine guilt or innocence. Otherwise, the judge pronounces the sentence.”
Lawrence was born in South Korea. Her husband’s military career brought her to Virginia seven years ago. Her undergraduate degree is from Colorado State University in Pueblo. She also has a masters degree in counseling. “My first career was in administration at University of Colorado in Colorado Springs,” Lawrence says. “Involvement with legal and ethical issues piqued my interest in law.” When she came to Virginia, Lawrence decided to pursue law. She served as a receptionist at Wilson and Wilson, Attorneys-at-Law, pursued a law degree from Regent University, then bought the law firm (now merged with her current firm).
For fun, Krinick says, “I would like to attend a cooking school in Tuscany, Italy.” She has taken classes at the local Culinary Institute. Though well traveled, Krinick has a few places on her “wish list.” “I would like to visit Santa Fe and Cape Cod. Also, Portland, Oregon is known for its restaurants,” she adds.
Segall has five children in his family. “I now have a grandson in Chicago, so that’s on my travel list,” Segall says. “My dream trip would be to return to Israel. I am also interested in going to southern France.”
Lawrence travels with her church on mission trips. Recently she was in Nicaragua, helping to build houses and teaching Bible school. The next mission trip will be to Belize. She also belongs to Chosen Children’s Ministry. She works to promote leadership in women, advising at Virginia Wesleyan University. Lawrence has a 13-year-old and a two-year-old. “We are big Disney fans,” she says. “We have a trip planned to the Disney Resort in Hawaii.
These attorneys may not be fans of the way television portrays lawyers, but their commitment to their practice is evident in their professionalism.
TO THE POINT
Krinick, Segall, Lawrence, Attorneys at Law
Address: 11848 Rock Landing Dr., Ste. 103, Newport News VA 23606
Contacts: Cathy E. Krinick, James A. Segall and Rebecca C. Lawrence, attorneys at law