I represented Laura Stiles, the non-biological mother seeking custody rights of her youngest child. The case was filed in 2014 and the biological mother filed a motion to dismiss the case arguing that the non-biological parent did not have standing to file the lawsuit. This case was decided before the United States Supreme Court’s 2015 marriage equality case, Obergefell v Hodges. In a ground-breaking opinion, Judge G. Patrick Hillary ruled:

“This court has doggedly protected the best interest of children with each and every decision from the bench… When I am applying the principles of equity and protecting the best interests of a child, it is this Court’s ruling that Ms. Stiles must be recognized as a parent…”

Ms. Stiles was awarded joint legal and joint physical custody of her son. Judge Hillary’s pre-Obergefell decision was both courageous and consistent with the best interests of the child.


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