Michelle Zavos

Michele has over 35 years of experience as an attorney in the Washington metropolitan area. She is a Partner in the firm of Zavos Juncker Law Group, PLLC, which practices in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Virginia, and represents clients in all areas of family law. She is an active member of the Bars of the District of Columbia and Maryland, and received her J.D. from the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. in 1979, and her B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1974.

Michele concentrates her practice on adoption, parenting, assisted reproductive technology, estate planning, collaborative law, and probate matters. Her practice is particularly focused on developing legal protections for families, including families headed by same-sex couples. She pioneered second-parent adoption in Maryland and the District of Columbia. She was counsel to Jessica Port in the landmark case, Port v. Cowan, which established that Maryland must recognize marriages between same-sex couples that were validly entered into in another jurisdiction. She was instrumental in the passage of a divorce law in the District of Columbia which allows nonresidents who married in the District to divorce in the District if their home states would not allow them to divorce, and the passage of an amendment to the laws of the District of Columbia which provides jurisdiction for an adoption based on a child’s birth in the District. That law also passed and became effective in March, 2013. She was also instrumental in the case of Fisher-Davenport v. Bowser, where the Virginia Supreme Court required the Commonwealth of Virginia to list two same-sex parents on birth certificates. In a 2013 case her firm established the principle that a same-sex couple could be married pursuant to common law in the District of Columbia as of the date of marriage equality in the District.

Michele taught as an adjunct professor for the Women's Studies Program at the George Washington University and the Washington College of Law at American University for many years. The American University named her Outstanding Adjunct Professor in 1999. She is the author of numerous articles on AIDS and HIV and sexual orientation and the law. She has been given additional awards for community service from LGBT organizations in the Washington area, including the DC Center Award for Outstanding Service to the LGBT Community; the Wanda’s Warrior Award from Women in the Life; the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club Jerome Heilman Award; the Community Service Award from the Whitman-Walker Lesbian Services Program; and the Woman's Monthly Community Service Award.

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