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Dale M. Cecka

Senior Counsel

Dale joined Levine, Smith, Snider & Wilson in 2022 as senior counsel, bringing a diverse background that includes practice, teaching and publishing in the area of family law. She handles a wide range of family law matters including divorce, custody and legitimation, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, modifications, contempt and family violence actions.

After graduating from Columbia School of Law, Dale was awarded a prestigious Skadden Fellowship to work at the Legal Aid Society of New York, where she advocated for children aging out of foster care. At the end of the two-year fellowship, she was awarded a teaching fellowship at St. John’s University School of Law in New York, where she also directed its Child Advocacy Clinic. She then moved to Richmond where she was a professor of law and founder and director of the Jeanette Lipman Family Law Clinic at the University of Richmond School of Law and a full clinical professor of law.

In 2019, Dale and her family relocated to Atlanta and she joined the Georgia Attorney General’s Office as an assistant attorney general where she argued in the Georgia Court of Appeals and the Georgia Supreme Court on behalf of the state, and in federal court in major multi-state antitrust litigation. While the work at the attorney general’s office was intellectually stimulating, challenging and important, Dale missed working with families to help them through their most difficult times and returned to practicing family law in 2021.

Dale has published numerous articles that explore many cutting-edge issues in child welfare and domestic relations law. Her legal scholarship has appeared in the law reviews of Catholic University Law School, University of South Carolina Law School and West Virginia University Law School. She has appeared on National Public Radio and in various podcasts and has published an op-ed in The Washington Post related to her advocacy in family law and child welfare.

When not practicing law, Dale enjoys spending time with her three young children, two dogs and husband. They live near the Marietta Square.

EDUCATION

  • Columbia University School of Law, J.D., 2004, Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar
  • Stanford University, B.A., Urban Studies, 1999, with honors

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS AND MEMBERSHIPS

  • Member, State Bar of Georgia, Family Law Section
  • Member, New York State Bar Association
  • Member, Virginia State Bar
  • Admitted to the Southern District of New York
  • Admitted to the Eastern District of New York

HONORS AND AWARDS

  • FACES of Virginia Families Empowerment Award, 2009

SEMINARS, LECTURES AND PUBLICATIONS

  • Book Author, “Virginia Practice Series. Family Law: Theory, Practice and Forms,” Thompson Reuters, 2018 to 2022
  • Book Author, “Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court” (chapter; Kathryn Stanchi, et al., eds.), Cambridge University Press
  • Author, “Improper Delegation of Judicial Authority in Child Custody Cases: Finally Overturned,” 52 U. Rich. L. Rev. 181
  • Author, “Inequity in Private Child Custody Litigation,” 20 CUNY L. Rev. 203
  • Author, “It’s Time for the Fourth Circuit to Rethink Deshaney,” 67 S.C. L. Rev. 679
  • Author, “Civil Rights and the Sexual Exploitation of Youth in Foster Care,” 117 W. VA. L. REV 1225
  • Author, “Abolish Anonymous Reporting to Child Protective Services,” 64 CATH. U. L. REV. 51
  • Author, “Terminating Parental Rights through a Backdoor in the Virginia Code,” 48 U. Rich. L. Rev. 481
  • Author, “No Chance to Prove Themselves: The Rights of Mentally Disabled Parents Under the Americans with Disabilities Act and State Law,” 15 VA. J. SOC. POL’Y & L. 112
  • Review, “The Antitrust Paradigm, American Bar Association State Enforcers Newsletter”
  • Author, “How Child Abuse Hotlines Hurt the Very Children They’re trying to Protect,” The Washington Post
  • Lecturer, “Parental Alienation,” Virginia Trial Lawyers Association
  • Lecturer, “Increasing Equity in Private Child Custody Litigation,” Mid Atlantic People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference, George Washington School of Law
  • Lecturer, “Rewriting the Law, Writing the Future,” U.S. Feminist Judgments Conference, University of Akron School of Law, Center for Constitutional Law
  • Lecturer, “Custody and Child Welfare Cases: A Parental Defense Perspective,” Reimagining Family Defense Symposium, CUNY School of Law
  • Lecturer, “Law Review to Op Ed: What’s Next? Poverty Law: Academic Activism,” Seattle University School of Law
  • Featured Podcast Guest, “The Problem with Anonymous Reporting,” The EPPiC Broadcast Season Two
  • Featured Guest, “After the Kids Move in Radio Forum, Anonymous Calls to Child Abuse Helplines with Dale Margolin Cecka,” WGBB Long Island Radio
  • Featured Guest, “Do Anonymous CPS Calls Do More Harm Than Good?” Huffington Post Live
  • Featured Guest, “The Foster Care System: What Parents Wish We Knew,” Talk of the Nation, National Public Radio

Dale M. Cecka
PHONE 404.237.5700
FAX 404.237.5757
EMAIL dcecka@lsswlaw.com