Jessica M. VanValkenburgh, Esq. McCarthy Summers Bobko Wood Norman Bass & Melby, P.A., Stuart, FL
Hi Jessica, Can you give us a brief introduction?
I am an associate at McCarthy Summers and started practicing at the firm in January 2016. I was licensed to practice law in Florida in October 2008, where I joined a litigation firm that I stayed with until transition to McCarthy Summers. I practice in the areas of Family Law and Civil Litigation.
I am originally from Upstate New York and moved to Florida in 2005 for law school at Barry University. I attended undergraduate at a small private college by the name of Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York, where I obtained by Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in History. I am the proud mama of two rescue dogs, Gordon and Penelope. I am an avid runner and have completed many distances from 5K’s through ultra-marathons. I also enjoy any physical activity including cross-fit, Orange Theory, paddle-boarding and kayaking. My family is very close knit and I enjoy spending as much time with them as possible.
When and why did you move to the Treasure Coast?
I began working in the Treasure Coast with the Ticktin Law Group in 2008, which was my first job as a licensed attorney. I lived in West Palm Beach until about 2010 when the desirability of moving to the Treasure Coast could not be ignored any longer. I lived in Hobe Sound until 2013 when I settled into my home in Stuart.
Can you tell us about your family?
I have the greatest Mama that ever lived. She is retired and lives with her husband and their flock of chickens in the South. My Daddy is in heaven looking down on me every day. I have an amazing big brother who is one of my best friends. I also have seven step-siblings and a half-brother and half-sister.
Can you tell a short story about your professional philosophy and how that has helped people?
My philosophy throughout my practice and my life is to treat all people with respect. I work towards the pursuit of truth and justice. Each of my clients is special to me and I take on their problems so some of the pressure is relived from them. This is an adversarial practice but it doesn’t have to be hostile. I strive to act with professionalism with all persons I encounter and to zealously advocate for my clients while providing professional courtesy where appropriate.
What do you love about what you do?
I love every part of my career as an attorney. In the courtroom advocating for my clients is where I was born to be, but I also enjoy meeting with my clients, drafting documents for our cases and strategizing with the amazing team at McCarthy, Summers for our cases.
Tell me about your team within the law firm of McCarthy Summers Bobko Wood Norman Bass & Melby, P.A.?
I work directly for Robert P. Summers, Esquire, who is by far the best boss anyone could ask for. Our litigation team also consists of Owen Schultz, Esquire, who is always ready to help me whenever I need another opinion. I couldn’t live without my paralegals, Tina and Nancy. They ensure that I am able to do what I do to the best of my ability. Every person who works at McCarthy Summers is an essential asset to the team and I am so happy to be a part of this fantastic firm.