I am Jeff Stern and for over the past ten years my primary focus and area of practice has been in the Child Welfare, Dependency & Neglected area. I have a small law office that is nothing short of a true family business.
My Office Manager is Donna who also happens to be my wife and mother of our six children, four original now grown, and the two that she has re-nested our home with. She keeps things running smooth in the office while I am out doing what I do best everyday and that is to help children and families, spending most of my time in the courthouse, or at the Department of Children's Services (DCS) office in Child & Family Team Meetings (CFTMs), or on school or home visits.
I retired from the US Navy in 2000 after completing twenty years of services as an Aviation Electronics Technician First Class (Air Warfare Specialist) specializing in calibration of test equipment. Giving Donna the option of relocating anywhere in the country from our home in Jacksonville, Florida she chose the hills of east Tennessee, where we have lived for since. After retiring at the age of 37 having earned my undergraduate degree while on active duty, I used my GI Bill benefits to attend Law School at the University of Georgia. I practice litigation primarily in Sevier County, although I have had cases in Blount, Jefferson, Cocke, Knox, Grainger, Hamblen and Anderson counties. When it comes to adoptions I am willing to travel anywhere in the East Tennessee area since they only require one court appearance and are easier to schedule than a contested matter.
There is no greater joy for us than assisting a child reach permanency through adoption with a forever family. Donna and I have been foster and adoptive parents for the past ten years and that has given us the unique perspective in helping our clients navigate the complicated and oft times confusing and ever changing child welfare system. We truly understand the frustrations of this system first hand and personally and from every angle - short of being a DCS attorney.
Even our two youngest children are part of the business and are often seen helping mom with filing papers and visiting their "friends" at the courthouse. Their favorite part of our practice without a doubt is attending some of the adoptions we've been blessed to help finalize and seeing children like themselves become a permanent part of a forever home.