“What I like best about my job is making a difference for my clients who are often in difficult situations.”
Ms. Duffy has been practicing law since 2006. Her practice at QDRO Counsel focuses exclusively on retirement benefits, drafting, reviewing and issuing opinions on QDROs. She handles for family law attorneys and/or their clients the division of all types of retirement plans, from qualified domestic relations orders for private plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”), domestic relations orders for public or governmental plans, to IRC §408 Orders to divide Individual Retirement Accounts.
Ms. Duffy is familiar with and keeps abreast of changes to ERISA, case law, other governmental codes or regulations affecting retirement plans. Her prior litigation and family law experience is a great asset when navigating pension division through state court or negotiating issues with the parties.
Prior to QDRO Counsel, Ms. Duffy was a staff attorney for Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles. Her responsibilities included representing survivors of domestic violence who seek protection from their abusers and custody/visitation orders. She provided counsel, advice and representation in child custody, restraining order, and divorce cases for the Family Law Unit. Ms. Duffy also assisted low-income homeowners with issues of foreclosure rescue scams, financial elder abuse, fraud, forged deeds and other title issues and consumers with wrongful or unfair debt collection issues. Her responsibilities included the following: client advocacy on behalf of low-income homeowners facing foreclosure for the Consumer Law Unit, including interviewing and counseling clients, researching consumer law issues, analyzing facts and law and planning case strategy, drafting pleadings, legal documents, trial memoranda, and community education materials, negotiating case settlements, and making court appearances on law and motion and discovery matters.
Before Legal Aid, Ms. Duffy was an associate handling complex litigation in a fast-paced plaintiff law firm. Her practice areas included employment, consumer protection, defective products, and mass tort/personal injury. Her responsibilities consisted of case management, legal research and writing, drafting and responding to discovery, drafting and filing or e-filing pleadings, participating in meet and confer discussions, preparing plaintiffs and witnesses for deposition, defending depositions, interviewing potential class members, drafting declarations in preparation for class certification, conducting case investigations, supervising paralegals, and performing document review.
Ms.Duffy received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Santa Cruz where she double-majored in American Studies and Latin American/Latino Studies. She obtained her Juris Doctorate from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. Ms. Duffy volunteers as a QDRO attorney for the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law, a non-profit which provides free legal services for low income families in turmoil, and she continues to serve on its Board. She also is on the Board and Treasurer for the Latina Lawyers Bar Association, which provides scholarships for law students and recent law graduates studying for the bar exam. Ms. Duffy is fluent in Spanish.