Bruce E. Avery

Avery & Upton

51 Monroe Street
Suite 701
Rockville, Maryland 20850


Alimony, Child Custody, Child Support Modification, Collaborative Divorce, Co-Parenting, Divorce, Divorce Modification and Enforcement, Family, Legal Separation, Marital Property, Spousal Support

Everybody has a special talent, a skill that gives them satisfaction and pleasure. Some are tap dancers, some are prize fighters. I am neither. I help people solve problems.

Over my 30 years of experience in resolving legal conflicts, I have learned and practiced problem-solving techniques that benefit and satisfy both parties without losing sight of my clients' needs and feelings.

My foundation for this approach comes from my 20 years in the Army. During my five years as an enlisted man, I served as an ombudsman for the residents of lower-enlisted housing areas. The next 15 years I served in the Judge Advocate General's Corps (JAG), negotiating claims against the Army. Over that time, I successfully resolved disputes both grand and small, from claims brought by US and foreign civilians and local governments (as well as other national governments) against the United States down to neighbor-to-neighbor arguments over parking spaces.

Since 1993, after I retired from the Army, I have restricted my practice to family law, predominantly in Montgomery County, Maryland. First as a solo practitioner and now in partnership with my daughter, Prudence Upton, at Avery & Upton, I have handled hundreds of divorce, child custody, child support, visitation and other family issues, most often bringing them to resolution without the need for a trial.

I am certified as a mediator in both general civil matters and family law, focusing on property and child-related issues. I serve as a facilitator for the Family Law Division of the Montgomery County Circuit Court.

All of these experiences orient me toward Collaborative Practice. In this process, my clients resolve their own problems with their "other parties." They do this with my help and that of experts in personal finances, child psychology and marriage counseling. Clients who have participated in this process are relieved to work together with their former partners rather than have a result imposed upon them by the judicial system.

I am admitted to practice before the Supreme Court (1984), Supreme Court of Kentucky (1976), Court of Appeals of Maryland (1992), and the DC Court of Appeals (1993), as well as the various US military appeals courts and the Court of Veterans Appeals.

Every year I take several courses, workshops and seminars to learn new skills and sharpen old ones.

I am an Adjunct Professor at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law where I co-teach Collaborative Practice to law students. I am a trainer for the Collaborative Practice Training Institute, training practicing professionals in Collaborative Practice. I am a member and Past President of the Collaborative Dispute Resolution Professionals, Inc. (CDRP) and a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. I am a member of the Maryland State Bar Association, the Kentucky Bar Association, the DC Bar, the American Bar Association, the American Association for Justice, and the Bar Association of Montgomery County.

Bar Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1984
  • Kentucky, 1976
  • Maryland, 1992
  • District of Columbia Court of Appeals, 1993
  • South Korea, 1989
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, 1984


  • University of Louisville School of Law, Louisville, Kentucky
    • J.D. - 1976
  • Hobart College, Geneva, New York
    • B.A. - 1971
    • Major: Sociology
    • Major: Political Science
  • U.S. Army Command and General Staff College - 1987


  • Basic Collaborative Training, Bridgewater, VA., October 24, 2008 - October 25, 2008
  • Multidisciplinary Collaborative Training, Collaborative Practice Training Institute/MICPEL, May 20, 2009 - May 22, 2009
  • Interdisciplinary Collaborative Team Training,Rockville, MD, March 4, 2010 - March 6, 2010
  • Multidisciplinary Collaborative Training, Maryland Administrative Office of Courts/CPTI, March 2, 2011 - March 4, 2011
  • 30-hour Interest-Based Negotiations for Collaborative Professionals, Natural Bridge, VA , September 11, 2011 - September 14, 2011
  • Doctors do it – Why Not Lawyers; Informed Consent, San Francisco, CA, October 30, 2011
  • Interdisciplinary Collaborative Team Training,Columbia, MD, 2009 - Present
  • Law for Non-lawyers, Rockville, MD, 2009 - Present
  • Jumpstarting Your Collaborative Practice (3 times), 2009 - 2010
  • Issues in Military Divorce, Rockville, MD, 2010 - Present
  • Interdisciplinary Collaborative Team Training, Annapolis, MD, 2011 - 2015
  • Collaborative Law and Practice (law school class), Baltimore, 2013 - Present
  • Collaborative Law and Practice (law school class), Baltimore, 2015 - Present
  • Collaborative Law and Practice (law school class), Baltimore, 2017 - Present
  • MSBA Fundamentals of Retirement and Pension Orders, Military portion, Columbia, MD, 2013 - Present
  • Limited Scope Representation, Rockville , 2015 - Present
  • Limited Scope Representation, Frederick, 2016 - Present
  • QDROs, What are they ..., Military Retirement section, Rockville, 2016 - Present

Honors and Awards

  • Listed in Maryland Super Lawyers, 2008 - 2017
  • Listed in Washington, DC, Super Lawyers, 2008 - 2017
  • Listed in Who's Who in American Law
  • Listed in Who's Who in America
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America, 2014 - 2018

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Collaborative Dispute Resolution Professionals, Founding Member and Past President
  • International Academy of Collaborative Professionals
  • Maryland Collaborative Practice Council, Founding Member
  • Kentucky Bar Association
  • Maryland State Bar Association
  • DC Bar
  • American Bar Association
  • American Association for Justice
  • Montgomery County Bar Association
  • International Legal Society (Tokyo and Seoul)
  • Collaborative Practice Training Institute, Founding Member
  • Collaborative Practice Training Institute, Treasurer

Past Employment Positions

  • Military Service - US Army, Major, July 29, 1971 - September 1, 1991

Ancillary Businesses

  • Trainer, Collaborative Practice Training Institute
51 Monroe Street, Suite 701
Rockville, MD 20850

P: 301-762-7644
F: 301-762-8539
E: [email protected]