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Carole Orland (Photo: Jerri Graham)

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Family Matters

Q & A with Carole Orland

Carole Orland is a Co-Founding Member and Partner of Broder Orland Murray & DeMattie LLC, a Divorce and Family Law firm with offices in Westport and Greenwich. She lives in Westport with her husband.

WLM: You’ll be married for 43 years (to the same man, an important detail) this August and you’ve practiced family law for years. Safe to say you’re a marriage expert. What do you think is the secret to a successful union?

Carole Orland: Respect, communication, honesty, trust, transparency, flexibility, humor, and a very thick skin!

WLM: I almost cried when I read about the contested surrogacy case. You won this case and the childless couple ended up with their baby. This was, clearly, a powerful and moving experience. How did this experience impact you as a mother and a lawyer?

CO: It was many years ago and still is probably the most impactful case of my career. To enable my client and his wife to fulfill their dream of having a child was almost like being a god and tremendously humbling. The litigation was excruciating, but the result was magnificent. 

WLM: What advice do you give to prospective clients?

CO: A dissolution does not have to be a War of the Roses experience. My firm handles many divorces that are quite amicable, and we encourage that. Very few get tried in Court so my philosophy is that if a case is eventually going to settle, why not get that done earlier than later and save financial and emotional capital? Couples who want to do the process amicably commit themselves to being transparent, trustworthy, and cooperative. Most importantly, they make sure their kids' interests are paramount and make other decisions with that in mind.

WLM: What advice did you give your daughter before she got married?

CO: Never go to sleep angry with your husband. Cherished advice carried down in our family from my grandmother who was married to my grandfather for 75 years! 

WLM: If you weren't a lawyer, what would you be doing?

CO: I’d be a television news program anchor and political commentator on MSNBC. Or an interior designer. After owning multiple houses over the years, with constantly evolving taste, I think I’ve gotten the hang of it.

WLM: You love art and theatre. If you could choose one play/musical or painting to inspire a movie, what would it be and why? 

CO: Well, it would have been ‘Woman in Gold’ because I was moved when I saw Klimt’s painting at the Neue Galerie. Coincidentally, I saw the movie later that day. How awesome is Helen Mirren?!

WLM: Why did you decide to practice family law?

CO: One of my earlier mentors told me my specialty in law would find me, and it did. After working as a prosecutor and then a a criminal defense attorney, clients sought me out to represent them in divorce. And so it began! It’s very satisfying, as it’s an area of law that allows for personal contact and for making a difference in the lives of families, especially children.

WLM: Tell us your favorite (clean) joke.

CO: Well, it's not exactly a joke, but my husband told me if we ever get divorced, he wants me to represent him!

  • The Orland Family (Photo: Max Orland)
  • Carole Orland (Photo: Jerri Graham)
  • Carole Orland (Photo: Jerri Graham)