Firm History



That family law practice firm of Kaufman, Ries & Elgin, P.A. was founded in 1996 by three attorneys, each of whom was a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. The firm represents clients in all aspects of family law, including divorce and custody proceedings, and the negotiation of comprehensive marital settlement agreements and pre-nuptial agreements. The firm’s lawyers have developed an expertise with the various issues which may arise in family law cases. Our practice is statewide and our attorneys have appeared before judges in most of the 24 counties (including Baltimore City) in the State of Maryland, as well as our appellate courts. This enables our lawyers to offer some insight on how courts have ruled on particular issues in the past. Lawyers in the firm also have completed the training necessary to serve as a mediator or arbitrator of family law disputes.

Bruce A. Kaufman was one of the founders of Kaufman, Ries & Elgin, P.A. He died suddenly at age 50 in September, 1997, of pancreatic cancer. At the time of his death, Bruce was Chair of the Family Law Section of the American Bar Association. He was nationally recognized as an exemplary divorce lawyer and was often referred to as the “dean” of family law in Maryland. He was a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and served as President of the Maryland Chapter at the time of his death. Bruce also served as the first Chair of the Maryland Judicial Compensation Commission, and was a board member of the House of Ruth, a shelter for battered women in Baltimore.

Both Tom Ries and Susan Carol Elgin have continued the legacy of family law leadership established by Bruce Kaufman. Among many other professional accomplishments, Tom and Susan are Past Presidents of the Maryland State Bar Association Family and Juvenile Law Section, the Maryland Chapter of the AAML, and each has served on the National Board of Governors of the AAML. Tom was Co-Chair of the AAML Institute for Family Law Associates training program from 2006 to 2018. Susan co-authored the AAML Maryland Chapter’s amicus brief to the Court of Appeals of Maryland regarding the issue of same-sex marriage in Maryland.