By Camille Gillies

Once upon a time, there was a compassionate confidant known as the family lawyer — someone you could trust and rely upon for help when life’s legal issues got you down. Today, when so many law firms specialize in only one area of law, you might wonder: Has the good ol’ family lawyer gone the way of the dinosaur?

The answer is no, according to Brian Arrighi, a partner in the law firm Yesner, Boss & Arrighi, P.L. Arrighi, who oversees the New Tampa office of this St. Petersburg-based firm, says caring family lawyers are alive and well and you can find one right here in the Tampa Palms Professional Center on Primrose Lake Circle, off Commerce Park Blvd.

“We like our clients to treat us as their family lawyer because we can help in so many different areas,” says Arrighi, adding that the firm handles a broad variety of legal matters ranging from foreclosures, short sales and bankruptcy cases to wills, estate planning, divorce and other family law matters.

“We are a full-service firm, not a solo practitioner. And, we aren’t a bunch of lawyers out to take people’s money. We are here to help our clients the best way possible by arriving at a solution that is best for them.”

The practice’s New Tampa office opened three years ago after Arrighi, who has lived in Tampa Palms for seven years, identified a need locally for a full-service law firm.

“I felt that New Tampa was underserved in this area (legal services) and my goal was to establish our firm here,” he says. “It used to be you had to drive downtown to go see a lawyer.”

Yesner, Boss & Arrighi is comprised of eight attorneys: six at the St. Petersburg office, and Arrighi and attorney Matthew Kindel in New Tampa. Kindel, also a New Tampa resident, handles many family law cases involving divorce and custody agreements, while Arrighi counsels the firm’s local clients seeking advice on real estate concerns.

“Unfortunately, with the housing problem, there are a lot of short sales and foreclosures in this market,” Arrighi says. “We do quite a bit of work in that area but, unlike firms that only handle foreclosure and bankruptcy cases, we are not a foreclosure mill or a bankruptcy firm. We take a holistic approach in trying to assist our clients. We don’t put people under pressure to accept foreclosure or to file for bankruptcy. After evaluating each individual’s situation, we determine which course of action is best for them.” He adds that sometimes clients don’t need to take the drastic measures they think will be necessary when they first come in for a consultation.

“We offer a free consultation and people are surprised at how much information we give them during that visit,” Arrighi explains. “They leave with lots of information, not just a quoted fee. If we are unable to help, we’ll tell them that, too. We want to save our clients money.”

When it comes to short sales, the good news is that, despite the economy, homes in New Tampa still aren’t staying on the market very long.

“The prices are not 2006 prices, but New Tampa is still a desirable place to live and homes move quickly here,” he says. The bad news: He fears another big wave of foreclosures is on the horizon. Yesner, Boss & Arrighi tries to offer clients with such financial troubles more options.

“We know they (the clients) are hitting a rough patch financially, and we want to assure them there is an end to it,” he says.

He stresses that if a short sale of your home is necessary, the time to act is now. The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, which provides homeowners with tax relief on the short sale of a primary residence, expires December 31. He advises anyone resorting to a short sale to consult an attorney. If your Realtor says, “Don’t bother consulting an attorney because I do short sales all the time,” you may be missing some fine print on the contract that could put you in financial jeopardy down the road.

“You should have an attorney help you with this (the short sale) process so you know what the terms are before you close on the sale,” Arrighi warns.

Besides real estate issues, another area of legal business that Arrighi sees increasing locally relates to sinkhole claims. You might think that sinkhole activity is isolated to Hernando or Polk County, but Arrighi has handled a couple of cases recently in New Tampa. If you have had the misfortune of experiencing a sinkhole at your home and your insurance company is fighting your claim, consider getting legal assistance from Yesner, Boss & Arrighi to prove the claim’s validity.

In addition to insurance litigation, real estate and family law, Yesner, Boss & Arrighi provides basic will packages, including living wills, and advice on how to structure estate planning. The firm also offers representation on personal injury matters.

Arrighi and his wife, Teresa, who is a speech pathologist, have two children: a son, 6, who attends Tampa Palms Elementary and a daughter, 3.

For a free consultation and more information about the law firm of Yesner, Boss & Arrighi, call 251-2921 or visit The office is located at 5321 Primrose Lake Cir. in the Tampa Palms Professional Center.

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