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A Reputation For Being Strong Advocates
Striving To Achieve The Best Possible
Results For Our Clients

Dennis M. Hottell

  • Senior Counsel






Dennis M. Hottell is Senior Counsel at Maddox & Gerock. For more than 43 years, Dennis has focused his practice on Matrimonial and Family Law. He represents clients throughout Northern Virginia who are challenged with the full range of domestic relations issues. He has an extensive and successful track record in the complex and often misinterpreted child custody and visitation rights of Grandparents and third parties as well as custody cases involving intimate partner violence.

Dennis is a keen negotiator who routinely crafts complex settlements involving high-stakes financial assets as well as multifaceted interstate/international custody issues. When settlement is not a viable option, Dennis is fully prepared and armed to aggressively represent his clients in litigation. He has successfully represented many high-profile clients, including professional athletes from the NFL and NBA, Members of Congress, and a cabinet level official.

Dennis is distinguished as a Certified Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), a Fellow of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (IAML), and past President of the Virginia Chapter of the AAML. In 2014 Dennis was appointed to Chair the AAML’s Domestic Violence Task Force Committee and he drafted the Resolution that the AAML adopted as their policy on domestic violence. Under his leadership the Virginia AAML Chapter voted overwhelmingly in 2014 to file an amicus brief in the Bostic Federal Appellate Court case which overturned Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriages.

His outstanding legal skills are also recognized by Martindale-Hubble who consistently awards Dennis the highest ranking as an AV-rated attorney, as a “Super Lawyer” in Virginia Super Lawyers Magazine, and a “Top Divorce Lawyer” by Northern Virginia Magazine.

These tremendous accolades are supported by countless clients and peers who share that Dennis is one of the most sought-after family law attorneys in Northern Virginia. This is due to his unique ability to combine an astonishing array of legal skills with the immeasurable depth of passion, empathy, and compassion for children and families.

Dennis is likewise known for his tireless contributions to the field of family law and is a leader in the Virginia State Bar (VSB), having been elected by his peers to serve on the VSB Council and the Board of Governors of the Family Law Section and appointed to the Disciplinary Board by the Virginia Supreme Court. He was also appointed to Virginia's Child Support Guideline Review Panel by Governors Tim Kaine, Terry McAuliffe and Ralph Northam. Dennis currently serves on the Virginia Bar Association’s (VBA) Family Law Coalition, which is comprised of distinguished members of the AAML, VSB, and Virginia Trial Lawyers Association. He led the effort and chaired the committee that submitted the Report of the Virginia Bar Association, Virginia Family Law Coalition Studying the Definition of Domestic Violence/Domestic Abuse/Family Abuse/Intimate Partner Violence to Make Recommendations for the 2020 Virginia General Assembly Session.  He also spearheaded a Report to the 2014 Virginia General Assembly Session on the child custody and visitation rights of Grandparents and Third Parties.

He is a sought-after speaker on family law issues and his legal acumen has been demonstrated by his participation in numerous Continuing Legal Education (CLE) courses and other seminars on family law and legislation topics, including at the AFCC/AAML annual meeting in Washington, DC, as a featured speaker on “DeFacto Parenting” (i.e., third party custody) and Intimate Partner Violence in Custody Cases. He has been the co-author of Virginia CLE’s Handbook “Negotiating & Drafting Marital Agreements” since 1986.

Bar Admissions

  • Virginia


  • Gonzaga University School of Law, Spokane, Washington
    • J.D - 1976
  • Gonzaga University
    • B.A. - 1972
    • Major: Accounting

Honors and Awards

  • Fairfax Bar Association’s “Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year"
  • “Best Lawyers in America”
  • AV-rated Attorney (highest ranking) by Martindale-Hubble
  • Virginia Super Lawyers Magazine “Super Lawyer”
  • Northern Virginia Magazine “Top Divorce Lawyers”
  • Virginia's Child Support Guideline Review Panel, appointed for two terms by Governor Tim Kaine and Governor Terry McAuliffe

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), Certified Fellow
  • International Academy of Family Lawyers (IAFL), Fellow
  • Virginia Chapter of the AAML, Past President
  • Virginia State Bar, Family Law Section
  • Fairfax Bar Association
  • Arlington County Bar Association
  • Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC)
  • Virginia Disciplinary Board, appointed by the Virginia Supreme Court
  • Virginia Family Law Coalition