About Attorney & Staff
To serve our clients with compassion, creativity and legal excellence.
Former prosecutor Julia Best Chase firmly believes in practicing family law for the greater good of her clients. Her genuine love of children and her experience with marriage counseling have shaped her legal strategies in such a way that she strives to preserve the future family relationships. This approach helps parents, children, grandparents and other extended family members come to terms and move forward from what is usually an extremely polarizing experience.
During her ten year tenure at the State Attorney’s Office, Julia had over 70 jury trials and countless bench trials; she is comfortable in the courtroom. Since opening her firm in 2000, she has helped individuals to understand their options, to make informed decisions, and move the matter efficiently through the legal process. Her 30 years of legal experience allows her to strategize your case as efficiently as possible. If a reasonable settlement cannot be achieved she is not afraid to get the appropriate results in the courtroom.
Julia believes in divorce with dignity. She is trained in the collaborative process.
Julia Best Chase, Esquire
Julia was admitted to the New Jersey Bar in 1986, the New York Bar in 1987, the Florida Bar in 1987 and the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida in 1988. She received a B.A. in Biology from Goucher College in 1982 and a J.D. from Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center in 1986. Her work experience includes Hillsborough County Assistant State Attorney (1987-1997) and Auxiliary Instructor for the Florida Highway Patrol (1988-1990). She worked for two and a half years at a criminal defense firm then opened her own practice in the year 2000. She became a certified Guardian ad Litem in 2016 to protect children removed from their parents due to abuse, abandonment, or neglect.
Memberships and Awards
Hillsborough County Bar Association from 1987 to present (Family Law Section Executive Council 1999-2008, Chair 2006-2007 and Collaborative Law Section 2013-present, Modest Means Committee 2016)
Stann W. Givens Family Law Inn of Court from 1998 to present (Executive Council Program Chair 2000-2001 and Membership Chair 2004-2012)
Next Generation Divorce from 2015 to present (Reduced Rate Committee)
Association of Family and Conciliation Courts from 2016 to present
Florida Academy of Collaborative Professionals from 2016 to present
Family Law Newsletter and Editorial Staff 1998-2005 and (Editor 2000-2004)
Theodore Millison Professionalism Award, 2005
Junior League of Tampa, Sustainer Seminars Presented
2016 NBI: As Family Court Judges See It: Top Mistake Attorneys Make in Litigating Divorce
2016 Brandon Bar Association: Contempt
2015 NBI: Effectively Arguing Contempt Issues
2014 NBI: What Family Court Judges Want You to Know; Moderator
2013 NBI: Advanced Family Law - Complex Financial Issues
2007 NBI: Successful Financial Settlement for Your Divorce Client
2007 HCBA: Child Relocation
2005 NBI: Negotiating the Best Possible Settlement for Divorce Clients in Florida
2005 HCBA: Modification of Custody
2004 NBI: A Roadmap through Florida Divorce Proceedings
2004 NBI: How to Help your Client Survive a Child Custody Evaluation in Florida
2002 HCBA: Family Law Update Seminar: Handling Relocation. Articles Published
Lawyer Magazine 2003: The Burden of Relocation Parts I and II Our Staff
Laura Hughes joined The Law Firm of Julia Best Chase, Esq. in the fall of 2016. She received her Bachelors in 2009 from the University of Tampa in International Business and Spanish and graduated Stetson University College of Law in 2015. Laura worked as a judicial assistant during law school for a family law judge and had worked at the Hillsborough County courthouse since 2007. She is dedicated to assisting clients in resolving their family law issues as effectively as possible. She is a member of the Florida Bar, Hillsborough County Bar Association (Family Law Section), and the Stann Givens Family Law American Inn of Court.
Ashley joined the law firm in March 2017, and has worked in Family Law since 2015 starting as a judicial assistant for a family law judge. Ashley has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (2004), with a major in Criminal Justice and minor in Sociology. She also graduated from the University of South Florida with a Master’s Degree in Adult Education (2006) and Criminal Justice Administration (2008). She has been pursuing a doctorate and completed all coursework and is currently working on her dissertation in Public Service Leadership. She has worked in some facet of the legal field since 1998 beginning as a correctional officer in Las Vegas. She also worked as an analyst with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Office of the Attorney General’s Child Predator Unit, and the Tampa Police Department. She is currently teaching criminal justice courses as an adjunct professor at the University of Tampa.
Stephanie Stopka began working in the legal field in 2015 and has experience in Family Law. She attended Gulf Coast State College in Panama City, FL for graphic design from 2006 to 2009. She has past experience working in the marketing and design industries, including awards recognition and the A/E/C industry.