The ability to build these powerhouse teams is of course a virtue, and frankly, Hennenhoefer's clients demand it. "Our client niche is cases with substantial assets wherein the parties enjoy a high income lifestyle," he says. In dissolving these marriages, Hennenhoefer notes that most of the time, both parties are concerned with "making smart business decisions, with fewer tax problems." Indeed he caters to a sophisticated clientele, which means that he's also up against similarly equipped and sophisticated opposing attorneys. "You don't get bored," he chuckles. "There are constant variables that you don't have in other areas of laws. This is not dividing up pots and pans. Every form of property, funds, or businesses can be at stake. There may be a restaurant business, or a coal business, and I wind up being an expert in those fields. It is therefore endlessly interesting," he says.
Fascination Leads to Expertise in the Field of the Future
It's more than likely that this natural fascination with learning new fields is also what drove him to become a national expert in what he deems the "future of law." Much like his introduction to the field of family law, although he never intentionally chose ESI as a field in which he intended to become an expert, he soon found an untapped passion.
Around the time that the California Discovery Act was signed in 2009, Hennenhoefer was working with a large CPA organization. The firm had planned a large seminar on Electronically Stored Informations and there was a gaping hole in their agenda. Hennenhoefer offered to fill the spot.
He admits to a bit of an 'uh-oh' moment, but didn't skip a beat, and teamed up with attorney Gordon Cruse before signing up for a crash-course in the field. "The management of data and how we discover it protect it and get it into evidence certainly comes into play in family law," he says. Emails on one spouse's computers which confirm the hiding of assets and skullduggery can be case making or breaking evidence. However, as Hennenhoefer asks "How do you get that information legally? How do you get it into evidence?"
Following his initial crash course, Hennenhoefer immersed himself in the timely and topical field of ESI. Attending seminar after seminar, including the National ESI Academy in Washington D.C. and Georgetown Law School's ESI Academy, Hennenhoefer quickly earned a reputation as an authority on the subject of ESI. He soon began lecturing all over the United States in the areas of ESI, electronic discovery and the use of electronic evidence at trial. In fact, were he to be new to the legal field again, he wouldn't think twice about selecting a specialization in ESI as his primary career path.
"All of us were afraid of the act when it was introduced in 2009. But ignoring it won't help." It's a matter of how we deal with this, because ESI is absolutely the future of law," he says. As Hennenhoefer became more familiar with the laws pertaining to the handling of electronically stored information, he found the field equally as invigorating as he finds family law. "Once you learn this, it's great," he says, as a way of encouraging other attorneys to embrace the field.
For his part, Hennenhoefer is all around, an extremely happy attorney. With a well-established firm, awards and recognitions galore as testimony to his expertise in family law; he's thrilled to be at the forefront of the latest technological advances, where he gets the same satisfaction from doing what he's done for more than four decades. "It is incredibly rewarding to sort through a person's problems and solve them as quickly as possible."