Ephrata, PA

Lititz, PA

No Matter Your Legal Needs, Our Attorneys Can Help

Gardner & Stevens General Practice Areas & Services

With over 100 years of combined experience, our attorneys are able to handle a broad range of legal matters. From family law, real estate transactions,estate planning and administration, business matters and personal injury, we are here to provide you with practical and experienced legal counsel to assist you in navigating the various laws that you may encounter. The advantage of being a general practice firm is that our clients are able to stay with a firm that they are already familiar with if a new need arises in a completely different area of law. Call us today for a consultation with one of Lancaster, PA’s most respected attorneys!

Ephrata, PA

Lititz, PA
Gardner & Stevens team of lawyers

General Practice

The world of general practice can be wide, which is why the lawyers at Gardner & Stevens pride themselves on being equipped to handle a wide variety of legal issues. Our team of lawyers is happy to offer the following services:


We are able to represent you if you are a creditor or debtor and advise you of your rights and how to achieve the best outcome.


Our business lawyers can draft contracts and other agreements to protect your best interests, whether it is an agreement of sale for business assets or for the purchase of an entire business or company, employment contracts, non-compete and nondisclosure contractors, or real estate agreements. We also provide interpretation of contract language before you sign and when a potential dispute is on the horizon.

Criminal Defense

Our criminal defense lawyers have decades of experience working with clients that have been charged with anything from summary offense to misdemeanors and serious felony charges.

License Suspensions

Our criminal defense lawyers have many years of experience handling driver’s license matters. You should contact us immediately if you have received any communication indicating that your license may be suspended.

Real Estate

Our real estate lawyers handle both residential and commercial real estate transactions. Whether it is purchasing a home or commercial building, transferring a deed, leasing, or selling real estate, we are here to help.

Unemployment Compensation

Unemployment compensation cases have become far more prevalent in recent years. Our firm routinely handles cases on behalf of both employees/claimants and employers.

Commercial Litigation

Our litigation lawyers can represent both small and large businesses, whether as the plaintiff or as the defendant. We have handled amounts of controversy from $10,000.00 to over $1 million in both jury and non-jury proceedings.

Corporations and Limited Liability Companies

Our firm routinely advises clients as to the formation of various entities such as corporations and LLCs.


If you are a first-time DUI offender, a special disposition called an ARD program can drastically reduce or eliminate consequences. We have decades of experience in handling multiple DUI criminal offenses.


As with corporations and LLCs, our business lawyers can provide legal counsel to established and new partnerships.

Traffic Violations

Many traffic tickets hold unseen consequences if you are convicted of or pleaded guilty to the charged offense. In many cases, we can have a traffic ticket reduced to a lesser offense which includes milder sanctions or even no sanctions other than a fine. In some cases, we can even have the charge dismissed.


Our zoning lawyers can provide our clients with the knowledge needed to address zoning issues, from special exceptions to variances.

Family Law

Situations involving divorce, custody or support are some of life’s most critical moments. Emotions run high, and your legal rights, responsibilities and options need to be explained in a way that is understandable and clear. You need representation which is both aggressive and intelligent. We can help.

With decades of combined experience before Judges, Divorce Masters, Custody Conference Officers and Domestic Relations Officers, our attorneys have both the skills and the aggressive practice style to effectively defend your rights and pursue your interests. Just as importantly, our experience in hundreds of cases allows us to give accurate, confident advice without getting caught up in the emotion of the moment or losing sight of your goals. These skills and our personal attention make us a valuable ally during these most difficult times.


Adopting a child is one of life’s happiest times, but the law has numerous requirements and procedures, including criminal background checks, home studies, various notices and a Hearing in Court, even for an adoption by a step-parent. Agency, inter-state and international adoptions are even more complicated. Our attorneys have the experience necessary to competently guide you through these procedures, allowing you to focus on what is most important — your new family.


Custody litigation is one of the most emotional areas, and perhaps the most important component, of a family law case. Our attorneys have decades of experience before both Custody Conference Officers and Judges litigating cases involving paternity, primary custody, partial custody and visitation, relocation and grandparents’ rights. Our skills and experience are the winning combination you need when pursuing or defending your rights to time with your children or grandchildren.

Grandparent Rights

Grandparents are playing a greater role these days in the custody of their grandchildren. Many times, grandparents are acting more like parents due to the unique circumstances of their own children. Pennsylvania has enacted a statute that specifically sets forth grandparent rights as it pertains to custody. Part of our job is to educate our clients as to what the law is and how it pertains to them. Having represented both grandparents and parents in custody situations, we will advise you of your options and best strategy to achieve your goals.


In Pennsylvania, there is no such thing as going to court to seek “legal separation” papers. If spouses have decided to live apart from one another and no longer wish to be considered a married couple they will typically be deemed to be separated. In limited cases, spouses can still live under the same roof and still be considered separated, especially when a divorce action is filed. We advise our clients of their rights and obligations while they are separated and some of the pitfalls that they might encounter. We also evaluate whether it is appropriate to begin negotiations in the preparation of a postnuptial agreement and/or determine whether a divorce action should be filed.

Premarital Agreements

Even if you own property prior to marriage, Pennsylvania law provides that your spouse may acquire an interest in that property after you are married. The law also provides for spousal support, providing of health insurance, payment of medical bills and other spousal rights if you ever separate. The only way to protect your assets and yourself is to sign a Premarital Agreement, sometimes known as a Prenuptial Agreement or an Ante-Marital Agreement in advance. We have many years of experience preparing these documents, which will allow us to effectively protect your interests.

Protection From Abuse

The PFA (Protection From Abuse) statute is one of the most used, and unfortunately one of the most abused, laws on the books in the area of family law. Properly utilized, it is intended to protect victims of domestic violence and their children from abusive spouses, boyfriends/girlfriends and family members. Too often, however, PFA plaintiffs seek temporary protection from abuse orders for the primary objective of gaining leverage in a divorce, support or custody case. The consequences of such an action can be unexpected and far-reaching. Whether you are the plaintiff or the defendant, our firm has decades of experience in successfully negotiating and litigating PFA claims.

Child and Spousal Support

Making sure that you receive adequate child support and spousal support is important. If you are paying support, it is equally important to be sure that you are not overpaying. While basic support cases are often simple, complications frequently arise in cases of special needs, self-employment, disability, mortgage deviations and situations involving substantial or shared custody. We will discuss options and strategies regarding spousal support and alimony pendente lite (APL) and explain the differences. With our years of experience, we are familiar with the nuances of the law which will allow us to help ensure that your support is calculated accurately and fairly.


A divorce is one of life’s most trying and most critical situations. Emotions run high, and your legal rights, responsibilities and options need to be explained in a way that is clear and understandable. You need representation which is both aggressive and intelligent. We have experience from hundreds of cases over many years before both Divorce Masters and Judges litigating cases of divorce, adultery, marital misconduct, property division/equitable distribution, alimony and Postnuptial Agreements. Our skills and aggressive practice style will enable us to effectively defend your rights and pursue your interests and proves why we are the top divorce attorneys Lancaster, PA has to offer. We are able to give accurate, confident advice without getting caught up in emotion or losing sight of your goals. Our hands-on negotiating experience will give you the best chance of obtaining a favorable result without expensive litigation. These skills and our personal attention make us your most valuable ally during this difficult time.

Name Change

If an adult person wishes to change their name, he or she must file a name change petition with the local county court. In order to avoid fraudulent practices, a criminal record search as well as a debt search must be conducted prior to proceeding in court. This is a relatively simple process with a brief hearing before a Judge for approval. If a child’s name needs to be changed and both parents are in agreement, often times this can be done extremely simply and inexpensively, and without the need to proceed to court if the child was born in Pennsylvania. If there is a disagreement between parents, a hearing will need to take place before a Judge who will then decide whether the name change should be granted. We will be able to answer all of your questions and prepare whatever documents are necessary to seek approval of your requested name change.

Paternity Actions

Paternity can be established by many ways such as signing a paternity acknowledgment, paying child support through the court or entering into a custody action. Other times, paternity can be established by a person’s actions such as when they hold the child out as their own, known as “paternity by estoppel”, or simply due to the fact that a child is born of the marriage, known as the “presumption of paternity”. Paternity can also be questioned in appropriate circumstances through DNA testing and testimony, especially when a family is no longer living together. The law on paternity is ever changing and can be complicated. Having handled many paternity actions in the past, our attorneys are able to explain the law to you and advise you of your options.

Post-Marital Agreements

Post-Marital Agreements, sometimes referred to as Postnuptial Agreements or Property Settlement Agreements are all essentially the same despite the name given to them. They are a written contract between two spouses that are in the midst or will be in the midst of a divorce action. All essential terms as to each party’s rights, responsibilities and obligations are set forth in this contract. Most divorce cases are able to be resolved by this method when economic issues such as property distribution, debt distribution and support/alimony need to be addressed. Sometimes people try to save money by preparing these agreements themselves. However, many times, items are missed thereby creating more problems than they solve. Our attorneys will give you candid advice as to whether you need a postnuptial agreement, and we will prepare an analysis of your situation to properly advise you of all of your options.

Personal Injury

Our firm prides itself in successfully representing victims of the most serious bodily injuries, whether from motor vehicle accidents, dog bites, slip and fall cases, tractor-trailer accidents or other cases of negligence and recklessness. We have decades of experience handling cases involving neck surgery, back surgery, compound fractures, head injuries, permanent disability and scarring and disfigurement.

Our initial consultations in cases of serious bodily injury are free, and our fees are charged on a no recovery/no fee basis. We never get paid unless and until you receive a recovery. We advance all court costs, so that there is no financial hardship on you, the client, when bringing your claim for the compensation you deserve.

Automobile Accidents

A personal injury from an automobile accident can leave an individual or family feeling devastated and alone. Our personal injury lawyers stand up against the insurance companies and help you obtain the full and fair compensation you and your family deserve without the need to travel to a “big city” law firm.

Slip & Fall

Cases involving a slip and fall or trip and fall are typically difficult and complex. We have the experience to handle premises liability cases, including snow and ice, defective steps, defective sidewalks, swimming pools, parking lots, speed bumps, shopping malls, and golf courses.

Serious Bodily Injury

The personal injury attorneys at our firm have the experience to handle all types of serious bodily injuries, whether as a result of a motor vehicle accident, slip/trip, fall, dog bite, or other matters arising out of someone else’s negligence.

Wrongful Death

Few situations compare to the tragedy of losing a loved one due to the negligence or recklessness of someone else. Amidst the grief, surviving family members must face loss of income, loss of insurance, and other benefits, as well as questions involving life insurance, social security benefits, and administering an estate.

Dog Bites

Every year, vicious dogs attack and bite innocent children and adults. These cases involve unique complications, from dealing with the homeowner’s insurance carrier to interacting with the local Dog Officer. Our accident attorneys have decades of experience in handling dog bite cases ranging from toddlers to senior citizens.

Motorcycle Accidents

Accidents involving motorcycles require special attention. Our accident lawyers have many years of experience representing injured riders, including successful jury verdicts.

Tractor-Trailer Accidents

Accidents caused by tractor-trailers, and other commercial vehicles, place the injured person at a disadvantage. Our firm has successfully litigated multi-million dollar recoveries for victims of tractor-trailer and commercial vehicle crashes.


Our firm routinely handles all matters that a typical person or family needs to have complete peace of mind that they and their family are taken care of in times of need. We counsel individuals about their options to preserve wealth and prevent unnecessary expenditures that deplete the size of their estate that is otherwise able to be passed on to their heirs.

Our firm is able to help families and executors make sense of the probate process and to expedite the finalization of estates in a cost-effective manner. Our firm handles all sizes of estates from $10,000.00 to multi-million-dollar estates. We handle all steps of the probate process from start to finish.

Asset Protection

Many times people are given incorrect information as to how best to protect their assets. Commercials on television suggest that most people can benefit by preparing asset protection, such as living trusts or other documents to avoid probate and taxes. Many times, these documents can do more harm than good. Questions arise as to whether real estate and other property should be transferred to children, whether outright or in joint names. These transfers often have unintended consequences. We conduct a thorough analysis of clients’ options and cut through the various myths and schemes that exist.

Estate Planning

Our firm routinely handles all matters regarding estate planning that a typical person or family needs to have complete peace of mind that they and their family are taken care of in times of need. We counsel individuals about their options to preserve wealth and prevent unnecessary expenditures that deplete the size of their estate that is otherwise able to be passed on to their heirs. Below are descriptions of just a few of the services within our estate practice.

Living Wills

Living wills, also known as advanced directives, are instructions as to what measures, if any, should be utilized to keep you alive if you are in a terminal condition. Decisions include whether to take advantage of feeding tubes, resuscitation, and other extraordinary measures. These decisions should be made after consultation with your physician, family and attorney.


Trusts are a useful tool for the appropriate person. Not everyone needs a trust. However, for those that do, they are an invaluable tool for estate planning and other purposes. Trusts can exist as a result of a Will or they may exist outside of the Will in appropriate situations such as for an incapacitated person or disabled child. We will evaluate your personal circumstances to determine whether a trust is appropriate for you, and if so, what type of trust makes the most sense.


A will, also known as a last will and testament, is the primary document utilized to ensure that a person’s final wishes are carried out so that your assets are disbursed pursuant to your specific instructions upon your death. During our consultation, be prepared to discuss who you would like to name as the executor (person in charge of overseeing your estate), your beneficiaries/heirs (the people who will inherit from you), the person who would be the guardian of any minor children and any other specifics that are unique to your situation. It is always a good idea to have alternates or backups if the person you would like to name is unable to serve for any reason.

Estate Administration

Our firm is able to help families and executors make sense of the probate process and to expedite the finalization of estates in a cost-effective manner. Our firm handles all sizes of estate administration from under $10,000.00 to multi-million-dollar estates. We handle all steps of the probate process from start to finish.


When a loved one has become incapacitated and has not previously made arrangements for someone to handle their affairs, the Court can appoint a guardian on that person’s behalf. Often a trusted friend or family member, a guardian will have legal authority to make appropriate decisions for that loved one. The presence of a guardian will insure that the incapacitated person does not become the victim of unscrupulous individuals. The appointment of a guardian, however, requires a number of legal steps including filing a Petition, procuring medical testimony to substantiate the incapacity, and the holding of a Hearing in Court. We have the experience necessary to guide you through this process, and to then assist the guardian in all aspects of subsequent required annual reporting to the Court.

Nursing Home Planning

When a spouse or parent needs to enter a nursing home, it is a difficult time for that person and for the rest of the family. To compound the emotions, certain financial decisions need to take place so that assets can be protected to the maximum extent possible. The general rule of thumb is that there is a five-year look back period for all assets that are transferred prior to a person entering a nursing home and requesting medical assistance. However, even though a person may be within this five-year window, it is still not too late to conduct effective planning. Questions also arise as to how Wills should be modified for not only the person entering the nursing home but also for the spouse who remains outside of an institutional setting. Our attorneys will meet with you and thoroughly evaluate your needs.

Powers Of Attorney

A power of attorney is a document that is utilized while a person is alive but is unable to act on their own behalf. Responsibilities that are given to another person, your “Agent”, typically include the ability to make financial, medical and other important decisions on your behalf. As with wills, it is always helpful to have an alternate in case your first choice is unable to serve. It is important that a power of attorney is prepared when a person is competent. If a person is no longer competent it is too late to prepare a power of attorney. In those cases, we must petition the court to appoint a guardian at substantially greater expense than if the person had a properly prepared power of attorney. Therefore, it is important that everyone obtain a power of attorney while they are mentally able to do so. Remember, whenever your agent acts on your behalf, they must always sign with the designation of “Agent” or “Power of Attorney” after their name. Otherwise, it may be construed that they are signing for themselves and not on behalf of another.

Car Accidents

In a driverless world of the future, car accidents may eventually be a rare occurrence. In today’s world, however, auto accidents still happen on a regular basis in Lancaster and nearby areas, even with advances in technology and standard vehicle safety features. If you do sustain injuries in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, the car accident lawyers from Gardner & Stevens can provide you with the aggressive representation you will need to secure maximum compensation. Our representation will allow you to stand up to the big insurance companies that don’t have your best interests in mind. Without experienced legal guidance, you run the risk of not receiving full compensation and dealing with an assortment of legal and insurance issues that could result in a long, drawn-out process.Fortunately, you can count on our experienced car accident lawyers to provide aggressive representation in court if efforts to negotiate a fair settlement are unsuccessful.

Wrongful Death

When the loss of a loved one is due to someone else’s negligence, you deserve the attention of compassionate and knowledgeable wrongful death attorneys. Personalized service is what you will receive from the wrongful death lawyers at Gardner & Stevens. We are an experienced local firm committed to providing outstanding representation to clients throughout Lancaster County dealing with the untimely death of a loved one due to someone else’s fault. We understand the difficulty involved with losing a loved one. For this reason, our wrongful death lawyers provide a high level of personalized, compassionate service that is focused on securing the maximum compensation you deserve, in a way that is as efficient as possible from start to finish.

Wrongful Death Suits

When you contact our wrongful death attorneys, your case will be reviewed and you will receive an honest, knowledgeable opinion about your legal options. A wrongful death claim is a type of lawsuit that allows the family of a deceased loved one to take legal action against a party (or parties) whose negligence played a role in their death. A wrongful death suit is typically the result of a motor vehicle accident, an intentional killing or medical malpractice.

Wrongful Death Lawyers Providing Free Consultations

Wrongful death attorneys from Gardner & Stevens are prepared to fight for your rights and help you through a very difficult time. Our experienced wrongful death lawyers are proud to provide the type of representation clients like you in Lancaster County deserve. We are a smaller firm. However, we have the resources required to pursue a wide range of wrongful death claims and related legal actions while still offering personal attention with each case. We are members of the prestigious Million Dollar Advocates’ Forum, for achieving verdicts/settlements/awards of a million dollars or more.

We invite you to get started by scheduling a consultation with one of our wrongful death attorneys. Contact Gardner & Stevens today to take advantage of our assistance.

Wrongful Death Settlements

There are many factors that go into wrongful death settlements, from the willingness of attorneys for the negligent or responsible parties to compromise, to the complexity of circumstances that were involved with your loved one’s death. The wrongful death attorneys at Gardner & Stevens pride themselves on not backing down when negotiating wrongful death settlements for our clients in Lancaster County.

Our experienced wrongful death lawyers are meticulous when it comes to settlement efforts, leaving no stone unturned while reviewing case details, gathering evidence, and exploring legal options. If necessary, we will take appropriate legal actions in Court should settlement efforts fail. We will discuss with you all settlement offers so you can make well-informed decisions about whether you should accept.

Tractor Trailer Accidents

Because of the size of the vehicles involved, an accident with a tractor trailer can have serious consequences for anyone affected. If you or someone you love has been in an accident involving a tractor-trailer and injured as a result, you will appreciate having access to an experienced semi truck accident lawyer. Gardner & Stevens is pleased to be the law firm you can confidently turn to when you need a truck accident lawyer to review your situation. When you do, you will receive thorough, knowledgeable advice and assistance. We proudly serve clients in Lancaster County and the surrounding areas.

Our attorneys have a proven track record when it comes to aggressively pursuing maximum compensation for anyone injured in a tractor-trailer accident. With two convenient locations in Lititz and Ephrata, Gardner & Stevens is there for anyone in need of a reliable tractor trailer accident attorney. Call us today for your free consultation.

Experienced & Dependable Attorneys Serving Lititz, Ephrata, & Across Lancaster County

When it comes to both complex and general legal matters, get the help you need quickly with the Lancaster law firm of Gardner & Stevens. With offices in both Lititz and Ephrata, PA, we make it easier than ever before for Lancaster County clients to come in for meetings and consultations. No matter if you need a Lancaster attorney that can help you create a will for your family or handle a divorce, we can do it all and do it well. Reach out to our team today to schedule an appointment to talk about your case with our talented family law firm! We look forward to helping you during this stressful time!
Need help with any legal issues? Reach out to our team to get a free consultation.

Fax: (717) 733-0434
Email: info@gardnerstevens.com


Monday: 8 AM - 5 PM

Tuesday: 8 AM - 5 PM

Wednesday: 8 AM - 5 PM

Thursday: 8 AM - 5 PM

[Evenings by appointment]

Friday: 8 AM - 5 PM

Fax: (717) 271-7061
Email: info@gardnerstevens.com


Monday: 8 AM - 5 PM

Tuesday: 8 AM - 5 PM

Wednesday: 8 AM - 5 PM

Thursday: 8 AM - 5 PM

[Evenings by appointment]

Friday: 8 AM - 5 PM

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