Chrystal Tinstman

Director
P:(412) 281-5423
F:(412) 281-8264
E:ctinstman@smgglaw.com

Biography

Chrystal C. Tinstman is an attorney and Director at Strassburger McKenna Gutnick & Gefsky.  With more than 15 years of legal practice experience, she is one of the area’s leading matrimonial law lawyers practicing in Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Lawrence, and Washington Counties.  She is laser-focused on making sure her clients’ emotional and financial needs are addressed during this most stressful time in their lives.  Sometimes clients’ motivations and emotional needs do not coincide with the best legal strategy so Ms. Tinstman helps them reconcile this with zealous efforts to resolve situations amicably or by passionately and effectively advocating through litigation when the need arises. 

Ms. Tinstman’s practice extends into all areas of matrimonial law which include planning for separation, divorce, custody, relocation, child and spousal support, protection from abuse, guardianship, prenuptial and marriage settlement agreements, equitable distribution and enforcement. Ms. Tinstman started her career as a law clerk for the Honorable Judge Peter O. Steege in Beaver County who presided primarily over matrimonial law cases.  With Judge Steege, she was involved in every litigation and assisted in researching and drafting countless family law decisions, one of which was important to Pennsylvania’s position on common law marriages.  Ms. Tinstman then spent a decade in a small boutique law firm in Sewickley, Pennsylvania where she focused on a large annual list of family law cases generated from the long evening hours she spent doing other civil litigation work.  Unlike many other family law attorneys, Ms. Tinstman, served as solicitor for several municipal bodies, including the Boroughs of Conway, Freedom, Rochester and Baden, Leet Township, the Municipal Authority of the Borough of Leetsdale, and the Municipal Water Authority of the City of Aliquippa. She also represented clients in real estate matters including negotiating sales, preparing sales agreements, serving as a title agent, performing closings, litigating actions to quiet-title, securing variances and subdivisions, and drafting easements and deeds. Ms. Tinstman is also experienced with a wide range of civil litigation including neighbor disputes, landlord/tenant issues, personal injury claims and contract actions as well as estate planning and election law.  She also gained great experience in Superior Court appeals where, on one occasion, she challenged a landmark case involving a party’s right to privacy with regards to medical records and its interplay with a child’s best interest in a custody case. She even litigated a case to Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court that established as new principle of law related to the statute of limitations that is still in effect in this state.  This collection of knowledge gives Ms. Tinstman a unique edge in her practice at Strassburger McKenna Gutnick and Gefsky where she started in 2010.  She is able to help her clients with many aspects of their personal and professional lives that evolve out of or develop after the divorce proceeding.  Her wide spectrum of legal knowledge and almost two decades of experience makes her particularly skilled in cases that involve complex financial issues and factually unusual custody cases that demand not only experience and knowledge but ingenuity and strategic critical thinking (like a chess match).  Ms. Tinstman wholeheartedly applies this skill and expertise to any genre of client because Ms. Tinstman, being married and having a family of her own, understands the importance of her role in legal proceedings that involve the basic and most important details of a person’s life; their family and their financial means.  Every person deserves to have an experienced and effective lawyer carry them through this pivotal point in their lives and to come out of it with financial stability and renewed control in their new lives so that they and their children flourish in the future.

 

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Education

  • J.D., Duquesne University, 1999
  • B.A., Duquesne University, 1996

Admissions

  • Pennsylvania, 1999
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania, 1999