Catherine Sartain

Associate Attorney

Gainesville, Georgia native and UGA School of Law graduate Catherine Sartain worked for a small family law firm there before joining SM&P. “While a smaller firm can have its perks,” she explains, “you end up wearing many hats, often juggling administrative tasks on top of practicing law. I was interested in finding an environment where everyone had a job or area of focus and worked well together, like a well-oiled machine. It makes the process much smoother. I found that here at Stearns.”

Work-life balance is also very important to Catherine, known as “Cat” to her friends. “Stearns offered the structure and perks of a mid-sized law firm, but it was apparent from the beginning that this balance was also valued and encouraged. This firm cares about families, including our own.”

Cat noticed right away that staff and attorneys at the firm worked well together and enjoyed the collegiality. “Everyone has their specific job or task, and there is a process that puts it all together. It truly is fascinating to see, as it benefits not only employees but helps keep the system running smoothly and painlessly for the client, which is always the priority.”

Mary Montgomery, founding and managing partner, said that Cat’s experience in and dedication to family law sets her apart. “Family law is truly a calling,” said Mary. “It is the most difficult area of law. You are helping people during what is often the lowest point of their lives. I believe you have to genuinely love it to stick with it. She will fit right in at our Gainesville office.”

Clients describe Cat as attentive and knowledgeable. She describes herself as a very focused lawyer. “If I have a task or project in front of me, that is my priority, and I give it my undivided attention. I want to ensure that not only is it completed, but it is completed correctly and to the best of my abilities.”

She stands apart when it comes to the many details required in dealing with family law cases. “Details are what matters,” Cat said. “If you are representing someone, you need to know if they have children. If so, what are their names and ages? This sometimes even means knowing if they have food allergies so that can be addressed in a parenting plan. When you have young children involved, you are often creating a document that will play an important part in their lives until they reach adulthood. It’s imperative that the details are included and are correct.”

When not hanging with her husband, Jarod Maddox, also from Gainesville, you can find her taking care of her three feline fur babies. As a self-acknowledged crazy cat lady, Cat recalls “always being a dog person growing up, but when I went to law school, I thought having a dog would be too much of a time commitment. So I got a cat instead. Now, I’m always either doing something with my three cats -- Biscuit, Leo, and Revan -- or related to them. My first, Biscuit, came from an unexpected barn cat litter and was my loyal law school study partner. Leo was adopted from the Athens Area Humane Society, and Revan was adopted from the Toccoa-Stephens County Humane Society.”


State Bar of Georgia, 2021
Georgia Court of Appeals, 2022
Georgia Supreme Court, Anticipated August 2022


University of Georgia School of Law

Athens, Georgia, 2021
Juris Doctorate

University of North Georgia

Dahlonega, Georgia, 2018
Bachelor of Science, Political Science with Pre-Law concentration