Meet Our Advertisers: Have You Met The Cowgirls At Hart Law?


You might have seen our past ads about “The Top 10 Reasons to Work with The Hart Law Group.” Though written in a spirit of fun, the tongue-in-cheek campaign indeed reflects our values. You really will find us in cowboy boots and blue jeans (because a power suit really doesn’t give you more power) and we are okay if you think of us as your own personal Charlie’s Angels. But we invite you to learn what really sets us apart – the women themselves. Get to know the powerful, diversely talented, caring and kick-a#! women who will passionately take care of your legal needs.


Mary Hart


Mary established The Hart Law Group after spending 13 years practicing law in Alaska (remember to ask her about her first job as a 20 year old gutting fish on a salmon barge). When she returned to her North Carolina roots, she knew she wanted to start a firm on her terms. The lovely historic house at 93 Church has been the home of her practice for eight years and Mary is as determined and passionate as ever to serve the Western North Carolina community. Mary has represented clients in a variety of matters including wills, trusts, estate and gift tax planning (including estate planning for family owned businesses and large estates), long term care planning, trust and estate administration and litigation, guardianship matters, and more.


HartLawMary has a specific interest in empowering people to protect their loved ones and plan for death and disability. Several times a year, Mary shares her knowledge by presenting seminars, webinars, and this year is both presenting and sponsoring a conference here in Asheville on post-DOMA law. (Visit for more info.)


You may not know…


• Mary has recently become a licensed North Carolina Realtor.
• In need of energetic healing? Mary is a 2nd Level Reiki Practitioner.
• Have you read any novels by suspense author John Hart? Mary is his sister.


Margaret Toms


We argue that you won’t find a better or more thorough real estate attorney than Margaret Toms, no matter how simple or complex the transaction. (And you might enjoy the occasional cookie/tequila closing.) You can contact Margaret for transactional work, drafting documents, contract negotiations, landlord tenant issues, homeowners’ associations and all aspects of private and commercial financing.


Before practicing law in North Carolina, Margaret spent 20 years in the whitewater industry. So in addition to her vast legal knowledge, if you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you might want to get some advice on kayaking technique. Or ask about the best trails in our area – she is also an avid hiker and cyclist and you might see her motorcycle parked out back on a nice day.


You may not know…


Margaret is an excellent seamstress, enjoys yoga and is an avid art collector and real estate investor. She also is a former Florida Dairy Princess!


Mae Creadick


Mae, our civil litigation attorney, comes to us from Pisgah Legal Services, our local legal aid office that ensures equal access to justice. For 11 years, at PLS, she helped over 5,000 individuals to secure safety from domestic violence, safe stable housing, obtain immigration remedies or other basic needs. She also developed one of the first medical-legal partnerships in the South, the HEALS program – a partnership of Pisgah Legal Services and Mission Hospital which has served hundreds of patients with civil legal problems.


Recently, Mae has also spearheaded the conference that The Hart Law Group is sponsoring in February – LGBT in the South: Advocacy Within and Beyond the Law. The concurrent workshops will cover a broad area of topics that include the state of the law post-DOMA and new approaches to LGBT advocacy in the South.


At the Hart Law Group, Mae’s areas of practice include family law with an emphasis on assistance to the LGBT community, collaborative divorce and custody matters, will caveats (disputing or defending a Will submitted to Probate, trust and estate disputes, commercial and residential landlord-tenant disputes including evictions, code issues, rent abatement and breach of contract, real estate disputes, contract and business disputes, employer and employee issues.


You may not know…


Mae regularly organizes art fundraisers for local non-profits. She is also a very talented artist herself – and we always look forward to her baked goods here at the office!


Joanne Dykes


Joanne came to us after practicing big-firm tax law in the concrete jungle of NYC. A former CPA, Joanne can assist you with estate planning, estate and trust administration, business law, and tax controversies.


Joanne Dykes grew up in Miami Beach, Florida. After earning undergraduate and masters degrees in accounting from the University of Florida and passing the Florida CPA exam, Joanne graduated from New York University School of Law in 1991 with a Juris Doctorate and in 1992 with an L.L.M. in Taxation. She is licensed to practice law in New York and North Carolina.


Joanne practiced in Asheville from 1996 – in tax-related fields (estate planning, estate and trust administration, business law, and tax controversies) – until she closed her practice in 2007 to care full time for her daughter, Charlotte.


Joanne served on the Board and Finance Committee of the Western North Carolina AIDS Project (WNCAP) from 2002 to 2005. She is a former president of the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys and actively participates in the Pisgah Legal Services MAVL program.


You may not know…


Joanne likes to spin cartwheels… on the beach!


Please visit our website to learn more about our practice: And, should the need arise, call us to schedule an appointment: 828-271-4278

Sandi Tomlin-Sutker
Written by Sandi Tomlin-Sutker