About Us

At Rise From The Ashes, we strive to assist financially struggling women who are leaving an abusive relationship with civil legal matters such as divorce and custody. It does not matter how many times a woman tries to leave an abusive relationship, if she can’t afford to get a divorce, she will never truly be free. To make matters worse, if she can’t afford an attorney to assist her in the custody issues of her children, she will likely set aside concerns of her own personal safety, and choose to re enter the abusive relationship for fear of leaving her children alone with the abuser. Abused women are, for all intents and purposes, hostages in these situations – not only to her abuser, but to the legal system as well.

Who Is RFTA

Our Company Mission
The RFTA Philosophy

Meet Our Team

Founder
FounderFounder
This organization was founded by a woman who was unable to free herself from the legal ties that bound her to her abuser. She firmly believes every woman has the right to be free of an abusive relationship and that no woman should remain trapped due to her inability to afford representation.
Michael A. Biederstadt, J.D.
Michael A. Biederstadt, J.D.Founding Member
Graduated from Loyola University Chicago in 2004 and received his B.S. in Criminal Justice and General Business Administration. Juris Doctorate earned from Valparaiso School of Law in 2006. Mr. Biederstadt is currently an attorney at Biederstadt Law PC in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs, and his practice has been exclusively concentrated on domestic relations and domestic violence for the duration of his career in the greater Chicagoland area.
Dr. Greg Oswald
Dr. Greg OswaldFounding Member
Dr. Greg Oswald is a graduate of Indiana University where he earned a B.A. in Psychology and Criminal Justice and he earned an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Lewis University and an additional M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Midwestern University as well as a doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Midwestern University. Greg is passionate about serving the community, reducing human suffering, and promoting valued living.
Erika Rahden
Erika RahdenFounding Member
Erika Rahden is an attorney concentrating in adoption & family law at Abear Law Offices in Wheaton, IL.
Jamie Mosser
Jamie MosserBoard Attorney
Jamie L. Mosser graduated from Illinois State University with a bachelors in political science.  She then attended law school at the College of Law where she received her Juris Doctorate and a Certificate in Criminal Law in 2002.  Upon graduation, she moved to New Orleans, LA where she took and passed the Louisiana Bar.  She then obtained her first legal job as an Assistant District Attorney at the Orleans Parrish District Attorney’s Office.  While in New Orleans, she prosecuted crimes in the juvenile and adult divisions.  Those crimes ranged from simple possession of cannabis to homicide.  In 2005, she moved back home to Illinois where she took and passed the Illinois Bar.  In November of 2005, she accepted a job at the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office as a prosecutor.  She began her career in the Domestic Violence Unit.  Over the years, she was assigned to several different units including DUI, Drug Rehabilitative Court, Felony, and Special Prosecution (arson and auto theft).  In October of 2009, she was made the head of the Domestic Violence Unit where she prosecuted misdemeanor and Felony crimes of Domestic Violence.  She also supervised several attorneys in that unit.  In October of 2010, she was given the Partner in Peace Award by the Community Crisis Center.  In May of 2015, she left her job as a prosecutor to open up a law partnership with a friend and colleague, Kimberley Crum Klein.  Currently, she takes a variety of cases including family, criminal, real estate, and simple wills.  She maintains her commitment to helping victims in the Domestic Violence Community by providing free or reduced legal services and by being a board member for Mutual Ground, a local domestic violence shelter.
Dr. Jeffrey Neumann
Dr. Jeffrey NeumannDirector of Community Outreach
Dr. Jeffrey Neumann is a doctor of chiropractic at Nu Life Energy Chiropractic in Plainfield. Active in his community and with a passion to help people live their best lives, Dr. Neumann truly believes that in order to have a healthy future, safety is a priority. “At Nu Life Energy Chiropractic, I believe that the health and safety of our patients extends beyond the doors of our building and into the lives of our community members.”
Margie Manietta
Margie ManiettaTreasurer
Margie Manietta has been a CPA at R.J Manietta CPA ltd in Naperville for 24 Years. Margie believes in RFTA’s mission because in escaping an abusive relationship, realized that without proper legal counsel, the system is not in the survivor’s favor. “Women need access to legal representation in order to maneuver through the court system and be able to free themselves and their children from the abuser.”
Joseph Emmerth
Joseph EmmerthBoard Attorney
As a partner at Sullivan Taylor & Gumina, P.C., in Wheaton, Illinois, attorney Joseph Emmerth serves clients in Chicago and the western suburbs, including cities throughout DuPage County, Kane, Will, Kendall and DeKalb counties. Admitted to practice in Illinois in 2005, he concentrates his practice on domestic relations law, including dissolution of marriage, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, alternative reproductive technologies, surrogacy, parentage disputes and adoption.

With several years of experience as a counselor prior to attending law school, Mr. Emmerth brings unique and valuable experience to the field of domestic relations law. He listens to his clients’ individual concerns and provides the counsel, resources and representation they need to achieve positive outcomes.

Mr. Emmerth received his bachelor’s degree from Ambassador University, where he was on the dean’s list. He went on to receive a master’s degree in Counseling from Andrews University, where he received the Nichol Memorial Award for Integrity. He then obtained his law degree from DePaul University College of Law, and served as a student representative on the school’s curriculum committee.

Among his many legal associations and activities, he currently serves on the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) Committee on Judicial Evaluations (Outside Cook County), and serves as the Justice of the West Suburban Alumni Chapter of Phi Alpha Delta legal fraternity.

Leah Setzen
Leah SetzenRFTA On Staff Attorney
Leah Setzen is a partner at Grunyk & Associates, P.C with a practice focusing exclusively in family law matters including custody, divorce, adoptions, civil unions, guardianships, mediation, and appeals in DuPage, Will, Kane, Kendall, and Cook counties.  Throughout her career Ms. Setzen has gained extensive civil and criminal trial experience and has tried more than 100 jury and bench trials. She also educates other family law lawyers and members of the community by serving as a presenter to local advocacy and support groups, bar associations, professional organizations, and law students.  Additionally, she regularly publishes educational materials for family lawyers and presents monthly case law updates to family law lawyers in DuPage County.  Ms. Setzen graduated cum laude from the University of Illinois College of Law and summa cum laude and phi beta kappa from the University of Illinois.  She is a member of the DuPage County and Will County Bar Associations, is a past member of the board of directors of the University of Illinois Law Alumni Association, and a former chairperson of the College of Law’s annual Student-Alumni Conference.
Community Coordination Team
Community Coordination TeamTeam RFTA
RFTA has been blessed with a large group of volunteers who selflessly donate their time and talents to make RFTA possible. From event planning to public speaking engagment bookings, our volunteers do it all. If you have been looking for a way to give back to your community, RFTA is always looking for people to join our event planning and fundraising team, community awareness and outreach team, and our office staff.
GoGoNGO
GoGoNGOI.T. & Web Dev
The team of GoGoNGO proudly hosts and maintains this site. We as a team are excited to be able to give back to our community. When so many women are struggling to free themselves from abusive situations, we feel honored to be able to offer the platform for awareness.