For over 25 years, I have been helping individuals and businesses with their business formations and operations, real estate transactions, tax issues, estate planning, lawsuits, and mediation of disputes. I am presently in solo practice with a focus on using my extensive and varied legal experience to provide in-depth legal help to individuals, business owners, career professionals, and real estate practitioners.Example cases
I assisted a $250-million estate with real estate and environmental litigation and numerous transactional and contract matters for over 8 years.
I represented Unocal Corporation in major environmental case: Carson Harbor Village Ltd. vs. Unocal, et al., published at 990 F.Supp. 1188 (in 1997) and at the Federal District Court (9th Circuit) at 227 F.3d 1196 (in 2000) and 270 F.3d 863 (in 2001).
I defended million-dollar U.S. Tax Court case against individual, resulting in declaration that she was an Innocent Spouse, with no tax due.
I handled business and real estate matters for one-owner conglomerate of 7 related businesses and 15+ parcels of farm and residential real estate.
P.O. Box 7322
Arroyo Grande CA 93421
I offer a free 1/2-hour consultation on any new matter, which is usually enough time to evaluate a situation and decide whether the client can benefit from my services.
The only fixed-rate work I do is preparation of simple wills, which range from $95 to $150, depending on the situation.
My rate is $185 per hour. Some litigation work is billed at a higher rate. When possible, I contract with lower-rate independent paralegals for certain work.
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Monday through Friday
I had a business and real estate background before becoming a lawyer, and I believe that I can best serve my clients by emphasizing the areas where I am most experienced and comfortable.
I firmly believe that clients should become familiar with legal issues, and I have put that concept into practice throughout my legal career. When helping clients, I frequently prepare summaries of relevant law for their information. I have spoken before groups on various occasions regarding legal issues that pertain to their common interests. I emphasize to my clients that they should take advantage of my open-door policy for quick phone consultations whenever they need briefing on unfamiliar legal issues. It is cheaper to avoid problems than to solve them.
A significant part of my practice has always been the review of client contracts, employment agreements, real estate documents, wills and trusts, corporate minutes, and other documents. I do not hesitate to make suggestions, but I also do not hesitate to say "That looks fine" in appropriate circumstances.
In the business and real estate worlds, most clients handle issues by themselves for the simple reason that it is not practical for an attorney to be at their side continually. I believe that part of my job is to inform them of issues pertaining to their situations, and to instill in them an awareness of legal pitfalls, so that they are prepared to handle their own affairs as much as possible.
Before becoming an attorney, I worked as an engineer and contracts administrator for a major Los Angeles area oil refinery. My first 11 years in legal work was in solo practice, followed by employment with two small but well-known and respected firms: Pothier & Hinrichs in Santa Ana (for 3 years until firm closing) and Holley & Galen in Los Angeles (for 11 years until firm downsizing).
I have returned to private practice, which has included one year as managing attorney of an in-house legal department for an entrepreneur with state-wide interests.
In over 25 years of emphasizing business and real estate work, I have also helped clients with their issues in most other areas of law, including personal injury, divorce, bankruptcy, tax and guardianships. I also helped to start and run a real estate mortgage brokerage firm. Now I can use all of that experience to look at my clients' immediate problems in a broader view, which usually leads to better and cheaper solutions. When clients have issues that I cannot resolve, I have the background to assist them in finding other attorneys for those issues.
My unique strength is my broad background in diverse areas that impact on the types of legal matters that I handle. For instance, one litigation case involved engineering, petroleum chemistry, real estate documents going back to the 1920s, environmental laws and the ability to clearly deal with 7 parties, 20 expert witnesses, and several related lawsuits in state and federal courts at the same time. Simultaneously, I used my experience in administrative regulations to successfully handle a trucking litigation case and my research ability to find a solution to another client's litigation in Tax Court.
My style is open and communicative. I believe that clients should be fully informed about their matters. In return, I expect the same of my clients. I cannot do a good job for them if they do not communicate with me fully and honestly. My style is also slanted toward resolution of disputes without the cost, time, and stress of litigation wherever possible.
My personal interests are bicycling, tai chi, guitar, and model trains.
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