My practice focuses on family law issues, generally involving matters of custody, visitation, support, property division and attorney fees and the different approaches to working with these issues. These are real problems that deeply impact those involved and persons related to those involved.
I have had a solo practice since 1979 after leaving the Sonoma County Public Defender's office and after working, briefly, for a small firm. I currently sublease from the firm of Clement Fitzpatrick and Kenworthy and enjoy the company of the attorneys in that firm and the other attorneys who also sublease from them. I have been selected as a Super Lawyer for Northern California. In addition, I now also teach at Empire College School of Law.
Having extenisve experience in trial work, as well as working as a mediator and in the collaborative process, I can assist my clients in finding what approach works best for them and by bringing my experience in other alternatives to the litigation model this can be approached in a manner that takes a more comprehensive view of the client's actual needs and interests
For more information please send me an email: email@example.com
One situation that comes to mind was a case where both parties were senior citizens, who wanted to end their marriage, but wished to avoid the contentiousness of the traditional court process and also provide for medical care for the more seriously ill partner. Those goals were achieved and at a far faster pace than would have been available in the traditional litigation model.
Another situation that comes to mind, in this instance, in the more traditional approach, involved a couple where one party had never been involved in the financial aspects of the marriage and upon separation had no information about what had really happened during the marriage and was not receiving cooperation from the other party regarding these issues. Through traditional discovery methods the relevant documents were obtained, the less involved party became aware of what had occurred during the marriage. Although the matter had to be set for trial to move things along, it did resolve prior to the trial.
3333 Mendocino Avenue
Santa Rosa CA 95403
No. I have an initial consultation, that generally lasts approximately one hour, more or less, and the fee for that is $260.
Monday through Thursday
9:00 a.m. to Noon
1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
9:00 a.m. to Noon
Although I started my legal career defending those persons accused of crimes, I was always involved in family related matters, as my initial work was in juvenile court. I learned, rather quickly, that these family issues permeated every part of society and I found greater satisfaction in dealing with those issues.
Educated clients generally help their cases to a greater degree than those clients that do not become as involved, and I encourage my clients to become as involved as they reasonably can regarding their cases.
I encourage my clients to be fully involved in the preparation of the documents that are sent to court in their cases and prefer to start many documents, especially declarations, with drafts from the clients.
I have done this in the past and have found it difficult to transmit the nuances of how to act in a courtroom to a client. However, I do act as an adviser (out of court) to those clients who desire that service.
I started as a deputy public defender, initially working in Juvenile Court, which was my start in the family law field. I then briefly worked for a small firm, focusing on all sorts of cases, including family law cases, prior to opening my own practice.
Oddly enough, working in my father's store. As young person I was brought into contact with all kinds of people. I was taught to look for the value in each person and most of the time you can find that, although on occasions it may take a great deal of work. Also, my years spent in sports, particularly rugby, showed me the value of the use of a team, which is a big part of how I approach collaborative matters.
My most unique strength is my direct approach to the situation at hand so that my client, whether the case be traditional litigation or the collaborative approach, can understand what is potentially achievable and the likely route to achieving realistic goals.
Beyond my children, the youngest of who is in college, I have a variety of interests. I enjoy helping the Courts in a variety of pro bono activities relating to family law. I am now teaching (part time) at Empire College School of Law. Additionally, I work at making Collaborative Practice more widely recognized as I believe it's very beneficial for many more cases than are now utilizing it.
I try to stay physically active working out regularly, doing some Tai Chi and Qigong. I enjoy a variety of musical forms, from classical to bluegrass. I really love a good Broadway musical and one of the benefits of living in Northern California are great restaurants and good wines. Although my playing days are mostly behind me, I remain a member of the Northern California Rugby Referees Society.
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