Law Offices of Diane J.N. Morin

Certified Family Law Specialist, Litigator & Mediator

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Firm Overview

The Morin Law Offices are committed to providing quality service at competitive rates. These services include litigation, mediation or collaborative law, depending on the client's needs. We specialize in all matters concerning families, from name changes and stepparent adoptions to complicated custody and property issues.

The Law Offices of Diane J.N. Morin were established in 1992, at which time we had two law offices (one in Palo Alto and one in Oakland, California). At this time we have one office in Palo Alto, California, and practice in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties as well as in San Francisco. I am assisted by another attorney who has had extensive experience in adoption law. After practicing criminal law for many years, I concentrated exclusively in family law. As I have dual nationality, and was raised in another country I have an extensive clientele from other countries. In the past few years, I have developed a practice in mediation and collaborative law as well as litigation.

Example cases

Regularly, I represent men or women and the cases involve complicated property as well as child custody and support issues. I have a particular expertise in cases involving people from other countries. My preferred goal is to assist clients in arriving at settlements, and for this reason I have developed competence in both collaborative law and mediation. However, I have a background in litigation and rely on this background in developing strategies for my clients.

Main Office

Main
2211 Park Blvd
Palo Alto  CA  94306-1533

Phone
  • (650) 473-0822
Fax
  • (650) 473-0812

Fees

Free Initial Consultation?

An initial telephone consultation of 15 minutes is provided free of charge and without further obligation. All other consultations of 15 minutes or more are billed at a minimum rate of one hour and at a fraction of an hour thereafter.

Services Offered For Fixed Fees?

I work at an hourly rate only.

Hourly Rates

$295 to $350

Office Information

Office Hours

Monday through Thursday
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Friday
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Emergency After Hours

Yes

Languages Spoken

Fluent French & Italian; some Spanish.

How did your firm decide on the primary area of practice(s)?

Issues concerning families and dissolution permeated my experience as a child and gave me empathy for those similarly situated. As a result, I am a lawyer specializing in international issues as well as domestic law, with a firm respect for systems of conflict resolution such as mediation and collaborative law. Having specialized in family law for so long as a litigator, I have seen that Family Court does not have structures for helping families heal and progress towards new healthier systems. The procedures used in Family Court are modified versions of the same procedures used in contract, personal injury law for example. These procedures can polarize people and deepen existing animosities instead of leading to resolution of issues. As a consequence, I continue to search for ways to direct my clients towards positive, creative solutions.

What is your firm's point of view regarding clients educating themselves on legal issues?

It is imperative that clients become educated in specific issues concerning family law that are relevant to their circumstances and conflict resolution as quickly as possible. I do everything possible to advise and direct clients to solutions that will assist them so that they can "think out of the box." As our clients are looking for a solution that will benefit them not only in the short run but also for the long term, they must fully understand any agreements proposed and be comfortable with any compromises. All participants in the process of dissolution and conflict resolution need to fully understand what is discussed and their emotional responses so that they feel they have achieved resolution and accomplished their goals.

Is your firm willing to review documents prepared by clients?

I am willing to look at documents under some circumstances. In these situations I sometimes sign a "limited representation" agreement.

Is your firm willing to coach clients who want to represent themselves?

I have, on occasion, coached clients who want to represent themselves. However, this is not my usual practice and I find it is often not the best way to help clients problem solve or achieve their ultimate goals.

Diane Morin

I was first employed by the Superior Court of Alameda County (Oakland and Hayward) as a Research Attorney, working for Judges in the Law and Motion, criminal and family law departments. Thereafter I worked in a law firm and practiced in areas of appellate, criminal defense and insurance law. I then was a District Attorney for the County of Santa Clara for three years and thereafter practiced criminal defense. After working for many years for others, I decided to open up my own law practice and have never regretted that decision, as the work has always been both challenging and rewarding.

My diverse experience in working for Courts as a research attorney, as a civil litigator, a District Attorney and criminal defense attorney, before concentrating exclusively on family law has made me a far better lawyer. I have had over thirty jury trials and innumerable settlement conferences. Prior to being a lawyer, I grew up in Italy and I believe living in a multi-cultural environment helped me be a better lawyer as I learned the importance of listening intently for the similarities as well as the differences between people.

I am direct, compassionate and energetic. Both my parents and grandparents were divorced, in a country and in a time when divorce was considered a stain. Moreover, I have been a single parent. As a consequence I can easily empathize with my clients. On the other hand, due to my many years of experience and training, I also am trained to keep my personal experience separate from that of my clients so as to help them make decisions for themselves. In this, I am the retained "technician." I have extensive experience in mediation and collaborative law and am committed to its principles. I attempt to settle, if possible, and to collaborate with other helping professionals. Having had extensive experience as a trial attorney has helped me find creative ways to navigate my clients through their anxieties about conflict so that they can be less fearful and more open to finding ways to move forward.

Personal interests:

My chief interest has been parenting for the past two decades, i.e. all aspects of raising children; I love the outdoors and was a technical climber, mountaineer and river runner for many years. I love reading, cooking, photography and learning new ideas in any field, traveling, learning new languages and focusing on multi-cultural issues as I was raised in another country (Italy).

License
  • Bar Number: 108029
    California , 1983
Education
  • University of San Francisco School of Law
    J.D. , 1982
    San Francisco, CA
    Business, International Relations, Family Law; Moot Court (High Honors); Court internship.
  • University of California
    M.A. in Comparative Literature , 1976
    Berkeley, CA
    Italian & French language and literature; also studied Latin, Japanese & some Chinese and German.
  • Pomona College
    B.A. , 1972
    Claremont, CA
    English (Theatre) and International Relations (Political Science)

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