Law Offices of Michael Bailey

Firm Overview

The best family law attorneys work to keep their clients out of court. Divorce litigation is always expensive and always damaging. It is in the best interest of everyone involved to control both the financial and emotional costs. We believe the parties themselves should reach their own agreements, whenever possible, without going to court, because the parties are the ones best-suited to solve their own problems, and we know that the courts in California agree with this philosophy.

Since 1995, we have taken only family law cases. I have taught family law seminars for CALDA (California Association of Legal Document Assistants), which helps pro per litigants. We consult for self-represented parties whenever possible, saving them thousands of dollars in costs and fees.

Example cases

1) In many cases, neither party can afford to retain an attorney. In these cases, we consult with one or even both parties (if both are willing) to help them negotiate an agreement. Or, if a dispute cannot be resolved, we can discuss other strategies to help resolve the disputes without going to court.

2) In many cases, one party can afford an attorney but the other cannot. A party can ask the court for an award of attorney's fees, but these awards are usually insufficient to cover all attorney's fees, and sometimes they are denied altogether. We have helped litigants in these circumstances who still want to be self-represented. We help them complete the required forms, draft their pleadings, and anticipate the arguments of the opposing attorney and the questions the judge may ask. In these cases, we act a litigation coach, telling the client where to sit and what to say.

Main Office
1400 Webster Street
Suite 7
Alameda  CA  94501
  • (510) 769-2062
  • (510) 769-1792


Free Initial Consultation?
We offer a free phone consultation. The length of the consultation varies, depending on the complexity of the situation. A consultation may take up to 30 minutes.
Services Offered For Fixed Fees?
Our rate is $250 per hour for all services provided by an attorney, including consultation, document review, and coaching. Simple document preparation (typing, without document review) may be $125 per hour or may be a fixed fee if the scope of the work is well defined.
Hourly Rates

Office Information

Office Hours
Monday through Friday
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Other hours upon request.
Office Manager
Emergency After Hours
Languages Spoken

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

I enjoy teaching, counseling, and helping families find their way through a time of great change. As a family law attorney, I get to do all three.

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

Educating clients so that they can make their own legal decisions is an essential service that we provide. It is our mission to help each client acquire the tools needed to make all the major decisions in his or her case. Teaching and providing good counsel are essential to our mission.

Is your firm willing to review documents prepared by clients?

Reviewing, proof-reading, and revising a document prepared by a client costs much less than a document prepared entirely by an attorney. This process can save the client thousands of dollars and result in a document that much more accurately reflects the view of the client.

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

I admire anyone who is willing to undertake any level of self-representation. If you wish, we are willing to provide whatever coaching you may need at every stage of the proceedings, and even step in and represent you in court if it becomes necessary.

Michael Bailey

Law is my second career. In my first career, I was a birth defects counselor in a children's hospital, helping families in many contexts, especially counseling related to grief and chronically ill children.

My first career, as a birth defects counselor, contributed much toward my approach to the task of helping clients to solve their own problems. We try to help each person involved recognize everyone's concerns, and discover a fair resolution.

We are patient when teaching and counseling. If there is a dispute, we emphasize negotiation as the first step toward resolution and reserve litigation as the last step, but the client controls the case and makes the decisions.

Personal interests:

Ceramics, wheel throwing pottery, and meditation (especially when the wheel throwing isn't going well).

  • Bar Number: 148180
    California , 1990
  • Golden Gate Law School
    J.D. , 1990
    San Francisco, CA
    Law Review; National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) and other mock trial competitions.
  • California State University
    B.A. , 1973
    Fullerton, CA
    (Genetics emphasis).
  • University of California (California College of Medicine)
    M.A. , 1977
    Irvine, CA
    Medical Genetics Counseling (in the School of Social Ecology).

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