Thomas Roland, Attorney at Law

Firm Overview

I've been in practice, mostly as a sole practitioner, since 1972. I practice mostly in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.

Example cases

People v. Escarcega (1974) 43 Cal.App.3d 391;

People v. Rossi (1976)
18 Cal.3d 295;

In re D.C.L. (1978) 82 Cal.App.3d 123 -- In D.C.L. I represented a teenager who went onto private property and entered a private shed/workshop with apparent intent to steal. He was found guilty of trespassing. I appealed the case and the conviction was reversed because I convinced the court of appeal that the shed/workshop was not one of the "buildings" referred to in the criminal statute.

People v. Berkeley (1978) 88 Cal.App.3d 457 -- In People v. Berkeley, I represented a homeowner who was arrested after the police got a search warrant and then entered his house and found a very large quantity of drugs. I convinced the trial judge to throw the case out on the ground that the police did not "knock and announce" their presence before breaking into the house. My client tried to go to the front door to answer the police officers' knock, but another police officer was holding him at gunpoint in the rear of the house and would not let him answer the door. The district attorney appealed to the court of appeal, which affirmed the judgment dismissing the case.

In re Wayne H. (1979) 24 Cal.3d 595; People v. Morris (1979) 97 Cal.App.3d 358

Alma W. v. Oakland Unified School District (1981) 123 Cal.App.3d 133 -- In Alma W., my client was a minor who was allegedly raped by a school custodian. The court of appeal decided that the school district was not liable for her injuries.

In re Estate of Joseph (1998) 17 Cal.4th 203.

I was attorney of record for appellant or for amicus curiae on appeal in each case except Morris, in which I was trial counsel.

Main Office
1830 Berkeley Way
Berkeley  CA  94703
  • (510) 841-1500
  • (510) 217-3589


Free Initial Consultation?
I offer free initial consultation.
Services Offered For Fixed Fees?
I will sometimes offer a flat fee after reviewing the case.
Hourly Rates
$300 per hour.

Office Information

Office Hours
Monday through Friday
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Office Manager
Kamilah Lewis
Emergency After Hours

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

I got interesting cases in family law, probate, and criminal defense, even though I took no probate or family law courses in law school.

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

In civil law, such as family law, pro per litigants usually do fairly well if they have the right personalities and intelligence. In criminal law, pro per litigants do okay in DUI cases; otherwise, I think it's dangerous to go without a lawyer in a criminal case.

Is your firm willing to review documents prepared by clients?

Reviewing client-prepared documents is difficult, but sometimes will work.

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

Coaching clients to represent themselves is difficult and should not be done. The party should, in my opinion, go it alone or with a lawyer. "Coaching" is not, in my opinion, very efficient or effective.

Thomas Roland

I taught high school math in the Oakland public schools from 1963 to 1971. Before that, I drove a taxicab in Oakland for a couple of years.

Any rigorous academic field of study will provide the necessary underlying analytical skills, from science to social science to history or literature.

I am a good negotiator. I am excellent in cross-examination and in depositions.

I am friendly and easy-going when that works for my client. I am aggressive when that works. My style in each case depends to a large extent on my analysis of the case and the best interest of my client.

Personal interests:

I like restoring and maintaining my Victorian residence. I am interested in politics, history, and religion.

  • Bar Number: 51447
    California , 1972
  • University of San Francisco Law School
    J.D. , 1971
    San Francisco, CA
    Law Review.
  • University of Michigan
    B.S. , 1960
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Chemistry, Math, involved in Civil Rights (Freedom Rider, Mississippi).

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