Authors

Nolo's books and articles are written by individuals with deep practical experience in their fields. Most are attorneys who have worked with us for many years. Nolo editors have also written several of our most popular titles.

Nolo Book Authors

Attorney Christopher A. Ball is the author of California Workers' Comp: How to Take charge When You Are Injured on the Job, now in its fifth edition. Since 1991, Mr. Ball has practiced workers' compensation law exclusively. He is certified as a Worker's compensation Specialist with the state Bar of California. Mr. Ball received his bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Long Beach State in 1972 and graduated law school from Western State School of Law in 1975.

Sachi Barreiro is a legal editor at Nolo specializing in employment law and workers’ compensation law. Before joining Nolo, Sachi was in private practice as an employment lawyer, advising businesses on their legal obligations to employees and litigating a variety of employment matters. Prior to that, she gained valuable litigation experience representing plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits. She is the coauthor of The Manager’s Legal Handbook, Your Rights in the Workplace, and The Essential Guide to Federal Employment Laws.

Leon Bayer is a Los Angeles, California bankruptcy attorney, practicing since 1979. His primary focus is on representing individuals and small businesses in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. He is a founding partner in the California law firm of Bayer, Wishman & Leotta and is a Certified Specialist in Bankruptcy Law. To learn more about Leon, you can visit his Los Angeles Bankruptcy Blog or his Los Angeles bankruptcy attorney website.

Mr. Bayer is a coauthor of Nolo's The New Bankruptcy: Will It Work for You?, authors the “Ask Leon” series on Nolo’s Bankruptcy, Debt & Foreclosure blog, and writes on bankruptcy topics for Nolo’s website. In addition, Mr. Bayer devotes a significant number of hours to volunteer legal services. The State Bar of California has commended Mr. Bayer for this work every year since 2004.

Mr. Bayer’s professional affiliations and leadership roles are many, and include: President of the Los Angeles Bankruptcy Forum (1995-1996), member of the State Bar of California’s Law Advisory Commission on Personal & Small Business Bankruptcy Law (1996-2000), and exam grader and question writer for the State Bar Legal Specialization test on Bankruptcy.

Mr. Bayer testifies in court as a legal expert in bankruptcy malpractice suits, and is a frequent lecturer on bankruptcy law. He has spoken at the former Bridging the Gap program for new lawyers, lectured on bankruptcy case law developments at a number of the State Bar of California Annual Meetings, and has presented bankruptcy law material at many other educational programs.

Mr. Bayer’s frequent television appearances include interviews on KCAL9 News and EXTRA (where he weighs in on various celebrity bankruptcies). He has also served as a bankruptcy expert on many different radio shows and news stations, and is a frequent guest on KALW-FM public radio’s Your Legal Rights.

Mr. Bayer’s publications include:

  • The New Bankruptcy: Will It Work for You? (Nolo)
  • The Essentials of Chapter 13, Daily Journal Report, December 18, 1987
  • Basic Bankruptcy, California Practice Handbook, Matthew Bender 1992, 1993 (contributing editor), and
  • Personal and Small Business Practice in California, CEB Bankruptcy Practice Guide, 2003 (reviewer and contributing author).
Paul Bergman
J.D., UCLA Law School Professor

Paul Bergman is a Professor of Law Emeritus at the UCLA School of Law and a recipient of two University Distinguished Teaching Awards. His books include Nolo’s Deposition Handbook (with Moore, Nolo); Reel Justice: The Courtroom Goes to the Movies (with Asimow, Andrews McMeel); Trial Advocacy: Inferences, Arguments, Techniques (with Moore and Binder, West Publishing Co.); Trial Advocacy in a Nutshell (West Publishing Co.); Represent Yourself in Court: Prepare & Try a Winning Case (with Berman, Nolo); Depositions in a Nutshell (with Moore, Binder, and Light, West Publishing Co.); Lawyers as Counselors: A Client-Centered Approach (with Binder, Tremblay, and Weinstein, West Publishing Co.); Cracking the Case Method (with Goodman and Holm, West Academic Publishing); Evidence Law and Practice (with Friedland and Benham, Carolina Academic Press); and You Matter: Ten Spiritual Commitments for a Richer and More Meaningful Life (with Rabbi Mark Borovitz, AuthorHouse). Paul has also published numerous articles in law journals. And, using clips from law-related films, he regularly gives presentations to lawyers, judges, and community groups.

Sara Berman is a graduate of the UCLA School of Law. Sara currently serves as the Director of Academic and Bar Success Programs for the AccessLex Center for Legal Education Excellence. She has served for decades in faculty and administrative leadership roles in law schools in California and Florida, and is the author of numerous articles and books, including Pass the Bar Exam: A Practical Guide to Achieving Academic & Professional Goals and Bar Exam MPT Preparation & Experiential Learning For Law Students: Interactive Performance Test Training, both published by the American Bar Association. Sara is also the co-author along with Paul Bergman of Nolo’s Represent Yourself in Court: How to Prepare and Try a Winning Civil Case.

Ilona Bray, J.D. is an award-winning author and legal editor at Nolo, specializing in real estate, immigration law, and nonprofit fundraising. Many of her books are consistent Nolo bestsellers, among them Effective Fundraising for Nonprofits, U.S. Immigration Made Easy and Nolo's Essential Guide to Buying Your First Home. Her latest book is entitled Selling Your House: Nolo's Essential Guide, which won gold in the annual Robert Bruss competition for books published in 2015 from the National Association of Real Estate Editors (NAREE). Ms. Bray particularly enjoys interviewing people and weaving their stories into her books.

Bray's working background includes solo practice, nonprofit, and corporate stints, as well as long periods of volunteering, including an internship at Amnesty International's main legal office in London. She received her law degree and a Master's degree in East Asian (Chinese) Studies from the University of Washington School of Law and Jackson School of International Studies, and an undergraduate degree in philosophy from Bryn Mawr College. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, writing children's books, going to open houses, and gardening.

Bray also blogs on Nolo.com on topics such as nonprofit fundraising, real estate, and immigration. She's the winner of NAREE's 2012 "Best Blog" award.

Michael Boyer is a part-time landlord, college professor at the University of Alaska, and attorney. He has graduate degrees in management and law plus over a decade of experience as a successful do-it-yourself landlord. He has been on both sides of the landlord-tenant equation, as a landlord and as a volunteer attorney representing low-income tenants. Michael lives with his family in Juneau, Alaska. Every Landlord's Guide to Managing Property is his first book.

David Brown
Attorney

David Brown practices law in the Monterey, California area, where he has represented both landlords and tenants in hundreds of court cases -- most of which he felt could have been avoided if both sides were more fully informed about landlord/tenant law. Brown, a graduate of Stanford University (chemistry) and the University of Santa Clara Law School, also teaches law at the Monterey College of Law.

Attorney

Denis Clifford is an estate planning attorney in Berkeley, California. He is the author of many Nolo titles, including Quick & Legal Will Book, Make Your Own Living Trust and Plan Your Estate, and a coauthor of A Form a Partnership:A Complete Legal Guide. He has been interviewed by such major media as The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Money Magazine.

Melanie Cullen holds an MBA from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. Following 20 years in corporate management, she is now a consultant in management and technology. Melanie lives in Davis, California.

Frederick W. Daily spent over 40 years as a tax attorney, helping individuals and small business owners make smart tax decisions and stay out of trouble with the IRS. He was featured as a tax expert on Good Morning America and NPR, and in publications including Money Magazine, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, The New York Times, and the Chicago Tribune. He authored Stand Up to the IRS and Tax Savvy for Small Business. Frederick passed away in 2019.

Amy DelPo
Attorney

Ms. DelPo is an author and consulting editor who specializes in employment and family law issues. She brings years of criminal and civil law experience to her work at Nolo, having litigated cases in all levels of state and federal courts, including the California Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court. Since leaving the active practice of law, she has earned a master’s degree in library and information science, specializing in legal research and law librarianship. She has written numerous employment law titles, including The Performance Appraisal Handbook, Dealing with Problem Employees, and Create Your Own Employee Handbook. Ms. DelPo received her law degree with honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

George Devine
California Real Estate Broker

The late George Devine was a licensed real estate broker and a widely respected educator in the real estate field. He obtained a B.A. from the University of San Francisco, and an M.A. from Marquette University, and pursued additional studies at San Francisco State University, Seton Hall University, Fordham University, New York University, the University of California at Berkeley, and other academic institutions. Before his death in 2015, he taught real estate at the McLaren School of Business at the University of San Francisco, where he was named the Outstanding Adjunct Professor. For several years, George wrote the popular "Real Estate Handbook" column in the weekly Real Estate Guide section of the San Francisco Progress. He authored For Sale By Owner in California and co-authored How to Buy a House in California.

Emily Doskow
Attorney

Emily Doskow is a practicing attorney and mediator who has worked with families in the Bay Area since 1989. She is the author of Nolo's Essential Guide to Divorce, the co-author of Making It Legal: A Guide to Same-Sex Marriage, Domestic Partnership & Civil Unions and The Sharing Solution: How to Save Money, Simplify Your Life & Build Community, and the editor of many Nolo titles, including Divorce Without Court: A Guide to Mediation and Collaborative Divorce and the bestselling Neighbor Law: Fences, Trees Boundaries & Noise. She specializes in family law, including adoption, parentage issues, domestic partnership formation and dissolution, and divorce. She is a graduate of the Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley.

Attorney
Candace Duff is the owner of Duff Law & Mediation, PLLC—an alternative dispute resolution firm that offers mediation, arbitration, and mediation coaching services. Prior to starting her own firm, she was a shareholder and civil litigator at a large law firm where she represented clients in real property, construction law, employment law, and other disputes for more than 20 years. Candace is also a published novelist (who writes under two different pen names), a freelance writer, and the CEO of Duff Enterprises, LLC where she helps attorneys, entrepreneurs, coaches, consultants, and speakers write and publish books and put them to work to help them achieve their personal, professional, and business goals.

Until his death in late 2011, Stephen R. Elias was a practicing attorney, active Nolo author, and president of the National Bankruptcy Law Project. He was an important part of Nolo for more than 30 years, and was the author or coauthor of many Nolo books, including Bankruptcy for Small Business Owners. Other titles include Special Needs Trusts: Protect Your Child's Financial Future, How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, and Legal Research: How to Find and Understand the Law. He was also one of the original authors of Nolo's bestselling WillMaker software. Steve held a law degree from Hastings College of Law and practiced law in California, New York, and Vermont before joining Nolo in 1980. He was featured in such major media as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Good Morning America, 20/20, Money magazine, and more.

Deborah England is a litigator with 20 years of employment law experience. She has published numerous articles and essays on employment and civil rights law, and frequently speaks on these topics before legal and HR professional organizations. England makes her home in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Lisa Fialco
Attorney

Lisa Fialco practices law with Kelley & Farren, LLP in San Rafael, California. Her background in consumer protection motivates her commitment to demystifying estate planning and probate. Lisa is a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law, certified by The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. She is a graduate of Wesleyan University and the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. In 2017, she thoroughly reviewed, revised, and updated the 24th edition of How to Probate an Estate in California.

Stephen Fishman has dedicated his career as an attorney and author to writing useful, authoritative, and recognized guides on business, taxation, and intellectual property matters for small businesses, entrepreneurs, independent contractors, and freelancers. He is the author of 20 books and hundreds of articles, and has been quoted in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, and many other publications. Among his books are Every Landlord’s Tax Deduction Guide, Deduct It! Lower Your Small Business Taxes, Every Airbnb Host's Tax Guide, and Working for Yourself: Law and Taxes for Independent Contractors, Freelancers & Consultants, published by Nolo. You can visit Stephen’s website at Fishmanlawandtaxfiles.com.

Diana Fitzpatrick specializes in small business, tax, and nonprofit law. Before joining Nolo, she was a deputy attorney at the San Francisco City Attorney's Office in the bond department. She also worked for several years in New York City at a law firm, doing corporate and securities work. Diana is a graduate of Barnard College and received her law degree from New York University School of Law.

David Fry
Attorney

David S. Fry is a Michigan attorney whose practice also focuses on real estate and estate planning, particularly succession planning for second homes. He is a fourth-generation cottage owner and regularly presents seminars around Michigan on how to keep a cottage in the family.

Michele Fuller-Urbatsch is the owner of the Michigan Law Center, PLLC. The firm focuses solely on planning that preserves and protects the assets of persons with disabilities. Ms. Fuller-Urbatsch currently serves as Chair of the Elder Law and Disability Rights Section of the State Bar of Michigan, as an Advisory Board Member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners, and as a board member of the Michigan chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. She frequently publishes and speaks for national, state, and local organizations that address planning issues for people with disabilities.

Janice Green

Attorney

Janice L. Green is a family law attorney who has practiced in Austin, Texas, for more than 30 years, the last 26 as a partner in the AV-rated boutique family law firm, Farris & Green. She is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, a Fellow in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, named to Best Lawyers in America, and a Texas Monthly Super Lawyer. She is a frequent lecturer and published author of more than 40 articles on family law. Green is an Honors graduate of the University of Texas School of Law and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Texas. While continuing to reside in Austin, she makes time to escape to her cabin-home outside Pagosa Springs, Colorado, to garden, write, and relish mountain sunsets.

Fred Grissom, a graduate of the University of Texas, has developed and implemented high-technology training programs around the world, and worked as a new product design engineer for computer simulation equipment. Fred Grissom spent four years employed by Lockheed Engineering & Sciences Company as a Management Systems Specialist in support of NASA's Technology Utilization Program at the Johnson Space Center. Co-author of The Inventor's Notebook, he is currently a business development consultant and multimedia producer.

Lisa Guerin is the author or co-author of several Nolo books, including The Manager's Legal Handbook, Dealing with Problem Employees, The Essential Guide to Federal Employment Laws, The Essential Guide to Workplace Investigations, Create Your Own Employee Handbook, and Nolo's Guide to California Law. Guerin has practiced employment law in government, public interest, and private practice where she represented clients at all levels of state and federal courts and in agency proceedings. She is a graduate of Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley.

Attorney

Lina Guillen has been a legal writer and editor for Nolo since 2012. She oversees family law content development and edits a variety of Nolo books. Prior to joining Nolo, Lina practiced civil litigation and family law at several firms in the Bay Area, including Hanson Bridgett LLP and Hanson Crawford & Crum LLP. She also served as a judicial extern for Judge Susan Illston of the United States District Court. Lina is an active member of the California State Bar and received her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where she served as the submissions editor for the Hastings Women's Law Journal. Before law school, Lina was an editorial assistant for The Press Democrat newspaper in Sonoma County.

Liza Hanks
Attorney

Liza Hanks is an attorney, writer, and speaker with a passion for making legal concepts clear and accessible to everyone. She doesn’t think estate planning is or should be boring. After working with hundreds of families over 17 years, she knows that at its core, estate planning is about giving to the people and organizations that you love most. When done right, Liza knows that estate planning can be life-affirming, positive and even… interesting.

Liza is a partner at GCA Law Partners LLP in Mountain View,California, where she practices estate planning, trust administration, and probate law. She is a certified specialist in Estate Planning,Trust and Probate Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization and taught Estate Planning and Taxation at Santa Clara University Law School as an adjunct lecturer. She is a graduate of Stanford Law School, a former magazine editor, and the mother of two children (neither of whom has any interest in becoming an attorney). She has been featured in numerous national publications including The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. She’s also the author of The Trustee’s Legal Companion (with Attorney Carol Elias Zolla). Visit Liza’s blog and podcast at www.lizahanks.com. Visit Liza’s Estate Planning Blog for Nolo, Ask Liza: Everyday Estate Planning.

Frederick Hertz is a practicing attorney-mediator and the author of Legal Affairs: Essential Advice for Same-Sex Couples (Owl Books) and co-author of Nolo's Living Together: A Legal Guide for Unmarried Couples, A Legal Guide for Lesbian & Gay Couples and Making It Legal: A Guide to same-sex marriage, Domestic partnership & civil Unions. He lives and works in Oakland, California.

Gerald Hill
Attorney

Gerald N. Hill has practiced law in San Francisco's financial district and a small town; has served as a pro tem judge, arbitrator, university law instructor, and executive director of a state agency; and has drafted legislation. He has a B.A. in political science from Stanford University and a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

Kathleen Thompson Hill is a journalist and language analyst who writes a twice weekly newspaper column, was a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs, served on a grand jury, and chaired two municipal commissions. She earned a B.A. at the University of California, a degree from the Sorbonne, Paris, and an M.A. in political psychology from Sonoma State University.

Together, the Hills have coauthored 28 books, including The Encyclopedia of Federal Agencies and Commissions, The Facts on file Dictionary of American Politics, and The Real Life Dictionary of the Law. They have taught at the University of British Columbia, University of Victoria, and Sonoma State University, and were visiting scholars at the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

David Hitchcock is a physicist and engineer who has worked as a computer consultant on such diverse projects as the MX missile, the Milstar satellite program and advanced capability torpedoes. He has focused on patent searching and new technology for a number of years. Hitchcock is the inventor of the Home First Shield, a device to protect homes from wildfires.

Rose Hollander has spent more than 19 years working and living in the heart of Michigan cottage country. She was the legal assistant/paralegal in a law practice with her husband, Stuart Hollander, whose practice centered on estate planning to help families concerned about passing on vacation homes. Rose met with families, helped draft documents, and helped families administer the estate after a death.

Rose graduated from Ithaca College. Before working as a legal assistant, she worked as a personnel representative for the Stanford Court Hotel and then as the assistant to the General Manager of the Four Seasons Clift Hotel in San Francisco. She then owned a catering business in Northern Michigan.

Rose is a Great Books leader and chairman of the board of a large Montessori school, and is active on stage in community theater. She has published several essays about life "up north" and parenting.

You can visit her website at http://www.cottagelaw.com.

The late Stuart Hollander was a lawyer with more than 20 years' experience helping families plan for succession of their vacation cottages.

Shae Irving has written and edited for Nolo since 1994, specializing in estate planning and family law issues. She has written or co-written books and software, including Prenuptial Agreements: How to Write a Fair and Lasting Contract, Living Wills and Powers of Attorney for California, Get It Together: Organize Your Records So Your Family Won't Have To, and Nolo's Quicken WillMaker & Trust software. Shae graduated from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley and briefly practiced law at a large San Francisco firm before becoming a legal author.

Bethany Laurence joined Nolo as a legal editor in 1997. She holds a law degree from University of California, Hastings College of the Law, a B.A. degree from Boston University (Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude), and is a member of the California State Bar. Beth is Nolo's disability, retirement, and elder law editor. In addition to editing these sections of Nolo's network of websites, Beth edits the books Nolo's Guide to Social Security Disability, drawing on work in a legal clinic helping Social Security disability applicants apply for and appeal denials of disability benefits, The Complete IEP Guide: How to Advocate for Your Special Ed Child, California's Workers' Comp, and Social Security, Medicare, and Government Pensions.

Beth has also developed Nolo's online LLC formation application. Before joining Nolo, Beth worked as an electronic legal product developer at CCH, Inc. (a division of Wolters Klewer, Inc.), where she created some of the first legal online and CD-ROM products. Over the last decade she has been active on the board of directors of several local environmental and educational nonprofit organizations.

Jack Lo
Patent Agent

Jack Lo is an inventor and a registered patent agent with many years of experience in preparing and prosecuting patent applications, including making formal patent drawings. He is the co-author of How to make Patent Drawings Yourself.

Amy Loftsgordon
Attorney

Amy Loftsgordon is a legal editor and writer at Nolo, focusing on foreclosure, debt management, and personal finance. She is the author of Nolo’s The Foreclosure Survival Guide, and the coauthor of Nolo’s Credit Repair and Solve Your Money Troubles. Before joining Nolo, Amy worked in foreclosure and debt collections for borrowers and lenders for over 15 years. She has drafted foreclosure-related training and loan servicing procedures, written manuals for collection operations, and audited completed foreclosures for compliance with applicable laws. Amy was also instrumental in preparing expert reports used in lawsuits against banks and servicers accused of mishandling collection, preforeclosure, loss mitigation, foreclosure, and REO processes. She received a B.A. from the University of Southern California and a law degree from the University of Denver, and is licensed to practice law in Colorado.

Peter Lovenheim is a graduate of Cornell Law School, a professional mediator and author of Nolo's How to Meditate Your dispute and Mediate Don't Litigate. He has served as legal counsel and director of program development for the Center for Dispute Settlement in Rochester, NY and was the founding president of Empire Mediation and arbitration, a private dispute resolution company.

Margie Mader-Clark has worked at the highest levels of the HR profession for more than 15 years, primarily in the fast-paced world of Silicon Valley. She has experienced the power of good management -- and the devastating impact of poor management. Mader-Clark has worked with numerous companies to develop commonsense HR principles to guide their employment policies.

Anthony Mancuso is a corporations and limited liability company expert. A graduate of Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, Tony is an active member of the California State Bar. Tony writes books and software in the fields of corporate and LLC law and has studied advanced business taxation at Golden Gate University in San Francisco. He also has been a consultant for Silicon Valley EDA (Electronic Design Automation) and other technology companies. He is currently employed at Google in Mountain View, California.

Tony is the author of many Nolo books on forming and operating corporations (profit and nonprofit) and LLCs. Among his current books are The Corporate Records Handbook; How to Form a Nonprofit Corporation; Incorporate Your Business; Form Your Own Limited Liability Company; and LLC or Corporation? His books and software have shown over 500,000 businesses and organizations how to form and operate a corporation or an LLC. Tony is a licensed helicopter pilot and guitarist.

Joseph Matthews has been an attorney since 1971, and in the early years of his career, he taught at the law school of the University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall). He has for many years been involved in matters relating to seniors, and is the author of Social Security, Medicare & Government Pensions and Long-Term Care: How to Plan & Play for It, as well as How to Win Your Personal injury Claim.

Dorothy Matthews Berman assisted her son Joseph Matthews in the writing of Social Security, Medicare & Government Pensions. She began working with seniors in various capacities in 1973 and served as Program Director at a senior citizen center in the Los Angeles area for many years.

Mike McKeever has a B.A. in Economics from Whittier College, a master's in Economics from the Londfon (England) School of Economics and has done post-graduate work in financial analysis at the USC Business School. Mike has taught classes at numerous community colleges in entrepreneurship and small business management. Author of How to Write a Business Plan, he has published articles on entrepreneurship for Dow Jones publications, the Sloan Publications Business journal and numerous newspapers and periodicals. Currently, Mike runs a company, Business Plan Workshop, in which his business plan book features prominently.

Albert Moore
Attorney

Albert Moore, a member of the California State Bar since 1978, is a law professor at the UCLA School of Law and the co-author of trial Advocacy: Inferences, Arguments and Trial Techniques (West Publishing).

David A. Morton has degrees in psychology (B.A.) and medicine (M.D.). For 14 years, he was a disability determination consultant for the Social Security Administration, serving as Chief Medical Consultant for eight years. In his capacity as Chief Medical Consultant, Dr. Morton hired, trained, supervised and evaluated the work of medical doctors and clinical psychologists, and made thousands of disability determinations for both adults and children. Since 1983, Dr. Morton has authored several books on Social Security disability for attorneys and judges, including Nolo's Guide to Social Security Disability.

Loida Lewis is a former INS attorney with over 15 years experience handling U.S. immigration matters. Co-author of How to Get a green card, she is licensed to practice law in both New York and the Philippines.

Julia Nissley was the cherished author of How to Probate an Estate in California. She wrote the book while working as a probate administrator with the Los Angeles law firm of Silverberg, Rosen, Leon & Behr. She later opened her own probate-form preparation service (Probate Direct), and for the next 25 years helped hundreds of families probate California estates. During that time, she also kept her book meticulously up-to-date. Julia passed away in late 2015, after finishing her work on the 23nd edition.

Editors of Nolo

Nolo’s editorial department includes more than a dozen legal editors and a full-time legal researcher, who collectively have more than 100 years’ experience turning legal jargon into plain English. Most of our editors gave up careers as practicing lawyers in favor of furthering Nolo’s mission: Getting legal information into the hands of the people who really need it.

All Nolo legal editors specialize in certain areas of the law, and many are recognized as national experts in their field. They write books, edit books by outside authors, and in their spare time write online articles and blogs, develop legal forms, and create the legal content of Nolo software.

Cara O’Neill
Attorney

Cara O’Neill is a bankruptcy and litigation attorney in Northern California, and a legal editor and writer at Nolo. Cara has edited, authored, and coauthored several Nolo books, including How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, The New Bankruptcy, Everybody’s Guide to Small Claims Court, Solve Your Money Troubles, and Credit Repair.

She started her career practicing as a civil and criminal trial lawyer and added bankruptcy after the 2008 economic downturn. She also served as an administrative law judge in the automotive industry and taught law courses as an adjunct professor. She received her law degree in 1994 from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law where she served as a law review editor and graduated a member of the Order of the Barristers—an honor society recognizing excellence in courtroom advocacy.

Peri Pakroo (www.peripakroo.com) is a business author and coach, specializing in creative and smart strategies for self-employment and small businesses. She has started, participated in, and consulted with start-up businesses for more than 20 years. She is the founder, publisher, and editor of Pyragraph (www.pyragraph.com), an online career magazine for artists, musicians, designers, filmmakers, writers, and other creative workers worldwide. Peri received her law degree from the University of New Mexico School of Law in 1995. She is the author of The Women's Small Business Start-Up Kit, The Small Business Start-Up Kit (national and California editions) and Starting & Building a Nonprofit (all from Nolo), and has been featured in numerous national publications including Entrepreneur, Real Simple, Investors Business Daily, and BusinessWeek. For several years Peri taught adult education courses at WESST (www.wesst.org) in Albuquerque, a nonprofit whose mission is to facilitate entrepreneurship among women and minorities in the state of New Mexico. She is active in supporting local, independent businesses and is co-founder of the Albuquerque Independent Business Alliance.

Nolo's Executive Editor, Janet Portman oversees editorial work on all Nolo books. She specializes in residential and commercial landlord/tenant law, legal issues related to courts, landlords and tenants, and neighbor disputes. She is the author or a coauthor of Every Landlord's Legal Guide, Every Landlord's Guide to Finding Great Tenants, First-Time Landlord: Your Guide to Renting Out a Single-Family Home,Every Tenant's Legal Guide, Renters' Rights, Negotiate the Best Lease for Your Business, Leases & Rental Agreements, The California Landlord's Law Book: Rights and Responsibilities, and California Tenants' Rights. Portman received undergraduate and graduate degrees from Stanford University and a law degree from Santa Clara University. Before joining Nolo in 1994, she practiced law as a public defender.

Originally from Philadelphia, San Francisco Patent Attorney David Pressman is a graduate of Penn State University (BSEE) and George Washington University Law School (JD) where he was on the Law Review. He has over 40 years of experience in the patent profession -- as a patent examiner for the U.S. Patent Office, a patent attorney in corporate and private practice, a university instructor, a columnist, and as author of the Patent and Trademark entries to the World Book Encyclopedia. He is an expert on patent filing, prosecution, and licensing and his books have charted the path for over 300,000 inventors. Patent It Yourself is the most highly recommended guide to patenting an invention. Dave is also co-author of How to Make Patent Drawings Yourself (with Jack Lo), Patent Pending In 24 Hours (with Rich Stim), and Patents For Beginners (with Rich Stim).

Mary Randolph earned her law degree from the Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of The Executor's Guide: Settling Your Loved One's Estate or Trust, 8 Ways to Avoid Probate, Every Dog's Legal Guide: A Must-Have Book for Your Owner, and Deeds for California Real Estate. She is also a coauthor of the legal manual for Quicken WillMaker Plus. She has been a guest on The Today Show and has been interviewed by many publications, including the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and more. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family.

After receiving his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1985, Albin Renauer worked for various public-interest law firms in the bay area and as a staff attorney for Chief Justice Rose Bird of the California Supreme Court.

He spent 17 years as an editor at Nolo, where he helped create numerous books and software programs, including the bestselling WillMaker. He also edited Law on the Net, the first online directory of legal resources and was the architect of Nolo's Webby Award winning website during the dot-com boom.

Currently, Albin is an independent web and database developer and Webby Award judge. His latest project is LegalConsumer.com, an online companion to his How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy designed to help debtors file for bankruptcy.

Barbara Kate Repa, a lawyer and journalist, wrote and edited for Nolo from 1988 to 2010—specializing in workplace rights, estate planning, and end-of-life issues. She worked on Nolo's Quicken WillMaker Plus software and is the coauthor of Your Rights in the Workplace. She currently works as a legal expert on aging, healthcare, and end-of-life issues.

Nils Rosenquest (http://www.rosenquest.com) has practiced housing, landlord-tenant, real estate, and business law more than 35 years on behalf of individual landlords and tenants, small businesses, and community organizations. A graduate of Dartmouth College and UC Hastings College of the Law, Rosenquest has been involved in San Francisco’s legal “housing wars” from the inception of rent control through its many revisions. He has tried landlord–tenant and related cases in counties throughout Northern California, including the United States District Court and the United States Bankruptcy Court. He also serves as a neutral mediator in real estate and landlord tenant matters. AV rated by Martindale Hubbell, he practices in all state and federal courts in California as well as the Ninth Circuit United States Court of Appeals. He is also admitted to the United States Court of Claims and the United States Tax Court. In addition to helping private individuals and companies in housing and real estate matters, Nils represents non-profit subsidized housing developers and non-profit live-work communities. Apart from law practice, he serves on the board of directors for a San Francisco community development organization, volunteers at the San Francisco Superior Court in three departments, and teaches legal continuing education classes from time to time.

Ira Serkes
California Real Estate Broker

Ira Serkes is a Berkeley Realtor ® and broker with Pacific Union/Christie’s International Real Estate. He and his wife, Carol, represent Berkeley, Albany, Kensington, El Cerrito, Rockridge, Piedmont, and other (San Francisco) East Bay home buyers and sellers, and offer nationwide referrals to other buyer brokers (email ira@berkeleyhomes.com). Both Ira and Carol have been awarded the Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) designation by the National Association of Realtors. This is the highest professional designation of residential specialty in the industry. Ira is also a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CHLMS), an Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR®), Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES®), and one of the first 500 Realtors to receive the Electronic Real Estate Professional Certification (e-PRO) designation. He is coauthor of Get the Best Deal When Selling Your Home, an Allen Hainge CyberStar of the year, and hosts neighborhood information, homes for sale, his amazing supermoon-over-Berkeley photograph, videos, and social networking connections at berkeleyhomes.com and berkeleyhomes.com/blog.

Lawrence Siegel has been a Special Education Attorney and Advocate since 1979, and has represented children with disabilities extensively in IEPs, due process, complaints, legal action and before legislative and policy bodies. Mr. Siegel has lectured and consulted with advocacy and parent groups throughout the country and is a member of the California Advisory Commission on Special Education. He has written special education legislation that has been adopted in several states and is the author of Least Restrictive Environment: The Paradox of Inclusion (LRP Publications, 1994). Mr. Siegel is the founder and Director of the National Deaf Education Project which works to ensure that the fundamental communication needs of deaf and hard of hearing children are part of the educational system. In 2004-5 he was appointed to an endowed chair at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. for his work as an advocate of special education. He lives in Fairfax, California, with his wife Gail.

Twila Slesnick
PhD, Enrolled Agent

Twila Slesnick is an Enrolled agent who specializes in tax and investment planning for retirees and prospective retirees, and does pension plan consulting for individuals and small businesses. She has conducted numerous seminars throughout the U.S. in the areas of retirement and tax planning. Slesnick has been featured on television and radio programs across the country and in publications including Money Magazine, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek and Consumer Reports. She is the author (with John Suttle) of IRAs, 401(K)s and Other Retirement Plans: Taking Your Money Out (nolo). Slesnick has a bachelor's, master's and Ph.D., all from the University of California, Berkeley. She lives in Dublin, California.

David M. Steingold

Attorney

David M. Steingold, author of many articles on Nolo.com and the book Nolo's Guide to Single-Member LLCs, is a private attorney in Michigan. His practice covers multiple areas of the law, including business law. He has been an author for Nolo since 2012.

Fred S. Steingold
Attorney

Attorney Fred Steingold practiced law for over 40 years in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he was well-known and highly regarded by the local legal community. Fred wrote and updated several best-selling titles for Nolo, including Legal Guide for Starting & Running a Small Business and The Employer's Legal Handbook. Fred died in 2017. The folks at Nolo will miss working with him.

Marcia Stewart

Marcia Stewart writes and edits Nolo books and forms on landlord-tenant law, real estate, and other consumer issues. She is the co-author of Nolo's Essential Guide to Buying Your First Home, Every Landlord's Legal Guide, First-Time Landlord, Every Tenant's Legal Guide, Leases and Rental Agreements, Renters' Rights, and The Legal Answer Book for Families. She has edited dozens of Nolo books, including The Women's Small Business Start-Up Kit.

Richard Stim
Attorney

Richard Stim is a lawyer, a musician, and the author of several books, including Getting Permission, Profit From Your Idea, and Patent, Copyright & Trademark: An Intellectual Property Desk Reference.

Katherine Stoner
Attorney

Katherine E. Stoner is an attorney/mediator in private practice with the firm of Stoner, Welsh & Schmidt in Pacific Grove, California. In addition to mediation, her practice includes consulting attorney services for clients who are in mediation. Ms. Stoner is a Certified Family Law Specialist, who teaches community property at Monterey College of Law and is on the training staff of the Center for Mediation and Law in Mill Valley, California. She has lectured extensively on family law and mediation and has been interviewed by major media including NBC's Today Show.

John Suttle
CPA, Attorney

John Suttle has been practicing law for 18 years. His practice consists of estate and trust planning; probate administration; federal, state and local tax counseling for high net worth individuals and retirement planning under ERISA. Co-author of IRAs, 401(K)s & Other Retirement Plans, he has served as an expert witness in numerous cases and lives in Atherton, California.

Kevin Urbatsch
Attorney

Kevin Urbatsch is a principal of the special needs and settlement planning firm, The Urbatsch Law Firm P.C. in Walnut Creek, California. He is a nationally recognized expert in the unique planning needs of individuals with disabilities and their families. Mr. Urbatsch is the National Director of the Academy of Special Needs Planners. He writes and is a frequent lecturer both locally and nationally on planning for persons with disabilities, primarily concerning special needs trust drafting and administration.

Ralph Warner
Attorney

Ralph "Jake" Warner, a pioneer of the do-it-yourself law movement, founded Nolo with Ed Sherman in 1971. Nolo began publishing do-it-yourself law books written by Jake and his colleagues after numerous publishers rejected them. When personal computers came along, he added software to many Nolo books. When the Internet arrived, he championed the move online, where Nolo published huge amounts of free legal information.

In addition to running Nolo for much of its first 40 years, Warner was an active editor and author. He wrote many books, including Retire Happy: What You Can Do Now to Guarantee a Great Retirement and Save Your Small Business: 10 Crucial Strategies to Survive Hard Times or Close Down & Move On. Today, he operates a storytelling repertory group, Jake's Tales, devoted to keeping alive the tradition of telling children wonderful stories.

Warner holds a law degree from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley and an undergraduate degree in history from Princeton.

J. Scott Weaver
Attorney

Attorney J. Scott Weaver, coauthor of the twentieth edition of California Tenants' Rights, has been a San Francisco tenant and housing activist for over 40 years. He's spent the last 30 years exclusively representing San Francisco Bay Area tenants. Scott has litigated several hundred tenant cases involving eviction, wrongful eviction, and habitability issues (including mold, asbestos, and bedbugs), and has brought tenant class action lawsuits. He has taught landlord tenant law at various legal education seminars.

Violet Woodhouse
CFP, Attorney

Before her retirement, Violet P. Woodhouse was a noted author (Divorce & Money), lecturer, seminar presenter and consultant to the media in the areas of family law and personal finance; and a foremost authority on the financial and tax aspects of divorce. A practicing family law attorney as well as a Certified Financial Planner and Registered investment Advisor, she pioneered the development of financial analysis of property settlements for financial planners, and often acted as a consultant to divorcing spouses and their mediator during mediation.

Mimi Zemmelman
Ph.D.

Mimi Lyster Zemmelman has been active in dispute resolution and other facilitated decision-making processes for 25 years. She brings experiences as a mediator, trainer, facilitator, strategic planner, and court policy analyst to her work with families, businesses, nonprofits, and government organizations. Zemmelman has co-founded a community mediation program, served on the California dispute Resolution Council, the State Bar's Committee and was appointed to the 2020 California Court futures commission. She maintains a limited private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Carol Elias Zolla
Attorney

Carol Elias Zolla is an attorney who practices only in the field of estate planning and administration. Since 2002, she has been certified as a Specialist in Estate Planning, trust and Probate Law by The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.

Carol graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law. She serves on the Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate Law Advisory Commission to the Board of Legal Specialization of the State Bar of California. She is an active member of the Trusts and Estates Section of the Silicon Valley bar association, and is the Editor of its newsletter, the scrivener. She frequently speaks about estate planning topics to attorney organizations and parent groups.

Carol lives in San Jose with her husband and young children.