Experience and fairness in resolving disputes.
I am focused on helping people resolve disputes in their personal and business lives.
I have been specifically trained in mediation and collaborative practice methods. I also have extensive experience in conducting hearings and trials. I can use my skills in mediation, collaborative practice or in the courtroom to help people resolve their disputes.
I have received specialized training in Limited Scope Representation ("unbundled" services), which can help clients save money.
I work on family law matters including divorce, division of assets and debts, financial support and child custody and visitation. I am specially trained in child custody and visitation issues.
I also handle cases involving guardianship, or adoption and juvenile dependency.
I have many years of experience in general litigation cases.
While resolving cases without going to hearing or trial is generally in the client's best interest, sometimes that is not possible. I have over 30 years of experience in handling legal cases, including contested hearings or trials, which gives me the ability to weigh the facts and law for each client's case.
I can also help people try to avoid disputes by careful drafting of agreements.
I started my firm in Napa County in August 2006, after spending twenty-five years working in small law firms, handling a variety of litigated matters. Having my own law firm gives me time to give back to the community. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1040 Main Street
Napa CA 94559
I do not give a free initial consultation. Please ask about the Nolo discount.
I do not have fixed price fees. I charge on an hourly basis.
Monday through Friday
9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Family Law: The family forms the first basis for how people succeed in life. Helping couples resolve their differences in a respectful way, that does the least amount of harm to children, can help people survive a difficult period in their lives.
Business Law: Resolving disputes efficiently keeps businesses running smoothly, which benefits the owners, employees and the community at large.
I am a careful drafter of documents and have a broad background in interpreting documents.
Running a business is much like being in a family and the legal issues that arise are interesting and challenging.
I strongly encourage clients to educate themselves about the basics so that they can better understand legal principles.
For example, a couple contemplating a divorce, or trying to determine a parenting plan can go to the Napa County Superior Court website. There is a link to the California Courts Self-Help Center which answers frequently asked questions in a divorce case.
Self-education can result in the client saving money in attorneys' fees.
Yes. I encourage clients to prepare a rough draft of a document. For example, in a family law case, clients can save legal fees by preparing some documents themselves, such as an Income and Expense statement or Schedule of Assets and Debts.
Yes. I have received specialized training in Limited Scope Representation (sometimes called "unbundled" legal services).
I have been a practicing lawyer for over 32 years. For 25 years, I worked in small law firms, starting in Southern California.
I practiced law in Southern California from 1981 until January 1998, when I moved back to Northern California.
I have a long history of volunteering to help others, beginning in 1981 and continuing to the present time.
I've served in leadership roles in the Pasadena Bar Association, Pasadena Young Lawyers, Pasadena Tournament of Roses, Pasadena YMCA, Pasadena University Club, and Pasadena Junior Chamber of Commerce between 1981 to 1998.
Since moving back to Northern California, I have participated in professional and community organizations such as the Napa County Bar Association, Napa County Women Lawyers, Napa County Collaborative Practice Group (defunct), Napa Sunrise Rotary and Auction Napa Valley. I am a member of Class 25 of Leadership Napa Valley. I have served on the Executive Committee for the Napa County Bar Association, as Secretary for Napa County Women Lawyers and was the Secretary of Napa County Collaborative Practice Group (now defunct). I served as Vocational Director for Napa Sunrise Rotary for the 2007-2008 term.
From 1998 to 2002, I taught at Empire College of Law.
From 2001 to 2015, I was an attorney coach for the Napa High School Mock Trial team.
I have also acted as a Peer Court Mentor in Napa County.
I have mediated approximately 400 cases over the past 25 years. I have acted as an Arbitrator as well. I have also taken or defended approximately 500 depositions over the past 25 years.I have conducted over 30 civil trials (judge or jury) over the past 25 years. Since 2006, I have conducted numerous hearings in family law and juvenile dependency proceedings in Napa County. This experience gives me the ability to see the "big picture" of the issue before me, and I know how to focus on the small details that can affect the outcome.
I am good communicator with clients, other counsel and judges or juries.
I am not afraid to have the hard conversations that sometimes involve telling a client what he or she doesn't want to hear.
If the case has to go to hearing or trial, I know how to focus on the important details and do the appropriate legal and factual research.
I can provide a budget of anticipated fees and costs to help the client weigh the options and make a decision of how best to proceed.
Bar Number: 101219
Southwestern University School of Law
Juris Doctor, 1980
Humboldt State University
Bachelors of Art - Political Science, 1997
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