This is a snapshot of the journey that led me to help nearly 1,000 men and women with their separations and divorces.
I received my Bachelor’s in Business Administration in 1990 at age 21.
I received my Juris Doctorate (law degree) in 1993 at age 24.
I became a member of the Hawaii State Bar Association in 1994. (After passing the bar exam in July 1993 I spent seven months abroad and upon my return in March 1994 I was sworn in.)
In 1994 I opened a law practice and launched my career in family law, child protective services, juvenile criminal defense, bankruptcy, real estate development, construction defect litigation and estate planning.
An ambitious young attorney, I also took on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. My work led the Federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the Bureau’s administrative decision against my client. It was a complex firearms case rooted in Nebraska’s state laws in 1971.
Between 1998 and 2000 I took a brief hiatus from family law immediately after moving from Hawaii to California. During this period I was a top sales person for a financial lender and became a Director of Operations of the National Education Loan Center. While holding this position we grew the company from a family operated business with 35 employees to a highly sought operation that was sold for $65 million.
In 2001 I was admitted to the State Bar of California.
I also completed negotiation training under Roger Fisher, the director of The Harvard Negotiation Project and co-author of Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, Getting Ready to Negotiate and Beyond Reason: Using Emotions as You Negotiate.
In 2002 I served as a bar exam grader on the State Bar of California Committee of Bar Examiners.
Between 2002 and 2005 I joined the law firm of Bley and Bley. I was personally mentored by, and spent nearly every business day with the renowned San Francisco family law trial attorney Stephen Bruce Bley.
During and after my practice at Bley and Bley I had the good fortune of working with and against some of the best family law trial attorneys, appellate attorneys, mediators, experts, private judges and justices in California.
In 2010 I participated in a mediation training program with Gary Friedman, author of Challenging Conflict: Mediation Through Understanding and A Guide to Divorce Mediation: How to Reach a Fair, Legal Settlement at a Fraction of the Cost.
Over the last 20 years I litigated, negotiated, mediated, settled and coached men and women on these California family law issues and many more.
- Joinder of Parties
- Valid Marriages
- Fraud (set asides)
- Attorney Fees and costs
- Date of legal separation trials
- Property rights during marriage
- Prenuptial Agreements (reviews, enforcement, challenges, interpretations)
- Postnuptial Agreements
- Child custody (establishing and/or modifying legal custody, physical custody visitation rights [including grandparent step-parent issues])
- Child support (establishing, modifying, enforcing; expedited [ex parte] orders, temporary [pendente lite] support, arrears; guideline challenges relating to high-income earners; waivers; life insurance; deferred sales of homes)
- Spousal support (establishing, modifying, terminating, expedited [ex parte] orders; temporary [pendente lite] support; long-term support; health insurance; earnings assignment orders; taxation; marital standard of living analysis; Gavron orders; life insurance)
- Property characterization (transmutations; tracings)
- Property valuation (personal property, businesses, real property)
- Division of Property (businesses [sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, LLCs]; stocks, mutual funds, bonds, etc.; stock options; reimbursements; retirement plan benefits, pensions, IRAs, 401ks, etc.; real estate [commercial, residential])
- Debts and Liabilities (credit cards; secured and unsecured personal loans; mortgages, equity loans, lines of credit, foreclosure judgments, civil judgments, business loans, medical debts, student loans)
- Trusts including those with spendthrift, discretionary, and support provision
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