Your Guide to the Highest Vision of Your Divorce
As a former San Francisco family law trial lawyer and mediator who is twice divorced and has helped nearly a thousand men and women legally separate and divorce, I can say with certainty that couples – including those who face complicated legal issues and wrestle with personal limitations – can legally dissolve their marriages without despair, going to court, traumatizing kids, or bankrupting themselves.
While it’s near impossible to escape negative emotions – even former Buddhist monk Jack Kornfield admits divorce is difficult – there are key strategies everyone can use to elevate love and compassion.
We are all sparks of the divine. We have free will and limitless potentiality. Every day, even in divorce, we can practice mindfulness and be respectful of others.
I guide those who seek to realize the highest vision of their divorces.
Here are highlights from my news media appearances, career, and education. I’ve studied with internationally-renowned teachers and elite California family law experts and I draw upon their lessons while teaching what I believe are the three keys to having a peaceful divorce and creating a happy new life.
In the Media
Time Magazine Online – How to Tell If Your Relationship Will Survive the Holidays
What my clients say:
“Helene made it possible for me to move through my divorce with peace of mind and confidence.”
“She helped me navigate divorce’s often slippery slopes with grace and strength.”
“Generous, soulful, and a terrific legal mind. She kept me grounded. My divorce was amicable and I can speak to my ex-wife. Helene’s a dream attorney!”
“A rare gem indeed.”
Education + Training
Negotiation training with Roger Fisher, the director of The Harvard Negotiation Project and co-author of the books Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, Getting Ready to Negotiate and Beyond Reason: Using Emotions as You Negotiate. Roger Fisher’s seminal contributions literally changed the way millions of people around the world approach negotiation and dispute resolution. He taught that conflict is not simply a ‘zero-sum’ game in which a fixed pie is divided through haggling or threats. Instead, he showed how by exploring underlying interests and being imaginative, parties could often expand the pie and create value.
Understanding conflict mediation training with Gary Friedman, founder of The Center for Understanding and Conflict located in Mill Valley, California and 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.
Equanimity – In the Dharma and In Your Brain, one-day retreat with Neuroscientist Rick Hanson, PhD, Author of Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love and Wisdom, and former Board Member of Spirit Rock Meditation Center
Master’s student in spiritual psychology at the University of Santa Monica
Meditation student at the Self Realization Fellowship
Bachelor’s degree in Business
Juris Doctorate in law
In Court & Conference Rooms
Associate family law trial attorney to Max Gutierrez of Morgan Lewis, who is the only attorney recognized by The Best Lawyers in America in two practice areas: family law and trusts and estates. Morgan Lewis is a global law firm with 2,000 employees in North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East working with global Fortune 100 companies.
Associate family law trial attorney to Super Lawyers Stephen Bruce Bley and Samantha Bley DeJean, who specialize in high-asset, high-conflict divorces. Clients included CEO’s, local and national celebrities, and business owners with significant wealth and diverse asset holdings. Bley and Bley is AV rated by Martindale Hubble.
Co-counsel with Stephen Bruce Bley and Bernard N. Wolf in the family law trial preceding In re Marriage of Kieturakis (2006) 138 Cal.App. 4th 56 Appellate attorney Bernard Wolf represented the prevailing parties in In re Marriage of Epstein (1978) 24 Cal.3d 76, Kumar v. Super. Ct. (Kumar) (1982), 32 Cal.3d 689, In re Marriage of Assemi (1994) 7 Cal.4th 896, In re Marriage of Lehman (1998) 18 Cal.4th 169, and In re Marriage of Iredale; Cates (2004) 121 Cal. App.4th 321
Opposed Certified Family Law Specialists and Fellows of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
Appeared before mediator Donald B. King, a RETIRED ASSOCIATE JUSTICE of the California COURT OF APPEAL, First Appellate District, Division Five and private Judge Roderic Duncan (ret.)
Associate construction defect litigation attorney at Cooper White and Cooper
- Mediator for the Sonoma Superior Court No-Fee Mediation panel
- Family law mediation instructor for San Francisco Community Boards, which operates the oldest, longest-running public conflict resolution center in the United States with 350 volunteer Mediators. Their professional ADR services are affordably priced for independent contractors, small businesses, tech startups, property managers, homeowner associations, and nonprofit organizations, and Neighborhood mediators mediate various family law matters.