In our work together, I saw Helene’s extraordinary capacities as a creative and strategic big picture thinker, and as an able and precise vetter of critical details of the language of a divorce settlement agreement. Helene’s capabilities made a huge difference in turning around my challenging case, and lessened the difficulty of the process for me immeasurably.
Helene impressed continually with the scope of her abilities, the caliber of her work, and the immensely helpful support she gave throughout her involvement in my case. Helene has an exceptional work ethic, and skills to match it. I’m so glad I hired Helene and had the huge benefit and pleasure of working with her.” ~V, grateful client.
Education + Training
The Harvard Negotiation Project with Roger Fisher, the director 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. Fisher teaches that conflict is not simply a ‘zero-sum’ game in which a fixed pie is divided through haggling or threats. Instead, he showed that by exploring underlying interests and being imaginative, parties could often expand the pie and create value. Fisher’s seminal contributions changed the way millions of people around the world approach negotiation and resolve disputes.
Understanding conflict mediation training with Gary Friedman, founder of The Center for Understanding and Conflict 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 Administration
Juris Doctorate in law
Helene recommended, and helped my persuade my husband and his divorce and business lawyers to make critical changes to my Marital Settlement Agreement, Promissory Note, and Tenancy in Common Agreement. Helene really considered my financial risks and long term wellbeing. When I went to my husband’s attorney’s office to sign our settlement agreement, the attorney said, ‘Helene really did good work for you.’ Wow. Helene really knows her stuff.” ~Sharla Neumann, MBA
Associate family law trial attorney to Max Gutierrez of Morgan Lewis, who has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America in both 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 CEOs, 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
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 start-ups, property managers, homeowner associations, and nonprofit organizations.
I worked with a Certified Family Law Specialist for nearly a year. She charged a lot, and achieved little. I worked with Helene and within a few weeks, settled my divorce: divorce documents signed, escrow closed on my condo, and equalization payment wired into my account, funds cleared. With Helene’s help, I slept really well for the first time in 8 months. ~N. Marin County, California
California Family Law Issues Resolved
- Spousal support – establishing, modifying, extending, terminating, enforcing, expediting (ex parte) orders involving, temporary (pendente lite) support, long-term support, health insurance, earnings assignment, taxation, marital standard of living analysis, Gavron warnings, and life insurance
- Property – division, characterization, transmutations, tracings, valuations and sale (immediate and deferred) of personal property, real property (commercial and residential), businesses (sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, Limited Liability Companies), stocks, mutual funds, bonds, stock options, retirement assets pensions and others; assignment of liabilities and debts including, credit cards, secured and unsecured personal loans, mortgages, equity loans, lines of credit, judgments, business loans, medical debts, student loans and others.
- Child custody – establishing, modifying and enforcing orders for legal custody, physical custody, visitation, deferred home sales, move-aways, paternity and more.
- Child support – establishing, modifying, enforcing and expediting (ex parte) orders involving guideline support, arrears, high-income earners, waivers, life insurance coverage, nesting, boarding school, add-ons, spendthrift, discretionary and support trust funds and more.
- Prenuptial Agreements – preparing, reviewing, interpreting, challenging and enforcing.
- Attorney and expert fees and costs – awards based on need and ability and as sanctions.
- Discovery – Propounding and responding to, Interrogatories, depositions, Requests for Admissions, inspection demands, meet and confer letters, motions to compel.
- Procedural issues – Venue, jurisdiction, joinder, set asides, motions in limine and more.
- Miscellaneous – Valid Marriages, Postnuptial Agreements, Paternity and more.
In the Media
Time Magazine Online – How to Tell If Your Relationship Will Survive the Holidays
Helene coached me while I anxiously prepared for (and recovered from the shell-shock of) my Marin Court Bench Bar, and when I fired my trial lawyers because they weren’t honoring my wishes. Helene also worked with me in real-time while I negotiated complicated issues directly with my husband and his lawyer. It was intense, and amazing.