Berkeley Parents Network >
Legal & Financial Services >
Looking for Family Law Specialist in Berkeley
I am looking for a recommendation for a Family Law Specialist to obtain advice
and/or counsel in Berkeley or North Oakland such as Rockridge or Montclair.
I am a single woman who broke up with my boyfriend only to find out that I was
pregnant. I am considering giving the baby my last name and I am thinking of
not putting the father on the birth certificate. I am wondering the pros and
cons of these two actions. Additionally, I want to know what are my rights?
What are his rights?
Is there anything I can do legally before the baby is born (my due date is
February 21, 2013) so that matters are in order.
Thanks so very much.
I cannot more highly recommend Hannah Sims who helped me through a very contentious
custody dispute. She's practical, settlement oriented, but when she needed to go into
litigation mode, she was aggressive, articulate, and clearly well-known and liked by
the judges, other lawyers, and courthouse staff. She's hilarious, too. She can be
reached at (510) 628-0250
Family Law - Parental authority undermined by others
I could use a Family Lawyer for advice about my 16 year old son and his (so
called) girlfriends Family undermining my lifestyle, beliefs and parental
authority for over a year and counting. This other Family is a family of
UNSCHOOLERS that pop XANAX, both parents are 20years dry drunks and in AA. They
have basically adopted my son as they already have 2 at risk adopted children (
one of them being my son's GF) The conflict between me (single mother) and this
other Family has disabled my son to such an extreme point that
CPS/SARB/CARC/CHSPE/TRUANCY COURT/SST and a year of therapy at Huckleberry
House has done little to help shake this family another words leave me and my
son alone. It is very important that my son move on and peruse his own
ambitions that appear to be lost due to the addictive qualities/personalities
that this other Family extended upon my son.
I am in need of free or low cost Legal Advice.
Thank you BPN folks,
I wanted to share a recommendation to the BPN parent who was asking about a
Family Law Lawyer. As a single mom dealing with another parent who is
undermining my parental authority with our 13 year old daughter, Janice Cho
has been thoughtful, warm hearted, a great listener and most importantly a
savvy family law attorney who has provided excellent legal support to me
during a very difficult time. Janice is accessible, skilled, extremely
knowledgeable and quick to respond to all my concerns and questions with
kindness, professionalism and sound legal advice. She has made this very
challenging time in my life so much more manageable to navigate. I would
whole heartedly recommend Janice to you Lisa and to all others who might be
looking for an excellent family law lawyer.
Due to the sensitive nature of my current on-going situation, I have chosen to
not post my name and contact information. I hope things work out well for you
Lisa. Best of luck. In Gratitude.
Seeking Contra Costa County Family Law Lawyer
Please suggest a top-notch family law lawyer to represent me in my
custody/guardianship case in Contra Costa County.
I am especially seeking one who is very experienced in this particular
county family court system.
Thank you for your assistance.
Check out Rachael Burley in Pleasant Hill:
She specializes in Family Law.
Kathryn S. Korn esq.
Work (925)253-1136 E-Mail Kathryn@elderlawbayarea.com
93 Moraga Way
Orinda, CA 94563
Elder law and family law. Very familiar with Contra Costa
courts. For our family she managed a minor miracle. -Good Luck!
A relative is looking for reputable bay area attorney to
draft a pre-nuptual agreement. Any recommendations? Many
I usually recommend that couples start with a book called
Prenuptial Agreements, from Nolo Press; it also comes with a
software program to help the couple draft the initial
agreement together based on their discussions. That helps to
reduce the cost considerably, since attorneys charge by the
hour! My own rate is $175/hour, for instance, and I find
that couples who use this book before meeting with me tend
to spend only 1-3 hours with me; otherwise, it can be much
much more time.
Once the two people have created something that they both
like, it's time for each of them to engage an attorney. In
California, a prenuptial agreement is not legally valid
unless EACH person has an independent attorney review it and
Finally, let your relative know that it's better to start
this process early. The last thing that anyone wants is to
be signing the pre-nuptial agreement in the last days before
You should try Doris Figman in Oakland. She works with a
friend of mine. She is pretty reasonable and can be reached
Need family lawyer, navigating CPS
I need to find a family lawyer who has experience navigating the CPS
system on behalf of a 5 year old who was recently molested. I would be
*very* grateful for a recommendation!
My heart goes out to you. While I have experience dealing with the
court system in a matter such as yours, we didn't hire an attorney
and the case was handled by the DA. There were many times I wish we
HAD hired an attorney. You are wise to do so.
If you ever need someone to talk with about this... being a
non-offending parent in a CSA case is so incredibly hard... feel
free to email me. Support groups for us are few and far between (at
least my thorough searching yielded only one in our area).
Family lawyer to advise about CPS
Child Protective Services received two reports of our kindergarten-aged daughter's
misbehavior which led them to suspect she is being molested. They want to put her
through a ''forensic interview'' by someone who is trained at this.
We are considering refusing this request on the grounds that the reports are
unsubstantiated, anonymous, lacking in detail (from our point of view), not to mention
that we believe the social worker's suspicions are unfounded. We have asked our
daughter about it in detail. Our daughter says she has not been touched
inappropriately by anyone, that she doesn't know why people keep asking her about this
(the social worker already interviewed her twice at school without our prior knowledge
or consent) and she says she does not want to be interviewed any more.
The social worker say that ''it will look bad for us'' and ''she will write us up'' if
we don't comply with the interview request. She doesn't care that our daughter denies
any molestation and doesn't want to be interviewed any more.
Can anyone recommend a family lawyer in the Berkeley area who could advise us of our
rights and help us write CPS a letter of protest?
We would also appreciate comments or advice from anyone who has been put through
anything like this.
Many thanks in advance.
Try Jed Somit. He's very aggressive in defending men accused of molesting
their children or stepchildren, regardless of the circumstances.
Good luck to your child
In my opinion, CPS functions in a way that is almost as draconian as is the
IRS. There are many instances where CPS has either ignored true child abuse
with tragic results, or has savaged parents who are totally blameless.
I would recommend resisting the ''interview'' and hiring a good attorney to
deal with those people ASAP. I recommend Frank Presto, in Pleasanton, who has
experience in both Family Law and criminal law.
Robert A. Fink, M. D. email@example.com
I cannot refer you to an attorney as I don't know of any, but my advice is to
go to the forensic interview. And stop pumping your daughter for info. The
interviewers are SPECIALISTS and do not traumatize the kids at all. In fact,
they are trained to NOT retraumatize. Truly, what do you have to lose by her
going to it? And what if she has been sexually abused? Wouldn't you want to
know? Sorry, but as the parent of two sexually abused kids I really don't
understand why you are fighting this. CPS definitely takes it as a sign of
hiding something. And if something comes out later...you could be charged with
failure to protect. The problem with child sex abuse is that most often the
children do not disclose and the abuse continues. It is the silence that
perpetuates the cycle. And I would recommend that you get a really good
therapist for your daughter. I would also ask what sorts of behaviors she has
been displaying. It really takes a lot for teachers to report. M!
y kids didn't tell until the abuse had been going on for years. My daughter
finally told when she was 4 and had been being molested for 2 yrs. My son
still will not tell... but we know because of the perpetrator's confession. If
you want any ideas on great kids' therapists, I have interviewed many and can
probably give you some good leads. Feel free to email me.
I'm not a lawyer, but I've worked in CPS in Santa Clara County for 8 years. I
have a friend who worked in Monterey County CPS who has her JD in addition to
LCSW and is studying for the bar currently. If you want to email me offline,
you can ask me questions and I can forward them to my friend. I would ask you
for more info on the symptoms your daughter exhibited at school. Most kids
will not tell their parents if they have been molested, because the perp can
play some major mindgames on kids to prevent them from doing so. A parental
interview is not going to be considered very credible. My advice would be to
take your daughter to your own private therapist/psychologist for
assessment/treatment, provide CPS with documentation that your daughter is
attending, and they will very likely back off, because you're taking care of
the problem yourself. I would recommend a therapist who is trained in
Theraplay, Dyadic Developmental Therapy, or Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behaviora!
l Therapy, depending on your daughter's type of behaviors which are of
concern. Unfortunately, one in three girls will be sexually abused before they
reach the age of 18. My daughter, whom I adopted from foster care, was removed
from her birth family for this very reason, 4 years later continues to exhibit
behavioral and emotional symptoms of sexual abuse, but if I ask her about being
sexually abused by her family members, she will continue to deny it. I
certainly hope that your daughter did not experience any trauma or abuse, but
if a child has had traumatic experiences, the sooner she receives appropriate
treatment, the sooner she can start the healing process and the less it will
impact her life and adult relationships.
I don't have a recommendation for a family law attorney, but I will tell you
what the attorney is likely to say. You as a parent really don't have a right
to refuse to let your child be interviewed. State law gives CPS the authority
to interview your child without your consent. As for whether the report to CPS
was unsubstantiated or anonymous, you really don't have access to the files.
So you don't know what info they do have. When CPS gets a report, they assess
it, and if they feel there is sufficient evidence to warrant investigation,
they will investigate. If I were in your shoes, I would just let them do the
interview. Are you SURE that your daughter hasn't been the victim of someone?
know a little about CPS
Family law attorney needed, ASAP
I unfortunately need a family law attorney, and soon. My DD's non-custodial parent,
whom I find difficult to communicate with at best, has now gone bonkers and is
communicating only through an attorney. So, I need to hire one myself ASAP. Looking
for someone: sharp, competent, quick wit, excellent communicator, practices in Alameda
County. Either male or female, just a bright, ''knows their stuff'', straightforward
kind of person. I didn't see any recent postings on the web site, so am looking for
recent experiences with a family law attorney that may be able to provide expertise &
competence, but soon! (Or, if you have the names of persons you'd avoid, I'd like to
hear about those too). Thank you,
Need legal representation
Call Kathy Perkins at 925.283.7938. She is located in Lafayette, but goes to
court all over. She has years of experience and is extremely bright,
forthright, high integrity and passionate about helping her clients get what
they need. She works really hard and you'll be well represented.
I know this is a tough situation but i don't think it's right that you have to
hire an attorney. You can still try to communicate with your ex and direct him
to mediation or some other route. You can send him a letter saying you don't
want to fight because you have read that kids from divorced homes that go
through life well are the ones whose parents never put them in between. Or you
could write his sisters or brothers or parents or involve his friends. You can
do so many things to persuade him to stay out of court (to stay away from
fighting lawyers, who zap all your money and emotional energy). I know that
may not sound possible right now but it was for me. I read some websites about
how damaging litigation is for kids and i pleaded with my former spouse to go
to mediation (he had already hired an attorney) and he finally agreed. Maybe
it's not always possible but it was for me. I hope it works out well for you,
whatever route you choose.
Family Law Attorney near Walnut Creek
Looking for a great recommendation for a Family Law Attorney in the
Eastbay. I would prefer the Walnut Creek area, but definitley open to any
I would recommend Larry Rosen. He's a mediator (also an attorney), and
helped me through a very tough divorce--so that it wasn't nearly as
tough. He's in oakland (other side of the tunnel!) and SF. 415-356-9834.
Hi, I'm happy to recommend a friend, Lillian Epstein, who is warm, bright, and
empathic, and now in her own family law practice in Berkeley.
Experienced family law attorney
Looking for an attorney highly experienced in family law,
I have tremendous appreciation for my family law attorney, Mary Oaklund, who
has won multiple court judgements for me and my kids (custody and schooling
issues) through her legal wisdom, sharp wit, and silver tongue (no dirty
play). These successes are especially notable in that she has been up against
an attorney who other lawyers seem to detest dealing with because of her
nastiness (not the legal term, I suppose) and legal subterfuge. I highly
recommend Mary Oaklund 483-6047 I'm so glad I found her.
I am looking for a good family law attorney. I need someone to
review my divorce papers and let me know what my rights are when
it comes to my Golden Retriever, Jake.
I appreciate any recommendations.
Divorce is pretty messy. When I started grad school in the
engineering department my spouse became, shall we say,
unsupportive. We decided to part ways since I wanted to get a
PhD, and she wanted me to work for real money. Sigh... But I
did manage to find a good divorce attorney. I called a good
deal of the San Francisco family law attorneys, and didn't
really click with anyone. When I finally got to the 'Law
Offices of Jessica Watson' I had a noticeably different
experience. She answered my questions rather than waiting for
her turn to speak. She told me upfront what her rates were,
which I couldn't get from others. She gave me references to
look up and made me feel that I would be part of the process.
I'm a control freak, so I really appreciated her catering to my
special needs. I didn't feel like Ms. Watson was going to stamp
a number on my case and put in a boilerplate performance. Felt
very personalized...like my case, my life, was important. I
So, a high recommendation to the Law Office of Jessica Watson.
The webpage is here: http://www.sfchildandfamilylaw.com
her website says they specialize in divorce, adoption, and
I am looking for an attorney that specializes in child support.
Not to go into too much detail, my husband is having to go to
court for ''contempt''. He had been paying child support regularly
until he lost his job back in October. He now has a job and has
started paying as of May, but he still received a letter
ordering him to go to court. Is there an attorney out there that
helps the fathers?????
A really good lawyer is David Wong. His number is 510 868 1716.
His rates are reasonable and he is smart, aggressive, and is very
I'm pretty sure my ex is underreporting his considerable income and I'm looking for
an attorney who is skilled in financial investigation and aggressive as well as being a
relatively decent human being. Don't know if I can get all of that in one package but
I've been turned off by the few attys I've interviewed so far, who seem competent
and high-powered in legal matters but cold and indifferent as people and
contemptuous of my child-centered values. I don't expect my lawyer to be my friend
but can't imagine working with someone who can't muster some semblance of
I have used Lori Wallerstein, recommended here, to investigate
hidden assets. She left no stone unturned and found things in
Europe as well as California. Still don't know how she did it.
She is also an attorney but focuses only on investigations and
business advising. She is at One Embarcadero is SF at 415-773-
2821. She is very easy to talk to and empathetic. Pretty funny
too. She would probably help you find a lawyer you can work
with. Good luck
I am looking for an lawyer who specializes in family law, in the
Mom in need
I know someone who is a psychologist and arbitrator in family
law and no doubt knows lawyers in that business.
She is a personal friend of mine so I don't feel comfortable
putting her contact info on a public forum but if you're
interested you can contact me and I'll share her e-mail with you
I would recommend that you speak to Through Understanding (and
Larry Rosen). He's a lawyer and mediator. Essentially, he helps
couples find a way to divorce in a harmonious way. I saw some
really positive posts about him on Berekeley Parent's Network a
few months back and then called with a little skepticism. My
(soon-to-be-ex) husband and I have now met with him twice and I
can't tell you how helpful it's been for us. My husband had an
affair a year ago and I though I really don't want much of a
relationship at all with him, I don't want to fight either. I
mean I want what's best for my kids, which is for us to co-parent
and at least respect each other, even if we're apart. Larry has
helped us move far away from intense anger. My husband has
''heard'' me for the first time in so many years. And I don't
forgive him but I do understand him better now, which is
interesting. We've put in place some temporary agreements which
we plan to finalize in the months to cmoe, and i just feel better
about my life. Larry is pretty talented and generous person. He
is a lawyer but not in the traditional sense, i guess. I've
actually been really looking foward to posting this note for a
ps His web Address is www.ThroughUnderstanding.com
additional reviews about Through Understanding
This is a bit far afield, but can anyone recommend a good family law attorney
in the Sacramento area?
anon this time
I can highly recommend a close friend of mine's mother, Camille
Hemmer, who has a family law practice in Sacramento. I have
not had experience with her professionally, but can extrapolate
from my experience with her as a person, that she would be a
good choice. Her phone number is 916/920-9504 and address:
797 University Ave. Sacramento, CA 95825.
Try Barbara Bender at Stein & Baydaline. I don't know how much
family law she does, but she did our family trusts. She's very
straightforward and nothing surprises her - I'd describe her as
worldly. If she doesn't do family law, she could at least point
you in the right direction for the Sacramento area. Her email
address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
We have used Attorney Hugh Allen who is a Certified Family Law
Specialist. He is in Rancho Cordova phone 916-852-0222. If you
are looking for an attorney to fight for you he is the person to
have. We won our case with him which was a real miracle. He is
tough but extremely good. I would recommend him very highly.
Does anyone have any experiences with David Bunn, who is
a family law attorney in Berkeley? I am looking for someone
who is obviously knowledgeable, able to negotiate well, yet
caring/understanding with his clients. It seems difficult to
evaluate good attorneys in this field, and your feedback will
be most appreciated.
Richard Hill, on 5th Street in Berkeley, is the top of the heap
when it comes to Trusts and Estates law. He can do the most
simplest of trusts to more complicated scenarios of estate
protection and division. His pedigree is impeccable, he was the
trusts and estates person for Morrison and Forrester (sp?) for
many years, he has a lovely personality, and he does not watch
the clock, scrupulously.
Many attorneys use him, which is really the highest possible
And,good for you for taking care of business.
Richard Hill Fan
I don't know anything about David Bunn. However I used to
practice family law and can recommend a good family law
attorneys and mediators in the East Bay.
Susan Bender 832-1411
Ann Fallon 925-296-6000
Margaret Gannon 452-1700
Cynthia Podren 849-9008
Dennis Rothhaar 763-5611
Family law Mediators:
Eva Herzer 526-5144
Martina Reaves 559-2685
Mediator for intergenerational/cultural family issues:
Adele Grunberg 530-9049
I need to find a family lawyer who has experience with how the
Child Protective Services system works. There is an ongoing CPS
investigation which is supposed to determine whether my toddler
is being sexually abused. Because my child is young, CPS has
been slow to come to any conclusions, and their investigation,
though still open, has been completely inactive over the past
couple of months. I haven't found a way to stop my child's
other parent from visiting my child (unsupervised visits are
court ordered and still ongoing). I need to find someone who
can help me work with CPS and the family court services system
to come up with a visitation schedule that is not a risk to my
I would sincerely appreciate any leads you might be able to give
Here's a quote from a lawyer I know [I asked about your concern]:
''Sounds to me like this person's case is in Family Court, and a Family
Court judge has ruled it premature to have supervised visits. In cases
such as this, there is usually dirt on both sides..... And since every case
keeps the same judge throughout, judges know the case history pretty
The only way to get CPS moving is for the person to motivate the Family
Court Services mediator handling her case, or, provide evidence
something new has occurred. However, given CPS speed of late, if
something new happens, I would file an Emergency Screening before a
Another CPS thought: Unfortunately, the budget cutbacks have slashed
resources and staff. So, the person needs to phone and write letters
However, once the person gets before a judge again, she/he really
needs to pin the judge down to reasons why the current custody order
remains in place.''
I hope it helps.
this page was last updated: Oct 13, 2013
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are transitioning to a new website during
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2015 Berkeley Parents Network