Education: University of California (A.B.); Harvard University (J.D.).
Admitted to California and Federal bar, 1973.
AV Rated by Martindale Hubbell for over thirty years; Listed in Register of Preeminent Attorneys (International) since 1998. Superlawyer Selectee 2020.
Lecturer and Author, Continuing Legal Education of the California State Bar (CEB) and University of California, in both Contractual Arbitration and Legal Ethics. Has also taught courses on various related business formation topics. Has served as an arbitrator in numerous disputes both domestic and international.
Specializes in complex business formation, international business structures, agreements and negotiations; business and real estate litigation, arbitration and mediations; estate planning and probate and trust litigation; real estate developments, construction.
Reported Cases: Diamond vs. Connolly, upholding the constitutionality of Mechanics Liens and Stop Notices in United States Supreme Court (1976); Outdoor Services, Inc. vs. Pabagold, Inc., binding to arbitration third party beneficiaries of a contract containing an arbitration clause in the California Court of Appeals (1986).
Founder of Blue Water Foundation (http://www.bluewaterfoundation.org/); Founding Board Member of Institute for One World Health now part of PATH (http://www.path.org/); Founding Board Member of The A2A Alliance(http://www.adversity2advocacy.org/);Past Board President of Urban Pioneer Experiential Academy, a San Francisco Public Charter School; Secretary and Board Member of Supporters of the San Francisco Police Department Wilderness Program, a foundation for the San Francisco Police Department which develops and funds wilderness activities for youth (http://www.sfpdwilderness.com/); Founder of Criminal Legal Aid Collective; Member of over twenty other boards, both for profit and non profit purposes; Winner of the Beyond The Call Award of the Alameda County Probation Department (2015); Winner Tim Fitzharris Award of Chief Probation Officers of California Association (2017); Winner Diablo Magazine 2017 Threads of Hope Award; Recipient of California State Senate Commendation for Community Service, 2017; United States Coast Guard Licensed Captain.
Our legal system is the best in the world but often the most expensive to utilize. A major challenge facing the competent attorney is to achieve effective results without expending too many client resources to achieve them. The ability of legal counsel to take practical cost benefit into consideration in planning and implementing legal strategy has become a vital skill required in modern legal practice.
That said, we are often hired to fight and that is what we do and, frankly, enjoy doing. We are convinced we represent our clients best when we represent them vigorously but without trickery or game playing. Fifty years ago, when my father and grandfather still practiced, attorneys were usually held in high regard, considered bastions of appropriate and ethical conduct. Perhaps because of the vast increase in the total number of attorneys or, more likely, because too many of us became attorneys only to “win” and make money, the ethical conduct and reputation of the Bar has never been lower. Our goal is to represent our clients aggressively using all the ability and experience at our disposal. We want to win. But we are also committed to maintaining a level of integrity and comity that does not create fights driven only by ego…yet can marshal effective tools to win when necessary. Shakespeare put it well. Beware fights but if you have to fight, make the other side beware you.
We are also convinced that the entire scope of the client’s position has to be considered. The lawyer should know the client well enough so that a clear understanding of needs and dangers can be anticipated and factored into the representation. Thus we are not just litigators or transactional attorneys but combine those skills so that each aspect of the client’s case can be considered. Our contract writers know how to fight to protect the contract they created. Only in that manner can they fully appreciate what terms are truly vital when negotiating a contract or drafting a trust. You cook it…you eat it.
We have been practicing law as a firm in this manner for over seventy years. We must be doing something right. We have seen hundreds of other firms come and go, including the largest firms. But we remain convinced that the basics of our practice…fighting hard to win but fighting hard to do it efficiently and ethically…is why we have succeeded for so many decades. And that is how we plan to practice for decades more.