pastor

Some say the calling of the law runs in families, and for me, that has certainly been true. I always knew I wanted to pursue a profession that made a meaningful impact, but it wasn’t until I began helping my father around his firm that I realized I wanted to become an attorney myself. After all, there are many ways to help others, but there were several things about my father’s work that I truly admired. 

First and foremost, I respected how hard he worked, and in turn, how much his clients appreciated him. Many of them had long-term partnerships with my father, and I looked forward to building the same kinds of ever-evolving relationships with my own clients down the line. 

My Legal Career

Today, after more than 40 years of practice in Walnut Creek, Contra Costa County, and the Bay Area, I am proud to say I have successfully carried on my father’s legacy. Since beginning my practice in 1977, probate and estate administration have been two of my primary areas of focus. Because I appear in court so frequently, and often regarding the same types of cases, I have developed strong professional relationships with many judges, staff, and other attorneys. Additionally, I have served as a judge pro tem of Contra Costa County since 1979, which means I fill in for local judges, under their supervision, as needed. 

And while I possess a thorough understanding of the courts, my dedication to the legal community goes much deeper. Below, you can see that I am active in a variety of professional legal associations. However, what’s even more important is the devotion I have to my clients. I have a passion for this line of work, and it’s more than just a job to me. 

Everything I do is designed to help my clients move forward.


How My Work Affects Everyday People

In order to illustrate why my profession means so much to me, I find it’s best to explain how I’ve improved the lives of ordinary families like yours. I believe my story about Mary* does just that. 

Mary turned to me as her mother’s health was declining. Her mother simply wasn't able to care for herself any longer. Her bills were piling up, and she needed help. Thus, Mary came to my office to set up a conservatorship and brought her older siblings along with her.

Unfortunately, a family dispute then ensued. You see, the other siblings did not believe their mother needed assistance, and they also didn’t think their youngest sister should be calling the shots. However, after careful deliberation, the siblings were able to side with Mary’s way of thinking. They proceeded to set up a conservatorship together, and in the end, their mother was taken care of, and they were all able to reconcile. 

Cases like these warm my heart and remind me that I am in the business of bringing families closer. Though clients may initially seek my services in periods of high stress and emotion, I will always work tirelessly to improve their lives in a significant and long-lasting way. 

*Client’s name has been changed for the purpose of confidentiality. 

Bar Admissions

  • State Bar of California
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit

Education

  • Juris Doctor -  Western State University College of Law, 1977
  • Bachelor of Arts -  University of California, Santa Cruz, 1974

Related Experience 

  • Judge Pro Tem of Contra Costa County, 1979 - Present

Professional Associations & Memberships

State Bar of California 
  • Current Member of the Estates and Trusts Section
  • Former Member and President of the Law Practice Management and Technology Section
Contra Costa County Bar Association
  • Founder and Former President of the Criminal Law Section 
  • Current Member of the Estate Planning, Probate, Trust, and Conservatorship Section
 East Bay Trusts and Estates Lawyers
  • Current Member 
California Public Defenders Association 
  • Current Member
California DUI Lawyers Association 
  • Founding Member
Robert G. McGrath American Inns of Court
  • Founding Member