Optimism, Compassion, Strength, Cooperation, & Humor
Divorce as a Growth Opportunity
As a child, I learned firsthand how painful divorce can be for everyone in a family. As years passed, I also saw that families can grow through this experience. There can even be positive outcomes and benefits, such as improved relationships with each parent, decreased stress in the household and new relationships with step-parents. These lessons informed my goal early on to help families through this challenging time. Ultimately, I obtained my bachelor’s degree in psychology at UC Berkeley and master’s degrees in psychology with this objective in mind. However, I learned quickly that the most direct way that I could help families in this process was as an attorney. I enrolled in law school at UC Hastings focused on family law, working as an assistant for my family law professor and for the family court at San Francisco Superior Court.
I'm often asked how I deal with the high level of conflict and anger which are inherent in divorce cases. The answer - humor. Yes, there are many laughs in my office. Resolving these challenging cases requires humor, respect for each individual’s position, an open mind to different lifestyles and choices, and an ability to see resolutions. I feel incredibly fortunate to be trusted with this private and vulnerable time in my clients’ lives, and I am so proud of all of the people with whom I’ve had the honor to work. The vast majority of my clients move past the fractious time of divorce into a richer, more peaceful life.
As an attorney, my primary focus has always been on settlement. When I represent individual clients in litigated cases, I listen to my client’s needs then immediately attempt to find solutions that will keep them out of the courtroom. While I am not personally opposed to litigating cases, I find that the majority of my clients are able to obtain a more satisfying result at a far lower fee and with less conflict if the attorneys involved work together rather than in opposition. Opposing parties may hate each other when they begin a case, and they may continue to feel this way when the case is resolved, but in most cases, they will have to continue to have a relationship with each other through their children or community. When attorneys fuel that hatred in a misguided attempt to defend their clients, generally the only winners are the attorneys whose fees rise in proportion to the amount of tension and uncontained anger in a case.
One of my primary strengths in resolving cases is the dignity with which I treat all of the people involved in my cases. Throughout the years, I have established a reputation in our community of being compassionate, cooperative, and strong. I am proud of the dignity with which I treat my colleagues and the respect I have garnered as a result. Other attorneys know that I am going to handle a case with as a compassionate and firm advocate for my client but also with the cooperative spirit required for settlement.