Strategic and Honest Representation, Frank and Open
Assessment of Your Case From Start to Finish
I came to the practice of law later in life after spending 17 years traveling in a fun job as an air stewardess and then as a Purser on international flights. Traveling gave me a wonderful opportunity to see the world, meet different people and understand different cultures. I knew that I could not work in the airlines forever so, ultimately, in 1989, I followed my father's wish and enrolled to study in a three-year law degree program in Essex, England.
In the second year of my law studies, I was selected as one of 15 students from my college to participate in the Erasmus Student Exchange Program. In this Program, I was privileged to live and study International Law for one year at Utrecht University, Holland.
I received my law degree in 1992 in London and immediately commenced training as a Barrister at Grays Inn, London. This was a wonderful experience. I was always busy, preparing for oral and written exams, completing legal research and written presentations to lecturers and judges on a broad range of subjects involving matters of international law, domestic tort, and criminal issues among other things. I passed my final exams with a grade of "Outstanding" in Advocacy.
A Barrister is a specialist advocate. There are relatively few Barristers in the UK when compared, for example, to the number of lawyers in California. I recall that when I qualified at the UK bar in 1994, there were only about 7,000 barristers in England and Wales. In 2015, that number had only increased to approximately 15,000.
There are four Inns of Court in England, Grays Inn, Middle Temple, Inner Temple and Lincoln's Inn. I am an active member of Lincoln's Inn. These four Inns of Court are the professional associations of Barristers in England and Wales.
All Barristers are required to complete a one-year pupilage after qualifying at the UK Bar, divided in a "first-6" and a "second-6." The first six months is a period of following your Pupil Master to all of his or her court appearances, robed in your wig and gown for Crown Court appearances absorbing vital refined training in the practice of law and ethics. I was fortunate that my Pupil Master was an experienced and very well-respected criminal Barrister. Therefore, I assisted and accompanied him on all of his trials, including murder trials at the famous Old Bailey in London. I also attended Family Law cases during this time and had an opportunity to observe trials, involving equitable division of substantial marital assets.
During the second sixth months, a Barrister is expected to take his or her own cases as presented by solicitors whose clients require the services of a Barrister's advocacy in court. Solicitors are civil attorneys and, as a general rule, did not represent their clients before the court, this role being reserved, for the most part, to Barristers. In the UK the rigid roles between Barristers and Solicitors are beginning to change somewhat.
As a barrister, I was proud to perform my duties in accordance with the high standards of practice and ethics required of representatives of the UK Bar.
After qualifying as a Barrister, I was able to apply my legal and advocacy skills to Family law, including assisting families separated from their children due to safety concerns, both for a parent and for children in the United Kingdom. These experiences helped me in creating and implementing thriving and surviving strategies on which parents could focus to help their children navigate life's challenges and become resilient in the face of many adversities.
In 1998, I moved to California and was an Intern to the Honorable Judge David Gill and the late Honorable Judge Ehrenfreund. Thereafter, I worked at the District Attorney's Office - Child Support Division.
I passed the California Bar Exam in 2002 and I became a California lawyer. I opened my practice in 2002 also, focusing solely on Family Law matters and subsequently included Estate planning to my practice. I am a California Family Law Certified Specialist and Minor's Counsel. I am pleased to continue to offer my services and expertise in these two critical areas that significantly impact my clients' lives.My Philosophy
We look forward to working in partnership with you.
Degree in Law, Essex, London, England, 1992
International Law, University of Utrecht, Netherlands
Barrister, Inns of Court School of Law, Grays Inn, London, England., 1993
Achievements: Highest merit in Advocacy Skills.
United Kingdom Bar
Member Since: 1993
Member Since: 2002
Federal 9th Circuit
Member Since: 2002
San Diego County Bar
Membership - California Bar Estate Planning Section
Membership - California Bar Family Law Section