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California Client Communications Manual: Sample Letters and Forms

Establish and maintain effective communications with your client—from initial contact and retention to the conclusion of a case. This manual provides you with more than 65 sample letters and essential forms, as well as practice tips and succinct discussion of ethical and other issues you must consider in evaluating and representing clients.

Sample Forms below

"I looked up my complex issue...and was able to find the forms I needed right away. This is a very useful desk resource for the new as well as the experienced litigator."
Teresa Renaker, Renaker Hasselman LLP, San Francisco

Establish and maintain effective communications with your client—from initial contact and retention to the conclusion of a case. This manual provides you with more than 65 sample letters and essential forms, as well as practice tips and succinct discussion of ethical and other issues you must consider in evaluating and representing clients. Start using these pre-drafted sample letters to:

  • Initiate contact with your client
  • Represent clients and avoid conflicts of interest
  • Provide clients with case reports and notices
  • Terminate representation
  • Collect fees
  • Give notice of arbitration
  • Avoid malpractice
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Sample Forms below

"I looked up my complex issue...and was able to find the forms I needed right away. This is a very useful desk resource for the new as well as the experienced litigator."
Teresa Renaker, Renaker Hasselman LLP, San Francisco

Establish and maintain effective communications with your client—from initial contact and retention to the conclusion of a case. This manual provides you with more than 65 sample letters and essential forms, as well as practice tips and succinct discussion of ethical and other issues you must consider in evaluating and representing clients. Start using these pre-drafted sample letters to:

  • Initiate contact with your client
  • Represent clients and avoid conflicts of interest
  • Provide clients with case reports and notices
  • Terminate representation
  • Collect fees
  • Give notice of arbitration
  • Avoid malpractice

1

Initial Contact With Prospective Client

Micha Star Liberty

  • I. CONSIDERATIONS AT TIME OF INITIAL CONTACT WITH PROSPECTIVE CLIENT
    • A. Importance of Initial Contact With Prospective Client 1.1
    • B. Client Screening Before Consultation 1.2
  • II. FORMS
    • A. Form: General Letter Confirming Consultation Appointment 1.3
    • B. Form: Letter With Notice Concerning Confidential Information and Requesting Documents 1.4
    • C. Form: Letter With Notice Concerning Confidential Information and Requesting Consent to Represent Others or Disclose Information if Attorney Not Hired 1.5
    • D. Form: Prospective Client's Information From Initial Screening 1.6
    • E. Checklist: Client Interview—Initial Consultation 1.7
    • F. Client Questionnaire—Family and Financial Information 1.8
    • G. Form: Attorney's E-mail Policy 1.9
    • H. Form: Attorney's E-mail Disclaimer 1.10

2

Nonengagement: Letters Declining Representation

Micha Star Liberty

  • I. CONSIDERATIONS IN DECLINING REPRESENTATION
    • A. Multiple Factors to Consider in Declining Representation 2.1
    • B. Drafting the Nonengagement Letter 2.2
  • II. FORMS
    • A. Form: Letter Declining Representation on Basis of Conflict of Interest With Current or Former Client 2.3
    • B. Form: Letter Declining Representation Based on Attorney's Personal Conflict of Interest 2.4
    • C. Form: Letter Declining Representation Because Matter Outside Practice Area 2.5
    • D. Form: Letter Declining Representation Based on Attorney's Personal Observations, Discussions, or Other Interactions With Client 2.6
    • E. Form: Letter Provisionally Declining Representation Unless Fee Agreement Signed and Returned 2.7
    • F. Form: Letter Declining Representation Based on Failure to Pay Retainer Fee Within Specific Time Period 2.8
    • G. Form: Letter Declining Representation Based on Limited Evaluation of Case During Initial Consultation Only 2.9

3

General Attorney-Client Fee Agreements

Lawrence E. Leone

  • I. PLANNING ATTORNEY-CLIENT FEE AGREEMENTS
    • A. Purpose and Effect of Agreement 3.1
    • B. Requirements for Agreement
      • 1. Contract Law Generally Applies 3.2
      • 2. Importance of Using Written Agreement; Confidentiality
        • a. Importance of Using Written Agreement 3.3
        • b. Confidentiality 3.4
      • 3. When Written Agreement Required
        • a. Contingent Fees 3.5
        • b. Other Types of Fees 3.6
        • c. Effect of Failure to Have Written Agreement 3.7
      • 4. Sufficiency of Oral Agreement 3.8
      • 5. Contents and Form of Written Agreement
        • a. Contents of Written Agreement 3.9
        • b. Form of Written Agreement and Need for Client to Receive Copy 3.10
    • C. Limitations on Fees in Attorney-Client Agreements
      • 1. Statutory Limitations on Fees 3.11
      • 2. Fees Subject to Court Approval 3.12
      • 3. Agreements Violating Public Policy or Ethical Standards 3.13
  • II. FORMS
    • A. Form: General Letter Agreement for Representation on Hourly Basis 3.14
    • B. Form: Agreement for Representation Based on Contingent Fee 3.15
    • C. Form: Agreement for Representation in Noncontingent Matter With Fees Paid by Third Party 3.16
    • D. Form: Agreement for Representation With Fees Set by Statute (Probate Matter) 3.17
    • E. Form: Agreement for Representation in Unlawful Detainer Matter 3.18
    • F. Form: Letter Agreement for Representation on Hourly Basis in Debt Collection Matter 3.19
    • G. Form: Letter Agreement for Full Representation in Marital Dissolution 3.20
    • H. Form: Agreement for Limited-Scope Representation (Ongoing Consultations) in Family Law Matter 3.21
    • I. Form: Agreement for Representation in Criminal Defense Case 3.22
    • J. Form: Agreement for Joint Representation in Estate Planning Matter 3.23
    • K. Form: Provision for Additional or Replenishing (Evergreen) Deposit for Fees 3.24
    • L. Form: Letter Advising Client About Duties re Electronically Stored Information (ESI) 3.24A

4

Consent to Representation After Disclosing Conflict of Interest

Holly J. Fujie

  • I. IMPORTANCE OF AVOIDING CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
    • A. Attorney's Obligation to Avoid Conflicts of Interest
      • 1. Complying With Rules of Professional Conduct 4.1
      • 2. Importance of Considering Practical Effects of Representing Adverse Interests 4.2
    • B. Rationale for Conflict of Interest Rules 4.3
    • C. Attorney Withdrawal and Disqualification
      • 1. Withdrawal 4.4
      • 2. Disqualification 4.5
  • II. REPRESENTATION AFTER DISCLOSING INTEREST CONFLICT AND OBTAINING CLIENT'S CONSENT
    • A. Need for Full Disclosure and Written Consent 4.6
    • B. Implied Waiver and Consent 4.7
  • III. FORMS
    • A. Consent to Representation When Current Clients Have Adverse Interests
      • 1. Form: New Client's Consent to Representation Despite Representation on Unrelated Matter of Client Having Adverse Interest 4.8
      • 2. Form: Client's Consent to Continued Representation Despite Representation on Unrelated Matter of New Client Having Adverse Interest 4.9
    • B. Consent to Representation When New and Former Clients Have Adverse Interests
      • 1. Form: New Client's Consent to Representation Despite Representation on Unrelated Matter of Former Client Having Adverse Interest 4.10
      • 2. Form: Former Client's Consent to Representation of New Client on Unrelated Matter Despite Clients' Adverse Interests 4.11
    • C. Consent to Representation When Attorney or Third Party Has Personal Interest or Financial Involvement in Case
      • 1. Consent to Representation When Attorney Has Personal Relationship With Witness or Party in Client's Case 4.12
      • 2. Form: Consent to Representation When Client Grants Security Interest in Real Property to Attorney 4.13
      • 3. Form: Consent to Representation When Third Party Is Paying Client's Legal Fees 4.14
    • D. Consent to Representation of Multiple Individuals Regarding Same Subject Matter
      • 1. Form: Consent to Representation of Co-Parties in Same Case 4.15
      • 2. Form: Consent to Representation of Both Spouses or Domestic Partners in Performing Estate Planning 4.16

5

Status Reports and Notices About Case to Client

R. Camille King

  • I. IMPORTANCE OF REGULAR COMMUNICATION WITH CLIENT DURING REPRESENTATION
    • A. Benefits of Regular Communication to Both Client and Attorney 5.1
    • B. Standard Office Procedures to Facilitate Communication 5.2
  • II. FORMS
    • A. Form: Letter Advising Client of Case Status—General Form 5.3
    • B. Form: Letter Requesting That Client Contact Attorney for Consultation About Case 5.4
    • C. Form: Letter Advising Client That Attorney Has Filed New Court Action or Motion on Client's Behalf 5.5
    • D. Form: Letter Advising Client That Attorney Has Filed Answer or Responses on Client's Behalf to Court Action or Motion 5.6
    • E. Form: Letter Notifying Client of Oral Deposition 5.7
    • F. Form: Letter Notifying Client of Case Management Conference and "Meet and Confer" Requirement 5.8
    • G. Form: Letter Notifying Client to Attend Court Hearing or Trial 5.9

6

Requests for Documents From Client

R. Camille King

  • I. HANDLING DOCUMENT REQUESTS
    • A. Identifying Need for Documents From Client 6.1
    • B. Document Requests to Facilitate Transactional Matters 6.2
    • C. Document Requests to Facilitate Litigation
      • 1. Need for Early Document Review 6.3
      • 2. Requests to Enable Counsel to Initiate or Continue Case 6.4
      • 3. Requests to Comply With Discovery or Disclosure Demands 6.5
  • II. FORMS
    • A. Form: Letter Requesting That Client Provide Documents for Attorney's Review in Transactional Matter—General Form 6.6
    • B. Form: Letter Requesting That Client Provide Documents for Attorney's Review in Litigation Matter—General Form 6.7
    • C. Form: Letter Requesting Documents From Client to Comply With Demand for Production 6.8
    • D. Form: Letter Requesting Documents From Client to Facilitate Reply to Interrogatories or Admission Request 6.9
    • E. Form: Letter Requesting Documents From Client to Comply With Disclosure Demand in Family Law Case 6.10

7

Termination Notices to Client

Maria Schopp

  • I. CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH REPRESENTATION IS TERMINATED
    • A. Termination After Initial Evaluation of Case 7.1
    • B. Termination on Completion of Agreed-to Representation 7.2
    • C. Termination Before Completion of Agreed-to Representation
      • 1. By Client 7.3
      • 2. By Attorney 7.4
  • II. FORMS
    • A. Terminating Representation After Initial Case Evaluation
      • 1. Form: Letter Terminating Representation When Initial Evaluation Reveals Case Lacks Merit 7.5
      • 2. Form: Letter Advising Representation Terminated Pursuant to Limited Scope Representation Agreement 7.6
    • B. Form: Letter Advising Completion of Attorney's Representation After Performing Transactional Work 7.7
    • C. Form: Letter Advising Completion of Attorney's Representation After Litigation 7.8
    • D. Form: Letter Notifying Client of Intent to Withdraw as Counsel in Civil Case 7.9
    • E. Form: Letter Confirming Attorney's Discharge by Client in Civil Case 7.10

8

Retention and Disposition of Client Files

Maria Schopp

  • I. CONSIDERATIONS IN RETAINING AND DISPOSING OF CLIENT FILES
    • A. Client's Rights Regarding Files Maintained by Attorney 8.1
    • B. Establishing and Communicating Office Policy on Retaining and Disposing of Files 8.2
  • II. FORMS
    • A. Form: Letter Advising Client of File Retention Policy When Some or All of Client's Items Were Previously Returned 8.3
    • B. Form: Letter Advising Client of File Retention Policy When None of Client's Items Were Previously Returned 8.4
    • C. Form: Addendum Stating Attorney's File Retention Policy 8.5

9

Fee Collection Letters and Related Lien Matters

Shanon K. Quinley

  • I. OBSERVING LEGAL AND ETHICAL STANDARDS IN UNDERTAKING FEE COLLECTION
    • A. Attorney Must Comply With State and Federal Debt Collection Law 9.1
    • B. Attorney Must Withdraw From Representation Before Filing Suit 9.2
    • C. Attorney Must Provide Client With Notice of Right to Arbitrate 9.3
  • II. RELATIONSHIP OF COLLECTION TO UNDERLYING FEE AGREEMENT 9.4
  • III. POTENTIAL LIEN RIGHTS AND NEED FOR NOTICE TO CLIENT
    • A. Retaining Liens Invalid 9.5
    • B. Charging Lien Permissible 9.6
    • C. Priority of Liens 9.7
    • D. Attorney Must Comply With Specific Rules of Professional Conduct in Asserting Charging Lien 9.8
    • E. Attorney-Client Disputes Regarding Lien 9.9
  • IV. NEED FOR RELATED LITIGATION
    • A. Suit for Breach of Contract or Declaratory Relief 9.10
    • B. Separate Action Required to Establish and Enforce Attorney's Charging Lien 9.11
  • V. FORMS
    • A. Fee Collection Letters
      • 1. Form: Letter Notifying Client of Need to Replenish Retainer Fee 9.12
      • 2. Form: Letter Notifying Client of Arrearage in Fees and Request to Pay Them 9.13
    • B. Letters and Related Notices Concerning Liens
      • 1. Form: Letter Notifying Client That Attorney Will File Lien Unless Fees Paid by Date Certain 9.14
      • 2. Form: Notice to Parties of Attorney's Charging Lien for Services Rendered 9.15
      • 3. Form: Notice to Client of Recording Abstract of Judgment Against Real Property 9.16
      • 4. Forms: UCC Financing Statement (UCC1) and Addendum (UCC1Ad) Regarding Personal Property 9.17
      • 5. Form: Notice of Judgment Lien (JL1) 9.18
      • 6. Letter Notifying Client of Family Law Attorney's Real Property Lien 9.19
      • 7. Form: Notice to Opposing Party of Family Law Attorney's Real Property Lien 9.20
    • C. Special Liens and Related Forms
      • 1. Form: Charging Lien Within Attorney-Client Agreement 9.21
      • 2. Form: Family Law Attorney's Real Property Lien 9.22
    • D. Form: Letter Advising Client of Satisfaction of Judgment and Release of Lien 9.23

10

Fee Arbitration Notices

Shanon K. Quinley

  • I. CONTRACTUAL VERSUS MANDATORY FEE ARBITRATION AND RELATED NOTICES
    • A. Distinguishing Contractual and Mandatory Fee Arbitration 10.1
    • B. Mandatory Fee Arbitration
      • 1. When Fee Arbitration Required 10.2
      • 2. Notice to Client Required 10.3
      • 3. Evidence Presented 10.4
      • 4. Arbitrator's Award 10.5
    • C. Initiating Trial After Arbitration 10.6
  • II. FORMS
    • A. Form: Letter Notifying Client of Attorney's Intention to Arbitrate Fee Claim Under Written Agreement 10.7
    • B. Form: Cover Letter for Use With Mandatory Fee Arbitration 10.8
    • C. Form: Notice of Client's Right to Fee Arbitration (State Bar Form) 10.9

CALIFORNIA CLIENT COMMUNICATIONS MANUAL:
SAMPLE LETTERS AND FORMS

(1st Edition)

March 2017

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

File Name

Book Section

Title

CH01

Chapter 1

Initial Contact With Prospective Client

01-003

§1.3

General Letter Confirming Consultation Appointment

01-004

§1.4

Letter With Notice Concerning Confidential Information and Requesting Documents

01-005

§1.5

Letter With Notice Concerning Confidential Information and Requesting Consent to Represent Others or Disclose Information if Attorney Not Hired

01-006

§1.6

Prospective Client’s Information From Initial Screening

01-007

§1.7

Checklist: Client Interview—Initial Consultation

01-008

§1.8

Client Questionnaire—Family and Financial Information

01-009

§1.9

Attorney’s E-mail Policy

01-010

§1.10

Attorney’s E-mail Disclaimer

CH02

Chapter 2

Nonengagement: Letters Declining Representation

02-003

§2.3

Letter Declining Representation on Basis of Conflict of Interest With Current or Former Client

02-004

§2.4

Letter Declining Representation Based on Attorney’s Personal Conflict of Interest

02-005

§2.5

Letter Declining Representation Because Matter Outside Practice Area

02-006

§2.6

Letter Declining Representation Based on Attorney’s Personal Observations, Discussions, or Other Interactions With Client

02-007

§2.7

Letter Provisionally Declining Representation Unless Fee Agreement Signed and Returned

02-008

§2.8

Letter Declining Representation Based on Failure to Pay Retainer Fee Within Specific Time Period

02-009

§2.9

Letter Declining Representation Based on Limited Evaluation of Case During Initial Consultation Only

CH03

Chapter 3

General Attorney-Client Fee Agreements

03-014

§3.14

General Letter Agreement for Representation on Hourly Basis

03-015

§3.15

Agreement for Representation Based on Contingent Fee

03-016

§3.16

Agreement for Representation in Noncontingent Matter With Fees Paid by Third Party

03-017

§3.17

Agreement for Representation With Fees Set by Statute (Probate Matter)

03-018

§3.18

Agreement for Representation in Unlawful Detainer Matter

03-019

§3.19

Letter Agreement for Representation on Hourly Basis in Debt Collection Matter

03-020

§3.20

Letter Agreement for Full Representation in Marital Dissolution

03-021

§3.21

Agreement for Limited-Scope Representation (Ongoing Consultations) in Family Law Matter

03-022

§3.22

Agreement for Representation in Criminal Defense Case

03-023

§3.23

Agreement for Joint Representation in Estate Planning Matter

03-024

§3.24

Provision for Additional or Replenishing (Evergreen) Deposit for Fees

03-024A

§3.24A

Letter Advising Client About Duties re Electronically Stored Information (ESI)

CH04

Chapter 4

Consent to Representation After Disclosing Conflict of Interest

04-008

§4.8

New Client’s Consent to Representation Despite Representation on Unrelated Matter of Client Having Adverse Interest

04-009

§4.9

Client’s Consent to Continued Representation Despite Representation on Unrelated Matter of New Client Having Adverse Interest

04-010

§4.10

New Client’s Consent to Representation Despite Representation on Unrelated Matter of Former Client Having Adverse Interest

04-011

§4.11

Former Client’s Consent to Representation of New Client on Unrelated Matter Despite Clients’ Adverse Interests

04-012

§4.12

Consent to Representation When Attorney Has Personal Relationship With Witness or Party in Client’s Case

04-013

§4.13

Consent to Representation When Client Grants Security Interest in Real Property to Attorney

04-014

§4.14

Consent to Representation When Third Party Is Paying Client’s Legal Fees

04-015

§4.15

Consent to Representation of Co-Parties in Same Case

04-016

§4.16

Consent to Representation of Both Spouses or Domestic Partners in Performing Estate Planning

CH05

Chapter 5

Status Reports and Notices About Case to Client

05-003

§5.3

Letter Advising Client of Case Status—General Form

05-004

§5.4

Letter Requesting That Client Contact Attorney for Consultation About Case

05-005

§5.5

Letter Advising Client That Attorney Has Filed New Court Action or Motion on Client’s Behalf

05-006

§5.6

Letter Advising Client That Attorney Has Filed Answer or Responses on Client’s Behalf to Court Action or Motion

05-007

§5.7

Letter Notifying Client of Oral Deposition

05-008

§5.8

Letter Notifying Client of Case Management Conference and “Meet and Confer” Requirement

05-009

§5.9

Letter Notifying Client to Attend Court Hearing or Trial

CH06

Chapter 6

Requests for Documents From Client

06-006

§6.6

Letter Requesting That Client Provide Documents for Attorney’s Review in Transactional Matter—General Form

06-007

§6.7

Letter Requesting That Client Provide Documents for Attorney’s Review in Litigation Matter—General Form

06-008

§6.8

Letter Requesting Documents From Client to Comply With Demand for Production

06-009

§6.9

Letter Requesting Documents From Client to Facilitate Reply to Interrogatories or Admission Request

06-010

§6.10

Letter Requesting Documents From Client to Comply With Disclosure Demand in Family Law Case

CH07

Chapter 7

Termination Notices to Client

07-005

§7.5

Letter Terminating Representation When Initial Evaluation Reveals Case Lacks Merit

07-006

§7.6

Letter Advising Representation Terminated Pursuant to Limited Scope Representation Agreement

07-007

§7.7

Letter Advising Completion of Attorney’s Representation After Performing Transactional Work

07-008

§7.8

Letter Advising Completion of Attorney’s Representation After Litigation

07-009

§7.9

Letter Notifying Client of Intent to Withdraw as Counsel in Civil Case

07-010

§7.10

Letter Confirming Attorney’s Discharge by Client in Civil Case

CH08

Chapter 8

Retention and Disposition of Client Files

08-003

§8.3

Letter Advising Client of File Retention Policy When Some or All of Client’s Items Were Previously Returned

08-004

§8.4

Letter Advising Client of File Retention Policy When None of Client’s Items Were Previously Returned

08-005

§8.5

Addendum Stating Attorney’s File Retention Policy

CH09

Chapter 9

Fee Collection Letters and Related Lien Matters

09-012

§9.12

Letter Notifying Client of Need to Replenish Retainer Fee

09-013

§9.13

Letter Notifying Client of Arrearage in Fees and Request to Pay Them

09-014

§9.14

Letter Notifying Client That Attorney Will File Lien Unless Fees Paid by Date Certain

09-015

§9.15

Notice to Parties of Attorney’s Charging Lien for Services Rendered

09-016

§9.16

Notice to Client of Recording Abstract of Judgment Against Real Property

09-019

§9.19

Letter Notifying Client of Family Law Attorney’s Real Property Lien

09-020

§9.20

Notice to Opposing Party of Family Law Attorney’s Real Property Lien

09-021

§9.21

Charging Lien Within Attorney-Client Agreement

09-022

§9.22

Family Law Attorney’s Real Property Lien

09-023

§9.23

Letter Advising Client of Satisfaction of Judgment and Release of Lien

CH10

Chapter 10

Fee Arbitration Notices

10-007

§10.7

Letter Notifying Client of Attorney’s Intention to Arbitrate Fee Claim Under Written Agreement

10-008

§10.8

Cover Letter for Use With Mandatory Fee Arbitration

 

Selected Developments

March 2017 Update

Summarized below are the more important developments included in this update. All amendments, repeals, and additions to California statutes and rules were integrated into the text. Relevant case law was added to the book as appropriate.

Attorneys should be aware that the Second Commission for the Revision of the Rules of Professional Conduct released a draft version of the revised Rules of Professional Conduct in 2016. The commission is scheduled to submit its final draft version to the California Supreme Court by the end of March 2017. See §1.1 for information about the status and content of the draft rules.

See §1.10 for a practice tip on using e-mail disclaimers. The discussion of ethical rules that control the terms of an attorney-client fee agreement in chapter 3 was expanded. See §3.1 for discussion of an attorney's duties regarding client electronically stored information (ESI) and client secrets. See also the expanded discussion and new Practice Tip in §3.9 on an attorney's obligations with respect to ESI. These obligations extend to the law firm's office staff and any expert or consultant hired or retained to assist in e-discovery workup on the case. A new sample letter that advises a client on his or her ESI obligations has been added at §3.24A. The Comment to the new form discusses e-discovery and ESI competence issues about which the attorney should be aware when handling a case involving ESI. For discussion of competency in e-discovery and ESI issues, see discussion of California State Bar Formal Opinion No. 2015–192 in §7.9 (Comment).

Issues relating to attorney disqualification were the subject of two recent cases, one of which addressed automatic disqualification and the other addressed who has standing to bring a disqualification motion. See §4.5 for discussion of M'Guinness v Johnson (2015) 243 CA4th 602 and In re Marriage of Murchison (2016) 245 CA4th 847. Marriage of Murchison is also discussed in §4.7. For a recent case explaining when a party may bring a motion to disqualify an attorney because of the attorney's duty owed to a third party, see Acacia Patent Acquisition, LLC v Superior Court (2015) 234 CA4th 1091, discussed in §4.7. The sample form in §4.16 (Consent to Representation of Both Spouses or Domestic Partners in Performing Estate Planning) has been revised to add language that describes the limits of confidentiality clients may expect when agreeing that an attorney represent both spouses in estate planning matters.

See §10.2 for citation of Baxter v Bock (2016) 247 CA4th 775, which discusses when an attorney and client may agree to binding arbitration under the MFAA.

About the Authors

Holly J. Fujie, Esq., is a litigation shareholder of Buchalter Nemer, PLC, in Los Angeles. She specializes in complex civil cases, with an emphasis on insurance and surety industry related litigation. She served as President of the California State Bar from 2008–2009, after a 3-year tenure on the State Bar's Board of Governors (now known as the Board of Trustees). She is currently the 2010–2011 President of the Boalt Hall Alumni Association, and is a member of numerous boards of other professional associations. Ms. Fujie speaks frequently on diversity, litigation, and work balance issues. She is a contributing author of Effective Introduction of Evidence in California (2d ed Cal CEB 2000) and Jefferson's California Evidence Benchbook (4th ed CJA-CEB 2009). Ms. Fujie earned her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.

R. Camille King, Esq., began practicing law in Alameda County in 2001 and currently practices with the civil law firm of Lovko and King in Berkeley, focusing on family law matters. She is a member of the State Bar Family Law Section and was an original contributing author of Dissolution Strategies: From Intake to Judgment (Cal CEB Annual). Ms. King earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia and her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

Lawrence E. Leone, Esq., is a Certified Family Law Specialist who maintains a solo law and mediation practice in Los Angeles. A former partner in the Los Angeles law firm of Trope and Trope, Mr. Leone has played prominent roles with the family law sections of the Los Angeles County and the Beverly Hills bar associations. He has written extensively for the annual Los Angeles County Bar Association Family Law Symposium and is an ongoing editorial consultant for the California Family Law Monthly. Mr. Leone has also served as a judge pro tem in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, as well as a family law mediator. He is a contributing author to the following publications: California Child Custody Litigation and Practice (Cal CEB 2006), Dividing Pensions and Other Employee Benefits in California Divorces (Cal CEB 2006), and Family Law Financial Discovery (Cal CEB 2008). Mr. Leone earned his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and his J.D. from Loyola Law School Los Angeles.

Micha Star Liberty, Esq., maintains a law practice in Oakland, specializing in litigating serious injury, civil rights, sexual abuse, and employment matters in both individual and class actions. She also is a certified mediator who performs mediation for the Contra Costa County Superior Court. A frequent lecturer and published author, Ms. Liberty focuses much of her public speaking on trial practice, discovery techniques, the importance of mentoring, and the best practices for opening a law office and law office management. She served on the California State Bar's Board of Governors from 2008–2010, as well as being the Board of Governors representative of the California Young Lawyers Association. She currently serves on numerous other boards of professional associations. Ms. Liberty earned her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

Shanon K. Quinley, Esq., maintains a solo law practice in Pasadena, with an emphasis on family law. She is an active member of the family law sections of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and the State Bar, as well as a member of the Pasadena Bar Association. Ms. Quinley also has been a member of CEB's Family Law Advisory Committee and consulted on the needs of newer attorneys. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and her J.D. from Southwestern University School of Law. She is a contributing author of the following publications: Family Law Financial Discovery (Cal CEB 2008) and California Child and Spousal Support: Establishing, Modifying, and Enforcing (Cal CEB 2010).

Maria Schopp, Esq., maintains a solo law practice in Walnut Creek, handling both family and criminal law matters. Her practice includes mediation and collaborative negotiation, in addition to traditional litigation. She is a past chair of the Family Law Section of the Barristers Club of the Bar Association of San Francisco as well as a former president of the San Francisco Queen's Bench Bar Association. Ms. Schopp was an original contributing author of Dissolution Strategies: From Intake to Judgment (Cal CEB Annual) and has been a member of CEB's Family Law Advisory Committee. She received her J.D. from City University of New York School of Law.

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PRACTICE AREA Civil Litigation & Torts