Meet Shawn

Why Shawn?

What makes me unique from other family law lawyers is that I have spent the last 34 years dealing with families in crisis. The most recent 22 years as a family lawyer, and the prior 12 years as an intensive care and trauma resuscitation nurse dealing with families in crisis daily. In addition, I am a child of divorce and have been through a divorce myself. This rare background gives me an ability to see all sides of the issues and concerns of those who are going through a divorce, including the children.

When I made the decision to go into law, I thought I would end up in medical malpractice or risk management in a hospital somewhere. But when I opened my first law office in 1995, the first cases that walked through my door were divorce cases. To my surprise, they were similar to my work as a trauma nurse: “Families in crisis, a different kind of crisis.”

In the trauma room and the ICU everyone worked together as a team. The objective was to figure out what was wrong, the options we had for treatment and select the best solution. In addition to healing the patient physically, we also addressed the emotional fallout from the crisis for both the patient and their family. Because of my trauma background, I take the same pragmatic, solution-oriented approach to family law. After years of litigating divorce cases, I learned the best way to resolve family law issues is out of court. That is why I focus my family law services on mediation and collaborative divorce and not litigation.

Shawn’s Approach

First, it’s important you know that I promise to remain personally involved in all aspects of your divorce. I view divorce as an uncomfortable transition, with many moving parts, where you are restructuring your family and your life. To that end, I strive to help you feel more comfortable being uncomfortable, while assisting you in putting the pieces back together.

You can count on me to give honest information in a straightforward manner, so you know exactly where you stand. In working together, you will find that I use common language to assist you in understanding complex issues. This process is important to you and personal to you, my priority is to get back to you in 24 hours. 

Experience Snapshot

  • 22 years as a Divorce Lawyer
  • 16 years as a Mediator in Family Law
  • 12 years as an Intensive Care and Trauma Resuscitation Nurse
  • Trained Collaborative Divorce Practitioner
  • Trained in managing High Conflict Divorces
  • Former Minor’s Counsel Attorney
  • Mediation Trainer to other legal, mental health and family support professionals throughout the US
  • Speaker, Consultant and Trainer on Mediation and Managing High Conflict People


  • J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law, J.D. 1994
  • Nursing from San Diego State University, 1982


  • California Bar #176719
  • Supreme Court of California, 1995 to Present
  • United States District Court, 1995 to Present

Professional Certificates

  • Advanced Mediator, Academy of Professional Family Mediators, 2012


For more details on Shawn’s experience, education and training, you may view her LinkedIn Profile

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