Top Attorneys 2013


John C. Demas

University of San Diego School of Business Adminstration

Julie Greenberg

Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Marybeth Herald

Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Lilys D. McCoy

Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Frank Partnoy

University of San Diego School of Law

Julie Caron Remer

University of San Diego School of Law

Niels B. Schaumann

California Western School of Law

Steven Semeraro

Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Dana K. Sisitsky

California Western School of Law

Stacey L. Tyree

University of San Diego School of Law & Montage Legal Group

Corporate Litigation

Kevin W. Alexander

Gordon & Rees LLP

Guillermo “Gil” Cabrera

The Cabrera Firm APC

Steven T. Coopersmith

The Coopersmith Law Firm

Kenneth Fitzgerald

Chapin Fitzgerald LLP

Valerie Garcia Hong

Pettit Kohn Ingrassia & Lutz PC

William E. Grauer

Cooley LLP

James R. Lance

Kirby Noonan Lance & Hoge LLP

Lynne Lasry

Sandler Lasry Laube Byer & Valdez LLP

Craig M. Nicholas

Nicholas & Butler LLP

Paul A. Tyrell

Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP

Corporate Transactional

Michael J. Brown

Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth

William Eigner

Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP

Christian Peter Fonss

Klinedinst PC

Jeremy David Glaser

Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.

Mike Hird

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

Marty B. Lorenzo

Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo P.C.

Michael S. Umansky

Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP


Kerry L. Armstrong

Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC

Jose Garza Badillo

Law Office of Jose Garza Badillo

Stephen Gary Cline

Law Offices of Stephen G. Cline; Ameriant Law Group LLP

Marc Bruce Geller

Marc B. Geller, A Professional Corporation

Christian M. Ham

Law Offices of Christian M. Ham

Michael C. Harkness

Michael C. Harkness APLC

Stacey A. Kartchner

The Law Office of Stacey A. Kartchner

Paul H. Neuharth Jr.

Law Offices of Paul H. Neuharth Jr., APC

Paul Joseph Pfingst

Higgs Fletcher & Mack LLP

Charles Sevilla

Law Office of Charles Sevilla


Garrison Raymond Armstrong

Garrison Armstrong Law Corp.

Judy S. Bae

Miller, Monson, Peshel, Polacek & Hoshaw

Richard Carpenter

Richard Carpenter Tax Law Office

Nancy G. Henderson

Henderson, Caverly, Pum & Charney

Danielle C. Humphries

Hahn, Loeser & Parks LLP

Jerilyn Jones

Brierton, Jones & Jones LLP

Shannon N. Montisano

Hughes & Pizzuto APC

Karl Andrew Rand

Higgs Fletcher & Mack LLP

Ellen H. Whelan

DLA Piper


Michele Brown

Law Offices of Beatrice L. Snider APC

Scott Finkbeiner

Wilkinson & Finkbeiner LLP

Traci A. Hoppes

Law & Mediation Offices of Garrison Klueck

David M. Huffman

Huffman & Kostas

Andrew P. Johnson

Andrew P. Johnson APC

Meredith Gilbert Lewis

Lewis, Warren & Setzer LLP

Erik S. Moore

Moore, Schulman & Moore APC

Sara R. Neumann

Yelman & Associates

James M. Ratzer

Ratzer Family Law

Puja A. Sachdev

Sachdev Legal Group APC


Fausta Maria Albi

Larrabee Albi Coker LLP

Veronica Barba

Lucas & Barba LLP

Leah W. Hurwitz

Hurwitz Holt APLC

Ginger E. Jacobs

Jacobs & Schlesinger LLP

Sharon Mehlman

Mehlman Barnes LLP

Brandon Meyer

Meyer Law Group

Andrew Kenneth Nietor

Law Office of Andrew Nietor

Ruth Ellen Spillane

Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy LLP

William “Bill” Waddell

Kraus Law Corporation

Sandra M. Wagner

Law Offices of Sandra M. Wagner


Dorn G. Bishop

The Law Offices of Dorn G. Bishop APC

Robert Vail Closson

Hirsch, Closson, McMillan & Schroeder APLC

Andrew Dunk

Dunk & Associates

Charles L. Fanning IV

Oliva & Associates ALC

Cecilia O'Connell Miller

Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP

Craig A. Miller

Law Offices of Craig A. Miller

Marilyn Ruth Moriarty

Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith

Dominic S. Nesbitt

Osborne & Nesbitt LLP

Joseph Louis Oliva

Oliva & Associates ALC

Douglas A. Pettit

Pettit Kohn Ingrassia & Lutz

Brook B. Roberts

Latham & Watkins

Intellectual Property Litigation

Matthew Cook Bernstein

Perkins Coie LLP

Juanita Brooks

Fish & Richardson PC

William J. Caldarelli

Caldarelli Hejmanowski Page & Leer LLP

Kenneth Fitzgerald

Chapin Fitzgerald LLP

Allison Hughes Goddard

Patterson Law Group, APC

Randall Kay

Jones Day

Thomas Millikan

Gartman Law Group

Anthony Stiegler

Cooley LLP

Kent M. Walker

Lewis Kohn & Fitzwilliam LLP

David K. Wiggins

HTC America, Inc.

Intellectual Property Transactional

Bing Ai

Perkins Coie LLP

G. Peter Albert Jr.

AlbertDhand LLP

Susan Wilkie Gorman

Gorman IP Law APC

David M. Kohn

Lewis Kohn & Fitzwilliam LLP

Carl A. Kukkonen, III

Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo PC

Joshua J. Richman

IP Legal Advisors PC

Daniel J. Schatz

Rovi Corporation

Andrew Serwin

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Beni Surpin

Paul Hastings LLP

Labor & Employment

Jennifer Sarkozy Branch

Andrews Lagasse Branch & Bell LLP

Matthew B. Butler

Nicholas & Butler LLP

Dave Carothers

Carothers DiSante & Freudenberger LLP

Christopher B. Cato

Gordon & Rees LLP

Regina Petty

Fisher & Phillips LLP

Kristin E. Rizzo

Rizzo Law Firm

Spencer Skeen

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart PC

Cynthia Lee Stratton

Stratton & Green ALC

Leonid “Lonny” M. Zilberman

Wilson Turner Kosmo LLP

Municipal & Government

Sandra Jean Brower

Higgs Fletcher & Mack LLP

Charles B. Christensen

Christensen & Spath LLP

Mark Caesar T. Cumba

California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General

Lea Fields-Bernard

City of San Diego

Erika Hiramatsu

Office of the Attorney General, State of California

Michelle Ialeggio

San Diego District Attorney

Kevin G. Kennedy

Office of County Counsel

Phillip James Lindsay

California Attorney General’s Office

Melanie Petersen

Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost

Walter F. Spath III

Christensen & Spath LLP

Personal Injury

James Matthew Brown

Law Office of James Matthew Brown, APLC

Ben J. Coughlan

Gomez Iagmin Trial Attorneys

Robert J. Francavilla

Casey, Gerry, Schenk, Francavilla, Blatt & Penfield, LLP

Ian C. Fusselman

Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire

John H. Gomez

Gomez Trial Attorneys

Robert Hamparyan

Law Offices of Robert Hamparyan

Patrick L. Hosey

Hosey & Bahrambeygui LLP

George R. Kindley

Law Offices of George R. Kindley

Jeremiah A. Lowe

Gomez Iagmin Trial Attorneys

Christopher C. Walton

Walton Law APC

Jake A. Walton

The Jake A. Walton Law Firm

Real Estate & Construction Litigation

Kimberly A. Blake

Gordon & Rees LLP

Mark G. Budwig

McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP

Dana J. Dunwoody

Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton

P. Randolph "Randy" Finch Jr.

Finch, Thornton & Baird LLP

Jack R. Leer

Caldarelli Hejmanowski & Page LLP

Will Lemkul

Morris, Sullivan & Lemkul LLP

William H. Naumann

The Naumann Law Firm PC

Danielle G. Nelson

Balestreri Potocki & Holmes, ALC

JP Roach

Hughes Marino

Jason R. Thornton

Marks, Finch, Thornton & Baird, LLP

Real Estate & Construction Transactional

David Bagley

Hecht Solberg Robinson Goldberg & Bagley LLP

Jeffrey Baird

Marks, Finch, Thornton & Baird LLP

Robert Caplan

Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek

Randal J. Lejuwaan

McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP

Robin Munro Madaffer

San Diego Land Lawyers Inc.

Julie Mebane

Duane Morris LLP

JP Roach

Hughes Marino

Brian T. Seltzer

Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek

Bruce P. Shepherd

Latham & Watkins LLP

Kenneth J. Stipanov

McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP

2013 Winner

Michele Brown

Law Offices of Beatrice L. Snider APC


Law School/Year: University of San Diego School of Law, 1994

College/Year: University of California, Riverside, 1989; Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia, 1988; British Universities North American Exchange Student, London, England, 1987


Bar Admissions

California; Federal District Court, Southern District; Board of Legal Specialization, Family Law

Practice Areas

Family & Domestic Relations   

Major Cases 

I practice exclusively in the area of family law. I represent clients in dissolution of marriage actions, paternity and support cases, custody and relocation cases, pre and post-nuptial agreements and set aside cases. Encompassed in my practice are cases involving the valuation of a closely held business, child and/or spousal support, separate property tracing, and child custody issues. Although resolving cases amicably is my goal in every case, as a trial attorney, I embrace taking cases to trial where settlement or mediation is not an option.

Professional Background

I spent four years in Sacramento handling family law and civil litigation cases. I chose to specialize in family law and have practiced exclusively in family law since returning to San Diego in 2000. As an adviser to the Family Law Section of the State Bar of California (FLEXCOM) and a member of the Association of Certified Family Law Specialists (ACFLS) Legislative Advisory Board and Association of Family and Conciliation Courts-CA Chapter (AFCC-CA) Legislative Committee, I analyze family law bills, assist in drafting bills that are enacted into law and testify before the State Legislature. Prior to becoming a lawyer, I worked as a private investigator, journalist and legislative analyst. 


Professional Affiliations

  • Judge Pro Tem for the San Diego County Superior Court:  Family Law Settlement Judge (2002-present);  Small Claims Court Judge (2010-present)

  • Mediation Panel, Certified Family Law Specialists (2009-present)

  • Executive Committee, State Bar of California, Family Law Section (FLEXCOM) (2007-present): Advisor; Member; Affirmative Legislation; Developing Legislation; Awards Committee; Elkins Task Force Working Group; Liaison to San Diego Regional Standing Committee

  • Board of Directors, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts — CA Chapter (AFCC) (2010-present): Board Member; Membership Committee; Legislation Committee; 2012 Conference Committee

  • Association of Certified Family Law Specialists (2011- present): Member, Legislative Advisory Committee

  • San Diego Regional Standing Committee, State Bar of California, Family Law Section (2006-present): Co-Chair; Member; Elkins Task Force Working Group Subcommittee

  • Executive Committee, San Diego County Certified Family Law Specialists (2007-present): Member; Legislation Committee; Rules Committee; Business Valuations Working Group in light of Elkins; Publicity Committee; Newsletter Committee (Trials and Tribulations); Education Committee; Chair, 2009 Winter Seminar; Co-Chair, 2009 Summer Seminar and 2007 Spring Seminar

  • San Diego Family Law Action Committee (2009-2010): Elkins Working Group

  • Conference of Delegates, San Diego (2005-2006; 2013): Family Law Floor Leader; Delegation member; Author, Family Law Resolutions; Co-Author of AB 251

  • Executive Board, El Dorado County Bar Association (1999-2000): Member, Secretary, Newsletter Editor

  • Contributing Author on Senate/Assembly Bills:  AB 251 (Gov. C. 69957 – electronic reporting in family law);  AB 161 (Fam. C. 6325.5); AB 522 (CCP 583.161); SB 1482 (Fam. C. 4326); AB 1679 (Fam. C. 7643); AB 459 (Fam.C. 2104-2107); Assembly Omnibus (Fam.C. 7643); SB 1255 (Support arrears); SB 1615 (Pre-Marital Agmts)

  • Testify on Family Law legislation before the California State Legislature Senate Judiciary and Assembly Judiciary Committees (2007-present)

Personal Affiliations 

I have served on the Board of Directors and several committees for the North Park Community Association, the North Park Parking Management Working Group and the North Park Toyland Parade Committee for years. I have worked as a volunteer attorney for the County, State and Nationwide Legal Task Force, was appointed as a lawyer during the 2004 and 2008 presidential elections.  I am involved in St. Patrick’s Catholic Church and a supporter of the Disabled American Veterans and the Alzheimer’s Association.

Personal Background 

Success is measured by ones honesty, hard work, devotion, love and compassion. I have been blessed in life to be surrounded by loving and supportive family, friends and colleagues, who have given me love, confidence and taught me life balance.  My mother is truly an angel on earth and my source of inspiration. My dearest friend and colleague, Naghmeh Bashar, has given me strength and perseverance; and my husband, Sid Graser, is my eternal light of love. I am thankful for every person who has touched my life, personally and professionally.

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Video Interviews

Top Attorneys 2013: Lonny Zilberman

Aug. 14, 2013 -- Reporter Doug Sherwin talks with attorney Lonny Zilberman, a partner with Wilson Turner Kosmo LLP and a 2013 Top Attorney, about sexual harassment lawsuits and the nuances of these types of cases.