Welcome and thank you for visiting my site…
My name is Emily De Falla. I am an attorney, a mediator, and the owner of De Falla Law. Compassion, communication, and authenticity are as important to my work as are my legal and business skills. I never forget that my work is in service to my clients and I strive to interact with all with respect and empathy.
Family Law, Collaborative Divorce And Mediation
I became an attorney in 1988 and joined a prestigious law firm in San Francisco, where I trained as a litigator. After several years I left to open my firm, practicing general litigation, and soon focused on family law litigation.
Over the years I have handled many contested hearings and trials, including custody, support, and property division. I have seen the toll litigation takes on couples. Fear and anger make it hard for normally reasonable people to compromise. The children are under great stress. Even when one side “wins” both sides come away emotionally damaged.
After handling five very difficult trials in a row, I began to look for alternatives to traditional family law litigation. After a time that led me to mediation and collaborative practice, and I became trained in both. I now bring those principles and skills to all my cases, including those that remain in traditional litigation. I am grateful to have real tools to use to help families reduce the tension and conflict in a divorce or other dispute, allowing them to reach durable agreements with dignity and respect.
As much as I advocate cooperative divorce I know it is not going to be for everyone. I am also a highly experienced litigation attorney when that is what is required. I am known for my ability to settle difficult cases, and to take those that do not settle to trial.
Estate Planning: Wills And Trusts
A few years after I opened my firm, clients began to ask for assistance with their estate planning and I added that to my practice. Part of my personal mission is to help people overcome the obstacles that keep them from getting a plan in place. I believe everyone deserves the peace of mind that comes with knowing your affairs are in order and your intentions for your family will be carried out. I enjoy helping to bring that peace.
Adding to my experience in traditional estate planning, I am also trained in charitable, or tax-exempt planning. I work with families who wish to have a nonprofit or charity be among the beneficiaries of their estate, and wish to structure the gift to maximize the philanthropic, tax and other financial benefits.
Education & Professional Affiliations
I graduated with honors from the University of California Hastings College of the Law, where I served on the law review. I am a member of the State Bar of California and its Family Law and Trusts and Estates Sections, the Contra Costa Bar Association and its Family Law and Trusts and Estates Sections, Collaborative Practice California, Collaborative Practice East Bay, the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, and Alternative Dispute Resolution of Northern California. I also serve on the board of the Long Term Care Ombudsman Service of Contra Costa County and am a member of the Tri-Valley Estate Planning Council.
In addition to practicing law, I also consult with nonprofits and small businesses helping them become more effective by improving their planning and development processes.