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It is always preferable to resolve issues relating to a marital dissolution by mutual agreement and our attorneys at Berra Stross Wallacker & Mass have substantial experience in all forms of dispute resolution. In some cases, however, it is necessary to seek a judicial determination of unresolved disputes. We are experienced advocates on behalf of you, our clients, in hearings and trials in San Mateo, San Francisco and Santa Clara counties, and before private judges throughout the Bay Area. Our focus is on productively utilizing the litigation process to achieve your desired goals in a dignified and cost effective manner.
All of our attorneys at Berra Stross & Wallacker are frequently consulted by clients seeking family law related advice, either because they are contemplating moving forward on a family law related matter (such as a dissolution or prenuptial agreement) or because they would like a second opinion on a family law related matter that is already underway.
In addition, we have substantial experience guiding our clients through the mediation process by working as reviewing attorneys.
Often, parties prefer to keep their family law matter out of the glare of the public courthouse, opting instead to retain a private judge to preside over their case. Richard C. Berra is one of the most experienced and sought- after family law private judges in the Bay Area. Parties seeking an experienced, responsive, settlement-oriented judicial officer frequently appoint him to preside over their family law case.
Mediation is a voluntary Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) process. It is client-centered and has at its core a goal of identifying respective interests, facilitating communication, and working cooperatively towards a mutually satisfying resolution. In mediation, we may suggest bringing in neutral experts to assist in resolving complex financial and/or child-related matters. You and your spouse will meet with one of our experienced mediators whose role is to assist you in negotiating a settlement. Both Richard C. Berra and Gretchen M. Wallacker are experienced mediators. As mediators we do not advocate for either of you; rather, we will work with you and your spouse to educate and help you identify your interests and work with you both to reach a mutually beneficial resolution. We will encourage and may require you both to consult with independent attorneys to assist us in reaching a final settlement.
Collaborative Practice is also a voluntary Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) process. Like Mediation, Collaborative Practice is also client-centered with the goal of identifying respective interests, facilitating communication, and working cooperatively towards a mutually satisfying resolution. In a Collaborative Practice case, you and your spouse each will have an attorney, skilled and trained in the collaborative practice, and we will work with you side-by-side through-out the Collaborative Process. Gretchen M. Wallacker is an experienced collaborative practice attorney. Together with your coaches and neutral financial expert, we will hold a series of meetings to gather information, explore alternatives and reach a resolution that is tailored to meet the needs of your family.