San Mateo Litigation Attorneys

“Any successful litigator is already busy enough without taking your case to trial. Taking a case to trial is a big deal. The prep work can take months, even years in extreme cases. And once you’re in court, it’s stressful and not for everyone. For a litigator, it fires them up. I find litigation challenging, stimulating, exciting, and competitive. And I like to win.”

Amy Laughlin

When is litigation the best way to resolve your dispute?

Though Laughlin Legal’s attorneys are skilled at all three primary approaches to resolving a dispute, we try for a resolution outside of the court system first, using a cooperative approach, either Mediation or Collaborative Law. 

Very often, however, a couple cannot resolve their dispute cooperatively. Emotions run high and positions are firmly entrenched. Under those circumstances, litigation is the best approach. Each partner retains a litigation attorney to advise and represent them, and the attorneys attempt to negotiate a settlement agreement. If they cannot, they turn to a judge to resolve the dispute for them in court. 

Private judging – a brilliant alternative to public court.

The post-pandemic backlog of court cases waiting their turn to be heard has made it even more challenging to resolve disputes quickly and efficiently. An alternative is hiring a private judge to hear your case. Both parties agree to retain a neutral person as a private judge, often a former judge, who’s available to hear your case promptly. Speed of resolution is an advantage to private judging, and yet another is the ability to choose a judge with expertise in the practice area of the dispute. 

Choose a firm with litigation expertise.

Our litigation lawyers are uncommonly skilled in every aspect of divorce, custody, support, and asset division cases. Skilled at deeply understanding their client as well as who they are opposing, skilled and trained at negotiating, skilled at assessing complex financial instruments, and skilled at finding creative resolutions. We’re proud of the many great successes we’ve had in court particularly in complex divorce, child custody, and asset division cases.


is a strategy that provides the couple with a neutral third-party mediator to help them resolve issues and reach a final settlement agreement. It is typically faster and less expensive than litigation provided both couples are willing to negotiate and compromise. Laughlin Legal has multiple certified mediators providing divorce mediation services to our clients.

is where each partner hires a collaborative lawyer to represent them, help them resolve their issues, and reach a final settlement agreement. Both partners and both lawyers sign an agreement to authentically pursue a collaborative resolution and not pursue litigation during the collaborative process. It’s typically faster and less expensive than litigation.

Case Story

A Child Custody Client In Their Own Words

“My ex was an abusive alcoholic and I knew my divorce would be hard in the climate of the Bay Area. It’s a boys club, and it’s hard to be the woman who presumably is not the future big money earner. He hired 5 law firms. It was Amy and Caitlin against 5 law firms. I was so afraid because I had been programmed that he would destroy me if I left him and he tried hard to make good on that promise. But I had someone on my side who said, ‘I’m not afraid of this guy. I’ve seen guys like this.’

Caitlin is smart as a whip, steel trap memory, one of the most meticulous, type A, organized people. Incredible writer, beautiful briefs, just could not be more competent and capable. Stands by the facts in the face of the storm and looks totally unruffled. She walked me through many terrifying moments.

Amy was the person who got on zoom in front of the judge with lawyers screaming at her and she stood her ground. This was not one of those cases where you can see both people are basically good people. My ex went after Amy so hard and so personally. Not many people will stand up to highly intimidating, highly dysfunctional mega hi-worth individuals with all their connections. Amy will. She’s like this skinny kid on the playground, surrounded by bullies, and she takes off her earrings and she’s like, Let’s go!

It’s the most terrifying thing you’ll ever have to do is to confront your abuser. He had people watching my house, my kids in my house, it was the worst time of my life. We had to put shower curtains over the windows. I was so saturated in fear and trauma. And Amy and Caitlin stopped it. They’re like freedom fighters. They gave me the freedom to heal. I had such severe ptsd, developed a heart condition. Your body can’t handle that amount of stress. I never thought I’d have a life.

Amy stood up, she fought and she won. She negotiated nothing short of a miracle and the ability for me to move away. I moved my kids away from a toxic environment. They went from failing school to all As and Bs. They saved my kids. And Amy said, All I want is a Christmas card from you with the kids all smiling.”


Next Step

Book a consultation with a lawyer you can trust.

How we can help?

If you need an experienced and accomplished litigator with a reputation for superior expertise in Silicon Valley or the San Francisco Bay Area, let’s talk. Call us at 650.343.3486 or email us here.

Let’s get started.

The FOREFRONT A divorce & family law blog

Think About It: Is It Really So Strange To Have A Transactional Real Estate Lawyer At A Family Law Firm? We find it

You’re in luck because you’re in California, a community property state. And that makes the division of assets simple in that everything acquired

Amy Laughlin, a divorce and child custody lawyer in San Mateo, knows better than most what’s at stake for the children of divorcing parents.