Private Judging

Private Family Law Judge

An Impartial, Experienced and Professional Alternative to Public Family Law Courts


Traditionally, most divorces have been fought out in the public courts, which is a costly and inefficient process. Perfect strangers waiting for their own cases to be called hear every detail of your divorce. Courts often don’t have the time or resources to hear complex divorce proceedings or to value and divide business and other complicated assets.

Litigants often have to wait weeks or months just to get on a court’s calendar to resolve their disputes. Whether your issues involve complex property division, custody disputes, business valuation, real estate division, child support and alimony (spousal support) calculations, parenting plans, or other disputes relating to separation and divorce, they can be resolved quickly, efficiently, and completely in the context of a private family law court. Time is set aside for you. Sufficient time can be easily allocated to receive all of the evidence you need to present in order to feel you have properly presented the facts to the judge and can have confidence that the ruling was based on the full set of facts and not rushed to fit an artificial time estimate. This is important in high conflict divorces, but also for average cases where people simply want to get their matter decided without spending thousands of dollars wasting time waiting in the public courts. This means that you can save more of your estate for your family and yourselves.

Also, in the public courts, you have no choice as to which judge your case is assigned to. When you choose a private judge, you can research the qualifications and experience of the judge before agreeing to his or her appointment, and be sure that you have selected the best judge for your legal issues and your case. You don’t have to place your family’s life and future in the hands of an unknown judge who happened to be the next in the rotation at the courthouse. You have a choice.

Your judges, M. Sue Talia and Lee C. Pearce, have a collective experience of 40 and 42 years respectively handling complex divorce litigation as both lawyers and private judges and both are Certified Family Law Specialists of the State Bar of California.

Divorce can be difficult. However, litigants who have started out in the public courts and moved their dispute to private judging routinely report the divorce experience was infinitely better in private.