I provide consultations and legal coaching (limited-scope services) to individuals throughout all counties of California in the areas of consumer law, family law, distressed mortgages and Chapter 7 bankruptcy. My legal fees are fixed so there are no surprises. My fees are simply based on the time needed by my clients--no more, no less.
I also assist California-based clients with document-preparation primarily in the areas of family law and estate planning. The difference between my document preparation services and the services provided on the internet--is that the documents are personally reviewed and approved by me, a California licensed attorney. This way, you feel confident that your legal documents are prepared correctly and accurately by a licensed attorney.
- Consumer Law
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- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
- English: Spoken, Written
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- New College of California School of Law
- J.D. / Public Interest Law
- San Diego State University
- Honors: Dean's List
- A+ Certification
- Better Business Bureau--Greater Bay Area
- Award for A+ rating since opening practice.
- California State Bar # 214521
- National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA)
- National Association of Consumer Advocates
- American Association of Justice
- American Bar Association (ABA)
- Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF)
- Solano County Bar Association
- BASF Volunteer Legal Services Program (VLSP)
- BASF Consumer Defense and Advocacy
- Green Office
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- Linda C. Garrett's Website Profile
- Law Office of Linda C. Garrett Website
- California Family Law & Divorce Blog
- What Is a Subpoena and Do I Need One in My California Divorce or My Child or Spousal Support Matter?
6 February 2015
- How to Introduce Texts and Emails to a California Judge in Divorce, Contested Custody and Domestic Violence Cases—and Minimize Conflict Between the Parties
30 January 2015
- The Two White Elephants in Almost Every Child Custody Case
23 January 2015
- Child Custody— California Courts Consideration in Making Custody Awards —Part 7: Existing Restraining Orders
26 April 2013
- Child Custody— California Courts Consideration in Making Custody Awards —Part 6: Crimes of Parents: Parent is a Registered Sex Offender (or Person Convicted of Child Abuse) or Rapist
19 April 2013
- Child Custody— California Courts Consideration in Making Custody Awards —Part 5: A Child’s Preference
12 April 2013
- Child Custody— California Courts Consideration in Making Custody Awards —Part 4: Parent’s Gender
5 April 2013
- Child Custody— California Courts Consideration in Making Custody Awards —Part 3: Contact With Parents and Siblings, and Use of Controlled Substances or Alcohol
29 March 2013
- Child Custody—“Best Interest of the Child” Standard—Part 2: Abuse & Domestic Violence
22 March 2013
- Q. I filed divorce papers about 10 years ago, then never did anything after that-can I use those same papers today?
- A: If you filed 10 years ago, probably not--assuming, of course, that you did as you say, "never did anything after that." Usually, the court's close cases that become stale, such as yours. I recommend you speak with an attorney before filing your paperwork as there are new issues that need to be addressed since 10 years have elapsed. If you can't afford to hire an attorney, know that there are many attorneys that provide limited-scope legal services, such as coaching services.
- Q. If i have already signed a settlement for my divorce is it possible to reopen it for review & changes?
- A: First and foremost, what does the settlement say? That is the starting point; second, how much time has elapsed?, third, were you represented by legal counsel at the time of settlemenet? The reason I am asking questions, instead of answering them is because there are many factors to be considered. Your question cannot yield a simple "yes" or "no" response. The answer solely depends on the unique facts of your case. Many attorneys provide 20-30 free consultations. Recommend you speak with one. Also, if you can't afford legal counsel, many atorneys provide limited-scope coachingn legal services. Good luck.
- Q. Hi I want to change my last name back after divorce ..What form or forms do I need and general cost to file? thanks !!
- A: Depending on how long ago the divorce was finalized, there is a remote change that someone can go back to family court to request the name change. For example, did the original Petition or Answer check the box for a request for name change? If so, then this issue has not been resolved. That would be the quickest and cheapest way to proceed. If the former option is not available, then an individual submit a petition for name change. All forms are available at the Judicial council's website. google "Judicial Council of California." Some attorneys assist with preparing the forms; therefore, consider all your options before taking the next step. Also, many attorneys provide 20-30 minute free consultations. Recommend you speak to an attorney on this issue. He/she may be able to steer you in the right direction before you take the next step.
- Q. A friend wants me to look after his two minor children for several months in California while he works in New Jersey.
- A: A good book for your friend to purchase is Nolo's "Temporary Guardianship for Care of a Minor. (http://www.nolo.com/products/temporary-guardianship-for-care-of-minor-pr....) It addresses issues exactly like the ones listed on your question, vis-a-vis, taking care of your friend's minor children for several months; and, wanting you to home-school them in his absence.
- Q. What does stipulation for judgement regarding parental obligations and judgement mean?
- A: There are "judgments" and "stipulated judgements". A stipulated judment means that the parties, not the court, resolved the issue. The "judgment" part of the phrase, in basic terms, means that the Court approved the agreement you reached with the other parent. When put together, the phrase, as whole means,you and the other parent reached on agreement on the parental obligations and that the court approved the agreement, which the agreement legally binding on the parties.
- Q. If I have custody of my child and father dies, we cannot find will, why do I have to file for guardianship for her?
- A: Noticed this question has not been answered, so thought I would respond if the question is still relevant. First, not sure why you feel you need to file for guardianship of your daughter. Sounds like there might be a few issues going on that you are not identifying in this question. For example, if you lost legal cusody of your child and someone else is your daughter's legal guardianship (which is why you are in probate court), this might be a reason why you would be in front of probate judge, instead of a family-court judge. If you have not resolved your issue, I strongly recommend you speak to attorney. Many attorneys can provide 20-30 free consultations to, at the very least, point you in the right direction. Good luck.
- Q. How do I write an objection to an interrogatory in California Family court
- A: You are asking a loaded question because there are many procedural issues and substantive issues related to discovery. First, and foremost, an objection must be made timely. Timely means 30 days from when the documents were "served." The term "served" is a legal term that means the day the clock starts ticking for the 30 days. When the clock begins to tick depends on when the interrogatories were served on you. For instance, if personally served on you, then you have 30 calender to submit a timely response. However, the deadline dates changes if served by mail, by fed-ex, etc. As to the substance of the objection, you need a legal basis to make an objection that is rational and related to the interrogatory. For example, an interrogatory that states, "Identify any and all dates you have been on since January 1, 2000?" What does that question have to do with child support? Nothing--so some objections would be irrelevant, harrassing, burdensome, invasion of privacy, and so on. But if the question asked, "List all income you have received from April 1, 2011 to April 1, 2012," then that is a different thing--because income is relevant to issues relating to calculation of child support. Unfortunately, there is no way to properly address this question in this question/answer format. Also, by law, California attorneys are not authorized to give legal advice in this format--at best, we can provide you with general principles of the law. I strongly recommend you speak to an attorney who is willing to provid you with legal coaching if you can't afford to hire an attorney to represent you. Discovery is a complex area of family law and if not properly addressed, can cause adverse consequences to your legal case.
- Q. Under FAM 024(b) section 304 Orders for child care costs - do I have to pay half even if I am not needing child care?
- A: First, start with what the current court order says. If there is no court order, then there is no legal duty for someone in your shoes to pay 50%; however, if there is a court order, then there is a legal duty to pay 50%--it cannot be changed unless there is a new court order to replace the terms. If in fact there is a court order, then there is one of two ways to resolve the problem: 1) "Stipulate" between the two of you that you don't have to pay 50% of the child-care and then submit the stipulation to the judge for final approval; or 2) if you can't reach an agreement, file a petition with the court on this particular issue and ask the court to make the change. (Whether you will win or lose on this issue will depend on your particular set of facts). I strongly recommend you speak with an attorney, even if for a consultation or legal coaching, because there are other collateral issues you need to consider before "opening the pandora's box." For example, if you are also paying child support, he could use this opportunity for the court to revisit the issue of child support as well. In other words, understand the pros and cons of raising this issue before you take a step to which you will not be able to stop.
- Q. How do i get guardianship of my grandson when parents are not caring for him properly ie drugs and non attentive
- A: To start, you would file a petition with the court, requesting guardianship of your grandson. There are books you can buy such as the "Guardianship Book for California" (http://www.nolo.com/products/the-guardianship-book-for-california-gb.htm.... I also suggest you speak to an attorney in your area on the subject. Even a 30-minute free consultation can be of tremendous help if you don't know where to start.