Emily De Falla

About Emily M. De Falla

Supporting You in Dispute Resolution

I believe that families do not belong in court. That is why I have chosen to work to help couples resolve disputes peacefully, with respect and dignity.

I became an attorney in 1988, joined a prestigious law firm in San Francisco, and I trained as a litigator. After several years I left to open my firm, practicing 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 a number of difficult trials in a row, I began to look for alternatives to traditional family law litigation. My quest led me to mediation and collaborative practice, and I became trained in both. I am grateful to have real tools to use to help families reduce the tension and conflict of a divorce, allowing them to reach durable agreements outside of the court system using a structured alternative dispute resolution process.

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.

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Education & Professional Affiliations

University of California Hastings College of the Law (Honors) 1988

Professional Associations:

The State Bar of California
California Lawyers Association
Trusts and Estates Section
Family Law Section
Contra Costa Bar Association
Trusts and Estates Section
Family Law Section
Solo and Small Firm Section
Academy of Professional Family Mediators
Association for Alternative Dispute Resolution of Northern California
Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
California Assn. of Marriage and Family Therapists (Associate Member)
California Dispute Resolution Council
Collaborative Practice California (Board Member)
Collaborative Practice East Bay
International Academy of Collaborative Professionals
Long Term Care Ombudsman Services of Contra Costa and Solano Counties (Board Chair)
Trusts and Estates Committee of Collaborative Practice Silicon Valley.

“Emily intuitively knew the challenges that I was up against right from the start including the balancing act of trying to run my own business, responding to the never ending requests for paperwork from opposing counsel and keeping my emotional state in check. Her overall understanding of the process and keeping me apprised of what to expect during each step gave me a sense of security in a world I knew nothing about. Emily’s professionalism was unmatched and together with her compassion and caring spirit gave me the comfort level that I needed during this incredibly stressful time.”
–P.B., Danville