A Family Law Practice Devoted
to Alternative Dispute Resolution
415-981-9801

About Michael Tobriner Esq.

by Michael Tobriner

Respected Family Law Practitioner

Michael Tobriner has practiced family law in San Francisco for over 30 years. Michael is a Certified Family Law Specialist through the State Bar of California and a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. He is recognized by the family law bench and bar as a leading family law practitioner.

Philosophy of Practice

Michael devotes his practice exclusively to alternative dispute resolution in family law cases, including collaborative practice, mediation, and cooperative negotiation. As a family law collaborative practitioner, mediator, and cooperative negotiator, Michael uses a goals and interests-based approach designed to help parties in identifying and resolving the problems their particular situation presents. He views his role as that of a guide to assist the parties in working out the highest and best outcomes for the family. He treats all parties with respect and asks the parties to respect each other. He has collaborated on, mediated, and cooperatively negotiated complex, high-asset matters as well as cases involving limited resources. He accepts collaborative, mediation, and cooperative negotiation cases throughout the Bay Area. He offers expertise in all areas of family law, including dissolution of marriage, separation, partnership dissolution, community property, child and spousal support, child custody, and premarital, post-nuptial, and cohabitation agreements.

Qualifications and Experience

Collaborative Practice, Mediation, and Cooperative Negotiation

Michael has represented parties as collaborative counsel and in cooperative negotiation cases, and has served as neutral mediator, in numerous family law matters over many years. Michael is one of the original members of Collaborative Practice San Francisco and is the 2011 President of that organization. Michael is also a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. Michael currently serves on the Mediation Committee of the American Academy of  Matrimonial Lawyers and on the Mediation Services Panel of the Bar Association of San Francisco. Michael has received mediation and collaborative practice training with the Center on Mediation and Law, the Northern California Mediation Center, and the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Michael has served as a Settlement Conference Judge in the Family Law Departments of the San Francisco and Marin County Superior Courts and as a Temporary Judge on the family law court calendar in San Francisco.

Family Law Memberships and Organizations

Michael has been a Certified Family Law Specialist, State Bar of California, since 1980 and a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers since 1989. He is a member of Collaborative Practice San Francisco and the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. He is a member of the Family Law Section of the State Bar of California and the Family Law Section of the Bar Association of San Francisco. He is also a member of the Association of Certified Family Law Specialists. He formerly served on the Family Law Advisory Commission of the State Bar of California, as well as on the Property Committee of the Family Law Section of the State Bar of California. He is also a former Vice-Chair of the Family Law Section of the Bar Association of San Francisco.

CLE (Continuing Legal Education) Teaching

  • Presenter and Panelist, Collaborative Practice California Annual Celebration, Confidentiality Panel (2009)
  • Presenter, Collaborative Practice San Francisco, discussion on confidentiality (2008)
  • Panelist, Continuing Education of the Bar, Recent Developments in Family Law (1984-2010)
  • Panelist, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Northern California Symposium (1991, 1993)
  • Lecturer, Hastings College of Law, Recent Developments in Family Law (1996, 1997)

Law School Teaching

  • Adjunct Professor of Law, University of San Francisco School of Law, 1980-1982
    (Courses taught: community property, family law)
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, Hastings College of Law, 1984
    (Course taught: family law)

Awards and Recognition

  • Northern California “Super Lawyer”, San Francisco Magazine, 2006 to present
  • “AV” (Highest) Rating from Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings

Publications

  • Contributing Author, Financial Discovery in Family Law,
    – Published by California Continuing Education of the Bar, 2008
  • Editor, 1990 Supplement to California Marital Dissolution Practice,
    – Published by California Continuing Education of the Bar, 1990
  • Editor, Revisions to California Marital Termination Agreements,
    – Published by California Continuing Education of the Bar, 1989

Education

  • B.A., Stanford University, 1962 (with honors)
  • M.A., Stanford University, 1964 (Political Science)
  • J.D., Harvard Law School, 1965

Personal

  • Michael is a native San Franciscan and continues to live in the City. He and his wife of many years have two grown children.

Other legal, mediation, and collaborative practice organizations maintain websites with more information about Michael individually and about ADR in family law.
For access to those websites, click on the links below.