Dennis Seymour, Founder

Dennis Seymour, Founder

This year marks my twenty‑ninth wedding anniversary to Peggy Ann Russell, who is also my paralegal.  We are blessed with two adult children, both graduates of Coronado High School.  Our son serves our country in the United States Army.  Our daughter is a fine artist and a graduate of the Chicago Art Institute.  We live in San Diego.

I attended Stanford University (1973‑4) and transferred to the University of California, Berkeley (B.A. English 1977, B.S. Biology of Natural Resources 1978).  I attended law school at the University of California, Berkeley [Boalt Hall] and Harvard Law School during my third year as part of a still‑continuing annual exchange of five students from each school.  I earned a Juris Doctor (J.D.) in 1984.  While at Harvard, I took my first courses in mediation.  I have encouraged and practiced mediation throughout my career.  In 2002, I earned a Masters of Law in Taxation at the University of San Diego.  I continued mediation training at the National Conflict Resolution Center.  My areas of expertise include complex family law settlement and mediation cases.

Between undergraduate and law school studies, I taught junior high school students in Fairbanks, Alaska, and on the Winnebago Indian Reservation in Nebraska.  After graduation from law school, I worked for three years on the Navajo Indian Reservation as a staff and managing attorney of D.N.A. People's Legal Services, Inc., in Window Rock, Arizona.  D.N.A. is the largest federally funded Indian Legal Services program in the country and serves the Navajo and Hopi nations out of several offices located in Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico.

From 1987 until 1993, I worked in law firms in downtown San Diego.  For five years I drafted appellate briefs, summary judgment motions, sundry motions and pleadings, and "second‑chaired" trials.  On April 1, 1993, I opened my own practice.  I became a Certified Specialist in Family Law in 1998 (CFLS).

Some of my professional accomplishments include:   My very first case after law school involved the dissolution of a long‑term marriage in the Navajo Nation court.  Husband had worked his entire career for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, but the Office of Personnel Management would not recognize an Indian court decree dividing Husband's Civil Service pension.  I pointed out the problem to various tribal lobbyists, who immediately arranged to have Congress amend 5 U.S.C. §8345(j)(3)(A) to include "any Indian court" in the definition of "court."

I enjoy appellate work and have three published cases: Dupont v. Dupont (2001) 88 Cal.App.4th 192, which the California legislature overturned in enacting Family Code section 155;  Deborah M. v. Superior Court (2005) 128 Cal. App. 4th 1181, which held that Family Code section 3041.5 currently authorizes only urine testing, not hair follicle or other methods of drug testing; and Loefler v. Medina (2009) 174 Cal.App.4th 1495, which held that a restrained party seeking to terminate a domestic violence restraining order must prove by a preponderance of evidence that termination of the restraining order is justified.

I participate in professional organizations, including the Thomas More Society; the Board of Directors of the Lawyer Referral and Information Service; mentoring new attorneys interested in Family Law; the Irish-American Bar Association; the University of California, Berkeley, Alumni Association, and Business Network International (BNI).

My interests include: backpacking and other outdoor pursuits with the Sierra Club, stand-up paddle boarding, a consistent Bikram (hot) yoga practice, and other fitness pursuits including swimming and weightlifting.  I enjoy practicing guitar, serious reading, and occasional travel (especially to Ireland). Peggy and I are parishioners at Mission San Diego de Alcala.  Beside being a certified paralegal, Peggy is a Registered Nurse and enjoys a wide variety of activities. We value being active in our work and community.

I offer my services with integrity, dedication, and compassion.  

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