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About me

In the years I have been practicing in addition to appearing in the Superior Court of the State of California for the counties of San Diego, Imperial, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura and San Francisco, I have tried/argued cases in the California Court of Appeals for the 4th District, Federal Courts, the Supreme Court of Hawaii and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. My extensive experience in the courts of various jurisdiction has given me a perspective beyond that of many Family Law Attorneys who restrict their practice to San Diego County.


I deeply regret having been sanctioned by the State Bar of California and since that time have endeavored to represent my client to the highest degree of professionalism.  I have been recognized by the State Bar of California for providing low cost legal services and by the San Diego County Bar Association for my services as a judge pro tempore, sitting for settlement conferences.  Over the past twelve years I have lectured on numerous occasions for Continuing Legal Education classes and my topics usually include a session of Legal Ethics.


I have extensive experience dealing with difficult opposing parties and opposing counsel.  While I have no fear of going to trial, when it is in the best interests of my clients to settle rather than litigate I recommend that route rather than incurring unnecessary attorney fees and costs.


Practice areas


  1. Divorce: 20%
    40 years
  2. Domestic Violence: 20%
    40 years
  3. Alimony: 20%
    40 years
  4. Child Support: 20%
    40 years
  5. Child Custody: 20%
    40 years



Hourly ($325/hour)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

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Contact info

1744 6th Ave
San Diego, CA, 92101



Professional misconduct

This lawyer was disciplined by a state licensing authority.

  1. Discipline, Probation; no Actual Suspension
    issued in CA, 1985


    This sanction means the attorney had a suspension placed on hold (and ultimately removed) by complying with certain requirements.

Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Settlement JudgeSan Diego Superior Court2001
Low cost legal service through Victim Support ServicesState Bar of California1978
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Attorney at LawJoseph Russo Attorney at Law1976 - 2015
Association namePosition nameDuration
EAA, Chapter 14President2014 - Present
UNICO NationalSan Diego Chapter Board2000 - Present
San Diego Junior TheatreBoard of Directors1988 - 2005
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Marriage of XXXXXFather received less time than Mother offered as a settlement
Marriage of YYYYAction for domestic violence dismissed, court awarded joint legal and physical custody of the minor child of the parties
Doe v. RoeBoth cases dismissed with prejudice
See all legal cases 
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of San Diego School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1975
Loyola Marymount UniversityPolitical ScienceBA - Bachelor of Arts1972
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Solutions to the Most Common ChallengesLegal Ethics2013
Legal Ethics: Solutions to the Most Common ClallengesAdvanced Family Law2010
A Roadmap through Divorce ProceedingsChild Custody, Visitation and Support2008
Minimizing The Tax Consequences of Divcorce In CaliforniaTaxation of Spousal Support, Child Support and Family Support; Issues in Property Settlements; Ethical Considerations2006
Handling California Cases From Start To FinishObtaining the Best Settlement For Your Client In California2005
Handling California Divorce Cases From Start To FinishInitial Interviews, Overview, Control and Focus; Custody-Fantasy and Realism, Ethics of Divorce Practice2004
Exploring Essential Issues in Domestic Law for California ParalegalGuidelines for Handling Support Issues in Divorce Proceedings2003
Domestic Law in CaliforniaSpousal Support, Ethics, Child Support2002
Family Law SeminarEthics and Family Law, Child Support & Spousal Support2000