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David Thomas Pisarra

About me

My Father's Day column in the SANTA MONICA DAILY PRESS, it explains a lot of who I am.


I never really knew my father. Well, let me be clearer. I know who he
was, he lived with me until I was 12, and then I lived with him on
summer vacations and such. I have memories of going fishing once or
twice with him. I recall fighting with him as a teenager, and the
weekend before he died we had a great conversation, but I was 19 and in
Boston for the summer.

My father was a World War 2 vet, but the way he told it, he was on an
island in the pacific resupplying ships and it was a blast. He went to
college on the GI bill and was salesman. He sold printing presses, then
life insurance, and then funeral plans.

He was the 13th child born and the 11th child to live in his family.
He was the baby who was raised by his sisters. Which partly explains his
life skills, or lack thereof. Alcoholism took a hold of him fiercely,
and it effected my family dramatically.

I am the baby in my family. I was the third son born, my parents were
in their mid 40’s and by the time I came along, alcoholism was in full
bloom and its effects were being felt throughout the family. My parents
fought bitterly and viciously. My brothers, who were 16 and 14 years
older than me, had more fully seen the terrors that I felt the
repercussions of as a child.

So when my parents finally divorced, it brought peace to the
household, but there was a cost. My father became sober soon afterwards,
but I was a pre-teen, and parenting a pre-teen from afar is nigh on
impossible. The job fell to my older brother Chris.

He was an island of calm, mostly, in a household of alcoholism and
. For even though my parents had divorced, the long term negative
effects of their marriage remained. My mother was struggling to make it
financially, and battling with the bottle herself. My brother Chris
took up the responsibility for being a father figure in my life and
though he did a great job, and I love and respect him for it, he was
only 28, and he had my father as his father. He was denied a good father
just as much as I was, probably more.

When I look at my father’s life, I see the pattern of my life. I see
how he was raised by his siblings, I see the lack of strong male figures
to teach the hard lessons in life.

It is perhaps one of the reasons why I am attracted to the work I do.

As much as a mother can nurture a child, she cannot teach a boy how
to be a man. Young boys need their mothers, but the more I think about
it, and the more I learn about the way men develop, I believe it is the
men who teach boys how to be men.

In the ancient Grecian state of Sparta, boys were raised by their
mothers until they were 7 when there were sent to be raised by men. The
understanding of boys and men, the ways in which we think and act,
versus the manner in which we should act, these are lessons that need to
be taught by men because we speak a common language.

Only another man intuitively understands my impulses towards anger,
aggression, and sex
. Only older, wiser men have been able to show me a
better way of dealing with those topics.

Fathers, and father figures, are vitally important to the upbringing
of boys.
It is a crime in our country that so many men are sidelined by
the courts, and their exs, when it comes to the raising of the children.
It is the future men who are being denied vital life lessons, and it
is our society that will pay the price.

The conventional wisdom that the mother is the better parent in all
things is as absurd
as hiring a plumber to fix a soufflé. Mothers are
vitally important at certain times, just as fathers are vitally
important at others, to idolize one, and ignore the other is
philosophically imbalanced and illogical.

This Father’s Day I’d like to see an awareness of the important role
that men play
in raising boys, who in turn become fathers. Father's Day
is a day honoring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds,
and the influence of fathers in society, but to do that, we first have
to really understand what they do. It’s about more than just paying
child support and every other weekend.

At least, it should be.


Photos and videos

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Practice areas


  1. Child Custody: 30%
    18 years
  2. Divorce: 30%
    18 years
  3. Child Abuse: 20%
    18 years
  4. Child Support: 20%
    18 years



Hourly ($250-450/hour), Fixed (sometimes), Retainer (always)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

14 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

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    I have had the good fortune of working with David on multiple projects and am continuously impressed by his intellectual agility and ability to interact with clients and attorneys alike. David provides excellent representation to each and every client and I would not hesitate to recommend him to anyone seeking an attorney for their family law matters.


    Rose Kesten Family Attorney
    Relationship: Co-worker

  • No photo

    I have had the pleasure of consulting with David Pisarra on several family law matters, and have referred him a number of cases. I am a litigator and not a family law specialist, but when issues overlap David is my go-to guy for reliable information and good counsel. On those occasions I have referred clients to David, the feedback has been uniformly positive. Finding someone who takes a special interest in father's rights is an added bonus, but I would not hesitate to recommend David to anyone in need of assistance on Family Law related issues.


    Robert Moest Litigation Attorney
    Relationship: Worked together on matter


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Cosmetic Product Licensing ManagerHerbalife International1995 - 1997
Association namePosition nameDuration
San Fernando Valley Bar AssociationMember2010 - Present
Los Angeles County Bar AssociationRegional Standing Committee2010 - Present
Beverly Hills Bar Association, Family Law SectionMember2004 - Present
Los Angeles County Bar Association, Family Law SectionOfficer1999 - Present
Santa Monica Bar Association, Family Law SectionVolunteer Panel Arbitration1999 - Present
California Men's GatheringPlanning Committee Member1999 - Present
Beverly Hills Bar Association, Family Law SectionMember1998 - Present
State Bar of California, Family Law SectionMember1998 - Present
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Lying ex-wife loses her AlimonyWin- Saved my client $140,000 in Alimony
Dad won Custody of his daughtersWin for Father's Rights
Big Daddy wins in court over Psycho MamaFather Wins!
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
Valley Lawyer magazine (SFVBA)Domestic Violence Allegations - Protecting Your Clients Rights2013
Family Lawyer MagazineFeathers and Fur can grow your practice2012
GoodMenProjectA Guy's Divorce Survival Guide2011
SuddenBachelor.comGuest Post: GUILTY BY REASON OF ANATOMY: The Negligent Parent Myth2011
EzineArticles.comHow NOT to pay child support2011
EzineArticlesWhat is the International Parental Kidnapping Act?2011
InternationalChildCustody.comChild Abductions and Wrongful Withholding2011
InternationalChildCustody.comWhat is Home State Jurisdiction?2011
Libero MediaA Man's Guide To Divorce Strategy2010
Libero MediaA Man's Guide To Child Custody2010
Libero MediaA Man's Guide To Domestic Violence2010
Human Resource Executives OnlineFathers in the Workplace2010
SingleDad.comThe Easy Retirement Plan - One Decade Can Equal a Lifetime of Alimony2010
SingleDad.comOverhaul of Child Support Needed for Low-Income Fathers2010
Ezinearticles.comWhat kind of Lawyer Do You Need?2010
EzineArticles.comParental Alienation Memoir Review2010
EzineArticles.comHelp for Fathers Fighting Parental Alienation2010
SingleDad.comParenting Plans - The Roadmap to Dealing with Your Ex2009
SingleDad.comThe Three Ps of Child Custodhy2009
Divorce360.comThe Men's Rooom - Pay It Again Sam2009
Santa Monica Daily PressWhat's The Point?2008
Divorce360.comThe Biggest Mistake Men Make2008
Divorce360.comThe Men's Room - The Career Trap and Divorce2008
Divorce360.comThe Men's Room - The Abuse Charge2008
Divorce360.comThe Men's Room - Not Letting You See The Kids2008
Divorce360.comDoes Dead Broke = Deadbeat?2008
Divorce360.comCourts Don't Really Care How Ex-Spouses Spend Child Support2008
Divorce360.comThe Men's Room - Fake Restraining Orders2007
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
National Institute For Trial AdvocacyN/AFamily Law Trial Advocacy2011
University of West Los Angeles School of Law - West Los AngelesLawJD - Juris Doctor1998
St. John's CollegeN/ABA - Bachelor of Arts1995
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Webinar - A Man's Guide To Child CustodyChild Custody2014
Webinar - What is International Child Custody - A Patchwork of LawsInternational Child Custody2013
Webinar - A Man's Guide To Family LawMen's Family law2013
Webinar - A Man's Guide to Domestic ViolenceDomestic Violence2013
LACBA - MINOR'S COUNSEL TRAININGDiversity in Family Law2012
City of Santa MonicaThe High Costs of Child Support2010