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Janet Elizabeth Dockstader

Alimony Attorney at Seal Beach, CA

4.6   7 reviews
  • Licensed for 22 years
    State CA
    Acquired 2001
    Active No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Janet

Learn Janet’s areas of practice.

Janet E. Dockstader is a partner with Dockstader Orliczky. She has more than a decade of experience litigating marital and domestic partnership dissolutions that include property issues, spousal support, child support, child custody and often times, domestic violence. In addition, Ms. Dockstader is experienced and trained in negotiating marital settlement agreements to avoid court intervention. With ample experience litigating Long Beach and Orange County family law matters, she is also routinely litigating matters in Los Angeles and Whittier.

As an experienced litigator, Ms. Dockstader knows the importance of being aggressive yet effective in the courtroom. She also understands that litigation is not for every client and understands the emotional toll a dissolution can have on a client. As such, practicing mediation and collaboration provides her clients with a choice as to how to proceed through possibly the toughest time in their life and allows them to take some control over the results.  While proceeding through the case, Ms. Dockstader listens carefully to her client's objectives and needs and helps them make the best choices possible for their particular circumstance. 

Ms. Dockstader is certified by the State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization, as a certified family law specialist. Only 10% of California's family law attorneys have earned this additional education and title.

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Dockstader Orliczky
3020 Old Ranch Parkway, Suite 300
Seal Beach, CA, 90740

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4.6 / 5.0
  7 customer reviews
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Posted by John Hoop | September 9, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
In Pro Per Opposing Ms. Dockstader
I was the Petitioner for a domestic violence restraining order case and Ms. Dockstader was opposing counsel, representing the Respondent. She is a competent lawyer, approachable, does not appear to have any negative disposition towards the parties she opposes. She obtained police reports through a subpeona and did not attempt to intimidate or leverage her legal knowledge against me, while we reviewed the reports together. Ms. Dockstader successfully defended her client from be restrained, though she was not successful in her request that I pay her clients attorney's fees. Her ability to successfully argue a case that was quite complex is indicative of her professional capability. Additionally, the witness the Respondent brought would have been easily discreditted or ruled to be unfairly biased in favor of the Respondent had they testified under oath. However, Ms. Dockstader extracted the maximum possible benefit from the witness by inferring statements which were never tested with cross-examination under oath. As much as this may have to been to my detriment, recognition for the litigating ability demonstrated in due, in my opinion.
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Posted by anonymous | May 14, 2015
Highly recommended Family Law Expert!
We called Janet Dockstader when we found out my husband's ex-wife had returned to work. Janet and her extensive support team started working on our case immediately. Our request for spousal support modification was granted, and the respondents request for attorney fees denied. Janet Dockstader and her team know what they are doing and they get things done quickly. It was the best legal representation I've ever experienced and we will save close to $40,000.00 over the next two years. Janet Dockstader is the attorney you want on your side in the courtroom!"
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Posted by Bellonda Bixby | February 9, 2015
Honorable. Effective. Integrity.
Janet Dockstader exemplifies what an attorney can be. She is a highly capable and motivated, family law attorney. The entire firm showed efficiency with my money which was exemplified by clear and ethical billing practices. Janet is an excellent strategist who helped me navigate a potentially complex and difficult case. Whenever we met, I received her undivided attention, and I felt my family’s well-being consistently considered as we moved through each step of the court case. BGD became the clean-up team for a divorce that had already gone bad. I wished I had met them at the beginning. ~Bellonda
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Posted by Joseph | December 11, 2012
Fantastic experience with Janet Dockstader
I hired Janet to represent me in my divorce proceedings and she did a fantastic job in every category. She was able to negotiate an extremely beneficial settlement on my behalf, she is very knowledgeable, she fights hard for her clients, and she goes above and beyond to keep her clients informed and help make the right decisions throughout the process. I was in a stressful situation with my x-wife and needed someone to have my best interest in mind and fight for the maximum custody of my 2 young children. Janet was there every step of the way to help me navigate the system and get to an amicable resolution. I highly recommend hiring Janet as your representation for any family law issues.
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Posted by Vickie | November 28, 2012
Best family law attorney in Long Beach, call her & get the best in your corner!
I hired Janet Dockstader in 2009 for a nasty divorce & she really knows the law & how to get the absolute best for her clients. She may seem like a small timid lady but she knows her way around a courtroom. My ex was stalling to attempt to break me financially & she put a stop to it. Attorney fees are costly but she does not try to drag the case on with needless letters & meetings.I was very pleased at the outcome. Janet is a very professional but compassionate business woman. I have recommeded her to several others who were equally as happy.
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Posted by Mike Simpfenderfer | July 27, 2012
When protecting an abused child, Janet is someone you need.
Janet demonstrated the ability to adapt, improvise and over come. She accepted my daughters sexual abuse and neglect case. We were required to obtain an attorney just for my daughter. My daugher was sexually abused by her step father and neglected/abandoned by her mother. What was suppose to be a routine court appearance for a continuance on Janet's first appearance turned very ugly by mistakes made by another attorney. Instead of being there for less than an hour, Janet stayed for more than five hours. She took an extremely difficult court situation and obtained results due to her experience and communication skills with others. Mike and Taylor Simpfenderfer will always be grateful for the work Janet did for us. As a parent, when you are protecting an abused child, you need talented professionals like Janet helping!
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Posted by anonymous | August 22, 2011
Find a different lawyer if your case is complicated
Janet is a nice person but I would not recommend her as a lawyer if you have a complicated case or you are involved in a paternity action or divorce with a difficult ex partner. She did not represent me well and my bill ballooned to almost $30,000 on a case that should not have cost more than $10000 to handle. She quoted $5000 for a paternity/child support action and I paid her $5000 retainer. She urged me to additionally file a TRO domestic violence/restraining order case without reviewing evidence beforehand to see if my case had merit, and after billing approx $12,000 for the TRO hearing in just a few months' time, advised me we should have it dismissed on the basis there was not enough evidence to continue! Couldn't an experienced attorney have been determined before filing and billing $12K to begin with? She's supposed to be the expert here, after all. To make matters worse, my ex has been difficult through the entire OSC/paternity case, getting non stop continuances to drive up my bill and delay proceedings. I was on a $2000/month agreed upon payment plan with Janet for each month my ex got continuances...the court kept approving the delays which can happen to YOU. Janet's bill for the OSC alone ballooned to a whopping $16,000 while I waited for my case to be heard. That does not include the separate $12,000 for the TRO hearing she later asked me to dismiss once she billed. I never received a dime of child support or attorney fees while I was waiting for trial and Janet couldn't get any of this for me through 3 different hearings. After paying her firm $16,000 in a matter of months, while still paying the $2000/month, sometimes $3000/month, Janet suddenly demanded the title to my CAR be signed over to her right before a court date a few days away, which I would not give her; I quite frankly believed as every court date was coming up, Janet was going to drop me due to any open balance on my case of up to $5000. I felt that I had my ex fighting me on one side, and Janet my own attorney on the other, especially when she demanded the title to my car. I was already paying $2000 per month, each month with a payment plan I was abiding to! This was so disgusting. The final straw was when the judge wanted us to return the next day to discuss child support and Janet said she couldnt because she was unavailable for two months due to other cases and her impending family vacation. So I had to wait another 6 weeks for her to return, which meant more bills from her firm for drafting, filing, calls, etc., and when she returned without warning, she simply quit on the basis that I had an open balance and was not paying it fast enough. $2000/month was just not enough. I ended up not even having her for my trial. She couldn't get me child support, custody, attorney fees. She had me file a domestic violence case and then told me to have it dismissed, almost $30,000 later. I had a whopping bill from her firm and not a whole lot to show for it. I wish I didn't have to write this but it is all true.
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AVVO RATING 9.7 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Partner
  • Brandmeyer Gilligan & Dockstader, LLP
  • 2011 - Present


  • Loyola Law School
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 2001
  • Monterey Institute of International Studies
  • N/A
  • University of California - Santa Barbara
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • N/A


  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • Member
  • N/A
  • Long Beach Bar Association
  • Member
  • N/A
  • Long Beach Court
  • Family Law Mediator
  • N/A
  • Loyola Law School Alumni Association
  • Member
  • N/A
  • Long Beach Bar Association
  • Former Board of Directors
  • 2007 - 2008
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Super Lawyer
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2015
  • America's Most Influential Women
  • Sky Radio
  • 2014
  • Certified Specialist - Family Law
  • State Bar of California
  • 2014
  • AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2014
  • Rising Star
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2012
  • Los Angeles Women Leaders in the Law
  • Los Angeles Times
  • 2011
  • Los Angeles Women Leaders in the Law
  • Los Angeles Times
  • 2010
  • Rising Star
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2005
View all awards

Speaking Engagements

  • California Family Law Practice for Paralegals Conference
  • Handling Ethical Issues in Family Law Practice
  • 2014
  • National Business Institute Teleconference
  • Special Needs and Disability in Custody Cases
  • 2013
  • Connecting Points for Loyola Law School Young Alumni
  • "Family Law" for Loyola Law School Young Alumni interested in the field
  • 2013

Attorney endorsements

Received (5)
Given (5)
Endorse Janet
Family Attorney | Sep 20
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. I have handled high-conflict child custody/visitation matters in which Ms. Dockstader was the opposing counsel, as well complex, high value financial matters. In each of those cases there were real risks that discovery and litigation could drag on for years - to the parties' extraordinary personal and financial detriment - and in one case, to the near certainty that a long case would destroy the relationship between their child and both parents. Ms. Dockstader was able to focus on finding sensible, long term solutions rather than taking a path that would have likely been very lucrative for her, but would not have been in either parties' best interest. Janet is professional, creative, and goal oriented - and is willing to fight for her clients when necessary and appropriate. A top-notch attorney at a firm with a well deserved reputation in the community,"
Marriage and prenuptials Attorney | Dec 16
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. You will not find a more professional and hard working attorney who will fight for you every step of the way."
Family Attorney | Dec 10
Relationship: Co-worker
"I have known Janet Dockstader as a Family Law Colleague, for approximately seven years. Janet is caring, has an excellent, personal connection with her clients, and is an excellent trial attorney, who consistently obtains good results for her clients."
Family Attorney | Nov 03
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Janet is an aggressive and extremely competent family law attorney who works tirelessly for her clients. Janet's reputation as a certified family law specialist in our legal community is impeccable."
Family Attorney | Jan 15
Relationship: Co-worker
"Janet is one of the most dynamic attorneys in our firm. She works tirelessly to advance her clients' interests and is very pleasant and competent. These qualities make her very effective and have secured the loyalty of her wide client base over the years. I would strongly recommend her to any client."

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