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David Scott Pawlowski

Estate planning Attorney at La Jolla, CA

4.6   8 reviews
Virtual consultation available
Virtual consultation available
  • Licensed for 30 years
    State CA
    Acquired 1994
    Active No misconduct found

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

About David

Learn David’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Elder law
    evaluating and implementing medi-cal planning for qualification of medi-cal benefits and protection of assets from medi-cal liens, including transfer of assets, spend down and other related available options

    30 years

  2. Estate planning
    Estate Planning and Litigation involving trusts,wills, powers of attorney, elder abuse, undue influence, capacity challenges and all other areas relating to trusts and estates

    30 years

  3. Probate
    All aspects of probate and litigation relating thereto

    30 years

  4. Trusts
    Drafting of trusts, revocable and irrevocable, life insurance trusts, intentionally defective grantor trusts, charitable remainder trusts, qualified personal residence trusts and all administration relating thereto

    30 years

David S. Pawlowski has over twenty eight years experience representing individuals and organizations in all aspects of estate litigation and estate planning, including: Trusts, Wills, Probate, and Trust Administration. Over the course of his career, Mr. Pawlowski has developed a unique ability to quickly evaluate and resolve comprehensive estate planning matters and complex estate litigation cases. An advocate of employing aggressive litigation techniques, Mr. Pawlowski has achieved results for clients that seemed unattainable at the inception of the case. Mr. Pawlowski's practice focuses on matters involving disputed trusts, wills, and amendments, including capacity and undue influence claims, trustee defense matters, power-of-attorney litigation and elder abuse claims.

Mr Pawlowski is a California State appointed Hearing Officer for the California Horse Racing Board where he conducts and oversees hearings, adjudicates decisions, and issues findings of fact and conclusions of law and also acts as "of counsel" statewide for a major estate planning firm, handling all of their trust and estate litigation.

Graduating from California State University, Fullerton in Cal Western School of Law in 1993. Mr. Pawlowski is a member of the California State Bar, Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law Section, San Diego County Bar Association, Probate Attorneys of San Diego and was recognized as an attorney in the National Edition of Who's Who in America. Living in Del Mar with his family, Mr. Pawlowski spent many years coaching his son's Little League teams and was a Little League Board Member and President.  Formerly, Mr. Pawlowski was a board member on the Boys and Girls Club of San Dieguito, the Del Mar Historical Society and hosted a weekly radio show in the San Diego area discussing all aspects of Estate Planning and Estate Litigation.


Albence & Associates
7777 Fay Avenue
La Jolla, CA, 92037


4.6 / 5.0
  8 customer reviews
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Posted by Tiffany | May 10, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
I was involved in a very nasty legal dispute with family members. Dave not only fought very hard for me, but did so with respect and sensitivity. In the end, he came up with a brilliant settlement agreement for me and I felt fantastic at each step, knowing I had the best lawyer in the room. I can honestly say the work he did for me - PRICELESS!!
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Posted by Arline M. | December 28, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Worth Every Dollar
Yes we hired this experienced lawyer who fully understood our goals. He is articulate, professional, courteous, friendly and although we have not fully started our journey with him, we have paid an upfront retainer and look forward to getting the results we seek. Look for more reviews after the goals are reached.
Posted by Linda Hansen | May 19, 2017
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Trust question
I had a brief consultation only needing his expertise on my moms trust. He got back to me right away with his answer and even offered me additional information that was also helpful. He was very nice and professional.
Posted by anonymous | October 23, 2015
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
PRO- Attorney - Knowledgeable
David walked in the room and his demeanor was of a first class attorney. He is intimidating at first but very easy to talk with. This guy walks the walk and knows his practice inside and out. We are imprested and would feel protected in his care and able to return to a normal life enjoying our parents, no more worries. With much appreciation and respect for Mr. Pawlowski. Thank you for the "Piece of Mind".
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Posted by Mylee | April 8, 2015
**Highly Recommend**
I started working with Dave in 2013. I live in Orange County but my grandmother's estate was in San Diego county & Dave was able to work with me. From the time we met, I had expressed my thoughts & concerns and explained I was totally new to the probate process. In turn, he was able to explain & break down the process. In my situation I had to do two probates back to back for my grandmother & aunt. I was quite amazed that it only took the amount of time it did. If you're looking for someone to represent you, I highly recommend Dave & his staff. His legal assistant Joan was great to work with as well.
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Posted by Steve | December 14, 2011
This guy is brilliant.......
My Mother passed away 2 years ago..A relative submitted a will puported to be drawn by my mom and witnessed by others leaving the her entire estate to this relative..David interviewed, investigated and discovered the will was bogus...I was being cheated out of my birthright..David saved it...He is a special guy. A lot of lawyers are smart..Like the title of this review states... This guy is brilliant
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Posted by Nina and Wayne | December 6, 2011
Recommendation of David Pawlowski
David is highly knowledgeable in estate planning and litigation. His representation of us in a recent lawsuit was essential in resolving a liability we incurred as a consequence of actions we performed under the guidance of a former lawyer. Throughout the period of discovery, David gave us clear and unquivocal guidance re our responsibilities and authority as trustee(s). His vigorous support and attention to detail prepared us thoroughly for the deposition and mediation processes, his cooperation with our malpractice lawyer was exemplary, and his expert advice and dedication to us saved us from financial devastation of our retirement savings.
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Posted by anonymous | August 16, 2022
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
No reply
Spoke with the receptionist after radio silence following an email and voicemail. According to the receptionist Mr. Pawlowski had received my email and voicemail but did not respond. Understandably, his current caseload is too much to take on more, (or that is code for 'my case just wasn't worth his time'). Either way, common courtesy was non-existent. Disappointing for a recommended attorney with glowing reviews.
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AVVO RATING 7.2 (Very Good)

Work Experience

  • Of Counsel
  • The Law Office of Mark Lewis
  • 2006 - Present
  • Of Counsel
  • Albence & Associates
  • 2002 - Present
  • Founding Partner
  • Smith & Pawlowski
  • 1994 - 2002


  • Cal Western School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1993
  • California State University, Fullerton
  • 1989


  • State Bar of California, Litigation Section
  • Member
  • 2014 - Present
  • San Diego County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1999 - Present
  • Estate Planning
  • Member
  • 1995 - Present
  • Trust & Probate Law Section
  • Member
  • 1995 - Present
  • State Bar of California
  • Member
  • 1994 - Present
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Listed
  • Who's Who in American Law -Marquis
  • 2005

Attorney endorsements

Received (1)
Given (1)
Endorse David
Elder law Attorney | Sep 21
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I have known Dave since we attended law school together. More recently, however, I've had several opportunities to work with Dave directly and to refer estate-related litigation matters to Dave. My clients expressed nothing but complete trust in, and admiration for the work he performed on their behalf; and in all cases thus far, his work has produced successful results. I highly endorse Dave for any probate, trust or estate-related litigation as he is both excellent in the work he performs, and treats his clients (and my clients) in a professional and caring manner. I've enjoyed working with Dave."
Estate planning