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Sondra Sue Sutherland

Family Attorney at San Diego, CA

5.0   6 reviews
  • Licensed for 27 years
    State CA
    Acquired 1996
    Active No misconduct found

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

About Sondra

Learn Sondra’s areas of practice.

I have worked in the legal profession throughout my entire adult life - since graduating from high school at age 17 in Colorado.  I worked as a legal secretary for 8 years, followed by 8 years as a paralegal.  During law school, I was a Judicial Extern to the Hon. Norman L. Epstein of the California Court of Appeal (L.A.) and then a Judicial Extern to the Hon. Alex Kozinski, now Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Pasadena).  In my first job out of law school, I was hired as a Research Attorney for the L.A. Superior Court, assigned to 6 of the 11 bench officers in the Family Law Department.  From there, I went to work for Trope and Trope, a larger family law firm in Brentwood, for a time before returning to San Diego and starting my own solo practice in mid-1999.  I have been in private practice ever since, distinguishing myself with numerous awards, published appellate decisions and one of the largest verdicts in U.S. history for CPS' violation of my client's civil (parental) rights in 2007 - which would take until 2011 to resolve due to various appeals all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.  That case earned me the CLAY Award in 2012 - the California State Bar "California Lawyer" Magazine's "Attorney of the Year" Award.  My practice focuses on family law, appeals and civil litigation such as personal injury, employment litigation, sexual harassment or anything that piques my interest and seems to be a worthy and economically viable cause.

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Law Offices of Sondra S. Sutherland
11440 West Bernardo Court
Suite 300
San Diego, CA, 92127

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5.0 / 5.0
  6 customer reviews
5 Star
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1 Star
Posted by Reine | January 19, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
My children's HERO
Attorney Sondra Sutherland is my kids' hero. She knows how to handle difficult cases, especially cases that involve military retirement division. Military retirement division is complex, and not many attorneys in San Diego, know about how to navigate the rules and regulations regarding military retirement division. If you are looking for someone who knows about military retirement division laws, please give Sondra a call. She will fight for you! I was facing an extremely difficult military divorce case. The order I had included a wrong division of military pension, it also directed me to vacate my home, and put my home up for sale all within a very short period of time. I was also facing losing my share of the military pension, and I was especially facing trying to find a new home for me and my children, at a time when housing cost has skyrocketed in San Diego. The minute I spoke with Sondra she gave me hope. I knew she was a game changer. Attorney Sondra Sutherland was able to save and keep my children in our home. Sondra did a fantastic job on appeal, and guided me through the whole process. Sondra gets results, no doubt about it. The minute Sondra accepted to appeal my case, the other party offered to settle. I am blessed and grateful to have met Attorney Sondra Sutherland after dealing with so many other attorneys, and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on this case. Sondra fought for me and my children, she was understanding, and she especially went above and beyond with her research. One more thing that I loved about Sondra was her prompt communication. Sondra COMMUNICATES! So many attorneys do not return email or phone calls which leads to clients being frustrated. With Sondra, I always knew what was happening, and she always emailed me about what she was about to work on next, and what to expect. To add to all this, her ethics are top notch! I was surprise when she gave me her resume on our first meeting! She even sent me back a check from what was left from my escrow account at the end of the case. This, should tell you a lot about Sondra's ethics and her professionalism. Sondra simply works miracles! My kids spent a fantastic holiday in their childhood home, and they don't have to worry about changing schools, losing friends, and losing the place they call home, all thanks to Sondra S Sutherland. Sondra, I will always be forever grateful for the AMAZING work you did for me and my family. Reine G.
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Posted by Allison | August 12, 2013
Excellent Attorney
Sondra is tenacious, assertive and highly knowledgeable. When I first spoke to her on the phone I knew she was the right attorney for my case. She spent her time explaining all of my options and advising me as to the best course of action with my best interest in mind. She was always responsive to my calls and emails, regardless of what time it was and was diligent in keeping me informed. Sondra treated me as a person, not just another case. I do believe that had I hired anyone other than Sondra, my situation would not have turned out as favorable as it did. I highly recommend Sondra for any type of family law issue.
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Posted by Greg | August 7, 2013
Best lawyer in the business
Sondra was the best lawyer I have ever had the pleasure to work with. My case was very intrigate, she was so prepared at trial even the other attorney who lost was so impressed he complimented her on a job well done. I still talk about that case to others and would highly recommend her to anyone who wants the best in the business.
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Posted by Patrick | August 7, 2013
Exceptional attorney!
Sondra represented me during a very contentious divorce, and her calm demeanor and strong legal acumen helped all involved parties to stay focused on the issues and fashion a solid agreement that has worked to safeguarded the interests of our two children. As a result, I would strongly recommend Sondra to anyone that desires to have exceptional representation when they enter into a legal dispute.
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Posted by anonymous | August 6, 2013
She did a great job for me
Sondra is honest and works hard for her clients. She is extremely knowledgeable about the law and legal procedures and as her client, I felt that she would do everything possible to protect my legal rights. In addition, she billed very fairly. If I ever needed a family law attorney again, I would choose Sondra Sutherland.
Posted by JB | August 6, 2013
I was divorced nearly 15 years ago. Post judgement I had numerous run-ins with my ex. Sondra kept me on the straight and narrow, making sure that I didn't let reckless emotion get in the way of prudent decision making. She knows her stuff inside and out. I recommend her without reservation.
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  • Free Consultation 30 minutes
  • Hourly Rates $ 295-295 per hour
  • Contingency 20%-50%
  • Retainer Always
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 8.4 (Excellent)

Work Experience

  • Attorney/Owner
  • Law Offices of Sondra S. Sutherland
  • 1999 - Present
  • Attorney
  • Sacks & Zweig
  • 1998 - 1999
  • Attorney
  • Trope and Trope
  • 1997 - 1998
  • Research Attorney
  • L.A. County Superior Court
  • 1997 - 1997
  • Judicial Extern to Hon. Alex Kozinski
  • U.S. Court Of Appeals, 9th Circuit
  • 1996 - 1996
  • Judicial Extern to Hon. Norman L. Epstein
  • California Court Of Appeal
  • 1995 - 1995
View all work experience


  • Whittier Coll SOL
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1996

Sample of Legal Cases

  • Marriage of Gruen (2011) 191 Cal.App.4th 627
  • Reversed - prior orders revived (meaning app. $800K in additional support for the mother and 4 children)
  • In re Bankr. of Bush (Kipperman v. Sutherland), 356 B.R. 28 (Bankr. S.D. Cal. 2006)
  • Court validated my liens
  • Marriage of Lammers (2000) 83 Cal.App.4th 1309
  • Changed the culture to make reading & ruling on the evidence & law the standard; statewide rules now replace local practices of this type
View all legal cases


  • United States Supreme Court Bar
  • Admitted to Practice
  • 2006 - Present
  • San Diego County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1999 - Present
  • San Diego North County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1999 - Present
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of California
  • Admitted to Practice
  • 1999 - Present
  • American Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1997 - Present
  • United States District Court for the Central District of California
  • Admitted to Practice
  • 1997 - Present
  • United States Court of Appeals For the Ninth Circuit
  • Admitted to Practice
  • 1997 - Present
  • Phi Delta Phi legal fraternity
  • Member
  • 1996 - Present
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • 2013 Top Lawyers in California
  • American Lawyer Media
  • 2013
  • Lead Counsel Rating
  • Lead Counsel
  • 2013
  • CLAY Award (Attorney of the Year, Family Law)
  • California Lawyer Magazine
  • 2012
  • The Wiley W. Manuel Award for Pro Bono Legal Services
  • The State Bar of California
  • 2009
  • Excellence for the Future Award - Arbitration
  • The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI)
  • 1996
  • Excellence for the Future Award - Securities Regulation
  • The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI)
  • 1995
  • American Jurisprudence Award - Professional Responsibility
  • Bancroft-Witney AmJur
  • 1994
  • American Jurisprudence Award - Advanced Legal Writing
  • Bancroft-Witney AmJur
  • 1994
View all awards

Attorney endorsements

Received (3)
Given (0)
Endorse Sondra
Family Attorney | Nov 29
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"This attorney works very hard for the clients and keeps up with the law by attending legal seminars to assist them in this regard. I endorse this attorney."
Appeals Attorney | Sep 18
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Your resume speaks for itself and I consider you a valuable member of the attorney community. I would recommend you to anyone and everyone who needs your services. I whole heartedly endorse this lawyer!"
Appeals Attorney | Aug 08
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
This attorney hasn't created any attorney endorsements recently on Avvo.

Avvo Contributions

This attorney hasn't created any legal answers in Q&A or legal guides recently on Avvo.

San Diego Family Lawyer Sondra Sue Sutherland
Sondra Sue Sutherland
Family Attorney
San Diego, CA
Licensed for 27 years
Free Consultation