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About me


"Congratulations. Avvo's SEO has snagged you.


I know what people think of lawyers. Those stereotypes have some truth-- but there two sides to every "story" and almost always a lot of emotion. And guess what?  With EVERY court case SOMEONE WILL LOSE!! Whereupon somebody is gonna cry foul. Many will just cry--especially the children.


Real “divorce "smarts" = "don't start a fight."  As Danny DiVito told Hubby in "War of the Roses; "There is no winning... there's just degrees of losing."


Law is not like Wal-Mart. Nordstom's provides a different product and a different service than Walmart. So too with lawyers. Cheap or free is NOT the same as full freight --with real dedication and expertise. BUT-- you can get a customized, tailored amount of work. It is called "limited scope representation".


But if any lawyer tells you ONLY what you want to hear... beware. And if I tell you something you didn't want to hear?  Guess what? It is because IT IS TRUE! I am not on Avvo trolling for clients. I am just the (no longer quite "lone") voice telling it like it is. Feel free to ignore me. People do. But I am still right about... almost everything. (And quite a few non-lawish things too- like the value of expertise, mastery of communication, and what works-- such as that.) Google me if you want the full picture. (Carroll, not Edna.)


Nowadays, expert lawyers will do the chunk of work you need done-- for a REASONABLE cost. I do that. But----WARNING!! I personally will not work with whiners. Just saying...


Choose your poison, my friends! But choose carefully. And no, I do not offer free telephone consults. I actually like helping people-- a lot--but I also actually have bills to pay, just like you do. Emails, OK. Calls? Not unless you are seriously thinking of engaging me. Thanks in advance.


Oh. And, AGAIN... I'm Carroll, which Avvo refuses to acknowledge.And yes. I will piss you off, if the truth hurts. I'm not rolling for clenits here, silly me. I belive the trith is what serves people. I'm looking to be of service, to people who are willing to listen. (And I can pick up your attitude by how you post.) So sue me.



Practice areas


  1. Family: 60%
    32 years, 500 cases
  2. Mediation: 20%
  3. Business: 10%
  4. Debt Collection: 5%
  5. Estate Planning: 5%



Fixed (sometimes), Retainer (sometimes), Free consultation (5 minutes)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

101 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Leif Hamman

    Ms. Straus is a dedicated lawyer who uses her experience, knowledge, and insight to achieve the best results possible for her clients. I am privileged to endorse this outstanding lawyer.


    Leif Hamman Contracts and agreements Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Catherine Caroline Forbes

    I endorse this lawyer. She is so dedicated to answering questions on Avvo and has taught me many things. She is a fount of complex, difficult concepts and useful information. I admire and trust her. Caroline Forbes, LCSW Attorney at law


    Catherine Forbes Family Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

24000 Alicia Pkwy Pmb 17-305
Mission Viejo, CA, 92691


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Certificate of Acheivement, Advanced Title OfficerTicor Title Insurance Company1986
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Subrogation AttorneyJones, Nelson, Ford & Screeton1991 - 1992
PartnerVillalobos & Straus1990 - 1991
Title officerTicor Title Insurance1986 - 1987
AssociateThomas A. Culbertson & Associates1984 - 1986
AssociateMaxwell, Grayson & Sugarman1983 - 1986
Association namePosition nameDuration
International Academy of Collaborative ProfessionalsMember2003 - 2006
Peter M. Elliot Inns (American Inns of Court)Associate2001 - 2008
International Alliance of Holistic LawyersBoard Member1997 - 2000
California State Bar Association, Family Law SectionMember1995 - 2006
Orange County Professional WritersBoard of Directors1991 - 1995
California State Bar Worker's Compensation DivisionMember1990 - 1995
California State Bar Association groupMember1983 - 2008
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
CollborationResolved without court
AnonymousTcame to agreement on all isssueswithout any court appearances
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
California Lawyer MagazineCourt funding comment2012
DivorcenetEnding Your marriage Should Not End Your Family2005
DivorcenetYou served her WHEN?2003
California Lawyer MagazineCollborative law comment2002
California Lawyer MagazineComments on "Practicing Kindness"2002
California Lawyer Magazine"Making Nice" (quoted)2001
California Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB)Workers Compensation1993
The Disgruntled EmployeeThe Perils of Workers' Compensation1991
Legal PadOf Sharks and Shysters--Does the Law Make Sense?N/A
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Summit Workshops, IncCommunicationCEUs1990
Air UniversityApplied ScienceAA1982
Goddard CollegeEnglish LanguageBachelor of Arts1970
Southwestern University School of LawN/AN/AN/A
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
MCLE WorkshopLaw and Technology2006
Collaborative Law Conference San DiegoSpirituality and Law: Your Spiritual Genie2006
Ethics in Family LawFamily Law Ethics2005
State Bar Annual MeetingTrial Techniques2004
Southern California Mediation Association ConfenrenceMediation using principles of Baha'i Consultation2002
9th Annual International Conference on Conflict ResolutionCollaborative Divorce2001
8th Annnual Conference on Conflict ResolutionLawyers as Peacemakers2001
Collaborative Law: A New ApproachCollaborative Law1998
California State Bar Annual MeetingPractice Congruent With Your Values1997