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Gerard William O'Brien

Trusts Attorney at Brea, CA

4.9   16 reviews

also known as Jerry O'Brien

  • Licensed for 32 years
    State CA
    Acquired 1991
    Active No misconduct found

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

About Gerard

Learn Gerard’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Trusts
    I am a member of Wealth Counsel. I write many different types of trust for clients, often as part of their overall estate plan. I regularly review what I have written with my client's to make certain client's plans are current and will be effective. Trusts are an integral part of my Business succession planning practice and elder law practice.

    32 years, 100 cases

  2. Business
    Business succession planning for small business owners who want to keep the business in the family. This dynamic process emphasizes multi-generational business survival and continuation of the founders business and ethical vision. I have written a chapter in CEB's new title "Business Succession Planning: Strategies for California Estate Planners & Business Attorneys." I have just published an article on overcoming liquidity problems, upcoming an article on Discharge of Debt Taxation

    32 years, 5 cases

  3. Elder law

    17 years, 20 cases

  4. Probate

    27 years, 40 cases

Gerard W. O'Brien, or Jerry O'Brien as he is more commonly known, is a California licensed attorney who began practice in June, 1991.

Jerry earned a Bachelor's Degree in History at Brooklyn College in 1979. During his education he had the privilege of studying with Professor Edwin Burrows, Pulitzer Prize winning author of “GOTHAM.”

After graduating from Brooklyn College Jerry went into the culinary arts field, cooking professionally in New York City, Paris France, and Orange County, California.

In 1980 Jerry participated in the New York Restaurant School's Culinary Arts Program. Two days after finishing the program, Jerry went to France to work as Chef of the MacAdam Restaurant in Paris, where he spent all of 1981.  Returning to the USA, Jerry cooked in both New York City and Orange County California.

Jerry created the Parties by Panache Web Site, which gets about 16,000 visits per month and published "The Panache Experience", which until the end of 2007; the Panache Experience ran for 37 issues.

Jerry has written two novels, “The Sweet Water”, and “A Field Guide to the Angels in Brooklyn”.  He is currently seeking publication of “A Field Guide to the Angels in Brooklyn” . Jerry published the critically acclaimed “O'Brien's Literary Speculator”.

 Jerry completed a certificate program in fiction writing at Cal State Fullerton. Mr. O'Brien has over twenty five interviews, articles, and reviews published .

Pertaining to the practice of law:
In 1987 Jerry began Law School at Western State University, College of Law from which he graduated in the top quarter of his class in 1990. Jerry won an AmJur award for Bankruptcy and placed first in his class in Community Property. Mr. O'Brien conducted a solo legal practice in Brea, CA from 1991 to 2000, at which point he went in-house at his family's business Parties By Panache, Inc. While counsel at Parties by Panache Jerry undertook several projects relating to marketing in addition to over seeing contracts, corporate, employment law matters.

Member of the California State Bar Association

- Trust and Estates Section
- Business Law Section

Member of the Orange County Bar Association

- Commercial Law and Bankruptcy Section
- Tax Law
- Trusts and Estates

Member of Wealth Counsel, LLC

- Mr. O'Brien teaches a course on Estate Planning and Wealth Transfer for Financial Professionals

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Contact Gerard

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Gerard W. O'Brien & Associates, P.C.
2878 E. Imperial Highway
Brea, CA, 92821-6147
Gerard William O'Brien
2878 E. Imperial Highway
Brea, CA, 92821
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4.9 / 5.0
  16 customer reviews
5 Star
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1 Star
Posted by Shelby | June 1, 2019
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Informative Quick Response
Mr. O'Brien took the time to give me the exact answer I needed to my question, which most lawyers won't do. He responded quickly and efficiently - he is obviously fluent in probate law. I didn't realize I was located so far from him. If you are looking for a personable attorney who cares enough to take time out of his busy day to make sure you get what you need, Mr. Obrien's the one.
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Posted by Aram | May 31, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Gerard W. O'brien
As part owner of a poker casino here in Los Angeles, I needed an attorney that handled my living trust and will. Mr. O'brien was found on google, in Brea, he was perfect. Not only has he helped update my Revocable Trust, he has extended his services by helping me with my trust application and renewal of my license with the Dept. of Justice and Bureau of Gambling Control. He also represented me in court for a speeding ticket. I highly recommend Gerard W. O'brien for Legal Services...
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Posted by Eva | April 26, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Trustworthy and Honest
Mr. O'Brien has helped us establish family trusts. I have found him very knowledgeable. He provides an excellent explanation on complicated matters. Mr. O'Brien and his staff are quick in answering questions and concerns. He shares empathy and provides professional advice. I feel comfortable to recommend him to my friends and family.
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Posted by Michael | April 19, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Great Experience
Gerard was a pleasure to work with and provided us with all of the information and guidance needed to successfully complete our trust. We would highly recommend his services!
Posted by Jami | August 11, 2014
Amazing Attorney
I hired Gerard W. O’Brien in 2011 for a Chapter Eleven bankruptcy proceeding. He guided us through the process, was easy to work with and was able to get a plan confirmed. We are well on our way back to financial stability and success. I feel he was a great value and I would hire him again.
Posted by Michael | July 5, 2014
help with my parents' care
My parents hired Gerard W. O’Brien in 2001 for a revocable living trust-based estate plan. Last year my parents began to need a great deal of care and I and my two siblings went to see Mr. O’Brien about using the estate plan to provide for and protect our parents. He guided us through the process, was clear and easy to work with, and we have been able to take care of Mom and Dad and sell their home so we have resources for their care. We are still working on our parent’s estate and Mr. O’Brien makes himself available quickly when I need advice on the proceedings. I feel his work was and is of great value and I would hire him again. Michael Sweeney.
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Posted by anonymous | February 24, 2011
Trustworthy reasonable lawyer
Asked Gerard to reveiw our family trust. Met him as part of a networking group. Gerard met with my father and mother to handle a case with properties, grandkids, special needs dependent and other concerns. Gerarad handled our case professionally. My parents felt they delt with a lawyer they could trust, and a lawyer who would be availalble to help after they are gone. Gave them a sense of relief for their handicapped daugher. In addition, they were very satisfied with the fee's. Expected to pay much more. (Didnt tell Gerard)
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Posted by Diana | August 16, 2010
Highly Recommend Mr. O'Brien
I found Mr. O'Brien very comfortable to talk to. He was professional yet personal and even went the extra mile to help me during an emotional time. He was recommended to me by a trustworthy business friend and I would recommend him to anyone needing assistance.
Posted by Henry | June 30, 2010
I recommend Mr. O'Brien
I would highly recommend Mr O'Brien to be your Lawyer. He effectively handled my case and gave it the attention that it needed. I have used him twice: once for a business partnership that dissolved and again when I was wrongfully sued over an airplane that I did not own. In both instances the matters were resolved very professionally. Mr. O'Brien is is a good, ethical Attorney with high standards and integrity. If you are even considering seeking legal advice or help, please call Mr. O'Brien. Dr. Henry Cardenas
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Posted by anonymous | June 9, 2010
Great review for in-house counsel attorney
While in-house counsel for my company, Jerry took care of many issues : client contracts, landlord-tenant, tax, employment/labor, immigration, and insurance. All the work Jerry did for my company was done very efficiently and in a timely manner. He explained everything to me in terms I could understand. I would highly recommend him for any legal work needed for a small company.
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Posted by John | May 31, 2010
We needed information on estate planning, Jerry was very helpful and put us at ease in setting up our plan.
Posted by Don | May 28, 2010
Poulsen probate
We really like the way Mr. O'Brien is handling our situation. He is trying to do the best for all parties concerned so that we can live with the outcome. His expertise is quite valuable.
Posted by Matthew | May 24, 2010
Business Contract Review
I asked Gerard to review a legal document I received from a customer. I wanted to make sure my business was protected in the short and long term so I engaged Mr. O'Brien immediately. His response was quick and I was able to respond to my customer the same week to keep our agreement on track.
Posted by Beverley | May 24, 2010
Excellent, efficient service
Mr O'Brien performed the most efficient service in compiling the requested living trust, He was knowledgeable and put together the necessary papers in a timely manner. We found him to be nominal in his fees and we feel secure in knowing that we had the services of a very competent lawyer. We would recommend him to anyone.
Posted by Kathy | May 24, 2010
Living Will for my parents (in their 80s), impress us all...
It was a simple thing for Jerry - but he made my folk feel like they were his only client. He answered every question so nicely. I was there and I was so completely impressed. He was so warm and welcoming in a very professional manner. In a heart beat I would recommend Jerry.
Posted by anonymous | May 8, 2014
Expensive and Unproductive
I hired Mr. O'Brien to assist in getting the trustees of a trust to distribute trust proceeds as set out in the trust. After 6 months, $3K in fees, 2 lawyer letters and attorney conference, Mr. O'Brien was only able to secure a partial distribution of 25% of what was owed. It's too high a cost for the limited outcome.
Response from Gerard O'Brien May 10, 2014
This review is only about 25% factually correct. The writer omits the following services that were provided as part of the sum writer paid. 1. Office meetings; 2. There were lengthy emails requiring written responses to address multiple issues raised; many of the issues raised were irrelevant or tangential to the case. The writer and attorney engaged in 13 chains of email correspondence, they were conducted on 6/28/2013, 7/12, 7/16, 7/18, 7/23, 7/24, 7/29, 8/3, 8/21, 8/30, 9/11, 9/12, 9/18. The average length was 4 emails or two rounds of correspondence. 3. Physical visits to the property by co-counsel, 4. Advice regarding allegations of waste to the property, 5. Creating of photographic evidence of the property to support the case against waste, 6. Collecting documents to refute the claim writer was wasting the property, 7. Two or more telephone conversations with opposing counsel, 8. Over 15 conferences with Co-counsel regarding the case, and 9. The Two letters written to opposing counsel, which were disclosed in the review. These services were provide over the course of 5 months. Writer is entitled to its opinion of the value of the services, however, all services provided should be included.
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  • Hourly Rates $ 300-350 per hour
  • Retainer Sometimes
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 8.8 (Excellent)

Work Experience

  • Owner
  • Brea Estate and Financial Law
  • 1992 - 2000


  • Western State University College of Law
  • Juris Doctor
  • 1990
  • Brooklyn College
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1979

Legal Cases

  • Nabuke vs. North County Bancorp
  • Plaintiff took nothing at trial


  • Wealth Counsel
  • Member
  • 2007 - Present
  • Orange County Bar Association
  • member
  • 1995 - Present

Languages Spoken

  • English
  • Dutch
  • French

Honors and Awards

  • Preeminent 4.9 out of 5
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2014
  • American Jurisprudence Bankruptcy
  • Bancroft-Whitney
  • 1990
  • Dean's Scholarship
  • Western State College of Law
  • 1987
  • Regents Scholarship
  • Regents of the State of New York
  • 1974
View all awards


  • Business Succession Planning
  • Identifying Client’s Goals and Prospective Transferees
  • 2010

Speaking Engagements

  • Meeting of the Business Connection Brea
  • Business Succession Planning
  • 2010
  • Meeting of BNI Prospector's
  • Small Business Bankruptcy
  • 2010

Attorney endorsements

Received (29)
Given (23)
Endorse Gerard
Trusts Attorney | Mar 20
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Business Attorney | Jan 13
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Attorney O'Brian is an excellent business attorney with an eye for detail and sharp mind that invariably attacks the most important issues in the inquiry and explains all legal ramifications in a brief, yet facile and understandable English, grounded firmly in law and supported by evidence presented in the case. Great attorney!"
Unknown Attorney | Jan 24
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Unknown Attorney | Jan 22
Relationship: Other
"I endorse this lawyer."
Business Attorney | Jan 20
Relationship: Other
"I endorse this lawyer."
Unknown Attorney | Jan 20
Relationship: Other
"This lawyer is highly recommended in the community. I endorse this lawyer."
Trusts Attorney | Jan 19
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer for his hard work and willingness to provide free advice to those in need."
Wills and living wills Attorney | Jan 16
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"The answers that Mr. O'Brien have provided have been accurate, thoughtful, and tailored to the needs of the Avvo asker. This attorney demonstrates the ideal qualities every client should look for when hiring an attorney."
Business Attorney | Jan 14
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Chapter 11 bankruptcy Attorney | Dec 20
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I wholeheartedly endorse this lawyer. A brilliant, trustworthy and highly respected attorney in the legal community."
Business Attorney | Oct 31
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. He is a highly respected member of the legal community."
Estate planning Attorney | Oct 17
Relationship: Other
"Comprehensive, knowledgeable, and thorough. I endorse this lawyer."
Chapter 11 bankruptcy Attorney | Sep 16
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Unknown Attorney | Aug 11
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. From all social media resources it is clear that he is very knowledgeable in his practice areas. I would send my clients to him."
Chapter 7 bankruptcy Attorney | Aug 07
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Great contributor to our AVVO community!"
Chapter 11 bankruptcy Attorney | Aug 07
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Business Attorney | Jul 07
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. His responses to questions posed by the public are always thoughtful, correct and on point."
Trusts Attorney | Jul 06
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Attorney O'Brien gives of his expertise and time on AVVO answering questions. His responses are well thought out, responsive and shows his empathy for the asker."
Estate planning Attorney | Jul 01
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. He is generous with his time. His responses to questions are insightful and helpful."
Chapter 11 bankruptcy Attorney | Jun 30
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
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Estate planning
Estate planning
Estate planning
Estate planning
Construction and development
Estate planning
Estate planning
Estate planning
Estate planning
Estate planning
Estate planning
Estate planning
Estate planning
Bankruptcy and debt