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Robert D. Vale

Estate planning Attorney at San Mateo, CA

5.0   1 review

also known as Bob Vale

  • Licensed for 41 years
    State CA
    Acquired 1982
    Active No misconduct found

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

About Robert

Learn Robert’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Estate planning

    28 years, 1,000 cases

  2. Trusts

    28 years, 1,000 cases

  3. Limited liability company (LLC)

    23 years, 20 cases

  4. Power of attorney

    28 years, 1,000 cases

  5. Wills and living wills

    38 years, 1,500 cases

Bob received his undergraduate degree at the University at California at Davis in 1976 and his M.B.A. from the University of Santa Clara in 1979. Bob earned his law degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1982. He obtained a Masters of Law in Taxation in 2001 from Golden Gate University.

Bob is active in the County Bar where he has served as a member on various Bar Committees including as Chair of the Lawyer Referral Committee. He is an active member of the County Bar’s Estate Planning and Probate Section having co-founded the County Bar’s Elder Law Section aimed at providing local attorneys with an array of resources when dealing with elder law issues. He is a member of WealthCounsel, a nationwide group of attorneys dedicated to expanding the knowledge of its attorney members, the Peninsula Estate Planning Council where he serves as a board member and he is a charter member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners. He is a member and past President of the Peninsula Estate Planning Counsel. Bob has volunteered time as a pro bono attorney to the San Mateo County Legal Aid Society. Bob and the other members of the firm recognize the importance of service to the firm’s clients and to the community.

Bob’s publications include: Of Hearts and Minds (Guardians and Trustees); Planning for a Loved One with Special Needs; Planning Strategies for Grandparents; A Will or a Trust, that is the Question. He has also co-authored a book – What to do When a Loved One Dies. He has lectured extensively, have taught law school courses in corporations and presented on numerous estate planning topics.

Bob’s awards and recognition include: William Nagle, Jr. Award for his service to the County Bar Association, the Dorothy Wolf Award for volunteer work with the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County, and numerous San Mateo County Superior Court Commendations for Service as Judge Pro Tem for Settlement Conferences and Small Claims Appeals.

In addition to maintaining an active law practice, Bob shares time with his wife, Chris, and their son, Harry. Family activities include hiking, gardening, crew and volunteer work in support of the environment and an improved society.

Contact Robert

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Robert D. Vale
2070 Pioneer Ct
San Mateo, CA, 94403


5.0 / 5.0
  1 customer review
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Posted by Liza | October 5, 2011
For Trusts and Estate Planning, this is the Lawyer for you!
I have dealt with Mr. Vale on many occasions and have found him to be extremely professional, knowledgeable, reliable and down to earth. He truly knows his stuff and has a real gift of being able to explain the complicated avenues of estate planning and trust execution in a way that anyone can understand. As a real estate professional, it is very important for me to know that who I refer my clients to will be well taken care of with the utmost professionalism & knowledge. Bob is all that and more. Personally, Bob has helped my family with our complicated estate plan and I would have no one else besides Bob handle it. Bob is a rare find and you will be lucky to have him as your lawyer. I highly recommend Robert Vale and his staff...they are the best!
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  • Hourly Rates $ 680-680 per hour
Payment methods
Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 7.5 (Very Good)

Work Experience

  • Of Counsel
  • McDowall Cotter, APC
  • 2023 - Present
  • Partner Attorney
  • McDowall Cotter, APC
  • 1991 - 2023
  • Attorney
  • Mcdowall Cotter APC
  • 1982 - 1991


  • Golden Gate University School of Law
  • LL.M - Master of Laws
  • 2002
  • McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1982
  • Santa Clara University
  • MBA - Master of Business Administration
  • 1979
  • University of California - Davis
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1976
View all education


  • Academy of Special Needs Planners
  • Member
  • 2007 - Present
  • WealthCounsel
  • Member
  • 2004 - Present
  • San Mateo County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1982 - Present
  • State Bar of California
  • Member
  • 1982 - Present
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Dorothy Wolf Award
  • San Mateo County Legal Aid Society
  • 2003

Attorney endorsements

Received (4)
Given (4)
Endorse Robert
Estate planning Attorney | Jun 21
Relationship: Co-worker
"I endorse this lawyer."
Estate planning Attorney | Jun 21
Relationship: Worked for lawyer
"I endorse this lawyer."
Estate planning Attorney | Jun 21
Relationship: Worked for lawyer
"I endorse this lawyer."
Estate planning Attorney | Oct 06
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Bob and I participated in a training program for lawyers focused on sophisticated planning strategies for affluent families. The program was a 2 year intensive study and we had the chance to exchange a lot of cutting edge ideas. Bob is intelligent and highly skilled as an estate planning attorney and I would have no hesitation in recommending him for estate planning matters."