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Michael John Apicella

Mediation Attorney at San Rafael, CA

5.0   20 reviews
  • Licensed for 21 years
    State CA
    Acquired 2003
    Active No misconduct found

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

About Michael

Learn Michael’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Mediation
    We mediate all family law matters: divorce, property division, spousal support, custody, visitation, child support, among other issues.

    21 years, 500 cases

  2. Divorce and separation
    We provide "limited-scope" consultation services for uncontested cases.

    21 years, 500 cases

  3. Marriage and prenuptials
    We draft premarital (prenuptial) agreements, co-habitation agreements, and post-marital agreements.

    21 years, 100 cases

Apicella Law provides mediation services for divorce and other family law issues. For those that want help with an uncontested matter, we can provide advice as "consulting attorney" (on a limited-scope basis) while you remain as a self-represented party. For those contemplating marriage, or altering their rights after marriage, we draft premarital and post-marital agreements.


Golden Gate University School of Law, 2001.  Dean's List, Merit Scholarship, top 5% of class.  Special training in trial work, with certifications in Litigation and Mediation.




Bachelors of Science in Busines Administration from University of Southern California.  Experience in real estate, insurance brokerage, finance, and mortgage banking. Active California Real Estate Sales license.  Former California Insurance Broker license.


Admitted to practice law in all California Courts.


Apicella Law & Mediation
2 Civic Center Drive
Ste. 4131
San Rafael, CA, 94903

Mediation lawyers nearby


5.0 / 5.0
  20 customer reviews
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1 Star
Posted by Mark | May 20, 2023
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Nice human and knows his stuff
Michael called me to review my case, and was very kind with his time and very knowledgable about the process. He invested in me and my issue and I really appreciated his time. He recommended another lawyer who would be more appropriate for my issue, and I really appreciated that as well.
Posted by anonymous | May 22, 2013
Divorce consultation and case review
I only wish I had found this attorney when looking for one to handle my divorce. He's trustworthy, knowledgable and a very very kind person with much fairness & empathy.
Posted by Laura | December 12, 2012
Second to none!
Mike Apicella is a gem! If you are fortunate enough to have him as your legal advocate, you are in the best hands. He knows the law. He knows people. He was more than capable to sift through the chaff to identify and address the issues of my case. Not for a single moment did I ever think he would not successfully win for me orders in the best interests of my children - which he did! Count your lucky stars if you've found Mike during your search for an intelligent, capable, honest, and caring family law attorney.
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Posted by Debbie | April 19, 2012
Top-notch Attorney
Mr. Apicella is an extremely knowledgeable and capable attorney. His acute attention to detail and ability to remain objective is uncanny, as was his ability to swiftly break down the seemingly larger issues of my divorce and predict the orders we could reasonably win. As well as being smart and able, I found Mr. Apicella to be honest and straight-forward, and with a rare understanding of human nature. Mr. Apicella took the time to clearly explain the legal processes of my divorce to me, and I never felt “outside the loop.” He even went the extra mile and encouraged me to educate myself about my own rights and responsibilities. Always, I felt completely confident Mr. Apicella would get for me the reasonable orders I received from my divorce, and I cannot recommend him more highly.
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Posted by anonymous | November 21, 2011
First Class Attorney
Mike is a First Class Attorney. He's smart, hard working, responsive , honest, and extremely knowledgeable. You will be well taken care of by Mike. I would highly recommended him to anyone.
Posted by Bill | November 18, 2011
great lawyer!
Mr. Apicella is very knowledgeable. He knows the law like the back of his hand. He also "gets it" when it comes to all the "life" issues that come up during the case. In addition to his knowledge, he is also easy to get a hold of. My prior lawyer was hard to get on the ph, and rarely returned my calls or emails. The best part was his billing practice. He was very generous with his time and often wrote off part of his bill without me asking. I was frankly shocked at how generous he was. Plus, his hourly rate was low to begin with. I've unfortunately had to hire several lawyers in my lifetime. Mr. Apicella has been the best, hands down.
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Posted by Frank | December 9, 2010
Family Law Expert
Mr. Apicella is a very detail oriented expert at not only explaining the ins and outs of family law but putting those skills into practice. He helped me immensely in my case. i was very impressed by his ability to listen to the plethora of verbiage given and extract only the relevant information that is required to get points across quickly and effectively in the courtroom. If you need a top notch Family Law expert for your divorce or custody case, give Mr. Apicella a call. you will not be disappointed.
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Posted by anonymous | October 6, 2010
Very helpful
Mr. Apicella's ability to explain the legal situation clearly and in terms that I could understand was very helpful to me. His professionalism and knowledge is outstanding.
Posted by anonymous | October 4, 2010
He's in your corner
Mike Apicella is an honest, straightforward, and effective attorney. He provided excellent advice throughout the process of my divorce. He kept me informed of my rights and helped me negotiate a great settlement. His fees were more than fair and he always looked out for my best interest. If you happen to stumble upon Mike during your internet search for a lawyer, you just hit the jackpot!
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Posted by a Family Client | July 8, 2010
Very good attorney
Mike is a very friendly, honest, and ethical person. Mike hears client very patiently and suggests for the best interest of parties involved. He is easily reachable and very responsive to client’s need. The way Mike works actually saves some money. He provides information (both online and offline) very efficient way and one could work with him directly.. Overall, he is an excellent lawyer and I would recommend him to anyone looking for a reliable and knowledgeable lawyer.
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Posted by anonymous | July 1, 2009
Worth his weight in Gold!
Mike was 100% honest and straight forward throughout our whole case. He didn't "win" our case, he won what was in the best interest of our son. Mike practices family law in order to fight for the best interest of the child and he tires to promote positive communication between parents. Basically, he wants to open a line of communication betweeen both parties in order to avoid more court cases and lawyers. Oh yeah, he also did help us get the custody orders we requested, plus some! Overall, he is a fantastic lawyer and I would recommend him to anyone looking for an honest, fair, no B.S lawyer.
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Posted by anonymous | May 18, 2009
Mike A - Good to Go
Mike did a great job in my case and made the nightmare of a divorce manageable, i'd say i'd use him next time but....
Posted by anonymous | May 18, 2009
Excellent and Fair Family Law Attorney
Michael is a rare find. He is an extremely knowledgeable attorney regarding family law and he is very mindful of his fees. He is extremely fair with his billing, and his assessment of the case. He obviously cares about working out a solution that is clear, supportable, winnable, and in the best interest of the parties concerned. I found that Michael was able to separate fact from emotion (which can be hard to do regarding Family Law matters), help me to stay focused, and provide timely and succinct answers needed to better my case. Most importantly, I have been able to achieve the desired outcomes each time in my case when I've worked with Michael.
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Posted by anonymous | February 25, 2009
Client Review
Mike provided us with excellent service! Our case was resolved very quickly and efficiently. He kept us informed every step of the way. Mike is incredibly good at what he does. We would highly recommend him to anyone!
Posted by Jeff | September 29, 2008
Mike was great!
While divorce is never easy, Mike made it as painless as possible. Mike was always available and very responsive to all my needs. His knowledge and strategies helped obtain a favorable decision. I would definitely use Mike again.
Posted by anonymous | September 26, 2008
solid attorney
Mr. Apicella is a very ethical person. It was obvious that he cared deeply about my case and working hard for me. He was also more than fair when it came to billing for his services. I would recommend him to anyone needing a divorce attorney.
Posted by anonymous | September 23, 2008
Brett McClain
Michael is an intelligent, honest, fair, straight forward and hard working attorney. As my Divorce attorney he was patient, considerate and compassionate and listened to my concerns. I always felt like he was looking out for MY best interest. I highly recommend Michael and would definitely retain his services again. Michael truly cares about his clients.
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Posted by Will | August 9, 2008
Michael is a fantastic Attorney
Michael was my lead counsel on a pretty nasty divorce. His attention to detail, responsiveness and communication exceeded my expectations. I felt that while he was on my case, it was handled well and he always tried to keep things moving forward. I would strongly recommend him.
Posted by Renee | July 23, 2008
Mike is always there to answer my questions. No matter how busy he is, I feel like I am the only case on his desk at the moment.
Posted by anonymous | July 17, 2008
Client Review
I retained Michael Apicella's services for a homeowners dispute. He is very professional, courteous, and knowledgeable. He kept me informed of all the issues involved in the case both in writing and verbally and resolved the case in a timely manner. I wouldn't think twice about retaining his services in the future should the need arise.
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  • Hourly Rates $ 300-350 per hour
  • Retainer Sometimes
Payment methods
Cash, Check


AVVO RATING 8.3 (Excellent)

Work Experience

  • Principal
  • Apicella Law & Mediation
  • 2004 - Present
  • Attorney
  • Kelly, Herlihy & Klein, LLP
  • 2002 - 2004
  • Certified Legal Intern
  • San Francisco Public Defender
  • 2001 - 2001
  • Certified Legal Intern
  • San Francisco District Attorney
  • 2000 - 2000
  • Intern
  • Orange County Public Defender
  • 1999 - 1999
View all work experience


  • Golden Gate University School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 2001
  • University of Southern California
  • BS - Bachelor of Science
  • 1993

Sample of Legal Cases

  • Child Support Modification
  • successful reduction of child support
  • premarital agreement
  • Drafted premarital agreement to protect parties' assets
  • Divorce Mediation
  • amicable divorce, saving much time, heartache, and money, compared to litigation.
View all legal cases


  • Sonoma County Bar Association
  • 2005 - Present
  • Marin County Bar Association
  • 2004 - Present
  • American Arbitration Association
  • 2001 - Present
  • Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution
  • 2001 - Present
  • American Bar Association
  • 2001 - Present
  • Italian American Bar Association
  • 2001 - Present
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English
  • French

Honors and Awards

  • CALI Award: Legal Skills
  • Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction
  • 1999


View all publications

Speaking Engagements

  • school to career
  • careers
  • 2012
  • Pathways for Kids: Career Awareness
  • Legal Careers
  • 2001

Attorney endorsements

Received (14)
Given (6)
Endorse Michael
Family Attorney | Feb 18
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Mike is a top notch attorney. His responses in public forums such as AVVO showcase his experience, expertise, and a deep understanding and knowledge of the law."
Mediation Attorney | Oct 28
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mr. Apicella has given consistently correct, analytic and customized answers on Avvo. His orientation towards mediation, seeking a "win-win" scenario instead of a "win-lose" is to be highly commended and should be seriously considered by Avvo askers."
Family Attorney | Oct 28
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer.because he seeks to serve his clients, and nit just stir things up."
Family Attorney | Sep 11
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Michael lives his integrity and his sincerity for advancing the welfare of others in the pain of conflict. He genuinely wants to find the peaceful solutions when he can, and works hard to do so. He is not afraid of conflict, but he will look for the humanity in every situation."
Family Attorney | Sep 06
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I have had the privilege of getting to know Michael over the past several years. To say that he is a man of integrity would be an understatement. Michael's approach to family law is very similar to mine. He takes a very holistic approach in an effort to solve problems, rather than create problems. He is dedicated to try his best to resolve family matters in an equitable manner, while facilitating the creation of a post-divorce functional family. I have a great deal of respect for Michael and have referred him a number of cases and will continue to do so."
Family Attorney | Jun 17
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I am constantly amazed (and proud) that fellow attorneys continue to keep the spirit of pro bono service alive by taking the time to give free legal advice to the community here on the Avvo Question and Answer Board. Mr. Apicella provides sound advice and has earned my professional respect in demonstrating both his knowledge and skill regarding family law matters. I am happy to provide this endorsement of him."
Family Attorney | May 26
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mr. Apicella is a very incisive attorney who gives excellent advice to his clients. He is also very astute and to the point while still managing to be kind. I have not consulted with him as to mediation although he is well situated to do both and I will certainly be recommending him both as a lawyer and a mediator."
Family Attorney | Apr 16
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Attorney Apicella is an outstanding family law attorney with an exceptional reputation. He is a strong and zealous advocate for his clients and true credit to the legal profession. I highly recommend his legal services."
Child custody Attorney | May 14
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Michael asked me to work with him on a custody and child support case. Michael was a strong and effective advocate for his client. His writing skills are strong. This is very important in family law matters because many issues are decided by the judge primarily on the documents submitted to the court. Michael also referred a case to me in which he was the mediator for the clients in their divorce. Both parties indicated that Michael was patient and thorough in the mediation process. It was clear that he had established a repore both clients."
Family Attorney | Apr 25
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I wholeheartedly endorse Mike Apicella as an intelligent, ethical, and pragmatic attorney. He is well-versed in his practice areas and takes pains to explain matters to his clients so that they can make intelligent decisions. This is an attorney who will protect your interests and manage your case honestly."
Family Attorney | Feb 18
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I would want Mr. Apicella on my side in any family law matter."
Family Attorney | Nov 09
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse this lawyer without reservation. Mr. Apicella and I worked together in very difficult conditions and he always made sure to take care of the client first. His honesty is unassailable and his intelligence and work-ethic are top-notch."
Contracts and agreements Attorney | Dec 13
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer's work. Mike Apicella is an outstanding lawyer. I first met Mike when he was graduating from law school. He worked with me on several projects and it became clear Mike was very bright and diligent. Now after several years of experience Mike is at the top of his field. I recommend him without hesitation."
Family Attorney | Jul 16
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer's work. Michael Apicella is the consummate lawyer. He is equally facile as an oral advocate and in arguing his client's case in briefs. He understands the most subtle nuances of his client's case and uses discovery and takes depositions to his client's advantage. He does not waste time or money and is efficient and economical. His expertise in family law is consonant with the most praised attorneys in his field. There is no lawyer practicing who has better judgment on how to wield facts and law to his client's benefit. If you are seeking optimum representation on a family law matter in northern California, look no further than at the credentials of Michael Apicella."
View more endorsements
Divorce and separation
Criminal defense
Bankruptcy and debt
San Rafael Mediation Lawyer Michael John Apicella
Michael John Apicella
Mediation Attorney
San Rafael, CA
Licensed for 21 years