Shawn is a Sonoma County family law attorney and mediator with extensive experience resolving complex family law issues. Shawn is regarded as a creative problem solver who thinks outside the box in order to provide his mediation and litigation clients the best possible options for solutions. He has a keen awareness of the need in family law for compassion and understanding while maintaining the highest standards of professionalism. Shawn has been named a settlement conference panelist for the Sonoma County Superior Court and mediates cases twice per month for the court.
In addition to his mediation and litigation experience, Shawn has completed advanced training in trial advocacy, mediation, conflict resolution, and collaborative law. He also recently completed training to be appointed as a Parenting Coordinator in Sonoma County and currently sits on several Sonoma County Bar Association committees, including the Family Law Steering Committee, Family Law Rules and Best Practices Committee, and the Family Law Education Committee.
Shawn work closely with some of the most highly regarded custody experts in the state and nation, CPAs, financial experts, mortgage brokers, and anyone else necessary to provide our clients with the information and strategies they deserve. When not practicing law, you can find Shawn with his family, coaching youth sports, running, mountain biking, throwing Frisbee, or playing music with his band, Urban Oasis.
Monica has been involved in every aspect of our family law cases from litigation to mediation and has been instrumental in the successes of the firm for more than 25 years. She is extremely knowledgeable and regarded as one of the finest paralegals in Sonoma County.
Monica is a member of NALA (National Association of Legal Assistants), the Sonoma County Bar Association, and is a State of California Notary Public. Monica came to the firm in 1993 from the Sonoma County Superior Court, Family Law Department, where she was a certified Superior Court Clerk. During her employment with the Superior Court, Monica graduated from Empire Business and Law School with President’s honors in Paralegal Studies. Her background and experience focuses on the nuts and bolts of family law, including complex family law and civil procedure, which complements our team perfectly.
The legal work in family law consists of many layers. There are certain legal tasks attorneys must manage and do not turn over to anyone else in the firm. On the other hand, there are many tasks and issues that can be handled by a skilled paralegal to increase efficiency by (1) facilitating the flow of information, (2) allowing the attorneys to focus their time on the complexities of the case, and (3) completing tasks at an hourly rate nearly half the rate of the attorney.
Monica’s outside interests are spending time with her husband and family, her two horses and related endeavors, mountain biking, and hiking.
Cathy joined RELM (formerly Tavis & Bunyard) in January 2014 after 25 years in the legal field and has an expertise in family law. Before coming to the firm, Cathy worked as a family law paralegal for 14 years. She also has a legal background in civil litigation and corporate law, but her passion has always been family law.
Cathy has worked for major law firms in both San Francisco and Santa Rosa. Cathy brings professionalism, experience and her positive and caring nature to our firm. Cathy assists our clients with completing their disclosure documents and formal discovery. She drafts a variety of legal documents, prepares clients and cases for litigation, and manages and organizes a high volume of documents. Cathy also has extensive trial experience; She has attended trial with the attorney and has been involved in all aspects of working with clients to assist in the handling of documents, conveying information, and coordinating tasks required by the attorney. Cathy enjoys working with clients and prides herself on being intuitively responsive to each client’s needs during difficult times. Her empathy and experience make for a valuable and calming resource to our clients, and an essential part of the RELM team.
After receiving her Paralegal Certificate from the Attorney Assistant Program at Sonoma State University, Cathy also obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies from Sonoma State University. Cathy is a Notary Public and member of the Sonoma County Bar Association and National Association of Legal Assistants.
Cathy has lived in Petaluma since 1986. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, doing yoga and Pilates, swimming, hiking, knitting, and relaxing by the coast.