I am a principal in the law firm of Graves & Allen, with a practice that since 1973 has emphasized negotiation, structuring and documentation of real estate, loan and other business transactions, receiverships, civil litigation and bankruptcy.
Representative clients include: banking institutions, title companies, institutionaland private lenders, borrowers, developers, contractors, real estate brokers, buyers, sellers, landlords, tenants, receivers, hotel operators and other general business interests. I have handled numerous major real estate transactions and many large loan transactions.
I have extensive litigation experience and have enjoyed a Martindale-Hubbell AV Rating for many years. I also do extensive work as a neutral, providing services as an arbitrator and as a mediator.
Admitted to practice
- California Supreme Court and all state courts in the State of California
- United States Supreme Court
- Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals of the United States
- all United States District Courts located in California
- specially admitted to practice before the United States District Courts located in New York, New York (S.D.N.Y.), Reno, Nevada, and Phoenix, Arizona.
- American Bar Association
- California State Bar Association
- Alameda County Bar Association
- Past Member:
- Lawyers Club
- American Trial Lawyer’s Association
- California Trial Lawyer’s Association
I have been very active in the American Bar Association, and in particular, its General Practice Division. I have served terms as: Vice Chair and Chair of its Real Property Practice Committee; Chair of the Subcommittee on the Use of Computers in Real Estate Transactions; Vice Chair, Bankruptcy Committee; Advocacy Coordinator; Advocacy Committee Chair and Vice Chair; Program Board Member; Marketing Board Member; Senior Vice Chairman of the GP Link Committee, Deputy Chair of the Litigation Committee, Chairman of the Technology Committee, Chairman of the Leadership Training Committee, member of the Long Range Planning and of the Corporate Sponsors Committees and a Member of the Section Council. I currently serve as Editor-in-Chief of GPSolo Magazine and of the GPSolo eReport.
I have also served on various committees for the Litigation Section, Real Property Section, ADR Section and Law Practice Management Section of the American Bar Association and currently serve as a member of the Editorial Board of Experience Magazine for the Senior Lawyers’ Division and as a member of the Editorial Board of the ABA Journal.
I was the ABA Advisor the ULC (formerly NCCUSL) drafting committee for eDiscovery Rules and currently serve as the GP Solo Division Advisor to the ULC Drafting Committee for a Model Real Estate Receivership Act.
I have served as a Special Master for the California State Bar Association for many years. I also served on the California State Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution.
I have been active in the Alameda County Bar Association, serving as a member and Vice Chair of its Continuing Education Committee, a member and officer (Secretary) of its Alternative Dispute Resolution Section on the ADR Program Executive Committee, and on the Executive Committees of the ADR Section, Real Property Section and Senior Counsel Section.
I also served four years as a member of the Commercial Section Board of Leaders and two years as Co-Chair of the Commercial Section of the Association For Conflict Resolution.
Service with: Alameda County Superior Court Panel of Civil Arbitrators; American Arbitration Association Panel of Arbitrators; Alameda County Bar Association Panel of Arbitrators, and NASD Public Arbitration Panel. Member, California State Bar Special Masters Panel, Alameda County. I have actively served as an arbitrator for over 27 years and have arbitrated cases in various areas including: personal injury, business disputes, contract disputes, real property matters; landlord-tenant matters, construction disputes; securities transactions and employment disputes. I have taken numerous training courses respecting arbitration including those offered by the NASD and the American Arbitration Association. I have presented at programs on arbitration.
Alameda County Bar Association Panel of Mediators; member, American Bar Association Alternative Dispute Resolution Section (Mediation Committee) member, Association for Conflict Resolution (Board of Leaders, Commercial Section). I have actively served as a mediator for over 14 years. I also regularly present at programs on mediation and work as an instructor in training programs for mediators. I have mediated numerous cases in various areas of practice including: business disputes, real property matters, construction disputes, contract matters and personal injury cases. I enjoy a very high settlement rate in mediation matters.
I have accepted appointments by courts throughout Northern California as a state court receiver. As a result, I have had the responsibility of operating properties and businesses of extremely varied natures and collectively valued at in excess of $100,000,000. I have also served as a Bankruptcy Trustee for the United States Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of California.
Licensed real estate broker (California). Broker-related activities have focused on property management (largely in conjunction with receivership work) and consulting.
In addition to operating my own law firm, I have served as an officer, director and/or manager of businesses engaged in providing legal services, real estate related services, consulting, computer services and retail sales. As a state courtappointed receiver, I have assumed responsibility for the operation of many businesses including apartment complexes, office buildings, stores, a public cold storage warehouse, a golf course and nursing homes. As an attorney, I have represented and served as a consultant to numerous and varied businesses. I have also served as the chief executive officer of large not-for-profit organizations, including Family Services of the East Bay and the California Youth Soccer Association.
- Lecturer, St. Mary’s College (faculty of St. Mary’s College Paralegal Program)
- Teaching Assistant, University of California, Berkeley, Political Science Department (1970-73)
- Adult Education Instructor, Acalanes High School (1975-1978) Lecturer, Oakland College of Law (1996- 1997)
- Faculty, University of Phoenix (2004-)
- Faculty California State University of the East Bay
- California Life Teaching Credentials: Junior College and Adult Education United States Soccer Federation licensed Referee Instructor
- California Youth Soccer Association Coaching Instructor
- Frequent speaker in programs on using technology in the practice of law Presenter in mediation training and continuing legal education programs
I have actively worked with computers since 1980. After developing an interest in computers as a hobbyist, I began to use computers in my professional and business life in the early 1980s. I ultimately become a principal in two closely held computer companies involved in software development, sales and consulting work. My activities in the industry also include: (1) the design of a litigation management system for attorneys; (2) work as a beta-tester for various hardware and software concerns; (3) authoring and publication of numerous articles respecting computerization and the practice of law; and (4) frequent lecturer on computerization and the practice of law.
The December 1983 issue of Personal Computing included an article on innovative uses of personal computers that focused on my use of computers in the practice of law. I have worked with various manufacturers and publishers respecting the development of programs for the legal community.
Listed in numerous Who’s Who publications.
- Comment, Pretrial Release Under California Penal Code Section 853.6: An Examination of Citation Release, 60 California Law Review 1339 (1972).
Computers and the Litigator, 7 The American Journal of Trial Advocacy 493 (1984); reprinted at 34 Defense Law Journal 183 (1985).
I have authored several columns and articles for the Compleat Lawyer, a publication of the General Practice Section of the American Bar Association (now known as GP Solo) and currently write a column entitled “Road Warrior” for the Technology and Practice Guide issues of GP Solo. I serve as the Special Issue Editor for the Technology and Practice Guide issues of GP Solo, as a member of the editorial board of GP Solo and as the Editor-in-Chief of the Technology eReport both of which are publications of the General Practice, Solo and Small Firms Section of the American Bar Association. I also write a column titled the “Road Warrior for the Technology & Practice Guide” and a column entitled “MacNotes” for the Technology eReport. In addition I regularly write product reviews for those publications and for Law Office Computing and contribute articles to a variety of other publications. I also write a technology column for Experience magazine.
- From 1992 through 1996 I authored a column for Soccer California.
Oakland Rotary Club; Member, Board of Directors; chair, Camp Enterprise Committee; chair, Policy and Planning Committee; chair, Youth Service Committee; chair, Long Range Committee; and chair Rotary District 509, District Youth Services Committee. Commonwealth Club, Hillcrest Elementary School PTA (President and Treasurer [two terms each]). Family Service of the East Bay (Board of Directors [Finance Committee, Executive Committee, President [three terms], 1st Vice President [one term]); St. Mary?s College Paralegal Program Advisory Committee [three terms]; Member various advisory committees for the Oakland Unified School District, including Gifted and Talented Education Advisory Committee, Instructional Strategy Counsel, District Budget Advisory Committee, and Strategic Planning Committee (finance and budget); member, University of California-Oakland Metropolitan Forum (Youth and Education Committee) and Coordinator of the Oakland Metropolitan Youth Forum; member, Oakland Chamber of Commerce; former member, Oakland Strategic Planning Committee; Board of Directors, Montera Youth Sports Complex; Board of Directors, Jack London Youth Soccer League (Commissioner, Bay Oaks [competition teams]); Board of Directors, California Youth Soccer Association (CYSA) District IV Assistant Commissioner, [three terms]; President, CYSA District IV, Competitive League [three terms]; Referee Coordinator (1992-1996); California, North Referee Association, District IV Referee Administrator (1992-1996); California Youth Soccer Association Board of Directors, (1993 – 2001) [Secretary, (1993-1996); Chairman of the Board of Directors (1996-2000); Past Chairman (2000-2001)], Board of Directors, California Soccer Association, North (1996-2000); Board of Directors, California North Referee Association (1996-2000 ) Member, US. Youth Soccer Association Region IV Regional Council (1996-2000); Member, U.S. Youth Soccer Super League Committee (1997-1998); Member, U.S. Soccer Federation Database Market Committee (1997- 99); Member, U.S. Soccer Constitutional Commission (1997-1998); Member, U.S. Soccer Federation National Council (1996-99); Chairman, U.S. Youth Soccer Database Market Committee (1998-1999), Member, U.S. Youth Soccer Constitutional Commission (1998-1999); Chair, U.S. Youth Soccer Mediation and Dispute Resolution Committee (1999-2000); Member, US Soccer Mediation and Dispute Resolution Task Force (1999-2000); Member Board of Directors, US Futsal Federation (1999-present [Coaches’ Representative 1999-2004 and CFO 2004-]).
- Boalt Hall Law School, University of California, Berkeley, California 1973 J.D.
American Jurisprudence Award for studies in Creditors Remedies; various scholarship awards.
During my second year of law school, I became a member of the California Law Review and helped found the Ecology Law Quarterly. In my third year, I became Special Projects Editor of the California Law Review, and was the first member of my class published in the California Law Review.
After completing the first year moor court assignment (and still as a first year student), I entered the second year Moot Court Competition. The only first year student to enter the competition, I placed third in oral argument and fifth in brief writing, placing me on the Moot Court State Competition Team for the next year. During my second year, I became the first second year student to represent the school as a member of its State Moot Court Team. I also became the first second year student to serve on the Moot Court Board, and the first student to serve two terms on the Board (selection on the basis of work in the Law School Moot Court Program).
I was employed throughout my law school career, working between 20 and 35 hours a week as a law clerk, a faculty research assistant, a Program Director for the Oakland Lawyers Committee and as a Teaching Assistant in the Political Science Department of the University of California, Berkeley.
1970 B.A., Political Science, University of California, Berkeley, California
Member, Phi Beta Kappa; B.A. awarded with Great Distinction and with Distinction in Honors; Dean’s List each semester; Alumni Scholar as an entering freshman; awarded Continuing Alumni Scholarships for sophomore, junior, and senior years; received other scholarships for academic merit; honors program in senior year; qualified for Independent Study Program in junior and senior years. I received Ford Grant funds through the Center for the Study of Law and Society 1965-66 (research project on police reform). Graduation speaker.
Alumni Scholar’s Club (terms as Vice President and as President); Student Speaker’s Bureau (terms as Vice Chairman and as Chairman); employed part time to earn money to pay for college; Intramural sports.
1966 Graduate, Fresno High School, Fresno, California
Life Member, California Scholarship Federation;
California State Scholarship Award
Member Varsity Forensics Team; Qualified for State Speech Championship Tournament during each year of high school (events: debate, original oratory, impromptu and extemporaneous speaking); Qualified for National Speech Tournament as a senior (events: debate, original oratory and impromptu speaking). Won numerous tournaments in debate, extemporaneous speaking, original oratory and impromptu speaking,
Student Senate in 1966.
Member, Purple and Gold, and Service F (honorary service societies); Member of Student Court for three years, serving as Associate Defense Attorney, Associate Prosecuting Attorney, Chief Prosecuting Attorney, and Chief Justice of the Student Court.
I am married to Anne Marie Allen, a retired school teacher from the San Francisco Unified School District. We have two children: a son, Jason, and a daughter, Sara. My son is the Unit Director for the Boys and Girls Club of East Palo Alto, California as well as an attorney practicing in San Francisco, California. My daughter teaches in the San Francisco Unified School District. I live with my wife in Oakland, California.
My personal life has focused around my family. I participated with my children in a number of activities including Y Indian Guides, Y Indian Princesses, Cub Scouts and soccer. For a number of years, I have coached youth soccer teams; I have California Youth Soccer Association certification as a youth soccer coach (“F”, “E”, and State “D” level certificates, National “D”, National “C” and National Youth coaching licenses, and National Soccer Coaches Association of America Regional Academy Diploma). My teams have competed successfully in the United States and in Europe.
In addition to coaching and refereeing youth soccer, my hobbies include reading, computers, photography, sports, teaching, community service, travel, music, and collecting wines, coins, fountain pens, and electronic gadgets of an assorted and sundry nature.