About your Judges


M. Sue Talia is an AV rated Family Law Specialist, certified by the Board of Specialization of the State Bar of California. Since 1977, she has practiced in Contra Costa County, California, focusing on complex family law litigation. She was formerly known as M. Sue Greicar.

While maintaining a practice specializing in high-end family law litigation, she published two books. Three more are in the works.

Since 1997 she has limited her practice to private judging in complex family law matters.

She frequently teaches workshops on a variety of subjects, including Marital Standard of Living, How to be an Effective Family Law Forensic CPA, and How to Have a Profitable Part Time Family Law Practice. She also teaches workshops to the general public to educate them on the family law system and how to make most effective use of it. Additionally, she has taught workshops on family law subjects through the California Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Contra Costa Family Law Section.

She is a frequent speaker on unbundled legal services and presented three workshops on the topic at the first national conference on unbundled legal services in October, 2000. She is a member of the Limited Representation Committee of the California Commission on Access to Justice

She is a founding director of the Family Law Section of Contra Costa County and remains active in that organization, frequently writing articles on matters of interest to family lawyers.

She is also involved actively advocating reform of the family law system in the State of California and other states.

Law Offices of M. Sue Talia
P.O. Box 2335, Danville, California 94526-7335

Law Offices of M. Sue Talia
2333 San Ramon Valley Boulevard, Suite 150, San Ramon California 94583
1994 to 1997

Law Offices of M. Sue Talia
380 Diablo Road, Suite 210, Danville, California 94526
1988 to 1994

Thiessen, Gagen & McCoy
279 Front Street, Danville, California

Merrill, Thiessen & Gagen
379 Diablo Road, Danville, California

Hastings College of the Law
JD 1977
Constitutional Law Quarterly

Stanford University
MA, American History 1974

Santa Clara University
BA, American History 1971, summa cum laude

Legal Organizations and awards

American Bar Association, Louis M. Brown award for innovation in access to justice, February, 2004

American Bar Association, Cindy Raisch award for innovation in lawyer referral service access October 2004

California Access to Justice Commission, special service award, January 2004

Founding Director Family Law Section, Contra Costa County Bar
1986 to 1995; President 1990

Task force on Limited Scope Representation through the Access to Justice Commission of the State of California
2001 to present

Editor, In Chancery, the monthly publication of the Family Law Section
1995 - 1997

Numerous Bar Association and Family Law Section committees including Task Force for Family Court Reform

Family Law Section, American Bar Association
1980 to present

How to Avoid the Divorce from Hell (And Dance Together at Your Daughter’s Wedding), Second edition - 2006, Nexus Publishing Company, Danville, California

Unbundling Your Divorce: How to Find a Lawyer to Help You Help Yourself - 2006, Nexus Publishing Company, A Client’s Guide to Limited Legal Services, Nexus Publishing Company, Danville, California

Everything I Needed to Know I Learned After Law School: Memos to a New Family Lawyer. E-book 2007, Nexus Publishing Company

Reducing the Need for Pro Se Assistance by Re-engaging the Private bar (publication pending, March 2005)

Zen and the Art of Family Lawyering, Contra Costa Lawyer 2000

Divorcing the Dursleys, Contra Costa Lawyer, 2001

Dozens of articles in legal publications on family law issues, practice management and unbundled legal services, including ACFLS, the Family Advocate, Divorce Magazine and other similar publications.

Frequent workshops and courses for attorneys, accountants and individuals on topics including Successful Divorce, Family Law Evidence for Attorneys, Marital Standard of Level, How to be an Effective Family Law Forensic CPA, How to Try the High Income Support Case, and her personal favorite, How to have a Practice And a Life: Creating a Profitable Part Time Practice

Host, How to Avoid the Divorce from Hell, a weekly radio talk show at station WALE, Providence RI 1997-1998

Numerous appearances as talk show guest, including
The Ronn Owens Show, KGO San Francisco

A Woman’s Idea, Snow Anderson, Host KVFF, Santa Fe, NM

News Talk 790, Craig Robbins, Host WNC, Memphis, TN

Danville Area Chamber of Commerce
President, 1985

Discovery Center
President, 1980-1982

Soroptimist International of San Ramon Valley
President, 1980

Numerous additional committees and community organizations


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