Experienced. Responsive. Results Oriented.

Providing Family Law, Estate and Trust Solutions Tailored to the Needs of Businesses, Individuals and Families Since 1994

Experienced. Responsive. Results Oriented.

Providing Family Law, Estate and Trust Solutions Tailored to the Needs of Businesses, Individuals and Families Since 1994

COVID-19 Updates

  • June 12, 2020

     

    SANTA CLARA COUNTY COURT UPDATE

    Dear Valued Clients:

    Attached are the new rules and proceedings for the Santa Clara Family Court in the wake of COVID-19.

    Per Judge Pegg, it is opening on a staggered schedule, see below for more information.

    PDF: Santa Clara Court Changes

    Sincerely,

    LPEP Law

  • May 29, 2020

     

    COVID-19 UPDATE

    Dear Clients:

    Please let this correspondence serve as an update on the Court’s status as the state begins to lift COVID-19 restrictions.

    Since the SIP Order on March 16th, 2020, the court has been operating on a very limited basis as we have detailed in earlier communication to clients. As of June 1st, the Court was hoping to return to full operation with all departments up and running. Unfortunately, and despite the Court’s best intentions, they will only be opening three additional departments as of June 1st, with the balance of the departments opening by June 15th, 2020.

    More detailed information on the Court’s re-opening is set out below:

    1. Facemasks: Everyone in the courthouse is required to wear a facemask. Once inside a courtroom, you may ask the judge for permission regarding modifying your face covering (ex: can I remove my mask to speak?).
    2. Calendars will be limited: Only 7 matters will be calendared per time slot, specific time slots will be assigned (ex: 9, 10, 11, 1:30, 2:30, 3:30).
    3. Courtroom time will be limited: Your matter might be an RFO, but in these first few months, the Court may treat your hearing like a status conference and continue the matter out further due to time constraints.
    4. Filing staff is no longer limited: Everyone is set up to work remotely. Things should not be delayed.
    5. Trials: All trials through the end of May were continued to a status conference date. At the status conference, trials will be re-set. Previously, if your trial was two days or less, your APJ would hear it. Now, your APJ will only hear one day trials through at least the end of this year. If you have a trial that is longer than one-day and is on a time-urgent issue (DV, move-aways, etc.), your trial will be referred to a civil department on an expedited basis. Urgent family issues and criminal trials are taking priority. If your trial is on a non-urgent issue and is more than one day, it will probably not go forward in 2020.
    6. New judges: Commissioner Blecher is now Judge Blecher. She will be in Department 64. Judge Adams will be moving from Department 64 to Department 73. Judge Franco is moving to criminal. Commissioner Rebecca Esquival Pedroza will take over for Judge Blecher in DCSS.
    7. Remote Hearings: The pilot project for remote hearings in DCSS is still ongoing in Department 70. They are awaiting equipment before this could be utilized in all departments.
    8. Courtcall: Courtcall is still liberally encouraged by the presiding judge. She noted that the reason calendars are so limited is because they have noticed that not many attorneys are taking advantage of courtcall. Judge Pegg encouraged us to please use courtcall when appropriate. If more hearings can take place via courtcall, calendars can be expanded.
    9. Change to JCC process: Beginning July 1st, parties will not be referred to a JCC after mediation. They will have a post-mediation hearing with the APJ to determine if they would benefit from a JCC or if a trial or long-cause hearing needs to be set on the matter. One of the goals of this includes having a quicker timeframe for the judges to implement interim custody orders.
    10. RFOs: The Court staff has full capacity to process all ex parte RFOs, even if they did not fit in the prior COVID-specific guidelines. Hearings are going to start being set on all RFOs that have been filed since the March SIP orders, but not until after the current calendar is set. So, we should be getting new hearing dates on our filed RFOs. Effective, June 1st, if you file an RFO, you should get a hearing date.
    11. Remote MSCs: This process is beginning. Sharon Roper will be contacting attorneys in order to coordinate remote MSCs.
    12. SOCs: SOCs will be happening beginning June 1, 2020. They are singe-set and only for one hour. You will be escorted in an out of the SOC wing. Also, remote SOCs are being discussed/proposed.
    13. FCS: FCS is fully-operational with telephonic mediation. They stress that we should advise clients to answer calls from a blocked number if they are participating with the phone mediations.
    We appreciate that fact that the Court’s new guidelines make a difficult process even more so, we will continue to keep you advised of developments as they occur.

    Please do not hesitate to contact the undersigned should you have any questions or concerns.

    Very truly yours,

     Michael E. Lonich

  • April 10, 2020

     

    COVID-19 FAMILY COURT UPDATE

    We participated in a video conference with the presiding judges of the Santa Clara County Superior Court.

    Consistent with the guidelines provided by the County of Santa Clara’s “Shelter in Place” orders and the Governor’s executive order, the Court has suspended all non-essential functions until May 1, 2020.

    Limited Family Law departments are open along with the self-help center. The limited matters currently being handled by the Court are as follows:

    – All Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO) hearings involving the safety of children (non-child safety DVRO’s are being continued);
    – Custody and visitation issues involving the safety of a child or if a parent is being denied visitation (i.e. withholding one parent);
    – Custody matters where a parent has tested positive for drug or alcohol violations;
    – Emergency Screenings;
    – Gun Violence Restraining Orders;
    – Mediation of custody matters at Family Court Services (FCS) by phone only;
    – Contempt of Court (OSC Re: Contempt) hearings are being reviewed on a case by case basis and will go forward if the underlying issue is deemed essential;
    – Guardianships when the safety of a child is a concern.

    Many of our clients are concerned about current child support orders during this crisis if one or both parents have lost their job or been layed off. The Court is aware of the issue and we can expect further guidance shortly.

    Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri remains open to handle all of the essential matters outlined above as well as all other Family Law matters during this crisis. We are utilizing phone and video conferencing to meet our client’s needs in both Family Law and Estate Planning.

    Stay safe and do not hesitate to call or reach out through our web site if we can be of any help.

  • March 25, 2020

    COVID-19 Update

    Please call our office at 408-553-0801

    We remain open without disruption via phone, video conference, and more. LPEP promises to remain committed to serving our clients during these uncertain times.

  • March 20, 2020

     

    Statement on the COVID-19 Pandemic From Michael Lonich, Managing Partner

    Dear Valued Clients:

    The COVID-19 Pandemic has and will continue to change the way do business. We are mindful of concerns about the possibility of the virus spreading and each of us are doing our part to minimize that risk. At the same time, we are committed to providing necessary legal support to our clients in these challenging times.

    As a business providing professional legal services, we will continue to remain open so as to ensure we are available to assist our clients in complying with legally mandated activities. We will be maintaining a scaled-down staff in the office and our lawyers will either be working remotely from home or coming into the office when necessary to assist in compliance with court orders. Unless other arrangements are made, we will utilize telephone or email for all communication.

    With respect to litigation matters, as of the writing of this statement, the Courts are still open, albeit operating on a very restricted schedule. At this point, we are advised that almost all family law hearings, other than certain domestic violence matters, are being continued. We expect the Court may further modify its operations in light of the shelter in place orders.  We will continue to keep you apprised of these developments. If you have existing court orders in place, at this time, they remain in full force and effect.  We are happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have about your case.

    We recognize that we are lucky to have the opportunity to continue services to our clients given the challenges presented by this emergency.

    Very truly yours,

     Michael E. Lonich

    Managing Partner

June 12, 2020: SANTA CLARA COUNTY COURT UPDATE

Dear Valued Clients:

Attached are the new rules and proceedings for the Santa Clara Family Court in the wake of COVID-19.

Per Judge Pegg, it is opening on a staggered schedule, see below for more information.

PDF: Santa Clara Court Changes

Very truly yours,

LPEP Law


May 29, 2020: COVID-19 UPDATE

Dear Clients:

Please let this correspondence serve as an update on the Court’s status as the state begins to lift COVID-19 restrictions.

Since the SIP Order on March 16th, 2020, the court has been operating on a very limited basis as we have detailed in earlier communication to clients. As of June 1st, the Court was hoping to return to full operation with all departments up and running. Unfortunately, and despite the Court’s best intentions, they will only be opening three additional departments as of June 1st, with the balance of the departments opening by June 15th, 2020.

More detailed information on the Court’s re-opening is set out below:

1. Facemasks: Everyone in the courthouse is required to wear a facemask. Once inside a courtroom, you may ask the judge for permission regarding modifying your face covering (ex: can I remove my mask to speak?).
2. Calendars will be limited: Only 7 matters will be calendared per time slot, specific time slots will be assigned (ex: 9, 10, 11, 1:30, 2:30, 3:30).
3. Courtroom time will be limited: Your matter might be an RFO, but in these first few months, the Court may treat your hearing like a status conference and continue the matter out further due to time constraints.
4. Filing staff is no longer limited: Everyone is set up to work remotely. Things should not be delayed.
5. Trials: All trials through the end of May were continued to a status conference date. At the status conference, trials will be re-set. Previously, if your trial was two days or less, your APJ would hear it. Now, your APJ will only hear one day trials through at least the end of this year. If you have a trial that is longer than one-day and is on a time-urgent issue (DV, move-aways, etc.), your trial will be referred to a civil department on an expedited basis. Urgent family issues and criminal trials are taking priority. If your trial is on a non-urgent issue and is more than one day, it will probably not go forward in 2020.
6. New judges: Commissioner Blecher is now Judge Blecher. She will be in Department 64. Judge Adams will be moving from Department 64 to Department 73. Judge Franco is moving to criminal. Commissioner Rebecca Esquival Pedroza will take over for Judge Blecher in DCSS.
7. Remote Hearings: The pilot project for remote hearings in DCSS is still ongoing in Department 70. They are awaiting equipment before this could be utilized in all departments.
8. Courtcall: Courtcall is still liberally encouraged by the presiding judge. She noted that the reason calendars are so limited is because they have noticed that not many attorneys are taking advantage of courtcall. Judge Pegg encouraged us to please use courtcall when appropriate. If more hearings can take place via courtcall, calendars can be expanded.
9. Change to JCC process: Beginning July 1st, parties will not be referred to a JCC after mediation. They will have a post-mediation hearing with the APJ to determine if they would benefit from a JCC or if a trial or long-cause hearing needs to be set on the matter. One of the goals of this includes having a quicker timeframe for the judges to implement interim custody orders.
10. RFOs: The Court staff has full capacity to process all ex parte RFOs, even if they did not fit in the prior COVID-specific guidelines. Hearings are going to start being set on all RFOs that have been filed since the March SIP orders, but not until after the current calendar is set. So, we should be getting new hearing dates on our filed RFOs. Effective, June 1st, if you file an RFO, you should get a hearing date.
11. Remote MSCs: This process is beginning. Sharon Roper will be contacting attorneys in order to coordinate remote MSCs.
12. SOCs: SOCs will be happening beginning June 1, 2020. They are singe-set and only for one hour. You will be escorted in an out of the SOC wing. Also, remote SOCs are being discussed/proposed.
13. FCS: FCS is fully-operational with telephonic mediation. They stress that we should advise clients to answer calls from a blocked number if they are participating with the phone mediations.
We appreciate that fact that the Court’s new guidelines make a difficult process even more so, we will continue to keep you advised of developments as they occur.

Please do not hesitate to contact the undersigned should you have any questions or concerns.

Very truly yours,

 Michael E. Lonich


April 10, 2020: COVID-19 FAMILY COURT UPDATE

We participated in a video conference with the presiding judges of the Santa Clara County Superior Court.

Consistent with the guidelines provided by the County of Santa Clara’s “Shelter in Place” orders and the Governor’s executive order, the Court has suspended all non-essential functions until May 1, 2020.

Limited Family Law departments are open along with the self-help center. The limited matters currently being handled by the Court are as follows:

– All Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO) hearings involving the safety of children (non-child safety DVRO’s are being continued);
– Custody and visitation issues involving the safety of a child or if a parent is being denied visitation (i.e. withholding one parent);
– Custody matters where a parent has tested positive for drug or alcohol violations;
– Emergency Screenings;
– Gun Violence Restraining Orders;
– Mediation of custody matters at Family Court Services (FCS) by phone only;
– Contempt of Court (OSC Re: Contempt) hearings are being reviewed on a case by case basis and will go forward if the underlying issue is deemed essential;
– Guardianships when the safety of a child is a concern.

Many of our clients are concerned about current child support orders during this crisis if one or both parents have lost their job or been layed off. The Court is aware of the issue and we can expect further guidance shortly.

Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri remains open to handle all of the essential matters outlined above as well as all other Family Law matters during this crisis. We are utilizing phone and video conferencing to meet our client’s needs in both Family Law and Estate Planning.

Stay safe and do not hesitate to call or reach out through our web site if we can be of any help.


March 25, 2020: COVID-19 UPDATE

Please call our office at 408-553-0801

We remain open without disruption via phone, video conference, and more. LPEP promises to remain committed to serving our clients during these uncertain times.


March 20, 2020: Statement on the COVID-19 Pandemic From Michael Lonich, Managing Partner

Dear Valued Clients:

The COVID-19 Pandemic has and will continue to change the way do business. We are mindful of concerns about the possibility of the virus spreading and each of us are doing our part to minimize that risk. At the same time, we are committed to providing necessary legal support to our clients in these challenging times.

As a business providing professional legal services, we will continue to remain open so as to ensure we are available to assist our clients in complying with legally mandated activities. We will be maintaining a scaled-down staff in the office and our lawyers will either be working remotely from home or coming into the office when necessary to assist in compliance with court orders. Unless other arrangements are made, we will utilize telephone or email for all communication.

With respect to litigation matters, as of the writing of this statement, the Courts are still open, albeit operating on a very restricted schedule. At this point, we are advised that almost all family law hearings, other than certain domestic violence matters, are being continued. We expect the Court may further modify its operations in light of the shelter in place orders.  We will continue to keep you apprised of these developments. If you have existing court orders in place, at this time, they remain in full force and effect.  We are happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have about your case.

We recognize that we are lucky to have the opportunity to continue services to our clients given the challenges presented by this emergency.

Very truly yours,

 Michael E. Lonich

Estate Planning

The Estate Planning Group provides a full range of legal services in the areas of estate planning, estate and trust administration, litigation, and probate.

Family Law

Our Family Law group is one of the largest practices in the Bay Area, regularly representing business owners, executives, foreign nationals and their spouses in complex divorce and family law matters.

Free Consultation

Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri is proud to offer complimentary 30 minute consultations for those interested in our services.

Family Law

Our Family Law group is one of the largest practices in the Bay Area, regularly representing business owners, executives, foreign nationals and their spouses in complex divorce and family law matters.

Estate Planning

The Estate Planning Group provides a full range of legal services in the areas of estate planning, estate and trust administration, litigation, and probate.

Free Consultation

Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri is proud to offer complimentary 30 minute consultations for those interested in our services.

What Sets Us Apart

At Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri, we are a true litigation firm with the resources and training to bring about positive results at trial when a settlement cannot be reached. We draw upon that experience when addressing client needs in family law, estate planning, trust, or probate matters.

Awards and badges for estate planning and family law attorneys
Awards and badges for estate planning and family law attorneys
The Lady Justice statue stands next to family law and estate planning law books.

Experience

With combined litigation experience of over 100 years, Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri is a preeminent Bay Area Family Law firm.

A married couple signs divorce documents with the help of their family law attorneys in San Jose, CA.

Confidentiality

Our attorneys take a genuine interest in our clients’ needs, take the time to understand their objectives, and provide strong representation in a timely, effective, and efficient manner.

San Jose family law and estate planning attorney in a suit with a nice watch

Results

At Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri, we are a true litigation firm with the resources and training to bring about positive results at trial when a settlement cannot be reached.

Family Law

The Family Law Group at Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri is one of the largest family law practices in the State and regularly represents business owners, executives, foreign nationals, and their spouses in complex divorce and family law matters.

Family law cases often involve business, real estate, tax, trust and estate matters and our Certified Family Law Specialists benefit from the expertise of our other practice groups. When outside help is needed we collaborate with experienced forensic accountants, business valuators, real estate appraisers, and mental health professionals.

Estate Planning

At Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri, our highly qualified trust and estate lawyers specialize in designing estate plans based upon the personal priorities, family situations, and financial positions of each of our clients, as well as trust and probate administration.

Many of the questions you have been asking yourself or topics that you and your spouse avoid discussing are easily covered in a professional setting that allows for questions to be addressed and solutions analyzed to produce an estate plan that works for you and your family.

We’re One Of the Most Respected Firms in Northern California

We are committed to the highest standards of professionalism and providing first-rate representation to each and every client.

Areas of Expertise

We specialize in two complementary areas of law: family law and estate planning. Our attorneys have decades of experience helping individuals and families with complex family law and estate planning matters throughout Silicon Valley.

Divorce Litigation

Divorce litigation is a serious matter. It can be difficult for all parties involved. Learn what to expect and how Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri can use their experience to help you.

Child Custody

Our attorneys prioritize the best interest of the children in child custody cases. From child support to fathers’ rights, to the complex cases that cross our desks, we will fight tirelessly for the best outcome.

Domestic Violence

Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri handles domestic violence cases in divorce with the utmost discretion. With over 10 years of experience in the area, we understand how to fight for victims of abuse and for those who have false accusations thrown at them.

Estate Planning

From probate and trusts to business succession planning, our estate planning practice offers a wide area of support. Learn more about our estate planning services.

Spousal Support

We have extensive knowledge of the California courts and the spousal support laws in place in the state. Our lawyers can help you determine the potential outcome of receiving temporary support or post-divorce support.

Trust Administration

If you’re a trustee in need of advice or help, our firm can guide you in the right direction. Alternatively, if you believe a trustee is in breach of their duties, Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri can assist you to assure the proper trust administration.

Testimonials

Great team of lawyers that truly care about the outcome of your case. I would recommend LPEP to anyone. They have been such an intelligent resource, dedicating their time and expertise to my legal challenges. Very professional, helpful, organized, strategic, and ALWAYS available to talk. I cannot thank this firm enough. Again, I HIGHLY recommend LPEP. Thank you for all your team has done.
Stephanie O.

The family law practice you should use. I used Michael Lonich to do my estate planning a couple of years ago. I’m back again with my parents and brother. If you are looking for an honest attorney who focuses on meeting your needs; Michael is the one.

Grant G.

David and his top notch staff, especially Tara, were simply outstanding in helping me bring long standing issues surrounding spousal support to a successful conclusion. Their professionalism, knowledge of the relevant legal issues and documentation involved, understanding of the situation, sensitivity, timeliness, and responsiveness exceeded my expectations in all respects.

I would recommend David and his firm (Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri) without hesitation to anyone seeking excellent family law legal counsel and representation.

Neil

I retained Mr. Ehrlich to reperesent in a my divorce and child custody case. During the course of our case, we had two separate trials and we won both. I was very impressed at his knowledge of the law and his performance in the courtroom. I felt very confident throughtout and he always kept me very informed and on top of things. His associate Julia and his office staff were very professional and responsive as well.

KeithExcellent Representation!

This review is very long overdue and is well deserved.  They deserve 10 stars.  Amazing, strong willed, professional Family Law Attorneys.  I had a difficult move away case that had to be somewhat expedited due to the start of school for my daughter.  I felt from the day of the consultation, Gina Policastri was realistic and straightforward yet warm. Deciding to move forward with Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri, Gina and Riley Pennington represented me.  Riley was absolutely wonderful and actually who I probably communicated with the most over email and phone. Though I was a mom with a thousand questions and freak outs, I was always calmed and my questions were answered timely. There were quite a few obstacles Gina and Riley had to overcome while representing my case but an agreement by my ex was finally reached. They were with me every step of the way and through the signing and filing of our new custody modification paperwork. There are not words enough to say how grateful I am for their help, I would have been lost without them. They were prepared, professional, friendly, knowledgeable, and went bat for me.  Thank you, thank you, thank you Gina and Riley!

Tiffany W.

Divorce is awful. We know that. You’re probably reading this and thinking, “I can ‘t even believe I’m reading this review. Divorce isn’t supposed to happen to me.” Whatever the specifics, it has happened. And now you need help.
I couldn’t be happier and more relieved that Gretchen was there for me during this truly terrible time. In a nutshell, I got EVERY SINGLE THING THAT I WANTED. Custody, assets, possessions, all of it. And what makes it so satisfying is that she fought for what I had coming to me. She sought fairness and she attained it, despite an uncooperative/irrational opponent (both my ex and her attorney).
If I ever had a question, she had an answer. She was always available for me and corresponded in timely fashion and was thorough in her correspondence.
Gretchen will be the salve to help heal your wounds and she will do it with professionalism, integrity, honesty, and downright sweetness. You’ll only help yourself by retaining Gretchen. Not a day goes by where I am not thankful for having done so myself.

Keith L.
LPEP is the best in the business. First and foremost they listened to my needs, and went out of their way to make me feel comfortable and safe. Their knowledge and expertise is unmatched and I appreciated everything they provided. Thank you!!!
Katie A.

Mike Lonich is extremely knowledgeable and a great guy to work with. He didn’t mess around or charge me for anything that wasn’t explained upfront. He took care of my probate case efficiently and I was left feeling like I had hired the right firm.

Matthew R.

David is an excellent lawyer. He was very thorough in his research of the law. I had the unfortunate circumstance of my ex wife taking me back to court on very shaky facts. Ultimately, I prevailed (with David’s help). He and his staff handled the matter in a very thorough way. If i have to go back to court (which I hope I will not), then i will definitely be using his services.

Craig

Super Attorney, worth every penny!

Mr. Ehrlich handled our family case with the expertise you would anticipate regarding any successful outcome from any case! Thank you again, my Mother and I wish you the best!
Bryan

Before hiring Gina my case was never getting anywhere, and it has been 6 years going through my divorce, once i hired Gina within 8 months my divorced was finalized. She is extremely organized, a hard worker and always has the best advice for you and knows what is needed to do to move your case forward!

Jose

Gretchen was methodical, very prepared and knew the facts of our case well. She turned the case around. The case has been going on for 9 years and rather than focusing on the minutia, she was able to show patterns of behavior over time that illustrated that the mother was not a fit parent. It was her knowledge of the facts and history of the case that allowed her to clearly present our case. She knowledge of the law coupled with a crisp and clear writing and argument style makes it easy for Judges with little time and patients to follow. As a result of her preparation and clear style the judge looked to her as the authority in the case over the opposing attorney. This creates a huge advantage. Rather than being shaken by bad rulings from judges who do not know or follow the law, she is able to change direction mid-stream to get the best results. She is persistent and tough when needed and agreeable and compromising when needed. And best of all, she has a sense of humor. In a messy family law case, you need a sense of humor.

Lisa
LPEP are fantastic! This practice really goes the extra mile. We came to them with a need to put together an estate plan in 10 days and they did it!! Truly impressive. They are friendly to work with, professional, and very good at answering questions and making complicated legal mechanisms comprehensible to someone without a legal background. They are thorough and they are FAST. Thanks, LPEP — we are now able to rest easy that our estate is in order.
Heather H.