home Business It’s the Law: Coronado Legal Eagles

It’s the Law: Coronado Legal Eagles

Sooner or later, every Coronadan will have the need for legal advice. Maybe it will be a tenant/landlord dispute, a divorce, estate plan or, heaven forbid, a DUI defense.

We gathered together the experienced advice of a number of Coronado’s top barristers to discuss aspects of the law that will help you be prepared.

DUI Defense

Probably no attorney in Coronado has more experience in representing clients in driving-under-the-influence cases than Bob Plumb.

He cites two vehicle code sections: section 23152A — known as DUI, driving under the influence and 23152B — driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher. The DUI section, the A count, was what the law had been for many many years, said Plumb. “When I started as an attorney, the presumption was that if you were .15 or higher, you were intoxicated.”bob plum DSC_0480.jpeg

Plumb said there is a now a move afoot among many legislators to drop that level to .05.

Challenging a DUI arrest is not an easy hill to climb, but Plumb encourages everyone to fight a first offense DUI for a number of reasons.

“First, it will stay with you forever. In attorney circles, it’s known as ‘the Bush factor’ in reference to former President George W. Bush. He would tell people he had not had a drink for 22 years but there was no getting around the fact that he had a DUI on his record.

“Next, employers will ask if you’ve ever been convicted of anything other than a traffic violation — and a DUI is not a traffic violation,” Plumb stressed. “Your insurance rates will skyrocket and it may affect or negate multicar discount plans. You may have to sell a vehicle because of prohibitively high insurance rates.

“You will not be eligible for certain jobs where it is necessary to drive a company vehicle. You will have to give up your license and will be given a 30-day temporary permit. You will only have 10 days to contact the DMV to request a hearing to preserve your right to drive. If you miss this 10-day cutoff, you will be precluded from getting a hearing to save your license. That means you’ll have to use a passport or get a California I.D. card for air travel or security clearances.”

So, what’s a person to do if they are pulled over by a police officer who sticks his nose in your face and asks, “Have you been drinking tonight?”

Plumb said the best recourse is a courteous return question of “Am I under arrest, officer?”

“That’s your best answer because if you are under arrest, you are advised to not talk. Officers in a DUI stop rarely or never advise you of your rights until the end of their investigation and this is done on purpose.”

Next, the office will want to give you an FST, field sobriety test, said Plumb “But the driver does not have to perform these; they are voluntary. Likewise, PAS (preliminary alcohol screening devices) are voluntary, but in all but one of my cases in the last 37 years, drivers had not been advised of such. Of course, an officer will note that the fact that failing to perform these tests will be portrayed as a consciousness of guilt should the matter go to trail.

“The problem is that field sobriety tests discriminate against people with any physical disabilities, advanced age, or those prone to nervousness; they are ‘failure designed’ meaning anyone who takes them would fail at some phase of the test.

“You can have a person who has no signs of being under the influence, someone who has little or no alcohol in their system, fail these tests.

“So you respectfully request not to have to take these voluntary fine-motor coordination exercises.”

Plumb’s defense against DUIs is intricate and, as such, is not inexpensive.

But the best defense against the dreaded DUI, said Plumb, is a simple little card in your wallet. A credit card. “Fifty

dollars for a taxi ride is a hell of a lot less than the lifetime of costs that result from a DUI conviction.”

Business and Taxation

If you’re looking to start up a business in Coronado or elsewhere, advises attorney John Barkley, it’s best that you have a team of consultants lined up in your court: a commercial banker, a CPA, an insurance broker and an attorney.

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One of the first things that on everyone’s mind when they start a business is money, Barkley has found. “Even if you don’t need a massive loan, you’ll likely need a credit line. Most people do need some sort of capitalization.”

Most attorneys say you’ll need an entity, an LLC or a corporation. Barkley recommends that a business with multiple employees or a business dealing with deliveries, such as automobiles does need an entity.

“But if you are a solo professional, or maybe with an employee or two, a really solid insurance policy can serve the same purpose,” advised Barkley. “And I do mean well insured.”

Another situation when you need an entity is if there is going to more than one owner. Barkley said that some people might be tempted to get a business-in-a-box startup kit at Office Depot. “That might work for a little bit, but if there’s any kind of breakdown in trust between the owners, there could be problems. If you sit down with an attorney, you’ve laid a set of ground rules that everyone has bought into, and they are more likely to follow them and there are less likely to be fights. You don’t want to be pennywise and pound foolish.”

Step two in business planning is usually location. Commercial tenants don’t have as many rights as residential tenants, Barkley said. “Standard commercial leases will often say the landlord has the right to evict after 30 days with virtually no reason. In many cases, depending on how motivated the landlord is to fill the space, an attorney can help negotiate some of the terms,” he said.

Step three are employee agreements. “It seems whenever someone is talking about employment rights is when employment ends. There’s a lot of ways businesses can get themselves in trouble.

“One of the biggest things people overlook when going into business is not putting things in writing. In the heat of the moment, people don’t want to stop. Preparing documentations feels like a roadblock,” Barkley said. “But if you fail to plan you plan to fail.”

Regarding taxation, Barkley warned the outlook is not good for the coming year, which he terms, “taxmageddon.”

“A lot of tax breaks are expiring and the payroll tax holiday is expiring. Unless something changes before Dec. 31, pretty much everyone will be impacted. There will be increases in federal income tax. For people who live on investment income or have pension plans, the capital gains tax and dividend tax will both increase. And for middle-aged and young adults, there is a reduction in the child tax credit and the earned income credit.”

Real Estate

A number of real estate issues are surfacing with the current economic times, said David Herring. With approximately one-third of homes in San Diego County underwater, things can quickly go south when one or both of the homeowners loses a job. That’s what happened to two of Herring’s clients who had built their dream house from the ground up. The family’s chief breadwinner ran into health issues and suffered a job loss.

“I helped them get through the loss of their house, through foreclosure with a minimum of hardship,” Herring said. “In their case, there was no chance for a short sale, which banks have to agree to; it’s not a given. I was able to get them to save their money so that they would be able to find another place to live.”

Margaret Herring pointed to another sign of the times: “When the economy is down, the scam artists come out of the woodwork to feed on the misery and fears of people who are so desperate for a decent investment that they are willing to put their common sense away.”

David Herring picks up on that point: “You have a large number of people out there putting investors in distressed real estate and they are doing it in such a way that the investor is running the risk of losing their entire investment with no recourse. I can’t believe the garbage documentation that I’ve seen.”

On a more amusing note, Coronadans might want to be on the lookout for abandoned homes in Coronado, if there is such a thing, once they hear the story of two of David Herring’s clients from the 1980s. Herring was approached by a married couple, both real estate agents, who lived and worked in La Jolla. “They had spotted this home that for years had been dilapidated, with overgrown weeds in the yards. Like any enterprising real estate agent, they tried to get a listing for the property. They did their best to contact the owner, writing to the last known name and address in Chicago of the individual listed in a title search. All of their letters over the course of two years went unanswered.

“So, they decided to take possession of the home, fixed it up, and began renting it out. For a period of 15 years they also paid all tax bills that were sent to the residence.

“After approaching two other attorneys who told them it couldn’t be done, they asked me to represent them in acquiring title to the property.”

Herring prevailed and the couple acquired legal title. Herring can still remember the judge who shook his head and announced, “Mr. Herring, I can’t believe it, but you have succeeded in proving your case for adverse possession.”

The couple sold the property in 2005 for approximately $2.4 million. “They called me and asked how they should establish their tax basis, since they hadn’t paid anything for the property.

“I told them, “Well, I guess you could subtract my $2,500 in attorney’s fee, which was all I charged them back then,” roared a clearly bemused Herring. “But, heck, they had just made $2.4 million. Pretty cool.”

Family Law

We’ll probably never know the details of the divorce between Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. That’s because celebrities and their advisors realize more than the general public that whatever is litigated becomes public record.

Frank Nageotte encourages his clients to strive to resolve issues outside of the court system, whenever possible. “All court proceedings are open to the public, and all court records (pleadings, filings, orders, etc.) are open to the public and that includes their own children. If the parties are able to resolve their case through mediation, negotiation, collaborative family law, or some other alternative dispute resolution procedure, they can keep much more of their personal facts and circumstances private.”

“Perhaps the biggest mistake that divorcing parties make with regard to their children is putting the children in the middle of the divorce ‘war,’” Nageotte said. “All children need to have a good, healthy, regular, frequent and consistent relationship with both of their parents, and when the parties force the children to ‘take sides,’ they can cause a lot of pain and long-term harm for them.”

It’s not about “winning or “losing” custody, Nageotte said, who urges both parties in a divorce to set aside their own needs, wants and emotions and find a way to work cooperatively in the children’s best interest. “The focus should be on how parents can best continue to jointly raise their children.”

Estate Planning

In Coronado, it seems that most attorneys eventually gravitate to estate planning, which encompasses not just wills and trusts, but advanced directives for health care.

Attorney Tami Sandke says that people may not know it, but they already have an estate plan: “It’s called probate.”

Tami Sandke

In California, probate proceedings are conducted in the Superior Court for the county in which the decedent lived, and can take at least eight months and sometimes as long as several years.

Sandke noted that if individuals don’t set up their own plan, which often includes a living trust, the state will disperse their estate, subject to all tax laws. “A living trust allows a person to plan the disbursement of their estate in the manner they prefer and to the parties they designate,” she said

Ron Chin said he never realized when he went into law that a huge amount of his time would be devoted to psychology, but has since learned that much of estate planning includes family dynamics. “I guess that’s why they often call us attorneys ‘counselors,’” he chuckled. “When I meet with my clients, I frequently start off our conversations with, ‘How are the kids doing?’

“It’s the age-old question: how do you raise children who are fiscally responsible?” said Chin. “How we set up an estate often depends on how financially mature the children are.”

For Daniel Perwich, the default position he’ll often recommend is to not fully fund a child’s inheritance until they reach the age of 30. “So the question becomes, how do we provide for the child’s needs for an education, perhaps a car in their earlier years. That’s very do-able.”

And while those extra years are often a benchmark for many attorneys, the concern for proper financial acumen doesn’t necessarily go away when an heir reaches a certain age. Says Chin: “We’ll have elderly octogenarians who come in, complaining about their kids in their 60s who cannot manage money.”

Due to the personal aspect of estate planning, the choice of attorney becomes an important consideration. “You need an attorney with sufficient skill and experience, and you have to work with someone you are comfortable with and who is responsive to your needs,” said Perwich. “It’s important that the attorney listen to what you are telling them.”

Perwich said while it is easy to come up with a vanilla-flavored estate plan, the details, which often revolve around distribution times and circumstances for heirs, should be carefully considered. “I looked at estate planning documents on the site, ‘Legal Zoom’ and they’ve created a document that would suffice, as long as people were willing to do enough research to protect themselves. But I wonder why they would want to do that if the difference was not that great, just a few hundred dollars, to be able to sit down and discuss their specific needs with a local attorney.”

Many attorneys involved in estate planning have been called upon to do estate reviews for the heirs, and it’s not surprising to witness squabbling among siblings over their apportioned share of the estate. Margaret Herring has seen those sibling battles heat up. “Some are just ready to slit their siblings’ throats for a nickel, and that’s what saddens me the most,” she said. “I want to tell them that family harmony has got to be more important than grabbing that extra $10,000.”

But then there was the happier situation that Chin witnessed. “I had an elderly couple as clients, and first the husband died, followed a few years later by his wife. They had six children and had helped all of them get a start in life and each had done well. Still, the estate was sizeable. And when we had the estate review, I was nervous about how the children would take it when they learned that the parents had decided to leave their entire estate to a number of charities.

“Every one of those kids said, ‘Way to go, Mom and Dad. We’re so proud of you for benefiting all those people.’

“Now that was a great day.”



Rose, Munns & Chin, Attorneys at Law

Rose, Munns & Chin, APC, has been serving its clients’ living trusts, wills, probate administration and advanced planning along with business, tax planning and real estate needs  since the late 1930s. The firm traces its Coronado roots back to the time when Hubert Rose set up his practice.

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Hubert’s son, Dustin, eventually became a partner. In 1987, Dustin Rose became partners with David Munns, following Munn’s navy retirement that included an illustrious career as a Top Gun pilot and judge advocate general.

After obtaining his Juris Doctorate from California Western School of Law in 1983, Ron Chin began working with Rose & Munns in 1987 and eventually became the majority partner.

Chin comes from a family of career farmers who grow pototoes in Southern Oregon. He traces his business acumen to his father. “He understood economics, marketing, banking and the dangers of leverage,” Chin said.

Ron Chin discovered a calling for the law when, after graduating from the University of San Francisco, when he went to work for his uncle Ming Chin’s Oakland-based law firm. “I found I enjoyed the practice of law and especially the estate practice,” Chin said.

Today, Ming Chin is a California State Supreme Court Justice.

In 1999, Chin’s wife, Elaine, supervised a complete renovation of the law firm office, giving it a calming home atmosphere.

Chin is a member of Optimist Club of Coronado and serves as counsel to the San Diego County chapter of United Cerebral Palsy, where he served on the board for ten years. The firm is also a commercial affiliate of Coronado Navy League and founder of Care Packages from Home, a nonprofit based in Carlsbad, Calif.

Chin also maintains an interest in agriculture and recently traveled to Ireland where he met with the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland and his economic advisor to discuss potential agricultural projects between the two countries.

Associate Carrie Morton joined the firm in 2001, after obtaining her law degree from the University of San Diego.  Married and the mother of two, Morton is an avid runner, with Coronado’s scenic and level roadways providing a favorite route. She, too, is a native of Oregon and did her undergraduate work at the University of Oregon. “Go Ducks!” the attorneys say in unison.

Chin and Morton also agree that there couldn’t be a better place to work than in Coronado. “People here are so friendly,” said Morton. “Our door is always open and people often stop in unannounced to chat.”

1020 Isabella Avenue

(619) 435-1858




The law offices of Margaret Tami Sandke

She grew up in the small Imperial Valley town of Holtville, the “carrot capital of the world.” But, lucky for Coronado, Tami Sandke, then Tami Brown, armed with a salt-of-the-earth work ethic and an MBA from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, arrived in Coronado in 1987 as the first employee — executive director — of the Coronado Hospital Foundation.

Sandke soon realized how important planned giving was to the foundation. As she worked with donors, assisting them in their desire to leave a legacy to Coronado’s hospital, Sandke’s interest in estate planning spurred her to pursue a law degree.

So, while working at the foundation full time by day, she enrolled at the University of San Diego’s law school evening program, earning her juris doctorate in 1994. On her first “spring break” at law school, Sandke married Coronado photographer Bill Sandke; the couple has two daughters, Clare, 15 and Emma, 12.

After working with two established attorneys — Betsy Gill in Coronado and David Hickson in La Jolla — Sandke established her own law practice in Coronado in January 2005. The firm specializes in estate planning, wills, trusts, trust administration and probate.

Sandke has found estate planning to be a natural fit. “I like working with people and families,” she says. “I like to be in the background, being the helpful one.”

Giving back is a part of Tami Sandke’s DNA. She has donated her time and expertise to a number of Coronado and San Diego nonprofits, among them, Lamb’s Players Theatre Endowment Board; Family Literacy Foundation Planned Giving Committee; Sharp HealthCare Family of Advisors; Episcopal Community Services, Planned Giving; Christ Church Day School Board of Directors; and Graham Memorial Presbyterian Church’s Endowment Committee. She is serving her third year on the Vestry at Christ Church, and last year she served as board secretary of Rotary Club of Coronado.

Also last year, Sandke served as Chairman of the Coronado Chamber of Commerce. “I think it’s so important that residents support local businesses,” she says. “I came from a place where the economy got rough, and there really wasn’t a business district.

It was sad. Residents and businesses both thrive when there is a vibrant business district.”

1001 B Avenue, Suite 300

(619) 435-0100



Herring & Herring, APC

You might call them the Matlock & Daughter law firm. The late Andy Griffith could easily have patterned his character after the affable David Herring, whose aw-shucks demeanor belies a rock-solid command of the law that has been honed over a career of 40-plus years.

C. David Herring has been an attorney since 1968 and was the principal of a larger firm in San Diego. In 1989 Margaret came to work in the office and through the years completed paralegal school at University of San Diego and earned a law degree from Thomas Jefferson School of Law, passing the California bar exam on her first attempt in 1996. She became a partner in the firm in 2003.herring and herring New

Herring & Herring handles such matters as estate planning, conservatorships, probate and trust administrations, business, real estate, personal transaction and insurance matters. Both David and Margaret Herring are skilled litigators.

The law firm has been consistently awarded the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethics by the Martindale Hubbell Peer Review Panel.

Both David and Margaret are native Indianans; Margaret was born there while her father was in law school at Indiana University. David can pinpoint the day when he decided to move to California. “In December 1967, I got on a student charter plane to watch Indiana play in the Rose Bowl. We left at 4 a.m. and it was 10 below zero. When we arrived in L.A. it was 70 degrees.”

While in law school David Herring was commissioned as an officer in the United States Army, and by 1970 he was stationed at Monterey’s Fort Ord , where he served in the Judge Advocate General’s legal corps and as a military judge. Upon being honorably discharged in 1972, Herring headed south to San Diego, beginning his practice in criminal law but in short order establishing his reputation as a top real estate and business transaction attorney. His firm grew to three partners and six associates.

Six years ago, David and Margaret moved their practice from Downtown San Diego to Coronado, where both attorneys live. Herring & Herring is a member of the Coronado Chamber and David has served on the board and was president of the Coronado Homeowners Association. Margaret each year escorts Pearl Harbor Survivors in Coronado’s 4th of July parade in her Indy 500 Pace Car, a 1969 Chevy Camaro.

Margaret Herring says that she is inspired by helping people, not only with her traditional clients, but also by serving as a court-appointed advocate for disabled adults. And what inspires David Herring? “Watching my daughter become a better lawyer than me.”

1001 B Avenue, Suite 215, (619) 437-9175



Frank X. Nageotte, Attorney at Law

Frank Nageotte, recognized as one of the top Family Law attorneys in San Diego by The New York Times, has been certified as a Family Law Specialist by the State Bar of California since 1989.  Mr. Nageotte has also received the highest possible peer review rating in legal ability & ethical standards (“AV”) from Martindale-Hubbell for many years.

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A 32-year resident of Coronado, Nageotte is probably best known about town for his participation  (currently president)  on the Board of the Coronado School of the Arts (CoSA) Foundation. He became involved with the organization when his son entered the CoSA program in the late 1990s.

Nageotte grew up in northeast New Jersey. His family moved to Walnut Creek, California when he was in High School. He earned a degree in history from Santa Clara University, and decided to “try” law school.  He soon found the study and practice of law to be a calling, and received his Juris Doctorate from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 1975.

Nageotte is inspired by “a strong sense of right and wrong and a belief that our individual freedoms are important and need to be protected.”  He is motivated by a belief  that  “everyone deserves to be treated fairly by the system” and by a desire to help people who are going through a bad time.

Nageotte served a three-year term as a member of the Board of Directors of the Certified Family Law Specialists Committee of the San Diego County Bar Association, and has served on the board of the Collaborative Family Law Group of San Diego for many years (and as president for two terms).

Early in his career, Nageotte did a significant amount of criminal defense work, and served a term as president of the San Diego Criminal Defense Bar Association.

Today, he volunteers as a Settlement Judge in Family Law for the San Diego Superior Court and serves on the Board of Directors of Kids’ Turn San Diego, a nonprofit agency providing counseling services to families, especially to children, who are going through a divorce.


Nageotte and his wife Susan Rapp, also a Certified Family Law Specialist , have two adult sons, Tobin and Kyle, both of whom attended Coronado public schools and graduated from Coronado High School.

2366 Front Street

San Diego

(619) 239-0590




The law offices of Robert T. Plumb II

Bob Plumb began work as an independent attorney in San Diego in 1977, handling corporate, civil litigation, personal injury, intellectual property, unlawful detainer and eviction cases. Now he limits his practice to what he calls the “Four D’s and One B” — death, (wills and trust) divorce (family law), drunk driving and bankruptcy.”

Plumb is a Certified Legal Specialist in ​Family Law, by the State Bar Association of California’s Board of Legal Specialization.

Plumb was born and raised in Coronado, the son of Dr. Robert Plumb, a well known urologist. “Dad ‘got stuck’ in Coronado in 1947 when there was a shortage of homes in San Diego where he had established his practice,” said Plumb. “So he bought a very old house on Tenth Street built in 1888 by the same carpenters who built the Hotel del.”

Plumb earned two undergraduate degrees in accounting and general business from the College of Idaho, He then returned to San Diego to earn a law degree from Western State University College of Law (now Thomas Jefferson School of Law).

Plumb has been a member of Rotary Club of Coronado since 1987 and before that, was a member of the Active 20-30 Club.

Through the nonprofit San Diego Volunteer Lawyers Program, the county’s oldest and largest pro bono legal services program, Plumb provides legal services to the poor in San Diego at no cost. The organization serves the most vulnerable members of the community: the homeless, domestic violence victims, elder abuse victims, veterans among them. Notably, more than 75 percent of the agency’s clients are women and children.

An avid golfer, Plumb channeled his passion for the sport into a charitable endeavor when he established the Rotary Club of Coronado Jim Laslavic Charity Golf Tournament in 1990, a tournament that, to date, has raised well above $500,000 for Rotary funded community projects. He is also a member of the U.S. Fellowship of Golfing Rotarians and the International Fellowship of Golfing Rotarians and has won tournaments in both groups, traveling and golfing the world’s finest courses in Australia, Turkey, Philippines, South Africa, Ireland, Portugal and Pinehurst, North Carolina.

Now Bob and his wife, Dr. Anne Thomas, a doctor of public health and epidemiologist, are about to move into a new home on the Tenth Street property that has expanded into a family compound. Together, Pumb and Thomas have four children: Susan Lektorich, Tommy Plumb, Christy Plumb and Aaron Pores.

1330 Orange Avenue

Suite 300

(619) 437-4261



John Barkley, Barkley Law Group, APC

John Barkley says his greatest inspiration is to watch — and help — people build businesses. “Entrepreneurism is what this country was founded upon,” he said. “It’s the American dream.”

Barkley Law specializes in business law, particularly in the area of helping small business and small business owners, as well as tax law. “Our goal is to be sort of an in-house counsel for companies that can’t afford a full-time attorney on staff,” said Barkley.
Barkley grew up in San Diego’s East County and moved to Coronado when he married Sarah McKenna on Feb. 19, 2011, at the Hotel del Coronado. The couple’s first son, John Henry Barkley, was born in August.

Barkley is a graduate of Florida Tech, where he majored in Bus­iness Admini­stration. He attended a military boarding high school in Florida, choosing the school in part because its extracurricular activities included flight training. Barkley is a licensed pilot, who at one point, considered following his father, the late Paul Barkley, into a career in aviation. The senior Barkley was president and CEO of Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA) until the airline was sold in 1987.

But John Barkley found his true calling was in business and law. Barkley joined the Army on an Army ROTC scholarship, serving as a second lieutenant and as an air defense artillery officer, and worked in the PATRIOT missile battalions. After a tour in Korea, he finished his Army career as a captain, then earned his Juris Doctorate at Baylor University. “Sic ‘em Bears,” he said proudly of his alma mater that this year is home to Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin and the national champion women’s basketball team.

John Barkley’s goal is for his law firm to become the premier firm for Coronado’s small businesses to turn for legal and tax advice. He has helped clients draft business plans, obtain SBA financing, negotiate leases and draft employment contracts. In the area of tax, Barkley Law has counseled clients on tax matters and prepared returns.

Barkley Law often works on retainer with an established menu of services for a set monthly fee. “It works out well for us and the clients,” said Barkley, whose clients include Coronado companies as well as clients in San Diego and those with a national presence. The firm also handles litigation on an hourly basis.

A newly installed member of Rotary Club of Coronado, Barkley has hung his shingle in the 500 block of Orange Avenue and is eager to meet with Coronado business owners and those contemplating startups; initial consultations are free.

549 Orange Avenue

(619) 437-0031


Law Offices of Daniel J. Perwich

Daniel Perwich has been practicing law for more than 25 years, and today focuses his practice on wills and trusts and civil real estate. His background includes an extensive career in real estate law and a reputation as one of San Diego County’s most skilled litigators.

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But Perwich finds his greatest satisfaction in helping individuals with their estate-planning needs. “It’s a worthy and necessary work product and something that is very reasonably priced,” Perwich said.

A native of Boston, who grew up in McLean, Va., Perwich earned a bachelors of arts degree in business from George Washington University, then moved to California to attend the University of San Diego School of Law. That’s where he met his wife, Rita, a native of Zimbabwe, and the couple moved to Mount Helix. They frequently visited Coronado, attending the Sunday night Concerts in the Park.

“I told myself that as soon as I had my first big case close, we would move to Coronado,” Perwich said. Twenty-three years ago, that’s just what they did, settling into the community with their two daughters, who went through Coronado’s public schools.

“Coronado is a very friendly community, and the people here are generally good stock — well educated and personable, with a lot of integrity,” he said. “I like working with the retired people in town, like the gentleman in here the other day. He was 92 and been here forever. And the best thing about Coronado is there’s not a lot of pomp and circumstance.”

Perwich was a partner in the region’s largest plaintiffs’ construction defects firm, Duke, Gerstel, Shearer and Bregante, a firm he clerked for while a law student and joined as an associate immediately upon graduation. “Clifford Duke was a long time Coronado resident, and the house we live in now was purchased through him.”

In 1999, Perwich became managing partner of Perwich, Goff and French, handling similar work from a Queen Anne Victorian on Banker’s Hill. After one partner moved back east, the firm dissolved, but Perwich maintains a second office in the Victorian today.

He is a member of several bar associations and has been a real estate broker for 10 years; he’ll be the managing broker for Garden Real Estate, soon to open next door to his law office.

The Perwich family is active with Sacred Heart Church. And if you’re looking for Perwich at 6 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday or Friday, you’ll find him surfing off the Coronado shore. “Surfing is challenging in your ability to read the ocean… and it keeps you young.”

1222 First Street #4

(Corner of First and C)

(619) 435-0307


CLM Starfish


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