Ms. Bissada is a Certified Specialist in Family Law (ACFLS) and a fellow
of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML). She has spent her
entire legal career practicing and further strengthening her roots in
San Mateo County. Ms. Bissada is a prominent and seasoned litigator specializing
in complex custody and financial matters. Ms. Bissada's extensive
knowledge and talent allow her to smoothly manage complicated, high-asset
issues that are unique to family law. She has been practicing for nineteen
years, enabling her to guide her clients with confidence and sensitivity
throughout the often emotional process. She brings these honed skills
to her mediation practice as well; both as a consulting attorney and as
the mediator. Ms. Bissada is further trained in and practices collaborative
law–a voluntary process providing an alternative for dispute resolution
and settlement without going to Court.
Ms. Bissada is appointed by the Family Court Judges of Santa Clara County
to regularly serve as a Judge Pro Tem; a position reserved for well-known,
reliable, and highly-esteemed lawyers in the community. Similarly, Ms.
Bissada is appointed by the Judges of San Mateo County as an Arbitrator
in fee disputes between attorneys and their clients, a role requiring
demonstrated sensitivity and fairness. Both appointments exhibit Ms. Bissada's
on-going service to the community, as well as her reputation as a well-respected,
objective and skilled leader. These positions further give Ms. Bissada
the unique experience to "sit" in the Judges' shoes, a viewpoint
essential to providing her clients with effective and efficient advice.
Ms. Bissada's extensive and dedicated involvement with the legal community
is an invaluable resource to her clients, as it provides access to resources,
relationships and a nuanced knowledge of the local, legal landscape. Her
involvement in the legal community includes membership to the State Bar
of California, as well as the San Mateo County, Santa Clara County, Palo
Alto Area and San Francisco Bar Associations. Ms. Bissada served as the
2011 President of the San Mateo County Bar Association and as a Board
Member of this 1,400 member organization from 2002 — 2012.
Ms. Bissada has been a member and chair on a number of committees in the
Bar Association, including: the Bench and Bar Committee, where she acted
as a liaison between the County Judges and the lawyer members of the Bar
to strengthen relationships with the judiciary and improve the legal practice
in the County; the Finance Committee; the Membership Committee, where
she works to improve the benefits, services and professional training
programs for members; as well as the Community Affairs Committee, where
she works to involve the public in Speaker events and inform service clubs,
businesses, professional groups and schools in subjects relating to the
law and administration of justice.
Ms. Bissada served on the Board of Directors of the Legal Aid Society of
San Mateo County and chaired the Board’s Development Committee from
2012 until March 2017. She was also a member of the Legal Aid “And
Justice For All” Annual Awards Luncheon Committee from 2009 until
2017, including several years as Co-Chair. Ms. Bissada works diligently
to strengthen the relationship between the San Mateo County Bar Association
and the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County, ensuring that vital legal
assistance and advocacy is available to numerous disadvantaged people
in the community.
Ms. Bissada also served on the Board of Directors for Overcoming Barriers
until April 2016 and is now serving on the Advisory Council. The Board
of Directors for Overcoming Barriers is a non-profit organization created
to promote children’s healthy relationships with their parents where
a child is at risk of losing a relationship with a parent. Ms. Bissada
was also the Chair of the Board’s Development Committee until April 2016.
Ms. Bissada has been a member of Collaborative Practice San Mateo County
since 2001, where she also serves on their Membership Committee. Staying
actively involved in the Collaborative Practice enables Ms. Bissada to
facilitate cooperation and mutual agreement between her clients and opposing
parties. She also served on the Board of Managers for the Peninsula Family
YMCA from 1999 through 2007. In addition, Ms. Bissada was a member of
the Chamber of Commerce Leadership Program — Class of 2002, where
she further honed her leadership skills to effectively serve her practice
and her community.
Ms. Bissada served as Chair of the Legislative Day Committee for the Conference
of California Bar Associations (CCBA) until 2015. She previously served
a 3-year Board term from 2010-2013 as Regional Director on the Board of
Directors of the CCBA. Since 2000, she has also served as a Delegate to
the CCBA, representing San Mateo County. In the past, she has served in
the capacity of Chair as well as Treasurer of the delegates representing
San Mateo County on a statewide level where they critique, create and
refine new and proposed legislation.
Ms. Bissada received the 2010 Dorothy M. Wolfe Award in recognition of
her extraordinary devotion and pro bono work with the Legal Aid Society;
for aiding those who would not otherwise have access to vital legal services.
Ms. Bissada brings the same tenacity to her pro bono work as she does
her practice. Ms. Bissada has worked as an exemplary volunteer for the
Domestic Violence Collaborative Pro Bono Project, through which she represents
low-income victims of domestic violence, aiding them in their filings
and making court appearances on their behalf.
Ms. Bissada's continues her work with the Legal Aid Society of San
Mateo County by mentoring and inspiring other attorneys to take pro bono
cases through the project. She has further trained and encouraged her
associate attorneys at Flicker, Kerin, Kruger & Bissada LLP to take
on pro bono cases on a regular basis.
After graduating from California Western School of Law in 1994, Ms. Bissada
made a purposeful decision to move back to the Bay Area to start her family
and career. This decision was motivated by a desire to make a contribution
to the legal field in the community where she was raised. The driving
force behind Ms. Bissada's commitment to helping underrepresented
members of her community comes from her parent's immigration to the Bay Area.
- February 2014 – Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC)
Annual Conference: 2-hour workshop with Matthew Sullivan, Ph.D., and Lynne
Greenberg, Ph.D. “Working in the Minefield: Advanced Issues in Intervention
with High Conflict Families.”
- July 2013 - Notre Dame de Namur University, Clinical Psychology Graduate
Department: 1.5-hour program for graduate students in “Law &
Ethics” course on “Family Law Crossover Issues”;
- May 2013 – The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers 2013 Symposium:
1-hour panel with Attorneys John Harding, Wesley Kinnear and Gregory Maple
on “How To: Practical Tips For Incorporating Premarital Agreements
Into Your Family Law Practice”;
- April 2013 – DLA Piper, LLP: 1-hour presentation to non-Family Law
Attorneys on “Separation and Divorce: What Attorneys Should Know”;
- June 2012 - Notre Dame de Namur University, Clinical Psychology Graduate
Department: 2-hour presentation to graduate students in “Ethics
in the Law” course on “Family Law Crossover Ethics in Psychology”;
- January 2012 - San Mateo County Bar Association Funky Credit Day: 2-hour
panel with San Mateo County Superior Judge Don R. Franchi and Joseph P.
Crawford on “Ethics in Family Law”;
- November 2011 - San Mateo County Women Lawyers: 1-hour panel with San Mateo
County Superior Court Judge Susan I. Etezadi and Nancy L. Fineman on “Learning
from my Mistakes”;
- October 2008 - San Mateo County Family Law Section: 1-hour panel with Attorneys
Stephen J. Montalvo and Michelene E. Insalaco on “How to Successfully
Litigate Permanent Spousal Support”;
- August 2008 - Administrative Office of the Courts: 2- hour presentation
on “Move-Away Cases” to Family Court Services mediators from
all over California being trained to handle mediation and custody evaluation cases;
- April 2008 - OPES Advisors, Palo Alto, CA: 2-hour presentation to Financial
Advisors and Loan Brokers on “Family Law Crossover issues in Advising
Clients going Through Divorce”.
In her spare time, Ms. Bissada's interests include spending time with
her family, strategic board games, traveling, movies and international cultures.
JD, California Western School of Law, San Diego, 1994
BA, University of California, Davis, International Relations, 1989
BA, University of California, Davis, French, 1989