Ms. Bissada is a Certified Specialist in Family Law (ACFLS); a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML); rated by Martindale Hubbell as an AV Preeminent attorney in her field; and a member of the national organization addressing children's issues in divorce, the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC). Ms. Bissada has spent her entire legal career practicing and further strengthening her roots in San Mateo County. Ms. Bissada is a prominent and seasoned litigator, mediator and settlement Judge, specializing in complex custody and financial matters. She has expertise in navigating and guiding clients through complex venture capital, hedge fund and private equity cases, as well as the most complex of custody issues, including children who resist or refuse to see one parent, gatekeeping and relocation (move-away) cases.
Ms. Bissada's extensive knowledge and talent allow her to smoothly manage complicated, high-asset issues that are unique to family law. She is in her 25th year of practice, 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, a mediator and offering services as a settlement judge. 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 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 was 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 worked to improve the benefits, services and professional training programs for members; as well as the Community Affairs Committee, where she worked 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.
Michèle serves on the AAML National Foundation Grant Committee. 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 worked 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 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.
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. She has also served the Board in assisting with their CCBA Legislative Day in Sacramento. From 2000 to the present, 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 and 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 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 received the 2017 Friend of the Conference Award from the Conference of California Bar Associations (CCBA) in recognition of her tireless efforts on behalf of the organization while serving her term on the Board of Directors, as well as her continued volunteer work in assisting in the planning of the organization's Annual Legislative Day in Sacramento. This Statewide Award was presented to Ms. Bissada at the organization's annual conference in Sacrament in October 2017 in Sacramento.
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 worked as an exemplary volunteer for the Domestic Violence Collaborative Pro Bono Project, through which she represented low-income victims of domestic violence, aiding them in their filings and making court appearances on their behalf.
Ms. Bissada also worked with the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County by mentoring and inspiring other attorneys to take pro bono cases through the project. She further trained and encouraged her associate attorneys at Flicker, Kerin, Kruger & Bissada LLP to take on pro bono cases on a regular basis.
Ms. Bissada has earned a number of other legal achievements in her career, including Best Lawyers® by US News & World Report and Super Lawyers® by Thomson Reuters to name a few.
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.
- September 2019 - 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";
- September - Capital Group: 1-hour panel presentation with Natasha Parrett, Esq. on "The Dynamics of Pre and Post Marital Agreement and Co-Habitation Agreements";
- April 2019 - The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers 2019 Symposium: 1-hour panel presentation with Herb Fockler, Esq. on "Equity Compensation in Silicon Valley Companies";
- April 2019 - Parallel Advisors: 1-hour panel presentation with Financial Advisor and CDFA Elaina Serotte on "Financial Planning Considerations in Divorce";
- January 2019 - San Mateo County Bar Association: 1-hour panel presentation with San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Don Ayoob, Kevin Allen, Esq. and Amanda Riddle, Esq. on "Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession";
- December 2018 - San Mateo County Bar Association: 3-hour panel presentation with fellow San Mateo County Bar Member Attorneys for Fee Arbitration Training Roundtable;
- May 2017 - 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 2017 - Overcoming Barriers: 3-hour seminar moderator for Hon. Marjorie Slabach (ret.), Leslie Drozd. Ph.D. and Pamela E. Pierson, Esq. on "What Attorneys and Judges Can Do When a Child Resists Contact with a Parent."
- February 2017 - Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) Annual Conference: 2-hour workshop with Nancy Williams Olesen, Ph.D., "How Attorneys ans Consultants can GUIDE the Client."
- November 2016 - 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";
- March 2016 - San Mateo County Bar Association Family Law Section: 1-hour panel with Attorney Charles P. Ortmeyer, Esq. on "Corporate Entities and Crossover Issues in Family Law";
- March 2015 - 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";
- February 2015 - Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) Annual Conference: 2-hour workshop with Nancy Satenberg, Ph.D., and Angela Bissada, Psy.D. "Strategic Preparations and Interventions Unique to High-Conflict Divorce."
- June 2014 - 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";
- 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 Bar Association 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 Bar Association 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, learning to play golf, 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