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James A. Dooley
Senior Counsel
525 B Street, Suite 2200
San Diego, CA 92101
Practice Areas

Admissions: California

Professional Summary

James Dooley is a certified family law specialist. He has particular expertise in the civil litigation aspects of family law practice, but handles a range of family law matters and issues at all stages of the process, including the following:

  • Preparing and reviewing prenuptial, postnuptial, and settlement agreements.
  • Establishing and modifying child custody and parenting plan agreements and orders.
  • Measuring income and earning capacity for child and spousal support obligations.
  • Determining, modifying, and terminating spousal support obligations.
  • Directing and critiquing the preparations of tracings and apportionments of separate property contributions to community property.
  • Facilitating the valuation and division of assets, obligations, and liabilities.
  • Opposing and obtaining domestic violence restraining orders.
  • Advancing and opposing claims for reimbursements, credits, charges, reallocation of litigation costs, and sanctions based on inequitable expenditures during the pendency of the case, breaches of fiduciary duty, and uncooperative or other inappropriate conduct.
  • Determining support arrears and otherwise addressing obligations claimed to require enforcement. 
  • Preparing and reviewing surrogacy and other assisted reproductive technology agreements.
  • Instituting and opposing actions for judgment regarding parentage.
  • Counseling in mediations and settlement negotiations.

James chose family law practice more than 15 years ago because he wanted to help good people navigate with confidence and integrity what otherwise might be the most emotionally-taxing period of their lives. That goal continues to guide his practice today.

James believes most cases turn on the presentation of the facts. He uses case analysis software that amplifies his capacity to discover potential leads, predict and control for vulnerabilities, identify and develop patterns, and enhance the presentation of the facts in each case.


  • State bar certified family law specialist.
  • Super Lawyers “Rising Star,” 2009-2011


  • American Inn of Court –William B. Enright Chapter
  • Association of Certified Family Law Specialists
  • San Diego Family Law Bar Association
  • San Diego County Bar Association — Family law section


  • JD, Southwestern University School of Law, Los Angeles, Ca, 2003
  • BA, University of Nevada, 2001


  • Presenter. “Evidence in the Age of Uber, Instagram, and Apple Pay,” San Diego Family Law Bar Association, May 2019.
  • Presenter. “Machine Testimony and Hearsay,” Litigating in the 21st Century, Enright Inns of Court, March 2018.
  • Co-presenter. “Oh What a Tangled Web We Weave When First We Practice to Deceive,” Marriage of Feldman, Beverly Hills Bar Association, 2007.