Diane C. Deckard

Education: J.D., University of Santa Clara, cum laude, 1981; B.A., English, University of Santa Clara, 1971; California Certified Legal Malpractice Specialist, 2011, California State Bar Certified Legal Malpractice Specialist

Practice Areas: Legal Malpractice; Trust, Estate and Probate Litigation; Commercial Litigation; Civil Litigation; Mediation

Admissions: 1981, California, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California and U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit; 1999, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California; 1999, U.S. Tax Court.

Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register Of Preeminent Women Lawyers, 2011


Since 1981, Diane Deckard has been providing legal representation to clients throughout the San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas. Beginning as an associate at Hoge, Fenton, Jones & Appel in San Jose, Ms. Deckard gained experience in every facet of civil litigation by defending a wide variety of matters for individuals and businesses. She went on to develop a practice in which, for approximately nine years, she focused on the defense of lawyers, accountants and financial planners in professional negligence actions.

A part of her practice remains the defense of attorneys, but since 1997, Ms. Deckard has devoted the majority of the professional liability aspect of the practice to representing the clients of lawyers who failed to perform competently. Her experience as a defense lawyer enables her to evaluate cases objectively and to plan effective strategies, anticipating defenses that will be raised. Prepared to go to trial if that is the best strategy, her training and experience as a mediator serves the firm’s clients well in exploring settlement options thoroughly first. In 2001, she completed a 40-hour course in Commercial Mediation through ADRA.

In addition to legal malpractice, her civil litigation practice includes the representation of business clients in a wide variety of litigation matters including partnership, breach of contract, officer and director liability, fraud and misrepresentation cases, and business torts of all kinds. She also represents individuals in estate and probate litigation, contested wills, elder financial abuse matters and partnership disputes.

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