Bruce M. Beals

Bruce M. Beals


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Bruce is the "senior statesman" at the firm, serving as Of Counsel to the team of attorneys and staff. Bruce was admitted to practice in California in 1976. He became a Certified Family Law Specialist ("CFLS") in 1985 and a Fellow in the prestigious American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers ("AAML") in 1986. Bruce has been involved in numerous high-profile family law cases including published decisions in the California Supreme Court and State Appellate Courts.

Bruce's prior experience includes working in Washington D.C. for a U.S. Congressman and authoring a law review article that was cited in the Congressional Record. He also worked on a U.S. Congressional campaign and a Presidential campaign which involved trips to the White House and private meetings with influential lawmakers. Bruce was admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington D.C. in 1981 and the Washington D.C. Court of Appeals in 2004.

Bruce graduated from both college and law school magna cum laude. He was an editor for the Law Review and received recognition for his scholastic achievements in several areas of the law.

In his years of practice, Bruce has served on numerous legal organizations and has been a lecturer in the law for more than 35+ years. Bruce has served as a Judge pro tempore for the County of San Diego, as well as a Mediator, Private Judge, and as a Settlement Conference Judge. Bruce received the prestigious Norby Award by the Judiciary for outstanding service and has been honored by San Diego Magazine, Los Angeles Magazine, U.S. News and World Report and Best Lawyers in America.

Bruce has been ranked in the top 50 attorneys in San Diego by Super Lawyers.

Bruce has thoroughly enjoyed being a member of the firm. As a group, everyone benefits from the legal insight and hard work that the attorneys and staff bring to each case.


Published Cases

  • In re Marriage of Gilmore (1981) 29 Cal.3d 418
  • In re Marriage of Hayden (1981) 124 Cal. App. 3d 72
  • In re Marriage of Grinius (1985) 166 Cal.App.3d 1179
  • Michelle W. v. Ronald W. (1985) 39 Cal.3d 354 (argued in Supreme Court)
  • In re Marriage of Horn (1986) 181 Cal. App 3d 540
  • In re Marriage of Laursen & Fogarty (1988) 197 Cal. App. 3d 1082
  • In re Marriage of Touchstone (1990) 218 Cal.App.3d 870
  • In re Marriage of Dekker (1993) 17 Cal.App.4th 842
  • In re Marriage of Beck (1997) 57 Cal.App.4th 341
  • In re Marriage of Shaughnessy (2006) 98 Cal. App. 4th 1225
  • Robert J. v. Catherine D. (2009) 171 Cal. App. 4th 1500
  • Y.H. v. M.H. (2018) 25 Cal. App. 5th 300


  • California Western School of Law, San Diego, California
    • J.D. - 1976
    • Honors: magna cum laude
    • Honors: Class Standing: Second
    • Honors: American Jurisprudence Awards for highest scholastic achievement in Real Property, Criminal Law, Contracts, Community Property, Trusts
  • Oregon State University
    • Bachelor of Science - 1973
    • Honors: magna cum laude

Bar Admissions

  • Supreme Court of California, 1976
  • U.S. Federal Courts, 1977
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1978
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1981
  • District of Columbia Court of Appeals, 2004


  • Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML)
  • Norby Award – Presented by the Judiciary in recognition of outstanding service to the family law bench and bar.
  • Michael Shea Chair – Presented by the San Diego Certified Law Specialists as a Teacher/Mentor.
  • Top Lawyers In San Diego, San Diego Magazine
  • Top Lawyers in Southern California, Los Angeles Magazine
  • Best Lawyers In America
  • Best Law Firms in California - U.S. News & World Report
  • Lawyer Of The Year - Woodward/White
  • Super Lawyers (selected in top 50 attorneys in San Diego)
  • Martindale – Hubbell - AV Rating (highest)
  • Featured in San Diego Magazine article “The Landscape of Family Law”

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association (ABA)
  • San Diego County Bar Association
  • San Diego Family Law Bar Association (SDFLBA)
  • State Bar of California
  • Washington D.C. Bar Association
  • San Diego Trial Lawyers Association
  • San Diego County Judicial Evaluations Committee
  • Standing Committee On Support, Family Law Section, State Bar Association
  • Executive Committee, Family Law Specialists, Advisory Committee
  • Executive Board, Certified Family Law Specialists Committee
  • Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB)
  • San Diego County Bar Association, Guidelines Subcommittee
  • Family Law Legislation Subcommittee
  • Trial Rules Subcommittee