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Hon. Reva G. Goetz (Ret.)

Hon. Reva G. Goetz (Ret.)

JAMS Mediator, Arbitrator, Referee/Special Master, Neutral Evaluator, Hearing Officer, Temporary Judge/Judge Pro Tem

General Biography
Practice Areas
Family Law
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
Background and Education

Hon. Reva G. Goetz (Ret.) began her full-time alternative dispute resolution (ADR) practice in 2015 and has successfully mediated and arbitrated hundreds of estate/probate/trust and family law matters. Her vast experience includes high-value trust, sensitive conservatorship and family matters for high-profile individuals, as well as complex trials as a judge pro tem. She also serves as a discovery referee, parenting plan coordinator and arbitrator.

Previously, Judge Goetz served as a judicial officer for 25 years, which included splitting her time between probate and family law assignments. During her time in probate court, she heard hundreds of contested cases, including those with high-value trusts, high-profile conservatorships, undue influence and capacity issues, elder abuse, highly complex accountings and surcharge petitions. While serving on the family law court, Judge Goetz handled complex dissolutions, addressing issues such as characterization of property; separate and/or community property; high-profile individuals; complex child custody matters, including those involving children with special needs and difficult custodial schedules; business and asset valuations; and support issues.

Judge Goetz worked for many years as an accountant and financial analyst. This background furthers her ability to resolve matters involving complex accounting questions that arise in her ADR practice, including issues concerning business valuation; property division calculation; support calculation, including stock compensation and bonus issues; and surcharge petitions. Her accounting experience is highly valued by practitioners and has contributed greatly to her understanding of complicated issues and her ability to reach creative solutions.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Judge Goetz has been a mediator and judge pro tem since 2015. Her experience includes the following:
    • Resolved hundreds of contested probate matters, including those involving high-value trusts, sensitive conservatorship matters and everything in between
    • Resolved family law matters for high-profile individuals and families involving complex compensation; e.g., stock compensation and bonus issues, as well as difficult property division calculations and business valuations for business dissolutions
    • Resolved spousal and child support issues involving high-income earners
    • Experienced with finding creative solutions to complex child custody matters, including those involving children with special needs and difficult custodial schedules
    • Serves as discovery referee appointed by judges at multiple courts
    • Handles crossover issues that arise in and between probate and family law cases
  • Taught the probate overview for California Judicial Education and Research to judges beginning new assignments in probate
  • Frequent lecturer on a variety of family law and probate topics, including crossover issues in conservatorships and family law

Representative Matters

  • Court References
      • Discovery referee appointed by multiple courts to manage voluminous and complex discovery motions, including ESI
      • Appointed as an accounting referee to ascertain the correctness of the financial statements and how the proceeds of a building sale should be allocated between the two owners
      • Appointed as an accounting referee to assist in resolving disputed items, such as sales, inventory, and returned items, as they affected the sale/purchase price of a business
  • Elder Abuse
      • Mediated and settled trust matters involving competing claims to property, double damages, and attorney’s fees resulting from elder abuse allegations 
      • Mediated and settled contentious disputes between beneficiaries alleging estate plans were solely the result of undue influence and elder abuse
      • Mediated and settled cases arising from administrative deficiencies in allocations between the decedent’s trust and survivor’s trust that resulted from the breach of duty by trustee, financial elder abuse, and related requests for treble damages, disinheritance under § 259
      • Mediated matters seeking declaratory relief (rescission) of estate planning documents and request for order directing transfer of property resulting from financial elder abuse based on lack of capacity and undue influence
      • Mediated and settled numerous trust and will contests resulting from allegations of financial elder abuse based on both undue influence and lack of capacity
      • Mediated and settled cases, and presided over trials, involving undue influence and lack of capacity
  • Family Law
      • Mediated and settled sensitive custody and visitation matters involving high-profile individuals, including professional athletes and recording artists
      • Adjudicated marriage dissolution involving legendary record producer and songwriter
      • Mediated and settled cases involving complex division of property issues related to the characterization and division of separate and community property
        • Using/applying Pereira/Van Camp/Brandes analyses
        • Tracing assets and issues related thereto
        • Business valuation
        • Epstein credits and Watts charges
      • Mediated and settled cases involving the validity of prenuptial agreements
      • Mediated and settled cases involving post-judgment modifications of spousal and child support and custody orders
        • Mediated and settled cases creatively to address unusual compensation and support issues
        • Entertainment industry
        • Stock and option compensation
        • Bonuses
        • Marital standard of living
        • Paternity cases with one high-income-earner parent
      • Mediated and settled cases involving families with children who have special needs
        • Chronic illnesses: diabetes, asthma, allergies, etc.
        • Learning disabilities
        • School selection
      • Mediated and settled cases involving custody and visitation
      • Mediated and settled cases involving unusual circumstances that affect custody and visitation; e.g. when one parent’s work schedule is fluid and flexibility is necessary, or when one parent does not live in proximity to the custodial parent
      • Discovery referee appointed by multiple courts to manage voluminous and complex discovery motions

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS. 

  • Judge Goetz frequently speaks on a variety of family law and probate topics, including the following:
    • “May the Facts Be With You: Perspectives From a Judge and a Doctor on Litigating Capacity and Undue Influence,” Beverly Hills Bar Association
    • “Finding and Recovering Hidden Assets in Family Law Cases,” Family Law Symposium, Beverly Hills Bar Association
    • “Crossover Issues in Conservatorships and Family Law,” Aviva K. Bobb Advanced Court-Appointed Counsel Training, Los Angeles County Bar Association
    • “The Death of Jeffrey Epstein Raises Many Medical, Legal and Ethical Wealth Transfer Considerations,” 56th Annual Hawaii Tax Institute
    • “Review of Recent Cases in Family Law,” Forensic Accountants in Family Law, CalCPA
    • “Divorcing Elders: Crossover Issues Between Family Law and Probate,” Estate Planning and Trust Council of Long Beach
    • “Making the Most of Mediation and Settlement Agreements,” Beverly Hills Bar Association
    • “Minor’s Counsel Training,” Los Angeles Superior Court
    • “Complex Privacy Issues in Family Law Cases: Issues Arising in the Courtroom, in Discovery and in an Ethical Practice,” Beverly Hills Bar Association
    • “Tips on Handling Settlement Conferences With Accounting Issues,” San Fernando Valley Bar Association
    • “Elder Abuse Claims and Challenges to Real Estate Transactions,” Los Angeles County Bar Association
    • “Domestic Violence: Drafting and Enforcing Effective Court Orders to Keep Children and Families Safe,” California Chapter, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
    • “Electronically Stored Information (ESI) and What Attorneys Need to Know,” Estate Planning and Trust Council of Long Beach

Background and Education

  • Mediator and Arbitrator, 2015–2020
  • Los Angeles Superior Court
    • Judge, Family Law, 2014–2015
    • Judge/Commissioner, Probate, 2007–2014
    • Commissioner, Family Law, 2001–2007
  • Malibu Municipal Court
    • Commissioner, 1991–2001
  • Deputy District Attorney, Los Angeles County, 1984–1991
    • Major Fraud Division, 1989–1991
    • Mental Health Division, 1988–1989
  • Attorney, Private Practice, 1983–1984
  • Various Accounting and Financial Analysis Positions, 1975–1983
  • J.D., Whittier College School of Law, 1981
    • Editor, Law Review
  • B.A., Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles, 1975


This page is for general information purposes.  JAMS makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness.  Interested persons should conduct their own research regarding information on this website before deciding to use JAMS, including investigation and research of JAMS neutrals. See More

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