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Reva Goetz

Hon. Reva G. Goetz (Ret.)


Case Manager
Elizabeth Walls
T: 213-253-9752
F: 213-620-0100
555 W. 5th St., 32nd Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Biography

Available to conduct virtual/remote mediations and other ADR proceedings on a variety of online platforms, including Zoom.

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, and 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 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
    • 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

  • Probate
    • Mediated and settled cases, and presided over trials, involving undue influence and capacity
    • Presided over high-profile conservatorship cases, including those involving Britney Spears, Mickey Rooney and Zsa Zsa Gabor
    • Mediated and settled cases involving contentious conservatorship matters
    • Mediated and settled complicated accounting issues involving high-value trusts and conservatorships
    • Mediated and settled cases involving contentious and complicated trust administration issues involving issues of malfeasance by the trustee such as the following:
      • Failing to administer the trust in accordance with its terms
      • Favoring one beneficiary over another
      • Self-dealing
      • Mishandling trust assets
    • Mediated and settled cases involving beneficiaries fighting over the distribution of trust assets
    • Mediated and settled cases, and presided over trials, related to guardianship cases and related custody and visitation issues
    • Mediated and settled matter concerning long-standing trust of prolific singer and actor
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

Counsel Comments

    • “Goetz blends the facilitative and evaluative approaches [to mediation]. She starts out as a facilitator…creating a relationship with the parties by listening to their stories so she can come to an understanding of what motivates them. As the day moves on, she will often begin a more evaluative process, answering attorneys’ questions as candidly as she can.”
    • “Goetz is a great asset to the alternative dispute resolution process.”
    • “She’s very thorough, but at the same time very calm, cool and relaxed when [she] works the room…. She’s not just thorough, but she doesn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. She’s relentless and she really works the case and gets most of them to settle. Goetz is relentless, but in a positive way. She does it in a pleasant way, so clients don’t get turned off by the process,”

      Los Angeles Daily Journal, November 5, 2016

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