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Gerald Jessop

Hon. Gerald C. Jessop (Ret.)

Case Manager
Jenny Truex
T: 619-237-0805
F: 619-236-9032
401 B Street, Suite 2100, San Diego, CA 92101

Gerald C. Jessop is available to conduct cases virtually. JAMS is equipped to provide virtual ADR services on a variety of online platforms, including Zoom, Microsoft Teams, WebEx, and more.


Hon. Gerald C. Jessop (Ret.), a certified family law specialist since 1991, joined JAMS following 20 years of service as a judge with the San Diego Superior Court. During his tenure with the Superior Court, he was assigned to the Family Law Division for 13 years, where he presided over complex dissolutions involving the division of property, child custody (including move-away disputes) and child and spousal support matters. He was also assigned for five years to the Probate Division, where he presided over the administration of probate estates and trusts, guardianships and conservatorships. Prior to his election to the bench in 1998, Judge Jessop was a partner at the law firm of Ward, Thorn & Jessop and a probate trust officer with San Diego Trust & Savings Bank.

Judge Jessop taught family law at the University of California San Diego Extension program and volunteered his time on the Family Law Access Panel. In addition, he has also lectured at numerous family law and probate and estate planning seminars.

In 2019, Judge Jessop was recognized as the Outstanding Family Law Judge of San Diego County by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers for his work on the family law bench.

Representative Matters

Family Law and Estate/Probate Experience

  • Determination of the validity of marital agreements
  • Determination of Epstein credits and Watts charges
  • Determination of requests to set aside judgments

Property Division

  • Business valuations and division of closely held corporations and professional practices
  • Determination of date of separation
  • Valuation and division of real property, including determination of Moore/Marsden interests in separate property
  • Evaluation of business valuations, including valuation of goodwill
  • Determination of community property interests in stock options and life insurance
  • Valuation and division of private, public and military retirement plans
  • Characterization and allocation of debts
  • Tracing of separate and community property interests in real and personal property
  • Determination of allegations of breaches of fiduciary duty between spouses

Support Issues

  • Determination of paternity
  • Income for the purpose of child and spousal support
  • Support of disabled adult children
  • Determination of ability to work
  • Determination of access to contested privileged material
  • Post-judgment determination of spousal support

Custody Issues

  • Determination of child custody for both family law and probate guardianships
  • Determination of adult conservatorships
  • Evaluations of custody investigations
  • Determination of move-away issues, including interstate and international requests
  • Post-judgment modification requests for custody
  • Determination of deferred sale of home orders

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


  • Member, Rotary Club of San Diego, 1984–present
  • Outstanding Family Law Judge of San Diego, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 2019
  • Member, San Diego County Judges Association

Speaking Engagements

  • What Judges Want You to Know, National Business Institute, 2012–2017
  • The Ethical Dilemma for Attorneys, San Diego County Bar Association, 2015
  • Valuation of Goodwill and Noncompetition Clauses, San Diego County Family Law Bar Association,2016
  • Observations on Representing Your Client, San Diego County Family Law Bar Association,2017
  • Legal and Therapeutic Implications of Domestic Violence, San Diego Psychological Association,2014
  • Wine, Cheese and Judges’ Pet Peeves, Thomas Jefferson School of Law,2013
  • Trust Modifications and Terminations, or What to Do With the “A-B” Trust, San Diego County Bar Association, 2010
  • The Status of the Probate Court, Association of Probate Referees,2010
  • Marital Settlement Agreements: Drafting, Enforcing and Challenging Trust Agreements, San Diego County Bar Association,2011
  • Probate Court Conservatorships, San Diego County Bar Association,2010
  • San Diego County Probate Procedures, San Diego County Bar Association,2006–2009
  • Valuation of the Probate Estate for Purposes of Statutory Compensation, San Diego County Bar Association, 2009
  • Upside-Down: Secured Creditors in Probate, Southern California Probate Conference, 2008
  • Judge, San Diego Superior Court, 1998–2019
  • Partner; Ward, Thorn & Jessop; 1982–1998
  • J.D., University of San Diego School of Law, 1977
  • B.S., Business Administration, University of Denver, 1973



Practice Areas

  • Estates/Probate/Trusts
  • Family Law


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