Merrianne E. Dean, Esq.

CEO & Principal Attorney

About 

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Merrianne E. Dean has more than 25 years of courtroom experience litigating probate and trust disputes, financial elder abuse matters, conservatorships and business disputes. She also serves as a court-appointed attorney representing developmentally disabled and elderly individuals who are the subject of conservatorships before the probate court.  Ms. Dean is a California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate Law and has been rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbel.  Ms. Dean also provides mediation services in Trusts & Estates disputes.

Ms. Dean works with people who find themselves in a difficult situation and need help understanding and navigating their legal options.  She recognizes that no one comes to a lawyer’s office voluntarily.  Her focus is to help her clients understand the legal process, discover their options, gain control, and reach a resolution as quickly and efficiently as possible.  

Ms. Dean has been active in the San Diego legal community for her entire career.  She has served as a Co-Chair for the Probate Section of the San Diego County Bar Association,  is a co-founder and Director for Probate Attorneys of San Diego Bar Association, a member of Lawyers Club and a member of the Tom Homann Law Association.  

Education

1990 Bachelor of Science, Business Administration at University of Redlands

1991 Bachelor of Science, Laws at Western State University College of Law

1994 Juris Doctorate at Thomas Jefferson School of Law

1994 Admission to the Practice Law in the State of California

1995 Admission to the U.S. District Court, Southern District of California

2018 Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law Certified Specialist, State Bar of California

2018 Accredited Estate Planner, National Association of Estate Planners & Councils

Awards

2021-2024 Super Lawyers, Estate & Trust Litigation Recognition.  The Super Lawyers is a designation of top-rated practicing attorneys selected through an extensive evaluation that is peer influenced and research driven, selecting the top 5% of attorneys to the Super Lawyers lists each year.

2023 Community Pioneer Award granted by the Tom Homann LGBTQ+ Law Association for community members, leaders and/or judicial officers who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and trailblazing within the LGBTQ+ community through advocacy, innovation, and community engagement.

2023 San Diego Business Journal's Women of Influence: 50 over 50 Honoree which recognizes women of accomplishment within their field and their contributions to the San Diego community.

2019 recipient of the Fay Stender Award, an annual recognition awarded by the California Women Lawyers Bar Association to one individual who has shown commitment to the representation of women, disadvantaged groups and unpopular causes, and whose courage, zest for life and demonstrated ability to effect change as a single individual makes her a role model for women attorneys.

Recognized by the San Diego Probate Court for her service as a Settlement Conference Officer, former Pro Tem Judge, Court Appointed Attorney and as a Member of the Probate Bench-Bar Committee.  Ms. Dean continues to serve to present day.

Our Reviews

Nunya B.
Former Client
"Professional attorneys who are attentive and sympathetic to my issues and very knowledgeable about trust discrepancy and concerns."
Ray F.
Former Client
"Merrianne and her team helped me work through developing a solid estate plan and trust plan, providing me with knowledge to help with decision making and unravel the complexities."
Anji Taylor
Former Client
"Merrianne is knowledgeable, compassionate, communicative and was incredibly effective at driving the process to remove the former power-of-attorney holder from a position of abusive authority and control."