Expert civil litigation/trial attorney with seventeen years of experience, twenty-five trials (four jury trials and twenty-one court trials), and three JAMS arbitrations, with colleagues. Extensive law and motion and discovery plus multiple appeals. I have experience in a variety of practice areas including general civil/business litigation and complex family law, plus real estate transactional matters such as residential pocket listings and commercial leasing/purchases/sales. Private investigation available as well, including cyber/electronic forensics, as well as forensic spectral analysis/audio processing with Magix Samplitude by yours truly, as well as a local forensic audio expert with decades of experience. I also offer a law practice management system to other attorneys.
Currently available on a limited basis for civil (all types of civil cases), family law (divorces, domestic violence, etc.), and limited transactional work (real estate, prenups, business transactions, and the like) throughout California. I provide concierge-level service that is exacting, fair, and unbiased.
Extensive public speaking and presentation skills, as well as strong technical proficiency and analytical ability. I make extensive use of technology in order to provide efficient professional services at a reasonable price. I have several proprietary software tools that I personally developed and that I use to streamline the delivery of legal services and increase my effectiveness (examples: Lattice™ is in beta, and AutoTrial™ is in development). Admitted to practice in California and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (including U.S. Bankruptcy Court).
Sonia Arora, J.D.
555 Twin Dolphin Drive, Ste. 135
Redwood City, CA 94065 map it
+1 (415) 261-8527
Office/phone hours: Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. I make every effort to answer and/or promptly return all client calls received during business hours. Outside business hours, clients may call and leave messages (or text) 24x7x365, which are reviewed promptly and are returned/replied to on a best-efforts basis. Opposing counsel are requested to limit calls and texts to phone hours, and are advised that their messages, texts, and phone calls are received, but are not reviewed except during business hours. All opposing counsel calls, texts, and emails are subject to my opposing counsel personal conduct policy. Note: I use advanced call filtering on my mobile phone to reduce spam, scams, and robocalls. When in doubt, email me (I confirm receipt of all new client inquiries). I do not accept collect calls, or calls from correctional facilities (letters are acceptable in such situations). Email availability varies based on my physical location, but I make every effort to reply to client emails within two hours, and not more than 24 hours, and opposing counsel emails within 12 to 24 hours. Staff emails are only checked during business hours, so if you have an urgent matter, call us or else email me directly.
Rate: $500/hr., with a deposit of $10,000 in most cases. Prenups may be $3,000.00 or more, depending on complexity. $150/hr. for investigations.
December 2, 2022: Coming soon, a case study of a complex missing person investigation from inception to completion. This is the pinnacle of my investigative work, and a solid result.
July 2, 2022: I have a special project lined up called Rællic™. This is the sum total of my professional experience combined with my technical abilities. It's an assessment system using a combination of 3D scanning, hyperspectral imaging, and computer vision to record, assess, and report on interpersonal communication in a laboratory-level environment. I am very excited to announce that this project will become a product, will potentially result in academic papers, and will feature a collaboration with Teledyne FLIR. This is going to be out of this world.
July 22, 2021 - Acosta v. Acosta
I'm releasing a partial preview of this, which is a case study of injustice enabled by bureaucratic inefficiency and a lack of caring. The latest is that the other party filed a motion to restrict the distribution of her deposition video, which implicates my freedom of speech. Shockingly, the order enjoining me from posting the video was granted. I went ahead and filed a free speech action in the U.S. District Court, which is accessible here if you want to follow my progress (or check the case page for updates).
April 1, 2021 - Oracle cases
One of my clients, Peyton Maynard-Koran, died suddenly and unexpectedly on March 29, 2021. We had just filed his and Ken Patchett's cases against Oracle. The claims arise out of the nearly simultaneous firings of Peyton and Ken from their positions (they were each a Vice President in the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure organization). I am still processing all of this, but Ken and I thought it would be fitting to put up a tribute page where people can read about the issues Peyton and Ken experienced at Oracle. Oracle makes great software, but they sure are rotten with people.
Why hire Andrew Watters as your attorney?
|Feature comparison:||Typical attorneys||90th percentile attorneys||Andrew Watters|
|Free half-hour consultations||❌||❌||✅|
|Always directly accessible||❌||❌||✅|
|Radical honesty in all respects||❌||❌||✅|
|Breadth and depth of experience||❌||❓||✅|
|Cell phone provided||❌||❓||✅|
|Secretary's cell phone provided||❌||❌||✅|
|Unredacted client portal||❌||❌||✅|
|Accountable billing practices||❌||❓||✅|
|Lightning fast email replies||❌||❓||✅|
|Full texting access||❌||❓||✅|
|Extreme technical proficiency||❌||❌||✅|
|Does not tolerate opposing counsel neuroses||❌||❌||✅|
|Site visits/mobile services||❌||❌||✅|
 During business hours, response times are usually measured in minutes, sometimes even seconds.
Forensic audio processing and spectral analysis. Example is from a "reverse cheating spouse" investigation, in which the client sought to prove that they were not cheating using recordings secretly made by their spouse and claimed to contain third-party voices. Analysis revealed an owl, a car driving by, a buzzing fly, and the rustling of blankets, but no sounds consistent with normal human vocal frequencies.
Lawful electronic surveillance using my in-house Spectrum Warrior™ system, currently in development.
Client Reviews from Yelp (be sure to read the reviews hidden by Yelp's algorithm):
"I sought Andrew's help at the eleventh hour largely because of the reviews I'd seen on Yelp, and I'm glad to report that what you see here is accurate! Though my case was not very complex or serious, it had a 2 week deadline and I wasn't entirely sure how to go about understanding it in the first place given the complexity of CA law in general. I was pleasantly surprised to know that Andrew accepted my case at all, and on top of that he'd demonstrated great professionalism with prompt responses, diligent check ins, and patience in explaining things I wasn't clear on. I'm no dummy, but I certainly felt I asked some dumb questions at time but at no point did Andrew treat those questions as such. My situation also required the help of another attorney to review, and though this would have thrown my entire case out of whack given the tight deadline, he pulled in some favors to get this resolved immediately. If you need an attorney for something, I'd highly suggest getting Andrew's help because as others have mentioned, he does not waste time and really gets things done. Had my circumstances been more serious, I'd trust him to be a strong advocate and perform all the due diligence necessary. I'd never expect to walk away from an experience with the law feeling good, so to have that after working with Andrew should give you some assurances!"
R.S., San Francisco, CA, 11/12/2021 (Yelp)
"Andrew was a great and intelligent attorney during the whole process with my legal matter. He provided me insight and guidance on how to move forward with it to resolve in a timely manner while providing me peace of mind so I wouldn't be consumed with stress during the process. Furthermore, Andrew was very patient and communicated with me at all times. He is an individual that WILL return your calls in a timely fashion, and he won't brush you by using, 'I'm swamped' piss poor excuse. In summary, I'm so blessed to have found Andrew. He gave me a good experience during my time working with him. If you're looking for someone who is professional, understanding, and willing to work their butt off for you - look no further. You got your man right here!"
B.F., Fremont, CA, 9/1/2021 (Yelp)
"I had a wonderful experience working with Andrew on a recent legal matter. I called a number of law offices but eventually found Andrew to be the most knowledgable, ethical and professional with a genuine care for his clients. After deciding to retain him, he continued with the same level of care to provide a stellar service with timely responses and helping me with the range of knowledge and expertise he brought to the case. I highly recommend him for legal counsel. He has knowledge and expertise, timely responsiveness and great deal of integrity. Thank you Andrew!"
P.M., San Francisco, CA 5/20/2021 (Yelp)
"I needed some legal consultation, after contacting many professionals Andrew Watters was the most helpful. Many others just brushed me off and said it wasn't their focus and they couldn't help. Although my complaint was a bit complicated and it wasn't a speciality of Andrew's he still took his time and broke down the information for me and tried his best to seek the solutions to my problems. Andrew didn't waste anytime and was very thorough, he responded to me on the same day, I wouldn't have been able to solve my problems without his help. If you need help with legal issues Andrew is the one to contact."
W.T., Millbrae, CA 3/4/2020 (Yelp)
"Andrew Watters is an incredible attorney. I called around to a few law firms and couldn't find anyone I got a good vibe from. Until I met Andrew Watters. I can tell he runs a well oiled machine from the way I was treated by his entire staff. After I contacted his office I received an immediate online response. Due to covid, I was able to get the ball rolling by completing an online intake with his paralegal. She was lovely and very professional. She notified me that Andrew Watters specialized in the matter of which I needed counsel. My information was passed along and made top priority by Andrew Watters. Less than an hour after connecting with his paralegal I received a direct response from Andrew Watters. He made time to speak with me over the phone an hour after that. When we spoke, Andrew Watters instantly amazed me with his efficiency and expertise. He was kind and articulate. Real smart guy. Plus, he gave me a free thirty minute consultation. He pulled up all the case information within a few minutes and discussed strategy. He was direct and didn't waste time. He completely resolved the complaint within a few days. I'm very pleased and impressed by his diligence. I cannot say enough stellar things about Andrew Watters, Esq. He is a superb attorney with immense integrity. Would highly recommend him for legal counsel."
R.W., San Francisco, CA 3/2/2021 (Yelp)
"Highly recommend. Had a contract case and required professional legal opinion. Andrew was kind enough to provide free consultation, and advised me of my legal course of actions with a clean and sound recommendation."
R.D., Torrance, CA 2/12/2021 (Yelp)
"Andrew has been in our lives for over two years now so it's without saying, we've had many contacts with him and in more than just one case. He is the type of attorney who keeps his calm demeanor while you're frantic. His ability to prepare, his validation in trying to understand the wave of emotions in the process, and his professionalism is outstanding all while under pressure in the court room. Well, it could just be us feeling under pressure while he's calm and collective. When we are in a profession for a long time, we start to become complacent and we lose the drive that we once had. Andrew's personality and his professionalism has been the same way from the first day we met him."
M.L., Dixon, CA 9/4/2020 (Yelp)
"I have had a few experiences with attorneys in the past and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with Mr Watters's service. I have been helping my fiancee with her divorce and we needed a private judge. I reached out through Yelp and Mr Watters responded immediately. He asked questions about our situation and what we were looking for. I found him proficient, knowledgeable, and friendly. He gave approximate timelines and a very competitive price and a reasonable expectation with the work he expected to put into it and what situations might cost more. After we sent him all of the documentation he needed, he reviewed it quickly and made his requests for corrections. Throughout the question and answer period, documentation review, communications, and final filing; Mr Watters displayed outstanding customer service. This is where Mr Watters diverges from other attorneys. Other attorneys often seemed annoyed or downright condescending. Billing with other attorneys was shocking until I got used to exorbitant fees. With other attorneys, response times to emails and texts was measured in days. With Mr Watters, he'd usually respond within a few hours, and the latest maybe the next day. His billing is transparent, predictable, and fair. He got our situation handled. I'll definitely be using him for future legal concerns."
E.S., San Jose, CA 2/17/2020 (Yelp)
"Andy was a huge help in setting up my LLC! He was very informative and made sure I understood every option in terms of the different ways it could be incorporated. He was also able to help me create the required articles of incorporation. After everything was done and filed, he went above and beyond by checking in to make sure it was all going well and as planned! I would definitely turn to him for further legal assistance, should I ever need it."
E.Z., Los Angeles, CA, 11/26/2019 (Yelp)
"Andrew has helped me with a handful of legal matters, and I really appreciate how efficient and professional he is. He is very responsive and will provide you with great service. I plan to contact him again in the future as needed."
H.Y., San Francisco, CA, 8/27/2019 (Yelp)
"Andrew represented me in an intellectual property lawsuit, which we won. He is a terrific attorney, very forthright and even-tempered, knowledgeable about the law, able to admit his limitations, willing to persevere in the face of adversity and appropriately aggressive when he needs to be. He is an excellent communicator and also possesses a quality that is rare in attorneys: he is ethical to a tee. I highly recommend him for general legal cases."
T.G., San Francisco, CA, 8/16/2019 (Yelp)
"Andrew represented me recently in a time-sensitive legal matter related to a property transaction and did an excellent job. He is extremely knowledgeable, friendly and patient. He is very prompt in replying to emails and phone calls and kept me updated about progress at all stages. Thanks to his help, we were able to resolve certain issues in a timely manner which has enabled me to carry out my transaction smoothly."
B.P., San Mateo, CA, 5/12/2019 (Yelp)
"I've met with Andrew a few times for general legal advice. I found him to be thorough in his knowledge of the law. He was very flexible with his time and availability. I am also impressed with the level of his responsiveness to emails and phone calls. An effective litigator needs to reserve empathy for his/her client, while making judgment calls about legal positions that can sometimes be tough or unpalatable. I feel that Andrew excels in maintaining this balance."
A.J., San Francisco, CA, 3/18/2019 (Yelp)
"Great Attorney. Knowledgeable, Intelligent and Responsive. Highly Recommended! Andrew G. Watters and his team have been wonderful to work with, in the last several years on multiple cases. I cannot thank Andrew enough for his help and high performance! Why do we hire attorneys and law firms? To guide us on legal issues or disputes, help and facilitate to resolve them, take headaches away, protect our interest, someone who cares to think what's best for us, the client. With Andrew, all that comes with engagement. The best feeling we got all these years working with him every time, trust with a sense of relief as soon as the case gets to his desk. He is professional, very knowledgeable, intelligent, quick to grasp, fast thinker, efficient and super responsive. His personal attention to all details and personable style is amazing. I have successfully worked with him on several matters, financial recovery, fraud, false complaints, corporate, technology, transactions etc. He explains the issues, the legal scenario, pros, and cons very well to help the client make informed choices and decisions which get great results in the end. I love his No-nonsense, straight to the point dedicated approach and clearly spelling out the merits of the case. Overall, it was a pleasant experience! I definitely would recommend him to other prospective clients."
A.A., San Jose, CA, 10/30/2018 (Yelp)
"Just finished my divorce...it was a tough battle that involved forensic accounting, multiple hearing and a viscous dispute over assets and income available for support. It lasted for one year...fortunately I brought a gunslinger to the gun fight…Andrew was clearly the smartest guy in the room during our court fight. He was well prepared, determined a great strategy, and continually embarrassed opposing counsel by anticipating every move. I highly recommend Andrew as a smart, intelligent bulldog attorney that thinks three dimensionally when fighting a case."
E.A., San Mateo, CA, 8/30/2018 (Yelp)
"Once my spouse of 18 years decided to ask for the dissolution of our marriage, I was shocked and stunned since most of those years were exceedingly good in my memory. Early the next morning, I saw a happy man at the gym who was speaking about his divorce. I gathered some courage and asked him if he knew an attorney who could also help me in my situation. He suggested Andrew Watters, and I took his advice....I am exceedingly thankful for the ethical guidance, planning, and execution that Andrew and his team bring to the divorce process. If you are considering a divorce, or going through an amicable split–he is the sounding board you MUST have to keep your sanity and not have your emotions rule your mind. I highly recommend Andrew for his knowledge, professionalism, and friendship. I seriously recommend him to all good people going through some unsettling times."
S.S., San Carlos, CA, 8/19/2018 (Yelp)
"Andrew and Marc successfully represented me regarding an employment matter. They were always available and flexible in accommodating my schedule. Marc always explained the legal details and was attentive to what I had to say. He worked through my questions helping me understand the case on its merits. He was up on the case law as it pertained to my specific situation and was on top of the deadlines. They worked with me to help manage the costs, as well. Despite the stressful nature of the matter, I enjoyed working with both Marc and Andrew."
C.S., Redwood City, CA, 8/8/2018 (Yelp)
"Andrew has represented me for three years, and my case has recently concluded on satisfactory terms, which would not have been possible without his help. He is flexible on both his schedule and his client's communication style and preferences. He is not only very knowledgeable but also does excellent research when needed and provides clear answers. He is very prompt in replying my emails and returning my calls, and gives useful, actionable answers to my questions. My case is somewhat unusual and I appreciate that he didn't handle my case with a cookie cutter like a certain lawyer I hired in the past... I hope I'll never be in a situation again where I need a lawyer, but if I do I'll definitely want Andrew by my side!"
B.S., Burlingame, CA, 1/28/2018 (Yelp)
"I just used their legal service to fight against the greedy commercial landlord and their management company. After my 5 year lease expired, the management company tell me they will increase the rent 50% without any consideration of the tenant's position. Andrew and Marc helped me negotiated with the management company. The result is satisfied, I got a more reasonable new contract. Without Andrew and Marc's brilliant knowledge and service, I can't imagine I can fight against the landlord's management company and their lawyer. Andrew and Marc always response to my questions quickly and detailed. They didn't make any unrealistic promise but tell me all the possibilities. I sincerely believe they are not only the best lawyers in their field, but also very honest and sympathetic human being. Thank you very much for your help, Andrew and Marc!"
Q.H., San Jose, CA, 1/2/2018 (Yelp)
"Andrew is not only an astute and extremely efficient practitioner of the law, but he also possesses the ethical and professional etiquette to handle sensitive legal matters. He was the most helpful attorney even prior to the retention of his legal services. Andrew advised me on complicated legal matters that contributed to my divorce and facilitated that dissolution with the utmost integrity. I was able to feel confident and relieved that I had such excellent consult with a person of high intellect, attention to detail, and whom I could trust. I would highly recommend Andrew's expertise to anyone who is looking for the highest quality of legal service with discretion, compassion, and advocacy. I knew that I was in good hands, and that Andrew's counsel was outstanding. He went above and beyond to make my divorce as painless as possible. I remain extremely grateful to have such a well-rounded and exceptional attorney."
A.M., Eugene, OR, 3/17/2017 (Yelp)
"Andrew helped me and my husband get out from under a bad living situation with an uncaring corporate landlord (a billion-dollar real estate investment trust!), and we are very pleased with the outcome. He explained the whole process of how our lawsuit would work, kept us up to date as things progressed, met every deadline, and was always punctual. On top of that, his filings and arguments really show how much he cares about the quality of his work and the success of his clients. This was our first lawsuit, and as 'the little guys,' it was very reassuring to have someone like Andrew as our champion."
K.M., Littleton, CO, 2/27/2017 (Yelp)
By request, I'm posting my trial and arbitration record. Twenty-five trials and three JAMS arbitrations.
|Taiebat v. Abdolyousefi, Santa Clara County, one-day domestic violence trial, 2022||✅||DVRO in favor of client granted, DVRO against client denied.|
|Zada v. El Shami, San Mateo County, three-day divorce trial, 2022||Decision expected December 2022.|
|Javanmard v. Asgari, Santa Clara County, half-day domestic violence trial, 2022||✅||DVRO denied after trial.|
|Galan v. Pada, Santa Clara County, half-day domestic violence trial, 2022||❌||Unsuccessful defense of DVRO.|
|In re Marriage of Forrester, San Mateo County, 5-day divorce trial, 2021||✅||Client substantially prevailed.|
|Acosta v. Acosta, San Mateo County, 3-day domestic violence trial, 2021||❌||Unsuccessful defense of DVRO.|
|In re Marriage of Shirname, Contra Costa County, 2-day divorce trial, 2021||❌||Opposing party substantially prevailed.|
|Reyes v. Lopez, San Mateo County, 3-day domestic violence trial, 2020||✅||DVRO denied after trial.|
|Petty-Eifert v. Aviano Enterprises, Inc., San Francisco County, 3-day JAMS arbitration, 2020||❌||Real estate arbitration.|
|Wang v. Alipay, Santa Clara County, 5-day JAMS arbitration, 2019||❌||Employment arbitration over sham performance reviews.|
|In re Marriage of Sarkar, San Mateo County, 2-day trial on date of separation, 2019||✅||Date of separation was as stated by my client.|
|Kingsdale v. Chan, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, 1-day court trial, 2019||✅||80% discharged and the judgment was less than we were willing to settle for; counting as a win.|
|In re Marriage of Diloy, San Mateo County, 2-day enforcement trial, 2019||❌||Enforcement of judgment/MSA|
|Esposito v. Esposito, Santa Clara County, 3-day domestic violence trial, 2017||❌||Unsuccessful defense of DVRO.|
|Frazer v. Chan, Contra Costa County, 5-day court trial, 2017||❌||Real estate fraud case.|
|Hoda Globe v. Cai, Santa Clara County, 5-day court trial, 2016||❌||Settled before final decision.|
|Jiang v. IvyMax, Inc., San Mateo County, 5-day jury trial, 2016||✅||Defense verdict in fraud case.|
|Fong v. Intero Realty, Santa Clara County, 3-day JAMS arbitration, 2016||❌||Real estate arbitration.|
|IvyMax v. Chan, Alameda County, 1-day court trial, 2015||❌||Former employee competed with client's business.|
|Andaya v. Cassara, Alameda County, 3-day jury trial, 2015||✅||Small jury verdict in personal injury case.|
|Buckley v. Control Line Electric, Inc., Santa Clara County, 5-day court trial, 2015||✅||$410,000 judgment for Plaintiff, including $200,000 in punitive damages.|
|Wang v. Wang, Santa Clara County, 3-day court trial, 2014||✅||Small judgment for Plaintiff in a fraud case.|
|Ponce v. Ponce, one-day domestic violence trial, 2014||❌||Unsuccessful defense of DVRO.|
|Pestana v. Pestana, three-day trust administration trial, 2011||✅||Removal of trustee and sanctions against him regarding $7 million trust.|
|OWD v. Smith, Sonoma County, short-cause court trial, 2008||✅||Collections action.|
|OWD v. Toress, Sonoma County, short-cause court trial, 2008||✅||Workplace violence restraining order.|
|Bonfigli v. Strachan, Sonoma County, 10-day jury trial, 2007||❌||Won on re-trial following appellate reversal due to error in first trial.|
|Gonsalves v. Crabtree, Sonoma County, 5-day jury trial, 2006||❌||Client declined to pay for defective windows.|
5 Flawless Victories
I have my opposing counsel personal conduct policy on my website in order to provide fair warning and also deter bad behavior. My policy is simple and well-known to my usual opposing counsel: I do not communicate by phone or in person with any attorney who (1) reneges on agreements, (2) spouts bullshit in any way, (3) acts shady or manipulative, (4) embarrasses me to my clients, or (5) exhibits two or more diagnostic criteria consistent with any known personality disorder, with particular focus on Cluster B personality disorders. This five-item policy is easy to administer and completely fair. Even if your phones are blocked, email may still be available in some scenarios, though I also reserve the right to block opposing counsel individual emails or even entire domains in the event of abuse of the privilege of email. A recent example of email abuse is multiple emails in which my opposing counsel repeatedly sought to have the last word and refused to admit he was wrong about an indisputable point of law, apparently in order to create a false record for submission to the court in a motion filing. Read the actual emails we exchanged (all twelve of them) and decide for yourself who is in the right. He did the exact same thing on a prior occasion, when he was wrong about a different point of law and accused me of being uncivil for merely speaking the truth about his errors and his undesirable behavior, and this time I had enough. Please be mindful of this policy when communicating with me, as there will be no advance notice or warning and an email block is seriously inconvenient, which is the point. Email is a privilege, not a right. I do not "diagnose" opposing counsel, nor would I presume to do that as a layman even though I frequently refer to the DSM-5 for guidance; I merely observe opposing counsel's actual behavior and proceed accordingly.