Tristan and His Background
I was born in South Africa and obtained a Bachelors of Law Degree (BLC) from the University of Pretoria. From the same University I obtained a post-graduage law degree, LLB. While doing national service in South Africa in the police force, where I attained the rank of captain and worked as a legal adviser, I pursued a Masters Degree in Law (LLM) at the University of South Africa. I visited the United States in 1991 to attend a poets' convention in Washington DC. I then returned to the United States at the end of the following year to pursue a field of study in Los Angeles in film and was listed on the Deans' List for three consecutive semesters. While working for the actor Don Johnson, of Miami Vice fame, I pursued preparation for the California Bar Exam and was sworn in as an attorney in California in December 1996.
What I Care About
I have a strong sense of right and wrong. I fight for what I believe is right. Financial gain is secondary. I like to solve legal problems and riddles. A case should have a beginning and ending. I find it hard to work for those who do not want closure and prefer just to stir the pot to keep a straightforward case perpetually on the burner - that is not my style at all. I love animals - nothing gets my blood up more than cruelty to animals. I have broad interests - caring about literature, film, music, psychology, law, philosophy, religion, gardening, cooking, fitness, hiking, swimming, weight-lifting, web design, pencil drawing, formula one racing cars and, of course, people.
When I was seventeen, my mother sent me for vocational testing. The result was that I should either explore the vocation of being a chef or a lawyer - I chose law.
I hung my proverbial shingle in Westlake Village after passing the bar exam and moved once to my present location in Newbury Park (part of Thousand Oaks) in California. I have represented clients in more than 1,200 cases and this is my twenty-first year in practice. I have been recognized for my ethics and legal abilility. A page devoted to those awards can be found here.
Why Family Law?
My mother was divorced and despite that she found funds to send me to the best schools in the City. At a young age I found myself staring at a legal letter which arrived from my father's lawyers. My mother did not show it to me - rather I discovered it. Nothing came of the dispute referred to in the letter. I continued to live with my Mom and visited with my Dad, whom I loved dearly, as he was a very busy architect. I have three children of my own all who live with me 100 per cent of the time. The youngest is fifteen; until age fourteen I shared custody with my former spouse on an equal basis. That changed last year when this lovely child deveoped a strong preference to be in my home all the time. A divorce case is traumatic. I understand the trauma. From the platform of family law, I have also taken on some civil law matters and criminal law matters. I also do surrogacy cases, adoption cases and dependency court cases.