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Judith (Judy) Copeland practiced law exclusively in the areas of probate, estate planning, trusts, conservatorships, guardianships, and elder law for 39 years.   She authored two chapters of CEB’s California Will Drafting and has lectured extensively for a variety of legal organizations including CEB, the Rutter Group, the California Judges Association, several local Bar Association and the California State Bar.  She retired from the active practice of law in 2014 to devote her time and skills to mediations. She believes that most of the disputes in these areas of law are particularly suitable for mediation and that the clients are best served when agreement can be reached.

She has received numerous awards for her service in community and legal activities; including the Bernard Witkin and Belva Lockwood awards. Ms. Copeland’s featured practice areas are Probate, Conservatorship and Trust Disputes; Will and Trust Contests. Ms. Copeland mediates and arbitrates in her practice areas in addition to other civil matters.  She is AV rated by Martindale Hubbell, and has been recognized as a San Diego Super Lawyer annually since 2010 in the area of Probate and as a Neutral. 


  • $450 per hour
  • $195 non-refundable per party administrative fee.

Legal Career & Prior Experience: 

  • Partner, COPELAND & TIERMAN, February 1996 to the end of 2013. Practice was limited to probate, estate planning, elder law and related mediations and arbitrations.
  • With small firms or solo practice, September l979 to February 1996.  Practice limited to probate, estate planning and elder law.
  • DEPUTY COUNTY COUNSEL, San Diego County, March, 1975, to August, 1979.
  • Superior Court Arbitrator.
  • Certified mediator.
  • Author, C.E.B., California Will Drafting, '90, chs.32 & 33
                       C.E.B., Durable Powers of Attorney, revision author, l997

Education & Professional Affiliations: 

  • University of California, Hastings College of the Law
          J.D. Degree, May, 1974
  • University of California, Berkeley
          A.B. Degree, March, 1970
  • Admitted to California State Bar, December, 1974
  • Certified specialist,  Estate Planning, Probate and Trust law (State Bar Board of Legal Specialization)
  • Member, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
  • Life Member (#96196) of National Registry of Who’s Who
  • Advisory Board, San Diego Lawyer Magazine
  • Advisory Board, Lawyers Club of San Diego
  • Member, Lawyers Club of San Diego Board of Directors (2x)
  • Member, San Diego County Bar Association, Board of Directors, 1982-1985, Vice President, 1985. 
  • Member, California State Bar Board of Governors, 2000-2003, Vice President, 2003

ADR Experience & Specialties: 

Mediation & Court Referee

  • All Trust & Probate related matters
  • Elder law
  • Employment
  • Breach of Contract
  • Landlord-tenant
  • Personal injury
  • Malpractice, professional negligence

Achievements & Awards: 

  • Recipient President’s Award, 2001, National Assoc. Women Lawyers
  • Recipient, Service to the Profession Award, S.D. County Bar Assoc., 2001
  • Recipient, Belva Lockwood Award, 1993 from Lawyers Club
  • Law Library Justice Foundation, Bernard Witkin Award, 2001
  • Avvo.com rating: 10 (highest)
  • Martindale and Hubbell rating:  AV (highest)
  • Super Lawyer, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013,2014, 2015.
  • Mediator of the Month, San Diego Attorney magazine, 2014


"Please extend my gratitude to Ms. Copeland.  She did an excellent job, and I left quite impressed.  Without her hard work, I do not believe we would have been successful."

Hobbies & Interests: 

  • Golfing, Baseball, Gardening, Travel and Mosaic work.      

To schedule a mediation please contact Case Manager Kathy Purcell at
619-238-7282 or kpurcell@westcoastresolution.com or email Judy at jcopeland@westcoastresolution.com