Ms. Bissada is a Certified Specialist in Family Law (ACFLS); a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML); rated by Martindale Hubbell as an AV Preeminent attorney in her field and is a member of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC), a national organization addressing children’s issues in divorce. Ms. Bissada has spent her entire legal career practicing and further strengthening her roots in San Mateo County. Ms. Bissada is a prominent and seasoned litigator, mediator and settlement Judge, specializing in complex custody and financial matters. She has expertise in navigating and guiding clients through complex venture capital, hedge fund and private equity cases, as well as the most complex of custody issues, including children who resist or refuse to see one parent, gatekeeping and relocation (move-away) cases.
Ms. Bissada’s extensive knowledge and talent allow her to smoothly manage complicated, high-asset issues that are unique to family law. She is in her 28th year of practice, enabling her to guide her clients with confidence and sensitivity throughout the often emotional process. She brings these honed skills to her mediation practice as well; both as a consulting attorney, a mediator and offering services for attorney assisted mediation and as a settlement judge. Ms. Bissada is further trained in and practices collaborative law–a voluntary process providing an alternative for dispute resolution and settlement without going to Court.
Ms. Bissada has in the past been appointed by the Family Court Judges of Santa Clara County to serve as a Judge Pro Tem; a position reserved for well-known, reliable, and highly-esteemed lawyers in the community. Similarly, Ms. Bissada is appointed by the Judges of San Mateo County as an Arbitrator in fee disputes between attorneys and their clients, a role requiring demonstrated sensitivity and fairness. Both appointments exhibit Ms. Bissada’s on-going service to the community, as well as her reputation as a well-respected, objective and skilled leader. In her private practice, Ms. Bissada also serves as a mediator directly for parties in dissolution, or desiring of premarital or cohabitation agreements; as a neutral mediator for attorney-assisted mediation; and as a private settlement judge for family law matters, including complex financial and high conflict custody issues. These positions further give Ms. Bissada the unique experience to “sit” in the shoes of a neutral or Judge, a viewpoint essential to providing her clients with effective and efficient advice.
Ms. Bissada also strives to mentor others and help strengthen the caliber of attorneys in the field of family law. In addition, to mentoring the attorneys in her own firm, Ms. Bissada is a Group Leader for the AAML Mentoring Program and also presents on average three (3) times per year at conferences, educational seminars or in the graduate school setting as a guest lecturer to assist in educating aspiring family law attorneys, professionals affiliated with the family law field and graduate clinical psychology students who plan to work in the family law field.
Ms. Bissada’s extensive and dedicated involvement with the legal community is an invaluable resource to her clients, as it provides access to resources, relationships and a nuanced knowledge of the local, legal landscape. Her involvement in the legal community includes membership to the State Bar of California, as well as the San Mateo County, Santa Clara County and San Francisco Bar Associations. Ms. Bissada served as the 2011 President of the San Mateo County Bar Association and as a Board Member of this 1,400 member organization from 2002 – 2012.
Ms. Bissada was a member and chair on a number of committees in the Bar Association, including: the Bench and Bar Committee, where she acted as a liaison between the County Judges and the lawyer members of the Bar to strengthen relationships with the judiciary and improve the legal practice in the County; the Finance Committee; the Membership Committee, where she worked to improve the benefits, services and professional training programs for members; as well as the Community Affairs Committee, where she worked to involve the public in Speaker events and inform service clubs, businesses, professional groups and schools in subjects relating to the law and administration of justice.
Ms. Bissada serves as the 2023 President of the Northern California Chapter of the AAML and has served on the AAML Northern California Chapter Board of Managers since 2020. She serves on several AAML National Committees and serves on the AAML National Foundation Grant Committee. Ms. Bissada is also a leader of the 2022-2024 AAML Northern California Chapter Peninsula Mentoring Group. Ms. Bissada served on the Board of Directors of the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County and chaired the Board’s Development Committee from 2012 until March 2017. She was also a member of the Legal Aid “And Justice For All” Annual Awards Luncheon Committee from 2009 until 2017, including several years as Co-Chair. Ms. Bissada worked diligently to strengthen the relationship between the San Mateo County Bar Association and the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County, ensuring that vital legal assistance and advocacy is available to numerous disadvantaged people in the community. Ms. Bissada also served on the Board of Directors for Overcoming Barriers until April 2016.
Ms. Bissada has been a member of Collaborative Practice San Mateo County since 2001, where she also serves on their Membership Committee. Staying actively involved in the Collaborative Practice enables Ms. Bissada to facilitate cooperation and mutual agreement between her clients and opposing parties.
Ms. Bissada served as Chair of the statewide Legislative Day Committee for the Conference of California Bar Associations (CCBA) until 2015. She previously served a 3-year Board term from 2010-2013 as Regional Director on the Board of Directors of the CCBA. She has also served the Board in assisting with their CCBA Legislative Day in Sacramento. From 2000 to 2017, Ms. Bissada also served as a Delegate to the CCBA, representing San Mateo County. In the past, she has served in the capacity of Chair and as Treasurer of the delegates representing San Mateo County on a statewide level where they critique, create and refine new and proposed legislation.
Ms. Bissada also served on the Board of Managers for the Peninsula Family YMCA from 1999 through 2007. In addition, Ms. Bissada was a member of the Chamber of Commerce Leadership Program — Class of 2002, where she further honed her leadership skills to effectively serve her practice and her community.
JD, California Western School of Law, San Diego, 1994
BA, University of California, Davis, International Relations, 1989
BA, University of California, Davis, French, 1989
Ms. Bissada received the 2017 Friend of the Conference Award from the Conference of California Bar Associations (CCBA) in recognition of her tireless efforts on behalf of the organization while serving her term on the Board of Directors, as well as her continued volunteer work in assisting in the planning of the organization’s Annual Legislative Day in Sacramento. This Statewide Award was presented to Ms. Bissada at the organization’s annual conference in Sacrament in October 2017 in Sacramento.
Ms. Bissada received the 2010 Dorothy M. Wolfe Award in recognition of her extraordinary devotion and pro bono work with the Legal Aid Society; for aiding those who would not otherwise have access to vital legal services. Ms. Bissada brings the same tenacity to her practice. Ms. Bissada worked as an exemplary volunteer for the Domestic Violence Collaborative Pro Bono Project, through which she represented low-income victims of domestic violence, aiding them in their filings and making court appearances on their behalf.
In the past, Ms. Bissada worked with the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County by mentoring and inspiring other attorneys to take pro bono cases through the project. She supports and trains her associate attorneys at Flicker, Kerin, Kruger & Bissada LLP to take on pro bono cases in the community.
Ms. Bissada has earned a number of other legal achievements throughout her career, including Best Lawyers® by US News & World Report and Super Lawyers® by Thomson Reuters, which she has earned for over 17 years. She has also earned the additional distinction of the Top 50 Women since 2012 and as Top 10 and Top 100 Attorneys for multiple consecutive years.
After graduating from California Western School of Law in 1994, Ms. Bissada made a purposeful decision to move back to the Bay Area to start her family and career. This decision was motivated by a desire to make a contribution to the legal field in the community where she was raised. The driving force behind Ms. Bissada’s commitment to giving back to members of the community comes from her parent’s immigration to the Bay Area.
In her spare time, Ms. Bissada’s interests include spending time with her family, strategic board games, traveling, learning to play golf, movies and international cultures.