Case Examples

Established in 1999, Law Offices of Sondra S. Sutherland, APC handles family law, appeals and writs, personal injury, and other civil litigation matters.

  • Sutherland v. Barclays, CA Ct. of Appeal, 2nd App. Dist., Div. 1, Case No. B103350 published at (1997) 53 Cal.App.4th 299. I took on a $72 billion mortgage company and its “force” of lawyers, while still a law student. After my case was dismissed by the trial court, I appealed and revived 5 out of 7 causes of action in a case that would help homeowners throughout California. Click Here.
  • Marriage of Lammers, CA Ct. of Appeal, 4th App. Dist., Div. 1, Case No. D035476 – published at (2000) 83 Cal.App.4th 1309. I challenged a local “pre-read” rule as violating my client’s Due Process rights after a family law judge refused to read the papers we filed for a contested support hearing. The Appellate Court held the rule wasn’t unconstitutional as written, but that it was applied in an unconstitutional manner to my client. The rule was ultimately repealed and the culture changed to make reading and ruling on the evidence and the law the standard. Click Here.
  • Marriage of Hammons, CA Ct. of Appeal, 2nd App. Dist., Div. 4, Case No. B139238. I successfully secured a reversal of a decision by one of the top family law bench officers in California (Hon. Kenneth A. Black), who – in this instance – failed to enforce a property agreement between divorcing spouses as it was written.
  • Ranes v. Ramona Unified School District: I obtained a favorable settlement for a high school student, whose teacher was sexually harassing numerous students, as described in a detailed Sheriff’s report. The school district chose to “white wash” (ignore) the allegations and “pass the trash” by sending the teacher to another district, without disclosing his sordid history. I also successfully fended off a lawsuit filed by the teacher against his own students and others. Click Here.
  • Marriage of Ayala, CA Ct. of Appeal, 4th App. Dist., Div. 1, Case No. D047338. I filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus and secured a reversal of a judgment of contempt, sparing a father of jail time and fines for non-payment of child support under an expired temporary order.
  • Marsala v. Chapman, CA Ct. of Appeal, 4th App. Dist., Div. 1, Case No. D047734. I prevailed against the challenge of a special master’s report and recommendations on a real property dispute in a family law matter.
  • Kipperman v. Sutherland (In re Bush), No. 06-90235-H7, published at 356 B.R.28 (Bankr. S.D. Cal. 2006): This is a published Memorandum Decision on a Motion for Summary Judgment filed on my behalf in a bankruptcy trustee’s action seeking to invalidate various liens that I had to secure the payment of legal fees in a family law matter. The court granted my Motion and validated my lien, based on a brief that I wrote. 
  • Marriage of Molina, CA Ct. of Appeal, 4th App. Dist., Div. 1, Case No. D048767. I successfully defended a trial court order, deciding that no change of circumstances was required to modify a child custody/visitation order. Opposing counsel was Stephen Temko, a specialist in family and appellate law.
  • Deanna Fogarty-Hardwick, CA Ct. of Appeal, 4th App. Dist., Div. 3, Case No. G039045. Click Here.
  • Marriage of Gruen, CA Ct. Of Appeal, 4th App. Dist., Div. 1, Case No. D055950, publishedat (2011) 191 Cal.App.4th 627. I secured the reversal of a trial court order, which modified a temporary support order retroactively so as to wipe out the existing order on which the mother and four children relied. Neither party had filed a motion to modify the prior order, and the relevant statutes only permitted the court to modify back to the date a new motion is filed. The appeal meant more than $800,000 in additional support. Click Here.