Tessa Briggs

Tessa Briggs

Monterey, California
Tessa has been a family law litigator since 2011, successfully representing her clients in countless custody, child support (including Department of Child Support Services cases), spousal support, visitation, property division, paternity, and divorce matters. She has also litigated guardianship cases and challenged prenuptial agreements.  She has no preference for representing either male or female clients in custody matters, requiring only that her client has the child's best interests at heart and strives to be the best parent possible.  As a mom herself, Tessa understands the needs of your children and your parenting concerns.  She has represented clients with both modest and substantial assets. In addition to litigation, Tessa is an experienced and able negotiator and resolves many cases without appearing in court at all.  

Tessa became a Certified Family Law Specialist (as Certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization) in 2016.  A CFLS, or Certified Family Law Specialist, is an attorney who has achieved certification as a specialist in California family law and has demonstrated a commitment to the highest standards of legal competence.  In order to become a CFLS, Tessa was required to take and pass a second bar exam which comprehensively tested solely on all areas of California family law.  As part of her application to become a CFLS, Tessa was required to demonstrate to the State Bar of California that she has broad-based and comprehensive experience in family law, prove competency by establishing completion of a variety of matters/trials/hearings/settlements, and that she received favorable evaluations by other attorneys and judges familiar with her work in family law.  There are only approximately 1,100 CFLS out of all the attorneys in the entire state of California.

Before moving to the Monterey area, she practiced in Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado, Shasta, Glenn, Butte, and Tehama Counties.  Although she prides herself on her high settlement rate, she also advocates aggressively for her clients and believes the best outcomes are possible when clients are very well-informed of the potential benefits and risks of every litigation decision. She has been mentored virtually her entire career by other Certified Family Law Specialists.

Education & Admissions:

Tessa earned her Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from California State University, Sacramento in 2006 where she appeared on the Dean's Honor Roll numerous times. She received her law degree in 2009 from the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law where she was awarded Top Honors in Trial Advocacy.  She was admitted to the California Bar Association in 2010 and became a Certified Family Law Specialist in 2016.  She has taken, and continues to take, as much continuing legal education as possible to serve the needs of her current clientele.  This includes full day(s) of continuing legal education on strategies related to divorce taxation; discovery; depositions; child custody/visitation; and characterization of assets and debts in complex cases.  Over the course of the last several years, Tessa has taken well over one hundred hours of continuing legal education focused exclusively on family law issues. She has also met the minimum standards for practice before a Juvenile Court in California and is Certified to appear as such in some local counties although that is not a focus of her practice.  

Community Affiliations:

Mrs. Briggs is a member of the Monterey County Bar Association, the California Bar Association, and the Association of Certified Family Law Specialists (ACFLS). She is on the ACFLS's outreach committee for Monterey County. Prior to fulfilling a lifelong dream to relocate to Monterey County, Mrs. Briggs was the Committee Chair of the Shasta-Trinity Bar Association Family Law Committee, was on the Board of Directors for Tehama Head Start, and spent several years as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate for foster children).

Family and Personal Life:

Tessa is an avid knitter, an accomplished baker, loves dogs, and hates cats.  She enjoys exploring Monterey's beautiful outdoors with her husband and three children under age 10.