82-year-old Dan Jaffe, who wields a huge legacy for dealing with the cases he handles using the utmost sensitivity, discretion, and privacy, has just started a new law firm with a long-term lease. “I’m healthy, I love what I do and I don’t play golf, so what else would I do? We have a very high-end practice dealing with very successful, very interesting people, that have very interesting financial and legal issues, I can’t imagine doing anything else.”
Over five decades and in a confidential setting, Daniel Jaffe has established himself as the sought-after attorney for high-profile celebrity and professional clients and their spouses with the most sensitive dealing with complicated family law matters. His experience and success in and out of the courtroom have earned him the well-placed trust of many well-known clients who seek his advice and skills when making critical, emotional and financial transitions in their lives. Dan combines a deep familiarity of the law with an innovative and discreet approach to achieve positive outcomes for his clients.
“Town and Country did an article calling me the stealth lawyer because we honor the privacy of our clients. We try to negotiate deals that don’t end up in the papers. When you deal with celebrities or high-end executives any bad news can jeopardize their career or their job in this day and age. So, we are obviously very careful what we say and what we do and who we talk about. We don’t have a Facebook account, a Twitter account, or a Snapchat account.”
The previous firm, Jaffe and Clemens, closed on July 31st with the retirement of longtime partner Bruce Clemens who will no longer practice family law litigation. “Bruce and I began Jaffe and Clemens with the idea of creating a firm that catered to elite clientele who demanded ethical and discreet representation. My new firm will continue the tradition of providing exceptional family law counsel to sophisticated clientele in entertainment and tech industries as well as successful businesses around the world.” In addition to handling the most complex family law matters for an elite clientele, the firm has been influential in shaping family law through published appellate cases and leadership involvement in the statewide, national and international family law communities.
“I can diagnose a divorce case in two hours and tell you what a probable result is but all you have to do is tell me about your spouse and tell me about who your spouse is represented by and I’ll tell you how long and how costly this case is going to be. It isn’t rocket science, what we do – how to divide a billion dollars, is an interesting practice.”
No matter how difficult or complicated the case, Jaffe Family Law Group professionals have the expertise to guide clients through all aspects of family law matters, with particular knowledge in the areas often affecting high-net-worth individuals, such as divorce taxation, intellectual property, interstate jurisdiction, and complex business and financial issues.
“I have said for years, that I’m just a small-town country lawyer from Beverly Hills because Beverly Hills has just 38,000 residents and now I am more of a small-town country lawyer because there are only 7,000 residents in Century City.” Mind you, Century City’s one square mile does contain 11 million square feet of offices. It is a single zip code but a tall one.
Jaffe has been practicing law in California since 1962. “Jaffe and Clemens were together for 42 years. We had a very high-end successful law firm. I was at 433 N. Camden. When our lease was coming up for renewal, we approached the building to renew. They said they were not renewing our lease because they wanted our space for their corporate headquarters. So, in effect, we found out that we were being evicted. Clemens said if we are being evicted, I am going to retire. I looked around Beverly Hills for space but the neighborhood has changed. Up and down Camden are tour busses every day with lots of tourists. I hired a broker that found this terrific space at 1901 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 680 and being right next to the Westfield mall makes this the perfect space. The landlord was terrific to work with they were enormously accommodating so we picked up and moved. It’s been an exciting move. I’m really going to enjoy being in Century City far more than I would have enjoyed remaining in Beverly Hills and as a bonus, I can walk to work. Century City is now the financial center of the legal community, financial community with agents, managers, and accountants – all people we deal with on a daily basis.”
Dan’s talents have been recognized by satisfied clients as well as by his peers in the legal community who frequently ask him to speak or write educational pieces on family law topics. He has recently been a guest speaker for the California CPA Foundation on Cross Over Issues in Estate Planning and Family Law. He has spoken on and has also recently been published in the Los Angeles Daily Journal on foreign tax issues. Likewise, the State Bar of California has certified him as a specialist in family law and he has been recognized for legal excellence in the field of family law by a variety of authorities, including the California State Bar Journal, Town and Country Magazine, and the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers.
In addition, the American College of Family Trial Lawyers, an organization limited to the top 100 divorce lawyers in the U.S., has named him a Diplomate, which is one of the industry’s most distinguished honors.
He is also a member of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. The Best Lawyers in America named Dan the ‘Best Family Law Lawyer of the Year’ in 2009. He was named ‘Family Lawyer of the Year’ for 2014 by the Southern California Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.
Joining Jaffe Family Law Group are Partners William S. Ryden and Sandra P. Mendell as well as Mara Berke, who is Of Counsel and attorneys Nancy Braden-Parker and Alysia S. Evans. Colin Doty and Shauna Levine joined as paralegals. The firm practices in the highest level of family law including division of property and debts, child support and custody counsel, divorce taxation, prenuptial, postnuptial and cohabitation agreements, paternity/parentage, mediation and substantial litigation before public and private judges. He is also a member of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and International Academy of Family Lawyers. The National Law Journal named Jaffe a Divorce, Trust and Estate ‘Trailblazer’ in 2017 and an Honoree of the Inaugural Class of ‘Legal Legends’ of the Beverly Hills Bar Association. He has also been included in Chambers High Net Worth guides for 2018 and 2019.
“Virtually every father wants 50/50 custody. In the high-end cases, if the dad wants custody today, economically it can be done so that two significant homes are available for both parties and for the kids. Some of the cases we deal with, one of the issues is that the kids have never flown commercial. ‘Will the Netjets contract be continued’ becomes an issue so that kids don’t have to fly commercial. Clearly, this is a different type of practice than most attorneys handle.”
Jaffe confides, “I have received a lot of referrals over the years from opposing parties in divorce cases where I represented the other side, which is nice. If I can get families out of these horrible situations alive and the kids at the end of the day have a great relationship with both of their parents, then I have done my job.”
Jaffe is optimistic about the future, “Lord willing and the crick don’t rise, I’ll be here for many more years.”