Who We Are

We are a diverse group of legal professionals who have spent the better part of 50 years helping people through tough times. None of us started out as family lawyers, and that’s a good thing. We’ve been business litigators, insurance lawyers, real estate and land use lawyers and trust and estate lawyers. You want that in your family lawyers…and here’s why.

Family law is not really one area of law, it is a set of interconnected areas of law – a little bit of real estate, a little bit of self-employment business, a little bit of custody and visitation, a little bit of estate planning, inheritance issues and gift tax issues, even insurance law plays a role. Family law is incredibly complex – do not any lawyer tell you differently. It is trial work, legal drafting and strategy work all rolled into one.

You need a team of people with the knowledge and the guts to ask hard questions and sort out complex problems. We are agile so that we can modify our course to suit your needs. We are strategists, building traps and angles to out you at an advantage. We are hard-nosed litigators who are not afraid to stand up to opposing counsel, opposing parties and even judges if called upon. We are also ace negotiators, who work using our intellectual strengths and personal charm to get the right deal done for you.

This is your divorce; it is your story. It is your life, your children, you assets, your legacy. You should have the team in place to give you the very best chance at success.

We are your family’s legal team. We are here for you.

Meet The Team

M. Jude Egan, Esq.

Attorney

M. Jude Egan, J.D., Ph.D, Certified Family Law Specialist, graduated law school at the University of California, Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law in 2004. While working at a major international law firm in San Francisco doing civil litigation and land use work, he wrote his doctoral dissertation in Jurisprudence and Social Policy. Dr. Egan has litigated numerous cases in civil litigation and family law and enjoys a growing reputation drafting legal documents for estate planning. His practice serves English and Spanish speaking clients in Santa Maria, the Five Cities and Santa Barbara.

Helen C. Zajic, Esq.

Partner

Helen C. Zajic was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and raised in Michigan. As a high school student, she was a nationally ranked extemporaneous speaker and debater. She attended James Madison College at Michigan State University and graduated in 1983 with a BA in International Relations.

Jane Tanner, Esq.

Senior Attorney

Jane L. Tanner is a lifetime resident of the Central Coast. Having grown up in Morro Bay, she only made it as far as Santa Barbara for college and a wonderful life. A graduate of UCSB, Jane attended The Santa Barbara College of Law, graduating with the class of 2003. 

Working at The Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County was a great start to her career. While at Legal Aid she was the Supervising Attorney for the South County Legal Resource Center and the courtroom advocate for the Domestic Violence Prevention Program. The happy arrival of a baby boy in 2005 led to a solo practice in Carpinteria until 2009, when she joined Santa Barbara’s Department of Child Support Services as a child support attorney. Jane enjoyed the public service and child advocacy aspects of this work very much, but left the DCSS in 2019 to return to private practice since she also enjoys helping adults. Her focus is client satisfaction.. Having long admired the talented personnel at Egan Law, she joined the firm in 2022 and is delighted to be part of their team.

Edwin Weaver

Mediator

We have joined forces with Edwin Weaver, who is a tremendously talented mediator with an ability to see through the surface level issues and cut to the core issues that drive most, particularly, family-oriented conflicts. If you have a very thorny legal issue with a family member, you owe it to yourself and your family to try mediation before resorting to litigation.

Edwin Weaver understands that conflict is part of the human condition. He has assisted people in conflict, managing the situation to mutually satisfactory end. He has mediated for families, businesses, and government organizations. He believes that in most conflicts the relationships are key. He also believes that most relationships can be repaired, they may be different but that there is room for restoration. Edwin has a Masters in Social Work (MSW) from UCLA and has finished his coursework for his Masters in Dispute Resolution from Pepperdine’s Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, ranked #1 in Dispute Resolution in the US. Edwin also manages staff who mediate in local high schools as Executive Director of Fighting Back Santa Maria Valley.  

Nicolette Reeves

J.D. Law Clerk

Reeves was born and raised on California’s central coast. After completing her undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of California – Los Angeles, she earned an M.B.A from the University of La Verne. In 2019 she graduated from the Santa Barbara College of Law.

For several years Reeves interned at the Santa Barbara County Public Defenders’ Office, handling misdemeanor cases and working in the drug treatment courts. Before joining Egan Law, Reeves worked at a local family law firm where she began to learn the intricacies of the family law system.

At this time, she also experienced the legal process herself for the first time, which taught her the importance of having “support and guidance through a difficult time such as divorce, child custody, or other family law matters. I know firsthand the struggle, and I am happy that I can provide guidance and support to our clients at a very difficult time in their lives.”

After seeing the strong support system of the Egan Law legal team, Reeves decided it was the ideal firm to expand her efforts to help others. “I like to help people through some very difficult times in their life, while providing support to let them know things will get better. Having a kind, compassionate, and patient approach is what I bring to the job every day.”

Kristin Black

Senior Paralegal

Kristin has been a Certified Paralegal since 2015 and joined Egan Law shortly after beginning her career. In addition to her paralegal certification, Kristin holds a bachelors degree in legal studies with a concentration in American jurisprudence and legal philosophy from Chapman University, where she graduated with honors in 2013. 

She has also earned several associates degrees and certificates from Allan Hancock College in business management, business marketing, executive leadership and business law. Kristin enjoys the complex and strategic nature of family law and prides herself in assisting the best attorneys on the Central Coast. When not briefing cases or drafting discovery, Kristin enjoys reading, crafting, and spending time with her husband and daughter.

Ariana Mariscal

Office Administrator/Paralegal

Martin Villescas

Administrative Assistant

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