- California, 1982
- U.S. District Court Central District of California, 1983
- Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, California, 1982 – J.D.
- University of California, Irvine, California, 1979 – B.A., Cum Laude
Honors & Awards
- South Bay Bar Association’s 2018 Lawyer of the Year
- AV rating Martindale-Hubbell
- Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers
- National Register of Who’s Who in Executives and Professionals
- 2014 Eureka Award, recognizing an abiding dedication to establishing and sustaining collaborative practice in California
- The Best Lawyers in America for the practice area of Family Law, 2013-present
- Southern California “Super Lawyer” – LA Magazine, 2005-present
Joseph P. Spirito, Jr., Partner
Born in Westpoint, New York, Joe graduated from University of California at Irvine (B.A., Cum laude 1979) and Loyola Law School (J.D., 1982).
Joe has been in private practice in the Los Angeles area since 1982. He formed McGaughey & Spirito in 1990. Joe has continually maintained an AV rating in the Martindale-Hubbell legal publication and is listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. He is the past chair of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Family Law Section, one of the largest family law bar associations in the United States. Joe is co-founder and past president of the collaborative divorce group, A Better Divorce, past president of Los Angeles Collaborative Family Law Association, as well as past president and board member of the South Bay Bar Association. Joe was recently honored as the South Bay Bar Association’s 2018 Lawyer of the Year.
Joe is an adjunct professor at Loyola Law School, where he teaches a marital property course. He serves on the board of directors of Levitt Quinn, a non-profit family law center. He has also served as a family law Judge Pro Tem and is currently a mediator in the Los Angeles Superior Court Family Law Departments. He has appeared numerous times on NBC’s evening news with anchor Colleen Williams and has been a commentator on “Air Talk – The Legal Edition,” KPCC-FM, Pasadena, California, CBC National TV, American Journal National TV, and ABC National Radio.
Joe has been selected by his peers to the Southern California Super Lawyers list (2005 to present) and The Best Lawyers In America list (2013 to present) for the practice area of Family Law.
Professional Associations & Memberships
- South Bay Bar Association – Past president (2007) and ongoing member
- Los Angeles County Bar Association – Member
- Los Angeles County Bar Association, Executive Committee, Family Law Section- Past Chair (2017-18) and member (2004- present)
- State Bar of California
- Palos Verdes Country Club – former President and Board member
- International Academy of Collaborative Professionals
- A Better Divorce: Collaborative Law Group – Co-Founder and Past President
- Lecturer/Panelist – Continuing Legal Education programs- Family Law
- Qualified as an Expert to testify in Family Law matters in the Superior Courts of California
- Faculty member Los Angeles Collaborative Law Association interdisciplinary training programs
- Los Angeles Collaborative Family Law Association – Past President (LACFLA)
- Collaborative Practice California (CP CAL)
Select Lectures & Publications
- Professor at Loyola Law School, marital property course, fall semester 2019.
- An interview with Joe Spirito by Michael Weinstone of The Divorce Experience: A mediator’s perspective on the importance of selecting an appropriate consulting attorney for the mediation process, March 31, 2019.
- “Divorce Options: Mediation, Collaboration, and Litigation,” USC Law School, speaker, November 8, 2018.
- Basic Interdisciplinary Collaborative Practice Professional Team Training, “Confidentiality, Ethics, Informed Consent,” Presenter, August 16, 2018.
- Co-authored “Consensual Dispute Resolution- Making Life Better for Judges, Attorneys, and Families” with David Kuroda, published in the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Family Law Symposium Reference Book 2018-present.
- Co-authored “Improving the Mental Health of Children in Divorce,” with Alison Spirito, published in the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Family Law Symposium Reference Book 2017-present.
- Los Angeles County Bar Association’s 50th Annual Family Law Symposium, Speaker, May 5, 2018.
- “The History and New Developments in Consensual Dispute Resolution” WZWLH South Bay Study Group, Lecturer, May 14, 2018.
- Continuing Legal Education Seminar Elements of Collaborative Practice for Lawyers , Moderator, September 19, 2017.
- Interdisciplinary Collaborative Practice Training, Loyola Law School- Guest Lecturer and Instructor, August 2017, August 2015, January 2014, August 2014, August 2013
- Los Angeles County Bar Association’s 49th Annual Family Law Symposium,Program Chair, May 6, 2017
- Collaborative Divorce in California Podcast, Divorce Magazine – Speaker, 2015
- “Principles and Guidelines For Collaborative Practice,” UCLA Law School – Speaker, November 10, 2015
- “The Devils in the Details: Reimbursements and Credits; Calculating Watts/Epstein & Moore/Marsden,” – Presenter, November 9, 2015
- “Collaborative Divorces Gain Momentum,” Palos Verdes Peninsula News – Author, September 16, 2015
- 47th Annual Family Law Symposium presented by Los Angeles County Bar Association Family Law Section and the Los Angeles Superior Court – Speaker, May 2, 2015
- Los Angeles County Bar Association Program Chair for the 36th Annual Child Custody Colloquium, September 20, 2014
- “Social Work and the Law”, USC Graduate School of Social Work – Guest Lecturer, April 18, 2013
- “Does What Happens in Vegas Stay in Vegas?”, Collaborative Divorce and Disqualification, CP Cal (Collaborative Practice California) Eighth Annual Statewide Conference of Collaborative Professionals – Presenter, April 26-28, 2013
- “Litigation or Mediation: Debate and Discussion,” Drew Hunt Study Group, Providers: White, Zuckerman, Warsavsky, Luna & Hunt – Instructor, December 3, 2012
- “Building a Better Sandbox: Creating and Building a Thriving Practice Group,” International Academy of Collaborative Professionals 12th Annual Networking and Educational Forum – Presenter, October 27, 2011
- “Building a Better Sandbox: Creating and Building a Thriving Practice Group,” CP Cal (Collaborative Practice California)- Presenter, April 29, 2011
- “Reaching Successful Settlements in Today’s California Family Law Cases”. Inside the Minds: Strategies for Family Law in California, Aspatore Books, a Thomson Reuters publication – Author, 2012 Edition
- “Managing New Challenges In California Family Law Disputes.” Inside the Minds: Strategies for Family Law in California, Aspatore Books, a Thomson Reuters publication – Author, 2011 Edition
- “Collaborative Law and the Financial Expert,” California Society of CPA’s Family Law Section Meeting – Presenter, May 21, 2010
- “Role of the Lawyer” and “Enrolling the Client,” Los Angeles Collaborative Family Law Association – Presenter, 2009
- 35th Annual Family Law Symposium presented by Los Angeles County Bar Association Family Law Section and the Los Angeles Superior Court, Speaker, May 13, 2003
- In 2001, co-initiated a program with Los Angeles County Supervising Family Law Judge, Aviva Bobb, utilizing her courtroom to present a program with Pauline Tesler and Nancy Ross, introducing the collaborative divorce model to approximately 100 attorneys, judges, and mental health professionals in the county.
- KABC, Tilden @ 10 program. Interviewed by Royal Oakes about the Collaborative Law process.
- Los Angeles Superior Court, Judge Pro Tem, Mediator
- KPCC-FM, Pasadena, California, Commentator, “Air Talk – The Legal Edition”
- CBC National Television
- American Journal National Television
- ABC National Radio
- Multiple appearances on NBC 4 News with anchor Colleen Williams
- California State University at Northridge, Associate Professor, Business Law, 1986 – 1995
- Tremaine, Shenk, Stroud & Robbins – 1982 – 1990, Partner 1987-1990