Timothy G. Riley, Esq.

Timothy G. RileyTimothy G. Riley

Contact Timothy’s Case Manager: Veronica Montenegro
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Mr. Riley has more than 25 years of focused experience as a Certified Legal Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law. For more than 30 years, he maintained a successful practice limited to estate and tax planning; trust and probate administration; transfer and fiduciary income tax matters; and related litigation. He was most recently with the firm of Hughes & Pizzuto, APC. In November of 2019, Mr. Riley retired as an active member of the state bar to focus on his mediation practice and various charitable endeavors.

Mr. Riley has mediated more than 150 probate-related matters. He also continues to serve as a judge pro tem in the Probate Division of the San Diego Superior Court where he handles both mandatory settlement conferences and regular court calendars. Drawing from this experience, Mr. Riley is exceptional at resolving complex and highly-emotional probate disputes.


  • $450 per hour
  • $300 non-refundable administrative fee per party


  • Bachelor of Arts (1981) and Juris Doctorate (1984) from the University of Wisconsin – Madison
  • Mediation Skills Training – National Conflict Resolution Center
  • Attorney with Hughes & Pizzuto, APC (2011 – present); Branton & Wilson, APC (1994-2010)
  • Judge Pro Tem – San Diego Superior Court (Probate Division)
  • Court-appointed referee, guardian ad litem and attorney in various probate proceedings
  • Frequent speaker on estate planning and probate matters – Probate Attorneys of San Diego, CEB, San Diego County Bar Association and Professional Fiduciary Association of California
  • State Bar of Wisconsin (1984); State Bar of California (1986)
  • Certified Legal Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law – California Board of Legal Specialization of the State Bar of California (1994)
  • Member and past co-chair of the Estate Planning section of the San Diego County Bar Association
  • Founding member and former director of Probate Attorneys of San Diego
  • Consistently rated among “Best Lawyers/Top Lawyers in San Diego” in estate planning
  • “AV” rated by Martindale-Hubbell and LexisNexis peer review
  • Wiley W. Manuel Award for pro bono service
  • Recognized by the San Diego probate judges for exceptional service to the court and probate bar as a settlement judge, judge pro tem, member of the court-appointed attorney panel and mentor to court-appointed attorneys (2016)


• Trust and Will contests
• Disputes between beneficiaries, or between beneficiaries and the fiduciary concerning
trust/estate accountings, distributions and fiduciary removal issues
• Disagreements over proper ownership, characterization (e.g., separate versus community
property) or valuation of assets; and allocation of liabilities and expenses
• Fiduciary or attorney fee disputes
• Contested petitions to establish conservatorship or guardianship
• Use of Advance Health Care Directives – questions of placement, care, treatment or visitation of
incapacitated persons
• Contested creditors’ claims
• Other matters brought pursuant to Probate Code §§850, 17200


  • Rated “AV” by Martindale-Hubbell and LexisNexis peer review
  • Named San Diego “Super Lawyer” in estate planning (2009-2012)
  • Past Co-Chair of SDCBA Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Law section
  • SDCBA, Section Committees on Local Probate Court Rules, including new rules governing Probate mediation Program, member since 1991
  • State Bar of California (1986); State Bar of Wisconsin (1984)
  • Certified Specialist, State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization, in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law (1994)
  • Recipient, Wiley W. Manuel Award for pro bono legal services


“I had a mediation with Tim Riley. My clients were in two different states and participated virtually. This went better than I expected. Tim did a great job, working hard with each side to address their concerns and needs. We were able to resolve this matter. Good experience, great outcome! I would mediate with Tim Riley again.”

-Laura Nichols, State Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Administration

“Dear Tim, I don’t have adequate words to thank you enough for the masterful job you did in bringing about a settlement at our mediation… Thank you again from the bottom of my heart for ending my nightmare.”

– Party to 15-hour virtual mediation

Ready to Get Started?

For more information please contact Veronica Montenegro