She Empowers Her Clients Through Compassionate Representation Meet Silicon Valley Attorney Caroline Badalnejad: An Experienced Attorney Who Understands Your Needs
Q: When did you know you would pursue a career in the legal field?
CB: In my mid 40s when my youngest child had just begun Kindergarten.
Q: What expectations did you have after graduating and receiving your law degree?
CB: I wanted to establish a solo practice and advocate for my clients’ rights and interests.
Q: What type of cases do you generally handle?
CB: Mostly Family Law, some Consumer Bankruptcy, Estate Planning/Probate cases.
Q: Can you share with our audience your approach or philosophy to winning or representing a case?
CB: While I always listen to my clients, I do not litigate for spite or revenge. First and foremost, I seek mediation instead of litigation. I practice with an open mind to ideas and recommendations.
Q: What are the duties of a probate lawyer?
CB: A probate lawyer’s administrative duties include but are not limited to filing the probate petition asking the court to appoint an administrative/representative. The lawyer handles all other required proceedings in court. For example, I may file or defend a will contest to decide who becomes executor. I deal with creditors’ claims and gives notice to creditors, and heirs, beneficiaries, and other people who are entitled to receive notice of the probate. I also handle all oppositions/objections by creditors or beneficiaries.
I then prepare and file a petition for final distribution. This petition reports to the court what the administrative/representative has done during her term of administration. The final petition accounts to the heirs for the assets and money that have come into the administrative/representative’s hands.
Ultimately, the attorney asks the court for an order authorizing and directing the administrative/representative to distribute the property according to the terms of the will.
The probate attorney may further deal with the attorney handling an ancillary probate if any property is owned in another state. Non-probate issues can also arise which require legal attention, like getting, receiving, or obtaining payment of life insurance and dealing with things like payment of annuities.
Q: What’s one lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audience?
CB: Set and manage client expectations early on. To avoid being held to expectations that are impractical and often impossible, find out exactly what your clients’ expectations are early on and be equipped to either move forward or decline representation. If you determine that their expectations are too unrealistic and will not likely change in the short or long term.
Q: Which woman inspires you and why?
CB: The Notorious RBG of course. She taught me three valuable lessons about my own ambitions. First to know my value and purpose, Next, accept no excuses and last, own my ambition.
Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today?
CB: Female attorneys face gender bias. They are often mistaken for admins and are often relegated to do office housework. They are often penalized for assertive behavior and are more often interrupted. They are often paid less than equally qualified male colleagues and penalized for motherhood.
Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace?
CB: Know your self-worth and own it!
Five Things About Attorney Caroline Badalnejad
1. If you could talk to one famous person past or present, who would it be and why?
In a one-on-one, I would ask President Barack Obama what are some of his regrets, if any?
2. What is one item you always pack in your suitcase?
I always have a red lipstick in my tote (not suitcase)
3. Do you enjoy cooking? If so, what is your favorite meal to prepare?
I do enjoy cooking. My favorite meal is dinner with my family/friends.
4. What app can’t you live without?
FB of course.
5. What do you do in your spare time?
I love watching old movies and spending time with my family/friends.