Terri Breer, Esq.
Terri Breer has been practicing law and mediation in Orange County for over thirty-five years. She obtained her undergraduate degree at the University of Southern California and obtained her law degree at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. She was the Chair of the Orange County Bar Association (OCBA) – Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Section in 2014. She served six years as a Board Member of the Southern California Mediation Association (SCMA) and chaired the SCMA Family Mediation Institute for five years from 2017 to 2022 and was co-chair in 2023. In 2019 she received the SCMA’s President’s Award for Exceptional Service and in 2023 she was awarded the Forrest “Woody” Mosten SCMA Star Award for Excellence & Innovation in Family Mediation.
The majority of Ms. Breer’s current practice is devoted to providing couples Divorce Mediation Services which she currently provides in person and virtually at New Day Divorce Center.
In 2019 she founded New Day Divorce Center, Inc. to provide mediation training and coaching for divorce professionals including her popular training series “Essentials for California Divorce Mediators.”
Ms. Breer started her career as a trial attorney, handling primarily real estate, business, and family law litigation. As a litigator she soon learned that she preferred to solve her clients’ legal problems through negotiated settlements, rather than through the litigation process. This was particularly true with respect to her family law practice, where she focused on settling family law disputes whenever possible. In many cases she found that divorcing couples were able to make their own decisions with their spouses concerning the parenting of their children, payment of support and the division of their assets, but that they were often simply uninformed, overwhelmed and confused about their rights, and the role of the court in their divorce.
She found that when clients were able to control the outcome of the divorce process rather than face the uncertainty and conflict of litigation, their families suffered less, and their finances were preserved. Ms. Breer began to limit her family law practice to those cases where she could act as a mediator between both parties and assist with settling cases out of court. She then returned to Pepperdine University and completed family law mediation training at the Strauss Institute of Dispute Resolution and began her mediation practice in 1994 when she founded Center for Mediated Divorce and designed her first flat fee mediation program.
Ms. Breer received Collaborative Divorce Training (CDT) in February 2004. In recent years she has also completed trainings in Hi-Conflict Personalities (High Conflict Institute – San Diego) and Domestic Violence (Orange County Superior Court training).
In 2003 she was a founding member of Orange County Collaborative Divorce Solutions, a local collaborative practice group that includes financial specialists, child specialists, divorce coaches and collaborative attorneys, mediators, and other family law professionals who work together using the multi-disciplinary collaborative divorce model for dispute resolution. She has also led workshops and been a speaker on consensual dispute resolution models for divorce for University of California, Irvine (UCI) Extension, Women’s Opportunity Center, The Divorce Recovery Workshop in Newport Beach, Southern California Mediators Association (SCMA), Collaborative Practice California (CPCAL), the Orange County and Los Angeles Bar Associations, the California State Bar, the Academy of Professional Family Mediators (APFM) and the Association of Conciliation Courts (AFCC).
Ms. Breer founded South Coast Collaborative Professionals (SCCP) in June 2007 and began hosting quarterly SCCP Luncheon events to provide networking and educational opportunities for divorce professionals including CDFA’s and other financial and real estate professionals, mental health, child specialists, and family law professionals. SCCP presenters have included Attorney Ron Supancic, the Law Collaborative, Ret. Comsr. Gary Hickman, members of Orange County’s Collaborative Divorce Solutions. In May 2016, SCCP presented its first Summit and Expo-“Healers of Conflict Making a Difference” at Westin South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa, California. The event included 25 exhibitors and key note speaker Bill Eddy, LCSW, attorney and co-founder of High Conflict Institute.
Ms. Breer has presented workshops, moderated panels and participated as a professional panelist on the following topics: Divorce Mediation, Marital Property, The Family Residence in Divorce, Dividing Retirement Assets in Divorce, The Marital Balance Sheet, Co-Parenting, Mediation Ethics, Mediation Confidentiality, Transformative Divorce, Collaborative Divorce, Marketing Mediation Services, Family Law Reform and Conflict Resolution.
In October of 2017 she formed the Attorney Therapist Breakfast Club that brings together attorneys, dispute resolution professionals, therapists, mental health service providers and other professionals for monthly breakfast meetings where they are able network, collaborate and share their collective wisdom with the legal, mental health and dispute resolution communities.
Ms. Breer Has Written Several Legal Articles Including:
- “Treating the Divorce Client – a Dual Approach to Marital Dissolutions” Orange County Lawyer, June 1995
- “Has the Family Law System Reached a Tipping Point?” Orange County Lawyer, March 2009
- “Family Law Mediation – Expanding the Frontiers of Alternative Dispute Resolution” Special Feature, Orange County Lawyer, January 2010
In June 2024 at the Family Mediation Institute Ms. Breer was presented with the SCMA Star Award for Excellence and Innovation in Family Mediation.
Ms. Breer is currently engaged in bringing about Family Law reforms to keep families out of court by hosting her online series of quarterly programs entitled “Dialog on Family Law System Reform”.