Stephen B. Ruben
Stephen B. Ruben is the Managing Director of Ruben Family Law Resolution Services, P.C. located in the heart of downtown San Francisco at California and Davis Streets. Ruben Family Law Resolution Services provides family law mediation representation, alternative dispute resolution, and private judging in San Francisco, San Mateo, Marin, Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Cruz, Orange, Los Angeles and Marin Counties. Steve’s practice is devoted to complex family law mediation and alternative dispute resolution including high net worth divorce cases, financial issues, spousal and child support, high conflict custody disputes, and dissolution, including non-marital and domestic partnerships.
Steve is a Certified Family Law Specialist through the California Board of Legal Specialization and is also a member of the Association of Certified Family Law Specialists. San Francisco magazine has singled out Steve as a San Francisco Super Lawyer in the area of family law. Steve has been practicing law for over forty years, with an impressive record of results in mediating highly contested cases. He is especially sought after for his ability to effectively and quickly settle cases that have languished because of passive or poor representation.
Steve has extensive alternative dispute resolution experience as a member of the family law mediator’s panel for the Bar Association of San Francisco. Steve also acts as chief arbitrator in hearing attorney/client fee disputes in family law for BASF. Since 1999, Steve serves as Judge Pro Tem for the Unified Family Court of San Francisco hearing both the Law and Motion and Domestic Violence calendars and serves as Senior Settlement Master. In October of 2009, Steve was appointed in the Marin County Family Courts as Judge Pro Tem supervising family law settlements through the Bench Bar Settlement Conferences.
Premier Family Law Specialist, Esteemed Judge Pro Tem and Accomplished Mediator
Steve Ruben, a State Bar Certified Specialist in Family Law since 2007, is a paragon of unmatched expertise in navigating intricate family law challenges. Admitted to the California Bar in 1992, he has since cemented his reputation as one of the most sought-after family law attorneys, especially when it comes to challenging high-asset disputes, which demand acute understanding of community or separate property characterizations, reimbursement claims, and transmutation agreements.
His outstanding career trajectory began at Bryan, Hinshaw, rising from an associate to a partner, before culminating in the establishment of the Ruben Law Firm in San Francisco in 1997. As the managing director, his focus on the most complex of cases has set him apart as the go-to professional for high-stakes litigation.
Accolades have consistently poured in for Mr. Ruben, including being named a “Northern California Super Lawyer” since 2007 and earning the prestigious title of California’s Family Law Litigator of the Year in 2019. Consistently ranked amongst the top ten family law attorneys in both San Francisco and California at large, Mr. Ruben’s dedication is unrivaled.
Mr. Ruben’s litigation experience spans all pivotal facets of family law. His remarkable expertise in high-conflict custody cases, particularly those involving international child abductions and child safety in domestic violence situations, emphasizes his commitment to children’s welfare.
For over two decades, his service as Senior Settlement Master for the San Francisco Unified Family Court has reinforced his stellar reputation, complemented by a commendable rating with Martindale Hubble for professionalism and integrity. His leadership is now set to shine as the incoming President of the esteemed Lawyers Club of San Francisco Inn of Court.
In roles that underscore his indelible mark on the field, Mr. Ruben’s significant contributions to the Elkins Family Law Task Force have catalyzed crucial reforms in family law courts across California. Serving as a Judge Pro Tem multiple times, he’s been entrusted with high responsibility calendars in the San Francisco Superior Court, reflecting his impeccable training and commitment to justice.
Adding another feather to his cap, in 2021, Mr. Ruben earned an L.L.M. from the nationally top-ranked Pepperdine School of Law/Strass Institute’s ADR program. His focus on high-conflict custody and international family law, combined with exemplary training in mediation and arbitration, has only further elevated his status in the field. This expertise led him to join ADR Services, working alongside the creme de la creme of the industry.
In a testament to his enduring ambition and vision, December 2022 saw Mr. Ruben launch his Family Law Resolution Firm in San Francisco. It’s clear: when it comes to settling the most challenging family law disputes, Steve Ruben stands peerless.
Steve was a regularly featured radio guest on “Your Legal Rights” hosted by Chuck Finney, a nationally syndicated program on San Francisco’s Public Radio Station KALW (91.7). The show covers timely family law issues and features prominent legal experts. Steve has spoken of the following topics:
- “Manimony,” a term he coined to describe spousal support for men.
- Parental alienation and its short and long term impact on parents who seek frequent and continuous contacts with their children.
- Set asides for marital settlement agreements
- The impact of death and estate planning instruments and pre and post marital agreements in effect during a pending dissolution proceeding
- Recommendations of the Elkins Family Law Task Force.
All of these radio broadcasts are broadcasted nationally on NPR, National Public Radio and are available by podcast.
In addition to speaking on KALW, Steve has been featured in the past three years on KRON TV and KGO radio on a variety of family law trial court or appellate court rulings including professional ethical considerations regarding adoptions, child abandonment and paternity cases.
Steve was a member of the Editorial Board of Lexis/Nexis California Family Law Monthly Journal and wrote bi-monthly case analysis and practice pointers for family law practitioners. In August, 2009, Steve was featured in the California Family Law News published by the Family Law Section of the State Bar of California for his book review of Dr. Amy Baker’s book “Adult Children of Parental Alienation Syndrome.”
Steve is a frequent lecturer on continuing education programs for the Family Law Section of the State Bar of California and the Bar Association of California covering topics such child custody disputes, move-aways, child and spousal support modification and termination and the impact of bankrupt proceedings in a pending dissolution of marriage.
Significant Contributor To The Field Of Family Law In California
Steve served as a member of the Family Law Section Executive Committee (FLEXCOM) of the State Bar of California from 2007 to 2009 and serves as Liaison to the State Bar Family Law Section. In 2008, he was appointed to serve on the Elkins Family Law Task Force. This statewide task force was charged with conducting a comprehensive review of family law proceedings. The Elkins Task Force recommended changes to the Judicial Council to increase access to justice, ensure due process, and provide for more effective and consistent rules, policies and procedures. The Task Force recommendations were approved in 2010 by the Judicial Council. Steve is one of three attorneys in private practice state wide serving on the Elkins Task Force implementation team. Steve will be participate with judicial officers in drafting legislation; court rules and implementation of a state education program for the public, bench, and bar.
Steve is President of the Lawyers Club of San Francisco and past member of its Board of Governors and Chair of its Delegation for the Conference of Delegates.
Education And Bar Memberships
Steve graduated with honors from Bethany College, West Virginia and Illinois Institute of Technology – Chicago Kent College of Law.
Steve is a member of the State Bar of Illinois (1973) United States Supreme Court (1981) and State Bar of California (admitted 1992). He is also a member of the Bar Association of San Francisco and member of the family law section, a BASF approved mediator and arbitrator, the Association of Certified Family Law Specialist in California and The Lawyers Club of San Francisco.
In 2021, Mr. Ruben earned an L.L.M. from the nationally top-ranked Pepperdine School of Law/Strass Institute’s ADR program
Steve was a member of the Rotary Club of San Francisco and Board Member in July of 2011. Steve served as a member of the Board of the Stern Grove Musical Festival.
An accomplished singer and pianist and a member of a San Francisco jazz ensemble known as “Lush Lounge.” Steve is also a long-standing member and active vocalist in the Kol-Emanu-el Choir of Temple Emanu-el of San Francisco, the oldest and largest Reform Congregation in the San Francisco Bay Area. Steve is an avid golfer; racquetball player; enjoys regular physical fitness and Recreational activities. Steve and his wife, Dr. Marcia Ruben, reside in San Francisco.
Areas of Mediation Practice
- Complex Family Law Litigation
- High Net Worth Divorce Cases
- Financial Issues
- Spousal and Child Support
- High Conflict Custody Disputes
- Non-Marital and Domestic Partnerships
Certified Legal Specialties
- Certified Family Law Specialist, California Board of Legal Specialization
- Illinois, 1973
- U.S. Supreme Court, 1981
- California, 1992
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of California
- U.S. District Court Northern District of California
- U.S. District Court Southern District of California
- Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law, Chicago, Illinois
- J.D. – 1973
- Honors: With Honors
- Bethany College, West Virginia
- Honors: With Honors
- Lexis/Nexis California Family Law Monthly Journal
- Frequent Lecturer, Child Custody Disputes, Move-Aways, Child and Spousal Support Modification and Termination and the Impact of Bankrupt Proceedings in a Pending Dissolution of Marriage, Continuing Education Programs, Family Law Section of the State Bar of California and the Bar Association of California
Honors and Awards
- San Francisco Super Lawyer in the Area of Family Law
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Association of Certified Family Law Specialists, Member
- State Bar of California, Family Law Section, Executive Committee (FLEXCOM), 2007 to 2009
- Delegation for the Conference of Delegates, Member, Board of Governors and Chair
- Bar Association of San Francisco, Member, Family Law Mediator’s Panel
- Hearing Attorney/Client Fee Disputes in Family Law for BASF, Chief Arbitrator
- Unified Family Court of San Francisco, Judge Pro Tem
- Bar Association of San Francisco, Family Law Section, Member
- State Bar Family Law Section, Liason
- Unified Family Court of San Francisco, Senior Settlement Master
- Marin County Family Courts, Bench Bar Settlement Conference, Judge Pro Tem
Pro Bono Activities
- Lawyers Club of San Francisco, President
- Rotary Club of San Francisco, Former Board Member 2011
- Board of the Stern Grove Musical Festival, Former Member
- Lush Lounge, Member
- Kol-Emanu-el Choir of Temple Emanu-el of San Francisco, Member, Active Vocalist
- Elkins Family Law Task Force, 2008
- Lawyers Club of San Francisco, Board of Governors, Past Member
- Lawyers Club of San Francisco, Delegation for the Conference of Delegates, Chair