Shawna received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Whitworth University in 1995, graduating with honors.  While working as an Insurance Adjustor for Safeway, Inc. and later as a Hearing Representative for Travelers Insurance, she attended law school at John F. Kennedy School of Law where she graduated in 2003 with a Juris Doctorate.  During law school, she earned the Witkin Award for Academic Excellence in Civil Procedure and interned at The Law Offices of O'Brien & Sullivan in Walnut Creek where she assisted partners on Family Law and Personal Injury cases.  In 2004, she began practicing law in San Francisco at one of the oldest and most respected workers' compensation law firms in the Bay Area, the Martindale-Hubbell "av" rated law firm Finnegan, Marks, Theofel & Desmond.  While there, Shawna represented many well-known Bay Area employers and insurance carriers in asbestos and death claims, issues of fraud, psychiatric injury claims, complex multi-party litigation, and 132(a) discrimination claims against employers.  Her exceptional organization skills helped her to easily plan, conduct and manage discovery including having taken over 100 depositions.  She has tried many cases first chair, even successfully obtaining multiple "Take Nothing" judgements during only her second year practicing law.  Shawna has attended hundreds of settlement conferences where she brokered and drafted countless settlement agreements making her highly skilled in matters of negotiation and conflict resolution.  By her fourth year with Finnegan, Marks, Theofel & Desmond, she was training new Associates, particularly in the area of conducting effective depositions.  In 2008, she left the firm after the birth of her first daughter but continued to vigorously represent the interests of her clients, pro bono, in matters of Business Dissolution, Landlord-Tenant Disputes and Family Law.  In 2013, she began to focus her practice solely on Wills, Trusts, Estate Planning and Probate.  Shawna is admitted to practice before all courts of the State of California, the United States District Court, Northern District and the United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.  

     

Shawna L. Montoya



Education

  • Whitworth University, Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, 1995
  • Self-Insurance Administrator's Examination, 1997
  • John F. Kennedy School of Law, Juris Doctorate, 2003