Albert J. Nicora, Esq.

   Albert J. Nicora, Esq. graduated from Stanford University and the Hastings College of Law.  He was admitted to The State Bar of California in 1980.  Mr. Nicora is the founder of the Law Offices of Albert J. Nicora and now partner in the Law Offices of Nicora & Hespe LLP.  Mr. Nicora has served as an attorney practicing Civil Litigation, Business Law and Estate Planning for more than thirty years. He offers experience in handling a wide variety of major and multiparty corporate litigation, including contract matters, breach of partnership, corporate fiduciary obligation matters and commercial disputes. He is also a licensed California Real Estate Broker.

Since 1975, he has served as a California Probate Referee for the Superior Court. He was originally appointed as a Probate Referee in his hometown of Oakland, California, where he served the courts of Alameda County. After moving his family to the Monterey Peninsula, he was appointed by the State Controller to serve the Monterey County Courts in 1991 and has served in that capacity since then. The court frequently appoints Mr. Nicora to serve as special master, special trustee or referee in difficult matters. He is an expert in Probates, Conservatorships, Trust Matters, and Estate Planning.

A frequent public speaker on numerous topics, Mr. Nicora is regularly invited to talk regarding estate planning before community groups. These talks include various charitable giving alternatives available to potential donors. He also has written and published articles in professional and trade association periodicals and books.

Mr. Nicora belongs to several community service organizations and serves on local boards and committees including Legal Services for Seniors. He coordinated the fundraising plan for the completed Murphy Center at the Carmel Mission and has served on the annual fundraising event committee for ten years. Mr. Nicora’s wife, Melanie, is equally active in community affairs, having served as Junior League President, National Charity League member and Parent Club Co-president at at Junipero Serra School.

Married for over 30 years, Mr. Nicora has four beautiful daughters. Stephanie, his oldest daughter, studied Psychology and Political science at Barnard and Columbia University in New York. Catherine studied theater arts and journalism at New York University. Jackie graduated from Santa Clara University and is currently enrolled at UC Hastings College of the Law. Youngest daughter Maria graduated early with a degree in Psychology from Loyola University Chicago.






Frank Hespe, Esq.

    Frank Hespe, Esq. graduated with a J.D. degree from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley.  He was also graduated and earned his B.A., summa cum laude, from Rutgers University.  Since 2009 he has become a Partner of Law Offices of Nicora & Hespe LLP, focusing on Probate, Trusts, Estate Planning, Conservatorships and Business Law.

Frank Hespe has been an attorney for over 20 years.  Prior to returning to the Monterey Peninsula, Mr. Hespe worked for the American Bar Association in a number of different positions over a four year period, including Legal Specialist, Country Director and Regional Director in such places as Qatar, Azerbaijan, and the Central Asian nations of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Mr. Hespe specializes in being Chief of Party for Rule of Law programs in challenging and post-conflict environments, including directing programs on anti-corruption, gender equality, training judges, law school development and curriculum reform, continuing legal education and Bar Association reform.

Before his work abroad, from 2002 to 2005, Mr. Hespe served as Dean of the Monterey College of Law, after previously working there for 12 years as an Adjunct Professor of International Law and the Director of Clinical Studies Program.  From 1993 to 2001, he served as the Executive Director of Legal Services for Seniors, a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting low income senior citizens in Monterey County.

In the area of Community Service, Mr. Hespe has been Judge Pro Tem of the Small Claims and Traffic Court Division of the Monterey Superior Court; president and treasurer of the Monterey County Bar Association; member of the United Nations Association, co-chair of the United Way of the Salinas Valley; past president and member of the board of directors of the Charitable Council of Monterey County; member of the City of Pacific Grove Senior Housing Committee; member of the Planned Giving Advisory Council of California State University, Monterey Bay; member of the board of directors of the Alzheimer’s Association, Monterey County chapter; and member of the board of directors of the Berkeley Community Law Center and founding member of the University of California, Berkeley School of Law’s free legal clinic.

Frank Hespe was also the winner of the 2010 Chief Justice Gibson Award, an annual honor given by the Monterey County Bar Assocation.   Check out the article and get to know more about Mr. Hespe at 2010 Gibson Winner, Frank Hespe.








Christi McDonald, Esq.

   Christi McDonald graduated as the valedictorian from Monterey College of Law in 2011.  She was also awarded the West Publishing Award for Academic Excellence.  She was admitted to The State Bar of California in 2011. Christi McDonald has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Law and Society and graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with highest honors and distinction in her major.  Christi focuses on trust and estate litigation and civil litigation.

Christi strives for perfection in everything she does.  She has a keen attention to detail and passion to be the best.  She brings energy and enthusiasm to every task she undertakes.  Her passion for the law is driven by her desire to help people find solutions to their most vexing legal problems.

Christi is a member of several local organizations, including Leadership Monterey Peninsula Class of 2012, the Monterey County Young Professionals Group, American Bar Association, Monterey County Bar Association, Monterey County Woman’s Lawyers Association, Monterey Barrister’s Association, and the Chautauqua Ballroom Dance Club.

Christi McDonald was born and raised in Carmel Valley and is a life-long resident of Monterey County.   Christi greatly enjoys ballroom dancing with her husband and is actively involved in the dance community on the Monterey Peninsula.













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