With over 35 years of litigation and trial experience, Dean Christopherson focuses his practice on assisting clients to resolve commercial, banking, and real estate disputes. He brings an exceptional amount of knowledge and understanding to each one of his cases and dedicates his time to providing each case the personal attention it deserves.

After obtaining his law degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law in 1985, Dean served as in-house counsel for Wells Fargo, where he successfully handled numerous cases in the auto finance, credit card, and loan adjustment groups. In 1988, he joined Frandzel & Share and represented lenders from throughout California in a wide variety of banking disputes. Following that, he moved his practice to the former McCabe Schwartz firm, based in the East Bay, before opening his own practice in 1996. His partner, Jim Dawe, joined him in 2006 to establish Dawe & Christopherson LLP.

Throughout his legal career, Dean has proven to be a successful litigator, dedicated to advocating for his clients and representing their interests at all points of their cases. In September 2016, for example, he tried an action with the U.S. District Court in Milwaukee and achieved a $3 million judgment in favor of his client, a well-known international heavy equipment manufacturer company, and against his NYSE traded opponent. 

Since owning his own practice, Dean focuses primarily on commercial, real estate and banking litigation matters. Dean is also skilled at collecting difficult judgment from commercial and consumer judgment debtors. He is also well-prepared to file contempt proceedings against judgment debtors who ignore a judgment requiring that they redeliver collateral to his clients. 

Dean has twice co-authored an “Action Guide” published by the State Bar of California, discussing foreclosures on personal property.  He has acted as the spokesman for the consumer finance industry on auto leases with the California Affairs Association, and he has spoken on numerous occasions at seminars for clients and Bar Associations on real estate, litigation and banking issues. 

Currently, Dean is on the Board of Directors of the Contra Costa County Bar Association and was formerly the president of its Real Estate Section. Also, he serves as a Director of World Link for Law, which is a leading and growing legal network of over 70 international law firms. 

Dean is a member of several mediation panels, including those of the Superior Courts of Contra Costa, Solano, San Mateo, and Santa Clara Counties, the Bar Association of San Francisco and the California Third District Court of Appeal. He also is a practicing mediator with the California Association Of Realtors® Real Estate Mediation Center for Consumers. This is a program that helps home buyers and sellers by providing them with a group of skilled mediators to help them resolve a variety of real estate disputes. 


Dean obtained his JD from the University of San Francisco School of Law (1985) and his BA from the University of Washington (1981). He is also a member of the State Bars of both California and Washington and admitted to practice in all the Federal District Courts in California and the State of Washington, the Eastern District of Wisconsin, and the Seventh and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeal.

2023 Super Lawyers