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Committed to Helping You Build Your Estate Plan

Meet Our President

J. Peter Wakeman is the President of Wakeman Law Group, Inc., a California law firm. He is certified as a specialist by the California Bar in Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Law. His practice is concentrated in the areas of estate and tax planning for high net worth individuals. Mr. Wakeman has attained the highest possible rating of AV© from Martindale-Hubbell©, an independent legal rating service, and is also rated as a “Super Lawyer” by Thomson Reuters.

Mr. Wakeman has written extensively on estate and tax planning and has been interviewed and quoted by publications as diverse as the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Daily Journal and Standard and Poor's The Outlook. He co-authored an article entitled "Charitable Options: The Use of an Option Agreement to Facilitate Gifts of Real Estate to Charitable Remainder Trusts" which was published by Tax Management, Inc., in The Estates, Gifts and Trusts Journal. He has also written for the Estate Planning, Trust and Probate News published by the State Bar of California. Mr. Wakeman is also a frequent seminar speaker on topics involving tax and estate planning strategies.

Prior to starting the firm in 1987, Mr. Wakeman served as University Affairs Legal Counsel and Director of Planned Giving at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. While at Pepperdine, Wakeman was Adjunct Professor of Business Law at Seaver College and also taught at the School of Law.

Mr. Wakeman is a member of the State Bars of California and Florida, the American Bar Association, the Los Angeles and Ventura County Bar Associations, is the past Chairman of the Ventura County Community Foundation Technical Advisory Council, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Conejo Valley.

Mr. Wakeman received his BA from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, and his JD from Stetson University in St. Petersburg, Florida.


  • Ventura County Community Foundation Technical Advisory Council (Past Chairman)
  • American Bar Association (Member)
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Conejo Valley (Member of the Board of Directors)
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association (Member)
  • State Bar of California (Member)
  • The Florida Bar (Member)
  • Ventura County Bar Association (Member)

Michele Davis

Administrative Assistant
Michele joined the firm in 2002. She assists in the production of all estate planning documents. Michele graduated with a bachelor's degree from Purdue University.

Auriel Dye

Receptionist/Administrative Assistant
Auriel came to us with several years of customer service and marketing experience. She is the first point of contact with our clients both in person and on the phone, and provides valuable administrative paralegal support.

Joy Rhoades

Legal Assistant
Joy has worked alongside Mr. Wakeman since the firm’s founding in 1987. She is the firm’s office manager and coordinates the production of all estate planning documents and real property trust funding. Joy graduated from Pepperdine University with a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Leah Smith

Leah joined the firm in 2021, bringing several years of experience in estate administration and probate. She graduated from Pepperdine University with a Bachelor of Arts degree, and earned her Paralegal Certification at UCLA with honors.

Kim Balch

Kim has over three years of experience working at a law firm. She graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in 2023 and received her UCLA Paralegal Certificate that same year.