Christopher J. Duenow

duenow_aboutChris Duenow is an expert in family law, an experienced trial lawyer and a longtime local resident.  For more than 10 years, Chris has focused on litigating and mediating family law matters. His evenhanded and resourceful approach is based on decades of experience with a reputation for success.

Chris graduated cum laude from California State University Chico in 1985.  He received an M.B.A. from Thunderbird International Business School in 1988. After working in Japan for several years, Chris attended the University of San Diego School of Law, earning a Juris Doctor in 1993.  After working for a year as an international tax consultant at KPMG Peat Marwick in San Francisco, he began his career as a civil litigator, handling personal injury, business and construction cases for plaintiffs, defendants, private clients, public entities and insurance companies. He has been the lead attorney in more than 20 jury trials to verdict and hundreds of court trials, arbitrations and mediations.

Chris’s experience in business and finance gives him an advantage in solving the material complexities involved in many family law cases.  He is sensitive to the emotional and financial stress that come with family disputes, and he is dedicated to achieving the best outcome for his clients.

Chris is married, has three children, and resides in Paso Robles, California. In his spare time, he is a soccer coach and referee. He enjoys snow skiing, water skiing, riding motorcycles, and playing basketball.

Bar Admissions

  • California, 1993
  • Colorado, 1996
  • Minnesota, 1996
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California, 1993
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of California, 1993
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California, 1993
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1993
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims, 1999


  • University of San Diego School of Law, San Diego, California
    • J.D. – 1993
  • The Garvin School of International Management (Thunderbird)
    • M.B.A. – 1988
  • California State University, Chico, California
    • B.A, 1985cum laude
    • Honors: Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society

Representative Clients

  • Automobile Club of Southern California
  • Farmers Insurance Exchange
  • TIG Insurance Company
  • Whitaker Engineering Contractors, Inc.
  • Lucia Mar Unified School District
  • Templeton Unified School District
  • Santa Maria Bonita Unified School District
  • Paso Robles Unified School District
  • Self Insured Schools of California
  • City of Paso Robles
  • City of Atascadero
  • City of Santa Maria
  • City of Pismo Beach
  • City of Morro Bay

Honors and Awards

  • Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • San Luis Obispo County Bar Association, President, Family Law Section (2009-2011)
  • Central Coast Trial Lawyers Association, Member
  • California State Bar, Family Law Section, Member
  • San Luis Obispo County Bar Association, Member

Past Employment Positions

  • Duenow Law Office, Sole Practitioner, 2009 to present
  • Cumberland, Coates & Duenow, Partner, 2000 – 2009
  • Cumberland & Coates, Associate, 1997 – 2000
  • Smith, Helenius & Hayes, Associate, 1994 – 1997
  • KPMG Peat Marwick, International Tax Consultant, 1993 – 1994
  • Jausas & Terricabras, Barcelona, Spain, Law Clerk, 1992
  • Surugadai Minami Educational Institution, Tokyo, Japan, English Professor, 1989 – 1991
  • Didacta, Madrid, Spain, English as Second Language Instructor, 1985 – 1986

Pro Bono Activities

  • Chairman, Family Law Section of the San Luis Obispo Bar Association, 2009 – 2011
  • Judge Pro Tem, San Luis Obispo Superior Court, Family Law Division
  • Referee Administrator, AYSO
  • School Advisory Committee, St. Rose Catholic School, Paso Robles, CA
  • Volunteer, Domestic Violence Restraining Order Clinic


  • English
  • Spanish

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