Rodney Hatley

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Estate Planning & Probate Attorney in San Diego, CA

Hatley Law Group, A P.C.
 | 12636 High Bluff Dr, Ste. 400
San Diego, CA 92130-2067
Phone: 858-564-7090
Fax: 619-374-2904
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2021
Licensed Since: 1992
Practice Areas:
  • Estate Planning & Probate (80%),
  • Tax: Business (10%),
  • Tax: Consumer (10%)
  • Free Consultation
Attorney Profile

Rodney J. ("Rod") Hatley, Esq., LL.M. is an estate planning attorney and the owner of the Hatley Law Group, A P.C., in San Diego, California.  Rod drafts trusts, wills, and other estate planning documents and resolves issues in probate.  He represents clients throughout the San Diego area. 

Rod has over 3 decades of legal experience.  Earlier in his legal career, Rod practiced personal injury law and later served in several positions with the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps, including service as a criminal defense counsel and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney. 

During his time serving in these military roles, Rod twice received the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal.  Upon leaving the military, Rod chose to focus his practice exclusively on estate planning law and founded the Hatley Law Group, A P.C.

Born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, Rod earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Rhodes College and received his law degree from The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, where he served on the law review in which he was also published.  After choosing to dedicate his practice to estate planning law, Rod obtained a Master of Laws degree in taxation from the University of San Diego School of Law.  He holds licenses to practice law in California (since 1992) and Tennessee (since 1987).

In addition to his law practice, Rod makes time to give back to the San Diego community.  He volunteers with the San Diego Nice Guys.  A Paul Harris Fellow, Rod has served on the board of directors of the San Diego Downtown Breakfast Rotary Club.

Practice Areas
  • 80%Estate Planning & Probate
  • 10%Tax: Business
  • 10%Tax: Consumer
Focus Areas

Estate Planning, Power of Attorney, Probate & Estate Administration, Trusts, Wills, Tax Law


Selected to Super Lawyers for 1 yearsbottom-image

Super Lawyers: 2021

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About Rodney Hatley

Admitted: 1992, California

Professional Webpage:


  • San Diego Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2021
  • Top Wealth Managers of San Diego, San Diego Magazine, 2021
  • Best Attorneys, Estate Planning, San Diego Metro Magazine, 2020
  • Finalist, Leaders In Law, San Diego Daily Transcript, 2020
  • Top Wealth Managers of San Diego, San Diego Magazine, 2019
  • Best Attorneys, Estate Planning, San Diego Metro Magazine, 2018
  • Finalist, Best Estate Planning For Pre-Merger & Acquisition, BNY Mellon, 2015
  • Paul Harris Fellow, Rotary International, 2012
  • "For meritorious service while serving as Staff Judge Advocate [i.e., General Counsel], Naval Air Weapons Station, China Lake, California, from August 1991 to August 1995. Lieutenant Hatley demonstrated exemplary leadership, initiative, and dedication through providing consistently outstanding legal services to the Station, its 8 tenants commands, and more than 1,250 active duty military, retired personnel, and their family members. During his tenure, he expertly prosecuted 30 Captain's masts [a form of non-judicial punishment whereby commanders administratively discipline troops without a court-martial], 5 courts-martial, and conducted 8 administrative discharge boards. Serving as the Command Liaison for the United States Attorney's office, he was frequently commended for his superb performance. He distinguished himself by presenting clear and concise briefs on Standards of Conduct to 5,600 military and civilian personnel during the Chief of Naval Operations mandated Sexual Harassment Training [in the wake of the Tail hook scandal]. Sensitive to the needs of remotely located legal assistance clients with immigration problems, his office coordinated with the Immigration and Naturalization Service for an unprecedented field visit to China Lake. His expertise, "can-do" attitude, and dedication to quality resulted in a total reorganization of the Staff Judge Advocate's Office's standard operating procedures for claims adjudication resulting in a marked improvement in processing times of 395 claims. Lieutenant Hatley's dedication, superb professionalism and untiring initiative reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.", Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (Gold Star In Lieu Of Second Award), Department of the Navy, 1995
  • "For meritorious service as Defense Counsel and Legal Assistance Officer at Naval Legal Service Office, (NLSO), Treasure Island from June 1989 through October 1990, and Officer-in-Charge, NLSO Detachment, Naval Air Station (NAS), Moffett Field, California from October 1990 through August 1991. As a Defense Counsel, Lieutenant Hatley provided zealous representation for 82 clients at courts-martial and administrative discharge boards. As one of the Navy's preeminent legal assistance officers, he provided superior legal assistance to over 2,000 clients. During Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM, Lieutenant Hatley made numerous pre-deployment assistance visits which included around-the-clock work for 19 consecutive days. As Officer-in-Charge at NLSO Detachment, NAS Moffett Field, he provided superb personal representation and legal assistance services. When two P-3C Orion aircraft collided, Lieutenant Hatley provides expert and timely advice to the command and extraordinary legal assistance to the dependents [family members] of the 27 service members who perished. By his exemplary performance, initiative, and loyal devotion to duty, Lieutenant Hatley reflected credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.", Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Department of the Navy, 1991
  • National Defense Service Medal, Department of Defense, 1990

Special Licenses/Certifications:

  • California Life Insurance License (0C87849), 2018
  • California Real Estate  Broker's License., 2014

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • State Bar of California, 1992
  • State Bar of Tennessee, 1987

Pro bono/Community Service:

  • Nice Guys San Diego, 2012
  • San Diego Downtown Breakfast Rotary Club, 2012

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

  • Powerful estate planning strategies that instill values for generations., Foreword, Your American Legacy: Powerful Strategies That Instill Lasting Values For Generations, Best Seller Publishing, LLC, 2020
  • A guide to asset protection, tax, and estate planning for California doctors., Editor, For California Doctors: A Guide To Asset Protection, Tax and Estate Planning, Guardian Publishing, LLC, 2009
  • Practical answers from America's foremost charitable planning authorities, Co-Author, Giving: Philanthropy for Everyone (with Robert A. Esperti, Esq., and Renno L. Peterson, Esq.), Quantum Press, LLC, 2003
  • Probate information for naval judge advocates serving on active duty in California., Co-Author, California Probate Information, Naval Legal Service Office, Naval Station Treasure Island, San Francisco, CA, 1990
  • Case comment on Christensen v. Murphy., Author, Torts - Abolition of the Fireman's Rule in Oregon and What It May Mean for Tennessee - Christensen v. Murphy, 15 University of Memphis L. Rev. 312 (1985), 1985

Educational Background:

  • LL.M., Taxation, University of San Diego School of Law, 1996
  • J.D., The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, 1986
  • B.A., Political Science, Rhodes College, Memphis, TN, 1983

Industry Groups

  • Attorneys
  • Business Owners
  • couples
  • Dentists
  • Doctors)
  • Highly Compensated Executives
  • Individuals
  • Professionals (Accountants
  • Real Estate Investors
  • Serial Entrepreneurs
  • Small Business Owners
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Office Location for Rodney Hatley

12636 High Bluff Dr
Ste. 400
San Diego, CA 92130-2067

Phone: 858-564-7090

Fax: 619-374-2904

Rodney Hatley:

Last Updated: 6/18/2021

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