Stephen B. Ruben

Top rated Alternative Dispute Resolution attorney in San Francisco, California

Ruben Family Law Resolution Services
Stephen B. Ruben
Ruben Family Law Resolution Services

Practice Areas: Alternative Dispute Resolution, Family Law; view more

Licensed in California since: 1992

Education: Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2005, 2014 - 2023
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Ruben Family Law Resolution Services

50 California Street
15th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111 Visit website


STEPHEN B. RUBEN, ESQ: Premier Family Law Specialist, Esteemed Judge Pro Tem & Accomplished Mediator


Steve Ruben, a State Bar Certified Specialist in Family Law since 2007, is a paragon of unmatched expertise in navigating intricate family law challenges. Admitted to the California Bar in 1992, he has since cemented his reputation as one of the most sought-after family law attorneys, especially when it comes to challenging high-asset disputes, which demand acute understanding of community or separate property characterizations, reimbursement claims, and transmutation agreements.

His outstanding career trajectory began at Bryan, Hinshaw, rising from an associate to a partner, before culminating in the establishment of the Ruben Law Firm in San Francisco in 1997. As the managing director, his focus on the most complex of cases has set him apart as the go-to professional for high-stakes litigation.

Accolades have consistently poured in for Mr. Ruben, including being named a “Northern California Super Lawyer” since 2007 and earning the prestigious title of California’s Family Law Litigator of the Year in 2019. Consistently ranked amongst the top ten family law attorneys in both San Francisco and California at large, Mr. Ruben's dedication is unrivaled.


Mr. Ruben’s litigation experience spans all pivotal facets of family law. His remarkable expertise in high-conflict custody cases, particularly those involving international child abductions and child safety in domestic violence situations, emphasizes his commitment to children's welfare.


For over two decades, his service as Senior Settlement Master for the San Francisco Unified Family Court has reinforced his stellar reputation, complemented by a commendable rating with Martindale Hubble for professionalism and integrity. His leadership is now set to shine as the incoming President of the esteemed Lawyers Club of San Francisco Inn of Court.


In roles that underscore his indelible mark on the field, Mr. Ruben’s significant contributions to the Elkins Family Law Task Force have catalyzed crucial reforms in family law courts across California. Serving as a Judge Pro Tem multiple times, he's been entrusted with high responsibility calendars in the San Francisco Superior Court, reflecting his impeccable training and commitment to justice.


Adding another feather to his cap, in 2021, Mr. Ruben earned an L.L.M. from the nationally top-ranked Pepperdine School of Law/Strass Institute's ADR program. His focus on high-conflict custody and international family law, combined with exemplary training in mediation and arbitration, has only further elevated his status in the field. This expertise led him to join ADR Services, working alongside the creme de la creme of the industry.

In a testament to his enduring ambition and vision, December 2022 saw Mr. Ruben launch his Family Law Resolution Firm in San Francisco. It's clear: when it comes to settling the most challenging family law disputes, Steve Ruben stands peerless.

Practice areas

Alternative Dispute Resolution, Family Law

Focus areas

Mediation, Mediation & Collaborative Law

  • 90% Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • 10% Family Law

First Admitted: 1973, Illinois

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • "Manimony," a term he coined to describe spousal support for men
  • Parental alienation and its short and long term impact on parents who seek frequent and continuous contacts with their children
  • Set asides for marital settlement agreements
  • The impact of death and estate planning instruments and pre and post marital agreements in effect during a pending dissolution proceeding
  • Recommendations of the Elkins Family Law Task Force
  • California Family Law News, Family Law Section of the State Bar of California
  • Lecturer, Law Attorneys and is Devoted to Complex Family Law Litigation
  • “Adult Children of Parental Alienation Syndrome", Family Law Section of the State Bar of California, California Family Law News published 2009
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • Member, Family Law Section, Bar Association of San Francisco
  • Member of Association of California Certified Family Law Specialist
  • Senior Settlement Master Unified Family Court of San Francisco
  • Settlement Officer in the Civil Division- San Francisco Superior Court
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1981
  • Executive Board Member and President Elect of Lawyers Club of San Francisco Inn of Court
  • Member, State Bar of Illinois, 1973
  • Member of State Bar of California 1993 and Certified Family Law Specialist 2007 to the present
  • Member of the AFCC- Association of Family Conciliation Courts and Program Presenter in Psychological/ Legal aspect of high conflict custody disputes, relocation and child abduction 
  • Member of US State Department- Attorney network serving as legal counsel for international child abduction cases
Pro bono/Community Service:
  • Past President, Lawyers Club of San Francisco
  • Family Law Mediator's Panel, Bar Association of San Francisco
  • Member of a San Francisco jazz ensemble known as "Lush Lounge."
  • Member, Board of the Stern Grove Musical Festival
  • Member and Active Vocalist in the Kol-Emanu-el Choir of Temple Emanu-el of San Francisco
  • Liaison to the State Bar Family Law Section
  • Member, Rotary Club of San Francisco
  • Chief Arbitrator, Hearing Attorney/Client Fee Disputes in Family Law for BASF
  • Member of the Editorial Board of Lexis/Nexis California Family Law Monthly Journal
Educational Background:
  • Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law, Chicago, Illinois, United States of America, J.D., With Honors, 1973, 1973
  •  LLM in Alternative Dispute Resolution Pepperdine School of Law / Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution , 2021
Special Licenses/Certifications:
  • Certified Family Law Specialist, State Board of Legal Specialization, State Bar of California, 2007
  • Admitted to Practice law in California, 1992
  • Admitted to practice law in the State of Illinois, 1973
  • This award was granted to Stephen B. Ruben for his contribution as an attorney in the field of family as advocate, counsellor of law, scholar and pubic service giving back to the community serving as Judge Pro tem  and Senior Settlement master in San Francisco Superior Court/ Unified Family Law Court  and Judge Pro tem in Marin Superior Court/ Family Law Division  as supervising Judge in bench/ bar settlement conferences., Lifetime Achievement award in Family Law as lawyer, scholar and Judge pro tem and Settlement Maste, Illinois Institute of Technology- Chicago Kent College of Law, 2016
White Papers:
  • As an experienced family law specialist and trained in family law collaboration,  my article which won a National Award  used to collaborative family law model as  an alternative dispute resolution method to resolve complex  corporate business transactions  with an expressed agreement not to proceed with litigation. The Emergence of Collaborative as viable alternative dispute resolution model butwith it associated ethical challenges and pitfalls should be integrated intoPepperdine Caruso School of Law’s current professional responsibility class forall JD students and integrated in Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution ‘scurrent mediation course offerings in civil and family law, Collaborative Family Model as a foundation for resolving Corporate Business transactions - Pepperdine School of Law/ Straus Institute, Legal Community, 2019
Other Outstanding Achievements:
  • Better Business Bureau A+ rating, 2019
  • American Institute of Family Law Attorney  in San Francisco , 10 Best Attorney - Client Satisfaction, 2022
  • Lawyers of Distinction Award- National Award in Family Law, 2022
  • Successfully represented and prevailed in a case for the return of a child to the habitual residence, Denmark, in a Hague abduction proceeding. The case was appealed by the Mother who was the abductor and trial court decision was affirmed by both the Appellate Court and Supreme Court of California and the United States Supreme Court as the writ of certiorari was denied .  The entire appeal process took more than two years, 2021
Industry Groups:
  • Special Master and Settlement Judge

Office location for Stephen B. Ruben

50 California Street
15th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111

Phone: 415-646-4449


11 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2005, 2014 - 2023

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