THE PLBK TEAM
The founding partners of PLBK have been close friends and colleagues for several years. They are bonded by common ideals which include providing value to clients as well as results. Going round for round with your spouse during a divorce can lead to both sides feeling beat up both emotionally and financially. Knowing the right combination can make all the difference in your case.
R. Mark Patterson, Esq.
R. Mark Patterson has nearly 30 years of complex family law litigation experience, much of which was honed during his long tenure at some of San Diego’s most revered family law firms.
Mr. Patterson has handled numerous family law cases involving all conceivable issues, including several high-profile, multi-million dollar estate cases. Mr. Patterson has conducted countless family law trials, including several that have spanned over many weeks in duration.
Prior to the practice of law, Mr. Patterson’s discipline and problem solving skills were established and refined by way of his military service in the United States Navy, where he performed top secret work on submarine nuclear reactors.
Mr. Patterson earned his Juris Doctorate at Western State University, and has taught a preparatory college class for paralegals in family law. Mr. Patterson continues to engage the community with his many speaking events to include hosting and moderating Continuing Legal Education seminars. Mr. Patterson has also performed significant pro bono work in domestic violence cases on behalf of the Center for Community Solutions, and has likewise served by appointment of the court as a minor’s counsel. Mr. Patterson currently serves as a Judge Pro Tem and mediator in the Family Law division of the San Diego Superior Court.
When not working Mr. Patterson enjoys spending quality time with his family and his four huskies.
Brenda Lopez, CFLS
Ms. Lopez currently serves on the Board of Directors for the San Diego County Bar, after previously serving as Chair, Vice-Chair, and Member at Large of the Family Law Section. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association Scholarship Fund and serves as Co-Chair of the Community Services Committee of Lawyers Club of San Diego. Ms. Lopez was also the Vice President for San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association for the 2020-2021 term.
Ms. Lopez, who is bilingual English-Spanish, earned her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Chicana/o Studies from San Diego State University. As a law student at Thomas Jefferson School of Law Ms. Lopez became a Certified Legal Intern, which permitted her to appear at several court proceedings concurrent with her studies, gaining invaluable litigation experience. Ms. Lopez’s cultural, educational, and legal background, paired with her strong work ethic, have allowed her to achieve many favorable results on behalf of her clients.
Ms. Lopez attended law school part-time, while working full-time as a legal assistant for several civil litigation and Certified Family Law Specialist attorneys in San Diego. Following admission to the CA State Bar in 2012, Ms. Lopez opened her own law practice and provided pro bono legal assistance for the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program’s domestic violence clinic before working for one of the largest family law firms in San Diego. She then reopened her solo practice before becoming a partner at PLBK.
Ms. Lopez volunteers her time not just to the improvement of the legal community, but to many community outreach programs that involve inspiring elementary school children in less advantaged communities, mentoring foster youth, and assisting at a local senior center.
Christopher Banuelos, CFLS.
Christopher Banuelos is a Certified Family Law Specialist with over a decade of experience. Having graduated from Santa Clara University School of Law, Mr. Banuelos has practiced exclusively in the area of family law litigation since his admission to the State Bar in 2008. Prior to joining forces to form the PLBK partnership, Mr. Banuelos served as a Senior Associate Attorney for top-tier family law and civil litigation firms located in San Jose and San Diego.
Mr. Banuelos has extensive knowledge of all aspects of family law, including complex property and reimbursement issues, business valuation, and other complex, financially-related litigation issues. Mr. Banuelos has worked extensively with high-asset, high-net-worth cases emanating from both Silicon Valley startups to established tech industry leaders.
Prior to attending Santa Clara University School of Law, Mr. Banuelos graduated from the University of California, San Diego, receiving a B.A. in Political Science. Mr. Banuelos has been recognized by Super Lawyers (R) as a Rising Star Honoree for 2019 and 2020.
Out of the office Mr. Banuelos appreciates spending time outdoors engaging in a variety of different activities, including surfing, volleyball, and skiing/snowboarding. He is an avid golfer and when not spending time with his wife and daughter, enjoys participating in (and winning) golf tournaments.
Amanda R. Khiterman, CFLS.
Amanda Khiterman is a Certified Family Law Specialist. She is a zealous advocate for her clients with almost all of her legal experience exclusively in family law. Ms. Khiterman has litigated a variety of family law cases from recurring issues such as support and custody, to complex move away and relocation matters; as well as successfully requesting and defending Domestic Violence and Civil Harassment Restraining Orders. Ms. Khiterman has extensive experience not only in researching and writing, but also in the courtroom having tried numerous cases and multi-day trials. In addition to her extensive litigation experience, Ms. Khiterman has worked as a mediator and is an advocate for alternative dispute resolution.
Ms. Khiterman is bilingual, speaking both Russian and English a skill which she applies to her practice. Prior to being a founding partner of PLBK, Ms. Khiterman gained recognition and success as a senior associate for a notable family law firm in San Diego. Ms. Khiterman is admitted to practice law in the states of California, New York, and New Jersey.
Ms. Khiterman is originally from Brooklyn, New York and is first-generation American. Her background instilled in her a strong work ethic that she uses to fight tirelessly for her clients. Ms. Khiterman graduated Cum Laude from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst earning a B.A in Legal Studies with a minor in Judaic Studies, and her second B.A. in Communication with a minor in Film. Ms. Khiterman earned her J.D. from California Western School of Law and was published shortly after graduation by Oxford Press in American National Biography. She holds several awards recognizing her community service and pro bono work including the State Bar of California Wiley W. Manuel Certificate for Pro Bono Legal Services.
When she isn’t handling all matters of family law, Ms. Khiterman enjoys spending time with friends and family, volunteering, and traveling.