Rodney J. "Rod" Hatley, J.D. LL.M
Rodney J. "Rod" Hatley, J.D. LL.M

University of San Diego
School of Law
LL.M., Taxation, 1996

The University of Memphis School of Law
J.D., 1986

Rhodes College
B.A., Political Science, 1983

California, 1992
Tennessee, 1987


The founder of Hatley Law Group APC, Rod Hatley, began his journey to becoming an estate planning attorney with a devastating, drawn out seven-year probate.


Rod's father had been ill for a while before he died.  Though Rod knew that his father needed to set up a trust and undertake additional advanced planning to prepare for his eventual passing, his father could not bear the thought of parting with legal title to the assets he had spent his life accumulating.  As a result of this lack of preparation, it took Rod and his sister seven years to get through probate in their hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.


Rod began his legal career working in personal injury litigation and then for the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps, first as a Criminal Defense Counsel and Legal Assistance Attorney and then as a Staff Judge Advocate and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney.  During this time he received the Navy and Marine Corp Commendation Medal two times.


In 1995, based on his experience with his father’s seven-year probate, Rod decided he wanted to learn more about tax law and to find out the best way to ensure that family wealth wouldn’t be devastated by confiscatory estate taxes and the costs and delays of probate.  After coming off of active duty in the JAG Corps, Rod pursued a Master of Laws from the University of San Diego School of Law’s acclaimed graduate tax program and shifted into estate planning, trust, and probate law. Rod is licensed to practice in California and his home state of Tennessee.

When he isn’t busy with his practice, Rod enjoys scuba diving (he is open water certified), snorkeling, and surfing (which he does very badly) in San Diego.  He is a fan of Mid-Century Modern architecture and volunteers his time to the American Cancer Society Community Leadership Council and the Nice Guys San Diego charity.

Click on the Sound Cloud logo to listen to Rod's 1-hour Guest Host estate planning radio show which aired on July 4, 2017. Rod took over the spotlight on the Independence Day -- The Andrea Kaye Show "Dynamite in a Dress" KCBQ AM1170 The Answer radio show.

Bari Vallas

Bari Vallas is the Hatley Law Group Funding Coordinator. Bari’s expertise lies in asset examination, organization and trust funding.  Bari was a licensed attorney. She practiced civil litigation for 20 years before transitioning into the world of trust funding. 


As Funding Coordinator, Bari assists with the review and organization of asset information for each client, prepares our clients’ asset reports, and works diligently with our clients and their financial institutions to make sure their assets are properly titled to coordinate with their estate plans. 


What sets our firm apart from others is largely due to Bari's hard work. We pride ourselves in the fact that we ensure our clients’ trust plans are properly funded, meaning that clients’ assets are properly titled or re-titled so that the plan works as intended when the plan is needed.  Without proper funding, a trust is just a fancy looking document with little to no value. 


Bari helps clients review and organize their asset information and helps the firm deliver an estate plan that gives tremendous value.


In her spare time, Bari takes daily walks on the beach, during which she takes it upon herself to pick up and dispose of trash. She is an amateur animal rescuer who currently has two squirrels in a habitat where they can come and go as they please. They’ve joined her menagerie of two dogs and two cats. She also likes to ski in winter and watch Trojans and Kings Hockey games.


12636 High Bluff Drive, Suite 400

San Diego, California  92130-2071


Phone (858) 465-8002   Fax (619) 374-2904

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