Hatley Law Group APC

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Estate planning viewed through the lens of asset protection.®
Headshot of Attorney Rod J. Hatley

Rodney J. “Rod” Hatley, J.D. LL.M

Practice Areas

  • Estate Planning
  • Probate & Estate Administration


  • University of San Diego School of Law, San Diego, California
    • LL.M. - 1996
    • Major: Taxation
  • Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, Memphis, Tennessee
    • J.D. - 1986
  • Rhodes College, Memphis, Tennessee
    • B.A. - 1983
    • Honors: Dean's List
    • Major: Political Science

Bar Admission

  • Tennessee, 1987
  • California, 1992
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Tennessee
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
  • U.S. Tax Court
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Published Works

  • Foreword for: Your American Legacy: Powerful Strategies That Instill Lasting Values For Generations by Stan Miller, Author, 2020
  • For California Doctors: A Guide to Asset Protection, Tax and Estate Planning 2009, Guardian Publishing, LLC, Editor
  • Giving: Philanthropy for Everyone (with Robert A. Esperti, Esq., and Renno L. Peterson, Esq., Quantum Press, 2002
  • California Probate Information (with LCDR Jay J. Kessler, JAGC, USN and LNC May S. Fujimoto, Naval Legal Service Office, Naval Station Treasure Island, 1990
  • Case comment, Torts—Abolition of the Fireman’s Rule in Oregon and What It May Mean for Tennessee—Christensen v. Murphy, 296 Or. 610, 678 P. 2d 1210 (1984), 15 University of Memphis L. Rev. 312, Winter, 1985


  • 2020 Top Best Attorneys SD Metro Magazine
  • Leaders In Law Finalist, Estate Planning, San Diego Business Journal (2020)
  • San Diego Top Wealth Managers / Five Star Investment Professional Award, presented by Five Star Professional, San Diego Magazine (2019)
  • Best Attorneys, Estate Planning, SD METRO formerly San Diego Metropolitan Magazine (2018 and 2020)
  • Fellow, Esperti Peterson Institute
  • BNY Mellon Advisor of the Year Finalist, Best Estate Planning for Pre-Merger & Acquisition (2015)
  • Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow Award (2012)
  • Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (Gold Star in Lieu of Second Award) (1995)
  • Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (1991)
  • National Defense Service Medal (1990)

Pro-Bono Activities

  • Volunteer - Make-A-Wish Foundation of San Diego, Inc.
  • American Cancer Society, San Diego Community Leadership Council
  • Business Executives Council, Board Member
  • Navy League of the United States, San Diego Council
  • Nice Guys of San Diego, Member
  • North County Estate Planning Council, Member
  • ProVisors
  • Rady Children's Hospital Foundation's Estates and Trusts Council, Member
  • San Diego Downtown Breakfast Rotary Club, Member
  • University Club Atop Symphony Towers
  • Vistage
  • WealthCounsel, LLC

Past Positions

  • Naval Weapons Center China Lake, Staff Judge Advocate, 1991 to 1995
  • Naval Legal Service Office Detachment, Naval Air Station Moffett Field, Criminal Defense Counsel and Legal Assistance Attorney, 1990 to 1991
  • Naval Legal Service Office, Naval Legal Service Office, Criminal Defense Counsel and Legal Assistance Attorney, 1989 to 1991
  • Gatti, Keltner & Bienvenu, Personal Injury Litigation Associate, 1987 to 1988
  • Honorable James M. Tharpe, Judge, Division III, Circuit Court of Tennessee for the Thirtieth Judicial District at Memphis, Law Clerk, 1986 to 1987
  • Honorable James E. Swearengen, Judge, Division IV, Circuit Court of Tennessee for the Thirtieth Judicial District at Memphis, Law Clerk, 1985 to 1986

Professional Associations

  • San Diego County Association, Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law and Taxation Sections, Member
  • San Diego County Association, Co-Chair, Financial Professional Liaison Committee
  • Tennessee Bar Association, Member
  • State Bar of California, Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law and Taxation Sections, Member
  • Southern California Institute, President & Director of Education

Current Employment Position

  • Founder