I create respectful resolutions for challenging family law and business disputes.

With a focus on the crafting of effective, enforceable agreements without the delay and cost of court room litigation.

Learn About Me

Meet Marnie Smith

As a former partner of Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek and founding partner of Smith & Scatizzi, LLP, Marnie Smith’s career has focused on complex business litigation and family law. For the past 20 years, her practice has focused primarily on all aspects of family law, including dissolution of marriages, legal separations, contested child custody matters, establishing and modifying child and spousal support, division of assets, and paternity disputes. Marnie has also assisted clients with pre-marital and post-marital agreements, as well as cohabitation (“Anti-Marvin”) agreements.

As an 8-time honoree of The Best Lawyers in America and 7-time honoree of San Diego Super Lawyer, her work has transitioned to litigation consulting, mediations, appellate work (and significant legal briefing) and creation/negotiation of pre and post-marital agreements.

In 1996, Marnie began her legal career at Magana, Cathcart & McCarthy in Los Angeles, California. In 1998, she joined the San Diego law firm of Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek as a litigation associate, became Of Counsel in 2001 and shareholder in 2005. In 2013, she left Seltzer Caplan to form Smith & Scatizzi, LLP to continue her litigation and mediation practice. In 2023, she formed Marnie Smith, APC to move away from litigation and focus on preventing/resolving disputes outside of the courthouse.


In 1993, Marnie received her Bachelor of Science degree from California State University, Sacramento in business administration with an emphasis in finance. She earned her law degree, cum laude, from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1996, where she was the Chief Comment Editor of the Pacific Law Journal. Marnie has been trained as a mediator through the National Conflict Resolution Center and Mosten Guthrie.

Bar Admissions

Marnie is admitted to the State Bar of California, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, and the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal.

Associations & Affiliations

Marnie is a member of the San Diego County Bar Association, Lawyers Club of San Diego, and the San Diego Family Law Bar Association.

Mediation & Private Judging

Navigating family law challenges demands a blend of compassion, expertise, and dedication. As an experienced family law attorney, I understand the complex legal and emotional issues that can arise. I am client-focused and draw on my background to resolve matters with respect and finality.

Litigation Counseling

Divorce & Legal Separation

Divorce/legal separation is a pivotal moment in one’s life. It can reshape your future and leave lasting impacts, even in the best of situations. As a dedicated legal consultant, I am here to ensure this transition will be met by you having a thorough understanding of the law and the legal consequences of your actions. Leveraging years of expertise, I guide clients through this time with personalized strategies and unwavering support.

Complex Asset Division

Complex asset division in divorce proceedings requires meticulous attention to detail, deep financial insight, and a nuanced understanding of both legal and personal issues. As a seasoned practitioner, I guide parties either together or individually with the assistance of outside financial consultants to structure their agreements in the best possible manner.

Child Support

Child support decisions are pivotal in divorce proceedings, bearing directly on the well-being of you and your children. I am dedicated to ensuring these agreements are fair and in the best interests of your child. Balancing in-depth legal expertise with compassion, I strive to balance the needs of both parents and children, crafting solutions that secure a stable financial future for your family.

Spousal Support

Spousal support in divorce proceedings is not merely a matter of finances; the end result is a reflection of years of partnership, shared dreams, and mutual commitments. This is a complex area and often the subject of great unpredictability in the court system. My experience enables me to work diligently in resolving this issue while honoring each party’s contributions and needs.

Custody Disputes

My approach in resolving child custody disputes centers on the best interests of the child balanced with the rights and desires of each parent. I understand the profound significance and emotional gravity of these decisions and I am committed to assisting parents with the necessary compassion and diligence.

Preparation of Legal Briefs

A well-crafted legal brief is often the linchpin to a favorable case outcome. As a former appellate attorney, I am proud to offer meticulously prepared, persuasive, and rigorous legal briefs.

Expert Testimony

Family law is a unique legal specialty that is often misunderstood by juries. Using my nearly thirty years of experience (both in business and family law), I shed light on this complex area to help de-mystify the process and assist in dispute resolutions between attorneys and their clients.


Marital Settlement Agreements

Concluding a marital chapter involves emotional and practical landscapes. As a specialist in the drafting of marital settlement agreements, I bring a blend of empathy, legal expertise, and strategic foresight to the table. I am dedicated to capturing the essence of the parties’ wishes while ensuring every detail is addressed comprehensively and equitably. From asset division to future plans, I work jointly with parties (or individually as a consultant) to craft careful and thoughtful agreements upon which you can rely.

Pre/Post-Marital and Cohabitation Agreements

Entering a union or cohabitation, either before or after marriage, is a monumental step. It intertwines emotions, dreams, and practical realities. With my years of experience, I am here to ensure your partnership has a clear foundation while safeguarding your individual rights and assets.

Get In Touch

I look forward to hearing from you. Please reach out to me by calling or emailing me, and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.