Our Attorneys

Our Attorneys

Experienced Attorneys in Multiple Disciplines

Real Estate Attorneys in Santa Rosa and Sonoma County


Roy Johnston brings a unique and strategic perspective to the practice of law. As a successful former businessman with strong managerial and marketing education and experience, he understands the opportunities and challenges facing the modern business owner and manager. He is an active member of the Business, Real Estate and Trusts & Estates Sections of both the California State Bar and the Sonoma County Bar Association. He is currently the chair of the Trusts & Estates Section of the Sonoma County Bar Association, and a member of the North Bay Association of Realtors and the North Coast Builders Association. He is a regular speaker at business and estate planning seminars and workshops.

Roy received a Juris Doctorate from Empire College of Law, a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Wyoming, and an Associate Degree from Casper College. He and his wife, Barbara, are active members of Bayside Church Santa Rosa and when not spoiling their five grandchildren and Petey, their Bichon Frisé dog, they enjoy sailing their sailboat “Lucy!” on the San Francisco Bay.

Roy N. Johnston

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Ryan represents a wide range of clients in the areas of residential and commercial finance and real estate matters throughout the United States. His clients range from Wall Street investment banks, loan servicing companies, and financial institutions to small business owners and individual investors. His background includes matters involving lender liability and regulatory actions, repurchase litigation, mortgage guaranty insurance claims, and title, escrow, and appraisal claims and litigation. He also has experience with commercial finance matters including SBA lending and the Uniform Commercial Code.

Ryan received his undergraduate degree in economics from Sonoma State University. He received his Juris Doctor from Golden Gate University, where he was the Managing Editor of the Law Review and a Moot Court finalist. He is a frequent speaker on a variety of residential real estate topics to national and regional trade industry associations.

When not working, Ryan is active in a number of church and civic activities. He is married and the father of two children, Jocelyn and Zachary, and is an avid golfer.

Ryan F. Thomas

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Daryl’s practice focuses on nonprofit law, business law, and civil litigation. As a former business leader and nonprofit executive, he brings a wealth of knowledge and understanding to the business needs of business entities and nonprofit organizations of all types. As a strong advocate, he is passionate about helping clients achieve their goals, whether forming a new corporation or limited liability company, launching a nonprofit organization, drafting or reviewing a contract, or engaging in the challenges of litigation.

Daryl received his undergraduate degree from California State University, Northridge, and holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. He earned his Master of Legal Studies and Juris Doctorate degrees, cum laude, from Empire College School of Law.

In his free time, Daryl enjoys spending time with his family, participating in his church and other community organizations, and riding the wine country roads of Sonoma County on his road bike.

Daryl J. Reese

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Leo provides more than twenty years of professional legal experience and local perspective to his neighbors throughout the Bay Area, with a special focus on the senior and special needs communities. Working closely with trusted outreach and advocacy groups like the Council on Aging, he brings both the expertise and a personal touch to the table, in order to help both individuals and families navigate the legal issues that matter to them. Leo enjoys serving clients from all walks of life, assisting with cases ranging from conservatorships and estate planning to family law and public benefits. He also regularly volunteers his time advising mature members of the community at senior centers across Sonoma and Marin Counties. Leo also periodically provides seminars to the public on legal challenges facing the community as a whole. In addition, Leo is also a highly trained mediator, with more than 250 hours of formal instruction emphasizing family law and estate disputes.

Born and raised in Northern California, Leo earned his undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies from Fresno State University, and his Juris Doctorate from Empire College School of Law. He and his wife, Kathleen, are the proud parents of six children, and very active members of their church. Together, they enjoy hiking, exploring the great outdoors, and staying active in the community, especially through local youth soccer and other sports.

Leo Alberigi, Of Counsel

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As the manager of the mortgage banking group, James Brody actively manages all the complex mortgage banking litigation, mitigation, and compliance matters for Johnston Thomas and its diverse clientele (e.g., national mortgage lenders, warehouse lenders, secondary market investors, loan servicing companies, Wall Street banking firms and insurers).

Mr. Brody has successfully resolved hundreds of mitigation and litigation cases that involve complex mortgage fraud schemes, as well as large-scale repurchase and/or make-whole disputes. Mr. Brody’s experience centers on those legal issues that arise during and through loan originations, loan purchase sales, loan securitizations, foreclosures, bankruptcy actions, and repurchase and indemnification claims.

Mr. Brody received his B.A. in International Relations from Drake University in 1997. He received his J.D., with a certified concentration in Advocacy, from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 2000. Mr. Brody also earned a Certificate of International Legal Studies in 1999. While in law school, Mr. Brody was a member of the McGeorge National Moot Court Team and participated in McGeorge’s Business Law Forum. He was a recipient of the American Jurisprudence Bancroft-Whitney Award and the Adrian and Annebel McGeorge Academic Achievement Scholarship.

Mr. Brody is licensed to practice law in California and has been admitted to practice in front of the United States District Courts for the Central, Eastern, Northern, and Southern Districts of California. In addition, Mr. Brody has served as lead litigation counsel for numerous mortgage banking and commercial related disputes venued in both state and federal courts, in a direct capacity or on a pro hac vice basis, in AZ, CA, FL, MD, MI, MN, MO, OR, NJ, NY, PA, TN, and TX.

Mr. Brody has made numerous media appearances and industry presentations regarding the prevention, detection, and resolution of mortgage fraud matters. Mr. Brody continues to be a featured speaker in the area of repurchase and make-whole claims, mortgage banking litigation, and regulatory compliance matters.

James W. Brody, Chair, Mortgage Banking Group

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Ingrid Petersen is well versed in mortgage banking from origination, underwriting, appraisal, title, and mortgage insurance through to secondary market, repurchase, litigation, trade secret, unfair competition and compliance issues.  Ingrid has resolved high-stakes contract matters, involving complex issues such as defenses to formation, interpretation, modification, and discharge, in defending lenders against breach of contract claims. For example, Ingrid has persuaded investors to rescind breach of contract claims in many cases where the facts were unfavorable for our clients, such as obtaining a rescission of damage claims from Fannie Mae by identifying an ambiguity in Fannie Mae’s own appraisal guidelines.  Her practice has included negotiating and drafting commercial agreements concerning risk allocation, remedies, and representations and warranties. In addition, Ingrid has advised companies on consumer privacy law.

With fintech startups increasingly poised to disrupt traditional lending practices in the mortgage industry, Ingrid, with a background in both the tech and mortgage industries is prepared to handle the legal challenges associated with blockchain, enterprise and SaaS solutions.  Ingrid has helped companies reach their business objectives and minimize legal risk in Software Licensing, Independent Contractor Agreements, Settlement Agreements, SaaS Agreements, Credit Agreements and Insurance Policies.


  • Bachelor of Arts Honors, Cum Laude (Valedictorian) from the University of Natal, South Africa in 2001
  • Juris Doctorate with Intellectual Property Certificate (Member: Traynor Honor Society) from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 2008

Ingrid K. Petersen, Co-chair, Mortgage Banking Group

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Contact our Sonoma County Legal Team Today

To get in touch with our real estate attorneys in Santa Rosa and Sonoma County, or for legal guidance in any of our specialized areas, contact us today.