Childhood friends start hometown law firm
For the past two decades, Santa Barbara natives David Tappeiner and Mark DePaco have climbed the ranks of the legal profession, earning recognition as top attorneys in corporate law and estate planning, trust and probate law.
This month, the two childhood friends, both graduates of Santa Barbara High School, realized a long-held career dream together: They jointly founded and opened their own law practice, DT Law Partners, a block from the Santa Barbara County Courthouse.
“After years of planning and preparation, we are thrilled to be launching this law practice in our beloved community,” said Mr. DePaco. “David and I look forward to continuing to assist Santa Barbara’s businesses and families with their legal needs.”
DT Law Partners combines the two attorneys’ talents to offer a wide range of services. Mr. Tappeiner is an expert in estate and trusts, including preparation of all types of estate planning documents, trust and estate administration, conservatorships, and trust and probate litigation.
Mr. DePaco’s legal practice focuses on corporate transactions, including securities offerings, debt and equity raises, mergers and acquisitions and all matters related to corporate and business growth. He operates as outside general counsel to companies of all types and phases of development and counts angel investors, investment companies, funds and family offices among his clients.
Born and raised in Santa Barbara, Mr. Tappeiner earned his bachelor’s degree in 1997 from UCSB before moving to Colorado with his wife and daughter.
He attended the University of Denver College of Law, receiving his law degree in 2000 and practicing law in Denver from 2000 to 2006. He returned to Santa Barbara in 2006 and joined the law firm of Fell, Marking, Abkin, Montgomery, Granet & Raney, becoming a partner there within two years.
Mr. Tappeiner, who is licensed to practice law in California and Colorado, is a member of the State Bar of California Trusts and Estates division, and a California State Bar Certified Legal Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate Law. He has a preeminent rating with Martindale-Hubbell and is a member of the Santa Barbara Estate Planning Council.
A father of three, Mr. Tappeiner also enjoys coaching youth soccer, serves on the local AYSO board and currently coaches at Dos Pueblos High School.
Mr. DePaco earned his bachelor’s degree from UCLA in 1994 and his law degree from the University of Southern California Law School in 1998. Before founding DT Law Partners, he was a partner at Fell Marking in Santa Barbara for 10 years.
Mr. DePaco began his legal career locally as an associate with Hatch & Parent and transitioned shortly thereafter to Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth, helping to establish the company’s Santa Barbara office. He then moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and spent 11 years there at MBV Law before making the move back to his hometown of Santa Barbara.
A member of the Dream Foundation’s board of directors, he is involved with youth sports, and, along with his wife, is raising four young children.