Generations Of Combined Experience

San Diego, CA


What We Offer

We have over a generation of experience helping clients in San Diego and surrounding areas of California with their employment, real estate, business law, corporate law, asset protection and estate planning needs.

We have built our reputation on providing individualized services to each of our customers who enlist our legal knowledge. We believe every client in need of a reputable business lawyer, employment attorney, estate planning lawyer, or real estate attorney should always have access to the most honest, dependable and affordable services available in Southern California.

Bagula, Riviere, Coates And Associates, LLP is based in San Diego, California and our legal team has the ability to handle legal cases throughout the United States when they are allowed an admission of pro hac vice. This means that if you have a business law matter, real estate matter or employment matter in another state our professional attorneys can provide you the legal services and representation with the permission of the court. Individuals that may be residing in the San Diego, California area but operate businesses or want to purchase property in another state will find the services of a real estate attorney from our firm to be very convenient for all of their legal service needs.

Schedule a free initial consultation with one of our expert attorneys today.

Russell F.A. Riviere, Esq.

Russell Riviere is a zealous advocate for his clients' business and personal interests. Mr. Riviere earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Florida in 1996, followed by his Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center in 1999. That year, Mr. Riviere moved to San Diego, where his practice has since flourished.

Mr. Riviere's diverse professional practice involves all aspects of his clients' businesses, including, but not limited to

  • Forming companies (corporations, limited liability company, limited partnerships, joint ventures, etc.)
  • Managing mergers and acquisitions
  • Drafting and negotiating stock purchase agreements, asset purchase agreements, non-competition and non-solicitation agreements, promissory notes and security agreements, among other things.

Mr. Riviere has also drafted a wide variety of service agreements (including employment agreements and independent contractor agreements). Additionally, Mr. Riviere has a trusts and estates practice, which includes drafting wills and related documents, administering trusts and handling probate matters. Mr. Riviere is committed to protecting financially his clients' families and their assets.

In addition to his transactional experience, Mr. Riviere has extensive experience litigating cases. Mr. Riviere has experience in cases involving employment law (representing employers and employees in discrimination, sexual harassment and wrongful termination cases), business law, securities law, representing individual shareholders in fraud, misrepresentation and breach of fiduciary duty cases; and representing institutional shareholders in complex class action securities fraud litigation in federal courts throughout the United States.

Areas of Practice

  • Transactional
  • Businesses
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Trusts and Estates
  • Employment
  • Business and Securities Law
  • Discrimination
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Wrongful Termination

Bar Admissions

  • State Bar of California, 2000
  • State Bar of Connecticut, 2001
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of California, 2000
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California, 2000
  • U.S. District Court District of Connecticut, 2001


  • Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, District Of Columbia
    • J.D. - 1999
  • University Of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
    • B.A. - 1996

Professional Associations

  • San Diego County Bar Association
  • BNI

Robert C. Coates, Esq.

Judge Robert C. Coates is a longtime leader in San Diego's legal community, and in the community at large. After a career as a Trial Lawyer starting in 1971, Coates became a Judge in 1982, and served until formal retirement in January, 2011 when he resumed his Law Practice. He has presided over years of Jury Trials, hundreds of Settlement Conferences, and served in all of the Divisions of the San Diego Superior Court, excepting only probate.

As an attorney, Robert Coates' practice spanned criminal up to and including murder, civil cases involving both State and Federal Courts, and environmental and mining, injury and mental health law. His present firm features lawyers, civil litigators, and out-of-court transactional attorneys: an experienced and knowledgeable team.

Judge Robert C. Coates knows his way around the legal world; around the worlds of community and public life; around the worlds of service. He has served as a Rotary Club President, and as Politics President or chair of a dozen legal and community organizations including the County Public Law Library. He currently chairs the Homeless Women Task Force and Rotary's Project, Understanding Climate Change.

He also serves as an Advisor to the Girl's Think Tank and the United Way Commission to End Chronic Homelessness by 2015, and he is active in the Lawyer's Club, the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego, and the California and San Diego County Judges Associations. "Part of being understood, is understanding your audience. That is why trial and jury selection are our focus, with Judge Robert C. Coates as litigation consultant."

To harness Judge Robert C. Coates' talents and experience to help address your opportunities or to resolve your legal or business challenges, you may contact him at:

Law Office: (619) 272-4235

Professional Associations

  • San Diego County Bar Association
  • Mining
  • Rotary Club

"Half the time, 90% of this game is mental."
-Yogi Berra

Mark S. Bagula, Esq.

Mark Bagula is a trial lawyer who represents plaintiffs and defendants in many legal areas, focusing primarily on business, real property, and employment litigation. Mr. Bagula is one of the founders of Olins, Riviere, Coates And Bagula, LLP.

Mr. Bagula has seventeen years of litigation experience. Mr. Bagula has obtained favorable results in all types of cases, some of which include

  • Partnerships
  • Real Estate
  • Trade Secrets
  • Unfair Business Practices
  • Fraud
  • Breach of Contract
  • Discrimination

Mr. Bagula zealously represents his clients through all phases of the dispute.

Attorney Mark Bagula believes in the cost efficiencies associated with resolving cases through mediation, and settlement conferences. Although most cases settle before a trial, Mr. Bagula has tried to conclusion more than 65 cases before juries, judges, arbitration panels, and administrative law judges. Mr. Bagula has obtained more than $29 million in settlements, judgments, awards, and verdicts for plaintiff clients. Mr. Bagula has obtained numerous defense verdicts, summary judgments and favorable defense settlements for defendants. Mr. Bagula has resolved cases for defendants well below the claimed damages. In dollar terms, a conservative estimate of what Mr. Bagula has saved defendants over the years equates to more than $26 million (in settlements, judgments, awards, and verdicts).

Mr. Bagula is admitted in all California Courts, and before the Southern, Central, and Eastern Federal District Courts of California. In addition to briefing an appeal before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Mr. Bagula has briefed and orally argued appellate cases before both the Second Circuit and Fourth Circuit Courts of Appeal. He has appeared in the courts of other states with the sponsoring of local counsel.

In addition to his legal practice, Mr. Bagula is active in the legal community. Mr. Bagula is a member of the San Diego County Bar Association and serves as a Trustee on the San Diego County Law Library Justice Foundation. He is likewise active in various social organizations. Mr. Bagula previously served as President of the Democratic Professional Club, and the Mission Valley Rotary Club. He is currently Vice-President of Understanding Climate Change, a non-profit organization, which works with Scripps Institute scientists to educate the local community about climate change.

Mr. Bagula is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego and earned his Juris Doctorate Degree from the University of San Diego School of Law. He graduated early from both schools.

Areas of Practice

  • Trial Practice
  • Business Torts and Alter Ego
  • Commercial and Corporate Litigation
  • Unfair Business Practices
  • Employment Litigation
  • Business/Real Estate Litigation
  • Construction and Construction Defect
  • Breach of Contract
  • Breach of Fiduciary Duty
  • Trade Secrets
  • Homeowners Association Disputes
  • Unfair Competition
  • Medical Business Law
  • Shareholder and Partnership Dispute Resolution
  • Derivative suits

Bar Admissions

State Bar of California, 1994

Alternative Dispute Resolution Certification

Certified Mediator, San Diego Mediation Center (1992)

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of California
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of California
  • All Superior Courts in California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • California Court of Appeals, 2nd District
  • California Court of Appeals, 4th District
  • Past admission (Pro Hac Vice) in the Courts of Massachusetts, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Texas, and Vermont.

Higher Education

  • University of San Diego School of Law, San Diego
  • University of California San Diego

Published Works

"Trustees of the Justice System: Quasi-Judicial Activity and the Failure of the 1990 ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct", San Diego Law Review, Volume 31, No. 3.


Lecturer, United States Legal System, The University of California, San Diego

Professional Associations

  • San Diego County Bar Association, Member
  • San Diego County Law Library Justice Foundation, Trustee
  • Lambda Alpha International
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers

Pro Bono Activities

  • Past-President, Democratic Professional Club
  • Member and Past-President, Mission Valley Rotary Club
  • Vice-President, Understanding Climate Change