Paul H. Melbostad, partner, specializes in probate and trust administration and litigation, estate planning, domestic partnership matters, business entity formation, and real estate and small business litigation and transactions. Paul has been an active participant for over thirty years in the Estate Planning Probate Section and the Trust and Estate Planning Probate and Trust Litigation Sections of the San Francisco Bar Association, as well as distinguished attorney groups specializing in same-sex couples’ issues.

A native of Minnesota, Paul obtained the degrees of B.A. in 1976 and J.D. and M.B.A., from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in 1981. Between undergraduate school and law school he worked as a field organizer for Chapel Hill Mayor and Lt. Governor candidate Howard Lee who was the first African American to win a statewide primary in a southern state, an Assistant Press Secretary for Jimmy Carter’s Presidential campaign, and on staff to the Economic Advisor to North Carolina Governor James B. Hunt. He was certified by the National Institute for Trial Advocacy in 1986.

Paul served as a Commissioner on the San Francisco Ethics Commission from 1995 to 2003, including one year as President, helping to enforce local laws governing campaign finance, lobbyists, campaign consultants, conflicts of interest and the whistleblower program, and sponsoring legislation and ballot measures to strengthen the local ethics laws. He is a founding member of Friends of Ethics, which includes former Commissioners and members of the Civil Grand Jury, which supports the Ethics Commission.

Paul served as a Commissioner on the San Francisco Board of Permit Appeals from 1988 to 1992, appointed by the Mayor. There, he focused on the enforcement of the Planning Code provisions to preserve sound affordable housing and protect neighborhood character. He continues to be involved in those matters by assisting his neighborhood association and being active in several local organizations. In addition to serving as an advisor to several nonprofit agencies and foundations, Paul also served for eight years on the Board of Directors of 18 th Street Services, which provides substance abuse services focused particularly on the prevention of HIV/AIDS.