Meet the Team
Frank De Santis
Managing Partner & Founder
Frank De Santis has been in successful practice for 33 years, handling a vast array of civil cases, focusing on victims’ rights. An immigrant from Italy in 1970, Mr. De Santis came to The Bronx, New York speaking no English whatsoever.
As an immigrant boy and young man, he worked various blue-collar jobs to pay for his self-support and education. He has fought to fit into American culture and society. In 1983, Mr. De Santis succeeded in passing the California Bar Exam on the first attempt.
As a lawyer, Mr. De Santis has used his background as a marginalized foreigner to zealously advocate and fight for his clients who are often disadvantaged. His first field of expertise was in maritime injury claims, representing mostly fishermen and crewmembers. In addition to maritime companies, he also represents his clients against insurance companies, banks, governmental agencies, large corporations, and other powerful entities. One of such cases, which was litigated against a bank, was recently published by the California Court of Appeals and decided in Mr. De Santis’ client’s favor.
For leisure, Frank loves to fish, is an avid outdoorsman, and is heavily involved in advancing the sport of bocce in the United States, a sport which he plays competitively throughout the country. He is fluent in English, Italian, and Spanish.
Thomas De Santis
A lifelong San Diego native, Thomas graduated from San Diego State University with a B.A. in psychology, Magna Cum Laude, in 2008. He went on to attend California Western School of Law and graduated with his Juris Doctor degree in January 2012. While there, he obtained Academic Excellence Awards in Trial Practice and Pre-Trial Practice. He passed the California State Bar Exam on his first attempt and became a licensed attorney that same year.
In his practice, Thomas has obtained millions of dollars in settlements for his injured clients. Thomas passionately fights for the legal rights of his clients while refusing to back down from large corporations, insurance companies, and governmental entities. He brings his steadfast work ethic to every case to ensure that his clients receive outstanding legal representation.
When not in the office, Thomas loves spending time with his wife, kids, and dog. Thomas is a fitness enthusiast who enjoys lifting weights and cooking healthy meals for the whole family. He is an avid cyclist who frequently rides his road bike throughout San Diego County.
Valorie E. Ryan
Valorie E. Ryan has worked with the Law Offices of Frank De Santis since 2009. Ms. Ryan handles civil litigation, including injury and insurance claims arising from auto accidents, defective products, premises, construction, medical malpractice as well as other causes of personal injury.
Ms. Ryan was admitted to the State Bar of California in 2005. She is admitted to practice in the United States District Court, Southern District of California, and United States District Court, Central District of California. She received her law degree from the California Western School of Law in San Diego, California in 1999. While attending the California Western School of Law, Ms. Ryan served as a legal extern for United States Federal Judge Hon. Rudi M. Brewster at the United States District Court, Southern District of California, and also served as a board member of California Western School of Law’s Women’s Law Caucus. She has been a member of the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego and the San Diego County Bar Association and has volunteered with the Legal Aid Society of San Diego.
Ms. Ryan graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1990, with a Bachelor of Arts in both English Literature and Art, with an emphasis in Photography. She is a graduate of Point Loma High School, in San Diego, California. Ms. Ryan enjoys cooking and swing dancing.
Blake Tastad has been a lifelong advocate of equality and justice. Born and raised in San Diego, he is familiar with the region and its various complexities. Devoting time and energy to serving the community is more than a profession, it is a lifestyle.
Desiring to spend as much time in the county he wished to serve, Blake attended and graduated with Honors from the University of California San Diego. Subsequently, Blake was accepted as a Trustee Scholar to California Western School of Law, where he continuously ranked near the top of his class. In 2012, he was accepted as a member of the California State Bar. Additionally, he is licensed to practice in the United States Southern District Court.
Practicing law allows Blake an opportunity to put his knowledge to work for those most in need of quality representation. The legal system can appear complicated and daunting, but Blake takes pride in ensuring that that all legal remedies are accessible to everyone. Great communication and his commitment to excellence are readily apparent. Blake is willing to put in the time and energy necessary to ensure his clients are properly compensated.
In his free time, Blake enjoys traveling with his wife and son and has had the pleasure of experiencing numerous countries and cultures. Fishing, surfing, and reading are some of Blake’s favorite hobbies. He is blessed to have great friends and family who fully understand and support his passions.