Attorneys at Law


Reliable solutions.

Fair price.


Gale & Nielsen is one of the top civil law firms on the North Coast of California, with particular expertise in conservatorship, special needs trusts, Medi-Cal counseling, and elder law issues. 

We opened our doors in 1998, and have navigated through major economic changes in United States and Humboldt County, as well as the retirement of our founder. We have drafted effective estate plans for hundreds of people, in each case paying attention to their unique needs and goals. We have contributed to the success of businesses throughout Humboldt County, and helped dozens of clients resolve disputes both through negotiation and litigation. We bring enthusiasm and compassion to our work for every client we meet, always keeping in mind the need to provide fair value for the cost. 


Get in touch

We know that finding the right attorney can be stressful. That’s why we offer free consultations to give you a chance to talk to an attorney face-to-face about your issue with no pressure. 

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managing attorney

Arthur Nielsen

Arthur Nielsen has represented both families and businesses, in large and small law firms, for 25 years. His early legal experience was as a corporate attorney at major law firms in New York City, Minneapolis, and Silicon Valley, counseling business clients in securities transactions. The first four years of Arthur’s legal career were on the legal side of the sort of transactions Michael Lewis describes in his books “Liar’s Poker” and “The Big Short.” He has no regrets about not sticking with it.

Arthur has been more of a small-town attorney since 2002, representing families and small businesses. He first heard of Humboldt County on the Firesign Theatre's first album, and his fascination with the part of the world grew steadily until he settled here permanently in 2009. 

Arthur is the father of a 17 year old daughter with excellent comic timing and a rollicking set of opinions about Humboldt County, social media, and the shifting sands of American culture. She has begun her work toward a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at the University of San Francisco.



Columbia University
B.A., English, 1987

Columbia University School of Law
Juris Doctor, 1994

University of California, Los Angeles, M.B.A., 2000

Activities & Affiliations

• Humboldt County Bar Association
• Humboldt County Estate Planning Council

Bar Admissions

• California, New York



Associate Attorney

We have been looking for a new associate attorney — and it looks like we’ve found one! Update soon.




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Crystal Dean

Crystal has been a part of the firm since September of 2007. She started out as our receptionist, and as time passed she began to assist the paralegals with their projects. She advanced from reception to Administrative Assistant, and began on-line paralegal studies at the Los Angeles Mission College, obtaining her paralegal certificate in August of 2012. She obtained her certified Professional Paralegal credential in 2019. Her energy, wit, and professionalism are central to the DNA of our firm.

Crystal is a native of Humboldt County, having grown up in Scotia when it was a company-owned town, and then in Fortuna.

She spent the majority of her childhood in ‘the hills’ with her parents and grandparents, enjoying Ruth Lake, camping, hunting, fishing, and ‘getting firewood,’ in what she says were the last of the ‘good old days.’ She attended Fortuna Union High School while also taking classes at our local junior college, College of the Redwoods. She then dabbled in the medical field, managing medical records at a local doctor’s office, before coming to work for our firm.

She met her husband, Jeremy Dean (a Firefighter), at a local pizza parlor. Jeremy was then approved by Crystal’s group of friends, who she affectionately considers her big brothers, and she and Jeremy were married four years later. The firm, of course, attended the party.

Crystal and Jeremy are now surrounded by a slew of nieces and nephews, and enjoy spending their free time visiting friends and family. Crystal and Jeremy have the same interests as Crystal did growing up in Humboldt County’s great outdoors, be it fishing, hunting, camping, hiking, or ‘getting firewood’ for the family. They are both active members of the Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department, participating in many community events.