Twitchell and Rice, LLP
Twitchell and Rice, LLP
Twitchell and Rice, LLP  
Twitchell and Rice, LLP  
Twitchell and Rice, LLP
Twitchell and Rice, LLP
Twitchell and Rice, LLP
Twitchell and Rice, LLP

Founding Partners

Twitchell and Rice, LLP has a rich, long history on the Central Coast. It is the oldest law firm in the Santa Maria Valley, serving the Central Coast since 1886.

Phillip Stewart/Thomas Preisker


Thomas Preisker

In 1886, Phillip Stewart, the founder of the firm now known as Twitchell and Rice, LLP began practicing law out of his home in Santa Maria, California. In 1894, he became associated with an attorney by the name of Thomas Preisker.  After a time, Mr. Stewart left the practice and Thomas Preisker became a sole practictioner for a number of years.

Thomas Preisker was born in Illinois, and in the 1880's came to California, establishing himself in Visalia.  Shortly thereafter, Thomas' daughter was stricken with malaria.  When it became apparent that her life was in danger, he moved his family to Santa Maria. 

Thomas Preisker was not a wealthy man.  He began reading law books at home, and after hard work and determination, he was admitted to the bar of California when he was over the age of 40.   He was appointed the first city attorney of Santa Maria in 1905.  In 1908, Thomas' son, Charles "Leo" Preisker joined his father in the practice of law, and the firm became known as Preisker & Preisker.  Thomas Preisker retired from the practice of law in 1914 due to health reasons, however, he lived a long life, passing away in 1945 at the age of 94.

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