Michael S. Brophy

Partner | Los Angeles

Secretary Briana Kress


Track record

Trustee of dynasty trust

Represented trustee of dynasty trust in a child support matter in a family court bench trial, successfully defeating all claims against the trust.

Trust matter

Represented an elderly widow in a complex contentious trust matter spanning four years to rescind an ineffective and unwanted estate plan, defeating efforts by her child to impose a medical exam on the client, successfully opposing a petition to have a guardian appointed for the client, successfully persuading the court to dismiss certain cross-claims for which the adverse child lacked standing, defending against derivative lawsuits filed by the trust held companies, preparing for trial and favorably settling in mediation with the client's daughter.

Trustee bench trial

Represented an individual trustee in a bench trial obtaining a complete and decisive verdict in favor of the fiduciary. Defeated allegations of breach of duty and requests for surcharge.

Deceased celebrity's trust

Represented the co-trustees of the living trust of a deceased celebrity in defeating fraud claims in arbitration. Also represented the co-trustees in resolving untimely claims, including arguing and winning an appeal of a judge's decision dismissing the barred claims.

Creditor and contract claims

Represented the co-executors of the estate of a deceased celebrity in defeating and resolving creditor and contract claims.

Trust-owned partnership

Advised a trust-owned partnership and assisted it in successfully retrieving misappropriated funds.

Charitable trust

Represented charity in a challenge to a charitable trust, successfully resolving the matter in mediation. Involved allegations of elder abuse and undue influence.

Art fraud

Obtained and enforced a default judgment for a major auction house in an art fraud matter, seizing known California assets.


  • 'Resting Easy: Proactively Addressing One’s Care Both Approaching and Following End of Life,' San Francisco Estate Planning Council Meeting - January 17, 2024, speaker
  • 'I have the power! Tricky Issues with Directives, Powers and Agencies,' ACTEC California Fellows Meeting - August 12, 2023, speaker

  • 'Settlements! Part Deux,' Cambridge Forum on Private Wealth Litigation - April 28, 2023, speaker
  • 'But Grandma Promised Me the Blue Ceramic Pig! - Litigation and Liability Risks Involving Tangible Personal Property and Other Distributions,' USC Gould School of Law 47th Annual Trust and Estate Conference - November 19, 2021

  • Trust and estate litigation guest lecturer, UCLA School of Law - November 17, 2021

  • Trust and estate litigation guest lecturer, UCLA School of Law - October 21, 2019

  • 'Help! The Gardener is Stealing My Inheritance,' San Fernando Valley Bar Association, Probate and Estate Planning Section

  • 'Help! The Gardener is Stealing My Inheritance,' South Bay Association, Trust and Estate Section

  • 'The Kids Are Not Alright: Drafting Estate Plans to Prevent Future Public Family Disputes,' Conejo Valley Estate Planning Council

  • 'Help! The Gardener is Stealing My Inheritance!' Beverly Hills Bar Association, Trusts & Estates Section

  • 'What Every Future Lawyer Needs to Know About Serving as the Family Fiduciary', UCLA Tax and Estate Planning Law Association

  • 'Navigating Legal Issues in the Electronic Age', Association of Corporate Counsel of America, Southern California Chapter

  • 'Perspectives on Trustee Fees: Evaluating 'Reasonableness' in Trust Planning, Administration and Litigation', Beverly Hills Bar Association

  • 'Privacy Protection: What Every In-House Counsel Needs to Know About: Managing and Protecting Private Employee, Consumer and Company Information', Association Of Corporate Counsel of America, Southern California Chapter