As lead counsel for a trust beneficiary in a dispute against the trustee, compelled and tried a contested trust administration issue related to the California Principal and Income Act to a three-panel arbitration and secured over US $700k for the client.
Served as lead trial attorney in successful bench trial, representing trust beneficiary against co-trustees for breach of fiduciary duty resulting in $6.4 million judgment.
Served as lead trial attorney for beneficiaries in successful bench trial, awarding more than $300,000 in surcharge damages against the executor in a probate action and denying hundreds of thousands of counter claims brought by the executor against the estate.
Served as lead trial attorney for trustee in successful arbitration defense against millions of dollars in claimed damages for breach of fiduciary duty and obtained $300,000 attorney’s fee and cost award against the plaintiff, individually.
Obtained series of successful results in arbitrated matters involving disputed trust administration.
Helped obtain California Court of Appeals reversal of trial court’s determination on standing in Bilafer v Bilafer (2008) 161 Cal.App.4th 363.
Routinely help families obtain conservatorship for their elderly parents to ensure their finances, healthcare, and wellbeing are provided for
Helped spouse provide financial security for her uncooperative husband suffering from schizophrenia by establishing a trust and appointing a professional fiduciary as trustee
Represented children of elderly disabled man to successfully obtain a conservatorship and the return of millions of dollars of assets wrongfully transferred from the elderly man by his second spouse
For an elder who did not have an established estate plan and became incapacitated, obtained court approval to create an estate plan that ensured an efficient transition of the elder’s assets in accordance with the elder’s known wishes
Obtained restraining order on behalf of an elder to stop ongoing financial abuse by one of the elder’s children and appointed a support team to protect the elder and ensure the elder had financial assistance
State of California, 2004
‘Thomson and West’s California Civil Practice’, Probate and Trust Proceedings - 2009-present, co-author
‘Litigation Alert’, Trusts and Estates Quarterly - 2018-present, co-author
‘Exploring the Welsh Inn’, San Diego Lawyer - May/June 2011, co-author
‘Lessons Learned from Mentors of the Past’, The Bencher - January/February 2011, co-author
‘What About the Children? Family Allowances in the Age of the Revocable Trust’, Trusts and Estates Quarterly - Winter 2010
American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) Fellow
Probate Attorneys of San Diego, Former Board Member and Education Subcommittee Chair
San Diego County Bar Association, Trusts and Estates Section
TEXCOM Litigation Subcommittee (2013-2017)
Chollas Lake Little League, Volunteer Coach and Former Vice President
South Page Education Foundation, Vice President and former President
Salvation Army Kroc Center Advisory Board (2013 - 2017) (Volunteer of the Year 2014)
Iowa State University Alumni Association
‘Recent Updates on Cases, Statutes and Fiduciary Regulations in Trust and Estate Law,’ Professional Fiduciary Association of California (PFAC) - May 6, 2022, co-presenter
‘What’s Sacramento Up To? 2021 Legislation and its Impact on Fiduciaries,’ PFAC - San Diego Region - March 23, 2022, co-presenter
‘Recent Developments in Estate, Trust, and Probate Law,’ Probate Attorneys of San Diego (PASD) - March 16, 2022, co-presenter
‘Case and Statutory Updates in Estate, Trust and Probate Law and California Fiduciary Regulations,’ The 26th Annual PFAC Educational Conference - August 26, 2021, co-presenter
‘Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law: 2020 Year in Review,’ Trust & Estate Section of the San Diego Bar Association webinar - April 1, 2021, co-presenter
‘Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law: 2020 Year in Review,’ Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law Section of the La Jolla Bar Association webinar - March 11, 2021, co-presenter
‘Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law: 2019 Year in Review,’ Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law Section of the San Diego County Bar Association webinar - July 15, 2020
‘Probate One Day Evidentiary Hearings for Non-Litigators,’ CLA Summer Trusts and Estates Education Conference - June 28, 2019
‘Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law: 2018 Year in Review,’ San Diego County Bar Association – March 14, 2019
‘Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law: 2018 Year in Review,’ County Counsel Association Conference - March 7, 2019
‘Wine Not? California’s New Decanting Act,’ First American Trust – January 28, 2019
‘Court Appointed Attorney Training’, Probate Attorneys of San Diego, December 7, 2018
‘Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law - 2017: A Year in Review,’ San Diego County Bar Association - March 1, 2018
‘One Day Evidentiary & Prove-Up Hearings for Non-Litigators’, Probate Attorneys of San Diego – September 20, 2017
‘Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law - 2016: A Year in Review’, San Diego County Bar Association - February 2017
‘Annual Court-Appointed Attorney Training’, Probate Attorneys of San Diego - December 2, 2016
‘Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law - 2015: A Year in Review’, San Diego County Bar Association - February 2016
‘Capacity Issues in Conservatorship Representations, 2015 Probate Court’, Appointed Attorney Training Program - December 2015
’101-Recent Developments in Trust and Estates Law’, 88th Annual Meeting of the State Bar of California - October 2015
‘Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law - 2014: A Year in Review’, San Diego County Bar Association - February 2015
I enjoy working with clients to find solutions.
I enjoy working with clients to find solutions to contentious trust, estate and conservatorship administration issues and litigation from inception to final distribution. I have the ability to find creative solutions during pre and post litigation phases of administration but am equally comfortable taking cases to trial or arbitration when the circumstances call for it. My clients have benefitted from both favorable settlements and by obtaining, protecting and enforcing post-trial judgments as a result.