California Board Certified Specialist

Mark A. Lester

Location: Camarillo

Phone: (805) 604-2655

Fax: (805) 604-2656

Attorney Mark A. Lester is an accomplished and well-recognized trusts and estates litigator who uses that extensive experience in estate planning, probate, trust administration and estate planning matters. Since 2001, Mr. Lester has received an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell for maintaining the highest standards of professional and ethical excellence in the legal community.

Practice Areas:

  • Trust and Probate Litigation
  • Probate and Trust Estate Administration
  • Estate Planning

Professional Experience

In a career spanning over 40 years, Mark Lester is widely recognized for his legal achievements. He has been certified as an estate planning, trust, and probate law specialist by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. In September 2022, he finished serving as the Chairperson and six-year tenure as one of 7 members of the Board of Trustees of the California Board of Legal Specialization after 5 years of service as one of the nine (9) appointed commissioners on the State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization, Estate Planning Law Advisory Commission, which is responsible for writing, administering and grading the certification examination and approving the application for California attorneys seeking to become California Certified Specialists in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law. Since 2021, Mr. Lester continues to serve as an appointed member of the Marketing Subcommittee of the ABA Standing Committee on Specialization. Beginning in 2015, Mark has been annually recognized as a Southern California Super LawyerTM in Estate & Trust Litigation (2015 – 2024), in Estate Planning & Probate (2015 & 2018) and in Corporate/Business (2018) areas of the law, and in 2022, 2023 and 2024 as a Southern California Top 100 Super LawyerTM.

Mark is a founding partner of Jones & Lester, LLP a successor to the firm.

He  has been qualified and served as an expert witness on standard of care in various litigation cases involving trusts and estates disputes.

Mark has an established reputation in the legal community as a respected trial attorney. His reported appellate cases include Breslin v. Breslin (2021) 62 Cal.App. 5th 801, Christie v. Kimball (2012) 202 Cal. App. 4th 1407, Estate of Odian (2006) 145 Cal. App. 4th 152, and Askari v. R&R Land Company (1986) 179 Cal. App. 3d 1101. In addition, he co-authored one of the Amicus Briefs relied upon and quoted by the California Supreme Court in reversing the trial court and the Court of Appeal in Barefoot v. Jennings (2020) 8 Cal.5th 822. He also frequently serves as a Voluntary Settlement Officer through the San Fernando Valley Bar Association for the Probate Department of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, as well as for the Ventura County Superior Court Probate Department. Mr. Lester previously served as a Judge Pro Tem for the Small Claims Department of the Los Angeles County Superior Court.


Mark is an active member of the Ventura County Bar Association serving on the Executive Committee of the Estate Planning and Probate Section. Mr. Lester is also a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association volunteering for the Attorney-Client Dispute Resolution Services Panel and was a member of the California Young Lawyers Association, where he previously served as Director and Vice President 1984 to 1986.

For the past twenty years, Mark has been a frequent and highly-rated and -requested presenter on numerous continuing legal education topics involving trusts and estates litigation and estate planning and administration issues. On twelve (12) separate occasions during the period 2003 to 2019, Mr. Lester has taught continuing legal educations courses for National Business Institute (“NBI”) in the areas of estate planning, will drafting, trusts and estates administration, and estate planning and recovery for elderly clients. From 2012 through October 2023, Mr. Lester has presented or co-presented programs entitled “Shifting to Neutral – The Change in the Courts’ View on Trustees Remaining Unbiased in Light of Breslin v. Breslin and Zahnleuter v. Mueller,” “The Evolution of Heggstad,” “Probate Litigation 101: The Nuts and Bolts (Capacity in Trust, Probate and Conservatorship Proceedings and Mediations and Settlements),” “Updates in Estate Planning and Trusts & Estates Litigation,” “Breslin Notice: Consequences for the Non-Participating Beneficiary,” “Breslin v. Breslin (2021) 62 Cal.App.5th 801 – New Guidance for Serving as the Neutral Fiduciary in Litigious Conservatorship, Trust and Probate Administrations,” “Certificates of Independent Review: Drafters, Care Custodians, Timing and Other Conundrums,” “Gifts to Care Custodians: No Good Deed Goes Unpunished v. Fox in the Hen House,” “Prohibited Transferees, Certificates of Independent Review, and Clear & Convincing Evidence (Probate Code §§21360 et seq.),” “Powers of Attorney – Myths, Management & Litigation,” “No Certificate of Independent Review – Can the Gift to a Prohibited Transferee Otherwise be Salvaged?”, “Trust Attorneys’ Fees and the Non-Participating Litigation Beneficiary,” “Do You Know Who Your Children Are? Determining Parentage in Probate and Trust Administration Cases,” “To Have and to Hold Out or Is DNA Enough to Claim Your Inheritance,” “Certificates of Independent Review & Gifts to Care Custodians,” “Effectively Using Petitions to Compel Accountings and to Appoint Neutral Trustees to Resolve Trust Disputes,” “Surcharges and Sanctions: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” and “Ethically Managing an Estate Planning Practice” to the Trusts and Estates Sections of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, San Fernando Valley Bar Association, Ventura County Bar Association, North San Diego County Bar Association, and the South Bay Bar Association, to the Probate Attorneys of San Diego, to the Woodland Hills Tax & Estate Planning Council, San Fernando Valley Estate Planning Council, to the Professional Fiduciaries Association of California (with separate presentations for the Northern and Southern Sections), and for Pincus Professional Education.

Mark is a local community leader as well, volunteering for the Ventura County Wellness & Caregiver Resource Center and the golf committee for the Ventura County Council Boy Scouts of America. He has served on the Board of Directors for Family Health Care Centers of Greater Los Angeles, Inc. and the Oxnard Police Foundation. For almost 15 years, Mark (an Eagle Scout since 1969) served as an Assistant Scoutmaster and merit badge counselor for Western Los Angeles County Council Boy Scout Troop 485, where three of his sons also attained the rank of Eagle Scout. He is also an avid outdoorsman with a fondness for golfing, camping, hiking and RV-ing.

Education & Training

Mark earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University in 1977 where he was an active member of the Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band (LSJUMB) and a founding member of the Roble Hall Rotagilla Club. In 1980, he earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Puget Sound School of Law (now Seattle University). While attending law school, he was Chairman of the Membership Committee of Phi Delta Phi and an Associate Editor for the Puget Sound Law Review, now known as the Seattle University Law Review. He also received the American Jurisprudence Award in Trusts and Estates. After graduating from law school, Mr. Lester went on to earn his Master of Laws, or LL.M., Taxation degree from Boston University School of Law in 1981.

Bar Admissions

Since completing his distinguished legal education, Mark has been admitted to practice by the State Bar of California, the U.S. District Courts for the Central, Northern, Southern, and Eastern Districts of California, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the U.S. Tax Court.

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