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Attorneys in Landmark Case

Our small firm is known throughout the state for our trust and estate litigation prowess, including successfully litigating such matters before the California Court of Appeals and co-authoring the compelling amicus brief in Barefoot v. Jennings (2020) 8 Cal.5th 822 cited by the California Supreme Court in reversing the erroneous lower court opinions denying standing to the appellant to pursue her right to challenge trust documents that purported to disinherit her.  Most recently in the benchmark case Breslin v. Breslin (2021) 62 Cal.App.5th 801, our firm again changed trusts and estates litigation in California for the better.  In Breslin, the Court of Appeal affirmed (and the California Supreme Court was persuaded to let stand) the right of the probate court to send the parties to an early mediation paid for by the trust; the ability of the probate court to find that parties, who received a notice of mediation with a warning of forfeiture or loss of potential interests if that party failed to participate, were unable thereafter to object to that mediated resolution; and that a fiduciary fulfills its obligations of impartiality and loyalty by filling a petition for instructions/construction rather than using the Trust assets to advocate for any particular potential beneficiary interests.  All three holdings are matters of first impression, thus positively changing California trust litigation practice, yet consistent with our firm’s existing and over-arching goal to seek the most expeditious and cost-effective result for our clients involved in trusts and estates litigation.  Most telling is that our firm’s efforts in Breslin have resulted a new “Breslin Notice” that virtually all California probate judges now require be given to all interested persons.

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