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VOLUME 11 | NUMBER 2 | FEBRUARY 2016
 
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IN THIS ISSUE
 
Coming Events
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Save the Date
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Did You Know?
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Special Announcements
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Court News
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Recent Cases
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Legal Developments
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The Trusts and Estates Bulletin is published monthly by the Trusts and Estates Section, coeditors:

Jana Gordon Garrotto
Law Offices of Garrotto & Garrotto
jjggarrotto@msn.com

Stefanie S. Cutler
Bloom & Ruttenberg
scutler@bloom-ruttenberg.com

Richard A. Luftman
Richard A. Luftman, Attorney at Law
RLuftman@luftmanlaw.com

Roseann DeRosa
Law Office of Roseann DeRosa roseann@rderosalaw.com



Trusts and Estates Executive Committee:

Officers:
William L. Winslow, Chair
Matthew W. McMurtrey, Vice-Chair
Julia L. Birkel, Secretary
Trudi Schindler, Immediate Past Chair

Members:
Denise T. Ambrosio
Aurora Basa
Susan Ellen Barlevav
Stefanie S. Cutler
Roseann DeRosa
Zachary Dresben
Yolande P. Erickson
Jana Gordon Garrotto
Sibylle Grebe
Duncan Hromadka
Stephen M. Lowe
Richard A. Luftman
Albert F. Mikulencak
Leigh Shipp Muniz
Mary L. O'Neill
John E. Rogers, Jr
Marc L. Sallus
Donald Scoggins

Ex Officio Members:
James R. Birnberg
Susan Jabkowski
Kira S. Masteller
Amy L. McEvoy
Jonathan L. Rosenbloom
Stuart David Zimring



 
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Coming Event
 
March 10, 2016

Speaker: Howard Horwitz
Location: Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles 506 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071

Please click here for registration
 
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Save the Date
 
Trusts and Estates Reception
May 16, 2016
More information to be announced
 
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Did You Know?
 
Did you know... If an order has attachments, the place for the judge's signature must appear at the end of the last attachment and an appropriate notation must be made in the body of the order indicating that the signature is located at the end of the last attachment. LASC Local Rule 4.29(e )
 
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Special Announcements
 
Please be advised that the attached Judicial Council forms were updated effective 1/1/2016.

Please click here to review
 
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Court News
 
Effective March 1, 2016, the Court will allow electronic submission of filing documents for general jurisdiction personal injury cases, in lieu of fax filing. This move to e-delivery is the first step in the civil courts toward the new technology of the Court, and ultimately e-filing.

See attached Notice to Attorneys re:Central Probate Division Announces Changes to Courtroom Operations.

Please click here
 
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Recent Cases
 
Civil Procedure
Code of Civil Procedure Sec. 1775.7(b), which tolls the five-year limitation on bringing a case to trial if the case is sent to mediation with less than six months remaining in the five-year period, only applies to mediation conducted in a court-annexed alternative dispute resolution program. Neither the parties' efforts at private mediation nor efforts by defendant to decertify class rendered it "impossible, impracticable or futile" to bring case to trial within five years, where mediation was not ordered by the court, the parties did not agree to extend the five-year period, and no stay was in effect while the defendant sought decertification.

Castillo v. DHL Express (USA) - filed December 15, 2015, publication ordered January 14, 2016, Second District, Div. Three
Cite as 2016 S.O.S. 273
Full text click here
 

An attorney's sworn affidavit "attesting" to "mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or neglect" in support of a motion to vacate a default, default judgment, or dismissal under Code of Civil Procedure Sec. 473(b) need not disclose the reasons for the mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or neglect.

Martin Potts & Associates, Inc. v. Corsair, LLC - filed January 28, 2016, Second District, Div. Two Cite as 2016 S.O.S. 548
Full text click here

 

Plaintiff, who sued nursing home operator for wrongful death and elder abuse in connection with injuries suffered by plaintiff's mother, was not bound by arbitration agreement that she signed in her individual capacity. Plaintiff's wrongful death claim was brought on behalf of her children, who were not parties to the agreement, and trial court did not abuse its discretion by denying arbitration of the elder abuse claim to avoid the possibility of conflicting adjudications.

Monschke v. Timber Ridge Assisted Living, LLC - filed January 29, 2016, First District, Div. One
Cite as 2016 S.O.S. 601
Full text click here

 
Criminal Law and Procedure
Defendant who took his wife's cellphone from her grasp, with the intent to prevent her from reporting to police that he was assaulting her, was properly convicted of robbery without regard to whether the phone was separate or community property.

People v. Aguilera - filed January 28, 2016, Second District, Div. Four
Cite as 2016 S.O.S. 603
Full text click here 
 
Family Law
When one spouse contributes to Social Security, which according to federal law is a spouse's separate property, and the other spouse participates in a state or local pension plan in lieu of Social Security, which according to state law is community property, the Social Security benefits may not be considered when the family court divides community property, and the county benefits must be divided equally between the parties.

In re Marriage of Peterson - filed January 11, 2016, Second District, Div. Four
Cite as 2016 S.O.S. 167
Full text click here
 
Professional Responsibility and Conduct
Trial court abused its discretion in denying motion to disqualify law firm from representing one of a corporation's principals in litigation against another, where firm had represented corporation up until the suit was filed. In cases of concurrent representation, "except in a few instances," disqualification is required without regard to whether the subject matter of the representation of one client relates to the representation of a second client in the lawsuit.

M'Guinness v. Johnson - filed December 30, 2015, Sixth District
Cite as 2016 S.O.S. 11
Full text click here
 

Trial court erred in allowing arbitration panel hearing fee dispute to rule on former client's claim that its entire contract with former counsel was illegal--thereby relieving it of liability for unpaid fees--because of an undisclosed conflict of interest. A claim that a contract is entirely illegal or in violation of public policy is not subject to binding arbitration. Whether simultaneous representation of parties with conflicting interests violated Rules of Professional Conduct was an issue to be determined de novo. Court reviewing arbitration award was not bound by disqualification ruling in underlying case. Simultaneous representation violated Rule 3-310--where it was undisputed that firm partner failed to disclose that he had previously worked for adverse party in unrelated matters--that client retained firm without knowing of the past representation. Three weeks after client retained firm, the partner began working for the adverse party again and did not disclose this to client. Violation of Rule 3-310 rendered entire agreement unenforceable, barring firm from collecting fees for any work done while the actual conflict existed.

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, LLP v. J-M Manufacturing Co., Inc. - filed January 29, 2016, Second District, Div. Four
Cite as 2016 S.O.S. 619
Full text click here

 
Taxation
Revenue and Taxation Code Sec. 214 requires a charitable organization seeking a welfare exemption from property tax to file a claim for the exemption as well as a claim for an "organizational clearance certificate." It does not require a third-party operator of the organization's property to file its own claim for exemption or OCC, and the State Board of Equalization's contrary interpretation is clearly erroneous and not entitled to deference.

Jewish Community Centers Development Corporation v. County of Los Angeles - filed January 5, 2016, Second District, Div. Two
Cite as 2016 S.O.S. 101
Full text click here
 
Torts
Where trustee sued for professional negligence in relation to legal advice defendants provided to a predecessor trustee, the one-year statute of limitations was tolled under Code of Civil Procedure Sec. 340.6 (a)(2) until the date defendants ceased representation of the predecessor trustee.

Kelly v. Orr - filed January 11, 2016, Fourth District, Div. One
Cite as 2016 S.O.S. 178
Full text click here
 
Trusts and Estates
Under Probate Code Sec. 16373, a trustee was authorized to use principal account as a lender/bank in order to be able to pay large charges that were to be paid by income but still have money to distribute to the net income beneficiary.

Gray & Jimenez v. Jewish Federation of Palm Springs and Desert Area - filed January 6, 2016, Fourth District, Div. Two
Cite as 2016 S.O.S. 182
Full text click here
 
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Legal Developments
 

LTA No. 2016/006 - Revocable Transfer on Death Deed: Effect upon Property
Tax, dated January 20, 2016, can be viewed at:
http://www.boe.ca.gov/proptaxes/pdf/lta16006.pdf

LTA No. 2016/007 - Parent-Child and Grandparent-Grandchild Exclusion: Pro Rata Interest in Mobilehome Park or Floating Home Marina, dated January 20, 2016 can be viewed at:
http://www.boe.ca.gov/proptaxes/pdf/lta16007.pdf

 
 
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