- In This Issue -

Coming Events
Special Announcements
In Memoriam
Recent Cases

The Trusts & Estates Bulletin is published monthly by the Trusts & Estates Section, coeditors:

Jana Gordon Garrotto, Law Offices of Garrotto & Garrotto

Jacqueline M. Real-Salas, Law Offices of Jacqueline M. Real-Salas, jackie@realsalaslaw.com

Stefanie S. Cutler, Bloom & Ruttenberg

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  An ePublication of the Los Angeles County Bar Association
Volume 9, Number 1  January 2014   Archive of Past Issues
Trusts and Estates Section Home Page

Coming Events:
January 15

The Neurological, Cultural-Anthropological and Epistemological View of Perception

Presented by: Trusts and Estates Section

Program Information:
We read a name, hear a voice, see a face or learn an age, and in a split-second make an appraisal of a perfect stranger. Our initial assessments are frequently wrong (sometimes very wrong), yet we keep doing it with clients, colleagues, judges and others. Why?

Dr. Rami Sadeghi Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in California and New York. He earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Southern California. In addition to his private practice in Beverly Hills, he lectures for various graduate programs and private schools and supervises psychology interns. He is also the Jewish Chaplain at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles.

Stanley Mosk Courthouse
111 N. Hill Street
Los Angeles, CA

Room: Special Events Center (Room 222)

Registration: 11:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Program: 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Custom Communication: This program is appropriate for all levels.

Price: FREE
1 hour Elimination of Bias credit

Special Announcements

--Click here to see the Notice to Attorneys from Los Angeles Superior Courts regarding Family Law and Probate Divisions to Collect Court Reporter Fees for Matters Lasting One Hour or Less.

You must submit a completed renewal application packet to remain on the 2014 list of PVP Attorneys. If you are not on the PVP Attorney list, you will not be eligible for appointments. Click here for the renewal packet, which includes instructions.

--The Los Angeles Superior Court is pleased to announce that it will be hiring a new Probate Attorney.  A description of the position and an application are available on the Court’s website, www.lasuperiorcourt.org, under the Employment tab.  Note that the deadline for applications is February 7, 2014.

--Effective January 1, 2014, Los Angeles Superior Courts will require a fee of $40 due upon the filing of a Request for Special Notice.

In Memoriam

It is with great sadness that we inform you that Emily Stuhlbarg, passed away on 12-28-2013. She was a Professional fiduciary at Stuhlbarg, Norene and Associates. Our condolences go to her family, friends and colleagues.

Recent Cases

-Social Security Law-
Claimant seeking supplemental security income benefits could not satisfy the requirements of "intellectual disability" by showing his physical impairments were so severe that they compensated for the one-point difference between his IQ score and the score required under SSA Listing 12.05C.
     Kennedy v. Colvin - filed December 31, 2013
     Cite as 2013 S.O.S.
     Full text http://www.metnews.com/sos.cgi?0114//12-55430

-Trusts and Estates-
In contestation of an amended trust with a no-contest clause, probate court did not err in ruling on the beneficiaries’ application since safe harbor proceedings filed before 2010 are not affected by the repeal of former Probate Code Sec. 21320, which previously authorized safe harbor applications. Amended family trust instrument that became irrevocable after January 1, 2001 was subject to current law regarding whether beneficiaries’ proposed claims triggered the no-contest clauses, as directed by Sec. 21315(a). No-contest clauses in amended family trust instrument were unenforceable against the beneficiaries’ proposed petition where claims did not fall into any of the categories of contest set forth in Sec. 21311(a). Successor trustees could not claim a fairness exception to the presumptive applicability of the current law to instruments that became irrevocable after January 1, 2001, because application of the former law would yield the same conclusion regarding the unenforceability of the no-contest clauses.
     Donkin v. Donkin - filed December 26, 2013
     Cite as 2013 S.O.S. S202210
     Full text http://www.metnews.com/sos.cgi?1213//S202210

Plaintiffs--various individuals, entities, and trusts associated with a family-owned business--stated a viable cause of action against defendant law firm, when they alleged that the original trustee of the trusts engaged in acts tantamount to breach of trust and that defendant and one of its attorneys knowingly participated in those acts to their benefit. Where all allegations against defendant were based on the conduct of a single attorney, and defendant did not represent plaintiffs after that attorney left defendant’s employ, the "outside" statute of limitations--four years from the date of wrongdoing--was not tolled under the "continued representation" rule of Code of Civil Procedure Sec. 340.6(a)(2) after the attorney left the firm. Where attorney left defendant and joined a new law firm, taking the plaintiffs’ business with him, actual or constructive knowledge of the attorney’s wrongdoing cannot be imputed from the new law firm to plaintiffs for purposes of determining whether plaintiffs sued defendant within one year of obtaining such knowledge. With respect to the one-year statute, plaintiffs’ allegations that defendant was negligent in hiring an attorney whom defendant should have known, based on prior lawsuits, was lacking in integrity did not establish that plaintiffs, as lay persons, should have discovered such lawsuits or that they should have known--based on the contents of those suits--that the attorney had wronged both the plaintiffs in those lawsuits and the plaintiffs themselves.
     Stueve Bros. Farms, LLC v. Berger Kahn - filed December 18, 2013, Fourth District, Div. Three
     Cite as 2013 S.O.S. G047121
     Full text http://www.metnews.com/sos.cgi?1213//G047121

Civil Code Sec. 1714.10--which requires leave of court to bring a claim of civil conspiracy against an attorney for alleged conspiracy with clients "arising from any attempt to contest or compromise a claim or dispute"--did not apply to claims against law firm that allegedly siphoned off assets through fraudulent estate planning, including the misappropriation of the plaintiffs’ assets through the diversion of those assets to entities created and controlled by the defendants, including the law firm’s other clients.
     Stueve v. Berger Kahn - filed December 18, 2013, Fourth District, Div. Three
     Cite as 2013 S.O.S. G046253
     Full text http://www.metnews.com/sos.cgi?1213//G046253

 -Individual Rights-
District court’s finding that plaintiff had standing to assert survival claims related to her deceased father’s Fourth Amendment rights was reversed and remanded for further inquiry when there was no indication that plaintiff filed the required affidavit under California law to commence a survival action as a successor in interest or if such survival claims are time barred if she failed to do so. Because plaintiff makes no claim that the deputies acted with a purpose to harm unrelated to the legitimate law-enforcement objective of defending themselves, summary judgment for defendants is affirmed with respect to her Sec. 1983 claim. With respect to plaintiff’s negligent wrongful death claim, summary judgment for defendants is reversed and remanded when reasonable jurors could conclude that the deputies’ use of deadly force was not objectively reasonable; deceased’s unexpected possession of a knife alone was not sufficient reason for the officers to employ deadly force--particularly when he had committed no crime and was confronted inside his own home; and deputies’ duty of reasonable care extended to their conduct before the shooting.
     Hayes v. County of San Diego - filed December 2, 2013
     Cite as 2013 S.O.S. 09-55644
     Full text http://www.metnews.com/sos.cgi?1213//09-55644


Los Angeles County Bar Association
2012-2013 Trusts and Estates Section Newsletter

Amy L. McEvoy

Trudi Schindler

William L. Winslow

Immediate Past-Chair
Kira S. Masteller

Section Administrator
Brendan Tarnay


Julia L. Birkel
Jill A. Brousard
Jackson Chen
Stefanie S. Cutler
Roseann DeRosa
Kim D. Doering
Larry S. Dushkes
Jana Gordon Garrotto

Sibylle Grebe
Duncan Hromadka
Albert F. Mikulencak
Leigh Shipp Muniz
Mary L. O'Neill
Jacqueline M. Real-Salas
Marc L. Sallus

Liaison, Barristers Section, Lauren C. Liebes
Liaison, County Counsel, Susan Long, Deputy County Counsel
Liaison Public Interest, Yolande P. Erickson
Liaison, Beverly Hills Bar Association, Stefanie Cutler
Ex Officio, James R. Birnberg
Ex Officio, Susan Jabkowski
Ex Officio, Matthew W. McMurtrey
Ex Officio, Jonathan L. Rosenbloom

Ex Officio, Stuart Zimring

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The foregoing practice tips were prepared for information purposes only. Such practice tips do not constitute tax, legal or other advice and no responsibility is assumed for any reliance upon them or with respect to assessing or advising the reader as to tax, legal, or other consequences arising from a particular situation. The accuracy of the information
rovided should be independently verified by the reader and should not be treated as authoritative.

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