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Upcoming Events
Save the Date
Court News
Recent Cases
Legal Developments
The Trusts and Estates Bulletin
is published monthly by the Trusts and Estates Section, coeditors:

Jana Gordon Garrotto
Wolf, Rifkin, Shapiro, Schulman & Rabkin LLP

Stefanie S. Cutler
Bloom & Ruttenberg

Roseann DeRosa

Jessica Ghirardo Gordon
Thompson Coburn LLP

Trusts and Estates Executive Committee Officers:

Matthew W. McMurtrey, Chair
Julia L. Birkel, Vice-Chair
Marc L. Sallus, Esq, Secretary & Treasurer
William L. Winslow, Immediate Past Chair


Susan Ellen Barlevav
Aurora Leigh Perez Basa
Steven P. Beltran
Roseann DeRosa
Zachary Dresben
Jana Gordon Garrotto
Sibylle Grebe
Duncan Hromadka
Deborah Keesey
Patricia A. Lobello-Lamb
Stephen M. Lowe
Richard A. Luftman
Mary L. O'Neill
John E. Rogers, Jr.
Donald L. Scoggins
Lisa Greta Wick

Barristers Liaison
Jessica Ghirardo Gordon

County Counsel Liaison
William C. Sias

Public Interest Liaison
Yolande P. Erickson

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

Upcoming Events
Special Needs Trusts: New Laws and A New Look...
Date: February 15, 2017
Time: 12:30-1:30 p.m.
Speakers: Michelle Wolf, William L. Winslow
Moderator: Steve P. Beltran

LACBA's Trusts and Estates Section will address the increasing use of pooled SNT's, the key new federal law that allows a disabled person to establish an SNT for his or her own benefit, and the advent of ABLE accounts. Panelists Michelle Wolf, Executive Director of Jewish Los Angeles Pooled Special Needs Trust, and veteran practitioners Steven P. Beltran and William L. Winslow will discuss these topics as well as the most important trust administration issues facing trustees of SNT's, counsel, and the courts.

> Click here for more info and to register
Meeting at Stanley Mosk Courthouse regarding E-Filing and
Ex-Parte Procedures

Date: February 16, 2017
Location: Stanley Mosk Courthouse, Room 222
Program Time: 12:00 noon

On February 16, 2017, at noon there will be a meeting in Room 222 providing information concerning upcoming changes regarding e-filing. The meeting will include judicial officers, court administrative staff, and vendors who will be available to assist with e-filing.

A Lawyer's Search for the Right Estate Plan

Date: March 9, 2017
Location: Biltmore Hotel
Registration/Lunch: 12:00 -12:30 p.m.
Program Time:
12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
Speakers: Brad N. Baker, Kelley Bannon Lashley
Moderator: William L. Winslow

Co-Sponsored by the Trusts & Estates and the Senior Lawyers sections, the program will focus on lawyers’ unique planning goals, how some lawyers make difficult clients, and what “selling” a law practice really entails. The panel will also discuss why many plans from the era before the $5 million+ exemption are now obsolete—some dangerously so. The presenters will open a window into the human dynamics of lawyering for lawyers.

> Click here for more info and to register

Save the Date
Trusts and Estates Section Reception
May 15, 2017
More info TBA

View from the Bench
June 8, 2017
More info TBA

Mandatory PVP Training
June 17, 2017
More info TBA

Court News
New E-Filing Procedures

LASC will implement electronic filing (e-filing) for probate cases effective June 5, 2017. Please click here for more information.

New Ex Parte Filing Procedures

LASC will change the schedule for processing of ex parte documents in the Probate Division effective June 5, 2017. Please click here for more information.

MSC with Judge Paul

Effective February 23, 2017, practitioners may request that the bench officer hearing their matter set a Mandatory Settlement Conference (MSC) with Judge Paul in Department S-9 in the Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse located at 275 Magnolia Long Beach, CA 90802. If such request and Court Order is made by the bench officer hearing the case, only then may counsel proceed to obtain a MSC date from Judge Lewis in Department 2 of the Stanley Mosk Courthouse. Counsel may continue to set MSCs with Judge Lager at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse.

Trials Available with Judge Paul

In addition to MSCs, Judge Paul has been assigned to hear trials in probate and family law matters in Department S-9 in the Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse located at 275 Magnolia Long Beach, CA 90802. Judge Paul’s calendar allows him to set consecutive full day trials.

Counsel interested in a trial before Judge Paul should address this issue directly with the bench officer assigned to their matter. If the bench officer hearing the case makes an Order that the matter should be tried before Judge Paul, then counsel will be ordered to appear before Judge Cowan in Department 79 at 10:00 a.m. for a Trial Readiness Conference. At such time, the Supervising Judge will determine if the matter is ready for trial and, if it is, he will coordinate the setting of trial dates.

Recent Cases

Non-minor dependent seeking extended foster care did not—either by testifying that she believed herself eligible for such care based on a medical condition or by offering in evidence a letter from her therapist containing information required by statute to be submitted to local services agency as a prerequisite to obtaining such care—place her mental state at issue in the proceedings, and thus did not waive the psychotherapist-patient privilege.

N.S. v. Superior Court (Alameda County Social Services Agency)—filed Dec. 16, 2016, publication ordered Jan. 17, 2017, First District, Div. Four
Cite as 2017 S.O.S. 228
Full text click here>

Family Law

Gifts by a third party to a parent may be treated as income, for purposes of calculating child support, provided the gifts are a regular, recurrent monetary benefit.

Anna M. v. Jeffrey E. - filed Jan. 11, 2017, Second District, Div. Eight
Cite as 2017 S.O.S. 156
Full text click here >

Real Property

Lessor served a three-day notice stating past rent due, but did not possess the required permits and certificate of occupancy. The rental agreement was void, no sums were actually due, and the notice was thus defective, precluding the court from awarding possession.

North 7th Street Associates v. Constante; Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles - filed Nov. 16, 2016
Cite as 2017 S.O.S. 43
Full text click here >

Plaintiff—which purchased real property knowing about a recorded default judgment in the chain of title that vacated the lien interest of the predecessor-in-interest to defendant lenders, the judgment later being adjudicated as void--took title to the property subject to defendants' lien. The void default judgment was a nullity for all purposes, including as against a purported bona fide purchaser for value such as plaintiff.

OC Interior Services v. Nationstar Mortgage - filed Jan. 31, 2017, Fourth District, Div. One
Cite as 2017 S.O.S. 487
Full text click here >


Civil Code Sec. 3346(a), which provides trial courts with discretion to treble damages to "compensate for the actual detriment" "[f]or wrongful injuries to timber, trees, or underwood upon the land of another," applies to all damages otherwise recoverable. Nothing in the statute precludes the court from trebling intangible, noneconomic damages, such as for annoyance and discomfort.

Fulle v. Kanani - filed Jan. 31, 2017, Second District, Div. Four
Cite as 2017 S.O.S. 493
Full text click here >


Franchise tax may not be imposed on an out-of-state corporation whose sole connection with California is a small, passively held ownership interest in a California limited liability company investment fund.

Swart Enterprises v. Franchise Tax Board - filed Jan. 12, 2017, Fifth District
Cite as 2017 S.O.S. 179
Full text click here >

Trusts and Estates

A trustee's refusal or neglect to distribute trust assets to a beneficiary does not constitute a breach of fiduciary duty and is not actionable.

Williamson v. Brooks - filed Jan. 31, 2017, Second District, Div. Six
Cite as 2017 S.O.S. 497
Full text click here >

Legal Developments

IRS Notice 2017-2 which provides guidance on the methods available to confirm the closing of an examination of the estate tax return. Click here.

IRS Notice 2017-15 provides special administrative procedures for allowing certain taxpayers and the executors of certain taxpayers' estates to recalculate a taxpayer's remaining applicable exclusion amount and remaining GST exemption to the extent an allocation of that exclusion or exemption was made to certain transfers made while the taxpayer was married to a person of the same sex. Click here.

© 2017 Los Angeles County Bar Association Contact LACBA at


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