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VOLUME 16 | NUMBER 7 | JULY 2021
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Upcoming Events
Save the Date
Recent Cases


The Trusts and Estates eBulletin
is published monthly by the Trusts and Estates Law Section, coeditors:

Jana G. Garrotto
Lewitt Hackman

Stefanie S. Cutler
Ruttenberg Cutler Broomer, LLP

Jessica G. Gordon

Julie Birkel
Hill, Farrer & Burrill LLP

Trusts and Estates Executive Committee Officers:

Debbie Keesey, Chair
Susan Barlevav Devermont, Vice-Chair
Sarah Broomer, Secretary & Treasurer
Jana G. Garrotto, Immediate Past Chair


Upcoming Events

Conserving Britney: the Law, the Facts about Conservatorships, and the Future

Date: July 29, 12:00 p.m.—2:00 p.m.

Location: Webinar

An overview of conservatorship proceedings for journalists and the public. The first in a two-part series will be held by Zoom on July 29, noon – 2:00 p.m. No CLE Credit. This program is FREE for all attendees!

Important Information:
Please log in to Zoom at least 10 minutes before the program time.

Associate Justice Maria E. Stratton
Hon. Mary Thornton-House (Ret.)
Hon. Kim Hubbard
Hon. Clifford Klein (Ret.)
Dr. Christina Hui
Matthew Kanin
Jeffrey Marvan
John Rogers
William Sias

Moderators: Deborah Keesey and Gavin Wasserman

Registration: Click here for more information and to register

Save the Date

Limited CAC Training

Date: August 21

Location: Webinar

Registration: More information to be announced.


September Symposium, Part I

Date: September 13

Location: Webinar

Registration: More information to be announced.


September Symposium, Part II

Date: September 20

Location: Webinar

Registration: More information to be announced.


Breslin Notice: Consequences for the Non-Participant Beneficiary

Date: September 29, 12:30 p.m.

Location: Webinar

Speakers: Hon. Glen M. Reiser (Ret.) JAMS and Mark Lester, Esq.
Moderator: Susan Barlevav Devermont Esq.

Registration: More information to be announced.


Aviva Bobb Advanced CAC Training

Date: October 2

Location: Webinar

Registration: More information to be announced.


We'd like to thank The Sanborn Team for their sponsorship of our events.


Recent Cases

Attorney Misconduct

An attorney was in direct contempt of court for implying that a trial judge was influenced by the political influence of a litigant, and for his aspersion that the court was indistinguishable from or inclined to ignore the unethical conduct attributed to another attorney.

In re Mahoney - filed June 10, 2021, Fourth District, Div. Three
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 2539
Full text click here >

Attorney Fees

A trial court has discretion to award an hourly rate under the lodestar method that exceeds the rate that was actually incurred or paid.

Pasternack v. McCullough - filed June 7, 2021, publication ordered June 25, 2021, Second District, Div. Eight
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 2781
Full text click here >

Civil Procedure

Where a trial judge granted summary judgment for a defendant finding she was not personally liable to the plaintiff for the breach of contract, conversion, fraud and breaches of fiduciary duty committed by her former husband, it was neither unnecessary nor unfair to join the defendant as a judgment debtor as the alter ego of another judgment debtor. A motion to add a judgment debtor under equitable principles does not involve the same cause of action for purposes of claim preclusion as asserted on the merits in the underlying lawsuit.

Favila v. Pasquarella - filed June 21, 2021, Second District, Div. Seven
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 2708
Full text click here >

Family Law

A trial court prejudicially erred in refusing to consider evidence regarding alleged acts of domestic violence committed by a father after the mother filed her domestic violence restraining order request; while a court should hear and evaluate the evidence relating to incidents set forth in a petitioner’s request, evidence of post-filing abuse is also relevant, particularly when that abuse occurs after a temporary restraining order has been issued. The Domestic Violence Prevention Act does not impose a heightened standard for specificity, nor does it contain any corroboration requirement A court’s use of residential separation as a substitute for a DVRO was inappropriate where the parties still have to coparent.

Marriage of F.M. & M.M. - filed May 28, 2021, publication ordered June 3, 2021, First District, Div. One
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 2440
Full text click here >

While de facto parents may feel aggrieved and, no doubt, may be emotionally affected by court orders affecting the custody of a minor, a de facto parent has no standing to appeal a custody decision because they cannot show how their legal rights were injuriously affected.

In re B.S. - filed June 18, 2021, Third District
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 2691
Full text click here >


Patients have a right to privacy with respect to information contained in medical records; records pertaining to substance abuse treatment are entitled to even greater privacy protections under both state and federal law; the defendants in a lawsuit alleging they made false and misleading statements as part of a deceptive marketing scheme designed to minimize the risks of opioid medications seeking medical records for 5,867 individuals failed to demonstrate that their interests in obtaining the information outweighed the privacy interests at stake.

County of Los Angeles v. Superior Court (Johnson & Johnson) - filed June 15, 2021, Fourth District, Div. One
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 2606
Full text click here >


A trial court did not properly exercise informed discretion with respect to ensuring access to the courts when it denied an indigent inmate’s motion for appointment of a medical expert where the court denied the motion without considering the need for legal counsel in connection with the need for a medical expert, and the court found it need for legal counsel in connection with the need for a medical expert.

Hulbert v. Cross - filed June 11, 2021, Third District
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 2620
Full text click here >

Real Property

The Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 does not require landlords to accommodate the disability of an individual who neither entered into a lease nor paid rent in exchange for the right to occupy the premises.

Salisbury v. City of Santa Monica - filed June 7, 2021
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 20-55039
Full text click here >

A bank who was a first deed of trust lienholder on a property had prudential standing to make the argument that a homeowners association’s nonjudicial foreclosure sale on the property occurred in violation of the automatic stay for the homeowner’s bankruptcy proceeding and was thus void; the foreclosure sale in violation of the automatic bankruptcy was void, and not merely voidable, under Nevada law.

Bank of New York Mellon v. 732 Hardy Way Trust - filed June 25, 2021
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 19-17048
Full text click here >

A plaintiff waived his argument that he received inadequate notice of the hearing on the defendant’s summary judgment motion where he did not claim to have suffered any prejudice in drafting his response or in preparing for the hearing, and he did not request a continuance, and on appeal, he did not argue he was prejudiced by a notice that was improperly shortened by just one day; the plaintiff also waived his argument because he did not obtain a ruing on the issue. The absence of a certificate of occupancy for an illegally converted garage rendered the lease agreement void and, for that reason, an unlawful detainer action could not be based on the defendant’s failure to comply with its provisions.

Yanez v. Vasquez - filed June 22, 2021, Los Angeles Superior Court
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 2803
Full text click here >


When establishing a conservatorship under the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act, the proposed conservatee’s capacity or willingness to accept treatment is a relevant factor to be considered on the issue of grave disability but is not a separate element that must be proven to establish a conservatorship.

Conservatorship of K.P. - filed June 28, 2021
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 2774
Full text click here >


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