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VOLUME 16 | NUMBER 5 | MAY 2021
 
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IN THIS ISSUE
 
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The Trusts and Estates eBulletin
is published monthly by the Trusts and Estates Law Section, coeditors:

Jana G. Garrotto
Lewitt Hackman
Jgarrotto@lewitthackman.com

Stefanie S. Cutler
Ruttenberg Cutler Broomer, LLP
scutler@lawrcb.com

Jessica G. Gordon
Thompson Coburn LLP
jgordon@thompsoncoburn.com

Julie Birkel
Hill, Farrer & Burrill LLP
JBirkel@hfbllp.com


Trusts and Estates Executive Committee Officers:

Jana G. Garrotto, Chair
Deborah Keesey, Vice-Chair
Susan Barlevav Devermont, Secretary & Treasurer
Stefanie S. Cutler, Immediate Past Chair

 

 
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Save the Date
 

CAC Fundamentals Training

Date: June 12, 2021, 4:00 p.m.—5:30 p.m.

Location: Webinar

Registration: More information to be announced.

 

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

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Court News
 

LACC Video Platform Transition to Microsoft Teams

Click here to see the latest news release from the Los Angeles Superior Court: LACC Video Platform Transition to Microsoft Teams

Click here to view and register for the May 13 program at 12:15 —
LASC Update: New Platform for Virtual Appearances

 
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Recent Cases
 

Civil Procedure

In a civil case where the prevailing party is entitled to recover certain litigation expenses and attorney fees from the losing party, postjudgment interest on an award of prejudgment costs begin to run on the date of the judgment or order that establishes the right of a party to recover a particular cost item, even if the dollar amount has yet to be ascertained.

Felczer v. Apple - filed April 23, 2021, Fourth District, Div. One
Cite as 2021 S.O.S.1671
Full text click here >

Contracts

A disjunctive connector can have either an inclusive or an exclusive sense; the use of or in the context of meaning either this or that does not necessarily mean the or is exclusive; whether the disjunctive or is inclusive or exclusive will depend on its context; where the exceptions in a degree indicate an intent to provide a party with flexibility in exercising its rights, construing the or in the inclusive sense would carry out that purpose.

Dow v. Honey Lake Valley Resource Conservation District - filed April 30, 2021, Third District
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 1864
Full text click here

When the parties to a contract agree that the sufficiency of a party’s performance is to be decided by a third person, that third person’s decision is conclusive and binding on the parties in the absence of bad faith, fraud, or gross negligence.

Coral Farms v. Mahony - filed April 28, 2021, Fourth District, Div. Three
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 1817
Full text click here >

Family Law

Every parent facing the termination of parental rights is entitled to the assistance of competent counsel, as well as the right to appeal an adverse ruling; when an attorney fails to file a timely appeal in accordance with a client’s instructions, the parent may seek relief based on the attorney’s failure to provide competent representation; whether relief is granted will depend on the parent’s promptness and diligence in pursuing the appeal.

Alameda County Social Services Agency v. M.B. - filed April 5, 2021
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 1378
Full text click here >

A parent’s violent criminal record, without more, does not establish that a parent has a violent disposition sufficient to establish a risk of physical harm to a particular child to support a jurisdictional finding.

In re J.N. - filed April 1, 2021, Second District, Div. One
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 1397
Full text click here

Third parties may obtain relief from a trust for matters arising out of the trust’s administration, and such relief is not limited by spendthrift provisions; a trial court abuses its discretion in making an award on party’s Family Code §2030 motion to compel a trustee to pay his attorney fees stemming from his successful motion to join the trustee as a third party to the dissolution action involving the trust beneficiary contingent upon a showing of bad faith by the trustee.

In re Marriage of Wendt and Pullen - filed April 28, 2021, Third District
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 1841
Full text click here

Insurance

The Insurance Code permits a carrier to cover a known loss that occurred during a lapse in a policy.

Antonopoulos v. Mid-Century Ins. Co. - filed April 27, 2021, First District, Div. Two
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 1766
Full text click here >

Only one with the right to sue an insurance company for contract damages for breach of the insurance policy can also sue the insurance company for tort damages for breach of the covenant of good faith; a party who was not a signatory, additional insured or a third-party beneficiary cannot sue for bad faith because she had no contractual relationship with the carrier.

Wexler v. California Fair Plan - filed April 14, 2021, Second District, Div. Eight
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 1541
Full text click here >

Probate

A beneficiary’s right to request an accounting of a trust during her lifetime continues after her death; her estate, as successor in interest, can initiate a petition for an accounting. A probate court does not have the power to dismiss an action sua sponte and without notice when there are disputed issues.

Dunlap v. Mayer - filed April 23, 2021, Fourth District, Div. One
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 1730
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 April 16, 2021
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 20-55039
Full text click here >

Trusts

Where the trustee of a decedent’s trust petitioned the probate court to determine the trust beneficiaries, the potential trust beneficiaries received notice of the petition, the probate court ordered the matter to mediation, the potential beneficiaries received notice of the mediation, and the potential beneficiaries who participated in the mediation reached a settlement that excluded the nonparticipating parties as beneficiaries, the nonparticipating parties were bound by the settlement; had the nonparticipating parties appeared at the initial probate hearing, for which they received notice, they would have had the opportunity to object to mediation, and they forfeited their interest when they failed to participate in mediation as ordered by the court.

Breslin v. Breslin - filed April 5, 2021, Second District, Div. One
Cite as 2021 S.O.S. 1404
Full text click here >

 
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