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Upcoming Events
Save the Date
Did You Know?
Court News
Recent Cases


The Trusts and Estates eBulletin
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:

Julia L. Birkel, Chair
Marc L. Sallus, Esq, Vice-Chair
Stefanie S. Cutler, Secretary & Treasurer
Matthew W. McMurtrey, Immediate Past Chair


Upcoming Events
Limited Conservatorship PVP Training @ LACBA
Date: October 28, 2017
Program and Lunch: 9 a.m.—1:00 p.m.
Location: Los Angeles County Bar Association
1005 W. 7th St., Suite 2700, Los Angeles, CA 90017

Program Description:
Limited conservatorship proceedings differ in procedure and purpose from Probate and LPS conservatorships and offer attorneys the opportunity to perform needed and rewarding work for a special client population.

3.0 Hours of Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law Legal Specialization Credit.

Click here for more information and to register

2017 Aviva K. Bobb Advanced PVP Training

Date: November 18, 2017
Program and Lunch: 9 a.m.—1:00 p.m.
Location: Sportsmen's Lodge Events Center
12833 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, CA 91604

Program Description:
This year's program will examine conduct of PVP attorneys at contested hearings and mediation sessions, based on a fact pattern involving a proposed conservatee being isolated by highly annoying in-laws. Among the topics we will cover:

  • What the probate note "T/T" means, in terms of court expectations, preparation, witnesses, parties and time.
  • Evidentiary and privilege issues in examining professional and expert witnesses.
  • Examining percipient witnesses.
  • Examining witnesses with memory and/or other impairments.

This program helps to fulfill the continuing education requirements for PVP attorneys set forth in the LASC Local Rules and the California Rules of Court.

Click here for more information and to register

We'd like to thank The Sanborn Team for their sponsorship of our events including their sponsorship of our Trusts and Estates Symposium held on September 15, 2017.


Save the Date
November 7, 2017
Trusts and Estates Brown Bag: "How to solve real estate disasters in probate and conservatorship proceedings"

Room 222 of Stanley Mosk Courthouse, 111 North Hill Street @12:15
Speakers: Carmen Alberio, Lyn Hinojosa and Nancy Sanborn
More info TBA

Did You Know?
Did you know... that the Mental Health Courthouse is Temporarily Closed.

Due to structural damage, the Mental Health Courthouse, located at 1150 N. San Fernando Rd., Los Angeles, is closed until further notice. All courthouse operations, including hearings, have been temporarily relocated to the Metropolitan Courthouse, located at 1945 S. Hill St., Los Angeles.

Calendars are relocated as follows:

  • Mental Health Department 95 to Metro Department 69
  • Mental Health Department 95A to Metro Department 70
  • Mental Health Department 95B to Metro Department 64
Court News
LASC Probate Division Announces Changes to Judicial Assignments

Click here for more information.

LASC Mental Health Division Announces Judicial Assignment Changes

Click here for more information.

Recent Cases
Civil Procedure

An order disqualifying an attorney from continuing to represent a party in ongoing litigation is a mandatory injunction because it requires affirmative acts that upset the status quo at the time the disqualification motion was filed. An appeal of such an order automatically stays enforcement of the order, but the scope of the stay depends on the facts of the particular case.

URS Corporation v. Atkinson/Walsh Joint Venture - filed Sept. 26, 2017, Fourth District, Div. Three
Cite as 2017 S.O.S. 4822
Full text click here >

An arbitration agreement requires a party to submit a dispute to arbitration if ordered by a court to do so--but it does not preclude a party from initiating a civil action or asking a court to resolve disputed issues over an arbitration agreement's applicability or enforceability. The California Arbitration Act expressly protects a party's right to do so.

Sargon Enterprises v. Browne George Ross LLP - filed Sept. 26, 2017, Second District, Div. Three
Cite as 2017 S.O.S. 4828
Full text click here >


The language in a settlement agreement did not preclude plaintiff from recovering any attorney fees, costs and prejudgment interest. The settlement acknowledged the plaintiff was the prevailing party on all causes of action and that defendants would not dispute his entitlement to an award, as opposed to the amount, of attorney fees and costs. A "holder" of a retail sales installment contract was properly held liable for the award of attorney fees and costs since the sales contract provided that the holder of the contract would be subject to all the claims the plaintiff could assert against the seller, and the holder of the contract was also a party to the settlement agreement.

Medina v. South Coast Car Company, Inc. - filed Sept. 19, 2017, publication ordered Sept. 25, 2017, Fourth District, Div. One
Cite as 2017 S.O.S. 4774
Full text click here >

Environmental Law

A property owner who voluntary remediates hazardous condition on his property can seek indemnity for his response costs under the Carpenter-Presley-Tanner Hazardous Substances Account Act. The owner's voluntary participation in the Assembly Bill No. 2061 process does not preclude such recovery. The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act's consumer product exception applies to consumers using consumer products, not commercial properties used by consumers.

Otay Land Company, LLC v. U.E. Limited - filed Sept. 26, 2017, Fourth District, Div. One
Cite as 2017 S.O.S. 4786
Full text click here >

Family Law

A juvenile court is statutorily required to appoint counsel for the parent of a child who is in an out-of-home placement if the parent is financially unable to afford counsel, unless the parent waives that right. A court's failure to appoint counsel for to a mother deprived her of her due process rights and prejudicially affected the manner in which a hearing on reunification was conducted.

In re J.P. - filed Sept. 26, 2017, Second District, Div. Five
Cite as 2017 S.O.S. 4845
Full text click here >

Husband was not entitled to a reduction in his spousal support obligations to his former wife after he transferred ownership of his business to his current wife, for no consideration, because he was still entitled to all the benefits of the business income by virtue of his marriage.

In re Marriage of Berman - filed Sept. 27, 2017, Second District, Div. Eight
Cite as 2017 S.O.S. 4851
Full text click here >

Welfare and Institutions Code Sec. 364(a)--which requires the juvenile court to schedule a review hearing within six months of the original disposition hearing when the court allows the child to remain at home with ongoing court supervision--is not an impediment to the court's decision to terminate jurisdiction at the conclusion of a disposition hearing. That section requires a post-disposition review hearing only when the court has released the child to parental custody and found that continued supervision with family maintenance services is necessary to protect the child from the risk of serious harm. Apart from the statutory limitation on its authority to remove a child from a custodial parent imposed by Sec. 361(c), a juvenile court has wide discretion to make any orders necessary to protect the dependent child. That authority necessarily includes discretion to terminate dependency jurisdiction when the child is in parental custody and no protective issue remains. A juvenile court retains the discretion to terminate its jurisdiction at the close of a disposition hearing when it finds services and continued court supervision are not necessary to protect the child, but it will be an unusual case when protections imposed at disposition will be sufficient to permit the conclusion that termination is appropriate.

In re Destiny D. - filed Sept. 11, 2017, Second District, Div. Seven
Cite as 2017 S.O.S. 4573
Full text click here >


An insurance policy coverage exclusion for damage to property that arises out of the insured's operations, on portion of the property where the insured construction company was "performing operations," applies only to damage caused during physical construction activities. This provision precludes coverage for damage to any of the insured's work once it has been completed or abandoned. Coverage exclusion for the "particular part" of a property that must be restored, repaired or replaced because the insured work was "incorrectly performed" refers to the specific part of the insured's work on which the insured performed faulty workmanship and not, more broadly, to the general area of the construction site affected by the insured's work.

Global Modular v. Kadena Pacific, Inc. - filed Sept. 8, 2017, Fourth District, Div. Two
Cite as 2017 S.O.S. 4579
Full text click here >


A taxpayer seeking to contest his tax bill solely on the basis that he was not a resident of California during the disputed period has the option of paying the taxes, then contesting his liability, or he can delay the payment of his tax while exhausting his administrative remedies under the California Revenue and Taxation Code. But, a taxpayer who opts for the former is guaranteed a court hearing within six months, while a taxpayer who takes the latter option must wait until the administrative agencies render their decisions before filing a challenge in state court. The Tax Injunction Act bars a taxpayer who is frustrated with the slowness of the administrative process for contesting his tax liabilities from seeking an injunction against the state through the federal court system because California's pay-then-protest process continues to provide him with a plain, speedy and efficient remedy that he allegedly has not received through the protest-then-pay scheme.

Hyatt v. Yee - filed Sept. 26, 2017
Cite as 2017 S.O.S. 15-15296
Full text click here >

When a real property is improved with solar energy generating systems using solar and non-solar components, the base year value of the property can exclude the solar component of the SEGS. However, an appraisal of the cash value of the property should include both the solar and the non-solar components.

Luz Solar Partners Ltd. v. San Bernardino County - filed Sept. 27, 2017, Fourth District, Div. Two
Cite as 2017 S.O.S. 4889
Full text click here >


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