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Upcoming Events
Save the Date
Court News
Recent Cases


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

Jana G. Garrotto

Stefanie S. Cutler
Ruttenberg Cutler, LLP

Jessica G. Gordon
Thompson Coburn LLP

Trusts and Estates Executive Committee Officers:

Stefanie S. Cutler, Chair
Jana G. Garrotto, Vice-Chair
Deborah Keesey, Secretary & Treasurer
Marc L. Sallus, Immediate Past Chair


Upcoming Events

LACBA Trusts and Estates Lecture Series

Date: November 19, 2019
Time: 12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.
Location: Stanley Mosk Courthouse

How to ... File under Seal, Examine A Will that is lodged, Subpoena Confidential Documents (DCSF, Red Memo, Probate Court’s Investigator’s Report, LPS Records).

More Information to be announced.

Save the Date

Limited Conservatorship Training

Date: December 7, 2019
Location: LACBA

More Information to be announced.


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


Court News

UPDATE - The Court is looking for Court Commissioners

The Court Commissioner recruitment is now available online. You may view it here. Applications must be submitted on-line, and are due by Nov. 16th at 4:30 p.m.

Job description and filing information

Any questions should be directed to Ashlii Patterson, Recruitment Supervisor, at or (213) 633-0346.

Recent Cases
Civil Procedure

A judgment on stipulation is appealable pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure §904.1 if the judgment entered is different from the terms of the parties' stipulated settlement; a postjudgment order denying relief is also appealable pursuant to §904.1(a)(2). The parties entered into a valid and binding settlement where all material terms of their agreement were recited on the record and the parties agreed to be bound, but the trial court erred when it ultimately entered a judgment that was different from the terms of the parties' stipulated settlement agreement; this was a judicial mistake, not a clerical mistake, and it is properly rectified via a §663 motion.

Machado v. Myers - filed Aug. 16, 2019, publication ordered Sept. 10, 2019, Fourth District, Div. One
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 2481
Full text click here>


The statutory time limit for commencement of a jury trial following a proposed conservatee’s demand is not mandatory, and failure to commence trial within statutory confines is not grounds for earlier expiration of the conservatorship.

M.M. had a diagnosis of schizophrenia and psychotic disorders, and was unwilling to accept psychiatric treatment and voluntary psychotropic medications. The Public Guardian initiated LPS conservatorship proceedings. The court appointed the Public Guardian as the temporary conservator, pending determination of the underlying conservatorship petition. On August 16, 2018, M.M. demanded a jury trial. The LPS Act provides for trial no later than 25 days after the demand. As a result of M.M.’s counsel’s schedule, his requested continuance, M.M.’s request for a court-appointed expert to evaluate M.M., and the judge’s unavailability, M.M.’s trial commenced 61 days after his jury demand.

Cite as B293676
Filed August 29, 2019
California Court of Appeal, Second District
Full text click here>

Real Property

A property owner granted a utility company multiple floating easements outside the area defined by the metes-and-bounds footage descriptions in the recorded conveyances where the conveyances stated that the utility would have free access for the purposes of exercising the rights it was being granted, and the owner allowed the utility to drive over the property to access its electrical facilities for years; the floating easements became fixed easements once the utility and the property owner agreed upon the access routes.

Southern California Edison Company v. Severns - filed Sept. 10, 2019, Second District, Div. Six
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 2502
Full text click here >

The California Coastal Commission did not abuse its discretion by imposing a special condition on a development that required a home to be set back a certain distance from the edge of a bluff to account for potential landslide conditions, erosion and other factors that might affect stability; a requirement that a homeowner waive the right to build a seawall was not an unconstitutional government taking; a condition requiring removal of the home from the parcel if any government agency orders that it not be occupied due to a natural hazard was overbroad and unreasonable since it would still require removal if the danger could be remedied or were only temporary in nature.

Lindstrom v. California Coastal Commission - filed Sept. 19, 2019, Fourth District, Div. One
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 2679
Full text click here >


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