De Mille v. Citizens Business Bank, 2007 Cal.App. Unpub. LEXIS 9019

A trust settlor’s nephew, the trustee of the trust, attempted through forgery and undue influence to change the terms of the trust for his own benefit. When the nephew sought to have the changes confirmed by the probate court, those who would have been disinherited by the revisions objected and sought damages based on the value of property that the nephew had already wrongfully taken from the trust. The probate court removed the nephew as trustee, ordered disgorgement, and imposed double damages. The nephew appealed, arguing in part that he had not misappropriated any trust funds, that a notice defect precluded the judgment, and – in a matter of apparent first impression – that the award of disgorgement plus double damages violated the Probate Code. GMSR attorneys Alana Hoffman and Marc Poster, representing the successor trustee, persuaded the Court of Appeal to reject these arguments and to affirm the $1.9 million judgment in favor of the trust.

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