Recent Wins

Court of Appeal affirms ruling entitling GMSR client to enforce $1.3 million damages award against judgment debtor’s property

Dearing v. DeMille (2012) 2012 Cal.App. Unpub LEXIS 8296 (California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Two) [unpublished]. An institutional trustee won a judgment (which GMSR successfully defended on appeal) ordering the former trustee to pay the trust more than $1 million in damages. The former trustee attempted to stymie enforcement of the judgment by disclaiming his interest in his father’s estate and re-routing his inheritance to his son. The probate court held that the former trustee’s disclaimer did not apply to the property at issue. The Court of Appeal affirmed. It held, as GMSR argued, that the former trustee could not invoke the doctrine of equitable estoppel to avoid satisfying a judgment against him. It also rejected the former trustee’s procedural challenges to the appealed ruling, and affirmed that even in light of proffered extrinsic evidence, the disclaimer was not susceptible to the former trustee’s interpretation.