Probate and Trusts

Litigation involving trusts, probate, and the interpretation of wills often presents complex substantive and procedural issues.  GMSR has successfully navigated these issues on appeal, obtaining a significant U.S. Supreme Court win regarding the scope of the “probate exception” to federal jurisdiction, a California Supreme Court win regarding a trustee’s attorney-client privilege, and numerous Court of Appeal wins involving breaches of fiduciary duty and the interpretation of wills.

Court of Appeal Affirms Order Enforcing No Contest Clause, Making New Law On The Probable Cause Standard

A trust beneficiary filed and litigated a trust contest, despite multiple warnings that the contest was barred by Probate Code section 16061.7’s 120-day deadline and that if the trust beneficiary continued to press the contest, her interest in the trust would be invalidated under the

Meiri v. Shamtoubi (2022) 81 Cal.App.5th 606

Court of Appeal affirms order enforcing No Contest clause, making new law on the probable cause standard

Feb 17, 2022 Alana H. Rotter
Laying Foundation For Appellate Success In The Trial Court – Trusts & Estates Litigators

In case you missed GMSR partner Alana Rotter’s recent presentation on how trusts and estates litigators can lay foundation in the trial court for future appellate success, here are some key takeaways: Create a Clear Record Have a court reporter transcribe all significant proceedings If

Oct 01, 2021 Related Cases
Estate of Arnold Marks (Oct. 1, 2021, B303281) 2021 WL 4487721 [nonpublished opinion]

Court of Appeal affirms ruling in interpretation of a hand-written will

Oct 01, 2021 Related Cases
Court Of Appeal Affirms Ruling In Interpretation Of A Hand-Written Will

The Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division One, has affirmed a probate court ruling in favor of GMSR’s clients in a contest over interpretation of a hand-written will. The testator was not a lawyer and wrote his will informally. He sometimes drew arrows to

Sep 09, 2021 Alana H. Rotter
Alana Rotter To Present On Anti-SLAPP Motions In Probate Litigation, At A September 13 LACBA Symposium

Anti-SLAPP motions are increasingly prevalent in probate litigation.  Join GMSR appellate attorney Alana Rotter at the Los Angeles County Bar Association Trusts & Estates Section annual symposium on September 13, 2021, to learn more about how these motions work and how to respond to them.

Nov 03, 2020 Alana H. Rotter
Join us at the USC Gould School of Law 46th Annual Trust and Estate Conference online!

Friday, November 13 at 11:30 am to 12:30 pm Pacific Time Alana Rotter, Appellate Specialist at Greines, Martin, Stein & Richland LLP, along with Paul Gordon Hoffman, Founding Member of Hoffman, Sabban & Watenmaker, will present: No-Contest Clauses and the Anti-SLAPP Statute: Traps for the

“A ‘clear and convincing’ appellate standard,” Daily Journal (August 4, 2020)

Daily Journal “A ‘clear and convincing’ appellate standard” article by GMSR appellate lawyers Robert Olson and Ted Xanders. In a recent opinion, the California Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision authored by Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, resolved over a century of uncertainty over how appellate

Estate of Sun Mi Choi (Mar. 27, 2020, B298467) 2020 WL 1482403 [nonpublished opinion]

Court of Appeal affirms GMSR clients’ appointment as general administrators of a large estate

Court of Appeal affirms GMSR clients’ appointment as general administrators of a large estate

The probate court had appointed GMSRs’ clients – professional fiduciaries – as special administrators to manage decedent’s businesses after her death. When the special administrators examined the companies’ finances, they discovered evidence suggesting that appellant had engaged in mismanagement and fraud. They locked him out

Who We Serve


Whether on appeal, assisting trial counsel, or advising government officials contemplating legislative action, GMSR provides unique insight into the complex laws that impact public entities.

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Where coverage may exist, GMSR represents insureds on appeal effectively and efficiently. Where it does not, the firm protects insurers’ right to deny claims.

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GMSR offers corporate clients objective assessments on appeal, based on a deep understanding of the limitations and opportunities of appellate review.

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The firm’s lawyers are team players, collaborating with trial counsel at any level from legal strategy to writing or editing trial court motions and appellate briefs.

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GMSR vigorously advocates the rights of individual plaintiffs and defendants, in both state and federal appellate courts.

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As part of GMSR’s long-standing commitment to social justice and equality, GMSR provides pro bono appellate services to individuals and to community organizations on issues of concern.

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