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.

Bleich v. Bleich (June 17, 2018, B287236) [nonpub. opn.].

Relying on Beckwith v. Dahl (2012) 205 Cal.App.4th 1039, plaintiffs sued their uncle, GMSR’s client, in civil court for intentionally interfering with their expectation of inheritance.  They claimed their uncle intentionally exerted undue influence over his parents and interfered with his mother’s desires to leave

Court of Appeal holds that plaintiffs’ exclusive remedy for defendant’s intentional interference with inheritance expectancy was in probate court

Relying on Beckwith v. Dahl (2012) 205 Cal.App.4th 1039, plaintiffs sued their uncle, GMSR’s client, in civil court for intentionally interfering with their expectation of inheritance.  They claimed their uncle intentionally exerted undue influence over his parents and interfered with his mother’s desires to leave

Branca v. El-Amin (Cal.Ct.App., May 16, 2019, No. B282375) 2019 WL 2136114

Four people claimed that Michael Jackson promised them 15% of The Michael Jackson Company in a middle-of-the-night meeting in 2006. After a long bench trial, the probate court rejected those claims on multiple grounds and confirmed that Jackson wholly owned the company. The Court of

Court of Appeal rejects claim that Michael Jackson gave away 15% of his business at a middle-of-the-night meeting

Four people claimed that Michael Jackson promised them 15% of The Michael Jackson Company in a middle-of-the-night meeting in 2006. After a long bench trial, the probate court rejected those claims on multiple grounds and confirmed that Jackson wholly owned the company.

Oct 26, 2017 Alana H. Rotter
Anti-SLAPP motions in probate? Alana Rotter explains a new decision applying the anti-SLAPP statute to petitions to enforce a no-contest clause.

Litigators are used to seeing anti-SLAPP motions in civil cases.  But a new California Court of Appeal decision highlights that anti-SLAPP motions are also an option in the probate context, to challenge a petition to enforce a will or trust’s no-contest clause.  Alana Rotter discusses

Sep 22, 2016 Robin Meadow
Robin Meadow speaking at the 2016 Trusts & Estates Symposium

At this year’s symposium for the Trust & Estates Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, Robin Meadow will speak about his landmark case Estate of Duke (2015) 61 Cal.4th 871.  The decision fundamentally changed the law regarding reformation of wills, and was the

GMSR receives a sixth California Lawyer Attorney of the Year award for its work in Estate of Duke (2015)

GMSR proudly congratulates Robin Meadow, Robert Olson, and Jeffrey Raskin for receiving the prestigious California Lawyer Attorney of the Year Award (CLAY) for their role as the petitioners’ counsel in Estate of Duke (2015) 61 Cal.4th 871. This is the sixth CLAY award for the

California Supreme Court fundamentally alters probate law

In re Estate of Duke (2015) 61 Cal.4th 871 (California Supreme Court). From time immemorial, courts throughout the United States have been powerless to correct drafting mistakes in wills no matter how clearly the evidence established the testator’s actual intent. Courts could use the doctrine

In re Estate of Duke (2015) 61 Cal.4th 871

California Supreme Court fundamentally alters probate law

Perez v. Wiesand, 2015 Cal.App. Unpub. LEXIS 3361

GMSR’s client was a defendant in a quiet title action between family members over ownership of two rental properties. A grandson successfully moved for summary judgment, claiming his grandfather had transferred the properties to him before the grandmother attempted to transfer the properties to herself

Who We Serve

PUBLIC ENTITIES

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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INSURERS

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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BUSINESSES

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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TRIAL COUNSEL

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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INDIVIDUALS

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

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