GMSR has a stellar track record and reputation as writs and appeals attorneys. Below is a sample of recent wins for our clients.

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

Oct 01, 2021 Probate and Trusts
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

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

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

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.

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

Court of Appeal reverses probate court order dismissing GMSR’s client’s petition for failure to file a creditor’s claim

Novak v. Fay (2015) 236 Cal.App.4th 329 (California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Five) [published]. GMSR’s client, an attorney, agreed to represent a husband under a contingent-fee arrangement in a suit against the estate of his late wife on a pretermitted-heir theory. In

Court of Appeal affirms trial court order reforming $100 million trust

Crowe v. Tweten (2014) 2014 Cal.App. Unpub. LEXIS 9294 (California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division Two) [unpublished]. An elderly couple devised an estate plan with the assistance of counsel. They repeatedly stated that their intent was for the surviving spouse to inherit everything

Oct 26, 2012 Probate and Trusts
GMSR obtains dismissal of appeal challenging probate court order of instructions to trustee

Wells Fargo Bank v. D. Sprott (2012) 2012 Cal.App. Unpub. LEXIS 7824 (California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division One) [unpublished]. In the probate court, GMSR’s client—Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., acting as trustee of a testamentary trust—obtained an order instructing it how to implement

Court reverses trial court’s refusal to add alter ego judgment debtors

Greenspan v. LADT, LLC (2010) 191 Cal.App.4th 486 (California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division One) [published]. While attempting to collect an $8 million arbitration award that GMSR had successfully defended against vacatur, GMSR’s client learned that the defendant companies had transferred nearly all

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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