Posted on March 23, 2015 by CEB
As part of CEB’s commitment to bringing together California’s legal community, here’s a short interview with one of your fellow attorneys, Agnieszka Adams:
CEB: What is your practice area and how did you choose it?
Agnieszka: I practice exclusively in the area of trusts and estates. My practice includes estate planning, probate, and trust administration. Our firm doesn’t, however, represent clients in trust and estate litigation matters. My interest in this field started in law school. I chose a tax concentration while at UC Hastings (I knew I wasn’t going to be a litigator). When I began practice, I was fortunate to work at a full service law firm where I was given the opportunity to explore various practice groups. I quickly realized that trusts and estates was the area in which I wanted to specialize.
CEB: What do you like best and least about practicing law? Continue reading
Filed under: Estate Planning, Legal Topics, Profiles | Tagged: Estate Planning, probate, trust administration | 1 Comment »
Posted on March 20, 2015 by Julie Brook, Esq.
An episode of This American Life described the failed effort to get a Tic-tac-toe-playing chicken into evidence in the death penalty case of a mentally ill man with a very low IQ. Defense counsel was trying to rebut a psychiatrist’s testimony that the defendant was aware he was going to be executed based on his beating her in a game of Tic-tac-toe. We’ll never know who would have won the game; the court refused to admit the chicken because it “would degrade the dignity of the court.” Although the chicken didn’t work out, demonstrative evidence can be a very powerful courtroom tool. Continue reading
Filed under: Evidence, Legal Topics, Litigation Strategy, Trial Strategy | Tagged: admissibility, demonstrative evidence, evidence, jury, trial attorney, trial presentation, trial tips | 8 Comments »
Posted on March 18, 2015 by Julie Brook, Esq.
When you’re a fiduciary under California’s Probate Code, such as a guardian or conservator, you’ll be required to prepare some type of fiduciary accounting for the court. You’ll probably hire an accountant to crunch the numbers, but ultimately you’re the one responsible for its contents, and you should know the common mistakes and problems that arise in fiduciary accountings. Continue reading
Filed under: Elder Law, Estate Planning, Legal Topics, Videos | Tagged: accountants, conservators, CPAs, fiduciaries, fiduciary accounting, guardians | 4 Comments »
Posted on March 16, 2015 by Julie Brook, Esq.
As plaintiff’s counsel, you always want to analyze how best to present your client’s case in the most efficient and persuasive way. Sometimes doing that means dismissing certain parties or causes of action. But such tactical dismissals aren’t without risk. Here’s a list of questions to ask yourself when deciding whether or not to dismiss. Continue reading
Filed under: Civil Litigation, Legal Topics, Litigation Strategy, Pretrial Matters | Tagged: causes of action, dismissal, litigation, motion to dismiss, pretrial motions, trial | 4 Comments »
Posted on March 13, 2015 by Julie Brook, Esq.
When you’re preparing a will or trust for someone for whom capacity might later be raised as an issue, you have a potentially powerful tool that can help avoid later disputes: video. There’s nothing like a judge seeing a competent person discussing the disposition of his or her estate to knock the wind out of claims of incapacity. Continue reading
Filed under: Elder Law, Estate Planning, Legal Topics | Tagged: Estate Planning, incapacity, incompetence, settlor, testator, undue influence, video recording, will contest, will dispute, wills and trusts | 1 Comment »