EPSTEIN LAW FIRM NEWS

Epstein Law Firm celebrated its third anniversary on January 1, 2015. The firm has substantially increased its estate, trust, and fiduciary litigation practice; and also has successfully handled a wide variety of general litigation and local government law matters.

The following is a partial list of the Firm’s litigation and mediation activities during its first three years:

Estate, Trust, and Fiduciary Litigation

  • A 56-year-old man acquired substantial cash and assets — including a Southern California vacation home — from a 73-year-old woman who was suffering from substantial physical and mental disabilities. When a local bank substituted as trustee for the woman, the bank hired the firm, which initiated a civil action for fraud, undue influence, and other claims. The firm obtained a court order requiring that the defendant stay away from the woman and have no contact with her, and obtained a settlement of the monetary claims.
  • The Marin County Court appointed Rob Epstein to represent a 91-year-old man in a proceeding concerning a proposed substantial cash gift that resulted in a dispute between the man’s spouse and his children from a prior marriage.
  • The firm currently is defending an undue influence/elder abuse action brought against a landscape gardener who is the partial beneficiary of a decedent’s estate; the decedent’s daughter filed
    the action.
  • The firm currently is representing three former trustees in an action filed by the California Attorney General alleging breach of fiduciary duty and other claims related to a charitable foundation.
  • The firm successfully defended a trustee against breach of fiduciary duty and surcharge claims brought by the sole beneficiary and obtained a court order approving the trustee’s accounting.
  • The firm was contacted when a brother and sister were concerned that their third sibling planned to move their mother — who was suffering from dementia — from an assisted living facility to his home. The firm assisted in resolving the family crisis without litigation.
  • The firm represented two brothers in litigation involving their other brothers and sister concerning the interpretation of their mother’s trust. The case required several appearances in Los Angeles County probate court where the action was pending. The firm successfully obtained the court’s order approving a settlement over the objection of one of the brothers.
  • The firm represented a 90-year-old man in a dispute with his former domestic partner regarding the division of assets, and powers of attorney that she had obtained when he was hospitalized. The case resolved at mediation.
  • Elderly parents were in litigation with their daughter concerning the initiation of an involuntary conservatorship action and the daughter’s use of trust assets over a several year period. The firm represented the court-appointed fiduciary. A settlement was achieved at mediation.
  • The firm has represented the trustee of a spendthrift trust in litigation involving the sole beneficiary who has been the subject of criminal proceedings and a termination of parental rights action.
  • A brother accused his sister of converting property from their late mother’s estate. The firm assisted the sister in obtaining a settlement and dismissal of the action pending against her.
  • Three siblings contested their mother’s will, which provided a substantial benefit to a fourth sibling and a non-relative. The firm represented the defendants and successfully resolved the matter at mediation.
  • A contest was filed against a will that benefited an in-home caregiver who had provided services
    to the decedent. The firm represented the personal representative of the estate.The case
    resolved at mediation.
  • The firm defended a trustee against his brother’s claims of breach of fiduciary duty in connection with the administration of their mother’s estate. The case resulted in a settlement.
  • The firm represented a sister in a breach of fiduciary action filed against her sister who served
    as trustee of their late mother’s trust. The parties resolved the case at a court mandatory
    settlement conference.
  • The firm is representing the conservator in two continuing conservatorship matters in the
    Marin County Court.

General Civil Litigation

  • After 10 years of litigation including a prior settlement and a later court trial, the firm assisted a homeowner in achieving a settlement agreement with her neighbors and their insurance company to facilitate a substantial landslide repair.
  • The firm prevailed in a bitterly contested court trial between adjoining neighbors, resulting in the firm’s clients quieting title to a permanent landscaping easement.
  • The firm prevailed in a trial on behalf of a blind, indigent, senior citizen who was the defendant in an unlawful detainer action filed by a multinational bank. Following trial, the court ordered the bank to pay a substantial attorneys’ fee award to the firm’s client.
  • In partnership with another local firm, Epstein Law Firm represented plaintiffs in an inverse condemnation action that resulted in a court trial victory on liability and a subsequent $2 million settlement for the firm’s clients.
  • The firm successfully obtained quiet title to various alleys and easements for two adjoining neighbors, which resolved a conflict with several other neighbors.
  • The firm’s clients obtained water for their West Marin home from a well located on their neighbor’s property. A landslide broke the pipe to the well, terminating the clients’ water delivery and requiring the firm to initiate a nuisance abatement action. The case settled shortly before trial with a settlement that included a new easement to facilitate the relocation of the water pipe.
  • Hong Kong residents were sued in Marin County in a clear liability tort action with substantial damages exposure. The firm successfully moved to dismiss the action based on lack of personal jurisdiction.
  • Access to a proposed hotel/retail development was unavailable due to a title error made
    more than 20 years ago. The firm successfully obtained quiet title to the property, enabling
    the development to proceed.
  • In another quiet title action, the firm successfully assisted a Larkspur couple who required a court judgment in order to proceed with the construction of their new home.
  • Neighbor opposition disrupted a complex residential remodeling project located in the Town of Ross. The firm successfully assisted the homeowners in achieving a peaceful resolution and Town approval so that the project could proceed.
  • A Kent Woodlands homeowner required the firm’s assistance when his neighbors unlawfully demolished a large retaining wall and attempted to begin construction of an unpermitted wall. The County later required that the new construction adhere to design requirements.
  • The firm represented the City of Belvedere in a nuisance abatement action filed against three hoarders who were created a public safety hazard at their residence.
  • The firm represented the City of Petaluma in a personal injury action that resolved at mediation.

Mediations In Which Rob Has Served As Mediator

  • In a medical malpractice action, plaintiff sued her physician due to complications following surgery. The case settled at mediation.
  • Another medical malpractice action was filed after a boy suffered severe brain damage following the delayed diagnosis of an abdominal condition that caused his heart stoppage and later revival. The case resolved after mediation.
  • Tiburon neighbors were involved in a dispute concerning views that settled at mediation.
  • Santa Clara residents were involved in a land use governmental permitting dispute with the County, which successfully resolved at mediation.
  • Personal injury plaintiffs filed two separate federal actions against the same department store. Both cases successfully resolved at mediation.
  • Several insurance companies were engaged in a complex coverage dispute with the defendants in
    an environmental remediation action arising from a contaminated dry cleaner site. The case resolved after mediation.
  • A complex coverage dispute involving payment for the defense of numerous construction defect actions was the subject of a lengthy mediation process. The case resolved after mediation.
  • A Silicon Valley electronics company was the subject of shareholder and employment litigation. The case resolved at mediation.
  • A federal employment action involving a claim of ethnic and disability discrimination resolved
    after mediation.
  • Mobile home residents filed an action against a Napa County vineyard owner concerning the closure of the mobile home park on the vineyard land. The case resolved after mediation.

For more information regarding Epstein Law Firm, please contact Alicia Perine
@ aperine@epsteinlawyer.com or call (415) 755-2625).