Just this month Ginzburg & Bronshteyn, LLP partner Yasha Bronshteyn, was given an “AV” rating from his peers, which means that he was deemed to have very high professional ethics and preeminent legal ability. Only lawyers with the highest ethical standards and professional ability receive a Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating.

The Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings evaluates lawyers based on the anonymous opinions of members of the Bar and the Judiciary, including both those who are rated and those who are not. The first review to establish a lawyer’s rating usually occurs three years after his/her first admission to the Bar.

Martindale-Hubbell conducts secure online Peer Review Ratings surveys of lawyers across multiple jurisdictions and geographic locations, in similar areas of practice as the lawyer being rated. Reviewers are instructed to assess their colleagues’ general ethical standards and legal ability in a specific area of practice. Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings were created in 1887 as an objective tool that would attest to a lawyer’s ability and professional ethics, based on the confidential opinions of other lawyers and judges who have worked with the lawyers they are evaluating.

On May 9, 2015, firm partner Yasha Bronshteyn attended the Conservatorship/PVP lecture presented by the Los Angeles County Bar Association.  This course provides an introduction and overview to attorneys new to or seeking to join the Probate Volunteer Panel; it satisfies certain  LASC Local Rules and California Rules of Court. Excellent course for PVP attorneys, offering the Court’s perspectives and different speakers’ insights on new developments and issues that frequently arise in the representation of conservatees and proposed conservatees.

Speakers Included:

Hon. Maria Stratton, Supervising Judge, Probate Department, Los Angeles Superior Court

On March 24, 2015, the panel of Probate Judges discussed the current state of Probate Court in Los Angeles County and addressed questions and concerns submitted by members of the Beverly Hills Bar Association. Fortunately six probate judges from the Los Angeles Superior Court – Central District were able to attend the lunch at Lawry’s in Beverly Hills.  This program was presented by the Trust and Wills Section of the Beverly Hills Bar Association.

The Judges present were:

Judge David J. Cowan (Department 79)

Firm partners, Alexander R. Ginzburg and Yasha Bronshteyn, attended the Elder Abuse Restraining Orders: Nuts, Bolts and Other Miscellany program which was presented on February 19, 2015, by the Los Angeles Bar Association-Trust & Wills Section.   

The program focused on discuss the requirements and procedures to obtain a temporary or permanent elder abuse and dependent adult abuse restraining order, and the crossover issues with conservatorship and trust matters the common problem of people abusing each other and the legal ramifications of that abuse. Speakers included the Honorable Lesley C. Green, Los Angeles Superior Court. 

Dependent adult abuse restraining order cases are filed in a special proceeding with a separate prefix.  For example, in Central the cases are identified with the BS prefix as opposed to the BP prefix for regular probate cases.  Elder or dependent adult abuse stay away orders may be issued upon reasonable proof of past acts of abuse.  Welfare and Institutions Code Section 15657.03  A court may make its findings in favor of granting a restraining order by a preponderance of the evidence.

On January 20, 2015, Ginzburg & Bronshteyn, LLP partner, Yasha Bronshteyn, attended the New California Conservatorship Jurisdiction Act: Protecting Conservatees from Multi-State Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse,  presented by the Beverly Hills Bar Association Trusts and Estates Section at Lawry’s in Beverly Hills.

The program and speakers focused on a number of key issues and changes to conservatorship law and the requirements set forth in the Los Angeles Superior Court Rules.

According to United States Census Bureau the population of the United States is aging. Approximately 40.3 million residents were age 65 or older in 2010, more than in any previous census. Adults in that age bracket also comprised a larger percentage of the total population than in the past. That trend is expected to continue as the baby boom generation becomes elderly. As the number of elderly adults increases, the need for geriatric care is also increasing.

Firm partner, Yasha Bronshteyn, attended the Ex-Parte Probate Court Program Presented by Trusts and Estates Section of the Los Angeles Bar Association at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse 111 N. Hill Street, Los Angeles, California. Speakers included the Honorable Judge Daniel S. Murphy, Los Angeles Superior Court of Department 29. Additional speakers concerning Ex Partes, drop-off Ex Partes, Urgency, Irreparable Harm Issues, Procedures, and Orders were Regina E. Esteras, Los Angeles Superior Court, Probate Department and Darciann Horton, Los Angeles Superior Court, Probate Department.

In Court news it appears that the Stanley Mosk Courthouse will add two more probate Judges in early 2015. In addition, Judge Maria E. Stratton will take over as the presiding Probate Judge on January 1, 2015.

At Ginzburg & Bronshteyn, LLP we are dedicated to providing efficient, effective, and affordable solutions to clients involved in conservatorship cases, trust and estate disputes, undue influence matters, trust contests, as well as other types of family law issues.

Firm partner, Yasha Bronshteyn, attended the People Behaving Badly: Trustees and Beneficiaries Abusing Each Other and Settlors program which was presented on September 19, 2014, at the Millennium Biltmore Grand, by the Los Angeles Bar Association-Trust & Wills Section.   

The program focused on the common problem of people abusing each other and the legal ramifications of that abuse. The first panel discussed how some trustees abuse their fiduciary responsibilities and how beneficiaries may take advantage of their trustees. The second panel will discuss what constitutes criminal elder abuse, how to report elder abuse in all its forms to the authorities, and what to expect after such a report has been made.

This panel examined conflicts that arise between beneficiaries and trustees regarding administration of trusts.  Focus was directed on areas in which conflict often arises, such as asset risk tolerance, asset selection, asset concentrations, discretionary distributions, notice to remainder beneficiaries, the party’s view of their role, and regulatory compliance requirements.  Drawing from their numerous years of experience in resolving fiduciary conflicts, the speakers will shared examples of conflicts that have arisen and methods they have discovered which can minimize litigation.

Hearing dates for probate matters at the San Francisco Superior Court located at  400 McAllister St., Department 204, San Francisco, CA 94102-4514 are assigned by the filing clerk at the time the petition is filed. The typical schedule for hearings is as set forth:

Appearance Hearings for Probate Matters other than Appointment of Guardians and Conservators, and Motions: 9 a.m. on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday in Department 204.

Petitions for Appointment of Guardian: 1 p.m. on Tuesday in – Department 204.

Brenda Penny has been elected a Los Angeles Superior Court commissioner, Presiding Judge David Wesley informed judicial officers. Brenda Penny has been hearing the morning probate calendar in Department 5 of the Los Angeles Superior Court, Central District. Commissioner Penny, a former probate attorney for the Court, was elected in balloting by the court’s judges. The Court has had a commissioner post open since David Cowan, who hears Probate Matters in Department 9 of the Los Angeles Superior Court, Central District, was recently appointed as a judge.

At Ginzburg & Bronshteyn, LLP we are dedicated to providing efficient, effective, and affordable solutions to clients involved in conservatorship cases, trust and estate disputes, as well as other cases concerning revocable inter vivos trusts.  Incapacity may be relevant in all of these types of cases.  California law on incapacity can be very complex when it applies. Probate Code section 810 provides for a “rebuttable presumption” with respect to capacity: 810. The Legislature finds and declares the following:

(a) For purposes of this part, there shall exist a rebuttable presumption affecting the burden of proof that all persons have the capacity to make decisions and to be responsible for their acts or decisions.

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