The Financial Industry Regulatory Agency (FINRA) has recently submitted to the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission a rule change proposal designed to provide more protection for elderly investors. As recently reported by the Investment News, the new rules modify FINRA’s rules that require its members to maintain the confidentiality of their customer’s financial information.  According to FINRA, the new rules are…

In early June, we published an article outlining the legal case of Mr. Redstone, age 93, who owns about 80 percent of CBS and Viacom—reportedly a $40 billion media empire.  In that article, we described how mental capacity claims can be a double-edged sword, with contradicting claims being made by his business partner, Mr. Dauman,…

A general conservatorship usually continues until the conserved person (called the “conservatee”) dies. Courts and conservatorship attorneys avoid the term “permanent conservatorship” because it suggests that the conservatee will never regain their independence. However, in most cases—particularly those involving elderly conservatees—that’s exactly what happens. The article addresses the termination of conservatorships upon the death of…

California’s Welfare & Institutions Code provides a series of remedies for financial abuse of those age 65 or older.  For years, financial elder abuse has been plead in investor arbitration claims against brokers and investment advisors.  Nevertheless, arbitration decisions rarely cite California’s financial elder abuse statutes as a basis for an award.  A recent arbitration…

Litigation is expensive. Although every case is different, it is not uncommon for a case that runs through trial to cost each side hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees.  As a result, a litigant should always evaluate whether he or she may have a right to recover their attorney’s fees if a case…

Most people know that a defendant in a criminal case has a Constitutional right to an attorney.  Our clients are often surprised to learn that certain individuals have the right to an attorney in various “protective proceedings” under the Probate Code.  Subject to the discretion of the court, minor children in guardianship proceedings and conservatees…

Although most trust, estate, and elder abuse cases eventually settle, we prepare each case as if it will go to trial.  All of the stages previously described in this series (from initial research through discovery and expert witness depositions) have the same objective — presenting the best possible case at trial. Trust and estate cases…

Preparing for trial in an estate or trust litigation case can be an intense and time consuming process for attorneys and clients.  Although preparing for trial begins the moment we are retained, the process intensifies in the last few weeks before trial as the evidence accumulated during the discovery process is marshaled and organized into…

“I wish you had called us earlier.”  This is often our response when clients call us after they have been interviewed by law enforcement, or governmental, regulatory, or private investigators.  Often the reason for not hiring counsel is well-intentioned.  Common explanations include, “I didn’t think they were after me,” “I didn’t want to spend the money…

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