Two Easy Ways to Trigger a No Contest Clause by Accident

By Noël Margaret Lawrence* INTRODUCTION It is every estate and trust litigator’s worst nightmare: Triggering a no contest clause by mistake.  A client in consultation with his lawyer makes a conscious decision, a strategic decision, to contest a will or a trust.  It happens all the time.  The client makes an informed decision to proceed […]

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Contingent Fee Representation

When a case is handled on a contingent fee basis, the attorney does not collect a fee unless and until the case is won at trial, or beyond, or the case is settled to the satisfaction of the client. The attorney typically enters into a written agreement with the client that the attorney will be […]

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Beware: All Fiduciary Law Is Not Created Equal

University of California Continuing Education of the Bar Estate Planning & California Probate Reporter April 1996 Beware:  All Fiduciary Law Is Not Created Equal NOËL M. LAWRENCE & JAMES A. BARRINGER Laws pertaining to decedents’ estates are similar in many ways to those pertaining to inter vivos and testamentary trusts. Personal representatives and trustees are […]

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Bringing Down the Perpetrator: Plaintiff’s Checklist For Undue Influence and Financial Elder Abuse Cases

University of California Continuing Education of the Bar Estate Planning & California Probate Reporter Volume 23 Number 4 February 2002 NOËL M. LAWRENCE Introduction Those who practice in the area of estates and trusts confront widely divergent legal challenges. One aspect the practice is typified by the charming white-haired client carefully planning for the benefit […]

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Protecting Clients in Anticipation of Estate or Trust Litigation: What To Do Until Help Arrives Pt. 1

University of California Continuing Education of the Bar Estate Planning & California Probate Reporter February 1992 Part 1 NOËL M. LAWRENCE & JAMES A. BARRINGER Non-litigating estate planners and probate attorneys are sometimes called on to represent clients during the early stages of actual or potential estate and trust related litigation. There is often a […]

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Protecting Clients in Anticipation of Estate or Trust Litigation: What To Do Until Help Arrives Pt. 2

University of California Continuing Education of the Bar, 13 Estate Planning & California Probate Reporter April 1992 Part 2 NOËL M. LAWRENCE & JAMES A. BARRINGER Frequently estate planning and probate attorneys who do not consider themselves litigators will find themselves representing clients in the early stages of actual or potential estate and trust related litigation. In […]

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The Perils of Durable Powers of Attorney For Property Management  

JAMES A. BARRINGER & NOËL M. LAWRENCE Durable powers of attorney for property management have become widely accepted in the estate planning community as a method of planning for incapacity.  Durable powers offer a way to avoid the inconvenience and stigma of a conservatorship and the cost of establishing a living trust.  Because durable powers […]

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What Every Estate and Trust Attorney Needs to Know About Contingent Fee Representation

By Noël M. Lawrence* I. Introduction Times are tough. According to the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the U.S. continued to decline throughout the spring of 2009, another 267,000 jobs were lost in July, and as of the end of that month, employment stood at 9.4% nationwide. The situation […]

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