We successfully argued in the Court of Appeals decided that a no-contest provision in a trust does not apply to claims of breach of fiduciary duty under Probate Code sec. 21305.
This unusual case comes out of the unlawful detainer courts of Santa Barbara, where a trial court ruled that actions taken during a pending bankruptcy stay were did not violate the provisions of 11 U.S.C. 362(a). The interesting issue on this case is that 28 U.S.C. 1334(a) states that only a bankruptcy court can make that decision. We have therefore petitioned the 2nd Dist., Div. 6 Court of Appeals to review this case, because the trial court did not have the power (i.e., subject matter jurisdiction) to decide the seminal issue in the case. It is a question of federal vs. state supremacy.
Mr. and Mrs. Schneidereit retained us to petition the 9th Circuit to rehear their case after a panel had ruled against them on appeal. The really interesting issue in this case is that Mrs. Schneidereit is a member of the developmentally disabled community, and we made the creative argument that the federal and state standard for a reasonable person should be augmented in this case to (1) a reasonable disabled person standard and (2) a reasonable caretaker standard for Mr. Schneidereit who has been caring for his wife. These are questions of first impression for both the 9th Circuit and California fraud analysis, and would bring the objective reasonable person standard more in line with the realities that people with developmental disabilities and their families cope with in the daily lives.
The California Supreme Court, in a landmark case of first impression, decided that California anti-deficiency laws (specifically Cal. Code of Civ. Proc. sec. 580b) apply to short sales. The trial court originally ruled that these protections only applied after a foreclosure, but a unanimous Supreme Court affirmed a unanimous Fourth District, Division One Court of Appeals reversal of the trial court in favor of our client, Carol Coker.