Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise Obtains Favorable Judgment In Charity Oral Pledge Case

May 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise, led by attorneys Bob Sacks, and Ken Glazier, together with co-counsel, represented Dawn Arnall, the wife of the late businessman and former ambassador to the Netherlands, Roland Arnall, in defending a claim of a substantial oral charitable pledge. In a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court in 2009, Chabad of California Inc. (Chabad) claimed that, just prior to his death in 2007, Mr. Arnall had verbally promised to donate $18 million to Chabad to fund a new Family Center, and further claimed that Mr. Arnall had initially promised to give between $18 million and $40 million in 2004. Although the Arnalls had donated millions of dollars to Chabad and other charities over the years, Mrs. Arnall denied Chabad's claim that Mr. Arnall had made an oral pledge to Chabad of $18 million. She noted that Mr. Arnall had made no written reference to such a pledge and that the only person claiming to have heard Mr. Arnall make such a pledge was the head of Chabad, Rabbi Cunin. After a bench trial which lasted 21 days, the trial judge ruled in Mrs. Arnall's favor in May 2011, finding that Chabad "has failed to prove by a preponderance of evidence that Mr. Arnall promised to pay Chabad or Rabbi Cunin $18 million . . . to fund the development or construction of the Project."