Announcements

Bob Sacks Appointed to Four Leadership Positions by American Bar Association Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section

Effective September 1, 2019, Partner Bob Sacks has been appointed by the American Bar Association Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section to the following leadership positions:

Reappointed for another year as a Member of the Section’s governing Council.

Reappointed for another year as the Council Representative for the Trust and Estate Litigation, Ethics, and Malpractice Group.

Reappointed as the Section’s Liaison to the National College of Probate Judges.

Appointed as a Member of the National Conference of Lawyers and Corporate Fiduciaries.

The Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section is a leading national forum for lawyers, with currently over 25,000 members. The Real Property Division focuses on legal aspects of property use, ownership, development, transfer, regulation, financing, taxation and disposal. The Trust and Estate Division focuses on all aspects of trusts, estate planning, employee benefits, insurance, and probate and trust litigation.


Five Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise Attorneys Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© 2020

Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise partners Terry Franklin, Meg Lodise, Matt McMurtrey, Bob Sacks, and Of Counsel Ken Glazier were selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2020 for their work in trusts and estates litigation.

The firm’s attorneys have been selected to Best Lawyers for the following:

Terry Franklin: Ten consecutive years; Litigation – Trusts & Estates "Lawyer of the Year" 2016.

Ken Glazier: Ten consecutive years.

Meg Lodise: Ten consecutive years; Litigation – Trusts & Estates "Lawyer of the Year" 2012.

Matt McMurtrey: Five consecutive years.

Bob Sacks: Ten consecutive years; Litigation – Trusts & Estates "Lawyer of the Year" 2014 and 2018.

Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence and the lists are compiled based on an exhaustive peer-review evaluation. Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers "the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice."


Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise Receives Top Rankings in Chambers for Private Wealth Disputes 2019

Three partners recognized as Notable Practitioners

Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise has again been ranked by Chambers and Partners for Private Wealth Disputes – California, in recognition of the firm’s technical legal ability, professional conduct, client service, commercial astuteness, diligence, commitment and other qualities most valued by clients.

Additionally, partners Terry Franklin, Meg Lodise and Bob Sacks were highly ranked in the Private Wealth Disputes category for their work in trusts and estates litigation.

In its editorial, Chambers noted:

Sacks Glazier is "a nice boutique practice with good lawyers," stated a market insider.

"They have several people who I hold in high regard – they are knowledgeable and creative in their approach," commented an interviewee.

Feedback regarding the partners, included:

Terry Franklin: "[He] is good at looking at the issues from a high level, first to understand the issues and where there may be room for compromise," reported a source, who continued: "He is an excellent advocate and is really dynamic in the courtroom. He is very practical and willing to see the weakness in a case and come to a compromise." "He is very smart, no doubt about that," stated a peer.

Meg Lodise: According to one source, "she is really great, she is good at what she does, knows the law and is tough without crossing the line." "Meg is respected by the judges, she is knowledgeable, experienced and level-headed," enthused an interviewee. Another added: "She is terrific, she is bright and knows her stuff and has the respect of her peers."

Bob Sacks: "If I were to refer a client, he would be the lawyer I would pick," reported a source, who explained: "He is a good lawyer – he is smart and cuts to the chase easily."

View Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise’s Chambers and Partners profile.


Meg Lodise Discusses Depublication of a Special Needs Trust Case on the ACTEC Trust and Estate Talk Podcast

Partner Meg Lodise was a guest on the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) "Trust and Estate Talk" podcast examining the Supreme Court of California’s depublication of the Special Needs Trust case, Scott v. McDonald, and ACTEC’s role in the depublishing effort.

Scott v. McDonald was a California Court of Appeal case from the Fourth District, in which the Court upheld a surcharge against the trustee of a Special Needs Trust based on what ACTEC and others viewed to be a misunderstanding of the trust’s language regarding support for the beneficiary. ACTEC was alerted to the case by a Fellow, who sent a request to the Amicus Review Committee to write a letter in support of the effort for depublication. Upon review, Meg, who chairs, and other members of the Committee agreed that there were significant risks to practitioners in California and nationwide if the ruling were to become citable law. ACTEC thereafter submitted its letter requesting depublication due to the court’s apparent misinterpretation of the trust language based on settled law relating to Special Needs Trusts. On November 28, 2018, the Court issued its order depublishing the opinion.

Click here to listen


Meg Lodise Speaks on "Planning for the Probate Contest" at ABA Skills Training for Estate Planners

Partner Meg Lodise is co-presenting "Planning for the Probate Contest" at the American Bar Association Skills Training for Estate Planners program on July 17, 2019. The presentation will introduce attendees to the essential concepts of probate litigation, including will and trust disputes, contests, and fiduciary litigation. Those engaged in the estate planning process should be aware of the manner in which probate litigation arises so that they can plan to avoid such disputes as much as possible. After reviewing those concepts, the program will explore some of the planning approaches that can be pursued to avoid probate litigation. The presentation is being held at the University of South Carolina School of Law.


Ryan Houck Named a 2019 Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Star

Partner Ryan Houck was selected to the 2019 Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars list for his work in Estate & Trust Litigation. This marks Mr. Houck’s fourth year being named a Rising Star.

Super Lawyers is a rating service that lists outstanding lawyers from a wide range of practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. The Rising Stars list selects the top 2.5 percent of lawyers in Southern California who are under 40 years of age, or who have been practicing for 10 years or less.


Bob Sacks Leads Successful Resolution of Four Trust and Estate Disputes

In March 2019, partner Bob Sacks went to trial on behalf of a client involved in a Trust interpretation dispute. Based upon the client’s testimony, the Court ruled in his favor on the interpretation issue, ending an acrimonious dispute over the terms of the Trust.

In April 2019, in two separate meditations, the firm’s clients were able to resolve their trust matters. The first lawsuit, handled by Bob and associate Tristan Bufete, concerned clients who were the children of the deceased Trustor and were involved in a dispute with the Trustor’s surviving spouse over the terms of a Trust for that spouse. Although that Trust provided for $1.5 million to be used to build a residence for the spouse’s lifetime use and for her other benefits, through settlement she received $762,500 from that Trust, with the remainder going to the Firm’s clients. The second matter involved a client who was left $500,000 under his father’s Trust, and claimed he was due more under a 50-year-old divorce settlement. Bob and associate Arevik Stepanyan litigated this case, which involved a host of interesting legal and factual issues, and was settled at mediation with the client receiving $2 million.

In May 2019, Bob headed a trial team with partner Ryan Houck and Arevik Stepanyan, representing a number of heirs of a probate Estate. The Decedent died with no estate plan, and some ten siblings or their issue were his heirs. The firm’s clients constituted less than 50% of the heirs, and the remaining heirs included a former Administrator of the Estate, whom those other heirs also supported.

After one day of trial in 2015 on the Administrator’s removal, she resigned and a neutral Administrator came in. Litigation by the heirs represented by Sacks, Glazier and by the new Administrator (represented by Alan Gutman of Gutman Law) against the former Administrator and others, moved forward slowly toward trial. The parties agreed to use the trial judge as a settlement judge and began a two-week trial by having a lengthy settlement conference. Although the former Administrator and her cronies had insisted for years that the heirs represented by the firm had no claims with any merit, they paid those heirs some $1.8 million in settlement. (Because the underlying claims, if successful at trial, would result in a surcharge award payable to the entire Estate, given the above heirs’ less than 50% interest in the Estate, the settlement was equivalent to an approximately $3.7 million surcharge award at trial.)

In addition, a claim by several people that they should be treated as heirs of the Estate was settled with no payment by the firm’s clients, and they also settled a substantial claim for fees by one law firm that had represented the former Administrator. A second law firm that also represented that Administrator rejected $121,000 to settle a large fee claim, demanding a settlement payment of $142,000. That claim went to trial, and during the first day, the trial judge recommended that the law firm explore settlement options. Under a settlement, the law firm agreed to pay $135,000 to the Estate. Accordingly, the firm’s clients and the Successor Administrator’s positions in this lengthy litigation were vindicated through the ultimate settlements.


Terry Franklin Presents at Minnesota CLE 2019 Probate & Trust Law Section Conference

Partner Terry Franklin is presenting "The 1846 Last Will of John Sutton – What’s Not So New in Will Drafting and Contests" at the 2019 Probate and Trust Law Conference hosted by Minnesota Continuing Legal Education. Mr. Franklin’s talk shares the story of his search to find evidence that would answer the question whether there was love in the relationship between his fourth great-grandfather, John, a white slaveholder in the Antebellum South, and his fourth great-grandmother, Lucy, who was described in John's 1846 will as his 'mulatto slave'. The will emancipated Lucy, the eight children and six grandchildren that John and Lucy shared. In this presentation, Mr. Franklin retraces the path to his discovery of the will, and the unexpected will contest that threatened to keep his family enslaved. Mr. Franklin addresses issues of drafting to anticipate potential problems, the estate planner as witness and how the facts of an estate planning meeting can play out at trial. The conference is being held June 10 – 11, 2019 at the St. Paul RiverCentre in St. Paul, MN.

Minnesota Continuing Legal Education is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation established to provide the highest quality educational experience to Minnesota lawyers and judges.


Terry Franklin Shortlisted for Chambers Diversity & Inclusion Awards: USA 2019

Partner Terry Franklin has been shortlisted by Chambers and Partners for the Chambers Diversity & Inclusion Awards: USA 2019 in the category of "Outstanding Contribution to Furthering the Advancement of Diversity in the Legal Profession." According to Chambers, Terry’s selection underscores his position as a true diversity and inclusion pioneer for the legal profession.

The award winners will be announced during a reception dinner at The Fairmont in San Francisco on June 6, 2019, and will celebrate both in-house and private practice professionals. Click here to learn more about the awards and selection process.


Meg Lodise Participates in Preparation & Review of ACTEC Amicus Brief Filed with Supreme Court

An amicus brief in The North Carolina Department of Revenue v. The Kimberley Rice Kaestner 1992 Family Trust was filed on March 1, 2019, with the Supreme Court by the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), and was argued on April 1, 2019. Partner Meg Lodise, as Chair of ACTEC's Amicus Review Committee, prepared and reviewed the brief along with several ACTEC Fellows. This is an important case dealing with the ability of a state to tax the income of an irrevocable nongrantor trust.

Read the full brief.


Meg Lodise to Speak at ABA RPTE Skills Training for Estate Planners

Partner Meg Lodise is speaking at the American Bar Association Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Skills Training for Estate Planners program in July 2019. Young or transitioning lawyers new to the practice will receive a strong educational experience focused on the "how to" in the program's Fundamentals course, while more experienced lawyers will appreciate the opportunity to further expand their knowledge in the program's Advanced Topics course. Learn more.


Terry Franklin Speaks at 2019 Philadelphia Estate Planning Council Meeting

Partner Terry Franklin is co-presenting on the panel "Seven Deadly Claims" at the 2019 Philadelphia Estate Planning Council Meeting. As estate and trust litigation intensifies around the country, a wave of novel claims has been evolving. Most trust and estate professionals need to be educated about these claims yet may not know of them at all. The speakers will survey the seven most significant causes of action. The conference is taking place May 16, 2019 at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia Estate Planning Council is one of the oldest and largest estate planning councils in the country, and provides its members with opportunities to enhance their skills and expand their network through programs and interaction.


Terry Franklin Participates on "Ethics" Panel at ACTEC 2019 Annual Meeting

Partner Terry Franklin is presenting on the panel "The Ethics of Negotiation: Oh, the Places You Can’t Go," at the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) 2019 Annual Meeting. Creating estate plans, administering trusts and estates, dealing with trust and estate disputes, and representing parties in guardianships all involve negotiations. This program will highlight the ethical challenges that often arise, yet are rarely foreseen by practitioners. The discussion will also explore the conflicts of interest faced by both litigators and estate planners, negotiation in an arms-length versus fiduciary setting, and the clash of loyalty and confidentiality. Additionally, the panelists will touch on the difference between negotiations with third parties versus clients and the legal principles coupled with ethical obligations governing negotiations with clients over engagement agreements. The conference is being held March 20 – March 24, 2019 at the La Quinta Resort & Club in La Quinta, CA.

Mr. Franklin is an ACTEC Fellow and serves as Chair of the Diversity and Inclusivity Committee, and serves on the Board of Regents, the California Membership Committee, and the Fiduciary Litigation Committee.


Terry Franklin Speaks at Southern Region Professional Fiduciary Association of California Meeting

Partner Terry Franklin is presenting "The Last Will of Lucy Sutton" at the Southern Region Professional Fiduciary Association of California (PFAC) Meeting. Mr. Franklin will discuss the discovery of his fourth great-grandfather's will and the unexpected will contest that threatened to keep his family enslaved. The presentation relates the issues of drafting to current-day potential problems. The Meeting is being held March 22, 2019 at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles.

PFAC is the preeminent association dedicated to servicing professional fiduciaries by providing ongoing educational opportunities, legislative advocacy, and professional resources. The association’s goal is to assist professional fiduciaries in providing excellent service as well as advocate for and advance the profession throughout California.


Meg Lodise Presents at ACTEC 2019 Annual Meeting

Partner Meg Lodise is participating on the panel "Warring Siblings, Second Spouses and Quirky Personalities: The Neuroscience and Handling of Difficult Beneficiaries" at the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) Annual Meeting on March 24, 2019.

The program will discuss how difficult personalities develop from a neuroscience point of view, how to draft around them, and how to resolve the almost inevitable litigation that ensues. Ms. Lodise will provide litigation strategies for appropriately working through the claims that arise when best efforts to avoid post-death conflicts fail.

ACTEC is a nonprofit association of lawyers and law professors skilled and experienced in the preparation of wills and trusts; estate planning; and probate procedure and administration of trusts and estates of decedents, minors and incompetents.


Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise Attorneys Selected as 2019 Southern California Super Lawyers

Meg Lodise Named to "Top 50 Women" List for 9th Consecutive Year

Partners Terry Franklin, Meg Lodise, Matt McMurtrey, Bob Sacks and Of Counsel Ken Glazier have been selected for inclusion on the 2019 Southern California Super Lawyers list for their work in the area of Estate and Trust Litigation. Ms. Lodise has also been selected for inclusion on the "Top 50 Women" list for the ninth consecutive year.

This marks Terry’s fifteenth consecutive year being listed, Meg’s fifteenth consecutive year, Matt’s fifth consecutive year, Bob’s sixteenth consecutive year and Ken’s fourteenth consecutive year.

Super Lawyers is a rating service of the top five percent of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. The Southern California lawyers who receive the highest point totals during this selection process are further recognized in Southern California Super Lawyers Top Lists.


Meg Lodise Speaks at USC Gould School of Law 2019 Tax Institute

Partner Meg Lodise presented "Conflicts and Confusion: Ethical Issues Surrounding Multiple Party Representation and Clients with Diminished Capacity" at the USC Gould School of Law 2019 Tax Institute on January 30, 2019 in downtown Los Angeles. Ms. Lodise addressed current ethical rules, and how to understand and apply them to protect both yourself and your clients. Attendees received 1.5 hours of MCLE legal ethics credit.


Los Angeles Business Journal Names Terry Franklin to 2019 List of "Most Influential Minority Attorneys"

Partner Terry Franklin was recognized on Los Angeles Business Journal's 2019 list of "Most Influential Minority Attorneys" for his reputation as a leading trusts and estates attorney handling the most complex, high-value cases. Notably, Mr. Franklin was responsible for several published appeals and the landmark Moeller v. Superior Court case, which was brought before the California Supreme Court and established a fiduciary exception to the attorney-client privilege for successor trustees. Franklin was also counsel in: Giammarrusco v. Simon, which addressed whether a no contest clause barred an attempt to reform a trust document due to a scrivener's error; Estate of Cleveland, which addressed the rights of inheritance for foster and stepchildren under the California Probate Code; Estate of Richter, which held that a proposed action to determine a surviving spouse's community property interest would not violate a no-contest clause in a decedent's will.

The "Most Influential Minority Attorneys" list features Los Angeles attorneys who have been particularly impactful on the legal scene while serving as trusted advisors in the L.A. region, along with maintaining the highest professional and ethical standards, and for contributions to the business and legal community at large.

Click here to view the full list. (May require subscription)


Meg Lodise Presents at 53rd Annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning

Partner Meg Lodise is co-presenting "Preparing for the Unexpected: Designing and Drafting Estate Plans That Can Withstand the Heat!" at the 53rd Annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning.

Like an architect who designs a building to withstand unexpected disasters, estate planners must anticipate potential changes in the lives of settlors and beneficiaries in: (1) the planning process, or blueprint, that incorporates the client’s goals but also considers flexibility; (2) the drafting, or construction, of the documents; and (3) unexpected litigation that could reduce the plan to rubble. Panelists will discuss planning for future incapacity or disability, durable powers of attorney, trust protectors, and guardians or conservators.

The Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning is the leading educational conference for all members of the estate planning team, including attorneys, trust officers, accountants, charitable giving professionals, insurance advisors, elder law specialists, wealth management professionals, educators and nonprofit advisors.

The conference will take place in Orlando from January 14-18, 2019.


Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise Elects Attorney Ryan Houck to Partnership

LOS ANGELES - The trust and estate litigation firm, Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise, announced that Ryan D. Houck has been promoted to partner.

"Ryan has demonstrated a commitment to providing our clients with exceptional service and growing the firm," said managing partner Matthew McMurtrey. "He is an invaluable asset and we are proud to welcome him to the partnership."

Mr. Houck practices exclusively in the area of trust, estate and conservatorship litigation. His cases include will and trust contests, and other challenges to estate plans, breach of fiduciary duty claims involving trustees and other fiduciaries, trustee accounting matters, and conservatorship proceedings.

Mr. Houck has been recognized as a Southern California "Rising Star" by Super Lawyers magazine every year since 2016, and has been a speaker to the California State Bar Trust and Estate Section on a variety of trust and estate litigation issues.

Prior to joining Sacks Glazier Franklin & Lodise, Mr. Houck was a patent litigation associate at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, and is also a registered patent attorney.

Mr. Houck received his J.D., cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center in 2011, and his B.S. in Science, Technology and International Affairs from Georgetown University in 2006.


Governor Brown Appoints Partner Jessica Uzcategui to Judgeship in Los Angeles County Superior Court

On November 29, 2018, California Governor Edmund Brown Jr. announced the appointment of Partner Jessica Uzcategui to a judgeship in the Los Angeles County Superior Court.

"Jessica has been a valued colleague at our firm for more than 14 years. While we will certainly miss her, we are excited to see her succeed in the next stage of her career and look forward to witnessing the positive impact she will undoubtedly have on the bench," said Managing Partner Matthew McMurtrey.

Jessica's practice has focused principally on litigation regarding high net worth estates. She has tried numerous cases on behalf of individuals, financial institutions, corporate fiduciaries and nonprofit organizations. Additionally, Jessica has served on the governing Council for the Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section of the American Bar Association and was elected as a Fellow to the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC). She was ranked by Chambers and Partners High Net Worth Guide in the Private Wealth Disputes category for 2018 and has been listed in Best Lawyers of America for Trust and Estate Litigation since 2014.

Jessica has been a partner at Sacks, Glazier, Franklin and Lodise LLP since 2012, and was an associate from 2004 to 2011. She began her legal career as an associate at Quinn, Emanuel, Urquhart, Oliver and Hedges LLP from 2002 to 2004. Jessica earned a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School and a Bachelor of Science degree from Duke University.


Terry Franklin Appointed as USC Trust & Estate Conference Chair

Partner Terry Franklin has been named Chair of the University of Southern California Gould School of Law’s Trust & Estate Conference. Mr. Franklin previously served as Vice Chair and has been a member of the Committee since 1997. He is also a regular speaker at the annual Conference.

USC Gould School of Law’s Trust & Estate Conference has provided California practitioners customized trust, estate planning and probate education for more than 40 years. The Conference is specially crafted for attorneys, trust officers, accountants, financial planners, professional fiduciaries, financial institution executives, underwriters, insurance advisors, wealth management professionals, paralegals, fiduciary officers and other professionals in the trust and estate planning field.

Learn more about USC Gould School of Law’s Trust & Estate Conference here.


Terry Franklin Presents "Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession" at Beverly Hills Bar Association's MCLE Extravaganza

Partner Terry Franklin will address recognition and elimination of bias in the legal profession and society, through the lens of his experience uncovering the will that emancipated his ancestors from slavery, the contest that challenged their emancipation, and what all that means for lawyers practicing law today at the Beverly Hills Bar Association (BHBA) MCLE Extravaganza taking place on January 18, 2019. The BHBA offers MCLE "Extravaganzas" with hard-to-get subjects for attorneys in State Bar compliance groups to meet continuing legal education requirement deadline. Attendees will receive 6 hours of MCLE - 4 hours in Legal Ethics, 1 hour in Elimination of Bias and 1 hour in Competence Issues.


Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise Ranked on the 2019 Best Law Firms List by U.S. News - Best Lawyers®

U.S. News - Best Lawyers® ranks Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise on the 2019 Best Law Firms list: National - Trusts & Estates Law, and Los Angeles - Litigation - Trusts & Estates and Trusts & Estates Law.

The U.S. News - Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms" rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that involves the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in their field and review of additional information provided by law firms.


Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise Welcomes New Litigation Associate Tristan Bufete

LOS ANGELES – The trust and estate litigation firm, Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise, announced that Tristan Bufete has joined as an associate.

"Tristan is well-versed in handling high-level litigation matters and his experience will bring immediate value to the firm’s clients," said managing partner Matthew McMurtrey. "We’re glad to have him on board."

Mr. Bufete obtained his J.D. in 2014 from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law. While in law school, he served as associate editor of the UCLA Law Review. Prior to attending law school, Mr. Bufete was a paralegal at Public Counsel Law Center, the nation’s largest pro bono law firm.

Mr. Bufete received his B.A. degrees in Economics and Political Science, summa cum laude, from California State University, Fresno. He attended Fresno State on a full merit scholarship as a Smittcamp Scholar and received the Outstanding Graduate Award for the Departments of Economics and Political Science in 2008.

Tristan currently serves as a board member of the Philippine American Bar Association.

Prior to joining Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise, Tristan was a litigation associate in the Los Angeles office of O’Melveny & Myers LLP.


Doug Lawson Presents at USC's 44th Annual Trust and Estate Conference

Associate Doug Lawson and Adam Streisand of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton will explain how to litigate against parties with diminished capacity at the 44th Annual Trust and Estate Conference hosted by USC's Gould School of Law. The conference will be held on November 16, 2018, at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles.

Learn more about USC Gould School of Law’s Trust & Estate Conference here.


Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise Sponsors Western Justice Center's 2018 Justice Awards

In support of a shared commitment to the pursuit of a more peaceful and just society, Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise is sponsoring the Western Justice Center's annual Justice Awards on November 17, 2018 at the California Club in downtown Los Angeles. The Justice Awards gather prominent judges, lawyers, educators and public officials to celebrate honorees in the categories of: Advocate of Justice, Defender of Justice and Champion of Justice.

Western Justice Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to building a more civil, peaceful society where differences are valued. The organization's programs raise awareness, build skills and increase the possibility of just communities and schools.


For Immediate Release
August 30, 2018

SACKS GLAZIER FRANKLIN & LODISE OBTAINS PRECEDENT-SETTING DECISION IN PROBATE CASE

--Partner Meg Lodise defeats appeal seeking to invalidate exercise of power of appointment--

LOS ANGELES – The trusts and estates litigation firm, Sacks Glazier Franklin & Lodise LLP, led by partner Meg Lodise, along with Roehl & Glowacki, P.C., successfully defended an appeal brought to challenge the exercise of a power of appointment to benefit the firm’s client. The main issue in the case involved whether the language used in the decedent’s will included specific reference to the power of appointment granted in a trust set up by the parents of the appellants, respondent, and decedent.

In the case (O’Connor v. O’Connor, 4th Dist., Div. 1, 8/29/18), siblings Brian O’Connor and Astrid O’Connor-Bassett, appealed orders declaring that their brother John O’Connor’s power of appointment exercised in his will complied with California Probate Code Section 632 requirements to effectively appoint assets to respondent Kevin O’Connor.

The Arthur O’Connor and Hilda O’Connor Family Trust allocated equal shares of the trust estate to each living child, directing that the share for John O’Connor be held in trust for him. The trust granted him a power of appointment over his trust. Upon Hilda O’Connor’s death in 1992, the trust divided into her sub-trust, which included a power of appointment for John O’Connor, and Arthur O’Connor’s sub-trust, in which the power of appointment was removed.

Following John’s death in 2014, Kevin O’Connor petitioned to probate his brother’s will and asked to be appointed executor of the estate. His petition sought to establish the validity of the will and the exercise of the power of appointment. The appellants contested the will, seeking to invalidate the power of appointment. The parties agreed to have a judicial referee hear the matters, which resulted in the referee issuing a statement that the will met the conditions established by the sub-trust and the probate code. In 2016, the probate court adopted the referee’s decision and declared Kevin O’Connor the prevailing party. In 2017, the probate court granted his petition for probate and appointed him executor of the will. The appeal was filed from the probate court’s orders.

In a published decision, the Court of Appeal affirmed the probate court orders. It concluded that the language in the decedent’s will contained "enough detail to discern his conscious exercise of the particular power of appointment granted to him, and thus complied with the requirements of both the granting instrument and section 632 [of Probate Code] that he makes a specific reference to the power of appointment." In so concluding, the court distinguished this case from Estate of Eddy (1982)134 Cal. App.3d 292, where an exercise failing to refer to the power of appointment in an instrument was held insufficient.


Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise Attorneys Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2019

Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise partners Terry Franklin, Meg Lodise, Matt McMurtrey, Bob Sacks, Jessica Uzcategui and Of Counsel Ken Glazier were selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2019 for their work in trusts and estates litigation.

The firm’s attorneys have been selected to the Best Lawyers list for the following years:

  • Terry Franklin – Recognized since 2011, "Lawyer of the Year" 2016
  • Ken Glazier – Recognized since 2011
  • Meg Lodise – Recognized since 2011; "Lawyer of the Year" 2012
  • Matt McMurtrey – Recognized since 2016
  • Bob Sacks – Recognized since 2011; "Lawyer of the Year" 2014 and 2018
  • Jessica Uzcategui – Recognized since 2014

For more than three decades, Best Lawyers has become regarded as the definitive guide to legal professionalism and excellence around the globe. Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey. More than 52,000 leading attorneys cast 5.5 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in more than 130 practice areas.


Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise Receives Highest Ranking by Chambers and Partners

Four partners recognized as Notable Practitioners

Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise has been ranked by Chambers and Partners for Private Wealth Disputes - California - Band 1, the highest ranking for a law firm based on technical legal ability, professional conduct, client service, commercial astuteness, diligence, commitment and other qualities most valued by clients.

Additionally, partners Terry Franklin, Meg Lodise, Bob Sacks and Jessica Uzcategui were highly ranked in the Private Wealth Disputes category for their work in trusts and estates litigation.

In its editorial, Chambers noted:

"The whole firm is terrific," enthuses a Southern California lawyer, adding that "they have a wonderful team." Another interviewee comments: "They've developed a strong reputation, particularly in Downtown LA and in Greater LA, for the work that they do. They're highly regarded by bench officers in the LA courts, and that goes a long way. They're very hands-on, very capable, they have a lot of depth and experience, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them."

Feedback regarding the partners, included:

Terry Franklin: "He's very clever, very easy to deal with and he's always available," says an interviewee. Another reports that "he's reasonable and rational, he knows the law, and he can be a zealous advocate without making it personal." "He's fabulous," comments a fellow lawyer, adding that "he's really a very good litigator. He's both calm and passionate at the same time, and he's very well regarded in the probate courts."

Meg Lodise: "She's very pleasant, very competent, calm and no-nonsense," says an interviewee, adding: "She has a very practical approach, and a very measured demeanor. Meg is calm and deliberate, and yet still very effective."

Bob Sacks: "He's straightforward, honest, and someone who will avoid a fight if he can avoid one instead of fighting for the sake of fighting," says an interviewee. Another reports that "he's very well regarded in LA, and he's a lovely man," praising him as "very clever," "super-persuasive and thoughtful."

Jessica Uzcategui: "Jessica is extremely intelligent and an excellent writer," says a client, adding that she "is always calm and level-headed, and tried to impart these qualities on me during this emotional process. She was a superb advocate and adviser throughout this terrible time in my life."

View Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise's Chambers and Partners profile.


Terry Franklin Speaks at Marvin R. Pliskin Advanced Probate and Estate Planning Seminar

Partner Terry Franklin is presenting "The 1846 Last Will of John Sutton: What's New and Not So New in the World of Drafting Wills and Contest Litigation" at the Marvin R. Pliskin Advanced Probate and Estate Planning Seminar hosted by the Ohio State Bar Association. Mr. Franklin went looking for evidence that would answer the question whether there was love in the relationship between his fourth great-grandfather, John, a white slaveholder in the Antebellum South, and his fourth great-grandmother, Lucy, who was described in John's 1846 will as his "mulatto slave." The will emancipated Lucy and the eight children and six grandchildren that John and Lucy shared. Mr. Franklin's search for answers also revealed a fascinating discovery, perfect for a trust and estate litigator. In this multi-media presentation, Mr. Franklin retraces the path to his discovery of the will, and the unexpected will contest that threatened to keep his family enslaved. During the presentation, Mr. Franklin also discusses issues of drafting to anticipate potential problems, the estate planner as witness, and how the facts of an estate planning meeting can play out at trial. The program is scheduled for September 14, 2018 at the Columbus Airport Marriott.


Meg Lodise to Present at South Bay Estate Planning Council & Long Beach Estate Planning Council Joint Meeting

Partner Meg Lodise is participating on the panel "Shut Your Mouth! A Multidisciplinary Look at Standards of Privilege" at the South Bay Estate Planning Council and Long Beach Estate Planning Council Joint Meeting being held July 12, 2018 at the Grand Long Beach Events Center.

The panel discussion will examine:

  • Are your Rules of Professional Conduct hard and fast or a slippery slope?
  • When can your ethical obligations be in conflict with privilege?
  • What are the exceptions when you are compelled to break privilege?

Attendees will receive MCLE Competence Issues CE credits. Learn more about the meeting and register here.


Congratulations to our colleague and friend Ken Glazier on his retirement and transition to Of Counsel with the firm!

Ken shares a retrospective of his career, changes he experienced in the legal industry along the way, and tips for law students and seasoned attorneys seeking a rewarding practice. Continue reading.


Ryan Houck Named 2018 Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Star

Attorney Ryan Houck was selected to the 2018 Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars list for his work in Estate & Trust Litigation. This marks Mr. Houck’s third year.

Super Lawyers is a rating service that lists outstanding lawyers from a wide range of practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. The Rising Stars list selects the top 2.5 percent of lawyers in Southern California who are under 40 years of age, or who have been practicing for 10 years or less.


Meg Lodise Speaks at 40th Annual UCLA/CEB Estate Planning Institute

Partner Meg Lodise presented on "Clients with Diminished Capacity" at the 40th Annual UCLA/CEB Estate Planning Institute. The Estate Planning Institute covers issues of significant importance to the estate planning specialist, the attorney who handles a moderate number of estate planning cases, and tax professionals. The teaching faculty consists of nationally recognized experts in their field. The program was held on April 27th at the Westdrift Manhattan Beach.


Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise Welcomes Two New Associates

The trust and estate litigation firm, Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise, announced that John Scheerer and Arevik Stepanyan have joined as associates.

"John and Arevik demonstrate a high level of talent and leadership that will be a true asset to our clients and the future of our firm," said managing partner Matthew McMurtrey. "We look forward to watching both grow their practices and expect great success in their careers."

John Scheerer obtained his J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, which he attended on a full merit scholarship and was elected to the Order of the Coif, as well as received the Dean's Award for the highest grade in Wills and Trusts. Mr. Scheerer also served on the UCLA Law Review as Associate Editor. He received his B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles, summa cum laude.

Prior to joining Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise, Mr. Scheerer was a Litigation Associate at Hueston Hennigan LLP, and previously at Irell and Manella LLP, practicing in complex commercial litigation and serving as counsel in high profile civil suits.

Arevik Stepanyan obtained her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, where she was elected to the Order of the Coif and recognized with the Jurisprudence Award in Employment Discrimination and Negotiations. She received her B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles, summa cum laude.

Prior to joining Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise, Ms. Stepanyan was a Litigation Associate with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. Ms. Stepanyan also previously served as a law clerk to the Honorable Jeffrey T. Miller of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California.


Bob Sacks to Present at ACTEC 2018 Summer Meeting

Partner Bob Sacks is speaking on the panel "(Not Your Or) My Generation: Litigation Issues Involving Children" at the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) 2018 Summer Meeting. Bob's portion of the panel discussion will focus on the role of guardians ad litem, representing young adults, and emancipation of minors. The 2018 Summer Meeting "Are the Kids Alright? Modern and Practical Challenges of Minors in Estates and Trusts" is taking place June 21 - 24 in Chicago.


Terry Franklin to Participate in ACTEC Webinar Discussing Maintaining Privilege in Client Communications

Partner Terry Franklin is joining a panel of American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) Fellows to present the webinar "Estate Planners and Other Advisors Working Together: Are Your Communications Protected?"

Estate planning attorneys may be asked to include other advisors in conversations about estate and tax planning, and clients often assume that communications about their estate plans will remain confidential, regardless of who is involved. But privilege does not apply to all communications and is easily waived, putting both client and attorney at risk. The webinar will address when privilege issues arise, the difference between privilege and work product and considerations for maintaining privilege when other advisors are participating in the planning process.

The webinar will be held April 24, 2018 from 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm EST. The seminar provides up to 1.8 hours of ethics instruction depending on state requirements. Learn more. ​​


Terry Franklin to Present "The 1846 Last Will of John Sutton" to Cincinnati Estate Planning Council

Partner Terry Franklin will present "The 1846 Last Will of John Sutton: What's New and Not So New in the World of Wills and Contest Litigation" to the Cincinnati Estate Planning Council at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center on April 26, 2018. Mr. Franklin’s talk shares the story of his search to find evidence that would answer the question whether there was love in the relationship between his fourth great-grandfather, John, a white slaveholder in the Antebellum South, and his fourth great-grandmother, Lucy, who was described in John's 1846 will as his 'mulatto slave'. The will emancipated Lucy, the eight children and six grandchildren that John and Lucy shared. In this multi-media presentation, Mr. Franklin retraces the path to his discovery of the will, and the unexpected will contest that threatened to keep his family enslaved. Mr. Franklin will also address issues of drafting to anticipate potential problems, the estate planner as witness and how the facts of an estate planning meeting can play out at trial. Learn more.


Jessica Uzcategui to Speak at 2018 American Bankers Association Fiduciary Litigation Workshop

Partner Jessica Uzcategui is again participating on the American Bankers Association Fiduciary Litigation Workshop panel as part of the 2018 Trust and Estate Planning Series, which addresses critical information on estate planning and trust administration topics. The panel of attorneys will examine current trends in trust disputes and fiduciary litigation, and steps for minimizing a trustee's exposure to liability, including:

  • Defenses and limitations
  • Administration and compensation
  • Jurisdiction and standing
  • Creating, funding and construction
  • Amendment, modification and termination
  • Settlements and arbitration
  • Trust investments
  • Power of attorney

The Workshop is being held Thursday, May 3, 2018 from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. ET.


Terry Franklin Named Co-President of Outfest Board of Directors

Partner Terry Franklin was voted in as Co-President of the Board of Directors for Outfest, the leading organization that promotes LGBT equality by creating, sharing and protecting LGBT stories on the screen. Mr. Franklin will serve a two-year term beginning in 2018. He previously served as Secretary.

Founded by UCLA students in 1982, Outfest builds community by connecting diverse populations to discover, discuss and celebrate stories of LGBT lives. Over the past three decades, Outfest has showcased thousands of films from around the world, educated and mentored hundreds of emerging filmmakers and protected more than 20,000 LGBT films and videos.


Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise Partners Selected as 2018 Southern California Super Lawyers
Meg Lodise named to "Top 50 Women" list for 8th consecutive year

Partners Matt McMurtrey, Terry Franklin, Ken Glazier, Meg Lodise, Bob Sacks and Jessica Uzcategui have been selected for inclusion on the 2018 Southern California Super Lawyers list for their work in the areas of Estate and Trust Litigation. Ms. Lodise has also been selected for inclusion on the "Top 50 Women" list for the eighth consecutive year.

This marks Matt’s fourth consecutive year, Terry’s fourteenth consecutive year, Ken’s thirteenth year, Meg’s fourteenth consecutive year, Bob’s fifteenth consecutive year and Jessica’s first year of being named to Southern California Super Lawyers.

Super Lawyers is a rating service of the top five percent of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. The Southern California lawyers who receive the highest point totals during this selection process are further recognized in Southern California Super Lawyers Top Lists.


Terry Franklin Speaks at 52nd Annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning

Partner Terry Franklin presented "The 1846 Last Will of John Sutton – What’s Not So New in Will Drafting and Contests" at the 52nd Annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning. His talk examined will drafting, the role of the attorney as counselor and witness, and the presentation of facts in a will contest trial. Mr. Franklin addressed this topic on the eve of the anniversary of the signing of the last will and testament of his ancestor, a Florida slave owner whose will emancipate the mother of his children and their offspring.

Mr. Franklin also participated on the panel "Trust Asset Protection Through a Tri-Focal Lens" examining the asset protection afforded beneficiaries through trusts from perspectives of the drafting attorney, trustees and other fiduciaries administering the trust, and those creditors seeking to reach the trust assets; and the panel "Ethics and Negotiations" discussing ethical and strategic implications in negotiating with counsel, clients, and advisors.

The conference took place January 22-26, 2018 in Orlando, Florida.


Terry Franklin Ranked by Chambers and Partners High Net Worth 2017 for Private Wealth Law

Partner Terry Franklin has been ranked by Chambers and Partners High Net Worth in the Private Wealth Law category for 2017. Mr. Franklin was recognized for his work representing high net worth individuals in trusts and estates litigation in Los Angeles. The guide covers private wealth management work and related specialisms in key jurisdictions around the world, featuring in-depth editorial about the leading lawyers and law firms for wealthy individuals and families.

In its editorial, Chambers noted: estate planning attorneys in Southern California consider [Terry] an "outstanding lawyer," and one enthuses: "He is, I think, the best litigator in town."

Chambers ranks individual lawyers in their practice area(s) on the basis of their legal knowledge and experience, their ability, their effectiveness, and their client-service.


Meg Lodise Teaches "Probate and Estate Litigation" at Loyola Law School

Partner Meg Lodise is again teaching "Probate and Estate Litigation" during the Spring semester at Loyola Law School to both J.D. and LLM candidates. The course covers practical and theoretical aspects of litigation in probate, including conservatorships, trusts, estates and related litigation.


Bob Sacks Obtain Noteworthy Trial Results

During the second half of 2017, Bob Sacks had two significant trial results: In one trial, they successfully obtained a preliminary injunction against a trustee, which prohibited him from making any distributions or paying any legal fees from the Trust while litigation concerning a possible reformation of the Trust continued. In a second trial defending a contest of a will, after two days of trial the contesting parties asked to reopen settlement discussions and the case settled during trial on very favorable terms.


Meg Lodise to Speak on "Riding the Practical and Ethical Waves of Acting as Court Appointed Counsel"

Partner Meg Lodise is co-presenting "Riding the Practical and Ethical Waves of Acting as Court Appointed Counsel" to the Conservatorship, Guardianship & Protective Proceedings section of the Orange County Bar Association on November 29, 2017. This informative program will include a discussion of the differences in expectations for appointed counsel in Orange County and Los Angeles County.


Matthew McMurtrey and Jessica Uzcategui to Speak at 2017 Aviva K. Bobb Advanced Probate Volunteer Panel Attorney Training Symposium

Managing Partner Matthew McMurtrey and Partner Jessica Uzcategui are participating on panels at the 2017 Aviva K. Bobb Advanced Probate Volunteer Panel Attorney Training Symposium presented by the Trusts and Estates Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. This year's program will examine conduct of Probate Volunteer Panel attorneys at contested hearings and mediation sessions, based on a fact pattern involving a proposed conservatee being isolated by highly annoying in-laws.

Mr. McMurtrey will discuss preparing witnesses to testify, and preparing for evidentiary hearing that's not a trial: putting on your best case, and possibly coordinating with other side(s) to expedite.

Ms. Uzcategui will speak on evidentiary considerations of experts, professionals (doctors, privately retained counsel) and possibly memory-impaired, possibly unduly influenced witnesses.

The Symposium is taking place November 18, 2017 at the Sportsmen's Lodge Events Center in Studio City, CA.


Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise Ranked on the 2018 Best Law Firms List by U.S. News - Best Lawyers®

U.S. News - Best Lawyers® ranks Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise on the 2018 Best Law Firms list: National - Trusts & Estates Law, and Los Angeles - Litigation - Trusts & Estates and Trusts & Estates Law.

The U.S. News - Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms" rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that involves the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in their field and review of additional information provided by law firms.


Terry Franklin to Present "Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession" at Beverly Hills Bar Association MCLE Extravaganza

Partner Terry Franklin will address recognition and elimination of bias in the legal profession and society at the Beverly Hills Bar Association (BHBA) MCLE Extravaganzas taking place November 2017 and January 2018. The BHBA offers MCLE "Extravaganzas" with hard-to-get subjects for attorneys in State Bar compliance groups to meet continuing legal education requirement deadline. Attendees will receive 6 hours of MCLE – 4 hours of Legal Ethics, 1 hour of Competence Issues and 1 hour of Elimination of Bias.


Terry Franklin Shares "The Last Will of Lucy Sutton" at Northwestern University Entertainment Alliance West Storytelling Event

Partner Terry Franklin led Northwestern University Entertainment Alliance (NUEA) West attendees on a captivating journey, tracing the path that uncovered his fourth great-grandfather’s will and his search to find answers about his family’s heritage, including an unexpected will contest that threatened to keep his family enslaved. Mr. Franklin has spoken extensively across the U.S. about his ancestry and the related legal issues to law, tax and estate planning organizations, as well as at the Annual Harriet Tubman Conference and the Underground Railroad Freedom Center. The NUEA West Storytelling Event took place on October 24 at the Matrix Theatre in Los Angeles. Mr. Franklin is an ’84 alumnus of Northwestern University. View the presentation.


Terry Franklin to Address Will Drafting and Contests at the Through the Looking Glass Symposium

Partner Terry Franklin is presenting "The 1846 Last Will of John Sutton - What's Not So New in Will Drafting and Contests" at the Through the Looking Glass Symposium scheduled for January 16, 2018, at California State University, Channel Islands. Mr. Franklin will discuss the discovery of his fourth great-grandfather's will and the unexpected will contest that threatened to keep his family enslaved. He will relate the issues of drafting to current-day potential problems. The Symposium audience will be comprised of estate planning attorneys, CPAs and certified financial planners throughout the region.


Terry Franklin to Participate on "Ethics" Panel at ACTEC 2017 Fall Meeting

Partner Terry Franklin is speaking on the panel, "You’re Keepin’ Too Many Secrets from Me": Lawyers and Other Advisors Working Together – Are Your Communications Privileged? at the American College of Trust and Estate Council (ACTEC) Fall Meeting. The session will examine situations when estate planners include other advisors in conversations about estate and tax planning, and when privilege issues can arise, the difference between privilege and work product, and maintaining privilege when other advisors are participating in the planning process. Panelists will also discuss issues particular to email communications and best practices for preserving privilege.

The Fall Meeting is taking place October 19 – 22, 2017 in Nashville. ACTEC is a national organization of approximately 2,500 lawyers elected to membership by demonstrating the highest level of integrity, commitment to the profession, competence and experience as trust and estate counselors.


Bob Sacks & Jessica Uzcategui Appointed to ABA Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Council

Partner Bob Sacks was re-nominated to serve a three-year term on the American Bar Association Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law’s governing Council. This is Mr. Sacks second term on the Council, as part of its Trust and Estate Division. He is the Supervisory Council Member for the Litigation, Ethics and Malpractice Group of Committees, and also serves as the Section Liaison to the National College of Probate Judges. Bob previously held the following Section positions: Chair and Vice-Chair, Estate and Trust Litigation and Controversy Committee; Group Chair and Vice-Chair, Litigation, Ethics and Malpractice Group; Member and Vice-Chair, Corporate Sponsorship Committee; Member and Vice-Chair, Communications Committee; Member, Committee on Groups and Substantive Committees.

Partner Jessica Uzcategui was appointed to her first term on the American Bar Association Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law’s governing Council. Ms. Uzcategui previously held the following Section positions: Assistant Secretary, Trust and Estate Division; Vice-Chair, Probate & Fiduciary Litigation Committee; Co-Chair, Ethics and Malpractice Committee; Member, Corporate Sponsorship Committee; Member, Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

The ABA Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law is a leading national forum for lawyers, and focuses on legal aspects of property use, ownership, development, transfer, regulation, financing, taxation and disposal. The Trust and Estate Division focuses on all aspects of trusts, estate planning, employee benefits, insurance, and probate and trust litigation.


Jessica Uzcategui to Present at 39th Annual Duke University Estate Planning Conference

Partner Jessica Uzcategui is speaking on "Fiduciary Litigation Topics In Depth" at the 39th Annual Duke University Estate Planning Conference. Ms. Uzcategui will discuss recent trends in five areas of fiduciary litigation: (1) the overlap of fiduciary standards and the business judgment rule when trusts hold business interests, (2) the liability of a trustee when investments decline in value, (3) a beneficiary’s standing to sue for breach of trust and other remedies, (4) the extent to which beneficiaries of revocable trusts can demand information for the period while the trust was revocable, and (5) the intersection of trusts and family law.

The conference is being held October 12-13, 2017 and consists of a series of lecture sessions designed to examine current developments in the estate and gift tax field; strengthen the practitioner’s knowledge and application of estate planning techniques to a multitude of diverse and complex problems; and to provide a forum for the discussion of important estate planning problems and their solutions. Faculty members have been selected for their knowledge of the subjects, presentation skills, and ability to communicate.


Matthew McMurtrey Named an Executive Editor of California Trust and Estates Quarterly

Partner Matthew McMurtrey has been named an Executive Editor of California Trust and Estates Quarterly, effective the December 2017/January 2018 issue. Mr. McMurtrey previously served as a Managing Editor. The Quarterly is the official publication of the Trusts & Estates section of the California State Bar and features articles written by leading authors, practitioners and scholars. Learn more about the Quarterly here.


Matthew McMurtrey Nominated to LACBA Board of Trustees

Partner Matthew McMurtrey was named to the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA) Board of Trustees as Section Trustee for the 2017-2018 bar year (terms commencing July 1, 2017).

LACBA is one of the largest voluntary metropolitan bar associations in the nation, with more than 18,000 members. LACBA is engaged in advancing the administration of justice and meeting the professional needs of lawyers.

Terry Franklin to Speak at 54th Annual Hawaii Tax Institute

Partner Terry Franklin is presenting "The 1846 Last Will of John Sutton: What's New and Not So New in the World of Drafting Wills and Contest Litigation" at the 54th Annual Hawaii Tax Institute on November 8, 2017. The session will trace Mr. Franklin's fascinating path that led to the discovery of his fourth great-grandfather's will, and the unexpected will contest that threatened to keep his family enslaved. Mr. Franklin will discuss issues of drafting to anticipate potential problems, the Wealth Transfer Advisor as witness, and how the facts of an estate planning meeting can play out at trial. The presentation will also involve a discussion of racial division and bias, as well as LGBT bias and the parallels between racial barriers to relations and legal barriers that existed prior to the Supreme Court's 2016 decision in Obergefell. Attendees will receive Legal Elimination of Bias Credit.

The Hawaii Tax Institute is being held November 6-9, 2017. The program is designed for attorneys, accountants, financial planners, bank and trust administrators, insurance agents, non-profit administrators, enrolled agents and others, interested in keeping abreast of the latest developments in tax and wealth transfer matters.

Terry Franklin to Present at San Francisco Estate Planning Council - September 2017 Meeting

Partner Terry Franklin is speaking on "The Will of John Sutton: What's New and Not So New in Estate Litigation" at the upcoming San Francisco Estate Planning Council meeting on September 19, 2017. He will lead attendees on a journey uncovering his family's path to freedom from slavery through his fourth great-grandfather's 1846 last will and testament, which emancipated his fourth great-grandmother, their eight children and six grandchildren. Mr. Franklin will also discuss the will contest that nearly kept the family in brutal slavery in the context of what's new - and not-so-new - in estate litigation. Attendees will receive one hour of MCLE credit.
The San Francisco Estate Planning Council is a highly recognized interdisciplinary organization for San Francisco professionals involved in estate planning.

Seven Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise Attorneys Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2018

Bob Sacks Recognized as "Lawyer of the Year" in Trusts & Estates Litigation

All six partners: Matt McMurtrey, Terry Franklin, Ken Glazier, Meg Lodise, Bob Sacks, Jessica Uzcategui were selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2018 for their work in trusts and estates litigation.

Bob Sacks was also named "Lawyer of the Year," the second time he has been recognized on the list for Trusts and Estates Litigation. "Lawyer of the Year" is awarded to individual attorneys with the highest overall peer-feedback for a specific practice area and geographic region. Only one attorney is recognized as the "Lawyer of the Year" for each specialty and location.

The firm's attorneys have been selected to Best Lawyers' list for the following years:

  • Terry Franklin - Recognized since 2011, "Lawyer of the Year" 2016
  • Ken Glazier - Recognized since 2011
  • Meg Lodise - Recognized since 2011; "Lawyer of the Year" 2012
  • Matt McMurtrey - Recognized since 2016
  • Bob Sacks - Recognized since 2011; "Lawyer of the Year" 2014 and 2018
  • Jessica Uzcategui - Recognized since 2014

For more than three decades, Best Lawyers® has become regarded as the definitive guide to legal professionalism and excellence around the globe. Best Lawyers® is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey. More than 52,000 leading attorneys cast 5.5 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in more than 130 practice areas.

Ryan Houck Named on 2017 Super Lawyer Southern California Rising Stars List

Ryan Houck selected for inclusion on the 2017 Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars for their work in Estates and Trusts. This is Mr. Houck's second year.

The Rising Stars list is comprised of the top 2.5 percent of lawyers in Southern California who are under 40 years of age, or who have been practicing for 10 years or less, and have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.


Meg Lodise Speaking to the Beverly Hills Bar Association Trusts & Estates Section

Partner Meg Lodise is co-presenting "New Ethics Rule On The Horizon (We Mean It This Time!) And Other Recent Developments" to the Beverly Hills Bar Association Trusts & Estate Section on June 20, 2017. Ms. Lodise will discuss issues that can arise in the representation of multiple parties, successor trustees, successors in interest, and the applicability of the Rules of Professional Conduct, among other things. Attendees will receive one hour of Participatory Credit and one hour of Legal Specialization Credit.


Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise Proudly Co-Sponsors Annual Los Angeles County Bar Trusts & Estates Probate Court Reception

Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise is co-sponsoring the annual Los Angeles County Bar Trusts & Estates Probate Court Reception. The event is attended by probate attorneys, judicial officers of the probate department, and members of the Trusts & Estates Section. The evening reception is being held May 15, 2017 at the Omni Los Angeles Hotel. View registration details here.


Terry Franklin to Speak at National Underground Railroad Conference/Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Conference

Partner Terry Franklin is presenting "The Last Will of Lucy Sutton: One Family’s Legal Odyssey from Slavery to Freedom" on the panel "Liberation and the Law: Slavery and Freedom" at the National Underground Railroad Conference and Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Conference in Cambridge, Maryland on May 20, 2017. The conference, "On the Edge of Freedom: Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad in the Borderlands," will explore all aspects of the Underground Railroad and honor the grand opening of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center. The conference brings together scholars, site stewards, researchers, student artists, and enthusiasts from across the nation for four days of renowned speakers, panel discussions, workshops, an exhibit hall, and tours.


Meg Lodise and Jessica Uzcategui Featured in Best Lawyers 2017 Women in Law Business Edition

Partners Meg Lodise and Jessica Uzcategui were recognized in the Best Lawyers 2017 Women in Law Business Edition for Trusts and Estates work in California. Ms. Lodise has been selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America(c) since 2011, and Ms. Uzcategui since 2014. Since its inception, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers lists are compiled based on an exhaustive peer review evaluation.

View the issue here.


Meg Lodise Chairs Pomona College Presidential Search Committee

Partner Meg Lodise served as Chair of the Pomona College Presidential Search Committee from April through December 2016 to select the college’s tenth president, G. Gabrielle Starr, a highly regarded scholar of English literature whose work reaches across neuroscience and the arts. A Pomona College alumna, Ms. Lodise led the 15-person search committee with trustee faculty, staff, student, alumni and parent representation.

Upon Ms. Starr’s appointment by the Board of Trustees, Ms. Lodise commented: "I and the Presidential Search Committee have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Gabi these past few months. Her keen intellect and warm personality make her a wonderful fit for Pomona and I look forward to Gabi bringing her creativity, energy and enthusiasm to Pomona."

Ms. Starr will be the first woman and the first African American president of Pomona College, one of the nation’s premier liberal arts institutions.


Jessica Uzcategui Speaks on "Effective Small Firm and Solo Practice Management" at Harvard Law School

Partner Jessica Uzcategui spoke at Harvard Law School's Third Celebration of Latino Alumni on a panel addressing the pros and cons of small firm practice, including the steps to consider before moving to a small firm, and practice tips for effective marketing and firm management. The program, "Latino Leadership: Embracing the Challenge," took place March 2-5, 2017.


Sacks, Glazier Franklin & Lodise Partners to Speak at ABA Real Property Trust & Estate Law 29th Annual Spring Symposia

Partners Terrence Franklin, Robert Sacks and Jessica Uzcategui will participate in the American Bar Association's Real Property Trust & Estate Law Section's 29th Annual Spring Symposia CLE Meeting being held April 20 - 21, 2017 in Denver.

Mr. Franklin is speaking on the panel "Ethics and Mediation: The Highs and Lows of Taming Two Broncos" on Thursday, April 20. This program explores ethical issues that can arise in the negotiation of settlements, and the ethical duties of the mediator, counsel and advisor. The panel will be highlighted by a mock mediation in which the parties and their attorneys grapple with common yet intriguing ethical challenges.

Mr. Sacks will be the program moderator for "Harmonizing the Sometimes Discordant Duties of Trustees Who Also Run the Family Business" on Friday, April 21. This panel explores whether and how an individual simultaneously wearing a trustee hat and a corporate fiduciary hat can successfully serve the beneficiaries of the trust and the shareholders/owners of the company. Panelists will address the numerous issues that can arise in such capacities.

Ms. Uzcategui will participate on the panel, "High Stakes Litigation: When to Bring in the Expert to Win Your Case" on Friday, April 21. The program examines the role of expert witnesses and consultants; do’s and don’ts of retaining and working with an expert; considerations for agreeing to be an expert; and related ethics and malpractice issues.

You can learn more about the 2017 ABA RPTE Spring Symposia here.


Matthew McMurtrey & Ryan Houck to Speak at California State Bar

Managing Partner Matthew McMurtrey and Attorney Ryan Houck will present "Introduction to Trust and Estate Litigation" at the California State Bar offices in San Francisco on March 2, 2017 for one-hour of MCLE credit.

The program focuses on will contests; trust petitions filed under Probate Code Section 17200; and petitions filed under Probate Code Section 850 concerning property belonging to an estate or a trust. McMurtrey and Houck will address the issues encompassed in these petitions, and the filing procedures that need to be fulfilled.


Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise Attorneys Selected as 2017 Southern California Super Lawyers and Margaret Lodise Named to "Top 50 Women" List

Partners Robert Sacks, Kenneth Glazier, Terrence Franklin, Margaret Lodise and Managing Partner Matthew McMurtrey have been selected for inclusion on the 2017 Southern California Super Lawyers list for their work in the areas of Estate and Trust Litigation. Margaret has also been selected for inclusion on the "Top 50 Women" list.

Robert has been named to the Super Lawyers' list for 14 consecutive years, Terrence for 13 consecutive years, Kenneth for 12 consecutive years and Matthew for three consecutive years. Margaret has been named to the Super Lawyers list for 13 consecutive years and "Top 50 Women" for seven consecutive years.

Super Lawyers is a rating service of the top five percent of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. The Southern California lawyers who receive the highest point totals during this selection process are further recognized in Southern California Super Lawyers Top Lists.

Terry Franklin Speaks to the Beverly Hills Bar Association Trusts & Estates Section

Partner Terry Franklin spoke at the Beverly Hills Bar Association Trusts & Estates section luncheon on Tuesday, January 17, 2017. His presentation, "The 1846 Last Will of John Sutton: What's New and Not So New in the World of Drafting Wills and Contest Litigation" examined racial division and bias, as well as LGBT bias. He also looked at the parallels between racial barriers to relationships and legal barriers that existed prior to the Supreme Court's 2015 decision in Obergefell. Mr. Franklin further discussed the laws that prohibited testimony by people of color and the ways that lawyers got around those barriers.


  • Jessica Uzcategui Accepted to American College of Trust and Estate Counsel

    Partner Jessica A. Uzcategui has been accepted as a Fellow by the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC). ACTEC is a nonprofit association of lawyers and law professors with experience in all areas of trust and estate law. Its more than 2,700 members are called "Fellows" and are elected to membership based on their outstanding reputation, exceptional skill, and substantial contributions to the field by lecturing, writing, teaching and participating in bar activities. It is their aim to improve and reform probate, trust and tax laws, procedures, and professional responsibility.

    Ms. Uzcategui was also a panelist at her first ACTEC meeting in Charleston, South Carolina in October 2016. She presented on a panel titled "Confronting Litigation and Non-Litigation Challenges of a Trusts and Estates Practice; The Lawyer as a Witness" and offered advice to lawyers serving a fact witnesses, party defendants, and expert witnesses.


    Margaret Lodise & Jessica Uzcategui to Speak at 51st Annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning

    Partners Margaret G. Lodise and Jessica A. Uzcategui will speak at the 51st Annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning taking place January 9-13, 2017 at the Orlando World Center Marriott Resort and Convention Center.

    Ms. Lodise will participate on the panel, "Arriving by Plane with a Briefcase-Lawyers Serving as Expert Witnesses." On Thursday, January 12, the panel will discuss an attorney serving as an expert witness in family disputes, attorney malpractice cases, trustee issues, and tax controversies.

    Ms. Uzcategui will speak on the panel, "Protecting Yourself When Planning in Unsettled Waters: A Case Study on How to Structure Your Client Relationship to Protect Yourself from Malpractice Claims and Ethical Issues." This session will explore the steps that practitioners can take to protect themselves from malpractice suits when planning in unsettled areas. It will illustrate practical and ethical issues surrounding the initial client engagement, settlement negotiations with third parties, and practical defenses to common malpractice claims.

    The 51st Institute offers practical guidance on today's most important tax and non-tax planning issues, valuable insights on what might lie ahead, and innovative planning strategies for the future. As the premiere conference for estate planning professionals, the Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning provides unparalleled educational and professional development opportunities for all members of the estate planning team.


  • Matthew McMurtrey Named Managing Editor of California Trust and Estates Quarterly

Partner Matthew McMurtrey has been named Managing Editor of California Trust and Estates Quarterly, the official publication of the Trusts & Estates section of the California State Bar. The publication features articles and columns written by leading authors, practitioners and scholars, and is distributed to section members. Learn more about the Quarterly here.


  • Sacks Glazier Franklin & Lodise Ranked on the 2017 "Best Law Firms" List by U.S. News - Best Lawyers®

U.S. News - Best Lawyers® ranked Sacks Glazier Franklin & Lodise on the 2017 "Best Law Firms" list in the National Tier 2 Ranking for Trust and Estates Law and the Metropolitan Tier 1 Ranking in Los Angeles for their work in Trust and Estates Litigation and Trust and Estates Law.

The U.S. News - Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms" rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that involves the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in their field and review of additional information provided by law firms.


  • Harvard Law Bulletin Features Partner Terry Franklin in "Will Power" Article

    Partner Terry Franklin has traveled across the country presenting the 1846 will of John Sutton, his 4th great grandfather who was a slaveholder in the antebellum South. In the will, Franklin discovers the love relationship between Sutton and his "mulatto" slave, Lucy, who was Franklin’s 4th great grandmother. In the fall issue of the Harvard Law Bulletin, Franklin discusses the nuances of their relationship and its correlation to his practice as a trust and estate litigator

    read more.
    • In the article, Franklin embraces the intersection of past and present and explains his journeys from Illinois and California back to the Deep South, where Sutton lived. He details tracing the document to Duval County, Florida where he viewed both the will and the handwritten transcript of a will contest trial by the judge. Through his research, Franklin discovers Sutton taking the necessary precautions to protect Lucy and ensure her freedom.
      Read full article


  • Terry Franklin to Speak at the East Bay Trust & Estates Lawyers Seventh Annual Luncheon

    Partner Terry Franklin will share how his family’s history – which dates back to slavery – impacts his practice as a trust and estates litigator at the East Bay Trust & Estates Lawyers Seventh Annual Luncheon on November 4 in Oakland, CA.

    read more.
    • In looking for evidence that would answer whether there was love in the relationship between his 4th great grandfather, John, a white slaveholder in the Antebellum South, and his 4th great grandmother, Lucy, a "mulatto" slave and the mother of John’s children, Franklin discovered a fascinating story – befitting of a trust and estate’s litigator. He will share his findings with other trusts and estates lawyers during his special luncheon presentation.


  • Matthew McMurtrey Obtains Judgment of More than $950,000 in Trust Litigation Case

    In 2006, Managing Partner Matthew McMurtrey filed a lawsuit on behalf of a beneficiary who is the sister of the decedent. The decedent and his surviving spouse had created a joint trust, which was to divide into two subtrusts upon the first spouse's death. His client argued that her brother's surviving spouse inappropriately moved the couple's residence and other money out of the decedent's subtrust, thereby depriving it of its major assets.

    read more.
    • For the first six years of the case, Mr. McMurtrey was embroiled in filing pleadings, conducting discovery, and fighting with opposing counsel while the final four years was consumed by trial. Mr. McMurtrey was successful in persuading the trial court that the residence-worth approximately $450,000- had been funded into the decedent's subtrust, but was improperly removed by the surviving spouse who then hid the transaction in bad faith. He was also successful in persuading the trial court that the surviving spouse took over $61,000 from the decedent's subtrust in bad faith, causing the court to double the sister's financial recovery, and the court assessed interest starting on April 1, 2006. Because of the surviving spouse's bad faith, the judge awarded attorney fees to Mr. McMurtrey's client in the amount of $317,033.62.


  • Douglas Lawson Compete in the US Bank Stair Climb

    On September 30, Douglas Lawson competed in the US Bank Stair Climb for the YMCA. Together, with a donation from the firm, they raised $950 to support children, teens, families and seniors in some of the most under-resourced neighborhoods in the city. More than 3,252 climbers raced to the top of the 75-story, 1,005 feet building in Downtown LA.

    read more.
    • A special recognition goes to Douglas, who finished in 22nd place overall, with a time of 13:04!


  • Matthew McMurtrey Speak at CYLA Symposium

    Matthew McMurtrey will present an hour-long program at the California Young Lawyers Association (CYLA) Symposium discussing the most common petitions filed in Estates and Trusts. The program will focus on will contests, trust petitions filed under Probate Code Section 17200, and petitions filed under Probate Code Section 850 concerning property belonging to an estate or a trust. McMurtrey will address the issues encompassed in these petitions and the filing procedures that need to be fulfilled.

    read more.
    • CYLA is a section of the California State Bar that develops strategies for increasing young lawyer involvement and participation in the State Bar, and facilitates the development of programs and services that assist young lawyers in their professional and leadership



  • All Six Partners Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2017

    All six Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise Partners Robert Sacks, Kenneth Glazier, Terrence Franklin, Margaret Lodise, Matthew McMurtrey and Jessica Uzcategui were selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2017 for their litigation work in trusts and estates.

    read more.
    • For more than three decades, Best Lawyers® has become regarded as the definitive guide to legal professionalism and excellence around the globe. Best Lawyers® is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey. More than 52,000 leading attorneys cast 5.5 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in more than 130 practice areas.


  • Robert Sacks and Terrence Franklin Present on Hot Topics In Estate, Trust and Conservatorship Litigation at University of Wisconsin's Estate Planning Summer Program

    Partners Robert N. Sacks and Terrence M. Franklin presented "Hot Issues in Estate, Trust, and Conservatorship Litigation," at the University of Wisconsin's annual Estate Planning In Depth program on June 27, 2016.

    read more.
    • The session covered a broad range of issues in contested estate, trust, and conservatorship matters that are highly relevant to litigators and estate planners. The panel also addressed the various types of contested matters that arise in these areas such as traditional contests, intentional interference with expected inheritance, pre-death contests including substituted judgment proceedings, and ways for estate planners prevent them.


  • Meg Lodise Affirm Sanctions Order of More than $75,000 in a Conservatorship Action

    In April 2016, a two-year battle came to an end after Partner Meg Lodise argued an award of sanctions in a conservatorship case before the Second District Court of Appeal, and the appellate court affirmed the sanctions order.

    read more.
    • Lodise represented the respondent in an imposition of conservatorship matter in 2014 and filed a motion seeking to dismiss the conservatorship petition on the grounds that it was improperly filed to gain leverage in a pending family law case, and for sanctions. The conservatorship action was dismissed, and the Court then granted the motion, awarding the full amount of the requested fees, totaling more than $75,000. The sanctions order was appealed by the petitioners and argued before the Second District Court of Appeal, and in April 2016, the order was affirmed.


  • Ryan D. Houck Named on 2016 Super Lawyer Southern California Rising Stars List

    Ryan D. Houckselected for inclusion on the 2016 Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars. This marks Mr. Houck’s first year

    read more.
    • The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. The Rising Stars list selects the top 2.5 percent of lawyers in Southern California who are under 40 years of age, or who have been practicing for 10 years or less.


  • Partner Terry Franklin Speaks at Texas Bar CLE on The Will Contest of John Sutton

    Partner Terry Franklin is presenting "The Will Contest of John Sutton," at the Texas State Bar CLE Advanced Estate Planning Strategies seminar on April 29 in Santa Fe, NM. Going back nearly 170 years in time, Mr. Franklin invites attendees on a journey to discover the Will that was intended to free his ancestors as well as the Will contest that sought to keep them enslaved.


  • Matthew McMurtrey and Ryan Houck Speak at Trust and Estates Section 2016 Spring Conference

    Managing Partner Matthew McMurtrey and Attorney Ryan Houck will speak as panel members at the State Bar of California Trust and Estates Section Spring Conference on April 22, 2016, in Costa Mesa, California. Their presentation is titled, "Appellate Issues in Trust and Estates Matters," and their panel will focus on the final judgment rule, the deadline to file an appeal, the various appellate statutes involved in perfecting an appeal, the Sterling case, and Probate Code Section 1310.

    read more.
    • The Trust and Estates Section includes more than 6000 attorneys from Eureka to El Centro with interests in Estate Planning, Income and Transfer Taxes, Trust and Estate Administration, Conservatorship and Elder Law.


  • Five Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise Attorneys Selected as 2016 Southern California Super Lawyers and Margaret Lodise Named to "Top 50 Women" List

    Partners Robert Sacks, Kenneth Glazier, Terrence Franklin, Margaret Lodise and Managing Partner Matthew McMurtrey have been selected for inclusion on the 2016 Southern California Super Lawyers list for their work in estate & trust litigation. Margaret has also been selected for inclusion on the "Top 50 Women" list.

    read more.
    • Robert has been named to the Super Lawyers' list for 13 consecutive years, Terrence and Margaret for 12 consecutive years, Kenneth for 11 years and Matthew for 2 consecutive years.

      Super Lawyers is a rating service of the top five percent of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.


  • Margaret Lodise Teaches at Loyola Law School

    Partner Margaret G. Lodise is teaching "Probate and Estate Litigation" during the Fall semester at Loyola Law School to both J.D. and LLM candidates. The course covers practical and theoretical aspects of litigation in probate, including conservatorships, trusts, estates and related litigation.

  • Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise Ranked on the 2016 "Best Law Firms" List by U.S. News - Best Lawyers ®

    U.S. News - Best Lawyers ® ranked Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise on the 2016 "Best Law Firms" list in the National Tier 2 Ranking for Trusts & Estates Law. The firm was also listed in the Metropolitan Tier 1 Ranking in Los Angeles for their work in Trusts & Estates Litigation and Trusts & Estates Law.

    read more.
    • The U.S. News - Best Lawyers ® "Best Law Firms" rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in their field and review of additional information provided by law firms.


  • Terrence Franklin and Margaret Lodise to Speak at 41 st Annual Trust and Estate Conference

    Partners Terrence Franklin and Margaret Lodise are presenting at the 41 st Annual University of Southern California Gould School of Law's Trust and Estate Conference on November 20, 2015. Mr. Franklin will present on his family history of a slavery emancipation by will, and related will contest in the Antebellum South, and Ms. Lodise will address litigation issues related to diminished capacity and undue influence in California.

    read more.
    • The Trust and Estate Conference brings attorneys, trust officers, accountants, financial planners, professional fiduciaries and other professionals in the industry with the goal of educating attendees on techniques and trends in trust and estate planning.


  • Sacks Glazier Franklin & Lodise welcomes new attorneys Douglas E. Lawson

  • LOS ANGELES, CA - Sacks Glazier Franklin & Lodise , exclusively practicing in estate, trust and conservatorship litigation, is pleased to announce the addition of two associate attorneys, Douglas E. Lawson.

    "We are proud to welcome Douglas ," says Managing Partner Matt McMurtrey. "These fine associate attorneys bring the ability and knowledge to contribute to the firm's continued success representing clients in trust, estate and conservatorship litigation."

  • Mr. Lawson obtained his Juris Doctor from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law and his Bachelor of Arts from Duke University. During law school, he interned with the National Basketball Players Association, representing athletes in collective bargaining negotiations with team owners. Mr. Lawson's experience at his prior firm includes handling complex civil litigation in contract disputes, white-collar criminal defense and product liability.

  • obtained her Juris Doctor from University of Southern California Gould School of Law, where she was a Hale Moot Court Honors Program quarterfinalist. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts cum laude from the University of California, Los Angeles. As a litigation associate at her previous firm, handled matters involving fraud, breach of contract, business torts and employment litigation and counseling.


  • Margaret Lodise to Present at OCBA's Trusts & Estates Law Section Meeting on California Supreme Court Ruling on Posthumous Amendment of Wills

    In September, Partner Margaret Lodise will present to the Orange County Bar Association's (OCBA) Trusts & Estates Law Section on a recent landmark California Supreme Court decision that a will may be reformed after one's death if there is clear and convincing extrinsic evidence that the will does not accurately reflect the testator's wishes.

    read more.
    • Ms. Lodise represented several of the heirs of the testator Irving Duke. Though the trial and appellate courts found that his will unambiguously created intestacy and his estate should be distributed to his heirs, the Supreme Court overturned this decision on appeal. The case will now go back to the trial court where Ms. Lodise will represent the family members in applying the newly created law to the facts of this case.


  • Jessica Uzcategui Appointed Assistant Secretary for American Bar Association's RPTE Trusts & Estates Division

    Partner Jessica A. Uzcategui was appointed as Assistant Secretary of the Trusts & Estates Division of the American Bar Association's (ABA) Real Property, Trust and Estate Law (RPTE) section. As Assistant Secretary of the Trusts & Estates Division, Ms. Uzcategui will continue to provide leadership and expertise on current legal issues, trends, and best practices for RPTE's members.

    read more.
    • RPTE is a diverse community of around 22,000 U.S. and international lawyers, paralegals, real estate and financial services professionals, law students and legal educators.


  • Best Lawyers' 2016 Los Angeles Litigation - Trust & Estates, "Lawyer of the Year"

    All six Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise Partners Robert Sacks, Kenneth Glazier, Terrence Franklin, Margaret Lodise, Jessica Uzcategui and Matthew McMurtrey, were selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America © 2016 list for their litigation work in trusts and estates.

    read more.
    • Additionally, Mr. Franklin has been selected as the 2016 Lawyer of the Year for his litigation work in trusts and estates.

      For more than three decades, Best Lawyers ® has become regarded as the definitive guide to legal professionalism and excellence around the globe. Best Lawyers ® is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey. More than 52,000 leading attorneys cast 5.5 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in more than 130 practice areas.


  • Matthew McMurtrey Appointed Vice Chair of LACBA’s Trusts & Estates Section

    The Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA) appointed Managing Partner Matthew McMurtrey as the Vice Chair of the Trusts & Estates Section. As Vice Chair, Mr. McMurtrey will establish the section’s goals for the year and work with the other officers to implement these goals.

    read more.
    • The LACBA Trusts & Estates Section is dedicated to educating its members on all issues pertaining to laws governing trusts, probate estates, guardianships, conservatorships and other matters within estate planning and administration.


  • Jessica Uzcategui Presents at ABA Annual Spring Real Property Symposia on Harmless Error Doctrine

    Partner Jessica Uzcategui presented on the panel, "Letters, Notes and Napkins: Harmless Error and Writings Intended as Wills," at the American Bar Association's (ABA) 27 th Annual Estate Planning and Real Property Spring Symposia on April 30, 2015 in Washington D.C. Ms. Uzcategui explored the traditional approach of courts requiring strict compliance with will formalities and discussed the emerging application of the harmless error doctrine to admit non-traditional documents to probate.

    read more.
    • The ABA Annual Estate Planning and Real Property Spring Symposia encourages attendees to hone their skills in both estate planning and real property law by offering presentations featuring the nation's leading practitioners and professionals.


  • American Bankers Association Welcomes Jessica Uzcategui on Fiduciary Litigation Roundtable Webcast

    Partner Jessica Uzcategui presented on the American Bankers Association's Fiduciary Litigation Roundtable Webcast on May 7, 2015. Ms. Uzcategui reviewed the current trends in fiduciary litigation and explained how to minimize a trustee's exposure to litigation.

    read more.
    • The Fiduciary Litigation Roundtable is part of the 2015 briefings/webcast series on Trust and Estate Planning intended to inform and update bankers on timely topics and provide practical solutions to better perform in this financial climate.


  • Three Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise Attorneys Selected for Inclusion on 2015 Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars List

    Partner Jessica A. Uzcategui, Of Counsel G. Lisa Wick, and Associate selected for inclusion on the 2015 Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars list. This marks the 5 th year that Ms. Uzcategui has been named to the list for her work in probate litigation and the 3 rd consecutive year for Ms. Wick for her work in estate and trust litigation.

    read more.
    • Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from a wide range of practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. The Rising Stars list selects the top 2.5 percent of lawyers in Southern California who are 40 and under, or who have been practicing for 10 years or less.


  • Margaret Lodise Appointed Chair of ACTEC's Fiduciary Litigation Committee

    Partner Margaret G. Lodise was appointed as Chair of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel's (ACTEC) Fiduciary Litigation Committee. As Chair of the Fiduciary Litigation Committee, Ms. Lodise will continue the committee's long-standing tradition of providing quality discussion of relevant legal issues and educational programs on all aspects of fiduciary litigation to the committee and to ACTEC at large to enhance members' ability to provide quality services to clients.

    read more.
    • ACTEC is a nonprofit association of lawyers consisting of members elected by demonstrating the highest level of integrity, commitment, competence and experience as trust and estate counselors.

  • Matthew McMurtrey to Present at San Gabriel Valley Fiduciary Round Table on Bonds and Insurance

    Managing Partner Matthew McMurtrey will join Will Mingram of Bond Services in a program titled, "Fiduciary Bonds and the Litigation that Results" at the San Gabriel Valley Fiduciary Round Table on June 10, 2015. Mr. McMurtrey will discuss several cases involving the pursuit of fiduciary bonds and Mr. Mingram will discuss cases about bond litigation to provide an explanation of how the fiduciary bond differs from other kinds of liability insurance.

    read more.
    • The San Gabriel Valley Fiduciary Round Table provides a platform for sharing information and networking among fiduciaries and their supporters.


  • Robert Sacks and Terrence Franklin to Present on Hot Topics In Estate, Trust and Conservatorship Litigation at University of Wisconsin's Estate Planning Summer Program

    Partners Terrence M. Franklin and Robert N. Sacks will be presenting a program in June 2015 covering various current issues in estate, trust and conservatorship litigation. This program will be presented at the University of Wisconsin's annual Estate Planning In Depth program, and will address will and trust contests, pre-death contests, intentional interference with expected inheritance, and other issues. This annual conference is a very well-known program for estate planners and others in the trust and estate community.


  • Sacks Glazier Franklin & Lodise Lawyers Prevail During Trial

    In March 2015, Robert N. Sacks represented numerous heirs of a substantial probate estate in a trial seeking the removal of the Administrator of that estate. After the first day of trial concluded, including substantial cross-examination of the Administrator, the Court set the trial to resume in April. One week before the next trial date, the Administrator resigned and a neutral successor Administrator nominated by the heirs was appointed in her place. Related litigation against the former Administrator seeking a surcharge and other damages is continuing.


  • Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise Prevails from Trial through Appeal and Beyond

    In mid-2012, lawyers Robert Sacks and Lisa Wick represented a Trustee in a multi-day trial on numerous claims brought by the Trustee's sisters. Those sisters, along with the Trustee, were beneficiaries of their parents' Trust. The sisters stated numerous claims which included challenging Trust amendments executed by their father but not their mother, as well as numerous property deeds executed only by their father, all of which favored the Trustee as a beneficiary. Although the Trust stated that any amendments had to be signed by both parents, the Trustee's position prevailed on all grounds at trial. The sisters appealed, and lawyers Robert Sacks, Matthew McMurtrey handled the appeal. In October 2014, the Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court decision on all grounds. The sisters filed a Petition to Review with the Supreme Court of California, and in February 2015, that Court denied the Petition. The result was that the Trustee was not removed, was not liable for any damages, and as a beneficiary, retained extremely valuable real properties.


  • Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise Partners Selected for Inclusion on the 2015 Southern California Super Lawyers List

    Partners Robert Sacks, Kenneth Glazier, Terrence Franklin, Margaret Lodise, and Matthew McMurtrey were selected for inclusion on the 2015 Southern California Super Lawyers list for their work in estate and trust litigation. Ms. Lodise was selected for inclusion on the "Top 50 Women" list. This also marks Mr. McMurtrey's first year being named as a Super Lawyer.

    read more.
    • Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from a wide range of practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.


  • Lisa Wick Appointed to Of Counsel

    Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise is pleased to announce the appointment of G. Lisa Wickto Of Counsel. Ms. Wick's practice focuses on trust, estate and conservatorship litigation. She is recognized on the list of Southern California Super Lawyers "Rising Stars".

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    • Ms. Wick is the former Regional Editor for the American Bar Association's Litigation Section's Trust and Estates Committee, a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Trusts and Estates Section, Black Women Lawyers Bar Association and Beverly Hills Bar Association, and has volunteered at the Bet Tzedek Self Help Conservatorship Clinic.

      Ms. Wick earned her Juris Doctorate from Yale Law School, and obtained her Bachelor's Degree with honors from the University of California Berkeley.


  • Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise Ranked on the 2015 "Best Law Firms" List by U.S. News - Best Lawyers®

    U.S. News - Best Lawyers® ranked Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise on the 2015 "Best Law Firms" list in the National Tier 3 Ranking for their work in Trusts & Estates Law. Additionally, the firm is on the Metropolitan Tier 1 Ranking in Los Angeles for their work in Trusts and Estates Litigation and Trusts and Estates Law.

    read more.
    • The U.S. News - Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms" rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in their field and review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process.


  • Robert Sacks, Kenneth Glazier, Terrence Franklin, Margaret Lodise and Jessica Uzcategui Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2015

    Partners Robert Sacks, Kenneth Glazier, Terrence Franklin, Margaret Lodise and Jessica Uzcategui were selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2015 for their work in Trusts and Estates Litigation. This marks the fifth consecutive year Mr. Sacks, Mr. Glazier, Mr. Franklin and Ms. Lodise are recognized and the second consecutive year for Ms. Uzcategui.

    read more.
    • Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers® is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey. Over 52,000 leading attorneys cast more than 5.5 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas.


  • Terry Franklin to Speak at 40th Annual USC Trust and Estate Conference

    USC Gould School of Law's estate planning conference invites Terry Franklin to speak on the issue of diversity and elimination of bias at the 40th Anniversary Trust and Estate Conference. The conference will take place on November 21, 2014 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. He will share the podium with Paulette Brown, who is slated to become the first woman of color to lead the 400,000 members of the American Bar Association

    read more.
    • With more than 400 registrants, the conference is specially crafted for attorneys, trust officers, accountants, financial institution executives, underwriters, insurance advisors, wealth management professionals, paralegals, fiduciary officers, and other professionals in the trust and estate planning field. The conference has allowed professionals to learn from both the speakers and their professional colleagues in attendance about community property issues from a litigation perspective, quick tips on selecting guardians, nuts and bolts of fiduciary income tax, selecting and advising fiduciaries, and a practical estate planning workshop.


  • Terry Franklin Re-Appointed to Nominating Committee for American College of Trust and Estate Counsel

    Partner Terry Franklin was re-appointed to the Nominating Committee (2015-2016) for the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), a non-profit association of top trust and estate lawyers. ACTEC prides itself on its 2,600 members who demonstrate the highest level of professionalism, integrity and experience. Members have made positive contributions to the advancement of the trust and estate practice through writing, teaching, excellent service to their clients and bar leadership activities.

    read more.
    • As a member of the Nominating Committee, Mr. Franklin, who is also serving his first term as a member of the Board of Regents (the governing body of the college), will help to select the future Officers and Regents of the college.

      Mr. Franklin continues his work with the Diversity Task Force to increase college membership among attorneys with a diverse background. Mr. Franklin also works to strategize on ways to make the trusts and estates practice area more appealing to young lawyers by identifying future leaders for the college. In addition, he is frequently called upon as a speaker to national, state and local estate planning, trust, and probate groups, such as ACTEC, ABA Real Property Trust and Estate Law Section, and USC Probate and Trust Conference where he is also a long-standing Planning Committee member.


  • Terry Franklin Elected to Board of Regents of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel

    Partner Terry Franklin has been elected to the Board of Regents of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel(ACTEC). The Board of Regents serves as the governing body of ACTEC and is comprised of 33 elected Regents, plus the Officers of the College. The College consists of approximately 2,600 Fellows from across the country, as well as international Fellows.

    read more.
    • ACTEC is a non-profit association of trust and estate lawyers who demonstrate the highest level of professionalism, integrity and experience. Members have made contributions to the advancement of the trust and estate practice through writing, teaching and bar leadership activities. Fellows are elected into the College by the Regents.


  • Robert Sacks Named on 2014 List of Best Lawyers Los Angeles Litigation - Trust & Estate "Lawyer of the Year"

    Best Lawyers ®, a well-regarded peer review guide to the legal profession, has named Partner Robert Sacks as the 2014 Los Angeles Litigation Trust & Estate Lawyer of the Year for his work in trust, estate and conservatorship litigation, and mediation.

    read more.
    • With more than 27 years experience, Bob regularly handles cases across the spectrum of trust, estate, and conservatorship litigation, including defending and challenging estate plans, handling cases involving claims of breadth of breach of fiduciary duty, and contested conservatorship matters. Bob represents both beneficiaries and fiduciaries. He is active in the legal community and is a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, and is a member of the governing Council for the American Bar Associations Real Property Trust and Estate Law Section, as well as Vice Chair of the Corporate Sponsorship Committee.

      Each year, Best Lawyers designates one lawyer in each practice as Lawyer of the Year. Lawyers in the running for the award are selected by and voted on by fellow leading lawyers in their communities and respective practice areas. Receiving this award reflects the level of respect fellow attorneys have for their colleagues earned by their abilities, professionalism, and integrity.

  • Partner Robert Sacks Appointed to the ABA Section of Real Property, Trust & Estate Laws Council and Liaison to National College of Probate Judges

    Partner Robert Sacks has been appointed to the governing Council of the American Bar Association Real Property, Trust & Estate Law (RPTE) Section. Mr. Sacks also serves as the Liaison to the National College of Probate Judges (NCPJ). NCPJ is the only national organization dedicated to improving probate law and probate courts.

    read more.
    • The ABA RPTE Section includes nearly 25,000 U.S. and international lawyers, paralegals, real estate and financial professionals, providing members with updates on legislation issues, trends and best practice tips to grant them the tools needed to better serve their clients. It also focuses on all aspects of estate planning, insurance and employee benefits.


  • SACKS, GLAZIER, FRANKLIN & LODISE NAMES MATT MCMURTREY TO MANAGING PARTNER

    Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise has appointed Matthew W. McMurtrey as the firm's new managing partner. Mr. McMurtrey takes over from co-founder Kenneth M. Glazier who is relinquishing his responsibilities after serving in the role for 13 years.

    read more.
    • Mr. McMurtrey joined the firm in 2001 and became a partner in January 2012. He specializes in probate litigation with an emphasis on trusts and estates. He has successfully tried matters before the Probate Department of the Superior Court and has appeared as appellate counsel throughout California. He has also handled several matters before the California Court of Appeal, resulting in multiple published appellate decisions.

      Read full press release.


  • Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise Partners Selected for Inclusion on 2014 Southern California Super Lawyers List

    Partners Robert Sacks, Kenneth Glazier, Terrence Franklin and Margaret Lodise were selected for inclusion on the 2014 Southern California Super Lawyers list for their work in trust, estate and conservatorship litigation and mediation.

    read more.
    • This marks the tenth consecutive year that Mr. Sacks, Mr. Franklin and Ms. Lodise have been included on the list and the ninth year Mr. Glazier has been included. Additionally, Ms. Lodise is named on the "Top 50 Women" Southern California Super Lawyers 2014 list.

      Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from a wide range of practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.


  • Terrence Franklin Appointed to Nominating Committee for ACTEC

    Partner Terrence Franklin was recently appointed to the 2014-2015 Nominating Committee for the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), a non-profit organization established in 1949 comprised of lawyers who demonstrate commitment to the profession, have a high level of integrity and have an extensive breadth of experience. The 2,600-member organization prides itself on enhancing the members' ability to provide excellent service to their clients, improve standards of professional responsibility and cooperate with similar organizations.

    read more.
    • As part of the Nominating Committee, Mr. Franklin will be responsible for identifying future leaders for the college. He currently serves on the Diversity Task Force where he is committed to increasing membership among attorneys with a diverse background and strategizes on ways to make the trusts and estates practice area more appealing to young lawyers. In addition, he serves on the California Membership Committee, the Fiduciary Litigation Committee and the Board of Directors for the ACTEC Foundation.


  • Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise Named on 2014 "Best Law Firms" List by U.S. News – Best Lawyers®

    Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise has been selected for inclusion in the Metropolitan Tier 1 Rankings of the 2014 edition of "Best Law Firms" published by U.S. News – Best Lawyers®. The firm scored in the highest percentile of law firms in the Los Angeles Metropolitan area for their litigation work in trusts and estates law.

    read more.
    • "Best Law Firms" rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in their field, and review of additional information provided by law firms.


  • Five Attorneys Named to The Best Lawyers in America® 2014 List

    Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise Attorneys Robert Sacks, Kenneth Glazier, Margaret Lodise, Terrence Franklin and Jessica Uzcategui were selected by their peers for inclusion in the 2014 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

    read more.
    • The attorneys are recognized for their work in Trust and Estate Litigation. Ms. Uzcategui was included for the first time, while the others were included for the fourth consecutive year.

      In addition, Mr. Sacks was named Best Lawyers' 2014 Los Angeles Litigation - Trust & Estate "Lawyer of the Year".

      Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which more than 36,000 leading attorneys cast almost 4.4 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas, and because lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed, inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers "the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice."


  • Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise Selected to California's Top Ranked Law Firms

    Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise has been recognized as one of California's Top Ranked Law Firms by Martindale-Hubbell. California's Top Ranked Law Firms features an elite group of law firms in which one out of every three attorneys has achieved Martindale-Hubbell's® AV Preeminent® rating. Only 222 firms in California have attained this ranking.

View Announcements Archive

  • Robert Sacks Presented on Contested Conservatorship and Guardianship Issues at Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning

    Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise Partner Robert N. Sacks was the program chair and a panelist for a program titled, "Grandma, Here’s Your Deposition Subpoena: Contested Guardianship Issues" at the 49th Annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning in Orlando, Florida on January 15, 2015. The program addressed a range of conservatorship and guardianship issues including typical conflicts, multijurisdictional disputes, and contested substituted judgment proceedings.

    read more.
    • The Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning is a prominent, very well-attended educational program designed for professional estate planners and others in the trust and estate community across the nation. It is presented by the University of Miami School of Law.


  • Jessica Uzcategui to Present on Identifying and Managing Dismissive and Bullying Opposing Counsel

    Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise partner Jessica Uzcategui will present at the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles (WLALA) program, titled "Identifying and Managing Dismissive and Bullying Opposing Counsel" on November 14 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman . Ms. Uzcategui, along with two other speakers, will provide tools to manage the most difficult high conflict personalities in opposing counsel. The program will also identify the gender-based issues involved in these relationships as well as the ethical issues that may arise.

    read more.
    • WLALA is a California State Bar approved MCLE provider and is approved for both general CLE credit and bias CLE credit.


  • Jessica Uzcategui to Present on Evolving Issues in Trust & Estate Litigation at 34 th Annual Southern California Tax and Estate Planning Forum

    Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise partner Jessica Uzcategui will present "Evolving Issues in Trust and Estate Litigation: Practice Tips from the Front Line" at the 34 th Annual Southern California Tax and Estate Planning Forum on October 16-18 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego. Ms. Uzcategui and Gabrielle A. Vidal, partner at Loeb & Loeb, will discuss the current law on undue influence and Certificates of Independent Review, admission of electronic "wills" to probate, and protecting assets during divorce.

    read more.
    • The Southern California Tax & Estate Planning Forum is an approved MCLE provider by the State Bar of California, the California Board of Legal Specialization in the areas of Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law, and Taxation Law, and other State Bars and MCLE agencies.


  • Jessica Uzcategui to Present on Dealing with High Conflict Opposing Counsel

    Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise partner Jessica Uzcategui will present several programs on identifying and managing high-conflict personalities in opposing counsel to ProVisors, a community of seasoned professionals who serve as trusted advisors to their clients. Ms. Uzcategui will address how to identify high conflict personalities in opposing counsel, effective tools to help attorneys manage those relationships, and ethical issues that may arise as a result.


  • Los Angeles County Bar Association Welcomes Margaret Lodise to Speak at 2014 Trusts and Estates Symposium

    The Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA) invites partner Margaret Lodise to speak at the 2014 Trusts and Estates Symposium. The symposium will be held on September 19 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. This year's symposium focuses on beneficiaries/trustee conflicts and potential techniques to limit that conflict.

    read more.
    • Ms. Lodise will participate in the Beneficiaries and Trustees Behaving Badly panel, which will examine conflicts that arise between beneficiaries and trustees regarding administration of trusts. The main focus will be 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. Ms. Lodise will share examples of conflicts that have arisen and methods she has used that can resolve the conflicts and/or minimize litigation.


  • Jessica Uzcategui Presents "Don't Learn the Hard Way! Practice Tips from the Front Lines" to Beverly Hills Bar Association, Trust & Estates Section

    Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise partner Jessica Uzcategui presented the CLE program titled "Don't Learn the Hard Way! Practice Tips from the Front Lines", to the Beverly Hills Bar Association, Trust & Estates Section on Tuesday, February 18, 2014. Ms. Uzcategui, along with Gabrielle A. Vidal, partner at Loeb & Loeb, discussed recent developments in disqualification and confidentiality rules for joint clients, undue influence and Certificates of Independent Review, admission of electronic "wills" to probate, and protecting assets during marital dissolution.


  • Terrence Franklin To Serve as Program Coordinator and Moderator at ACTEC Annual Meeting Symposium

    Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise Partner Terrence Franklin will serve as the Program Coordinator and Moderator for the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) Annual Meeting Symposium, "Diversity: Serving 21 st Century Clients With More Than Just Good Wills and Great Trusts" on March 7, 2014. Mr. Franklin's panel will discuss changing client bases, demographic trends, and explore how the Rules of Professional Conduct may require attorneys to address the needs and wants of diverse clients. Panelists will include Paulette Brown, who is on track to become the first woman of color to be president of the American Bar Association, and ACTEC fellows: David English, Paula Kohut and Patricia Char.

    read more.
    • ACTEC is a non-profit organization of lawyers established in 1949. Its members are elected by a selected criterion including experience, demonstration of commitment to the profession and a high level of integrity. ACTEC prides itself on enhancing the members' ability to provide excellent service to their clients, improve standards of professional responsibility and cooperate with similar organizations.


  • Jessica Uzcategui to Present "Ethics in Estate and Trust Disputes" at The University of Miami Heckerling Institute

    Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise Partner Jessica Uzcategui will present a panel discussion, "Ethics in Estate and Trust Disputes (a/k/a Tales from the Crypt)," at the 48 th Annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning on January 16, 2014. The panel will discuss critical ethics issues such as conflicts of interest, confidentiality and privilege, and duties in the drafting process. This session will benefit those who create estate plans, deal with disputes and litigation about those plans, and who do not want to be the target of litigation.


  • Margaret Lodise and Jessica Uzcategui to Present Protection Tips for Estate and Trusts Attorneys to CEB

    Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise Partners Margaret Lodise and Jessica Uzcategui will present, "Ethics & Malpractice Issues: Protection Tips for Estate and Trusts Attorneys" to Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) on Thursday, December 19 from 9 am to 12:15 pm at the UCLA Faculty Center.

    read more.
    • The program will provide practical advice on how to minimize the likelihood of client complaints, including tips on how to avoid problems in counseling clients, in drafting and executing documents, and in administering trusts and estates. The presenters will discuss safeguards law offices can implement to avoid missteps at each stage of representation to avoid costly errors to both the attorney and client.
      The program provides 3 hours of MCLE Ethics credits.


  • Jessica A. Uzcategui Will Present "Who Decides? Ethical Challenges in End-of-Life Decision Making"

    Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise Partner Jessica A. Uzcategui will participate in the presentation, "Who Decides? Ethical Challenges in End-of-Life Decision Making," at the Beverly Hills Bar Association's Trusts & Estates Section on Tuesday, July 16. Ms. Uzcategui will consider the ethical guidelines for attorneys representing clients with diminished capacity, the potential liability of court-appointed attorneys, and the moral questions that accompany end-of-life decision making.

  • Terrence Franklin to Present on Estate Litigation to Paralegal Trainees

    Sacks Glazier Franklin & Lodise Partner Terrence Franklin will present, "Estate Litigation Part I (Pure Litigation Matters)," at the American Bar Association's (ABA) Paralegal eLearning Program on July 10. In the presentation, Mr. Franklin will provide an overview of contested proceedings, including common concepts among proceedings and special considerations.

    Mr. Franklin is a Council Member of the ABA Real Property, Trust and Estate Section, and the Supervisory Council Member for the Litigation, Ethics and Malpractice Group of the Section.


  • Terrence Franklin Participates on Two Panels Discussing Planning Trusts and Estates

    Partner Terrence Franklin recently participated on two panels, "Planning for Flexibility" and "Trustee Exercise of Discretion," at The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) CLE Stand-Alone Program: The Anatomy and Life Cycle of a Trust. Mr. Franklin discussed litigation aspects of various planning issues, including the balance of discretion and control, anticipating tax law changes, powers of appointment and advice on drafting trustee guidelines. Additionally, Mr. Franklin addressed litigation aspects of trust administration and ethical issues, including the ascertainable standard, trust construction and settler intent, and the duty of impartiality.

    read more.
    • ACTEC promotes scholarship and education in trust, estate, tax and related areas of the law, and executes programs and activities which serve the general community.


  • Terrence Franklin Speaks on LGBT Trust Beneficiaries

    Sacks Glazier Franklin & Lodise Partner Terrence Franklin served on the panel, "Is Your Spouse a Trust Beneficiary? State Law Holds the Key for Same Sex Spouses," at the American Bar Association's 24th Annual Spring CLE Symposium held in Washington, D.C. on May 2 - 3. Mr. Franklin discussed the various laws governing same-sex relationships and the repercussions those laws have on trust documents for potential LGBT beneficiaries.

    read more.
    • In addition to participating as a speaker, Mr. Franklin helped assemble the program, "Thy Will be Done (by Will or by Deed): Discrimination in Real Property, Trust and Estate Law."


  • National College of Probate Judges 2012 Fall Conference
    Nov. 14-17, 2012

    Sacks Glazier Franklin & Lodise partners Robert N. Sacks and Jessica A. Uzcategui presented, "Hot Topics in Trust and Estate Litigation: Capacity, Pre-Death Contests, and Intentional Interference With Expected Inheritance," at the National College of Probate Judges 2012 Fall Conference on November 14-17 in Napa, CA. Mr. Sacks and Ms. Uzcategui discussed various issues involved in challenging estate plans and related topics. The National College of Probate Judges is dedicated to improving probate law and probate courts by promoting efficient, fair and just judicial administration.


  • 38 th Annual Trust and Estate Conference
    USC Gould School of Law
    November 9, 2012

    Sacks Glazier Franklin & Lodise partner Jessica Uzcategui and Gabrielle A. Vidal, partner with Loeb & Loeb , presented, "How to Use It and Not Abuse It: Discovery Best Practices," at the 38 th Annual Trust and Estate Conference on November 9, 2012 at USC. Ms. Uzcategui and Ms. Vidal discussed the scope of third-party subpoenas, the attorney-client privilege and attorney work product protection doctrines, and practical tips for expert discovery. Presented by the USC Gould School of Law, the day-long conference provided educational sessions critical to trust, estate planning and probate professionals.


  • 57 th Annual Estate Planning Seminar
    Washington State Bar Association & Estate Planning Council of Seattle
    November 2, 2012

    Sacks Glazier Franklin & Lodise partner Jessica Uzcategui and Wendy S. Goffe, Of Counsel with Stoel Rives , presented, "Marital Agreements and Related Family Law Issues in Estate Planning and Litigation," at the 57 th Annual Estate Planning Seminar on November 2, 2012 in Seattle, WA. Ms. Uzcategui and Ms. Goffe discussed marital agreements and the effect of conflicts between those agreements and a couple's estate plan. The seminar, hosted by the Washington State Bar Association and co-sponsored by the Estate Planning Council of Seattle, featured prominent trust and estate attorneys discussing trends and forecasts in the estate planning industry.


  • Continuing Education of the Bar/Continuing Legal Education Program
    UCLA Extension
    June 8, 2012

    Attorney G. Lisa Wick spoke at the UCLA Extension CEB/CLE program "Estate Accounting: Discharging Fiduciary Responsibility." The program, which provided Specialty Credits for Estate Planners, examined the intricacies of probate accountings, including how to prepare probate accountings and how to avoid common pitfalls in preparing accountings in the discharge of fiduciary duties to clients and beneficiaries.


  • 2012 Western Regional Planned Giving Conference
    Partnership for Philanthropic Planning of Greater Los Angeles (PPPLA)
    May 30-June 1, 2012

    Partners Robert N. Sacks and Jessica A. Uzcategui spoke at the 2012 Western Regional Planned Giving Conference hosted by the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning of Greater Los Angeles at the Westin South Coast Plaza Hotel in Costa Mesa, California on June 1, 2012. Mr. Sacks and Ms. Uzcategui presented the program "Can You Protect the Gift? Capacity, Undue Influence and Substituted Judgment Issues in Planned Giving," which focused on how charities can protect donors' gifts from challenges asserting undue influence or a lack of mental capacity, or through filing substituted judgment petitions in conservatorship proceedings.


  • 37th Annual Trust and Estate Conference
    USC Gould School of Law
    November 18, 2011

    Partner Terrence M. Franklin spoke at the USC Gould School of Law's 37th Annual Trust and Estate Conference held on November 18, 2011 at the Wilshire Grand Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. Mr. Franklin presented "Rumors of their Death may be Exaggerated: Conservatorships and Pre-Death Litigation," which examined aspects of handling litigation of conservatorship disputes, including various claims and defenses that can be raised, the viability of claims for elder abuse in conservatorship proceedings, and using substituted judgment proceedings to resolve disputes.


  • American College Trust and Estate Counsel Meeting
    March 10-11, 2011

    Sacks Glazier Franklin & Lodise partner, Meg Lodise, participated on the panel, "Dealing With Overlapping Roles of Individual Fiduciary, Business Manager and Beneficiary," at the America College of Trust & Estate Counsel (ACTEC) meeting on March 10-11, 2011. The program discussed the numerous issues that arise when one or more individual family members is appointed as a fiduciary, and is also the manager or officer of the closely-held family business. The panel examined the potential conflicts and the remedies available for both the "power holder" and the "non-power holder," and discuss methods of dealing with these situations as well as proposing drafting solutions when such a situation is anticipated.


  • American Law Institute/American Bar Association (ALI-ABA)
    February 16, 2011

    Sacks Glazier Franklin & Lodise partner, Meg Lodise, participated in the teleseminar, "In Terrorem Clauses: Avoiding Will Contests and Disinheritance," hosted by the American Law Institute/American Bar Association (ALI-ABA) on February 16, 2011. The panel discussed no contest clauses in trusts and wills and the strategies for when to use and when not to use such clauses; analysis of no contest clauses under state law; and no contest clauses in litigation including strategic issues, settlement and discovery concerns and case studies.

  • 45th Annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning
    January 10-14, 2011

    Partner Terrence M. Franklin spoke at the 45th Annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning in Orlando, Florida. The panel discussion, "Seven Deadly Claims," educated trust and estate professionals on the seven most significant litigation claims currently evolving across the country, including: the elements of each; defenses; and techniques in the planning process to avoid them.


  • American College Trust and Estate College 2010 Fall Meeting
    Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel
    October 14-17, 2010
    Sacks Glazier Franklin & Lodise partner, Robert N. Sacks spoke at the ACTEC 2010 Fall Meeting on October 16th in Baltimore, Maryland.


  • WLALApalooza 2010 Annual Fundraising Festivity
    Kyoto Grand Hotel
    June 17, 2010

    Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise attorneys recently supported the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles event "WLALApalooza 2010 Annual Fundraising Festivity" held on June 17, 2010 at the Kyoto Grand Hotel. The evening included a silent auction, drawing and networking.

    read more.
    • Benny will be serving on the 2011 WLALA Board of Governors and will Chair the Website Committee.

      WLALApalooza-attorneys


  • 11th Annual Conference on Charitable Giving 2010
    Stanford University/Silicon Valley Community
    May 11, 2010

    Partners Terrence M. Franklin and Robert N. Sacks presented "Ethical and Practical Considerations in Estate Planning," at the Stanford University/Silicon Valley Community Conference on Charitable Giving 2010 on May 11, 2010. Their discussion examined the changing ethical rules applicable to estate planning attorneys dealing with clients who may have diminished capacity. The session also addressed malpractice and litigation issues involving estate planners. MCLE credit was provided to attendees.


  • 2010 Trusts & Estates Symposium: Trust Administration and Funding Sub-Trusts Upon the Death of the First Spouse
    Los Angeles County Bar Association Trusts & Estates Section
    January 29, 2010

    Partner Terrence M. Franklin is participating on a panel at the Los Angeles County Bar Association 2010 Trusts & Estates Symposium: Trust Administration and Funding Sub-Trusts Upon the Death of the First Spouse on January 29, 2010 at the Omni hotel in downtown Los Angeles. The panel will discuss strategic planning at the first death and avoiding potential pitfalls. Mr. Franklin's focus will be on litigation issues in trust funding, including unfair allocations, late allocations and attorney liability.


  • 21st Annual Spring Symposia
    American Bar Association Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law
    May 6-7, 2010

    Partner Robert N. Sacks is speaking at the 21st Annual Spring Symposia hosted by the ABA Section of Real Property, Trust & Estate Law on May 7, 2010 in Philadelphia. The panel, "Escaping Bleak House – How to Select the Best Dispute Resolution Alternatives to Full Scale Litigation," will examine multi-state analysis of arbitration in will and trust disputes; legal underpinnings/constitutionality; model acts and sample clauses for drafting; types of dispute resolution mechanisms and how to select the appropriate one; and more. Mr. Sacks will focus on mediation in trust and estate disputes, and how this is handled in Los Angeles County. This is the 13th consecutive year Mr. Sacks has participated at the Spring Symposia.


  • 20th Annual Spring Symposia
    American Bar Association Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law
    April 30 – May 1, 2009

    Washington, D.C. - Partner Robert N. Sacks moderated a panel "Last Beneficiary Standing: Identifying the Proper Parties in Breach of Fiduciary Duty Cases" at the American Bar Association Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law 20th Annual Symposia held in Washington, D.C. Panelists explored the standing requirements and related issues in breach of fiduciary duty cases, including: the rights and obligations of successor fiduciaries, as well as potential liability for not pursuing claims; related limitations periods for asserting claims; enforceability of exculpatory clauses; and attorney-client privilege issues that arise in these cases.

    read more.
  • Continuing Education of the Bar — California
    December 2008

    Partner Margaret G. Lodise spoke to members of Continuing Education of the Bar — California in December 2008. She discussed trial strategies and tactics in trust and estate litigation.


  • 34th Annual Trust and Estate Conference
    USC Gould School of Law
    November 21, 2008

    LOS ANGELES, CA – Sacks Glazier Franklin & Lodise partners, Robert N. Sacks, Terrence M. Franklin and Margaret G. Lodise, spoke at the USC Gould School of Law 34th Annual Trust and Estate Conference on Nov. 21 in Los Angeles.

    read more.
    • Mr. Sacks and Mr. Franklin presented " Documents and Filing Issues Explained," which examined best practices related to handling estate planning files to avoid potential litigation.

      Ms. Lodise spoke at the luncheon on, " Updates to Ethical Issues for Trust & Estate Lawyers."

      Formerly the Probate and Trust Conference, the conference provides solutions to typical problems encountered in estate planning; trust administration; probate, trust and estate litigation; substantive law, client relationships and law practice economics.

      Please click here for additional information, or contact us at [email protected]


  • 53rd Annual Estate Planning Seminar
    Washington State Bar Association & Estate Planning Council of Seattle
    November 3-4, 2008

    SEATTLE, WA - Partner Robert N. Sacks spoke on a panel, "Mock Deposition – Estate and Trust Litigation" at the 53rd Annual Estate Planning Seminar held in Seattle WA. The conference was sponsored by the Washington State Bar Association and the Estate Planning Council of Seattle.


  • View Events Archive

    Please click here for additional information, or contact us at [email protected].