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The Lawyers

 

Seth M. Skootsky, Partner

 

Practice Areas: Trusts and Estates; Probate Litigation; Trust Litigation; Estate Litigation; Estate Planning; Probate Administration; Trust Administration; Elder Abuse; Dependent Adult Abuse

 

Honors/Listings: Certified Specialist, Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law, The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization; 2003 Chair, Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Section, Bar Association of San Francisco; Northern California SuperLawyers®, Best Lawyers in America®, AV® Preeminent (5.0 out of 5) peer-review rated by Martindale-Hubbell

 

Law School: University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall), (J.D., 1988); Member, California Law Review; American Jurisprudence Award in Torts; Law Clerk to Honorable Meir Shamgar, President of the Supreme Court of Israel, 1988-1989

 

Memberships:

Bar Association of San Francisco
State Bar of California Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Section
San Francisco Estate Planning Council

 

Publications/Speaking Engagements:

"The New Unitrust Statute: Drafting and Administration Consequences for Trusts That Distribute Income," 27 CEB Estate Planning and California Probate Reporter 37, Oct. 2005;

"Final Income Regulations Under IRC § 643 Concerning Adjustment Powers and Noncharitable Unitrusts and Estates," 25 CEB Estate Planning and California Probate Reporter 101, Feb. 2004;

"Update on Federal Tax Law Developments Concerning Trustee Power to Adjust under California Probate Code § 16336," 22 CEB Estate Planning and California Probate Reporter, 177, June 2001;

"The New Principal and Income Act: California Trustees Adjust to the Power to Adjust," 22 CEB Estate Planning and California Probate Reporter 37, Oct. 2000;

Southern California Tax and Estate Planning Forum Speaker 2006, 2007, 2010

 

Personal: Fourth-generation San Franciscan;
married to Sheila Devore; two children in college

 

Contact:
e:
seth@skootskyder.com

p: 415.979.9800 ext. 1

Ernest F. Der, Partner

 

Practice Areas: Trusts and Estates; Probate Litigation; Trust Litigation; Estate Litigation; Estate Planning; Probate Administration; Trust Administration; Elder Abuse; Dependent Adult Abuse

 

Honors/Listings: Certified Specialist, Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law, The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. Northern California SuperLawyers®

 

Law School: Golden Gate University (J.D., 1991;
LL.M. Taxation, 2001)

 

Memberships:

Bar Association of San Francisco
State Bar of California Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Section
Admitted to United States Tax Court (2015)

 

Personal: Born in San Francisco, California; third-generation San Franciscan; married with two children

 

Contact:
e: eder@skootskyder.com

p: 415.979.9800 ext. 2

Robert R. Cross, Partner

 

Practice Areas: Trust and estate litigation in probate and civil courts, including will and trust contests, undue influence, conduct of trustees, elder financial abuse, spousal property characterization, and disputes concerning estate assets and disposition

Federal and state court litigation of complex business, financial and real estate disputes, corporate and partnership governance or dissolution litigation, trade secret and intellectual property disputes, creditor rights and bankruptcy matters; business arbitrations and appeals

 

Honors/Listings: The Best Lawyers in America®: 2013-2014, Northern California SuperLawyers®: 2007-2014, AV® Preeminent (5.0 out of 5) peer-review rated by Martindale-Hubbell

 

Law School: University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall), (J.D., 1973) Order of the Coif, Managing Editor, Ecology Law Quarterly

 

Memberships:
Bar Association of San Francisco, Attorney Fee Disputes Committee (Arbitrator), Ethics Committee
State Bar of California Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Section
The Lawyers' Club of San Francisco Inn of Court (past President), San Francisco County Superior Court (Arbitrator)

 

Significant Jury Trials:
Elder financial abuse, breach of fiduciary duty, real estate fraud, securities fraud, wrongful distributor termination, bankruptcy fraud, legal malpractice, wrongful banking practices, breach of commercial leases and contracts, construction defects

 

Other Major Cases:
Protection/recovery of real estate intellectual property, will/trust contest litigation, undue influence and testamentary capacity disputes, trade secret misappropriation, LLC, partnership and family limited partnership dissolution, copyright infringement, municipal tax liability, business bankruptcy and creditor rights litigation

 

Personal: Captain, U.S. Naval Reserve (Ret.); garage-winemaker

 

Contact:
e: rcross@skootskyder.com

p: 415.979.9800 ext. 3

m: 415.602.3865

Ryan J. Meckfessel

 

Practice Areas: Trust and estate litigation; Conservatorships; Business Litigation including commercial, contract, business tort, entity control, trademark, and unfair competition disputes in state and federal courts and arbitration tribunals; Real Estate and Construction Litigation

 

Honors/Listings Listed in Northern California Super Lawyers, Business Litigation (2012 - 2014) Listed in Northern California Rising Stars, Business Litigation (2009 - 2011)

 

Law School: University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law (J.D., 2001); Order of the Coif, McGeorge Fellow Award, Verne Adrian and Annabel McGeorge Academic Achievement Award, Roger J. Traynor Honor Society, Anthony J. Kennedy Constitutional Law Scholarship Award, American Jurisprudence/Witkin Awards for Contracts, Business Associations and Constitutional Law, Primary Comment Editor, McGeorge Law Review

 

Memberships:
Bar Association of San Francisco, Solo and Small Firm Section
Lawyers' Club of San Francisco Inn of Court

 

Publications/Speaking Engagements:
Lawyers Club of San Francisco Inn of Court, Program Chair: Alter Ego After Judgment Day, October 12, 2011
"Establishing Irreparable Harm in Trademark Cases," The Recorder, October 12, 2011 (co-authored with Robert R. Cross)
"Motions to Amend: Adding an alter ego shareholder as a judgment debtor," The Daily Journal,
November 21, 2011

 

Personal: Enjoys camping, hiking and bike riding with his wife and son

 

Contact:
e: rmeckfessel@skootskyder.com

p: 415.979.9800 ext. 6

 

Robert E. White, Of Counsel

 

Practice Areas: Probate and general civil litigation, creditors rights (collection), bankruptcy litigation (creditors side), real estate litigation, corporate and partnership litigation, secured transactions, insurance coverage disputes, arbitrations, trial and appellate work in federal and state courts.

 

Honors/Listings Northern California SuperLawyers®: 2012-2019, Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ (5.0 out of 5) (all peer reviewed)

 

Law School: J.D., Berkeley Law (University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (Boalt Hall)); Order of the Coif (national legal honor society); Head Research Editor, California Law Review; American Jurisprudence Awards, Real Property & Corporations; Fellow, Earl Warren Legal Institute.

 

Clerkships:
1977-1978 -- Law Clerk to the Honorable Stanley A. Weigel, United States District Court, Northern District of California

 

Memberships:
State Bar of California; Bar Association of San Francisco; State Bar of Nevada (inactive); United States Supreme Court, and all federal courts situated in the State of California, United States Claims Court; United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

 

Quasi-Judicial Experience:
Arbitrator, San Francisco Superior Court; Early Neutral Evaluator, United States District Court, Northern District of California (retired)

 

Selected Published Cases:
(1) Appellate counsel in David v. Hermann, 129 Cal. App. 4th 672 (2005) (rev. den.), an officially published decision of the California Court of Appeal holding that a lawyer-drafted trust can be invalidated based on circumstantial evidence of fraud and undue influence exerted by a family member; (2) Appellate counsel in the "Colortran Trilogy," In re Colortran, Inc., 9th Cir.BAP (Cal.) 1997, 218 B.R. 507; In re CFLC, Inc., 9th Cir.BAP (Cal.) 1997, 209 B.R. 508, affirmed 166 F.3d 1012; In re Colortran, Inc., 9th Cir.BAP (Cal.)1997, 218 B.R. 507) involving the interface between possessory liens and bankruptcy law; (3) A.M. Castle & Co. v. Franchise Tax Board, 36 Cal. App. 4th 1794 (1995), involving the application of California franchise tax to a multi-state corporation with California business units

 

Other Selected Cases:
Co-counsel with Skootsky & Der representing bank trustee in successfully defending against beneficiary claims of breach of fiduciary duty following multi-week trial in Probate Court; co-counsel with Skootsky & Der in successfully recovering monies from former living trust attorney.

 

Publications:
Remote Sensing Evidence & Environmental Law, 64 Calif. Law. Rev. 1300 (1976) (with Prof. Howard A. Latin and Gary W. Tannehill) (supported by a grant from NASA to the Earl Warren Legal Institute)

 

Personal: Enjoys reading history, political science, religion, and his grandchildren.

 

Contact:
e: rwhite@skootskyder.com

 
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Prevention and Resolution of Disputes Concerning Trusts and Estates, as well as Their Fiduciaries and Beneficiaries.

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