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What I Wish I Knew | CA Trust Litigation

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Popular culture has its share of "I Wish I Knew" themes. Movies, songs and books all explore the theme. It is a wish that our past selves, however identified in time, would know what we now know.

"I Wish I Knew" in 1956 to save my Willie Mays baseball card - it would be worth a bundle today. "I Wish I Knew" in 2002 that a $100 investment in Apple Stock would now be worth over $7500. You get the idea - we can all play I wish I knew then what I know now.

This little commentary isn't about what I wish I knew then; it is about what I wish I knew now. We all struggle with discernment of spirits, facts, trends and general challenges of life. In a way the struggle is a bit of "I Wish I Knew." These are some of the things that "I Wish I Knew" in my profession - matters that are part of the focus of my professional life.

I'm part of a very active law firm that focuses on trust, estate and elder financial abuse litigation. We work to be leaders in our field. We regularly litigate in the probate and civil Superior Courts in California's largest urban areas. Our practice draws clients from California, out of state and even out of country beneficiaries who have an interest in a California based trust. There are times when certain issues ignite the thought "I Wish I Knew." So, I'm going to share some of my "I Wish I Knew" reflections.

  • I wish I knew some capable California lawyers willing to handle smaller but meritorious estate, trust and elder financial abuse matters on a contingency fee basis.

We must turn away a number of likely meritorious estate, trust and elder financial abuse claims because of their size, their likely county venue or the demands of our current workload that prevent us from accepting the case. This is a good area of law - it serves people - and smaller cases are a great entry point for lawyers who want to practice in the area.

  • I wish that there was a California plaintiffs' group of estate, trust and elder financial abuse litigators who would regularly meet for a dialogue in Northern and Southern California.

In the words of author and CEO mentor Mike Richardson:

"None of us is as smart as all of us - a safe, confidential and trusting peer group can be a powerful process for innovation, helping with opportunities, problems, challenges and issues of all shapes, sizes and descriptions."

I mean a peer group of non-organizational peers, free of any conflicts of interest, hidden agendas and any other dynamics which diminish its powerful potential. How come a human capital investment so proven is not more pervasive ... and what are we willing to do about it?"

  • I wish that I was part of a plaintiffs' group of lawyers that would focus on performance in law.

Now here I'm stretching it a bit. Yet I am so impressed with Atul Gawande's book Better that I wish we had its equivalent in law. Atul Gawande's observations as to medicine could just as easily apply to law.

"In medicine, as in any profession, we must grapple with systems, resources, circumstances, people - and our own shortcomings, as well. We face obstacles of seemingly unending variety. Yet somehow we must advance, we must refine, we must improve."

That's a good way to end this observation - "advance ... refine ... improve" - all worthy goals and worthy of lifetime professional efforts. So, if you think that you can help me along with a few of my "I Wish I Knew" questions, email me at [email protected].

Our firm focuses on substantial estate, trust and elder financial abuse cases where we think that we can make a significant difference and there is a wrongdoer who can be made financially accountable for their wrongdoing.

If you prefer to call, we can be reached at 916 313-3030.

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