I’m Mike Hackard of Hackard Law. Hackard Law is working to become the leading estate, trust, and financial elder abuse litigation law firm in California. This is not a small order.
It means that we work with high internal expectations. With commitments to overcome adversity. To take the long view. To deal in performance. To understand that we’re a work in progress.
We most often represent people who’ve sought out lawyers not so much by choice, but by necessity. They might feel coerced, pressured, and intimidated by an overreaching heir, beneficiary, or trustee.
Their elderly parents may have been cheated out of real or personal property. Maybe a caregiver unduly influenced the maker of a trust to leave everything to the careg[...]
I’m Mike Hackard of Hackard Law. We’re lawyers and advocates. Most of our advocacy centers around trust, estate, and elder financial abuse disputes.
Less litigated disputes often involve ambiguity in legal documents. These disputes may have muddled words and alternate meanings. They’re less emotional than disputes where truth seems to be an orphan.
There’s an old saying: “See the Truth, Tell the Truth.” There are plenty of cases where people don’t tell the truth.
They may not see it as well. Then again, the deceit might be intentional. Or rationalized, exaggerated, obscured. It may be a fabrication. A manufactured falsehood.
Discovery, including depositions, can provide an opportunity to seek the truth. It’s by n[...]
I’m Mike Hackard with Hackard Law. We work at being one of California’s leading law firms handling estate, trust, and elder financial abuse cases.
We litigate cases from Sacramento to San Diego. Our heaviest case concentrations are in Sacramento, Los Angeles, and the Bay Area.
I’ve written extensively about what we do. My book, The Wolf at the Door, has been widely reviewed in newspapers, magazines, and the electronic media.
Ben Franklin said, “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” I think that The Wolf at the Door is worth reading. I also think that the actions we take for families in estate, trust, and elder financial abuse litigation are worth doing.
Litigation is war. There are battle[...]
I’m Mike Hackard of Hackard Law. We work at being one of California’s leading estate and trust litigation law firms. This work often involves contingency fees.
In a typical contingency fee agreement, the plaintiff is only responsible for paying their attorney if they settle or win the case. California law requires that the contingency fee rate be agreed upon. The law also requires disclosure on how case disbursements and costs will affect the contingency fee and the client’s recovery.
I’ve represented thousands of clients over my 45-year legal career – many of them on a contingency fee basis. Contingency fees don’t fit every circumstance. But they are commonplace in personal injury and wrongful death litigation.
I’m Mike Hackard with Hackard Law. Our YouTube channel is now five years old. It has more than 670 videos. More than 2 million views. Almost 5000 subscribers.
How do we keep it fresh? It’s easy. Apply real-life experiences. Listen to callers’ questions. Tell stories that we want to tell. This is story that I want to tell: “Playing the Part Well.”
When I take a case, I want “to play the part well.” The advocacy part. The excellence part. The moral part.
People come to us with estate and trust cases. Some simple. Some readily solved. Some complex. I’m more likely to be involved in the complex.
There are three main parts to every case: the facts, the law, and the proof. Each element is challenging. Facts might be [...]
I’m Mike Hackard from Hackard Law. We work to be one of California’s leading trust and estate litigation law firms on behalf of beneficiaries.
Legendary newsman Larry King died in January of this year at the age of 89, and he managed to interview just about every celebrity, politician and anyone else of note over his 60-plus-year career. King’s personal life was also eventful – he was married eight times to seven women. He fathered five children.
With that kind of marital history, the chances of an estate fight rise dramatically. And sure enough, a month after his passing, Larry King’s seventh wife, Shawn Southwick-King, brought legal action in Los Angeles Superior Court to dispute King’s 2019 handwritten – or holographi[...]
I’m Mike Hackard with Hackard Law. We work at being one of California’s leading estate and trust litigation law firms. I work at sharing knowledge that I’ve gained over the years in representing beneficiaries, heirs and personal representatives in estate and trust disputes.
Psychologists tell us that when we see unstructured messes that we instinctively look to find patterns and order. The patterns and order that we find may be meaningful. Maybe then again, not.
Nonetheless, most will agree that estate and trust disputes look like shapeless muddles. Being hardwired to look for patterns, I do. Long experience brings lots of opportunities to look and find patterns in seemingly unrelated events.
A common pattern in estate disput[...]
I’m Mike Hackard with Hackard Law. We work at being one of California’s leading estate and trust litigation law firms.
We often represent aggrieved beneficiaries and heirs. From the outside looking in, some of our clients may look like “poor little rich kids.” From the inside, we see that there are plenty of trustees who mishandle trust assets. Assets placed in trust to benefit a wealthy parent’s children at his or her death. I’ll give a few examples.
A wealthy father is dying. He’s unmarried. He has two children. He turns to an estate planner for help. The estate planner introduces him to a licensed California fiduciary. The licensed for-profit fiduciary advertises on her website that she is “compassionate.” He beli[...]
I’m Mike Hackard of Hackard Law. We work to be one of California’s leading estate, trust and catastrophic injury law firms. We regularly litigate cases on a contingency fee basis.
A contingency fee is an arrangement where the lawyer agrees to a fixed percentage of a case recovery. They’re negotiated arrangements.
California has particular requirements that are set out in statutory and ethical rules.
These rules must be followed when attorneys and clients enter into contingency fee agreements. Contingency fees allow people who cannot afford legal services to pursue litigation.
Some say that contingency fee lawyers are gamblers. I disagree. Chance-based gambling has outcomes that are uncertain. Outcomes that are based comple[...]
I’m Mike Hackard of Hackard Law. We work at being one of California’s leading estate and trust litigation law firms.
We see a lot of cases. It’s not possible to take them all. In fact, we can only take a fraction of the cases offered us.
Time has its limits. Of course, litigation requirements have severe restrictions. Restrictions that we must meet in our current caseload. Restrictions we must consider in accepting new cases.
Still, we seek to serve as many clients as is reasonably possible. Our clients are often family members of the maker of a will or trust.
Surviving spouses have recurring legal issues. Spousal rights of election are commonplace. A spousal election arises when the maker of a trust or will indicates a be[...]