Civil Rights To Protect Children, Elders, and Persons With Disabilities
We represent courageous individuals who pursue claims to protect children and elders against those who violate their trust, dignity, Constitutional, and other civil rights. Often times claims also include consumer fraud.
The United States Constitution and Bill of Rights ensure we will be treated equally under the law. We litigate for our clients to protect foster children and civilly prosecute governmental and private actors' wrongful termination of rights or services. Our clients also litigate unlawful discrimination or retaliation claims, based on disabilities or other special needs.
The phrase "abuse of power" has returned to our daily lexicon. So too has "checks and balances." Our clients litigate ethically and fiercely to recover full and fair compensation and ensure future safety for those in their shoes.
We represent elders, dependent adults, family members, and professional fiduciaries. Our clients recover wrongfully-taken assets and deter ongoing abuses, particularly those made under false pretenses under the guises of "assistance" to isolate the victim or alienate his or her entourage.
We also staunchly defend those who engage in lawful conduct, yet, against whom false allegations are lodged by the mal-intended or misinformed who seek to exploit an elder's diminished capacities to reap a financial gain.
Nationally, between one to two million Americans who are 65 or older have been injured, exploited or mistreated by someone they once trusted. Unscrupulous people prey on elders by scaring them with inaccurate information to get access to and ultimately take hard-earned assets.
Your attention is the best way to care for the ones you love, and, protect the frail from abuse by those who seek to violate their trust.
A few facts about this issue follow.
- 90% of abusers are family members or trusted others
- Only 1 in 44 cases of financial abuse gets reported to law enforcement; most cases have to be filed by individuals in civil courts
- Victims are more vulnerable to abuse if they suffer from (often never-diagnosed) cognitive impairment, or, rely on others to met their needs
Below are a few mechanisms to execute common scams.
- Manipulating an elder to trust one person to the exclusion of others to isolate him or her from loved ones
- Threatening to abandon or otherwise harm the victim unless he or she gives the perpetrator what he/she wants
- Using a Power of Attorney or joint accounts as a license to steal the victim's monies for the perpetrator's own use
- Refusing to foster relationships or procure services for the victim, allowing the abuser to retain control over and access to all info and assets
- Pretending to be all-knowing about a matter that is meaningful to the victim to dupe and confuse the formerly-capable, high-functioning elder
Estate & Trust Litigation & Conservatorships
We represent elders, family members, concerned friends, as well as professional fiduciaries in all areas of probate, trust, and elder law.
In contested matters, we resolve disputes or engage in litigation as necessary. We enlist the Probate Court in creative ways to ensure families may honor their loved ones' intentions and defend against meritless attacks. We have recovered millions of stolen assets for elders and dependent adults.
In estate and trust administration matters, we advise and guide those who have been entrusted to act for others as agents under powers of attorney and as trustees, as well as to administer trusts and estates following death. If possible, we prefer to undertake such administration matters outside of the court's jurisdiction, with the goals of efficiency and keeping costs to the estate as low as possible. However, should a formal legal proceeding be necessary, we have extensive experience administering trusts and estates in the various Bay Area Probate Courts, ensuring compliance with California law, local court rules, and general fiduciary principles. We also represent beneficiaries of trust and estates where there are concerns about administration being undertaken by another party.
In conservatorship matters, elders and incapacitated adults must rely on others and the courts to ensure their health, safety, and well-being, and, to protect them from neglect or harm. We represent conservators, individuals for whom conservatorship has been proposed and may or may not be warranted, and concerned family members and friends, seeking to protect their loved one's best interests. We also assist APS and other organizations to ensure justice is available to those in need.