Webinar: Top Five Critical Lessons from Mediators of Trust and Estate Disputes
December 13 @ 12:00 pm – 1:15 pm
1.25 Hours MCLE; 1.25 Legal Specialization in Estate Planning; Trust & Probate Law
Join a panel of five esteemed mediators of trust and estate disputes including Honorable James P. Gray (Ret.), Honorable Jamoa A. Moberly (Ret.), Honorable Glen M. Reiser (Ret.), Bette Epstein, Esq. and Bruce S. Ross, Esq., together with moderator Kristin Yokomoto, Esq. as we explore the intricacies of successful mediations. Trust and estate litigation is on the rise and so are the number of disputes being successfully resolved outside of the courtroom through mediation. Unlike other types of disputes, trust and estate fights often involve the break-down of family relationships over inheritances. These experienced mediators will discuss the top five critical lessons on dealing with challenges of mediating trust and estate disputes including the (1) importance of advanced preparation by the lawyers and mediator and well prepared pre-mediation briefs, (2) role of the disputants’ understanding of mediation and how mediators can help establish realistic expectations during the mediation, (3) standards of conduct for mediators and mediation confidentiality, (4) differences between evaluative and facilitative mediation styles and the time and place for a mediator’s proposal to progress through an impasse, and (5) hidden forces that shape a disputant’s decisions and dealing with high conflict personalities. They will also share touching stories about apology and the opportunities to help families build bridges to be able to potentially reconnect with each other.
Interact with the Mediators: The presentation will allow time for attendees to interact with these top trust and estate mediators who contribute to helping resolve these complex family disputes.
Non-Member Price: $156.25
Member Price: $81.25
Betty Epstein, Esq.
Bette Epstein, Esq. has been mediating trust and estate disputes since 2000. Following a remarkable career as a trust and estate litigator, she turned her focus to alternative dispute resolution 22 years ago and has been helping parties settle their disputes ever since. Ms. Epstein is highly regarded as one of the Bay Area’s leading probate specialists. In conjunction with her work as a mediator, she spent nearly three decades handling trust and estate disputes, contested conservatorships, elder abuse claims, and serving as an expert witness in conservatorship, trust and estate litigation proceedings. As an associate and partner at Crosby Heafey Roach & May (now Reed Smith), Ms. Epstein was responsible for building up its trust and estate litigation practice, and eventually went on to become a managing partner of its Oakland office in 2007.
Honorable James Gray (Ret.)
After 25 years of service as a trial judge in the Orange County courts, Honorable. James P. Gray (Ret.) is available as a mediator, arbitrator and discovery referee. Known for his work in creating novel programs aimed at curbing repeat alcohol-related and juvenile offenses, Judge Gray began to cultivate a reputation as an innovative jurist who proactively crafted creative solutions to the problems before him. After being elevated to the Superior Court in 1989, Judge Gray presided over calendars in civil, criminal, probate, adoptions, mental health and juvenile courts. Judge Gray’s experienced realism, creativity, practicality, and disciplined optimism make him an ideal neutral to address and resolve trust and estate disputes and deal with the problems based upon emotions. During his years on the Superior Court, Judge Gray became known for settling the “unsettleable” cases.
Honorable Jamoa Moberly (Ret.)
After a distinguished and diverse career as a judge for 21 years preceded by a successful career as a litigator and trial lawyer for 20 years, Hon. Jamoa A. Moberly (Ret.) returned to her roots in alternative dispute resolution to serve as a mediator, arbitrator, and referee with ADR Services, Inc. Judge Moberly brings a caring attitude to dispute resolution grounded in her goal to empower the parties to reach a resolution which is creative and satisfying. After presiding over and resolving a broad spectrum of unlimited jurisdiction civil cases for many years, Judge Moberly capped her judicial service as part of the court’s probate panel. She is known as a “healer of families” and promotes collaborative and creative resolution to help restore families and individuals while also preserving the estate.
Honorable Glen Reiser (Ret.)
Hon. Glen M. Reiser (Ret.) is a full-time trust, probate and conservatorship mediator with vast experience adjudicating and resolving thousands of disputes as a respected trial judge, litigator and neutral. After more than 20 years as a trial and appellate lawyer, Judge Reiser spent more than 20 years on the Ventura County Superior Court, serving as supervising probate judge for the bulk of his judicial career. As a mediator, among hundreds of other successful trust and probate resolutions, Judge Reiser negotiated and supervised the industry-changing mediation in Breslin v. Breslin (2021) 62 Cal. App. 5th 801, in which the California appellate courts embrace mandatory mediation in trust disputes. For many years through the end of last year, Judge Reiser was a primary and advanced instructor for all California judges assigned to trust, probate, and conservatorships through the Judicial Council of California’s Center for Judicial Education and Research (CJER). Judge Reiser is known for using his thoroughness, intellect, attention to detail and breadth of knowledge to develop creative solutions to disputes of all types.
Kristin Yokomoto, Esq., Moderator
Kristin Yokomoto, Esq. is a Legal Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law certified by the State Bar of California. She has a sophisticated and diverse estate planning, trust and probate practice devoted to helping individuals, families and business owners with the transition of their wealth, businesses and other assets to their beneficiaries in the most efficient and harmonious manner. Ms. Yokomoto serves as a Committee Member on the California Lawyers Association (formerly The State Bar of California), Trusts and Estates Executive Committee (TEXCOM). In 2016, she was appointed by the President of the Orange County Bar Association to serve on the Ethics and Professionalism Committee, a Blue Ribbon Committee limited to 15 members, which is committed to analyzing legal ethics opinions proposed by the State Bar Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct and producing substantive work at the highest level.