For Hackard Law, the Recipe for Success is Equal Parts Preparation, Flexibility,
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Maybe you’re one of tens of thousands of Californians with a trust dispute on the horizon. It’s more common than you might think: Disputes involving beneficiary distributions, inheritance rights, claims of undue influence, elder abuse, and about a million other scenarios can make the loss of a loved one even more difficult than it already is. Maybe you’ve even done some Googling, and you think you’ve got a pretty good idea what goes on in a trust case. Attorney Michael Hackard, founder of California’s Hackard Law Firm, doesn’t mince words regarding the usefulness of amateur legal theorizing on the Internet: “This is as effective as a high school biology student who has dissected a frog applying that newfound learning to brain surgery,” says Hackard.
“When people plan for what happens with their assets after their death, it seems like that should take care of everything … but a lot of times people don't agree with what someone has decided to do,” says Sarah Cullen, an attorney at Hackard Law. As part of the small, tight-knit team at Hackard, Cullen has seen more than her share of trust disputes. And she knows that part of what it takes to safeguard Hackard’s clients and their trust assets is the extensive preparation required for each case. “We fight hard and we look at everything as if we are going to trial,” Cullen says. “That’s what we prepare for, and we're ready for that.”
If Cullen sounds confident, she has a right to be. Hackard’s track record in trust litigation speaks for itself. For over 40 years, the firm has employed a holistic, evolving strategy to handle complex disputes and represent its clients through every stage of litigation. Hackard Law’s continued success is the result of a time-tested approach built on preparation, flexibility,
By StoryStudio on August 3, 2022 12:19 AM
Flexibility also plays a big role. Founder Michael Hackard says that regardless of the nature of a given dispute—whether the firm is working on a contingency fee arrangement for a relatively small sum or a complex multimillion dollar dispute—the same amount of preparation goes into each case. “The same experts are involved, the same analysis, the same and similar pleadings, and the same kind of discovery,” says Hackard. Attorney fee arrangements are critical, since it is often the case that an aggrieved trust or estate beneficiary is cut off from the estate’s financial distributions, and that exclusion can work to the benefit of the wrongdoer in a trust dispute.
The last piece of the puzzle involves Hackard Law’s commitment to its clients, exemplified by its compassionate approach to difficult family dynamics. The team at Hackard always takes the same, simple first step with every new client: listen. “We are dealing primarily with the nuts and bolts of a trust, which includes various parties,” says Geremia. That means people, and often people who are dealing with the emotional fallout of deception or betrayal. Cullen says, “We’re exploring family dynamics and trying to figure out why people do what they do. We also will take depositions. It's our chance for a face to face, to ask questions of the wrongdoer or other witnesses. I think we're unique in that.”
If you require excellence and understanding in your legal representation, contact Hackard Law today.
10630 Mather Boulevard, Mather, CA 95655
Phone: 916-313-3030 Fax: 916-226-5177 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For families in California, the creation of a living trust is an increasingly common method for passing assets to the next generation. The use of trusts can help families avoid the lengthy and potentially expensive process that formal probate entails, not to mention saving a substantial sum in administrative costs and taxes. Trusts have a lot of moving parts, however, and most people aren’t exactly experts in the roles of the different parties involved. There are many ways a trust can go awry, from poor drafting of the document initially to unethical behavior of the people involved. One thing is certain—with increased use of trusts comes an increase in conflicts and, ultimately, a corresponding increase in litigation. Having a team of experienced, skilled, and compassionate attorneys can make all the difference.
Disputes involving beneficiary distributions, inheritance rights, claims of undue influence, elder abuse, and about a million other scenarios can make the loss of a loved one even more difficult than it already is.
Hackard’s track record in trust litigation speaks for itself. For over 40 years, the firm has employed a holistic, evolving strategy to handle complex disputes and represent its clients through every stage
The first thing that sets Hackard Law apart has a lot to do with the fighting spirit and level of preparation that Cullen mentioned. For Hackard, preparation is essentially a battle plan. “Our firm uses online mock jury trials that include our side of the case and the other side of the case,” says attorney Brian Geremia. “They return a verdict, they provide a reason, and they also identify questions that they have. All three of those pieces of information are very valuable to us in identifying our strategy in a case.” Using mock jury trials affords attorneys at Hackard Law the opportunity to refine their opening and closing arguments and identify the strengths and weaknesses of their presentation. Drawing on real-time feedback to revise their trial strategy helps Hackard prepare for every eventuality and gives its clients an enormous advantage during litigation. That level of preparation is what the Hackard difference is all about.
As a team, Hackard Law brings all these unique qualifications to bear in a demonstration of tireless commitment to its clients. “Nothing goes out the door without everyone having a hand in it, and everyone being personally involved,” Cullen says.
While the Hackard Law approach might sound simple, operationalizing such lofty standards is no small task. It helps that Hackard enjoys a sterling reputation in California. “The license to practice law is not a license to obfuscate the truth,” Hackard says. “It seems strange to have to say it, but we don’t lie to the courts, to opposing counsel, or to our clients. We often get referrals from lawyers that were opposing counsel in some of our cases; the referrals are an endorsement of trust that we work for excellence in performance and ethics.” That ongoing dedication, to its clients and community, has earned Hackard Law its rarified standing. “Our integrity is intact,” says Hackard. “It is easily lost if we are not vigilant.”
If you think you may require an advocate dedicated to setting things right for you and your family, contact Hackard Law today: 10630 Mather Boulevard, Mather, CA 95655; phone: 916-313-3030; fax: 916-226-5177; email: email@example.com.
- Attorney Sarah Cullen
When people plan for what happens with their assets after their death, it seems like that should take care of everything … but a lot of times people don't agree with what someone has decided to do."