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Pro Bono Probate Settlement Program

What is the Pro Bono Probate Settlement Program?

The Pro Bono Probate Settlement Program (the “Program”) is intended to provide to parties with probate, trust, estates, guardianship, conservatorship or similar matters which are pending before one of the Central District Probate courts an opportunity to resolve their cases. The Program is staffed with practitioners experienced in Probate Court matters who volunteer their time to assist in the Program (“Attorney Volunteers”). To become an Attorney Volunteer within the Program, the attorney submits an application for consideration to a committee comprised of members of various Bar Associations located throughout Los Angeles County (the various Bar Associations, their respective committees and the members of those groups may be hereinafter individually and/or collectively referred to as the “BAR”).

Program participation is initiated either upon a request by one or more of the parties made directly to the Probate Department hearing a matter, or may be by suggestion of the Probate Court staff including the Probate Attorneys as reflected in the Probate Notes for a given case (Probate Notes are available on the court’s website in advance of the hearing), or by the Judicial Officer hearing the matter. Participation is voluntary and must be agreed to by all parties to the matter before it is referred. If the parties agree to participate, on the day scheduled the parties report to the courtroom and will then be informed as to the location. In some cases the Attorney Volunteer will accompany the parties to the location for the settlement session. If the matter is settled the parties will generally reduce the agreement to writing to be signed and/or return to the courtroom to have the Judicial Officer hearing your case advise what, if anything, will next occur in the case including when you are to next appear.

  • This voluntary program is supported by the BAR including establishing certain minimum criteria for settlement officer participation. The fact that an Attorney Volunteer may have met any established criteria and/or even served as a volunteer in the Program is not an endorsement by the BAR or by the Court as to the volunteer’s personal or professional background, training, experience, ethics, or other qualifications. By participating in the Program, each party, for itself and all others claiming through them and each of them, specifically now and forever waives and relinquishes any and all claims for liability and/or damages of any kind and nature, whether arising in contract or tort, against the BAR and the Court, pertaining to any settlement conference including but not limited to any settlement proceedings, any failure to achieve a settlement and/or, if applicable, the satisfaction or failure to satisfy any settlement term or provision.

How do Attorneys Apply for Probate Volunteer Settlement Panel?

Attorneys who are members of the California State Bar Association with a least 5 years experience practicing Probate and Trust law can apply by completing an Attorney Application for Probate Volunteer Settlement Panel form.

Art Showcased in
Los Angeles Courthouse Jury Rooms
"Dancing Puppets" by Nancy Artis
2005 – 3rd Place Professional

National Arts Program - Logo

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