This is the next post in my series on the handling of San Bernardino, California probate cases involving a property dispute. My last article discussed the role of discovery in disputes over an estate’s assets. It is important to understand that the accumulation of evidence is crucial for proving your case and that discovery is the vehicle for that accumulation. In this article, I will discuss what to expect during the trial process. Contact my office today to speak with an attorney.
Trial in the Probate Court begins with opening statements from each attorney. Opening statements are not a time for argument. They are a time to explain the evidence that the fact finder can expect to hear and to state the relief that you are requesting. If one side uses their opening statement to argue that the other is “wrong” then an objection can be lodged. Each side will then present evidence and make a closing argument. A decision will be issued shortly thereafter. In many ways, the process will appear similar to what is often portrayed in the media.
It is important to understand that Court procedures and the rules of evidence will be strictly enforced during the trial. This, for example, means that if a piece of evidence is not introduced then there is a possibility that it will not be considered. Also, if questions are not properly asked then they may be subject to objection and important testimony may not appear in the record. I say these things to make the point that a failure to follow the rules of evidence can result in important facts not being considered. This, in turn, can result in one losing their case even though they had the better argument.
When selecting an attorney to assist you it is important to choose someone who has experience in taking probate cases to trial. Experienced counsel will understand this area of law and follow the evidentiary rules when presenting your case. I devote a substantial portion of my practice to estate litigation and am familiar with handling such matters. I will use your initial consultation to gain an understanding of the situation and, as your case progresses, I will make sure that you know what to expect from the trial process. I will stay in regular communication with you and make sure that your questions are answered. This is my promise to each and every client I serve.
We also service Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, Ontario, Victorville, Rialto, Hesperia, Chino, Upland, Apple Valley, Redlands, Highland, Colton, Yucaipa, Montclair, elsewhere in the Inland Empire, as well as Los Angeles.