This is a response to Quentin L. Kopp’s letter to the editor on Sept. 29. Continuing Education of the Bar, State Bar, local bars and other legal associations may offer a few “faddish” classes, but there are many good substantive courses in the law. The judges will have a choice to take a good substantive class or a “faddish” class. Most lawyers and judges will spend their money on a good substantive class to improve their knowledge in their field of law.
I have a case, Lamperti v. U.S. Bank, where Judge Kopp refused to rule on the principal issue. I appealed to the court of appeal twice because the appellate and trial courts refused to review Probate Code statutes according to the standard rules of statutory interpretation. The unpublished opinions contained multiple errors in law on the role of the successor trustee in the trust administration of an estate. I now have an appellant’s petition for review in the California Supreme Court (S146194) with the question presented:
Can the Court of Appeal sanction an attorney for presenting a valid appeal based upon the application of standard rules of statutory interpretation in construing Probate Code Section 331 (d) (3) within the California Safe Deposit Box-Access Act?
This would not have happened if there was a judge familiar with trust law. However, the majority of the judges involved in this case were former prosecutors and two judges were formerly involved in tort litigation.
Jurists are the generalists in the law. Departments responsible for our continuing legal education will probably have special programs designed for judges that could be of great help to them in carrying out their judicial duties.
George A. McKray
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