On January 21, 2016, the First District Court of Appeal reversed a trial court ~$1,700,000 judgment (plus attorneys’ fees) against a CPA and member of the California Society of CPAs (the “Society”). The Society engaged us to file an Amicus Brief to support the reversal of the verdict against the CPA on the grounds that the trial court erred in finding the CPA, as independent trustee, had duties under the Probate Code that conflicted with the limitation of his duties under the Trust. The Court of Appeal cited extensively from our Amicus Brief and adopted our reasoning on pages 27-30 of its Opinion for a complete reversal of the verdict against the CPA.
"Victoria Tsylina was lead counsel on my Estate, Trust, Probate and Employment Litigation during an exceptionally trying time in my life.
Her unwavering support, her perseverance and sensitivity saved my sanity. Her skillful ability to decipher and argue complex legal concepts, along with her expertise to analyze and balance delicate family matters, produced a positive outcome.
Victoria executed my case expeditiously and fairly.
I would highly recommend her professional services and of her team's at Lurie, Zepeda, Schmalz, Hogan & Martin.
Kudos to Victoria and many thanks to Steve Hogan for your interaction."
“The Hogan team were dedicated, informed, all the while encouraging positive forward thinking to ensure the best outcome on my behalf. Steve offered up his associate attorney to work closely with us while also keeping our litigation fees to a minimum. The entire firm treated me as I were family.”
"The Hogan-Holcomb team of Lurie, Zepeda, Schmalz, Hogan & Martin, A.P.C. stuck with me through a hard-fought 3-year case involving a very complicated estate with a myriad of twists and turns unimaginable! They got it to a settlement where my Life Concerns were more-than met enabling me a future lifetime of security and prosperity. The many twists and turns were met with their immediate knowledge, instinct and creativity resulting in a true success! They stuck with me through thick and thin and I'd recommend them to anyone dealing with an estate matter where winning matters! I was up against a very well-manned team and I called-in the BEST! Needless to say using Steve Hogan and Damien Holcomb was one of the wisest choices in my life!"
“I experienced a surprisingly positive outcome from very a complex estate situation. All my concerns were addressed. Resolving our communication challenges were accomplished while navigating a California case from my home in New Mexico.”
“Resolving a complex trust and estate litigation in California from our home in London was challenging. Retaining Steve Hogan to represent us based on a friend’s strong recommendation turned out to be the right decision.”
“Steve Hogan is my go-to choice when a client needs a Trusts and Estates litigator. He does a tremendous job representing clients and keeps me informed throughout the process.”
“Kurt Schmalz is one of the best litigators in Southern California. He is intelligent, careful, results-oriented, and practical in his approach. Kurt is a phenomenal choice for any client.”
“Troy Martin is a very diligent attorney. Probate litigation is a complicated process and Troy does a good job of explaining things to my clients, making it much easier for me.”
“Thank you Kurt and Victoria! Your resolve and creativity steered this case straight to victory. Your steady hand on the wheel kept me sane in a matter of enormous personal and financial consequence. Litigation is never fun but winning sure is. Calling you was an inspired moment.” Raymond J. Tittmann, Esq. (Continental Casualty Co. v. Tittmann, et al, LASC Case No. 18STCV04963).
“I seriously like Steve Hogan and refer clients who have Trust and Estate litigation issues to him. Steve gets great results and has a reasonable approach to meeting with clients and billing.”
“Kurt Schmalz is a wonderful lawyer. He is meticulous in his legal work and applied his outstanding abilities to win our civil case, write the appeal and then give an extraordinary argument before the court.”
“I have spent a lot of time working side-by-side with Lurie, Zepeda, Schmalz, Hogan & Martin’s attorneys as an expert witness for their cases. They are fantastic litigators, hardworking and fun to be around.”
"Truth be told I had concerns about using a $695 / hour power attorney for a relatively smaller probate issue. However I am so pleased to see Mr. Hogan achieve the best possible outcome for us without breaking the bank. Mr. Hogan skillfully stayed in command while empowering a younger but very capable attorney Mr. Magana to do much of the work for us. In the end, the court of appeal’s opinion virtually tracked our briefs. Order (00620669) Thank you for a job well done!"
“When I need co-counsel in California, I call Kurt Schmalz. He is smart, knowledgeable and very experienced trying cases in the local courts, which is of great value to me and my clients. Kurt takes the time to understand a case and provides insightful input during every step of the process.”
“When my trust and estate planning clients need a litigator, I refer them Lurie, Zepeda, Schmalz, Hogan & Martin. The attorneys are experienced, focused and personable, and reduce my clients’ stress levels. Also, the staff is polite and the environment is highly professional.”
“I confidently refer Trust and Estate litigation matters to Steve Hogan for his specific experience in this area. He skillfully pursues the desired outcome, overcoming the challenge of difficult opponents, is timely, and a great communicator.”
“The partners and associates at Lurie, Zepeda, Schmalz, Hogan & Martin are amazing attorneys and very down-to-earth. They patiently kept me informed of my options in fighting an employee’s wrongful termination case, and we got a great outcome.”
“Steve Hogan and I have shared a nice reciprocal relationship for over 10 years. He is everything you want in a litigator – innovative, smart, personable and relentless.”
“I originally met Steve Hogan when we were opposing counsel. We developed a trusting relationship and I confidently refer clients with trusts and estate disputes to Steve.”
"Victoria Tsylina handled a real estate dispute on my behalf.
Her expertise and strategy were excellent – she obtained a desired result by making a strong pre-litigation demand, saving thousands of dollars in litigation fees and costs."
“Extremely valuable real estate divided our family after my father passed away. I needed the best attorney in town, and fortunately was referred to Troy Martin. Troy took a personal interest in my case and patiently pursued a successful settlement strategy rather than high-billing litigation.”
“When a trusted employee embezzled from me and stole trade secrets, Troy Martin kept me sane. He is patient, kind and very knowledgeable. Troy’s exceptionally clear lawsuit was so easy for the jury to follow that we won the case with a seven figure verdict.”
“I gained a lot of confidence in Troy Martin from co-litigating a case with him. He is easy to work with and has a great demeanor for handling trust, estate and probate litigation.”
“I quickly gained confidence in Troy Martin. He listens carefully, is rational in his approach, and thoughtfully explains the calculations behind his communications with the opposing side. Troy achieved our desired outcome by patiently negotiating a settlement, saving us a lot of money in the long run.”
“Whenever my firm has a conflict, I confidently refer clients to Steve Hogan because he cares as much about them as I do. He is very tenacious and gets great results. Practicing law is not just a job for Steve, it is his passion.”
“Over the years, I’ve used a lot of lawyers for different matters. I like Lurie, Zepeda, Schmalz, Hogan & Martin’s high quality service. They are quick and professional and provide excellent value for their rates.
“Since the start of ETONIEN in 2008 we have used Steve Hogan for our business legal affairs and have been extremely happy with the results. However, during 2021 due to some timing issues, Steve suggested that we use M. Damien Holcomb to directly handle a very sensitive and complicated client issue. Damien did a great job in providing legal and business options for us to pursue and in working with the legal counsel of our client arrived at a very favorable outcome for our Company. We were very happy not only with Damien’s legal and business acumen—but also with his outstanding client service attitude.”
“It is important for us to work with down-to-earth, honest, respectful attorneys. The attorneys at Lurie, Zepeda, Schmalz, Hogan & Martin are all of those things and more.”
“Troy Martin has successfully resolved real estate and trust litigation for my clients. He is very responsive and strategically considers potential outcomes versus potential costs when planning the best path to pursue.”
“I call Kurt Schmalz when one of my clients is facing litigation in California. Since he tries a lot of cases, he knows the judges, unique characteristics of various jurisdictions, and the art of picking a jury. He leverages these skills to settle cases when possible, and always is prepared to go to trial if needed.”
“I was unsure about pursuing litigation to resolve a long-standing dispute with family members over property. Steve Hogan made me comfortable with the decision to move forward, and we won our case. Steve is very personable and was in-tune with the many issues I was facing throughout the process.”