Creative Representation | Expert Litigation

Trial Court Enters Naify Judgment and Awards Costs

As previously reported in June 2021, the San Francisco Superior Court, Judge Richard B. Ulmer Jr. presiding, issued its Statement of Decision in the In Re Matter of Robert A. Naify Living Trust following a three-week trial in February and March.  The Statement of Decision rejects the oral inheritance promise claims of Petitioner Christina Cortese, and finds completely for Bartko’s client, the Co-Trustees of the Robert Naify Trust.

Petitioner Cortese filed post-trial mistrial and other motions, all of which were rejected by the Superior Court, in part, as “speculation on steroids.”  On October 29, the Court entered Judgment in the Robert Naify oral inheritance case in favor of the Co-Trustees.  On December 13, 2021, the Court entered an Order Granting the Co-Trustees’ Motion for Costs Award, ordering Cortese to pay the Co-Trustees full legal costs in the amount of $99,239.89.  (See pdf of Costs Order here.)  Finally, on December 16, 2021, the Court entered its Amended Judgment, including the cost award.  (See pdf of Amended Judgment here.)

In addition, on October 29, 2021, the Court entered its Order Approving the Settlement Agreement and Settlement Trust with Petitioner Acela Cortese.  The settlement funds a lifetime trust for the benefit of Acela Cortese, to purchase and own a home for her and to pay certain monthly living expenses, and also to pay certain agreed attorneys’ fees.  No lump-sum or other payments are made.  In return, Acela waived all her community property claims against the Robert Naify Trust and dismissed her two petitions with prejudice.