Probate Mediations: Traveling Emotional Highways to Resolution

Date: Thursday, September 14, 2023
Time: 7:00am - 9:00am
Location: Depot Restaurant and Via Zoom
Speaker: Judge House

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Reservations are closed for this event.  Please call Marlowe at 310-375-6300 to see if there is space available.

Oftentimes, the practice of trusts, wills, and estates is described as “Family Law Lite.”  This couldn’t be farther from the truth.  Family law begins with the first date between the parties.  Probate law begins at birth, expands with multiple marriages, and ends with death.  These lifelong relationships are multi-layered and intricate emotional “DNA” that underly and fuel the controversies between the parties-- make mediations in these cases a unique challenge for attorneys and mediators. Using some “hypothetical cases,” Judge House will explore the various highways to maneuver towards resolution from the first client interview to the resolution reached in mediation.


Judge Mary Thornton House was a member of the Los Angeles Superior Court bench for 22 years; 8 of those years, she was assigned to a probate department where she presided over trust, wills, and conservatorship matters. Prior to her assignment to probate, she spent over 12 years presiding over general civil matters.  She was an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Los Angeles. She is now a private neutral for Alternative Resolution Centers (ARC). She authors Thomson Reuter’s California Civil Jury Instructions Companion Handbook on a yearly basis.

Judge House has been honored throughout her career. In 2004, Los Angeles County honored her as one of its ‘Women of the Year’ and named Judge of the Year by the Pasadena Bar Association.  In 2008, the California Judges Association awarded her the Bernard F. Jefferson’s Award for Excellence in Judicial Education. In 2011, the San Fernando Valley Bar Association awarded her the Excellence in Judicial Administration award for her leadership in getting California’s Expedited Jury Trials legislation passed, the development of the current universal judgment form, and simplification of small claims pleadings.  In 2013, the San Fernando Valley Bar Association named her their Judge of the Year.

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