Estate Plans Gone Sideways

Date: Thursday, May 9, 2024
Time: 7:00am - 9:00am
Location: Depot Restaurant and Via Zoom
Speaker: Judge David Cowan

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Insights from a trial courtroom. Judge Cowan will discuss, from his experience hearing and deciding Probate cases, what he has observed as common difficulties arising from estate planning, as well as areas of trust and estate administration prone to cause problems, with a focus on ensuring parties meet their ethical obligations.


HON. DAVID J. COWAN sits in the Beverly Hills Courthouse where he hears long cause Civil and Probate trials. He also conducts mandatory settlement conferences.

Previously, Judge Cowan was Supervising Judge of the Civil Division of the Court. As Supervising Judge of Civil, he oversaw the operations of over one hundred and fifty courtrooms around the County. Earlier, he was Supervising Judge of the Probate and Mental Health Depts. During his six plus years sitting in a Probate department, he was a member of the Probate and Mental Health Advisory Committee to the Judicial Council of California.

Judge Cowan was appointed a Judge by Governor Jerry Brown in 2014. Before his appointment as a judge, Judge Cowan served as a Court Commissioner. For much of that time, Judge Cowan handled a Family Law calendar at the Santa Monica Courthouse.

Prior to going on the bench, Judge Cowan practiced business and real estate litigation for seventeen years. He started at Rogers & Wells, now known as Clifford Chance. Later, he had his own office.

Judge Cowan is a graduate of Univ. of Calif. College of the Law San Francisco (formerly known as Hastings) and Columbia University.


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