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Palo Alto Litigation Lawyers Offer Experienced Advocacy

California attorneys litigating in focused practice areas

At Chiles and Prochnow, we provide forceful advocacy. We have developed relationships with estate planning and transactional lawyers who refer their clients to us. These lawyers turn to us when disputes arise. Our attorneys have 70 plus years of combined experience litigating matters in courts of law.

Goal-oriented litigators handling disputes concerning wills, trusts, real estate and more

Our attorneys understand that litigation is extremely stressful for the client. When a dispute arises in an area such as estate litigation, in which family and friends may be on opposite sides, the stress and anxiety are compounded. Our legal team provides not only high-quality, focused advocacy but also personalized service that is sensitive to your needs and relationships. Whether you are litigating a loved one’s estate or a commercial matter, our firm can help. We litigate in the following areas:

  • Contested wills —Wills can be contested during probate on issues of formation, including undue influence or capacity, or on authenticity grounds. Additionally, the actions of the executor or administrator can be challenged by petition. We advocate for you.
  • Trust litigation — Unlike most wills, trusts ordinarily are not required to be probated. Despite the lack of probate, trusts can still be challenged on grounds similar to wills.  We represent parties on either side of contested trust disputes.
  • Breach of fiduciary duty — A fiduciary is a person who agrees to set aside his or her own interests to pursue the interests of another. Executors, administrators and trustees are all bound by a  fiduciary duty. Our firm can petition for the removal of dishonest or incompetent executors, administrators and trustees. Conversely, we also can defend dedicated fiduciaries when beneficiaries challenge their actions.
  • Business succession litigation — Even the most thoroughly considered business succession plan can run into issues — that’s where our services come in. Sometimes, the person designated to take over the business fails to develop the necessary skills. Other times, an oversight in the succession plan creates unintended consequences. Regardless of the cause of the dispute, our firm can represent you and provide dedicated advocacy to fix your succession issue.
  • Elder abuse litigation — The Federal Trade Commission has recognized that senior citizens often fall victim to scams and dishonest dealings. A recent scientific theory presented at the National Academy of Sciences hypothesizes that as people age, parts of the brain such as the anterior insula deteriorate, so the individual’s ability to detect fraud and deceit decreases. Our firm protects elders and their families from financial exploitation by marketers, caregivers and trusted companions who are looking to enrich themselves through an undeserved inheritance or benefit.
  • Real estate litigation —When things go wrong in a real estate transaction and you end up in court, we can protect your interests. We handle both traditional trials and arbitration of real estate disputes.
  • Commercial litigation — Our firm stands up for small and mid-sized businesses in court. We have advocated on behalf of high-tech and start-up companies in intellectual property, breach of contract and other commercial litigation matters.

General civil litigation

In addition to Trust and Estate Litigation and Elder Abuse Litigation, Chiles and Prochnow handles matters in the following civil litigation areas:

  • Construction defect litigation — Construction defect litigation involves disputes over construction projects that may have engineering or architectural issues that only manifest after the project has ended.  These cases are complex because of the roles of contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers, architects and engineers. We have represented homeowners, developers, architects, engineers and contractors in these types of disputes.
  • Insurance disputes Insurance disputes are typically either first party disputes – claims by an insured against the insurer who refuses to pay a claim – or third party disputes where it is asserted that an insurer owes a duty to defend and indemnify the insured from another’s claim.  Insurance affords protection to both individuals and businesses.  These types of cases must be handled by persons who are knowledgeable about insurance policies and the applicable case law.  We have substantial experience in coverage of both first and third party claims representing both the insured and insurers.
  • Personal injury claims We have handled numerous personal injury claims representing individuals in automobile and premises liability claims.
  • Real estate litigation Real Estate litigation encompasses a broad area of disputes. Questions often arise from transactions involving the sale or lease of properties or claims for injuries that occur.  Insurance may also play a role. The firm has experience in all of these areas.
  • Transportation  Transportation law is concerned with carrier liability, damage to cargo or personal injuries to passengers occurring on all types of carrier conveniences including ships, aircraft, buses and trains.  Another significant portion of transportation claims involves the shipment of goods, both domestic and international.  Different legal regimes exist depending on whether the shipment is by air, land or sea, and whether it is a domestic or international shipment.
  • Maritime law  Maritime is a subset of transportation law usually related to the movement of goods and persons by sea.

Contact us today to work with our compassionate, focused litigation attorneys

At Chiles and Prochnow, we only do litigation. We offer a free consultation at our Palo Alto office. To schedule an appointment, contact us online or by phone at 650-812-0400 . We are conveniently located near all major routes on the San Francisco Peninsula.

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