Civil Litigation

We believe that all of our lawyers, regardless of where they concentrate their practice, should have a grounding in trial court practice. The analytical thinking, poise, and common sense required to succeed in court will serve a lawyer well in any area of practice. Our lawyers apply sophisticated judgment and practical, real-world approaches to representing our clients in litigation.

We also work hard to counsel our clients on realistic alternate dispute resolution processes. If litigation is unavoidable, we provide our clients with prompt and candid advice about the strengths and weaknesses of their case, and how to maximize their litigation prospects in the most cost-efficient manner. 

We have counseled clients and tried cases in a range of commercial litigation settings in county, state and federal trial courts and appellate courts throughout California; in arbitration and mediation; and in administrative proceedings with regulatory agencies at the county, state, and federal level.

Trusts & Estates Litigation

Some families simply can not get along, and litigation of family trusts and estates becomes unavoidable. Gale & Nielsen’s attorneys have the judgment and experience to guide clients through these complex and emotional disputes.

As estate planners, we strive to create estate plans that will avoid litigation later on, by understanding family dynamics and goals. In this way, we minimize the potential for disputes to develop later on. We have deep knowledge of wills, trusts, estate tax planning, charitable giving, and lifetime family gifting plans. We also have the ability to identify and resolve the unique issues raised by assets like family businesses, partnerships, real estate, life insurance and art.

When a trust or probate case is disputed, however, as trust and estate litigators we offer skillful and thoughtful counsel, and zealous advocacy. Over the years we have tried a variety of cases in this arena, including trust and will contests, breach of fiduciary duty claims, removal of trustees, undue influence, and disputes following the death or incompetence of a family member.

Our goal is always to arrive at the best resolution possible, considering both the economics of the dispute, and basic fairness. This outlook reflects our deep belief that an attorney’s counsel must follow not only the law, but a basic sense of right and wrong. Very often the best result is a negotiated settlement, but if this is not possible, we have the experience and passion to see the matter successfully through trial and appeal.