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City National Story In a Nutshell

A “ . . . trustee has a duty to administer the trust

solely in the interest of the beneficiaries" -

(California Probate Code Sec. 16002)

Not when City National Bank (Beverly Hills, California) is trustee!   

The actions of City National as trustee of my grandmother's spendthrift trust have been so outrageous over a period of many years that I can no longer remain silent.  Hence this web site . . .

They milked the trust out of more than $350,000 in lawyers’ fees - robbing me and personally slandering me - as litigation wound its way through California courts and Federal courts from 1994 – 2005.

I was invited by City National to file my probate court petition for division of trust. I had never before litigated against City National (although I had litigated against one of the four trust income beneficiaries in a totally unrelated matter).  After I did file the petition City National’s team of expensive lawyers racked up enormous fees with unnecessary pretrial rigmarole.  City National eventually reduced my trust income to zero in order to pay these outrageous legal fees.  

In order to REDUCE EXPENSES being incurred by the trust (expenses were coming out of my own income) I filed a motion in limine for an "inquisitorial mode of trial" - complete with points and authorities showing that an adversarial mode of trial was not appropriate for the simple question of whether there was good cause for division of trust as per Calif.Prob.Code, sec.15412.  City National's bland reply against my motion never asserted that my motion was frivolous.  However, on the eve of trial, City National treacherously turned around and filed a motion to have me labeled a "vexatious litigant".

At the motion hearing, Judge Robert M. Letteau called my "inquisitorial" motion "bizarre . . . " and granted City National's motion.  In fact, Judge Letteau ordered that a minute order be sent immediately to the office of the Judicial Council.  This had the effect of cutting off my right to appeal his order.

Judge Letteau, at the first hearing, invited City National to file another motion under Cal.Civ.Proc. 128.5 to recover its costs of its "vexatious litigant" motion (for which motion alone City National charged the trust more than $39,000).   And Letteau granted that as well, of course.  

As a result, my trust income was reduced to zero.  I then filed chapter 13 bankruptcy and, within it, a turnover proceeding.  I wanted ALL of my creditors - not just the bad one (City National) - to be paid off.  And they should be paid off from property of the bankruptcy estate (which, as I requested, should include my trust interest - or, more precisely, ¼ of it).  

Adding injury to injury, the gangsters at City National filed fraudulent K-1’s with the IRS to try to force me to pay taxes on income I never received and which was diverted to paying lawyer fees to attack me (see my statement to IRS).

For years, I could not understand why Judge Letteau was so obviously biased until I saw an article several years later.  This article, titled "Shredded Fred" (NewTimesLA 5/14/98), tells how the same judge/lawyer team (Judge Letteau and  L. Andrew Gifford of Riordan & McKenzie law firm) robbed the 250-million-dollar estate of art collector Fred Weisman by putting his cronies in control of the estate.  Click here to learn more about Judge Letteau.