JULIA L. BIRKEL brings over 30 years of civil litigation experience to her practice as a partner of Hill, Farrer & Burrill. She focuses on trust and estate litigation and trials (including elder financial abuse, undue influence, and conservatorships). Ms. Birkel is the immediate past Chair of the Trusts and Estates Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, and has been on its Executive Committee since 2012. She currently chairs the Court Liaison Committee, and is a member of the Advisory Committee on LPS conservatorships. Ms. Birkel is also a member of the South Bay Bar Association. Ms. Birkel serves as a Volunteer Settlement Officer for the Los Angeles Superior Court, Probate Department.
JULIA L. BIRKEL brings over 30 years of civil litigation experience to her practice as a partner of Hill, Farrer & Burrill. She focuses on trust and estate litigation and trials (including elder financial abuse, undue influence, and conservatorships). Ms. Birkel is the immediate past Chair of the Trusts and Estates Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. She has served on the Executive Committee of the Trusts and Estates Section of LACBA since 2012, and is its past Vice Chair and Secretary / Treasurer. She currently chairs the Court Liaison Committee, and is a member of the Advisory Recommendation Committee related to the Public Guardian and LPS conservatorships. Ms. Birkel is also a member of the South Bay Bar Association. Ms. Birkel is a Volunteer Settlement Officer for the Los Angeles Superior Court, Probate Department.
Ms. Birkel has successfully represented conservators, trustees, executors, beneficiaries and other parties and individuals in trust, estate, and probate disputes, including will and trust contests, undue influence, and financial elder abuse litigation. She co-authored an article published in the Los Angeles Lawyer magazine captioned “Litigating Elder Financial Abuse Claims”.
Ms. Birkel received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University in 1979. She entered UCLA School of Law in 1981, receiving her J.D. degree in 1984. She attended the Mass Media Institute, Broadcast News, at Stanford University in 1990, and went from there to a brief stint as a news reporter. She was active in team sports throughout college and law school, including Rugby, Track and Intra-mural sports.
Financial Elder Abuse
Prevailed in long cause trial on financial elder abuse claims brought by a conservator, obtaining compensatory damages, attorneys fees and punitive damages. Affirmed on Appeal in Kerley v. Weber (2018) 27 Cal. App. 5th 1187.
Petition for Instructions
Prevailed at trial representing trustee defending against Petition for Instructions challenging interpretation and distribution of trust.
Prevailed at trial representing daughter of proposed conservatee seeking appointment of professional conservator of Estate over recommendation of PVP attorney that brother be appointed.
Removal of Trustee
Successfully represented Trustee in defending multiple petitions seeking her removal and damages in multi-million dollar trust dispute.
Omitted Spouse Petition
Prevailed at trial representing children of deceased, defending omitted spouse and spousal property petitions.
Removal of Trustee
Prevailed at lengthy trial representing trust beneficiary who obtained removal of Trustee appointed by settlor.
Undue Influence Trial
Successfully represented Executor of Estate in undue influence trial, in which client recovered real property and monetary damages for the Estate.
Defense of Undue Influence and Financial Elder Abuse Action
Obtained judgment of dismissal of client following trial on undue influence and financial elder abuse claims against him.
Real Estate Option to Purchase
Obtained judgment for specific performance and damages, including attorneys’ fees, in favor of client seeking specific performance of real estate option to purchase, following week-long bench trial.
Boundary Dispute Quieting Title
Obtained judgment in favor of client following week-long Bench trial in boundary dispute lawsuit, quieting title in favor of client, granting client a permanent injunction, and granting client affirmative relief.
Bank Failure to Indemnify
Following 3-week jury trial obtained judgment in favor of former President of a national Bank, who had been sued by the Bank for $18 million based on charges he violated U.S. Banking Regulations “Q” and “Z.” Client obtained defense verdict on the Bank’s claim and a $2.5 million verdict in his favor on the cross-complaint filed on his behalf against the Bank for its failure to indemnify him with regard to a prior proceeding instituted by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
Arbitration Medical Partnership
Obtained $3.5 million judgment in favor of a Pediatric Oncologist following a week-long binding arbitration on the physician’s claims against her former medical partnership and its managing partner for breach of fiduciary duty and fraud. The judgment included an award of $400,000 in punitive damages.