David W. Baer

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Estate & Trust Litigation Attorney in Orinda, CA

Hartog | Baer | Hand
 | 4 Orinda Way, Suite 200-D
Orinda, CA 94563
Phone: (925) 253-1717
Fax: (925) 253-0334
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2006 - 2008, 2014 - 2019
Licensed Since: 1981
Practice Areas:
  • Estate & Trust Litigation (70%),
  • Estate Planning & Probate (10%),
  • Business Litigation (10%),
  • Appellate (10%)
Attorney Profile

As lead trial counsel with the Hartog, Baer & Hand APC law firm in Orinda, California, principal attorney and partner David W. Baer brings over 30 years of experience to his clients who face complex litigation involving estate and trust disputes, estate planning malpractice, fiduciary litigation, spousal property claims, no content clause claims, elder financial abuse claims, and other matters.

Along with handling probate and trust litigation, Mr. Baer has extensive experience in a variety of other areas, including taxation, real estate law, corporate and partnership law, and appeals. A certified mediator, he also has the skills and resources necessary to help his clients resolve their conflicts and reach agreements without the need for expensive, time-consuming court battles, and he has achieved notable success negotiating and drafting complex, multiparty settlements.

A 1978 honors graduate of Reed College, Mr. Baer attended the University of California Hastings College of the Law, where he obtained his Juris Doctor in 1981 and graduated Order of the Coif and as a member of the Thurston Honor Society. Along with practicing before all California state and appellate courts, he is admitted to practice before the U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Eastern and Central Districts of California, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, and the U.S. Tax Court.

Widely regarded as a leader in his field, Mr. Baer has published numerous articles and conducted dozens of lectures and seminars across the region on various legal topics. He also authored chapters for the Matthew Bender Practice Guide: California Trust Litigation, a definitive reference guide, and he routinely offers authoritative testimony at trial for other attorneys.

Highly active in his legal community, Mr. Baer is a member of The State Bar of California Trusts and Estates Executive Committee, and he once served as chair for both the organization's litigation subcommittee and the California Law Revision Commission Committee. He also serves as probate mediation panelist for the Alameda County Superior Court, and he is a member of the probate and trust sections of several other local and regional bar associations.

 
Practice Areas
Lawyer Practice Area Pie Chart

Estate & Trust Litigation (70%): Will Contests

Estate Planning & Probate (10%): Estate Planning, Probate & Estate Administration, Trusts

Business Litigation (10%)

Appellate (10%)

Focus Areas

Will Contests, Estate Planning, Probate & Estate Administration, Trusts

Selections

Selected to Super Lawyers for 9 yearsbottom-image

Super Lawyers: 2006 - 2008, 2014 - 2019

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About David Baer

Admitted: 1981, California

Professional Webpage: http://hbh.law/staff-member/david-baer/

Honors/Awards:

  • Order of the Coif (12th in class of over 500 students), University of California, Hastings College of Law
  • Northern California SuperLawyers, San Francisco Magazine, 2006-2008, 2014-2016
  • State Bar of California Board of Trustees, Wiley W. Manuel Pro Bono Award, 2006, 2016
  • Thurston Honor Society, University of California, Hastings College of Law, 1981

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • California Conference of Bar Associations, Delegate
  • San Francisco Superior Court, Probate Mediation Panelist
  • Marin County Bar Association, Probate Law Section, Member
  • Contra Costa County Bar Association, Conservatorship/Guardianship, Probate & Trust Section, Member
  • East Bay Trust and Estates Lawyers, Board of Directors
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Bar Association of San Francisco, Probate and Trust Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution Litigation Sections, Member
  • Alameda County Superior Court, Probate Mediation Panelist
  • United States Tax Court
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of California
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of California
  • United States District Court for the Central District of California
  • State of California
  • Member, Executive Committee, Trust and estate Section California State Bar, Chairman, Litigation Subcommittee 2008-Chairman, California Law Revision Subcommittee 2008-2012, 2007

Pro bono/Community Service:

  • State Bar of California Board of Trustees, Wiley W. Manuel Pro Bono Award, 2016
  • State Bar of California Board of Trustees, Wiley W. Manuel Pro Bono Award, 2006

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

  • How to Manage Client Expectations in Probate and Trust Litigation, Alameda County Bar Association, September 2010
  • Claims By Nonclients Against the Estate Planning Attorney, Trusts and Estates Section of the Bar Association of San Francisco, June 2005
  • Residents’ Charitable Requests: Can They Hold up in Court?, Teaching Services of California, May 2007
  • Management of Fiduciary Real Estate: Taming an Unruly Asset Class, East Bay State Planning Council, September 2007
  • Avoiding Pitfalls in the Probate Code, 80th Annual Meeting of the State Bar of California, September 2007
  • Financial Elder Abuse, Continuing Education of the Bar, July-August 2008
  • The Demise of the No Contest Clause in California Is Not Greatly Exaggerated, Marin County Bar Association, October 2008
  • Probate Code Section 21350: What Does It All Mean?, The 32nd Annual UCLA/CEB Estate Planning Institute, May 2010
  • Whether, When and How to Litigate, Northern California Planned Giving Counsel, June 10, 2010
  • When Boilerplate Leads to Disaster, 83rd Annual Meeting of the State Bar, September 2010
  • Probate Litigation for the Uninitiated, State Bar of California, June 2012
  • Problems Created by Gifts to Caregivers/New Rules Governing Certificates of Independent Review, The Southern California Tax & Estate Planning Forum, October 2010
  • Disqualified Transferee/Care Custodian Statutes, Marin County Bar Association, May 2011
  • Hot Topics in California Trust Litigation, San Francisco Bar Association, May 2011
  • The Difference Between Civil Litigation and Probate Litigation, Sacramento County Bar Association, June 2011
  • Ethical Concerns of Estate Planning for the Elder, Legal Aid for Seniors, May 2012
  • Trust Litigation 2.0, The Southern California Tax & Estate Planning Council, June 2012
  • A Practitioner’s View on the Proposal to Abolish No-Contest Clauses in California, Trusts and Estates Quarterly, Fall 2004
  • Competently Litigating Competency In Trust and Estates Matters, State Bar of California, September and October 2012
  • Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Litigating Capacity In Trust And Will Contests, But Forgot To Ask, Bar Association of San Francisco, Part I, December 2012
  • Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Litigating Capacity In Trust And Will Contests, But Forgot To Ask, Bar Association of San Francisco, Part II, January 2013
  • The Growing Epidemic of Elder Financial Abuse, Commonwealth Club of San Francisco, February 2014
  • Trust Litigation 2014, The Southern California Tax & Estate Planning Forum, May 2014
  • Financial Elder Abuse: Undue Influence, Behavioral Sciences and Community, Dental Education University of California School of Dentistry, San Francisco, September 2014
  • Neuropsychological and Legal Consideration in Elder Abuse Cases, University of California, San Francisco, January 2015
  • Case Evaluation: Strategy, Assessing the Merits, Assessing the Client, Southern California Tax & Estate Planning Forum, April 2015
  • Trust Contest: Incapacity, Disqualified Donee, Mistake/Forgery, No Contest Clause, Southern California Tax & Estate Planning Forum, April 2015
  • Section 17200 Petitions: For Modification/Termination of Instrument, Southern California Tax & Estate Planning Forum, April 2015
  • Capacity Standards and Their Implications, Golden Gate University School of Law and San Francisco Estate Planning Council Symposium, October 2015
  • Planning for Incapacity: A Financial Planners Guide, FPA NorCal Conference, San Francisco, May 2016
  • Chapter 5, Contesting and Defending Validity of Trust or Trust Amendment Under Probate Code § 17200, Matthew Bender Practice Guide: California Trust Litigation, 2015
  • When Is the Estate Planning Attorney Subject to a Malpractice Claim by a Nonclient Beneficiary?, Trusts and Estates Quarterly, Spring 2006
  • Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: A Legislative Proposal for Collateral Estoppel of Substituted Judgment Orders, Trusts and Estates Quarterly, Summer 2006
  • Wake-Up Call, Trust & Estates Magazine, August, 2008
  • Chapter 6A, Statutorily Disqualified Donees and Trustees, California Trust and Probate Litigation (CEB 2015)
  • Chapter 560A, Trusts: Creation, Validity, Trust Contests, California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Matthew Bender, 2015

Verdicts/Settlements:

  • Bonanno v. Central Contra Costa Transit (2001) 30 Cal.4th 139, 2001
  • Sutton v. Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Trans. (1998) 68 Cal.App.4th 1149, 1998
  • Lombardo, et al. v. Huysentruyt (2001) 91 Cal.App.4th 656, 2001
  • Murphy v. Murphy (2008) 164 Cal.App.4th 376, 2008
  • Doolittle v. Exchange Bank, (2015) 241 Cal.App.4th 529, 2015
  • Boys and Girls Club of Petaluma v. Walsh, et al. (2008) 169 Cal.App.4th 1049, 2008

Educational Background:

  • Reed College, Honors Thesis, B.A., 1978
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Office Location for David W. Baer

4 Orinda Way
Suite 200-D
Orinda, CA 94563

Phone: (925) 253-1717

Fax: (925) 253-0334

David W. Baer:

Last Updated: 2/21/2019

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