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Denise E. Chambliss

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Denise E. Chambliss

Shareholder, Chair - Trust and Estate Litigation

4309 Hacienda Drive, Suite 350
Pleasanton, CA 94588

925-460-3364 | 925-224-7782
denise.chambliss@hogefenton.com
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Denise E. Chambliss

Main Bio

Practice Overview

Denise Chambliss, Chair of Hoge Fenton’s Trust and Estate Litigation group and a member of the Estates & Trusts and Litigation & Dispute Resolution practice groups, is based primarily in the firm’s Tri-Valley office. Denise was named a “Northern California Super Lawyer” for 2015, 2016, 2017, and for 2018, as chosen by her peers and through the independent research of Law & Politics and San Francisco Magazine.

Denise is an experienced trial lawyer who maintains a general civil and business trial practice, with a focus on trust and estate litigation representing individual and corporate trustees, as well as executors and beneficiaries. She has had numerous successful trials as well as many successful mediations on behalf of her clients in cases. In trust and estate matters, Denise has extensive experience in cases involving demand for trust accounting, trustee mismanagement, breach of fiduciary duties, removal of trustees, surcharge claims, challenges to estate planning documents based on lack of capacity or undue influence, and financial elder abuse. In her business civil litigation practice, she handles contract disputes, business fraud and tort claims, corporate and partnership disputes, unfair competition and trade secret misappropriation claims, and commercial real estate disputes.

Practice Areas

Education

  • J.D., South Texas College of Law, Houston
  • B.A., University of Houston

Admissions

  • California
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

Affiliation & Awards

Awards

  • Super Lawyer, Northern California, Trust and Estate Litigation, 2015-2018

Professional Activities

Denise is an active member of the Litigation Section and the Trust and Estate Section of the State Bar of California, and a member of the East Bay Trust and Estate Lawyers. She is a past President of the Tri-Valley Estate Planning Council, a past President of the Eastern Alameda County Bar Association, a past Director of the Alameda County Bar Association, a past Chair of the Trial Practice Section of the Alameda County Bar Association, and a past Treasurer and Director of The Law Center of Contra Costa County.

Representative Experience

Recent Representative Matters

  • Successful trial against ownership of real property allegedly acquired by an “asset protection” irrevocable trust in quiet title case, with a subsequent negotiated settlement to resolve eight years of related litigation in three separate legal proceedings.  Reported at Foust v. Foust, 2015 Verdicts Lexis 7891
  • Negotiated settlement of beneficiary disputes with their step father over community property and separate property to resolve a four-year-long probate
  • Negotiated settlement of judicial foreclosure on commercial parcels, with full recovery on amount lent
  • Successfully negotiated settlement of disputes between co-trustees involving allegations of self-dealing over eight rental properties
  • Successful pre-litigation settlement in favor of trustee against beneficiary’s claim on breach of fiduciary duties claims and failure to account
  • Obtained default judgment against corporation and, by post-judgment motion, its alter ego shareholder on fraud claims arising from business purchase; judgment affirmed by the Court of Appeal; review denied by the California Supreme Court, Guo v. Luminary Spa, Inc. (2010)
  • Successfully negotiated settlement of financial elder abuse claim against predatory lender

Speaking & Publications

Speaking Engagements & Articles

  • Co-Author, Probate Court Closed to Disinherited Trust Beneficiaries, Daily Journal, September 27, 2018
  • Speaker, Drafting Petitions and Responses, East Bay Trust and Estates Lawyers Litigation Boot Camp, September 12, 2018
  • Guest Speaker, See Something, Say Something – Elder Abuse, Absolute Trust Talk Episode 9, June 5, 2018
  • Author, How to Discuss the Dreaded No Contest Clause, 2018
  • Speaker, Undue Influence in Will and Trust Contests Under Probate Code §86, Marin County Estate Planning Council, San Rafael, California, September 13th, 2017
  • Speaker, Undue Influence Contest in Will and Trust Litigation PROBATE CODE §86 AND FAMILY CODE §721I, Eastern Alameda County Bar Association, Pleasanton, California, March 16th, 2017
  • Speaker, Dealing with Difficult Trust Beneficiaries: Legal Issues and Reasonable Responses, Santa Clara County Estate Planning Council, Santa Clara, California, November 16, 2015
  • Speaker, Drafting a Pour-Over Will and Uses in Post-Death Administration, C.E.B. Basics of Estate Planning Seminar, Monterey, California, September 25, 2015
  • Speaker, More Than Normal Reckless and Wanton Spousal Spending: Case of Undue Influence and Financial Abuse Held to Void Testamentary Instruments Favoring Third Wife, in the recent case of Lintz v. Lintz, Eastern Alameda County Bar Association, November 21, 2014
  • Speaker, Dealing with Difficult Trust Beneficiaries, Professional Fiduciary Association of California, San Francisco Chapter, October 22, 2014
  • Speaker, Master Class: Will Drafting, Continuing Education of the Bar, San Francisco, Calif., October 30, 2013
  • Author, Standing to Sue Expands in Revocable Trust Disputes, San Francisco Daily Journal, February 26, 2013
  • Speaker, Assessment & Litigation of Capacity in Trust and Estate Cases: Medical & Legal Perspectives, The Santa Clara County Estate Planning Council, November 12, 2012
  • Speaker, Case Study in Trust and Will Contest Litigation: Capacity and Undue Influence, Hoge, Fenton, Jones & Appel Brown Bag, August 15, 2012
  • Speaker, “Lost Your Marbles?”: Updates on Judicial Determination of Testamentary Capacity, Hoge Fenton Jones & Appeal Litigation Group, 2012
  • Author, Capacity and Undue Influence Challenges in Trust and Estate Litigation, Eastern Alameda County Bar Association Newsletter; June/July 2012
  • Author, A Successor Trustee’s Accounting Obligations – An Overview, Eastern Alameda County Bar Association Newsletter, January/February 2012
  • Author, The ‘Treat ‘Em Like They’re Dead’ Remedy: Inheritance Forfeiture and Elder Abuse, Daily Journal, October 6, 2011
  • Author, Addition of Alter Ego to Default Judgment, Alameda County Bar Association Bulletin, 2011
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