Tuesday, December 11, 2012

San Jose: Appeals Court Justice Accuses Local Estate Trustee of "Feeding Frenzy"

Accusing a local trustee of engaging in a "feeding frenzy," an appeals court justice Thursday expressed outrage over a case that has brought widespread attention to excessive fees plundering the estates of elderly and disabled adults.

Private estate manager Thomas Thorpe of Los Gatos charged a brain-injured San Jose man $108,771 after just 4½ months' work -- and then billed him more than twice that much in a legal battle to defend his fees.

"What did he contribute to the whole process? For the $100,000, could you give me one example?" Justice Franklin Elia demanded of Thorpe's attorney, Ellyn Nesbit. "Give me a $20,000 example!"

At the rate Thorpe and his lawyers were running up bills in 2010, Elia said, there would soon be nothing left of 37-year-old Danny Reed's $653,000 in life savings.

"Ultimately, it became a feeding frenzy," the justice said.

In their first appearance before the 6th District Court of Appeal, lawyers on both sides of Reed's case made oral arguments Thursday, but a decision is not expected for weeks.

Reed's plight was first publicized in this newspaper in July to illustrate how some Silicon Valley estate managers and their attorneys have charged extraordinary rates as trustees and conservators appointed by Santa Clara County Superior Court judges.

After Thorpe submitted his $108,771 bill for a judge's approval, Reed challenged the fees in court. That led to $261,878 in additional charges for Thorpe and his attorneys to defend the original bill.

Full Article and Source:
San Jose: Appeals Court Justice Accuses Local Estate Trustee of 'Feeding Frenzy'

See Also:
San Jose:Judge Rejects Nearly $30,000 Attorney Fee to Disabled Man's Trust


StandUp said...

Feeding frenzy is the most accurate description of what guardianship has become!

FiduciaryWatch said...

Appeals Court Justice Elia of the California 6th District Court of Appeals hit it on the head, when he coined "Feeding Frenzy" with regards to what fiducairy Thomas Thorpe of Los Gatos California has done to brain-damaged Danny Reed's trust.

Thelma said...

"Feding frenzy" wasn't coined by Judge Elia.
See VictimsOfGuardians.net