Sunday, September 29, 2013
Governor Jerry Brown recently vetoed Senate Bill 156. The bill was drafted to stop conservators and their attorneys from charging the disabled and elderly too much to oversee their care. The bill was introduced by Senator Jim Beall who drafted the bill after learning about a California probate court that has elderly and disabled residents pay for the entire legal battle when they contest charges for being excessive. Governor Brown did not have an issue with the bill, but one did not approve of the amendment that limited the judge's power to award legal fees in some cases. In his veto explanation Brown wrote, "I believe that judges exercise their discretion under existing law governing compensation for defense costs in a fair and balanced way." Beall considered the veto a major setback.
See Josh Richman, Brown Vetoes Bill to Halt Probate 'Fee on Fee' Gouging, Contra Costa Times, Sep. 25, 2013.
Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.