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James D Gunderson

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 7, 1992
As president of the State Bar of California, I feel a great sense of responsibility to assure the public that the Bar has been, and will continue, investigating the circumstances relayed in your story concerning Orange County attorney James D. Gunderson, who allegedly has received millions of dollars from the estates of elderly clients whose wills and trusts he prepared (Nov. 22). The State Bar's chief trial counsel has waived confidentiality in this particular proceedings so that I may disclose publicly that an extensive and thorough State Bar investigation has been under way since these allegations were brought to the Bar's attention.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 5, 1994 | DAN WEIKEL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Former probate attorney James D. Gunderson, stung in July by a court order to return $3.5 million he improperly inherited from the estate of a 98-year-old Leisure World man, filed for bankruptcy Friday. Faced with the unprecedented judgment against him, Gunderson, whose activities as a lawyer inspired reforms in state probate law, sought protection from his creditors under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.
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NEWS
November 22, 1992 | DAVAN MAHARAJ
Margaret Hough was a widow who was one of the early residents of Leisure World in Laguna Hills after it opened in the mid-1960s. Among her investments was a first mortgage on a square mile of land in San Bernardino County that she had sold in 1971. According to records in the San Bernardino County recorder's office, Hough designated Gunderson, who was already her attorney, as her trustee for the mortgage in 1974.
NEWS
July 16, 1994 | DAVAN MAHARAJ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In a case that attorneys described as without precedent in California, an Orange County Superior Court judge on Friday ordered former probate lawyer James D. Gunderson to return $3.5 million he received from the estate of a 98-year-old Leisure World man. In a brief written decision, Judge Byron K. McMillan said Gunderson should repay the money, plus $500,000 in interest, to heirs of Merrill A. Miller, who died in February, 1992, leaving an $18-million estate.
NEWS
November 24, 1992 | DAVAN MAHARAJ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Orange County's chief probate judge Monday ordered an investigation into cases handled by a Laguna Hills law firm whose senior partner prepared numerous wills for Leisure World retirees, making himself the recipient of millions of dollars in cash, stock and real estate. Superior Court Judge Tully H. Seymour, who presides over the court where wills and trusts are administered, said investigators have begun to review all files in which James D.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 24, 1993 | DAVAN MAHARAJ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
James D. Gunderson, the Laguna Hills lawyer who inherited millions of dollars in cash, real estate and corporate stock from his elderly clients, has agreed to settle a lawsuit involving a Leisure World widow whose relatives claimed that Gunderson caused her to lose in excess of $500,000 from her estate. Gunderson and the widow's relatives have agreed to keep details of the settlement confidential, and both parties declined comment Wednesday.
NEWS
November 22, 1992 | DAVAN MAHARAJ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
An Orange County lawyer who boasts of representing more than 7,000 Leisure World retirees has prepared numerous wills making himself the recipient of millions of dollars in cash, stock and real estate, a yearlong Times investigation has found. Attorney James D. Gunderson, 67, has received the inheritances despite a longstanding California Supreme Court ruling that says accepting anything more than a "modest" gift from a client's estate raises questions of impropriety.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 28, 1994 | DAVAN MAHARAJ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Two onetime partners of former lawyer James D. Gunderson testified Friday that they quit his law firm after they discovered that he was inheriting gifts from his clients' estates and also investing clients' money in a partnership he partly owned. Sallie T.
NEWS
January 11, 1994 | DAVAN MAHARAJ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
James D. Gunderson, the target of a State Bar investigation for allegedly making himself the beneficiary of millions of dollars in bequests from the estates of his elderly Leisure World clients, has surrendered his license to practice law, authorities said Monday. State Bar prosecutors said Gunderson agreed to resign after they told him that they were prepared to file conflict-of-interest charges against him that could have led to his disbarment.
NEWS
July 16, 1994 | DAVAN MAHARAJ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In a case that attorneys described as without precedent in California, an Orange County Superior Court judge Friday ordered former probate lawyer James D. Gunderson to return $3.5 million he received from the estate of a 98-year-old Leisure World man. In a brief written decision, Judge Byron K. McMillan said Gunderson should repay the money, plus $500,000 in interest, to heirs of Merrill A. Miller, who died in February, 1992, leaving an $18-million estate.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 28, 1994 | DAVAN MAHARAJ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Two onetime partners of former lawyer James D. Gunderson testified Friday that they quit his law firm after they discovered that he was inheriting gifts from his clients' estates and also investing clients' money in a partnership he partly owned. Sallie T.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 21, 1994 | LYNN FRANEY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A 98-year-old man whose family says was tricked into giving his Orange County attorney a large portion of his estate was probably unaware of many things around him when he signed his will, a geriatrician testified Friday. Dr. John Boyer, who heads the Center on Aging at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, said he believes Merrill A. Miller had deteriorated greatly both physically and mentally by 1990, when he bequeathed $3.5 million in stock to attorney James D. Gunderson.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 20, 1994 | DAVAN MAHARAJ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
James D. Gunderson, the Orange County lawyer accused of profiting from his clients' estates, testified Thursday that he received a $3.5-million tax-free bequest because his client, a 98-year-old man, wanted him to have the gift. Relatives of Merrill A. Miller, a Leisure World resident who died in February, 1992, allege in a civil suit that Gunderson coerced or deceived the bedridden Miller into leaving him the largest single portion of an $18-million estate.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 19, 1994 | DAVAN MAHARAJ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
James D. Gunderson, the Orange County lawyer whose million-dollar inheritances from clients' estates sparked changes in state law, was accused in court Tuesday of engaging in a scheme to profit from his clients and misusing his position "to line his own pockets." The allegations were leveled during opening statements of a civil trial in which heirs of a deceased Leisure World man are challenging a $3.5-million net-after-taxes bequest to Gunderson. The relatives of Merrill A. Miller, who died in February, 1992, say Gunderson coerced or deceived the bedridden 98-year-old man into leaving him the largest single portion of an $18-million estate.
NEWS
January 11, 1994 | DAVAN MAHARAJ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
James D. Gunderson, the target of a State Bar investigation for allegedly making himself the beneficiary of millions of dollars in bequests from the estates of his elderly Leisure World clients, has surrendered his license to practice law, authorities said Monday. State Bar prosecutors said Gunderson agreed to resign after they told him that they were prepared to file conflict-of-interest charges against him that could have possibly led to his disbarment.
NEWS
January 11, 1994 | DAVAN MAHARAJ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
James D. Gunderson, the target of a State Bar investigation for allegedly making himself the beneficiary of millions of dollars in bequests from the estates of his elderly Leisure World clients, has surrendered his license to practice law, authorities said Monday. State Bar prosecutors said Gunderson agreed to resign after they told him that they were prepared to file conflict-of-interest charges against him that could have led to his disbarment.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 30, 1993 | MARK PLATTE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Laguna Hills lawyer James D. Gunderson will not be required to return a $3.5-million bequest from a Leisure World retiree before a lawsuit in that case goes to trial, but must turn over files of 37 other clients, a judge ruled Thursday. Relatives of Merrill A. Miller, the 98-year-old retiree, sued Gunderson, claiming he exercised undue influence in securing the bequest from the blind and bedridden Miller just weeks before his death. They had requested that the money be returned immediately.
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