Bill’s practice is focused in business organization, taxation, real estate, municipal and water law, estate planning, planned charitable giving, and both commercial and probate litigation.
Bill assists businesses and individuals in implementing long-range planning, as well as with business and real estate acquisitions, financing, risk management, business formation and structuring. He consults frequently with family-owned businesses on the difficult issues associated with succession planning, to allow enterprises to survive transitions from one generation of management to the next.
Succession planning also includes the proper preparation of heirs to receive wealth and manage it responsibly. Bill assists high net worth client families to improve trust and communication within the family group, including consideration of the family’s vision for the future and the important roles each family member can play in making that vision a reality. He heads the firm’s Family Wealth Transition Group, and is a faculty member at the Institute for Preparing Heirs, where he provides guidance and insight to wealth management professionals in working with multi-generational families.
Bill’s litigation skills are focused on commercial transactions, water rights, and disputes involving trusts and estates. He has successfully defended and prosecuted cases probing the fiduciary obligations of trustees, elder abuse cases, will contests, business dissolutions and shareholder rights. Bill was responsible for achieving what was, at the time, the largest single judgment in California against a defendant in an elder abuse case.
Bill also serves as general counsel to a number of water districts, and has addressed the special needs of government entities for many years. He counsels public district clients on all aspects of their operations, including public meetings and records, environmental impacts, use and investment of public funds, and personnel matters. He has drafted legislation governing the operation of various types of water districts, and has testified numerous times before legislative committees.
Bill litigates water rights issues for both public and private interests, and has negotiated the lease and transfer of water and property rights. He was instrumental in developing a comprehensive framework for the groundwater storage under the Central and West Coast groundwater basin judgments. He has lectured on property tax financing issues, board decision processes, the appropriate uses of public funds and avoiding public official conflicts of interest. Bill serves as special counsel to the Independent Special District Selection Committee, an entity that determines membership on the Los Angeles Local Agency Formation Commission.