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Peter M. Bochnewich is a litigator and civil trial attorney with a highly regarded focus on trust and estate litigation.

Law Expertise

Peter represents clients in all manner of trust and estate disputes, and is frequently in court and in trial on numerous trust and estate matters each year. The disputes involve a variety of issues, including will contests, trust contests, lack of capacity claims, undue influence claims, breach of fiduciary claims, trust and estate accounting disputes, conservatorship disputes, elder abuse litigation and more. Peter is always available to explain the nuances of every case as it develops, and to plan the progress of a case so that the client may fully have their day in court in a cost effective way.

Honorable Reputation

Mr. Bochnewich is honored to be regarded as the preferred referral attorney for trust and estate litigation for many of southern California’s finest estate planning and trust administration attorneys. Peter’s reputation has grown with a consistent history of very good results and satisfied clients, over many years. Peter makes it a priority to treat all such referrals, and referring attorneys, with the greatest respect. Peter is well known for providing ample initial consultations at no charge to the client. Peter works hard with referring attorneys and clients in a collaborative way that often eliminates or mitigates the need of the client going to court.

Charitable Works

Peter Bochnewich is honored to have been named to the volunteer position of President of the Foundation Board of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Coachella Valley. The mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs is to save and enhance the lives of the young people of our community, especially those with economic and/or social needs, by offering a safe haven and meaningful youth development programs provided by a caring and qualified staff. The Boys & Girls Clubs do just that, in five clubhouse facilities in Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, Indio, La Quinta, and Mecca, with outreach in other ways including area middle schools, and in many other ways. We are honored to support this important mission.

Peter’s Promise

Where court action is necessary, decisions are focused and precise and the client’s interest are paramount, with the client participating with Peter in the development of the case so they are ever well informed, knowledgeable and prepared. The client will receive vigorous and zealous advocacy in the courtroom and wise and sound counsel in private.

Peter has represented clients throughout the Inland Empire and Southern California, and occasionally in other jurisdictions. Peter’s practice also includes commercial litigation, including complex business and contract disputes, interpretation of corporate bylaw matters, sophisticated real property disputes, quiet title actions, and discrimination in employment litigation. Peter has also litigated business matters before the special complex litigation panel of the Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Examples of Matters that Peter Has Handled

  • Obtained a $2 million settlement, in September 2014, for an 87-year-old client, on the 5th day of a projected 15 – 20 day trial before an Orange County Superior Court Complex Litigation Panel judge.
  • Successfully obtained a judgment after trial, recovering over $1.2 million, plus interest, from an estate executor and fiduciary, which was wrongfully obtained by the acts of undue influence by the fiduciary. These assets were returned to the lawful heirs of the decedent’s estate. Peter introduced evidence in the two-week trial in this matter, including testimony from sophisticated handwriting experts, to prove the breach of fiduciary duty and acts of dishonest and undue influence against the fiduciary, and to also have him removed from office and determined to be an invalid donee/recipient of any inheritance from the decedent.
  • Successfully defended and preserved the right of inheritance of a client wrongfully accused of acts of undue influence, in the amount of approximately $2 million, against attack by disputing relatives.
  • Successfully cancelled, through judgment obtained at trial, the wrongful transfer of real property taken at the expense of an incapacitated elder, and quieted title to that real property residence to its rightful owner.
  • Successfully obtained the return of real property and other assets approaching $1 million against defendants who secretly obtained such assets from an incapacitated, elderly woman.
  • Successfully defended a client through trial, against allegations of financial mismanagement of estate properties and alleged forgery and manipulation of estate documents.
  • Represented a homeowner against a large title insurance company for recovery of almost 20 times what the title company was willing to pay for liability in failing to disclose a burdensome easement on a title report, in a complex easement and insurance case. This matter was tried in a binding arbitration setting.
  • Successfully obtained a seven-figure settlement for a retailer claim against a major nationally known manufacturer in a complicated antitrust/price-fixing case.
  • At the Court of Appeal: Peter has been routinely and almost universally successful in several significant matters he has personally briefed and argued before the Court of Appeal, in the area of trust and estate oriented litigation.

Professional Affiliations and Community Activities

  • The State Bar of California
  • AVVO attorney ranking: 10/10
  • Selected by Palm Springs Life magazine as one of the “Top Lawyers” in the Coachella Valley, for 2015.
  • Selected by Palm Springs Life magazine as one of the “Top Lawyers” in the Coachella Valley, for 2014.
  • Selected by Palm Springs Life magazine as one of the “Top Lawyers” in the Coachella Valley, for 2013.
  • Desert Bar Association – Former President and Officer of the Desert Bar Association
  • Approved Mediator: Riverside County Superior Court
  • Desert Estate Planning Council: President 2012-2013, and past Board Member
  • Board Member: Inland Empire Estate Planning Seminar (IEEPS)
  • President, Foundation Board of Boys & Girls Clubs of Coachella Valley
  • Board Member, Coachella Valley Repertory Theatre – CVRep
  • Desert Valleys Builders Association
  • Former Coach, Palm Desert Youth Soccer Organization
  • Community Foundation Advisor

Television and Entertainment

Writer, producer, director and performer, Desert Bar Association Bird Awards – Attorneys and Distinguished Judges comedy awards show.

Education
  • California Western School of Law, San Diego, CA, J.D. (1992)
  • Central Connecticut State University, B.S. Business Management (1981)
Admitted to Practice
  • California Supreme Court (1992)
  • United States District Courts, California (2000)
  • United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit (2000)
  • United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit (1993)
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