New Bill Would Protect Incapacitated Adults From Greedy Attorneys

After a disabled San Jose man fought to save his trust fund from his attorneys, a California lawmaker proposed a bill that would offer stronger protections for incapacitated adults in similar situations. A recent article discusses the new bill.

Senator Jim Beall authored Senate Bill 156, which addresses one of the major issues from the case of Danny Reed. In a legal battle that lasted for years, Reed challenged the excessive fees that he was being charged by the people who were managing his money. The problem was, even if he won his case, he would still have been responsible for his bills, as well as the legal bills for which he believed he was being cheated.

The new bill would reverse the burden placed on litigants such as Reed by implementing a system under which the loosing party pays. As the article explains, “In a case alleging excessive fees, a disabled adult who lost would pay his conservator’s legal costs, but the conservator could eat those costs if the fees were judged excessive.

As Reed discovered during his lengthy court battle, a little-known “fees on fees” provision in California state law presents a high risk to disabled or elderly individuals who wish to challenge the fee they are charged by court-appointed professionals. Reed unfortunately lost almost all of his life savings after he was provided with a court-appointed temporary trustee. As Beall explains, “Danny Reed affected me greatly, and I think Danny Reed is exactly the type of person that generally we as a society should protect. My bill will empower the Danny Reeds.”

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