Adam Pines, a Partner in both the Litigation and Trusts & Estates Groups, has more than 20 years of experience in probate, entertainment and real estate litigation. He has represented a wide range of prominent individuals and major corporations in high-stakes litigation, including Sony Pictures Entertainment, Blue Shield of California, JMB Properties, Wyndham International, Dole Foods, Match.com and Pacific Western Bank.
Adam's probate litigation experience involves representing trustees and beneficiaries in cases involving allegations that trustees breached their fiduciary duties; the enforcement, modification and nullification of wills and trusts; and claims of undue influence and elder abuse. In a recent case, he successfully defended a second wife against allegations of undue influence brought by her stepsons. After more than 25 years of marriage, the decedent husband/father amended his trust two weeks before being diagnosed with a brain tumor. The stepsons argued that the trust amendment should be invalidated because the decedent allegedly lacked capacity and the wife had allegedly applied undue influence and committed elder abuse. The case settled on favorable terms that allowed the client to put the litigation behind her.
His business and entertainment litigation experience includes defending against actions brought by the Federal Trade Commission and numerous class actions, as well as an array of suits involving allegations of breach of commercial and real estate contracts, trade secrets, fraud and various business torts.
Adam was named to the Southern California Rising Stars list by Super Lawyers (2004-2008) and included on the Southern California Super Lawyers list (2012-2018). He is also listed in The Best Lawyers in America (2014-2019).
Second Wife v. Stepsons – Represented decedent’s second wife of 29 years in challenge brought by her stepsons to trust amendment executed by decedent two weeks before his diagnosis with a brain tumor. Stepsons’ petition alleged decedent’s incapacity and elder abuse by client. Prosecuted actions to dissolve family business and defended against petition to invalidate trust amendment. Case settled on favorable terms.
Beneficiary v. Trustee – Defended trustee against claims by a beneficiary of an imprudent investment in a real estate limited partnership. Brought cross-petition to establish that settlor should be held responsible for the investment decision under the doctrine of trustee de son tort.
Trustee v. Trustee – Prosecuted action against cotrustee and codirector of charitable foundation for mishandling of trust assets and to remove him from his positions of authority. Case settled on favorable terms, including respondent’s withdrawal from foundation.
Angela Wilder v. Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., et al. – Defended motion picture studio against claims of idea theft brought by plaintiff who pitched an idea to Sony that she claims was similar to The Talk, which was produced by CBS approximately one year later. Plaintiff dismissed her claims on the eve of trial with no payment from Sony.
Sargent Fletcher, Inc. v. Able Corporation, 110 Cal. App. 4th 1658, 3 Cal. Rptr. 3d 279 (2003) – Successfully defended defense contractor against competitor and former joint venturer’s claims of trade secret misappropriation. Successfully opposed motion for preliminary injunction, took and defended twenty-two depositions and second-chaired seven week jury trial to defense verdict. Verdict affirmed on appeal.
Melissa Lopez v. City of Burbank – On a pro bono basis, represented Burbank resident in connection with her application to operate a large family day care home in her residence, as permitted by state law. Appeared before Burbank Planning Commission and City Council and prosecuted successful action for administrative mandate. Collected costs from the City of Burbank.
Newgard v. Park Place Entertainment – Participated in the defense of Las Vegas casino against claims of false arrest and wrongful imprisonment based on casino’s referral of Plaintiff for prosecution for issuing gaming markers without sufficient funds. Case dismissed after federal Court ruled as a matter of first impression that markers constituted checks under Nevada Penal Code.
Francine Browner & Neil Afromsky v. Max Azria, Francine Browner, Inc., et al. – Prosecuted action for fraudulent transfers and insider preferences against clothing designer Max Azria and his companies (BCBG Clothing), based on Defendants’ receipt of all assets of Francine Browner, Inc. shortly before judgment was entered against the company. Obtained significant settlement.
Jamba Juice v. Z-Juice – Prosecuted action for breach of contract and trademark infringement against former franchisees that failed to de-identify stores following termination of franchise agreements. Defendants stipulated to permanent injunctions following filing of motions for preliminary injunction.
Ultramar, Inc. v. Clark, et al. – Prosecuted action for contribution to costs of cleaning diesel contamination under former truck stop. Conducted comprehensive investigation and successfully opposed defendants’ motions for summary judgment. Defendants agreed to multi-million dollar settlement prior to trial.
Dole Foods v. Pacific Maritime Association, et al. – Prosecuted action to force Pacific Maritime Association and its members to allow Dole to remove from the Port of Los Angeles produce and refrigeration equipment stranded by the PMA’s lockout of Port workers. Prepared state and then federal TRO papers on 24-hours’ notice and conducted evidentiary hearing in federal court. Port re-opened under Taft-Hartley Act prior to appeal of courts’ denials of relief.
Maxicare Health Plans, Inc. adv. Eugene L. Froelich – Prosecuted action to collect on former executive’s unpaid $3 million promissory note. Obtained summary judgment on complaint and defendant’s cross-complaint. Successfully defended appeal and collected full amount of judgment. Also successfully demurred to former executive’s shareholders’ derivative suit and obtained summary judgment on former executive’s ERISA complaint.
Beverly Hills Bar Association
Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice, Board Member
Los Angeles County Bar Association
Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office; Trial Advocacy Program (TAP) training, Oct.-Nov. 1998; Trial Attorney, February 1999
Honors & Awards
Best Lawyers in America, 2014-2023
Southern California Super Lawyers, 2012-2019
Southern California Rising Stars, Super Lawyers, 2004-2005 and 2007
Recipient of California State Bar’s Wiley W. Manuel Pro Bono Services Award for distinguished public service, 1997
Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Rated