This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/08/2019 at 00:00:34 (UTC).

BRIAN WILLIAM CORMAN ET AL VS ROGER WILLIAM CORMAN ET AL

Case Summary

On 10/26/2017 BRIAN WILLIAM CORMAN filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against ROGER WILLIAM CORMAN. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are MICHELLE WILLIAMS COURT and DAVID J. COWAN. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****1310

  • Filing Date:

    10/26/2017

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

MICHELLE WILLIAMS COURT

DAVID J. COWAN

 

Party Details

Petitioners, Plaintiffs and Cross Defendants

CORMAN ROGER MARTIN ON BEHALF OF CORMAN

CORMAN BRIAN WILLIAM

CORMAN ROGER MARTIN

Respondents, Defendants and Cross Plaintiffs

CORMAN ROGER WILLIAM

DOES 1 TO 50

NEW HORIZONS PICTURE CORPPORATION

CORMAN FAMILY INVERSTMENT PARTNERSHIP

CORMAN JULIE

CORMAN CATHERINE A.

CORMAN MARY T.

Plaintiffs, Petitioners and Cross Defendants

CORMAN BRIAN WILLIAM

CORMAN ROGER MARTIN

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Defendant, Petitioner and Plaintiff Attorneys

WEINGARTEN ALEX M. ESQ.

RUMMEL BLAKE

Respondent, Defendant and Plaintiff Attorneys

FREEMAN FREEMAN & SMILEY LLP

JOHNSTON CAROL A. ESQ.

SINGER MARTIN DORI

HART ALLISON SUE

NISEN FERN S.

WARNER JULIAN ROBERT

WEINGARTEN ALEX M. ESQ.

WASSERSTEIN CHARLOTTE SOPHIA

Respondent and Defendant Attorney

FREEMAN FREEMAN & SMILEY LLP

Cross Plaintiff Attorneys

WYLE GERALDINE A

COHEN JERYLL SUE

CHOW CAROL

Cross Defendant Attorney

HANLE SEAN PATRICK

 

Court Documents

DEFENDANTS'' OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFFS'' MOTION TO APPOINT RECEIVER ETC.

4/6/2018: DEFENDANTS'' OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFFS'' MOTION TO APPOINT RECEIVER ETC.

EVIDENTIARY OBJECTIONS TO DECLARATION OF JERYLL S. COHEN EN SUPPORT OF RESPONDENTS' OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFFS' MOTION TO APPOINT RECEIVER AND MOTION TO DISQUALIFY

4/12/2018: EVIDENTIARY OBJECTIONS TO DECLARATION OF JERYLL S. COHEN EN SUPPORT OF RESPONDENTS' OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFFS' MOTION TO APPOINT RECEIVER AND MOTION TO DISQUALIFY

DEFENDANTS' EVIDENTIARY OBJECTIONS TO THE SUPPLEMENTAL DECLARATION OF BRIAN W. CORMAN FILED IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFFS' REPLY IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO APPOINT RECEIVER

4/18/2018: DEFENDANTS' EVIDENTIARY OBJECTIONS TO THE SUPPLEMENTAL DECLARATION OF BRIAN W. CORMAN FILED IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFFS' REPLY IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO APPOINT RECEIVER

NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO DISQUALIFY JULIAN R. WARNER FROM REPRESENTING AND TO APPOINT PROVISIONAL DIRECTOR OF NOMINAL DEFENDANT CORMAN FAMILY INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP, A CALIFORNIA LIMITED PARTNER

4/27/2018: NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO DISQUALIFY JULIAN R. WARNER FROM REPRESENTING AND TO APPOINT PROVISIONAL DIRECTOR OF NOMINAL DEFENDANT CORMAN FAMILY INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP, A CALIFORNIA LIMITED PARTNER

NOM[NAL DEFENDANT CORMAN FAMILY INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP?S OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO DISQUAUFY JULIAN R. WARNER FROM REPRESENTING AND TO APPOINT PROVISIONAL DIRECTOR OF NOMINAL DEFENDANT CORMAN FAMILY INV

5/8/2018: NOM[NAL DEFENDANT CORMAN FAMILY INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP?S OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO DISQUAUFY JULIAN R. WARNER FROM REPRESENTING AND TO APPOINT PROVISIONAL DIRECTOR OF NOMINAL DEFENDANT CORMAN FAMILY INV

CATHERINE A. CORMAN AND MARY CORMAN?S REPLY TO PLAINTIFFS? RESPONSE TO UNOPPOSED MOTION TO INTERVENE

5/14/2018: CATHERINE A. CORMAN AND MARY CORMAN?S REPLY TO PLAINTIFFS? RESPONSE TO UNOPPOSED MOTION TO INTERVENE

RESPONSE TO PLAINTIFFS' EVIDENTIARY OBJECTIONS TO DECLARATION OF JANE FREEDMAN IN SUPPORT OF CATHERINE AND MARY CORMAN'S NOTICE OF JOINDER TO ROGER W. CORMAN'S MOTION TO ENFORCE COURT ORDERS

5/14/2018: RESPONSE TO PLAINTIFFS' EVIDENTIARY OBJECTIONS TO DECLARATION OF JANE FREEDMAN IN SUPPORT OF CATHERINE AND MARY CORMAN'S NOTICE OF JOINDER TO ROGER W. CORMAN'S MOTION TO ENFORCE COURT ORDERS

PLAINTIFFS' OBJECTION TO ROGER W. CORMAN'S AND JULIE CORMAN' REQUEST TO STRIKE SECOND OPPOSITION TO DEMURRER

5/16/2018: PLAINTIFFS' OBJECTION TO ROGER W. CORMAN'S AND JULIE CORMAN' REQUEST TO STRIKE SECOND OPPOSITION TO DEMURRER

Minute Order

5/21/2018: Minute Order

PLAINTIFFS' REPLY TO JULIAN R. WARNER'S OBJECTION TO PLAINTIFFS' SUPPLEMENI? IN RESPONSE TO MINUTE ORDER RE MOTION TO DISQUALIFY JULIAN R. WARNER FROM REPRESENTING AND TO APPOINT PROVISIONAL DIRECTOR

7/6/2018: PLAINTIFFS' REPLY TO JULIAN R. WARNER'S OBJECTION TO PLAINTIFFS' SUPPLEMENI? IN RESPONSE TO MINUTE ORDER RE MOTION TO DISQUALIFY JULIAN R. WARNER FROM REPRESENTING AND TO APPOINT PROVISIONAL DIRECTOR

AMENDED PROOF OF SERVICE

10/3/2018: AMENDED PROOF OF SERVICE

Request for Judicial Notice

10/16/2018: Request for Judicial Notice

Minute Order

11/14/2018: Minute Order

Declaration

2/6/2019: Declaration

Notice

2/19/2019: Notice

Response

3/22/2019: Response

Unknown

3/26/2019: Unknown

Notice

5/8/2019: Notice

216 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/08/2019
  • Notice (of Attorney Service Delayed Service); Filed by Roger William Corman (Cross-Complainant)

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  • 05/03/2019
  • Amended Complaint (SECOND AMENDED CROSS-COMPLAINT OF ROGER W. CORMAN AND JULIE CORMAN); Filed by Roger William Corman (Cross-Complainant); Julie Corman (Cross-Complainant)

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  • 05/03/2019
  • Amended Cross-Complaint 2nd; Filed by Roger William Corman (Cross-Complainant); Julie Corman (Cross-Complainant)

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  • 04/25/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 3, David J. Cowan, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to be Relieved as Counsel - Not Held - Advanced and Vacated

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  • 04/11/2019
  • Notice of Ruling; Filed by Roger William Corman (Cross-Complainant); Julie Corman (Cross-Complainant)

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  • 04/11/2019
  • Notice of Ruling; Filed by BRIAN WILLIAM CORMAN (Cross-Defendant)

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  • 04/05/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 3, David J. Cowan, Presiding; Order to Show Cause Re: (Why Motion of Catherine Corman and Mary Corman to Disqualify Venable, LLP as Counsel for Brian Corman and Roger M. Corman, Filed March 13, 2019, Should Not Now Be Unsealed.) - Not Held - Clerical Error

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  • 04/05/2019
  • at 1:30 PM in Department 3, David J. Cowan, Presiding; Order to Show Cause Re: (Why Motion of Catherine Corman and Mary Corman to Disqualify Venable, LLP as Counsel for Brian Corman and Roger M. Corman, Filed March 13, 2019, Should Not Now Be Unsealed.) - Held - Continued

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  • 04/05/2019
  • at 1:30 PM in Department 3, David J. Cowan, Presiding; Hearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike (To Cross-Complainants Roger W. Corman?s and Julie Corman?s First Amended Cross-Complaint) - Held - Motion Granted

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  • 04/05/2019
  • at 1:30 PM in Department 3, David J. Cowan, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Compel (Deposition and Document Production of Mary T. Corman) - Held - Motion Denied

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302 More Docket Entries
  • 12/14/2017
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 74; Unknown Event Type - Held - Motion Granted

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  • 12/14/2017
  • Minute Order

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  • 12/14/2017
  • Minute order entered: 2017-12-14 00:00:00; Filed by Clerk

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  • 12/12/2017
  • Notice of Related Case; Filed by Roger William Corman (Defendant)

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  • 12/12/2017
  • Notice of Related Cases

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  • 11/15/2017
  • Notice of Related Case; Filed by Brian William Corman (Plaintiff); Roger Martin Corman (Plaintiff)

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  • 11/15/2017
  • Notice of Related Cases

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  • 10/26/2017
  • SUMMONS

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  • 10/26/2017
  • Complaint; Filed by Brian William Corman (Plaintiff); Roger Martin Corman (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/26/2017
  • COMPLAINT

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC681310    Hearing Date: February 11, 2021    Dept: 1

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

In the matter of:

THE CORMAN FAMILY QUALIFIED PROPERTY RESIDENCE SUCCESSOR TRUSTS

Case No.: 17STPB07675

(Related Cases: BC681310, BC664811, SP007923, SP007983 and SP007984)

RULING ON MOTION TO ENFORCE PRELIMINARY DEAL POINT MEMORANDUM

Date: February 11, 2021

Time: 1:30 P.M.

Dept.: 1

INTRODUCTION

By this motion, Roger W. Corman and Julie Corman (“the Parents”) seek to enforce a settlement agreement to thereby overrule supplemental objections filed by Roger M. Corman and Brian Corman (“the Sons”) in response to the Parents’ Petition to modify the above-referenced qualified property residence trusts (“QPRTS”) (which petition was contemplated in the same settlement agreement.)[1] The Court finds that the basis of the supplemental objections are factually undisputed issues as to interpretation of the settlement agreement and that, for the reasons discussed below, the Court will enforce the agreement and overrule both objections.

STATEMENT OF FACTS

On February 7, 2020, the parties executed the Preliminary Deal Point Memorandum (referred to herein as “PDPM” or the “settlement agreement”); resolving long standing litigation in this case and all the related cases and providing for separation of family members’ interests in various assets and distribution of those assets.

The PDPM provides in part relevant to this motion:

1. QPRTS shall be modified as needed, bearing in mind that retaining the property tax basis is a material term.”

2. Notwithstanding anything else in the agreement, Roger W. and Julie shall each have the right to remain in the La Mesa property for the rest of their respective lives…”

3. “All of the transactions above are to be completed in tax-sensitive manner to all parties, including with regard to gift taxes and estate taxes, and allowing for the preservation of property tax rates (if possible). The facilitation of a 1031 exchange, to the extent reasonably practical, is a material term of this agreement. Maintaining the tax basis of all real property to the extent reasonably practical is a material term of this agreement. All tax-related transactions shall be concluded concurrently with the close of escrow.”

On November 16, 2020, the Parents filed a petition for an order modifying the QPRTS, as provided for by the PDPM. In this way, the various interests in the La Mesa property that was the asset that was owned by the QPRTS, and or pursuant thereto, might be divided and each family member’s interest was not tied up with other family members, consistent with the settlement agreement.

On November 20, 2020, the Sons filed Objections to the petition.

On December 2, 2020, the Parents filed a supplement to their petition.

On December 8, 2020, the Sons filed supplemental objections to the petition – seeking to require that the parties allow for a 1031tax free exchange.

On December 11, 2020, the Court held a hearing on the above-referenced petition and related settlement issues. The Court continued the hearing on the petition given Parents’ stated intent on filing on this motion. At the same time, the Court also scheduled a mandatory settlement conference (“MSC”) to give the parties time and an opportunity to attempt to work out tax savings for all parties based on the multiple transactions provided for by the PDPM.

On December 23, 2020, the Parents filed this motion to enforce the PDPM.

On January 6, 2021, the Sons filed Objections to this motion, arguing in summary that the motion would result in the approval of transactions that are the subject of the petition proceeding without the required consideration of tax considerations beforehand.

On January 12, 2021, the Parents filed a Reply in further support of the motion.

On January 13, 2021, the Court held a remote MSC that was attended by the Parties, as well as litigation and tax counsel for each of the parties, which at the conclusion was continued for further discussion between the parties and counsel and for a further session of the MSC.

On January 29, 2021, the Court held a further session of the MSC attended by all the same persons. Separate tax counsel for each of the Parents, the Sons and the Daughters worked hard to find practical and mutually financially advantageous tax sensitive solutions to the distribution of assets consistent with their respective clients’ instructions and concerns. The parties were ultimately unable to reach agreement related to working out a mutually beneficial tax arrangement and the MSC concluded. Even if counsel could have found a means to accomplish the parties’ financial objectives, it would have required numerous steps that would have depended on trust that did not exist. It was apparent that ongoing friction between the family members made it not possible for them to then reach further agreements consistent with the intent of the parties in the settlement agreement that each wished to then separate their respective interests from one another without further delay.

DISCUSSION

The Parents contend that retaining their property tax basis on La Mesa and the Sons being able to accomplish a 1031 exchange are incompatible. Parents point to Sons’ counsel themselves acknowledging this point in paragraph 7 of their Supplemental Objections. The Court does not need to reach this determination because the issue under the PDPM is merely whether a 1031 exchange is “reasonably practical.”[2]

Even assuming a 1031 exchange and retaining the Parents’ tax basis were both possible (for which proposition the Sons in fact offer no legal support), the Court can nonetheless conclude safely that doing both is not now “reasonably practical” for this family. After two sessions of the MSC and numerous hearings, as well as taking note of the long difficult history of the litigation, of which the undersigned has been involved the last few years to try to bring to an end, it is apparent that a 1031 exchange would require very substantial cooperation and complex legal work requiring numerous intermediate steps, that hinge on cooperation between family members that in turn depends on a level of trust among family members that unfortunately is not now present.

Even with the PDPM in place, there remain significant concerns about how any potential exchange would or could be executed, as well as remaining issues precluding the parties having executed the long form agreement contemplated by the PDPM, including negotiation of “Phase 2” issues related to the management of the film library that the parties are still a long way from resolving. The Court finds that the level of cooperation that would be needed for a 1031 exchange, even if legally possible, which would at the same time maintain the Parents’ same level of tax basis in the La Mesa property, does not now exist.

The Court attempted to fashion a “tax sensitive” approach to effectuating the transactions contemplated by the settlement agreement, including with respect to the La Mesa property that is controlled by the subject QPRTS, by means of continuing this petition in order to allow for two sessions of a MSC, as well as imposing deadlines between the two sessions of the MSC for counsel to exchange financial proposals. It cannot reasonably be disputed that the parties have been unable - after time and effort - to reach further agreement related to implementing these transactions in a “tax sensitive manner.” As the Court previously advised the parties, the Court is itself unable to implement tax strategies for them absent their agreement. The Court cannot “create” terms of an agreement for the parties. The PDPM does not guarantee that the Sons will be able to receive the consideration they are receiving from the QPRTS by way of a 1031 exchange. Therefore, there is no reason not to now enforce the PDPM by way of overruling the objections.[3] As a result, the Court can also grant the petition and thereby allow the distribution set forth therein to proceed.

CONCLUSION

For these reasons, the motion is granted. Pursuant to this order, the Parents’ petition is also granted – as with the other modification petitions contemplated by the PDPM that the Court granted recently, effective as of the Close of Escrow.

DATED: February __, 2021

DAVID J. COWAN

Judge of the Superior Court


[1] This identical motion was also filed in one of the related cases, BC681310 (in order that it could be on the calendar of the undersigned who is now in a Civil courtroom). The undersigned agreed to continue to administer this complex settlement of cases pending for a decade, notwithstanding his re-assignment to Civil from Probate. The motion filed in the Civil case can be denied, without prejudice, as moot since the Court ruled on the motion filed in this case.

[2] Parents argue also that the Sons have only a personal property interest in the QPRTS; not an interest in real property – and that therefore a 1031 exchange is not permissible under the Internal Revenue Code in any event. Again, the Court does not need to reach this issue.

[3] Even if ordinarily the Court would need to hold an evidentiary hearing on a contested petition (see Key v. Tyler (2019) 34 Cal.App.5th 505, 520-521), here where neither the terms of the settlement agreement nor the developments thereafter are in dispute, the Court is authorized under CCP sec. 644.6 to determine in an expedited manner factual issues that might otherwise require a trial. Weddington Prods. v. Flick (1998) 60 Cal.App.4th 793, 809-810

Case Number: BC681310    Hearing Date: June 22, 2020    Dept: 20

Ruling

Judge David J. Cowan

Department 20


Hearing Date: Monday, June 22, 2020

Case Name: Corman v. Corman

Case No.: BC681310

Motion: Motion to Seal

Moving Party: Defendants Roger and Julie Corman

Responding Party: UNOPPOSED

Notice: OK


Ruling: The Motion to Seal is DENIED.Moving party to give notice.


The Court has reviewed the motion. There was no opposition filed. The Court denies the motion for the following reasons:

  1. The two settlement agreements do not contain any trade secrets or proprietary information warranting sealing. The Court was not persuaded by the argument related to moving parties being put in any potential tactical disadvantage by reason of the disclosure of these agreements.
  2. The two agreements do not contain specific values of assets that persons might wish to remain confidential.
  3. No privileged tax records are revealed.
  4. Estate of Gallio
  5. People v. Jackson
  6. In NBC Subsidiary (KNBC -TV) v. Superior Court (1999) 20 Cal.4th 1178,
  7. As noted in Estate of Hearst (1977) 67 Cal.App.3d 777, 783-784, “no statute exempts probate files from the status of public records, and that when individuals employ the public powers of state courts to accomplish private ends, such as the establishment and supervision of long-term testamentary trusts, they do so in full knowledge of the possibly disadvantageous circumstance that the documents and records filed in the trust will be open to public inspection. To some extent they can protect against the disadvantage of publicity by arranging for the service of papers on individual beneficiaries through their attorneys or through post-office-box addresses. Alternatively, they can eschew court-regulated devices for transmission of inherited wealth and rely on private arrangements such as Inter vivos gifts, joint tenancies, and so-called ‘living’ or grantor trusts. But when the parties perceive advantages in obtaining continuing court supervision over their affairs, thereby projecting their wishes beyond the span of their individual lives and securing court protection for the beneficiaries of their testamentary plans, in a sense they take the good with the bad, knowing that with public protection comes public knowledge of the activities, assets, and beneficiaries of the trust. What is more, the public has a legitimate interest in access to public records, such as court documents, which establish and perpetuate long-term testamentary trusts. If public court business is conducted in private, it becomes impossible to expose corruption, incompetence, inefficiency, prejudice, and favoritism. For this reason traditional Anglo-American jurisprudence distrusts secrecy in judicial proceedings and favors a policy of maximum public access to proceedings and records of judicial tribunals. Thus in Sheppard v. Maxwell (1966) 384 U.S. 333, 350, 86 S.Ct. 1507, 16 L.Ed.2d 600, In re Shortridge (1893) 99 Cal. 526, 530, 34 P. 227, 228.)

Case Number: BC681310    Hearing Date: March 17, 2020    Dept: 20

The Motion to Seal is DENIED.Moving party to give notice.All parties shall appear by court call if they do not submit on the tentative. The parties should not attend in person.

If all parties do not agree to argue by Court Call, the hearing will need to be continued for 30 days in view of the Governor’s emergency directives related to Coronavirus epidemic and the need for the Court to mitigate health risks to all persons potentially affected.

The Court has reviewed the motion. There was no opposition filed. The Court denies the motion for the following reasons:

  1. The two settlement agreements do not contain any trade secrets or proprietary information warranting sealing. The Court was not persuaded by the argument related to moving parties being put in any potential tactical disadvantage by reason of the disclosure of these agreements.
  2. The two agreements do not contain specific values of assets that persons might wish to remain confidential.
  3. No privileged tax records are revealed.
  4. Estate of Gallio
  5. People v. Jackson
  6. In NBC Subsidiary (KNBC -TV) v. Superior Court (1999) 20 Cal.4th 1178, 1218, the California Supreme Court concluded that most judicial records are subject to a presumption of openness. When the presumption applies, the public has a qualified right of access. That right may be denied only if the court, after notice and hearing, makes four supported findings: “(i) there exists an overriding ... interest supporting closure and/or sealing; (ii) there is a substantial probability ... that the interest will be prejudiced absent closure and/or sealing; (iii) the proposed closure and/or sealing is narrowly tailored to serve the overriding interest; and (iv) there is no less restrictive means of achieving the overriding interest.” These principles are also codified in California Rules of Court, Rule 2.550. Here, moving parties do not establish how this Court could find this presumption is not applicable or how it could make any of these four findings finding an exception should apply.
  7. As noted in Estate of Hearst (1977) 67 Cal.App.3d 777, 783-784, “no statute exempts probate files from the status of public records, and that when individuals employ the public powers of state courts to accomplish private ends, such as the establishment and supervision of long-term testamentary trusts, they do so in full knowledge of the possibly disadvantageous circumstance that the documents and records filed in the trust will be open to public inspection. To some extent they can protect against the disadvantage of publicity by arranging for the service of papers on individual beneficiaries through their attorneys or through post-office-box addresses. Alternatively, they can eschew court-regulated devices for transmission of inherited wealth and rely on private arrangements such as Inter vivos gifts, joint tenancies, and so-called ‘living’ or grantor trusts. But when the parties perceive advantages in obtaining continuing court supervision over their affairs, thereby projecting their wishes beyond the span of their individual lives and securing court protection for the beneficiaries of their testamentary plans, in a sense they take the good with the bad, knowing that with public protection comes public knowledge of the activities, assets, and beneficiaries of the trust. What is more, the public has a legitimate interest in access to public records, such as court documents, which establish and perpetuate long-term testamentary trusts. If public court business is conducted in private, it becomes impossible to expose corruption, incompetence, inefficiency, prejudice, and favoritism. For this reason traditional Anglo-American jurisprudence distrusts secrecy in judicial proceedings and favors a policy of maximum public access to proceedings and records of judicial tribunals. Thus in Sheppard v. Maxwell (1966) 384 U.S. 333, 350, 86 S.Ct. 1507, 16 L.Ed.2d 600, the court said it is a vital function of the press to subject the judicial process to ‘extensive public scrutiny and criticism.’ And the California Supreme Court has said, ‘it is a first principle that the people have the right to know what is done in their courts.’ (In re Shortridge (1893) 99 Cal. 526, 530, 34 P. 227, 228.) Absent strong countervailing reasons, the public has a legitimate interest and right of general access to court records, one of special importance when probate involves a large estate with on-going long-term trusts which reputedly administer and control a major publishing empire.” No such strong countervailing reasons have been offered here.
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