C6 – What Probate Judges Need, Want & Love

Presentation seeks to provide: Insight into How Judges Think; Give Guidance in Meeting the Needs and
Wants of Judges and Provide Guidance for Enhancing Attorney & Fiduciary Communications


Philip Barbaro

Philip Barbaro

Barbaro, Chinen, Pitzer & Duke, LLP and Alternative Resolution Centers (ARC)

Philip Barbaro, Jr. is Certified by The State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization as a Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law.

He is a partner of Barbaro, Chinen, Pitzer & Duke, LLP and is the firm’s primary litigator, focusing primarily in the areas of trusts, wills, conservatorships, and probate related matters. His practice also includes administration in the areas of probate, trust, and conservatorship estates. In addition, he handles real estate transactions and litigation.  He clients include professional fiduciaries, as well as private trustees, executors, administrators, conservators and beneficiaries.

In addition, Mr. Barbaro is a mediator for Alternative Resolutions Centers, ARC.  He handles mediations in all areas of trust and estates including wills, trusts, probate, conservatorship, elder abuse as well as real estate related matters.

Hon. Judge Mary Thornton-House (Ret.)

Hon. Judge Mary Thornton-House (Ret.)

Alternative Resolution Centers (ARC)

Judge Mary Thornton House was a member of the Los Angeles Superior Court bench for 22 years; 8 of those years, she was assigned to a probate department where she presided over trust, wills, and conservatorship matters. She was an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Los Angeles. She is now a private neutral for Alternative Resolution Centers (ARC). She authors Thomson Reuter’s California Civil Jury Instructions Companion Handbook.

Judge House has been honored throughout her career. In 2004, Los Angeles County honored her as one of its ‘Women of the Year’ and named Judge of the Year by the Pasadena Bar Association.  In 2008, the California Judges Association awarded her the Bernard F. Jefferson’s Award for Excellence in Judicial Education. In 2011, the San Fernando Valley Bar Association awarded her the Excellence in Judicial Administration award for her leadership in getting California’s Expedited Jury Trials legislation passed, the development of the current universal judgment form, and simplification of small claims pleadings.  In 2013, the San Fernando Valley Bar Association named her their Judge of the Year.

Judge House graduated from UCLA and received her Juris Doctorate from the University of San Diego.