Michael E. Freedman

Michael E. Freedman

San Francisco, California
877-777-1666 (Toll Free)
State Bar of California | California Board of Legal Specialization

Bar Admissions

  •  Pennsylvania, 1984
  •  California, 1986
  •  U.S. District Court Northern District of California, 1986

Honors and Awards:

  • AV Rated by Martindale Hubble Peer Review Rating
  • 2012 top 2016 Northern California Super Lawyers

Special Licenses/Certifications:

  •  Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization

Pro bono/Community Service:

  • Financial Planning Day/Estate Planning Workshop at the San Francisco Public Library  October 25, 2014:  Volunteer attorney in Basic Estate Planning Presentation; Review and Preparation of Statutory Will, Statutory Power of Attorney, and Advanced Medical Directive. Met individually with participants to answer estate planning questions, discuss estate planning objectives and strategies, provide basic estate planning and probate law information.
  • State Bar of California, Educating Seniors Program. Michael Freedman has appeared on KALW 91.7 FM "Call a Lawyer Night" hosted by Chuck Finney. Michael Freedman is participant in the Law Academy Mentoring Program sponsored by the BASF. Michael has presented an innovative, one-hour course on U. S. Courts, the law, and reading a Supreme Court Case to students at San Francisco Public High Schools, Middle Schools, and Elementary Schools. Freedman Law firm offers pro bono and low fee estate planning and trusts and estates legal advice to qualifying employees of San Francisco businesses. Michael Freedman is a donor to the California AIDS ride, Environment California, The San Francisco Symphony.

Scholarly Lectures and Writings:

  •  State Bar of California, Educating Seniors Program. Presentation on Estate Planning, Financial Elder Abuse at the Bernal Heights Senior Center, May 2009, Speaker, State Bar Of California, 2009

Verdicts and Settlements:

Recent News: Defense verdict for our client, the Respondent in a petition for interpretation, reformation, accounting and removal of trustee in Sonoma County Superior Court February 26, 2016 after four day trial in Probate Court, Hon. Judge Rene Auguste Chouteau presiding. 

$280,000 verdict against professional trustee who mishandled family trust fund. Tehama County. Professional trustee used funds of clients for his own investment company. Published Jury Verdicts Alert, 2012

Sometime in the fall of 2002, our client's brother John C made an appointment to visit an estate planning attorney. Prior to the appointment, John C had handwritten certain amendments he wanted to make to his prior Trust and also drafted a handwritten holographic codicil to his will. In accordance with John C's wishes, the attorney prepared the trust instruments, and forwarded these documents to John C by mail. John C received the letter and enclosed documents. However, John C did not sign the documents. Prior to his death, however, John C expressed his belief to his friend and physician and to relatives that he had made a change to his will and trust in which he named his brother, our client, Thomas C sole beneficiary and Trustee. We argued that the handwritten changes were a valid amendment to the prior trust. Prior to trial, the case settled in our favor for a seven figure amount.

In the Matter of the Gusti and Dorothy Rossi Trust, Napa County Superior Court, Case Number 26-25651 Freedman Law Firm represented the daughter of Gusti and Dorothy Rossi who is a trust beneficiary of the Gusti and Dorothy Rossi Trust. Dorothy Rossi filed a Safe Harbor Application to avoid the No-Contest clause of the Gusti and Dorothy Rossi Irrevocable Trust. Petitioner proposed to commence a Petition for Reformation of the Trust on the grounds of mistake of fact or law, and sought to modify the Trust substantially changing distribution to the daughter. Prior to trial the matter was settled and distribution was made to the daughter.

Estate of Melvin Ward, San Francisco County Superior Court, Case Number PES-00-281052. Michael E. Freedman represented trust beneficiaries of the Trust of Elizabeth Ward. The beneficiaries made a claim under Probate Code Section 850 to set aside and cancel a Grant Deed, drafted and executed by the son of Elizabeth Ward, transferring to himself the trust real property. Prior to trial, the parties settled, and the Deed was set aside.

$227,000 verdict for Petitioner John C. Taylor, Jr. Estate of Lorenzo Ferneil, Superior Court of California, County of Alameda, Case Number: 234724-4. Michael E. Freedman represented John Taylor, Jr. in a will contest trial which commenced on April 8, 1991. Rosie Lee Williams, the sister of the decedent, Lorenzo Ferneil, was the proponent of a will which left the estate of over $227,000.00 to her. Mr. Taylor proved that the will was presumed revoke, and that Mr. Taylor was the stepchild of Lorenzo Ferneil. Judgment was in favor of Mr. Taylor entitling him to inherit the estate of Lorenzo Ferneil by intestate succession.


  •  Temple University School of Law, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - 1984
  •  State University of New York, Buffalo, New York
  •  B.A. (Magna Cum Laude) - 1979
  •  Honors: Phi Beta Kappa

Alternative Dispute Resolution Experience:
Court Appointed Judicial Arbitrator for the San Francisco County Superior Court. Arbitrated more than 20 Superior Court cases.

Professional Associations and Memberships

  •  State Bar Trusts and Estates Section
  •  Bar Association of San Francisco
  •  BASF Probate Experience Panel
  •  BASF Estate Planning Trust and Probate Section

Past Employment Positions

  • Green & Freedman, Partner, 1998 - 2003
  •  U.S. Nursing Corporation, Fastaff Inc., General Counsel
  •  Law Offices of Michael E. Freedman, San Francisco, California; 1987 to 1998

Year Joined Firm

  • 1987

Areas of Practice

  • Estate Planning
  • Elder Law
  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Litigation
  • Trust Litigation
  • Trust Administration
  • Estate Administration

Published Works

  • "Solar Access: An Issue for Local Governments", (Co-Author With Susan Perretta), OUTLOOK ENVIRONMENTAL JOURNAL, vol. 1,, 1982
  • "Experts, Laws and Audio Tape", SANTA CLARA TRIAL LAWYERS ASSOCIATION, Times & Trials, October, 1991

Representative Cases


  • English
  • Cantonese Chinese
  • Mandarin Chinese