Talk about a family feud.
Billionaire supermarket magnate Ronald Burkle has succeeded in tossing out a lawsuit filed by his daughter, Carrie Burkle, over money she claims he owes her.
According to documents filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Ronald Burkle withdrew money in 2003 from an account in which his 29-year-old daughter holds a 1 percent interest. He claimed the account, including his daughter's share, was funded by a loan he made in the mid-1990s totaling $85,774.
Carrie Burkle, on the other hand, claimed the contributions to the account were a gift.
A Los Angeles Superior Court judge recently ruled against Carrie Burkle, who originally had sought $938,000, citing other personal accounts that were later dropped from the action. Michael Chodos, a lawyer for Carrie Burkle, said he has appealed the ruling.
"She respectfully disagrees with the trial court and is confident about the merit of her position," said Chodos. "It is an unfortunate matter because it is a dispute between a father and daughter, but it is an important matter to Carrie and she intends to see it through."
A lawyer for Ron Burkle, Patricia Glaser, a partner at Christensen Miller Fink Jacobs Glaser Weil & Shapiro LLP, said, "We're very sorry that a family dispute of this nature was filed by Ron's daughter, but we certainly believe that the judge was correct in throwing the case out."
Meanwhile, his ex-wife, Janet Burkle, has appealed a private judge's ruling in contentious divorce proceedings that affirms the validity of their 1997 post-marital agreement. She has claimed the agreement, which paid her $30 million, failed to account for certain community property. In a related case, Ron Burkle has appealed a ruling against a state statute that had allowed him to seal parts of his divorce proceeding.
A bill is on its way to the governor's desk that would strengthen the tools the State Bar of California has to stop people from illegally practicing law.
The bar now has authority to seek a temporary restraining order against active lawyers who should not be practicing law because they have been disbarred, suspended or have resigned. The bill, SB 894, would allow the bar to intervene in cases involving people who are practicing law without a law degree, said Scott Drexel, the bar's chief prosecutor.
"There is unfortunately a lot of that going on," he said. "It's either people who are posing as attorneys, and therefore basically defrauding their clients, who believe they are attorneys when they're not, or people who are allowed to engage in limited types of services, such as legal document preparers and paralegals, and who are doing much more," Drexel said.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has not yet taken a position on the bill, which recently passed the Senate.
*Staff reporter Amanda Bronstad can be reached at (323) 549-5225, ext. 225, or at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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