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March 2021 MCLE Luncheon via Zoom — Catherine M. Swafford, Jeremiah Moffit and Matthew R. Owens

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March MCLEPlease calendar our next MCLE lunchtime program for Thursday, March 11th at 12:00 p.m., via Zoom Meeting. We are pleased to announce that our March speakers will be Catherine M. Swafford,  Jeremiah Moffit, and Matthew R. Owens, all partners with Withers Bergman, LLP  (withersworldwide),  presenting  “Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate Law: 2020 Year in Review.” 

We are particularly pleased that one of the speakers, Ms. Swafford, is a La Jolla Bar Association member.

This is certain to be an interesting and informative program, with all of the speakers possessing extensive litigation experience in the subject areas of their presentation. 

This program will provide 1.0 hr MCLE general participatory credit for attendees.


Information about our Speakers:


SwaffordCatherine M. Swafford

Catherine (“Katie”) Swafford is a partner in the trust, estate and inheritance disputes team at withersworldwide, where she practices exclusively in trust, estate, conservatorship, elder abuse and fiduciary litigation. Her practice includes representing clients in will and trust contests, elder abuse actions, breach of fiduciary duty and accounting cases, conservatorships, intestacy and heirship disputes, contract to make a will disputes, creditor claim disputes and related litigation and administration matters brought under the California Probate Code. Catherine has extensive experience litigating cases from their initial stages, through their final stages of mediations, trial, and post-judgment activities.

Catherine’s clients include beneficiaries, heirs, fiduciaries, charities, creditors and related clients in Probate and Civil Court, state wide throughout California. Catherine has developed special expertise in probate disputes involving issues of foreign law and international beneficiaries, and has represented clients in cross-border probate matters involving  jurisdictions such as Mexico, Switzerland, Russia, China, Hong Kong, British Virgin Islands and Hungary. She also  advises clients of foreign residence with beneficial interests in California.

Actively involved in the legal community, Catherine serves on the Board of Directors of the Probate Attorneys of San Diego (PASD), where she is the incoming chair of the Education Committee. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Estate Planning Council of San Diego, where she is Secretary. She also serves as court-appointed counsel for the San Diego Probate Court. Catherine is a frequent speaker in the community on a wide range of topics, and is a contributing author of numerous publications, including CEB Practitioner™ attorney-drafted templates, the Litigation Alert in the California Trusts & Estates Quarterly, the California Decedent Estate Practice Guide, the California Civil Practice – Probate & Trust Proceedings Practice Guide and the California Code of Probate Forms book.

While devoted to her law practice, Catherine is the proud mother of 4 young children. She takes great pride in being able to contribute to the community both as an attorney and as a mother.


Jeremiah (Jeremy) Moffit

Jeremy Moffit is a partner in the trust and estate litigation team at withersworldwide, and is the Office Managing Director of the San Diego office.

Jeremy focuses on trust, estate, conservatorship and fiduciary related litigation. He represents clients in litigation and administration matters, including trust administrations, probate administrations, wills and trust contests, accountings, fiduciary representation, creditor’s claims proceedings, conservatorships, and elder abuse matters.

Jeremy’s clients include private clients, fiduciaries, charities, and their related trusts and entities. He has served as the lead attorney on hundreds of contested matters in Probate Court, including trust disputes and contests, administration issues, conservatorships, fiduciary duty compliance, accountings, elder abuse, tax issues, appeals, and attorney malpractice in the trust and estates field. Jeremy has tried several cases to the Superior Court in California and via private arbitration.

Jeremy speaks and writes regularly on trust and estate topics and is a board member and education committee chairperson for the Probate Attorneys of San Diego as well as a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC). Through his experience, his service as a court appointed counsel, and by serving the Court and the bar in various leadership roles and speaking engagements, Jeremy has built a reputation for effective but ethical advocacy amongst the Probate Court and his colleagues who practice there.

Jeremy has been named a San Diego Magazine ‘Top Lawyer,’ Super Lawyer, a Super Lawyers Rising Star, a San Diego Daily Transcript ‘Top Young Attorney’ two times and holds an Martindale-Hubbell® AV Rating. He is named “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers in 2021 for Trust and Estates Litigation.


Matthew R. Owens

Matthew (Matt) Owens is a partner in the trust and estate litigation team at withersworldwide, where his practice  focuses on trust, estate, and inheritance disputes. 

Matt has prosecuted and defended a wide range of matters in probate court, including trust contests, elder abuse actions, accountings, contested conservatorships and claims involving breach of &duciary duty.  His clients include high net worth individuals and families, corporate trustees, and private professional fiduciaries, and Matt has successfully handled numerous trials and arbitrations of trust and estate disputes, and appellate matters  (i.e.,  Funsten v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (2016) 2 Cal.App.5th 959).   

Matt is a certified specialist in estate planning, trust, and probate law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization, and he frequently speaks and writes on trust and estate litigation topics.  He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Trusts and Estates Section of the California Lawyers Association (TEXCOM), and serves as Chair of the Executive Committee of the San Diego County Bar Association’s Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate Law Section.  Recognized as a Best Lawyers “Ones to Watch”for 2021, Matt  has been a Super Lawyers Rising Star each year since 2013, and has been on Legal Week’s Private Client”Ones to Watch”list each year since 2017.