Leigh W. Burnside

Leigh W. Burnside

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As the Chair of the firm’s Trust and Estate Litigation Practice Group, Leigh regularly counsels fiduciaries in their administration of trusts and estates. She defends them in court actions brought by beneficiaries, assists them in the preparation and defense of accountings, and represents them in actions against third parties to recover assets belonging to the trust or estate. Leigh also represents beneficiaries and heirs in disputes with personal representatives and trustees. Such matters include will and trust contests, disputes over the distribution of assets, and disputes over whether the fiduciary acted properly in performing his or her duties.

Leigh’s practice also includes conservatorships and guardianships, both contested and uncontested. She assists clients in determining whether a conservatorship or guardianship is warranted, represents them in court proceedings to appoint a conservator or guardian, and also advises court-appointed guardians and conservators in their role as fiduciaries.

As an extension of these services, Leigh has handled numerous trust and estate appeals, several of which resulted in published opinions finding in favor of her client.

Leigh was selected as one of only six Super Lawyers’ “Rising Stars” in Northern California for her work in Estate and Trust Litigation in 2012.  She was also selected as one of Northern California’s “Super Lawyers,” representing the top 5 percent of practicing attorneys in Northern California in 2013.  San Francisco Magazine named Leigh one of the “Top Women Attorneys” of Northern California in 2014.  And most recently she was named as one of the Top 50 2016 Women Northern California Super Lawyers.

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

  • California State Bar Association (Trusts & Estates Section)
  • Fresno County Bar Association (Board of Directors, 2005-2008)
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers (Board of Governors, 2007-present; Treasurer 2008-present)
  • Fresno County Young Lawyers Association (Board of Directors, 1999-2004; President, 2003)
  • Stone Soup Fresno, a California non-profit (Member, Advisory Council)