Leigh W. BurnsideShareholder
Trust and Estate Litigation Department Chair
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.
In 2012, Leigh was selected as one of only six Super Lawyers’ “Rising Stars” in Northern California for her work in Estate and Trust Litigation.
J.D., Santa Clara University School of Law, 1997
Chairperson, Honors Moot Court Society
B.A., Stanford University, 1994
English and French Literatures
Jurisdictions Admitted to PracticeCalifornia State Bar , 1997
United States District Court, Eastern District of California
United States District Court, Central District of California
Representative Publications and Presentations
Montegani v. Johnson, 162 Cal.App.4th 1231 (2008)
Germino v. Hillyer, 107 Cal.App.4th 951 (2003)
Harustak v. Williams, 84 Cal.App.4th 208 (2000)
Professional Affiliations & Memberships
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)