Photo of Adam F. Streisand

Adam F. Streisand

Partner
Century City
T: 310.228.3727
F: 310.228.3919

Education

  • J.D., American University, 1991, cum laude, Honor Society, Editorial Staff, American University Law Review
  • B.A., Trinity College, 1985
  • California
Overview
Honors
Experience
Publications & News
Memberships

Adam Streisand is firmwide Team Leader of the Private Wealth and Fiduciary Litigation team and a partner in the firm's Century City office. Mr. Streisand is widely regarded as one of the nation's top trial attorneys, particularly in the field of private wealth disputes, including litigation involving trusts, estates and conservatorships. Mr. Streisand is best known for his victories in courtroom battles over celebrity estates and his recent trial victory for former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer vindicating his right to acquire the LA Clippers for $2 billion in litigation against Donald Sterling.

The accolades for Mr. Streisand’s stature in the legal profession are legion. The legal newspaper, the Daily Journal, profiling Mr. Streisand on the cover of its “Extra” section, called him “The Sure Thing” and noted that his resume is “a lawyer’s C.V. on steroids.”

The National Law Journal named Mr. Streisand “Trust & Estates Trailblazer”. Worth magazine named him as one of the “Top 100 Attorneys in Trusts and Estates” in the country. Citywealth magazine named him one of the top 50 private wealth attorneys in North America. The Daily Journal named Mr. Streisand one of the “Top 100” lawyers in California:  the only trusts and estates litigator ever to be included in that list. The Los Angeles Business Journal named Mr. Streisand one of the top 100 lawyers in Los Angeles County. Lawdragon named Mr. Streisand one of the 500 “Leading Lawyers” in America, and one of the top 500 trial lawyers in the country.

The Daily Journal says: “From his victory in the landmark copyright case, Newton v. Diamond, in which he represented the Beastie Boys and Capitol Records … Streisand has transitioned into a nationally recognized trust and estate litigator. His practice is unique in that he is the rare lawyer in the field with an expertise in disputes involving entertainment and intellectual property issues. He’s been in courtroom battles over the estates of Michael Jackson, Ray Charles, Marlon Brando, Michael Crichton, Anna Nicole Smith, Rodney Dangerfield, Dennis Hopper, William Randolph Hearst and many more.”

Lawdragon says “Adam Streisand is easily one of the best trust and estate litigators in the country.”

Trusts & Estates magazine says Mr. Streisand “is a trial lawyer renowned for his courtroom victories in celebrity estates.”

The American Lawyer says he “is a veteran of battles over the estates of Marlon Brando and Ray Charles.”

In addition to his law practice, Mr. Streisand teaches other lawyers the art and science of trial work as an instructor with the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and as a frequent lecturer and author. He is also active in authoring probate law, including legislation he drafted at the request of the Marilyn Monroe estate, to protect the right of a celebrity’s heirs to control his or her name, image and likeness after death.

  • Top leading Tax: Estate Planning, Chambers & Partners, 2015-2016
  • Top leading Wealth Management: Litigation Specialists Lawyer, Chambers & Partners, 2015-2016
  • Named "Trust & Estates Trailblazer," The National Law Journal (2016)
  • Named one of "California's Top 100 Lawyers," Los Angeles Daily Journal (2015)
  • Trust and Estates Lawyer of the Year, Century City Bar Association (2015)
  • Received highest ranking in Chambers USA 2011-2014, 2016 editions
  • America's Leading Lawyers for Business, in California Tax: Estate Planning (also recognized in 2010, 2016 editions)
  • Named one of "California's Top 100 Lawyers," Los Angeles Daily Journal (2010)
  • Named one of "LA's Top 100 Lawyers" in the Los Angeles Business Journal's "Who's Who in LA Law" (2009)
  • Named one of "The Top 100 Attorneys" in Trusts and Estates, Worth magazine (2008 edition)
  • Named "Best Lawyer" in Trust and Estates Litigation, The Best Lawyers in America, published by Woodward/White, Inc. (2008-2017)
  • Fellow, American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC)
  • Attorney Member, National College of Probate Judges
  • Recipient, Wiley W. Manuel Award for Pro Bono Legal Services, Board of Governors of the State Bar of California
  • Named in "Southern California Super Lawyers" in Trust & Estate Litigation, a Thomson Reuters business 2004-2016); Listed in the Top 100 Southern California Super Lawyers (2014)
  • Named a "Leading Lawyer" in the Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America (2010)
  • Named a "Leading Litigator" in the Lawdragon 500 America's Leading Trial Lawyers (2006)
  • Highest "AV Preeminent (5 out of 5)" Professional Rating, Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory
  • Recommended in the CityWealth "Leaders List" by Jones Publishing Limited (2011-2014)

Numerous Multimillion-dollar Trial Victories for Petitioners

Mr. Streisand is well-known for his victories in courtroom battles over celebrity estates, including the estates of Ray Charles, Marlon Brando, Rodney Dangerfield, Michael Crichton and Barry White, his representation of Mrs. Katherine Jackson in the estate of Michael Jackson, Larry Birkhead in the estate of Anna Nicole Smith, and Britney Spears in her conservatorship proceedings, among many others. Mr. Streisand is equally acclaimed for his trial victories in some of the most complex cases in the probate courts. He won a judgment in the eight figures, including an award of double damages, against a trustee, in a case involving the ownership of 70 real properties and 25 bank and brokerage accounts, unwinding 40 years of fraudulent creditor and tax avoidance schemes. (Follow the link to the Court of Appeal opinion affirming in full the trial court judgment.) Mr. Streisand won three successive trials against a former trustee, obtaining judgments for a total of more than $10 million, double damages, and attorneys’ fees and costs. Mr. Streisand won a an action to remove a trustee together with $3 million in damages. Mr. Streisand has won numerous will and trust contests and actions to remove and impose damages on trustees and other fiduciaries. He has won numerous cases involving family law matters, such as community property issues and palimony claims, and obtained an award of twice the highest legal guidelines for child support in California in a trial to compel a parent to pay adult child support of behalf of his severely mentally disabled son. Winning in trial is the best leverage for obtaining favorable settlements. For example, Mr. Streisand obtained a $113 million settlement in an action by family members owning a minority interest in a public food service company against the CEO who was controlling the company as trustee of family trusts owning a majority block of the stock.

Multiple Victories in the Defense of Multimillion-dollar Estates

On the defense side, Mr. Streisand has achieved equally outstanding results. After plaintiff rejected a $120 million settlement offer, a guardian ad litem for trust beneficiaries, who was a retired Judge of the Orange County Superior Court, tapped Mr. Streisand to try the case for defendants. He succeeded in limiting plaintiff’s community property claim in her husband’s $350 million company to only $3.2 million. He achieved victory after a six-week trial in defense of a $25 million surcharge case, arising out of allegations of self-dealing by the trustee in redemptions of the trust's stock and options in a private REIT, among other claims. Mr. Streisand successfully defended a major law firm in a high-profile case alleging legal malpractice and fraud. He successfully defended corporate trustees in a $57 million surcharge and removal case, alleging self-dealing and conflicts of interest. Mr. Streisand won summary judgment for the trustees of the Mark Hughes Trust in an action to surcharge and remove them based on allegations that as trustees and as officers and directors of Herbalife, the company founded by Mark Hughes, they enacted poison pills, golden parachutes and other anti-takeover devices to entrench and enrich themselves at the expense of the beneficiary. Mr. Streisand won at trial to defeat a former trustee and beneficiary who claimed millions in trustee fees and damages based on breaches of fiduciary duty, and millions in alleged trust distributions. Mr. Streisand won four motions in a row for the primary beneficiary and fiduciaries of a nine-figure estate of a prominent British Lord until the case was dismissed in its entirety. Plaintiffs claimed that the estate’s representatives transferred assets through a worldwide web of trusts to deprive plaintiffs of their inheritance. Mr. Streisand successfully defended the National Parkinson Foundation in a trial of a will contest by disgruntled beneficiaries claiming that the decedent improperly revoked his participation in mutual wills. The case was affirmed on appeal by the Second District Court of Appeal at 2003 WL198712. Mr. Streisand won a trial of a will contest alleging fraud, undue influence and lack of testamentary capacity concerning the $60 million estate of a prominent Canadian businessman. Mr. Streisand successfully defended the estate of an octogenarian against a claim by an exotic dancer in her twenties that the decedent promised to leave half of his estate to her.

Successful Representations of Celebrities in the Courts

Some of Mr. Streisand’s other victories in celebrity and entertainment cases include his victory in obtaining the dismissal of palimony claims by Coco Johnson against comedian and talk-show host Bill Maher. Mr. Streisand won summary judgment in the U.S. District Court for the Beastie Boys and Capitol Records in a landmark copyright case involving digital sampling and affirmance on appeal in the 9th Circuit. Newton v. Diamond, et al., 349 F.3d 591 (9th Cir. 2003), 204 F.Supp.2d 1244 (C.D. Cal. 2002) (follow the link to see the 9th Circuit opinion). Mr. Streisand secured a multimillion-dollar judgment in an arbitration by proving that Franchise Pictures breached a distribution agreement for the motion picture Plan B starring Diane Keaton. Mr. Streisand obtained a permanent injunction for the famed ocean explorer, Jacques Yves Cousteau, in an action against his son, Jean-Michel Cousteau, to protect against the commercialization of the Cousteau name by its use in connection with a Fiji resort.

Articles

Media Mentions

Speaking Engagements

  • CEB Advanced Trusts and Estates Litigation, March 2015
  • Century City Bar Association's 47th Annual Installation Banquet & Awards Ceremony, March 2015
  • "Legal and Ethical Dilemmas in Representing Clients with Diminished Capacity," CalCPA Annual Conference, January 2015
  • "Consider That A Divorce: Litigating the Post-Death Divorce," 40th Annual USC Trust and Estate Conference, November 2014
  • "Brain Mappers: The New Maggellans," American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, November and June 2014
  • "Intentional Interference with Inheritance: Is it a Brave New World in Probate?" State Bar of California Webinar, April 2013
  • "Intelligent Planning for Intellectual Property," Heckerling Institute in Estate Planning, January 2013
  • "Ethical Challenges in Estate Planning and Administration," 2012 Professional Advisor Speaker Series, Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles, October 2012
  • "Malpractice and Ethics Issues for Estate Planners," San Fernando Valley Estate Planning Council, May 2012
  • "Rumors of Their Deaths May Be Exaggerated: Conservatorships and Pre-Death Litigation," USC Trust & Estate Conference, November 2011
  • Advanced Trust and Estate Litigation (CEB), December 2010
  • "Current Ethical Issues for Estate Planners, ALI-ABA and American College for Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), October 2010
  • "Malpractice Melee: Fighting off the Disgruntled and Disappointed," A T&E Lawyers Field Guide, American Academy of Estate Planners Annual Conference, October 2010
  • "Copy This: Intelligent Planning for Intellectual Property Rights," American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), April 2010
  • "Will Contest or Contest of Wills, Life After 21320," Orange County Bar Association, February 2010
  • "Litigation and Settlements - Estate and Income Tax Issues," Advanced Estate Planning Institute, CalCPA Education Foundation, January 2010
  • "Malpractice Melee: Fighting off the Disgruntled and Disappointed," A T&E Lawyers Field Guide, November 2009
  • "Dealing with the Difficult or Impaired Client," American Bankers Association's Teleconference, November 2009
  • "Ethical Issues Affecting Estate Planners," ALI-ABA and American College for Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) Webinar, October 2009
  • "Lawsuits Against Lawyers for the Plan You Do and the Plan You Don't," ACTEC Annual Meeting, March 2009
  • Advanced Course on Trust and Estate Litigation, CEB, December 2008
  • "No-Contest Clauses: The Never Ending Drama," State Bar Annual Meeting, September 2008 and State Bar Road Show, November 2008
  • "Getting into the Client's (Testator's) Head: A Lawyer's Guide to Diminished Capacity and Use of Medical Experts," ACTEC Fall Meeting, October 2008
  • "A Lawyer's Guide to Diminishing Capacity," UCLA/CEB Estate Planning Institute, May 2008
  • "Will Contests, No-Contest Clauses and Safe Harbors," Center for Judicial Research and Education (CJER), November 2006
  • "The Stripper, Playboy Playmate, and Reality Show Train Wreck, the Billionaire Oilman, a Scheming Son and Nine Supreme Court Justices: The Havoc Has Only Begun," Los Angeles County Bar Association, October 2006
  • "How to Try and Defend Will and Trust Contests," State Bar Annual Meeting, October 2006
  • "Estate Litigation: Tactical Issues, Case Studies and Resolution Scenarios," Advanced Course of Study, CEB, September 2006
  • "No Contest Clauses: The Never Ending Drama," Orange County Estate Planning Council, September 2006
  • Anna Nicole Smith and the Probate Exception to Federal Court Jurisdiction, September 2006
  • "To Tell The Truth (A T&E Lawyer's Version): Will My Real Client Please Stand Up?" UCLA/CEB Estate Planning Institute, May 2006
  • "May the Force Be With You: Private Attorney General Actions To Enforce Charitable Donations," Beverly Hills Bar Association, January 2006
  • "Trust and Estate Litigation: Tactical Issues, Case Studies, and Resolution Scenarios," CEB, December 2005
  • "Charlie Creditor and the Probate Factory: The Golden Ticket to Preserving Your Claim," USC Probate and Trust Conference, November 2005
  • "Rip, Mix, and Burn, Baby! Will Digital Music Sampling Overtake the Music Industry?" Los Angeles County Bar Association, November 2005
  • "Trust and Estate Litigation: Pointers and Pitfalls," State Bar of California, November 2004
  • "New Ideas to Keep Litigious Beneficiaries at Bay and Protect Trustees," Southern California Trust Officers Association, October 2004
  • "Trust and Estate Litigation: Pointers and Pitfalls," Annual Meeting State Bar of California, October 2004
  • "Estate Litigation: Strategies for Ending the Family Feud," CEB Los Angeles, October 2004, San Diego, September 2004
  • "Demonstration of a Contested Trust Matter," Mock Trial Program State Bar of California, April 2004, November 2003
  • "Estate and Trust Litigation," CEB, February 2004
  • "Advanced Trial Skills," National Institute for Trial Advocacy, 2004, 2002, 2001, 1999
  • "Will and Trust Contests," Century City Bar Association, August 2003
  • "When Trustees Go Bad/When Beneficiaries Attack," Beverly Hills Bar Association, November 2002
  • "Litigating Capacity and Undue Influence," Century City Bar Association, December 2001
  • "Demonstration of a Disputed Will and Trust Matter," Mock Trial Program State Bar of California, August 2001
  • "New Developments in Drafting No-Contest Clauses," Century City Bar Association, April 2001
  • "Taking and Defending Depositions," National Institute for Trial Advocacy, 2001, 2000
  • "Representing Trustees after Moeller and Boltwood," Century City Bar Association, May 2002
  • Member, Executive Committee, Section on Trusts and Estates, State Bar of California
  • Former Executive Editor, California Trusts & Estates Quarterly
  • Fellow, American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC)
  • Member, Long-Range Planning Committee, Fiduciary Litigation Committee and Professional Responsibility Committee of ACTEC
  • Member, Planning Committee of UCLA/CEB Estate Planning Institute
  • Member, CEB Estate Planning Advisory Committee
  • Member, Planning Committee of the USC Probate and Trust Conference
  • Faculty Member, National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA)
  • Former Chair, Trusts and Estates Section, Century City Bar Association
  • Former Board Member, Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF)
  • Former Member, Development Committee, Project Angel Food
  • Former Member, Development Committee, Alzheimer's Association
  • Volunteer Attorney, Bet Tzedek Legal Services, offering pro bono publico legal services to the poor and elderly