Michael David Hellman


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(805) 335-2944


Santa Barbara

Practice Groups and Client Sectors:

Michael David Hellman


University of California, Los Angeles

(B.A. in Economics-Business)

University of California, Hastings College of the Law


Previous Experience

Fell, Marking, Abkin, Montgomery, Granet & Raney (Partner)


  • State of California
  • District Court for the Central District of California
  • United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

Professional Experience

Michael Hellman is an accomplished litigator with over 30 years experience.  Specifically, Mr. Hellman focuses his practice exclusively on litigation, with an emphasis on disputes concerning trusts and estates. His expertise includes representing trustees and trust beneficiaries in connection with most types of claims including breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, financial elder abuse, negligence, conspiracy, rescission or reformation of a settlement agreement, undue influence, fraud, mistake, breach of trust and accounting disputes. 

In addition, Mr. Hellman’s practice includes most areas of civil and business litigation, where he represents a variety of individuals and companies in complex disputes. 


  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Rated Attorney
  • Received multiple commendations from the Santa Barbara Superior Court for outstanding pro bono service as a volunteer settlement master


  • Representation of a national institutional trustee against claims by a beneficiary for elder abuse and breach of fiduciary duty, with the beneficiary seeking more than $13 million in compensatory damages, plus punitive damages and attorney’s fees. Client prevailed at trial and on appeal.
  • Representation of an individual trust beneficiary in multiple disputes with other trust beneficiaries and the trustee. Settled the dispute with the trustee a few days before trial, with significant financial benefits to the client. The disputes with the other beneficiaries proceeded to trial, with the client prevailing at trial and on appeal. Client was awarded her attorney’s fees and costs incurred both at trial and on appeal.
  • Representation of petitioner seeking to admit to probate the will of a decedent, over the objections of decedent’s surviving family members. Client prevailed at trial and on appeal.
  • Representation of three trust beneficiaries against a fourth beneficiary/trustee to enforce rights under a trust. Clients prevailed at trial and were awarded attorney’s fees.
  • Representation of a national institutional trustee against claims by a beneficiary for breach of fiduciary duty (and thirteen other causes of action) for actions concerning the management of a charitable remainder unitrust. Client prevailed at trial and was awarded $500,000 in attorney’s fees.
  • Representation of a veterinarian as both a plaintiff and cross-defendant in disputes with his former partners, including issues concerning the enforceability of a covenant not to compete. Client prevailed at arbitration on both the complaint and cross-complaint, and was awarded his costs and attorneys’ fees.