[Couldn’t get this one published til early June 4th.]
The last two weeks have been very intense. Or you’d have seen more updates.
As I’m heading into June 2nd, the issue of housing again comes up (as it does every month). I have been as adamant as at any other time that my primary need is to get AWAY from my sister and into safe housing, terminating ANY business connection to her whatsoever — but without forfeiting access to funds intended by both our parents for their children, not just 2/3 of their children.
I’m posting today [started Sun 6/1, more on Mon 6/2, posted actually Wed 6/4] particularly because, as tricky as a situation it is, I want this information posted:
It appears (but I have not had it confirmed properly) that Jean wants to resign from the trust. However, I haven’t been told this directly, but indirectly, which itself is “IMHO” (in my humble opinion) and indicator of what’s up next IF this situation isn’t handled properly.
On June 1st (Sunday evening) I emailed BOTH Jean and her attorney asking Jean to confirm or deny that she wants to resign and again asking for missing receipts, and disbursement.
I have no answer yet
People without something to hide can actually speak openly. Here, they won’t. So, the situation is still marked “volatile” and questionable until it changes. Signatures are still welcome on that petition!
I will tell parts of this right here, but as I’ve been spending most of my time drafting responses to attorney’s letters and trying to clean up their verbiage (i.e., my writing), and hold down my outrage, I don’t want to compromise confidentiality.
In their short, cleaned-up format, they would tell this more concisely, but I don’t feel comfortable posting letters marked “Confidential” regarding an ongoing situation. Also, it doesn’t make sense to write up for the opposing side just which of the various tactics worked the best. Would you do that in such an adversarial situation? I may, but not just yet.
But I want all people who signed the petition, or helped publicize it to know, that your doing so has made a difference. Now the issue is handling the things it stirred up, which I have to face right here at the street level, i.e., locally.
WHO KNOWS, really, what makes the difference? But when within about one month of a petition going public, there is this degree of change (as never before), I’m going to say, it made the difference.
So you 55 people (and anyone else who attempted to sign, but didn’t, there seems to have been a few technical issues) — thanks! Heartfelt!
Trusts are means of controlling wealth, and yes, one is involved here.
Grabbing or influencing one’s way into control of someone’s wealth or assets — while removing their income (or draining it) over time — is an effective way to control that person. True in the large scope (with government) and within families, not to mention within gangs, cults, or any other situation of enslavement.
I didn’t know about it til after our mother died, because for years before, I was struggling with the above issues, which are survival and safety of one’s children’s issues. Unchecked, they become public hazards and drain the public also — by forcing people onto welfare.
So yes, the funds Jean has been, to date, controlling are held in a trust. She is the untrustworthy trustee, to date. The intents and purposes of the woman (our mother and before her, our father) whose life energies, work life, and I guess inheritance from our father that had been supporting her in the final years of her life (and which hadn’t been before then drained out, either) are supposed to be held in that trust.
No, it’s not the multi-million dollar (or even one million-dollar) kind that belong to people making headlines. But it’s enough to have made a difference in my life AFTER the decimation involved in the family law system.
The deal here is, finding out in hindsight what foresight was involved in initiating the original family court custody battle, as indeed Jean and her spouse were originally involved in. And it is MY opinion that that battle was initiated with intent to end up exactly where we are here, today.
= = = = = = =
I’m naming Jean as she is the “point-woman” in control of the funds, however, she’s not acted alone and I do not perceive her, but her husband as the initiator. Certain situations were set up FIRST and THEN I was approached as if for consent, when I was focused on something completely different, in a household transition and a major life transition.
And before I knew enough about my legal rights (from the domestic violence laws) to properly assess just how dysfunctional and useless both of these had been during the past decade, knowing about the violence in the home, and doing nothing significant about any of it, year after year. Jean knew I was being assaulted pregnant, there’d been police involvement, and despite her college degree, some background in real estate and much more in computer programming, and with her husband proudly middle-class status homeowners and politically as correct as one can get, despite a house full of books, an attorney sister (Susan) and brother in law (Arthur D. Walsh) they had more and better contact with than I — all those years, not one referral, not one mention of the words “domestic violence.” (This being the 1990s).
However, when I finally connected with some people who knew the laws (and had heard of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act, “VAWA”), and were in the business of helping battered wives and mothers such as myself, and took advantage of my legal right NOT to be assaulted regularly in front of our daughters, or threatened with weapons, deprived of access to basic economic identity where possible, and having a work life repeatedly sabotaged within marriage, etc. wouldn’ a person of reasonable intelligence and ethics figure this out eventually?
My husband, having been recently humiliated through that restraining order, had something apparently in common with this couple, and mutual interests were serve in hauling me into court. I don’t know that Jean’s smart enough to have figured out, it’s her other qualities that ideally qualify her for this role, such as bullying people not in a position to stand up to her, and NOT standing up to bigger ones who may pose more problems if stood up to. That’s where we definitely differ as sisters — she has kept her dominating husband, I did not keep my dominating and physically abusive one. And one thing dominators do is — start conflicts, then divide and conquer.
But legally speaking this seems to be who I deal with. And right now, I think she expected the rest of MY life (intended for shortening, rather than lengthening seems clear enough) under her regulation (lest I start investigating about some of this “hindsight”) to be more of an easy road for her. This publicity has but some wrinkles in that roadmap, but I see from the past two weeks that rather than give me my life back in the form I’ve asked her to, an alternate detour to a similar destination, is in motion as we speak.
= = = = = = =
I’ve been intensely setting up this campaign, some of it on FaceBook (a stretch for me, plus the rather ADHD format doesn’t lend itself to much more than sound bytes) and just as intensely dealing with attorney communications, not to mention the usual survival issues which the campaign was instituted to address.
For interim updates which might otherwise be here, see the facebook page:
“JeanPfannNotaPrivateMatter (FYI it appears to be case-sensitive). While you’re there, a “Like” would also help matters.
Last Week (last week of May):
RATHER THAN DEAL WITH ME DIRECTLY, IN A PINCH, SOME ATTORNEYS PREFER TO TALK TO EACH OTHER, NOT THE PEOPLE THEY OUGHT TO INSTEAD BE TALKING TO:
Briefly, in addition to the THREE attorneys already involved in this case* (my one sister Susan Pfann, less hands-on than the other two), we now have a FOURTH one in the mix. According to this fourth attorney — who formerly represented me as a buffer against direct dealing with Jean, some years ago, but not since — my sister now wants to resign from the trust. IF SO, I should’ve been told directly, not round-the-block a few times and unverified.
*1. Margaret Hand, Esq. (Oakland California — see this post, it’s my first mention)
2. Susan Pfann, my middle sister, City of Los Angeles career in the City Attorney’s Office (seems to be primarily real estate) married to another attorney (similar employment, I believe, i.e., my brother-in-law); see last post, bottom; and
3. My current landlord, a San Diego-based criminal defense lawyer who through direct pay has been dealing directly with Jean, not me, for far too long right now. This landlord is well aware of which side the bread is buttered on and who is spreading it — and that’s been the Pfanns, not the Englund living in the home. The direct pay was a tool in “justifying” withholding help such that I had to go to food stamps. I do not feel like posting the name if you don’t mind, I after all, live in the home right now!). However I’d presume that any criminal defense lawyer has litigation experience.
And as of recently in this mix right now, a fourth one, and the only one who is not a litigator but more of a facilitator:
4. Julie K. Hardisty of Pleasant Hill, California.
This doesn’t include lawyers I’ve talked to and shown the trust to in the process of seeking help and gathering information, especially when the people who’ve been forced to witness this year after year still believe, when faced with a major problem, the best solution to it is “Get a lawyer.”
Although the initial emotional SHOCK (after so many years of this problem) seemed like relief, there remain critical problems with how this was done, i.e., a deliberate bypassing of me by one attorney to involve another spells more like delay tactics than a change of heart.
The attorney hired by Jean for the trust, Margaret Hand, Esq.* of Oakland, California — is a SuperAttorney (a peer designation, attorneys vote for each other).
Ms. Hardisty helped me initially (fall 2010) regroup from the very bad news that Jean would be the new “controller” through control of assets, creating a new master/slave relationship (of sorts) between us — years after I’d exited a similar attempt at this relationship, in that case, called “marriage.” If it’s strange in marriage, consider how weird it gets when this is sister-to-sister, (Jean) with one married childless and the other, a mother.
Essentially, Jean helped my ex remove the children from my home and with her spouse has been for YEARS attempting to establish a truly sick parent/child relationship with me playing the child. Being about 49-50 yrs old at the time, I felt she should go buy some inanimate dolls, or puppets to play with, but apparently she needed the live version, and my daughters fit the bill perfectly. So in 2010 fall, I was without funds for any attorney, or for that matter, much at all after years in the family law system, and to her credit, Ms. Hardisty (who lives in the same area) helped get this process started when I would otherwise, for PTSD and lack of subject matter knowledge, not have been able to communicate with Susan Pfann (at the time in charge of the main source of funds for the family), let alone Jean, who I’d been facing over a period of years in various court actions (on the opposing side) involving my immediate safety, future, and her nieces.
She characterized her services as administrative, not litigation, and as that goes, she was very competent, and helped me through one year (2011) of not having to face off one-on-one with my sister Jean and with her, her spouse, and their associations with Eric Englund who, incidentally, being an ex-batterer from my perspective, is the stalker I mentioned in the on-line petition overview.
[rather than type a long series of “Ms.” in the next paragraph/s, I mean no disrespect, not that I HAVE respect for this behavior, by using last names only… It’s just shorter….both attorneys’ names begin with “H.”]
However, these recent events, and again an attempt by Hand & Hardisty (with Hardisty having NO legal relationship with me, that I can see) to affect my case in April/May 2013 was made, and an attempt to pressure me to a certain course of action (similar to now) was made. I said a firm “no!” at that time, and to be honest, Hardisty, whose final bill was still unpaid, attempted to collect her bill direct from Jean Pfann — which then compromised my situation. Hand at that time wanted Hardisty (no longer in any attorney/client relationship) to influence me to submit a list of professionals who could take over the trust from Jean. Hand is prominent (a Super Attorney) and has also served (I heard) as a temporary judge IN probate IN my county, while working out of offices in the neighboring one.
I was found in a car in the parking lot of a certain place by (Ms. Hardisty), we are both local to the area, and this was communicated to me with a “God” spin. I was waiting to be put on a webinar with the head of an environmental-related nonprofit, a cause I believed in and a person I knew. They were going to, or it’d been discussed, put me on as advisory board. I believe within 24 hours or so, I’d made the point clear (keeping in mind that about this time, my younger daughter was literally MIA — her whereabouts was unknown to me, at all, not a good situation. I’d just been forced onto welfare, with Ms. Hand (now you have the name) running interference (in my opinion) for Jean, the past October. See petition overview.
From my perspective, Ms. Hand’s curt mis-handling of my October 2012 request for help from Jean when a daughter reached out for help to ME, but I was stuck because of the recently engineered situation of controlling my housing, refusing to distribute ANYthing direct, able to help that daughter.
More details available at “When Acceptance is Unacceptable, Ask Hard Questions, (Why Both My Daughters Deserved Better from Their Married Aunts.” I started that blog February 2013 so as not to go crazy with (1) the news and (2) the situation with Jean, which FYI, is probably related as to timing. (Half the stuff on that blog in 2013 is password protected, but plenty is not). Jean’s immature response to being criticized (i.e., told to get off this trust) was to grab control of my landlord relationship, and withhold all direct funds to me, lest (in my understanding) I actually reconnect with my 19-year-old daughter, let alone, be in a proper state to actually help her.
The other daughter, living with Jean at the time, wasn’t exactly an open communication door, nor would it have been wise for me (or safe for her) to have pried it open just then, although I did communicate and ask WTF was up?!? As it turned out later, in response I was lied to anyhow.
So, this “Food Stamps for You, Discretionary Arbitrary Authority for Me,” policy that created a major nose-dive in MY life was as I saw facilitated by having a SuperAttorney in Jeans’ employ (using funds of which I am the named beneficiary), and effectively curtailed my ability to help my daughter, who’d asked for it, then. It’s more than a few kinds of simultaneous forms of abuse in operation, where the easiest form of it is passive: “No, I will do nothing.”
So in October 2012 HAND was in affirmation of Pfann’s policy of no distributions (“let them eat cake?”) and now, about seven months later in April 2013, my former attorney HARDISTY wants me to cooperate with her, taking it on face value?
NOW, ONE YEAR LATER (May, 2014):
So, when two (woman) attorneys, both in the practices of trusts and estates, “passing in the night” (actually, I heard in court) brainstorm about how to help, and one is apparently a talented litigator with my sister for a client and the other, I’d hired for defense against that dynamic duo, and these two mutually decide they have a better idea and want to sell it to me, I am naturally, more than reserved.
This section is NOT well-written, but I want it on the web that (back in April 2013) it was not too long after this — a few weeks — that my car was picked out of a parking lot (very large, I believe I counted over a hundred cars in a shopping plaza, was vandalized, within minutes of my having walked out of it a place I was known to be writing regularly at– two windows smashed out and the thieves (who were witnessed driving away, luckily) made off with THREE bags of paperwork, leaving, strangely, a computer bag. This event even then led to my having to deal again with Jean, which then because of her usual manner of dealing with me, period (and, at this point keep in mind ZERO distributions for my help to date) — that work connection was indeed driven off. As I described on the petition site put up one year later, in April 2014.
When the event happened, I had NO funds for gas and my phone was off. I had to find a place to store the vehicle with two smashed-out windows (having no garage at home, and no friends with garage space), and even borrow to drive it to such a place. I called a person better characterized as a casual acquaintance who’d taken a friendly interest in my writing and cordial conversation in matters of common interest, and imposed myself upon (his) household to process the shock and to park my car overnight there. I’m lucky to be an outgoing conversationalist, or there might’ve been no one at all.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Now, towards the end of May 2014, the “dynamic duo” scenario repeats, with a somewhat different flavor — THIS time, I have some public pressure on my sister, for the first time in a long time. But it appears that Jean, and/or Jean through Ms. Hand approached Ms. Hardisty, and Hardisty (about ten days later!!) suddenly was too busy to, or couldn’t find me, or forgot my phone number, or didn’t remember that email exists, emails that Jean wants to resign — contact Ms. Hardisty.
I’m thinking about a letter to the California State Bar Association here, regardless of who holds which position of status on it. I believe this was unethical. Hand was unethical not to come to me (I am unrepresented and was, at the same time, dealing with her directly), but to instead reroute to someone who was thought to have INFLUENCE on me (Hardisty), in part because of their mutual knowledge I was in a desperate situation.
Moreover, Hardisty, in a passive control tactic (my interpretation) SAT on her information for nine days, and then apologized, making a less than credible excuse to my face when I, wanting to get to the bottom of this (and put a stop to it), walked into her office the other day and after hearing the information (and yes, I have the originating email) asked for my file back. I was then told I couldn’t have this file without paying a final bill (? taking my FILE hostage? What’s the purpose of that?).
The “you can’t have your file back” tune changed within about five minutes after someone I have sought help (publicizing help) with for the case, and who knew this was apparently illegal, said, “give me her phone#” and made what appears to be a very brief and polite call asking them to provide me with my file.
It was out-of-state eyes and ears on this situation which helped, and may continue to be. How do you think it feels to have an overtly Christian attorney (the classic fish icon is on the business card) and person I’ve spent a good deal of time with (from prior association), try to pull off something apparently illegal in addition to what I’d call questionable practice of first, allowing another attorney ON a case to use her as one OFF it, to attempt to influence its outcome?
I have also learned since, and checked repeatedly — it’s NOT illegal or unethical to fully distribute a trust to a beneficiary, if a trustee is resigning and it’s agreed upon. There are going to be tax consequences, there could be repercussions if there’s a lot of debt — but it’s NOT illegal.
As attorney formerly on the trust, Ms. H. has seen a good deal of evidence of how bad (hostile) a trustee my sister has been (I’m talking written evidence), but has never seen me fully functioning in my trade or profession. I have also in prior actions seen her NOT stand up to Hand when being handled too aggressively on a very innocent matter when SHE contacted Jean directly. I’m sure this was noted by Ms. Hand; I know how these things go. Hardisty quickly backed up and apologized, which I then protested.
So the ongoing issue from my perspective has been the continual pressure to compromise, and pushing to be a professional attorney on the trust as “the solution” to having Jean (with professional attorney just on call — not actually being a trustee) on it.
MY plan is to have a season of not dealing with attorneys and get the excess personnel OUT of my life. I already know basically what to do with this life when it’s freed, and while this may entail (and will) consulting professionals — I don’t want them steering it. THAT has to stop.
I’m not saying what I heard the plan was until I have some things confirmed, other than the plan is obviously to make sure I do not get TIMELY information in time to act properly on it.
To some it’s a joke? It’s not to me. Energies and time I would otherwise spend working, or doing things that people NOT targeted for some reason do — that’s MY time!
Take a look *Curriculum vitae: Ms. Hand is formidably qualified (connected) to defend my sister from all criticism or inquiries into trustee behaviors and put upstart beneficiaries such as myself in their place.
Which it seems was attempted mid-May not long after I invoiced my sister, putting (May 15th, herein) parts of it public. My invoices were for essentially a call to reason, and mercy (see post “@May 17th”) . Oddly formatted because I wanted them one-pagers and was tired of my requests for help being mischaraterized, right on them, I asked Jean to resign AND asked for receipts and an explanation of various mysterious payments disbursed to (unknown persons) while I was on Food Stamps and often without funds for basic “anythings”…. while Jean was ignoring my consistent demands she change her practices endangering me, apparently confident in her right to not giving a cr@p:
Member: Alameda County, Contra Costa County and American Bar Associations; State Bar of California;*
Past Chair, Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law Advisory Commission to the Board of Specialization, California State Bar;
The Commission sets the standards for specialist certification in the area of Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law and administers the specialist exam.
San Francisco Magazine, Top 50 Female Super Lawyers, Northern California, 2005
San Francisco Magazine, Super Lawyers, Northern California, 2006
San Francisco Magazine, Top 50 Female Super Lawyers, Northern California, 2007
San Francisco Magazine, Top 50 Female Super Lawyers, Northern California, 2008
San Francisco Magazine, Top 100 Super Lawyers, Northern California, 2009, 2010, 2011
Past Chair, Trust Committee of the Alameda County Bar Association Estate Planning Trust and Probate Law Section
(is that enough Bars to be member of: two county, state and the ABA?)
The Law Firm incorporation date is 2004:
From her experience both mediating and litigating probate disputes, Margaret M. Hand has developed expertise in crafting practical estate planning solutions for both simple and complicated families. She is a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law and one of Northern
California’s Super Lawyers. She lectures at professional education programs throughout California, teaches fiduciary accounting for the CalCPA Education Foundation, and has published a variety of chapters, workbooks and articles on estate planning, probate and trust law. She is a graduate of U. C. Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law.
[J.D. 1993, and B.A. University of San Diego, 1989]
David D. Little*
David D. Little has been a litigator since becoming a member of the California Bar in 2000, and has considerable experience in both the State and federal courts of Northern California. He focuses his practice primarily in the areas of trust and estate litigation, estate planning, probate and trust administration. Mr. Little is a certified legal specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law by the Board of Legal Specialization of the State Bar of California. He also serves as a commissioner on the Board of Legal Specialization’s Estate Planning Law Advisory Commission. Mr. Little is a member the State Bar of California’s Trust and Estate and Taxation sections, the Alameda County Bar Association’s Trust and Estate section, and is a Past President of the East Bay Estate Planning Council. He lectures and writes frequently throughout California on estate planning, administration and litigation. David received his J.D. from the University of San Francisco  and his B.S. degree in Finance  from San Jose State University.
[I have no dealings with Mr. Little. He’s a more recent member of the bar. He appears to have been born around the time i graduated from one of the top ten music schools in the country and passed the bar around the time the profession of music which I’d just re-engaged in (as a single mother post-separation) was rapidly reconstructed, sufficient to support my own household and then rapidly DEconstructed, through events centering specifically around Jean Pfann and Jim Morgan’s attempts (through the family law system, and ongoing related circumstances) to take both my daughters from me if I didn’t take their orders (issued through my ex, Eric Englund — who has NO college degree), a direct attack on who I was, and what I was doing at the time.
They FAILED in this attempt, legally, but did succeed physically, which is I guess all that matters to some people –winning. This then reduced the child support debt I was owed, curtailed receipt of anything at all within 30 days, and so traumatized me I never got the music back up to sustainable, again. It was a horrible and unnecessary experience, but DID produce what I gather is the desired result– forced continued dependency and poverty on my part. I knew that the dependency was intended, was only to learn in 2010 what the rest of the agenda was, which can be seen in my petition, I believe.
Some moments to emote:
I do have degrees – and mine were from 1977 and 1988, respectively. What I see from the timeframe, now I’m getting older, is that about the time this attorney was getting her BA in (whichever field it was) at U San Diego, I was getting my second bachelors (through a work/study program FYI), the first one being in music (piano) from Oberlin Conservatory, had moved out to California. Between 1989 and 1993 what I did was marry, and give birth to two daughters. While pregnant with the second daughter my lovely husband began his program of battering (assault and battery). It could’ve been worse (no broken bones, but by the end there were teeth knocked loose from a particularly violent throw and I will affirm, this was a nightmare decade that one somehow functions throughout because life, and particularly being a parent, requires one function).
I have also sat one time in front of a judge who got his first degree after I got my second, years later.
If there is no recognition of the violence that occurs in our lives, and it’s assumed that people with intact careers are somehow morally superior, or more intelligent, because their lives (being attorneys) haven’t been ripped apart by domestic violence, after which the family court system — then what we have is EXACTLY what I’m facing here. And (sorry all you decent guys), some of it is a gender issue. We now have competent adult women (with or without the degrees which I was fortunate to have) being treated like children, in communications from siblings and/or communication from attorneys the siblings may have hired to help with their forms of personal abuse and attempt to — what else — appropriate the assets.
BOILERPLATE TEXT, at the bottom of most posts. Please DO click if you have the wherewithal!
[THIS BOILERPLATE TEXT will be at the bottom of every Update Post.]
Thank you for continuing to find signers for this petition, or using the publication buttons following any post (Google+, Twitter, Facebook, “Press This” if you’re a wordpress blogger).Also if anyone has any bright ideas about the situation which don’t entail, “go knock on another social service door” or “find a lawyer,” I’m all ears.
(Four or five clicks of even $5.00 each would make my day, any day, if you are able. Help me get away from Jean Pfann, to a safer place, and out of help-seeking mode!!)
Donations = for Survival, Until I can Access Funds in my Name, Move Away, and safely, this time, Reboot My Work life. Until, I Hope, Jean Pfann Hears the Petition.
Any one who can’t Donate, CAN still: sign, Tweet, Post the petition link to Your Facebook, Your Blog, tell (email) a Friend, tell a stranger, tell your mother, tell your brother: Sign