People: John T. Rogers, Jr., Senior Counsel

Photo of John T. Rogers, Jr., Senior Counsel

John T. Rogers, Jr.

Senior Counsel

Los Angeles - Downtown
Direct: (213) 270-9677
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John Rogers is senior counsel in the Trusts and Estates practice group of Seyfarth Shaw LLP. He specializes in trust, estate, and conservatorship administration and litigation, as well as estate planning, alternative dispute resolution, and professional responsibility.  In trust and estate administration, Mr. Rogers has represented corporate and individual fiduciaries and beneficiaries in a variety of highly complex and often disputed matters.  He has acted as an expert witness or consultant in a number of cases involving such issues as breach of fiduciary duty and attorney ethics and malpractice.

Certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization as a specialist in estate planning, trust and probate law, Mr. Rogers has advised and advocated for clients located throughout the country and overseas on matters of California law.  Examples include the following:

  • Use of substituted judgment to carry out the charitable intent of an incapacitated philanthropist with a net worth of nearly $200 million
  • Trial and collection of a multimillion dollar judgment from the estate of a trustee found to have breached her fiduciary duties
  • Representation of a prominent U.S. charity in monitoring numerous estate and trust administrations throughout California and protecting the charity’s beneficial interests
  • Trial leading to protection of an elderly client from financial abuse by family members
  • In the California Court of Appeal, obtaining reversal of a judgment that would have resulted in a public university being liable for a portion of an estate’s income tax liability
  • Retention as an expert witness in a malpractice case involving alleged estate planning mistakes with potential damages over $100 million

Mr. Rogers is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC).  He is a member and past Chair of ACTEC’s Professional Responsibility Committee, a member and past Chair of its Technology in the Practice Committee, and a member of its Fiduciary Litigation Committee.  He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the ACTEC Foundation.

A qualified mediator, Mr. Rogers was an inaugural member of the Los Angeles County Superior Court's Probate Mediation Panel, which was established during his tenure as Chair of the Trusts and Estates Section of the Los Angeles County  Bar Association.  Mr. Rogers is currently a Settlement Officer for the Court’s Pro Bono Probate Settlement Program.

John Rogers is senior counsel in the Trusts and Estates practice group of Seyfarth Shaw LLP. He specializes in trust, estate, and conservatorship administration and litigation, as well as estate planning, alternative dispute resolution, and professional responsibility.  In trust and estate administration, Mr. Rogers has represented corporate and individual fiduciaries and beneficiaries in a variety of highly complex and often disputed matters.  He has acted as an expert witness or consultant in a number of cases involving such issues as breach of fiduciary duty and attorney ethics and malpractice.

Certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization as a specialist in estate planning, trust and probate law, Mr. Rogers has advised and advocated for clients located throughout the country and overseas on matters of California law.  Examples include the following:

  • Use of substituted judgment to carry out the charitable intent of an incapacitated philanthropist with a net worth of nearly $200 million
  • Trial and collection of a multimillion dollar judgment from the estate of a trustee found to have breached her fiduciary duties
  • Representation of a prominent U.S. charity in monitoring numerous estate and trust administrations throughout California and protecting the charity’s beneficial interests
  • Trial leading to protection of an elderly client from financial abuse by family members
  • In the California Court of Appeal, obtaining reversal of a judgment that would have resulted in a public university being liable for a portion of an estate’s income tax liability
  • Retention as an expert witness in a malpractice case involving alleged estate planning mistakes with potential damages over $100 million

Mr. Rogers is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC).  He is a member and past Chair of ACTEC’s Professional Responsibility Committee, a member and past Chair of its Technology in the Practice Committee, and a member of its Fiduciary Litigation Committee.  He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the ACTEC Foundation.

A qualified mediator, Mr. Rogers was an inaugural member of the Los Angeles County Superior Court's Probate Mediation Panel, which was established during his tenure as Chair of the Trusts and Estates Section of the Los Angeles County  Bar Association.  Mr. Rogers is currently a Settlement Officer for the Court’s Pro Bono Probate Settlement Program.

Education

  • J.D., University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law (1981)
  • B.S., Stanford University (1978)
    with distinction

Admissions

  • California

Courts

  • Supreme Court of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

Affiliations

  • American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC)
              Member and past Chair, Professional Responsibility Committee
              Member and past Chair, Technology in the Practice Committee
              Member, Fiduciary Litigation Committee
  • Board of Directors, American College of Trust and Estate Counsel Foundation
  • American Bar Association Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law
              Member, Ethics and Malpractice Committee
              Member, Probate and Fiduciary Litigation Committee
  • Los Angeles County Superior Court Probate Settlement Officer
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
              Member and past Chair, Trusts and Estates Section
              Member and past Executive Committee Member, Taxation Section
  • Los Angeles Estate Planning Council (Member and past President)
  • Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP)
  • Accredited Estate Planner®, National Association of Estate Planners and Councils

Presentations

  • “Death Bytes: Planning and Administering the Digital Estate,” South Bay Estate Planning Council, Torrance, CA (March 2014)
  • Panelist, “Managing Cyber Risks: Are You, Your Firm, and Your Clients Cyber-Safe?”  American College of Trust and Estate Counsel Annual Meeting, Tucson, AZ (March 2014)
  • “Virtual Assets in an Estate Plan - Distribution of Digital Assets,” 50th Annual Hawaii Tax Institute, Honolulu, HI (November 2013)
  • “Staying Out of Court:  Mediation and Arbitration of Estate and Trust Disputes,” 50th Annual Hawaii Tax Institute, Honolulu, HI (November 2013)
  • Moderator and Panelist, “Ethical Issues - The Anatomy and Life Cycle of a Trust,” American College of Trust and Estate Counsel Summer Meeting, Philadelphia, PA (June 2013)
  • Panelist, “Staying Out of Court:  Better Mediation in Trust and Estate Disputes,” ABA Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law 24th Annual Spring Symposia, Washington, DC, May 2013
  • “Where No Ethics Have Gone Before:  Staying on the Right Course in an Expanding Universe of Technology,” 49th Annual Hawaii Tax Institute, Honolulu, HI (November 2012)
  • Panelist, “Advising Families in Business,” American College of Trust and Estate Counsel Summer Meeting, Colorado Springs, CO (June 2012)
  • “Where No Ethics Have Gone Before:  Staying on the Right Course in an Expanding Universe of Technology,” American College of Trust and Estate Counsel Annual Meeting, Miami, FL (March 2012)
  • “Avoiding and Managing Litigation for All Wealth Transfer Advisors,” 48th Annual Hawaii Tax Institute, Honolulu, HI (December 2011)
  • “Who’s the Client?  An Ethical Journey Through the Complexity of a Basic Question,” 48th Annual Hawaii Tax Institute, Honolulu, HI (December 2011)
  • “Fiduciary Risk and Litigation,” Family Office Exchange Workshop, San Francisco, CA (November 2011)
  • “Lawyer Misconduct in Trusts and Estates Practice,” Office of Chief Trial Counsel of the State Bar of California, Los Angeles, CA (June 2011)
  • “Avoiding and Managing Litigation (For Planners and Fiduciaries),” American Law Institute - American Bar Association, Madison, WI (June 2011)
  • “Fiduciary Accountings - What Is Required and Why?” 47th Annual Hawaii Tax Institute, Honolulu, HI (November 2010)
  • “Attention All Wealth Transfer Advisors:  Watch What You Put in Your Emails!,” 47th Annual Hawaii Tax Institute, Honolulu, HI (November 2010)
  • “New Ethical Dilemmas - Keeping Up With a Changing World,” Santa Clara University School of Law Sixth Annual Jerry Kasner Estate Planning Symposium, San Jose, CA (September 2010)
  • Panelist, “What To Do When the Client Slips the Leash: Real-World Trust Litigation and Ethics, As You Hope You’ll Never Have to See Them,” ABA Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law (RPTE) 21st Annual Spring Symposia, Philadelphia, PA (May 2010)
  • Moderator and Panelist, “Where No Ethics Have Gone Before - Doing Right in a Changing World,” 44th Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, Orlando, FL (January 2010)
  • “Recent Legal Developments of Importance to Fiduciaries,” Southern California Trust Officers Association, Los Angeles, CA (January 2010)
  • “Who’s the Client? Ethics for Trust and Estate Counsel (Including Comments on the Fourth Edition of the ACTEC Commentaries),” Nebraska Continuing Legal Education, Omaha, NE (May 2009)
  • Panelist, “Challenging the Will,” The Rutter Group, Los Angeles, CA (April 2009)
  • Panelist, “Where There’s a Will, There’s Metadata: Are Your Clients’ (And Your Own) Secrets Really Safe?” American College of Trust and Estate Counsel Annual Meeting, Rancho Mirage, CA (March 2009)
  • “But My Computer Ate It - Secrets You Need to Know About Electronic Information and E-Discovery,” American College of Trust and Estate Counsel Western Region Meeting, Koloa, Kauai, HI (September 2008)
  • Moderator and Panelist, “Estate and Trust Litigation 2008,” The Rutter Group, Los Angeles and San Francisco, CA (March 2008)
  • “Ethical Issues for Estate Planners,” national teleseminar sponsored by various state bar associations (December 2007)
  • Panelist, “20 Tough Ethics Questions for Trust and Estate Lawyers,” American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, telephone and webcast seminar (October 2007)
  • “Who’s the Client? Ethics for Trust and Estate Counsel (Including Comments on the Fourth Edition of the ACTEC Commentaries),” Orange County Bar Association, Orange, CA (September 2007)
  • Panelist, “Simplified Trial Resolution from an Estate Planner’s and a Litigator’s Point of View,” 41st Annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, Orlando, FL (January 2007)
  • “What’s Hot in Trusts and Estates:  Recent Cases and Legislation,” Los Angeles Estate Planning Council, Los Angeles, CA (November 2006)
  • “Who’s the Client? Ethics for Trust and Estate Counsel (Including Comments on the Fourth Edition of the ACTEC Commentaries),” 37th Annual Estate Planning Institute, Practising Law Institute, San Francisco, CA (October 2006)
  • Moderator and Panelist, “Solving Complex Issues in Estate and Trust Litigation,” The Rutter Group,  San Francisco and Los Angeles, CA (April 2006)
  • “Who’s the Client? Ethics for Trust and Estate Counsel (Including Comments on the Fourth Edition of the ACTEC Commentaries),” American College of Trust and Estate Counsel Western Region Meeting, Seattle, WA (May 2005)
  • “Who’s the Client? Ethics for Trust and Estate Counsel,” State Bar of California Section Education Institute, San Francisco, CA (January 2005)
  • Moderator and Panelist,  “Trust Administration and Litigation 2004,” The Rutter Group, San Francisco and Los Angeles, CA (June 2004)
  • “Ten Things You Should Know About Community Property,” California Society of Certified Public Accountants, Los Angeles, CA (June 2004)
  • “Ethical Issues in Practice; Important Fiduciary Litigation,” American Law Institute, American Bar Association, New York, NY (April 2004)
  • “New Legislative Issues in Estate Planning,” Los Angeles Estate Planning Council, Los Angeles, CA (January 2004)
  • “Ethical Issues in Practice; Important Fiduciary Litigation,” American Law Institute, American Bar Association, San Francisco, CA (November 2003)
  • “Litigating the Undue Influence Issue,” National College of Probate Judges, Hilton Head, SC  (November 2003)
  • “Ethics Issues for New Attorneys,”  Beverly Hills Bar Association, Beverly Hills, CA (July 2003)
  • “The Duties of an Arizona Fiduciary’s Lawyer to Non-Clients,” State Bar of Arizona, Phoenix, AZ  (May 2003)
  • Panelist:  “Estate and Trust Litigation,” The Rutter Group - Los Angeles, CA (April 2003)
  • “Who’s the Client? Ethics for Trust and Estate Counsel,” Beverly Hills Bar Association, Beverly Hills, CA (March 2003)
  • “Ethics for Fiduciary Counsel,” Pasadena Bar Association, Pasadena, CA (October 2002)
  • “Doing the Right Thing and Winning:  Ethics for Trust and Estate Counsel,” Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN (October 2002)
  •  “Ethics for Fiduciary Counsel, Representing Estate and Trust Beneficiaries,” American Law Institute - American Bar Association, San Francisco, CA (July 2002)
  • Panelist, “Estate and Trust Litigation 2001,” The Rutter Group, Los Angeles and Orange County, CA (April 2001)
  • “Construction, Instruction, and Reformation,” Third Annual ACTEC Florida-California Litigation Program, Napa Valley, CA (November 2000)
  • “Trust Litigation 2000 - Recent Trends and Developments,” National College of Probate Judges, Indian Wells, CA (November 2000)
  • Panelist and Co-Moderator, “Trusts 2000,” The Rutter Group, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego, CA (March 2000)
  • “What’s New in Software and Hardware for the Trusts and Estates Practitioner,” American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, Wailea, Maui, HI (March 1999)
  • “The Prudent Investor Rule:  Practical Considerations,” Pasadena Bar Association, Pasadena, CA (November 1998)
  • “Are Trustees in Trouble?” Boys & Girls Club of Inland North County, Escondido, CA (October 1998)
  • Moderator, American College of Trust and Estate Counsel Western Region Meeting, Beverly Hills, CA (September 1998)
  • “The Prudent Investor Rule:  Practical Considerations,” Los Angeles Estate Planning Council, Los Angeles, CA (April 1998)
  • “The Prudent Investor Rule:  Practical Considerations,” Southern California Trust Officers’ Association, Los Angeles, CA (April 1998)
  • Panelist, “Estate and Trust Litigation,” The Rutter Group, Los Angeles, CA (June 1997)
  • “Fiduciary Accountings:  What is Required and Why,” Professional Fiduciary Association of California, Universal City, CA (May 1997)
  • “Progressing on the Internet,” American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, Rancho Mirage, CA  (March 1997)
  • Panelist, “Mediation in the Los Angeles County Probate Court,” Los Angeles County Bar Association, Los Angeles, CA (December 1996)
  • Panelist, “Probate Litigation 1995,” The Rutter Group, Los Angeles, CA (May 1995)
  • “Hazardous Waste and Fiduciary Liability,” Wells Fargo Continuing Legal Education Series, Los Angeles, CA (May 1995)
  • “Annuities and Employee Benefits,” Basic Estate and Gift Taxation and Planning, American Law Institute - American Bar Association, Scottsdale, AZ (March 1995)
  • Panelist, “Probate Litigation 1994,” The Rutter Group, Costa Mesa, CA (May 1994)
  • Moderator, “Drafting Wills and Related Estate Planning Documents,”  CEB, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, CA (April 1994)
  • “Hazardous Waste and Fiduciary Liability,” Lawyers Club of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA (May 1993)
  • Panelist, “Probate Alternatives,” The Rutter Group, Los Angeles, CA (May 1993)
  • Panelist, “Will Contests and Other Probate Litigation,” The Rutter Group, Los Angeles, CA (April 1992)
  • Panelist, “Drafting Wills and Related Estate Planning Documents,” CEB, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, CA (April 1992)
  • Panelist, “Computers in the Trusts and Estates Practice,” Los Angeles County Bar Association Annual Probate Symposium, Los Angeles, CA (April 1991)
  • Panelist, “Fundamentals of Estate Planning,” CEB, Santa Monica, CA (April 1991)
  • “Special Problems Related to Trust and Probate Transfers of Entertainment-Related Assets,” Beverly Hills Bar Association, Beverly Hills, CA (March 1990)
  • Panelist, “Probate Update,” The Rutter Group, Los Angeles, CA (January 1990)
  • Panelist, “Fundamentals of Estate Planning,” CEB, Los Angeles, CA (June 1989)
  • “Hazardous Waste and Fiduciary Responsibilities,” Los Angeles County Bar Association Annual Probate Symposium, Los Angeles, CA (April 1989)
  • Panelist, “Probate ’88,” The Rutter Group, Los Angeles, CA (October 1988)
  • Panelist, “Alternatives to Probate,” The Rutter Group, Los Angeles, CA (May 1987)

Publications

  • Co-Author, “Trusty Trustees - What Every Trustee Should Know About California Law,” 73 California CPA 31 (March/April 2005)
  • Author, “Who’s the Client? Ethics for Trust and Estate Counsel,” 10 ALI-ABA Estate Planning Course Materials Journal 37 (August 2004)
  • Co-Author, “Statutes of Limitations for Malpractice Claims in Estate Planning,” 31 Estate Planning 259 (June 2004)
  • Contributing author, “Modification of Duties and Liabilities of Trustees,” 29 ACTEC Journal 114 (2003)
  • Contributing author, “Contesting Inter Vivos Trusts,” 26 ACTEC Notes 221 (2000)
  • Consultant, Drafting California Revocable Living Trusts (California Continuing Education of the Bar)
  • Author, “Avoiding Malpractice Claims in Planning and Administration,” 22 Estate Planning 359 (November/December 1995)
  • Co-Author, California Practice Guide:  Trusts - Administration and Litigation, The Rutter Group, publication pending

Accolades

  • Best Lawyers in America®
  • Southern California Super Lawyers®
  • Who’s Who in American Law®