WASHINGTON, April 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Below is a statement by Lanny J. Davis, legal advisor to Bradford Lund.
With all due respect, the California Supreme Court's recent decision to summarily deny Bradford Lund's request to appeal the decision by Los Angeles County Probate Court Judge David J. Cowan that denied him his due process rights is most disappointing and hard to understand. And it has troubling legal implications far beyond this case and the state of California. Here are three indisputable facts that the California Supreme Court, in its one sentence denial of review, did not address:
Fact One: Bradford Lund was judged to be fully competent by two courts – in Arizona and California. In July 2016, an Arizona Superior Court judge, after a 10-day trial, following medical expert examination and testimony and questioning of Mr. Lund by the judge on the witness stand, issued a detailed written verdict confirming his competence. That verdict was upheld unanimously by the Arizona Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court of Arizona denied review in 2019. In 2014, a California probate judge, after an extensive trial, also found Brad Lund to be competent.
Fact Two: The Los Angeles Probate Judge Cowan never has allowed Brad Lund to have trial on the issue of his competence because his competence was NOT at issue. Instead, Judge Cowan ignored the Arizona verdict and then made an indisputably false statement in open court – stating on the record that he would not allow Mr. Lund to receive his just inheritance because he "may" have Down Syndrome. Then when presented with the DNA evidence that contradicted that possibility and was asked by Mr. Lund's counsel to withdraw his false statement, Judge Cowan's one-word answer was: "Denied."
Fact Three: Judge Cowan, based on this demonstrably false statement about Down Syndrome, deprived Mr. Lund his constitutional right to choose his own counsel and, instead, appointed a substitute attorney, called a "guardian ad litem" (GAL"), against Mr. Lund's wishes without a hearing or due process of law. Now Mr. Lund demands a trial – and Judge Cowan has refused.
If this could happen to Brad Lund, grandson of Walt Disney, it could – and does – happen to victims of abuses by the probate court system and hostile trustees or "guardians" across the nation, as proven by multiple media investigative reports across the nation, including the Los Angeles Times and The New Yorker. Mr. Lund will continue to fight for justice in his own case and his right to due process, including in a federal civil rights case filed in Los Angeles County U.S. District Court. And he and his family will also dedicate themselves to helping grassroots organizations across the country to reform, finally, the probate system in this country.
For further information call: Eleanor McManus (202-460-1451)
SOURCE Lanny Davis