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Ruben Sundeen

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Phone: (510) 663-9240 Ext: 16

428 - 13th Street
8th Floor
Oakland, California 94612

Ruben Sundeen has been practicing law since graduating from law school and passing the bar in 1996. Before entering law school, Mr. Sundeen worked as an environmental assessor and consultant at Raney Geotechnical in Sacramento.

Ruben Sundeen has a general civil practice with an emphasis in the area of estates and trusts as well as probate, real estate and business transactions and disputes. Mr. Sundeen's primary focus is on estate and trust administration and planning as well as litigation related to those fields.

In 2011, he was recognized as a "Super Lawyer." This designation is limited to the top 5 percent of attorneys in California.


J.D., University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (Boalt Hall), 1996
California Law Review, Member 1994-1996
Ecology Law Quarterly, Member 1993-1994
Boalt Hall Students Association, President 1995-1996
La Raza Law Students Association, Member 1993-1996

B.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1988

Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice

California, 1996

Professional & Bar Association Memberships

Alameda County Bar Association
Member Since: 1997

East Bay La Raza Lawyers Association
Member Since: 1997
President 2004, 2007 & 2008

Rotary Club of Oakland Sunrise
Member Since: 1996
President 1999-2000

Featured Cases and Matters

De Greeve Trust, Marin County, 2007
Represented two sisters who were 50% beneficiaries to grandmother's trust. Trustee had mismanaged trust, caused substantial losses and paid trust funds to himself. Was successful in having trustee removed, and clients appointed successor co-trustees. Prepared accounting charging former trustee with losses and damages that resulted in a favorable settlement to clients.

Acendi Corporation, San Francisco, 2006
Represented legal software company in dispute with business partner over ownership of intellectual property as well as audit of business.

Cheng Estate, Alameda County, 2005
Represented heir who was mother's caregiver. Administrator and his attorney were attempting to charge client with rent while he was caregiver as well as extraordinary costs of estate administration. Was successful in defending against claims and securing client's inheritance.

Applied Development Economics, Inc., Contra Costa County, 2005
Represented founder of corporation and one-third shareholder in dispute regarding buyout of shares. Used founder's ability to force a dissolution by lawsuit to negotiate a fair buyout as well as division of corporate and personal assets.

Menjivar v. Navarro, Contra Costa County, 2004
Represented out-of-possession owner who had moved out 12 years previously and only months after purchase of the property. Owner-in-possession disputed ownership claim of client. Filed a partition action on the part of client and negotiated a buy-out.

Helen Verline Williams Trust, Contra Costa County, 2003
Represented two children disinherited under an estate plan which was alleged to be the product of undue influence by one of their siblings. Filed a contest to the trust, and was able to negotiate a favorable settlement which resulted in a substantial payment to both clients.

Estate of Steinheimber, Alameda and San Francisco Counties, 2002
Represented estate of deceased attorney who died unexpectedly and with an active solo practice. Represented estate in litigation involving sale of practice, disputes with former clients, as well as provided advice regarding special duties related to the estate of an attorney.

Petty Estate, Alameda County, 2001
Represented son alleged to have committed financial elder abuse. Was successful in defense at trial of a claim of conversion and fraud against client.

Grant Trust, Alameda County, 2000
Represented nephew, who was sole heir to childless uncle. A friend of the uncle committed financial elder abuse, including using undue influence to get the uncle to execute a subsequent will and trust which benefited only the abuser and the abuser's son. Was successful in filing a contest to the subsequent estate plan which resulted in a favorable settlement and an administration under the former estate plan benefiting the nephew.

Featured Pro Bono Activities

Edwards v. Nightingale
Represented elder Jack T. Edwards in lawsuit against his wife's niece, who obtained title to the family residence (which was his wife's separate property) under questionable circumstances. Was able to keep Mr. Edwards in the family house until his physical condition forced him into a convalescent home.

Conservatorship of Ross
Represented Joyce Hall against allegations of elder abuse. Ms. Hall and the conservatee (who was childless) shared a parent-child relationship over several decades. When the Public Guardian was appointed Ms. Hall's conservator, they misunderstood the relationship and alleged that Ms. Hall was the victim of elder abuse. Was able to negotiate an amicable resolution of the situation.

Non-Legal Activities

Founding member of Oakland-based musical ensemble as well as several other recording groups since teens.

Member of the Diablo Adult Soccer League "Sidekicks" team since 1998.