Mark A. Lester
Attorney Mark A. Lester is an estate planning attorney with extensive experience in a succession planning, probate, trust administration, and trust and estate litigation. He also has substantial experience with business transactions, business litigation, taxation, and real property law. Mr. Lester has received an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell for maintaining the highest standards of professional and ethical excellence in the legal community.
In a career spanning over 35 years, Mr. Lester is widely recognized for his legal achievements. He has been certified as an estate planning, trust, and probate law specialist by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. In 2016 he ends his five-year term as one of the nine appointed commissioners of the Estate Planning Law Advisory Commission (and this year’s chairman), which Commission is responsible for administering and grading the certification examination and approving the application for California attorneys seeking to become California Certified Specialists in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law. Mr. Lester has been selected to serve a four-year term beginning in October 2016 as a Trustee of the Board of Legal Specialization of the State Bar of California. In 2015, Mr. Lester was recognized as a Southern California Super Lawyer TM in both Estate Planning & Probate and Estate & Trust Litigation areas of the law, and again recognized in 2016 as a Southern California Super Lawyer TM in Estate & Trust Litigation. In 2008, he was named one of the Ten Most Dependable Lawyers of California by Goldline Research for his trusts & estates practice.
Mr. Lester earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University in 1977. In 1980, he earned his Juris Doctor degree from Seattle University School of Law. While attending law school, he was Chairman of the Membership Committee of Phi Delta Phi and an Associate Editor for the Puget Sound Law Review, now known as the Seattle University Law Review. He also received the American Jurisprudence Award in Trusts and Estates. After graduating from law school, Mr. Lester went on to earn his Master of Laws, or LL.M., Taxation degree from Boston University School of Law in 1981.
Since completing his distinguished legal education, Mr. Lester has been admitted to practice by the State Bar of California, the U.S. District Courts for the Central, Northern, Southern, and Eastern Districts of California, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the U.S. Tax Court. He is an active member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, serving as a volunteer for the Attorney-Client Dispute Resolution Services Panel. Mr. Lester also has memberships with the Ventura County Bar Association and the California Young Lawyers Association, where he previously served as Director and Vice President between 1984 and 1986.
On eight separate occasions during the period 2003 to 2015, Mr. Lester has taught continuing legal educations courses for National Business Institute (“NBI”) in the areas of estate planning, will drafting, trusts and estates administration, and estate planning and recovery for elderly clients and is currently scheduled to teach “The Ultimate Guide to Probate” in August 2016 for NBI. In 2015, Loye M. Barton and Mr. Lester presented the program “Ethically Managing an Estate Planning Practice” to the Ventura County Bar Association Probate & Estate Planning Section.
Mr. Lester has an established reputation in the legal community as a respected trial attorney. His reported cases include Christie v. Kimball (2012) 202 Cal. App. 4th 1407, 136 Cal. Rptr. 3d 516, Estate of Odian (2006) 145 Cal. App. 4th 152, 51 Cal. Rptr. 3d 390, and Askari v. R&R Land Company (1986) 179 Cal. App. 3d 1101, 225 Cal. Rptr. 285. Mr. Lester has also served as a Voluntary Settlement Officer for the Probate Department and as a Judge pro Tempore for the Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Mr. Lester is a local community leader as well, serving on the Board of Directors for the Oxnard Police Foundation, the golf committee for the Ventura County Council Boy Scouts of America, and as an Assistant Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 485, where three of his sons attained the rank of Eagle Scout. He is also an avid outdoorsman with a fondness for golfing, camping, and hiking.