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Sen. Feinstein family legal drama sent to private mediation

Sen. Feinstein family legal drama sent to private mediation

SAN FRANCISCO — The bitter legal drama around Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s family finances might be resolved out of the limelight after weeks of embarrassing revelations.

A judge on Monday ordered the parties in a dispute over the estate of the senator’s late husband to resolve their differences through mediation — generally a private process that will keep further details about the family finances out of public view.

Superior Court Judge Roger Picquet, presiding over the first public hearing in the case, urged a settlement to litigation that has made national headlines and raised fresh questions about Feinstein’s ability to serve in the Senate.

“I am looking for a global outcome, if we can get it,” said Picquet, who was brought in from San Luis Obispo County because Katherine Feinstein, the senator’s daughter, is a former San Francisco judge.

Katherine Feinstein has filed suit against the trust established by the senator’s late billionaire husband, Richard Blum, to force reimbursement for her mother’s medical bills and compel the sale of a family beach house north of San Francisco.

All parties said they welcomed negotiations — though there were indications it may be a difficult to reach a resolution.

Katherine Feinstein has accused the managers of Blum’s estate in legal filings of “financial elder abuse” and sought to remove them from overseeing her mother’s marital trust. The elder Feinstein, who was absent from the Senate for nearly three months due to a bout of shingles, has been dogged by concerns about her memory issues and overall health.

The Blum trustees have denied wrongdoing and alleged the dispute is driven by Katherine Feinstein’s greed, not her mother’s needs. They have questioned whether the daughter should have power of attorney for the senator.

Sen. Feinstein is in Washington and was not present for the hearing. Her daughter appeared remotely by remote video and did not speak during the hearing.

Much of the hearing revolved around the dispute over Feinstein’s attempt to sell the house in a gated community in Stinson Beach, which is worth an estimated $5.6 million.

Read the complete article here.

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