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Jonathan D. Wolf

Jonathan D. Wolf


San Jose Office 408.286.5800 Vcard Email

Areas of Focus:

Mr. Wolf, chair of the Firm’s Business Litigation group, represents a variety of clients from individuals to large, publicly traded corporations in business disputes, probate and trust litigation and insurance coverage matters. He has extensive experience in litigating business, probate and trust and real estate disputes. Mr. Wolf also handles various insurance related matters and has served as an arbitrator or mediator on numerous occasions.

Mr. Wolf has been recognized as one of the top trust and estate litigators in Northern California and, since 2011, has been named a Super Lawyer in Estate and Trust Litigation.  Mr. Wolf also received a Top Rated Lawyer rating from AVVO in 2023, was selected as a 2019 Top Rated Lawyer by The Recorder, 2021 Best Lawyers in Northern California as reported by The Wall Street Journal, included in Best Lawyers In America in its 2019-2021 editions for trust and estate litigation, was one of the American Registry's Most Honored Lawyers for 2021, and received the AV Preeminent Rating in both legal ability and ethical standards for 2022. Mr. Wolf has served as an expert witness and as a seminar panelist on various issues of law.

Representative Cases

  • Represented a co-trustee in a case where a spouse, who was a trustor and trustee, sued her husband, who was also a trustor and trustee, and our client regarding the sale of commercial property owned by the trust; the case settled with our client paying no money; thereafter we continued to represent the co-trustee in the administration of the trust, which had assets in excess of $200,000,000
  • Won at trial a case where stepsiblings of our clients contested an amendment to a trust; at trial, the court ruled in our favor on all issues, including ruling that the amendment was valid
  • Represented a trust company on a petition, which was granted by the court in its entirety, that assets in the surviving spouse’s trust did not have to be shared with the beneficiaries of the deceased spouse’s trust
  • Successfully represented co-trustees, including a bank’s trust department, on claims regarding the attempted invasion of trust principal by a beneficiary, including having the judgment affirmed on appeal
  • Represented a beneficiary who was not receiving the correct trust distributions; the case involved seven different trusts and the trustees had failed to properly calculate the amounts owed to our client under the various trusts; we calculated the distributions correctly and convinced the trustees to distribute additional funds to our client
  • Represented a beneficiary and co‑trustee against other beneficiaries and co‑trustees in a trust valued at more than $140,000,000; case involved more than a dozen pieces of property, more than 20 real estate partnerships/LLC’s, complicated issues of estate taxes, marital deductions, valuations, and claims of breach of fiduciary duty
  • Represented a private fiduciary as independent trustee and personal representative involving an estate and trust with real estate and bank accounts overseas; successfully obtained significant reduction in potential income tax liability for the decedent and his companies
  • Successfully represented a partnership, LLC’s and individual partners and members against a former partner in a partnership and corporate dispute; ultimate resolution of the case confirmed that the former partner was validly removed from the partnership and that his interest had been crammed down
  • Obtained a large settlement for the beneficiary of client’s father’s trust; case involved issues concerning the validity of the trust documents based on mental incapacity of the decedent and the undue influence of other beneficiaries
  • Successfully defended landowner of agricultural property concerning an easement dispute with neighboring landowner; obtained a settlement whereby the neighboring landowner released the client’s property from any easement claim
  • Represented two sibling beneficiaries against their other sibling in a trust dispute concerning the distribution of their parents’ trust; case involved assets in excess of $20,000,000 and was ultimately settled favorably to the clients
  • Successfully represented a trustee who was the son of the decedent, against his stepmother regarding claims concerning the validity of the trust and ownership of certain trust assets; case involved successfully litigating a will contest and a trust contest and successfully defending those rulings on appeal
  • Represented an apartment owner on a construction defect claim on a 400-unit apartment complex; obtained a multi‑million dollar settlement
  • Represented an apartment owner on a construction defect claim; obtained a settlement in excess of the actual cost of repair
  • Successfully represented life insurance company in litigation disputing the life insurance company’s denial of coverage; convinced plaintiff’s attorney to dismiss the case for nuisance value
  • Represented Fortune 1000 company in successfully recovering money embezzled by an employee; most of the embezzled funds were recovered
  • Represented partner of a professional firm concerning his departure; obtained a settlement that released the partner from any non‑competition restrictions
  • Represented the majority member of an LLC against claims of a minority member for breach of fiduciary duty
  • Represented Silicon Valley company against competitor company in a trade secrets case; case involved former shareholders and employees who left the client’s company to start a competing business
  • Successfully represented independent trustee of the trust against claims by a beneficiary contesting his disinheritance; claim involved a successful determination from the trial court and a successful determination from the Court of Appeal


  • Born in Paterson, New Jersey
  • Married with three children

Professional Admissions

  • State Bar of California, 1986 - present

Activities / Memberships

  • Silicon Valley Bar Association, "Marrying into Elder Abuse" seminar, Panelist, 2014
  • Santa Clara County Bar Association, Chairperson, Insurance Law Executive Committee 2002
  • California Insurance Law & Regulation Reporter, Editorial Board
  • Insurance Litigation Reporter, Editorial Board
  • Santa Clara County Bar Association, 1986 - present, Insurance Law Section, Executive Committee, 1996 - present, Business Litigation Section, Executive Committee, 1987 – 1988, Court Appointed Mediator
  • West Valley College Insurance Law, Faculty, 1995
  • San Jose State University, Guest Lecturer, 1994
  • West Valley College, Guest Lecturer, 1992 – 1993


  • Santa Clara University School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 1986, Board of Editors, Santa Clara Law Review
  • George Washington University, B.A., Public Affairs, 1983