Pillet v. Kendrick

On December 18, Mr. Knudsen got a big win in the Court of Appeal for Commins & Knudsen clients Claire, Rosemary and Katherine Kendrick (the Kendrick daughters).

In 2005 Andrew Pillet sued Steve Kendrick and got a judgement for nearly $1 million. Mr. Pillet recorded an abstract against property Mr. Kendrick owned near Lake Tahoe. But the property was already subject to two senior liens totaling over $1.8 million. In 2009 Mr. Pillet recorded an amended abstract, which, with fees, costs and interest was now over $2 million, but still in third place.

In 2012, facing a big debt to another creditor, Mr. Kendrick transferred the property to his three daughters. In 2014, the Kendrick daughters transferred it to an LLC Mr. Kendrick owned. By then, according to Mr. Pillet, the property was worth almost $4 million.

In 2015 Mr. Pillet sued Mr. Kendrick seeking to set aside the 2012 and 2014 transfers.

The LLC defaulted and the holder of the senior liens foreclosed in 2017.

In early 2018 – 13 years after obtaining his original judgment – Mr. Pillet sued Mr. Kendrick again, this time for fraudulent conveyance, and Mr. Kenrick retained Commins & Knudsen. A few months later, Mr. Kendrick died and his daughters retained Commins & Knudsen.

Mr. Knudsen immediately recognized that Mr. Pillet could not have been harmed by the purportedly fraudulent transfers and on behalf of the Kendrick daughters moved for summary judgment, which was granted.

Mr. Pillet appealed. Oral argument was on the morning of December 18, 2020. Mr. Pillet’s attorney, David Cook, known for dogged collection efforts, used every minute of time for argument; he even brought up Queen Elizabeth I. But only a few hours after the argument, the Court of Appeal issued its opinion upholding the Superior Court’s ruling granting summary judgment.

Appellate Court Opinion [PDF]