Charles H. Dickenson

Of Counsel

  • Biography

    Chuck is a Napa native and has practiced law with DP&F since 1978. He focuses on civil litigation and has served as mediator of civil disputes. He utilizes creative and cost effective representation to resolve wine industry related disputes, will contests and undue influence claims, business and real property disputes, and commercial landlord/tenant disputes, among others.

  • Education
    • J.D., UC Hastings College of Law, San Francisco (1978)
    • B.A., University of California, Berkeley (1975)
  • Associations
    • California Bar Association
    • Napa County Bar Association (President, 2003)
    • Society of California Pioneers
    • Hands Across the Valley (a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting hunger in Napa Valley), Member, Board of Directors 
    • Napa Community Bank, Member, Founding Board of Directors
    • Justin Siena High School Corporation Board, Past Trustee
    • Napa Valley Symphony Association Annual Sustaining Fund, Past General Chairman
    • University of California Bear Backer Council, Past Member
  • Recognition
    • Highest rating (“AV Preeminent”) from Martindale Hubbell
    • Honored as a Northern California “Super Lawyer” by Law & Politics
    • Recognized as a 2013 Top Rated Lawyer in Commercial Litigation
  • Representative Matters

    Successfully prosecuted Napa Probate Court action by decedent’s family members against his caregiver to invalidate bequest of his entire estate to her  due to his testamentary incapacity, despite the adverse testimony of  his drafting attorney, accountant, and multiple independent witnesses who attested his will and trust. Recovered one half of the estate at Superior Court mediation.

    Conversely, successfully represented two caregivers and defensed Sonoma Probate Court action by two nationally known charitable foundations to invalidate decedent’s trust and bequests to the caregivers, despite lack of the statutorily required Certificate of Independent Review of the will and trust. Obtained a complete dismissal of the action, confirmation of the full bequests to the caregivers, and a contribution by contestants to caregivers’ attorney’s fees and costs of defense.

    Successfully defended real estate purchasers against claims of fraud and elder abuse by obtaining a pre-trial judgment and then obtaining at trial a judgment against the seller for breach of contract and recovering from seller in excess of $250,000, including attorney’s fees, interest and sanctions after more than a year of multiple judgment enforcement procedures.

    Defended trustees in estate claim exceeding $3 million, successfully enjoining foreclosure sale of estate property, and reducing Creditor’s Claim by approximately 90%.

    Recovered $1,125,000 for 80 year old victim of vehicular collision involving non-surgical fractures.

    Recovered approximately $670,000 for victim of multi-vehicular collision in litigation complicated by insufficient insurance, transfer of assets requiring Probate Court litigation, and issues involving extent and value of non-probate trust assets.

    Successfully recovered $460,000 following commencement of trial and thereafter uninsured motorist arbitration proceeding for victim of very low impact rear end collision which caused traumatic pericardial effusion of the heart in litigation involving highly contested medical causation, accident reconstruction, and biomechanical issues.

    Recovered approximately $850,000 for victim of out of state auto/truck collision.

    Defended a winery in grape purchase dispute, creatively utilizing surplus wine in lieu of cash to pay negotiated settlement reached at Superior Court mediation.