Kristen E. Caverly

Kristen E. Caverly

Henderson, Caverly & Pum LLP

Recognized since 2016

San Diego, California

Practice Areas

Commercial Litigation

Litigation - Trusts and Estates

Trusts and Estates

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Kristen E. Caverly is a founding partner of Henderson, Caverly, Pum & Trytten LLP, and she is the Chair of the Litigation Group at the firm. Ms. Caverly provides advice, counsel and representation to Henderson, Caverly, Pum & Trytten LLP clients in estate and trust controversies, probate matters, contested guardianships and conservatorships, civil and commercial litigation, and business disputes.

Ms. Caverly's trial experience includes bench and jury trials. For example, Ms. Caverly has handled a breach of license trial resulting in judgment for the client of $174,900,000; a personal property valuation trial resulting in judgment for the client of more than $7,600,000; a breach of fiduciary duty trial resulting in judgment for the client of more than $1,000,000 plus injunctive relief; a breach of fiduciary duty trial resulting in defense verdict for the client; a breach of guarantee trial resulting in judgment for the client of more than $1,000,000; a prescriptive easement trial resulting in defense judgment for the client; and other successful outcomes for clients in numerous estate and trust controversies. These outcomes were case specific and not intended to suggest that another client will be successful in his/her case.

Ms. Caverly also handles appeals and is counsel of record in Sefton v. Sefton, 206 Cal. App. 4th 875 (2012); People ex rel. Herrera v. Stender, 212 Cal. App. 4th 614 (2012); and Mycogen Corp. v. Monsanto Co., 28 Cal. 4th 888 (2002).

Ms. Caverly is a Fellow in the prestigious American College of Trust and Estate Counsel ("ACTEC") and is certified as a Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. Ms. Caverly was selected in 2015 as a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, an invitation only, trial lawyer honorary society composed of less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers. Ms. Caverly also served as a member of the Executive Committee for the California State Bar Trusts and Estates Section and now serves on the Successor Committee for the California Lawyers Association. Ms. Caverly is one of the Executive Editors of the California Trusts and Estates Quarterly.

Ms. Caverly is named as a Best Lawyers in America® in the areas of Estate and Trust Litigation and Commercial Litigation. Ms. Caverly also has been recognized repeatedly as a California “Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyers® magazine in the area of estate and trust litigation and was chosen as one of San Diego's top 50 attorneys across all fields of law for 2018-2020 and one of San Diego's top 25 women attorneys for each of 2013-2020. Ms. Caverly has been named "Top Lawyers in San Diego" by San Diego Magazine and "Top Attorney in Southern California." Ms. Caverly also has received the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards (“AV Preeminent”) from the Martindale Hubbell® peer review rating service and has been selected for the Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers.

Ms. Caverly is the author of "Representing the Beneficiary - Defining Client's Goals and Managing Expectations" published as Chapter 1 of Hartog and Kovar, Matthew Bender Practice Guide: California Trust Litigation (2011), and "Help Clients Grant the Right Level of Trustee Discretion" published in the December 2012 issue of Estate Planning. Ms. Caverly co-authored the 2019 legislative update for the Quarterly with HCPT partner Lisa Roper. Ms. Caverly has lectured on various estate administration and estate and trust litigation topics, including at the 2016 ACTEC annual meeting in Las Vegas, the University of Washington Law School's 61st Estate Planning Seminar in Seattle, ALI-ABA's 2012 Estate Planning in Depth at the University of Wisconsin Law School, The Southern California Tax & Estate Planning Forum, the National Business Institute, North County Estate Planning Counsel, San Diego Estate Planning Counsel, and Legal Secretaries, Incorporated. Ms. Caverly and partner Nancy G. Henderson co-authored the 2008 two-part article Planning for Family Vacation Homes, published in the California Trusts and Estates Quarterly, the Official Publication of the California State Bar Trusts and Estates Section.

Ms. Caverly obtained her law degree from the University of San Diego School of Law, where she graduated second in her class and was elected to the Order of the Coif. Ms. Caverly was Executive Editor of the San Diego Law Review from 1993 to 1994.

Ms. Caverly is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and for the Ninth Circuit, all California state courts, the United States District Courts for the Northern, Eastern, Central and Southern Districts of California, and the United States Patent & Trademark Office.

Prior to forming Henderson, Caverly, Pum & Trytten LLP, Ms. Caverly was an attorney with the law firm of Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison, LLP. Before attending law school, Ms. Caverly was a physical scientist for the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Ninyo & Moore Environmental Consultants, and TorStan, Inc. Environmental Services. She earned her bachelor's degree in Zoology from the University of Maryland.

Note: The case results discussed on this website were dependent on the facts of the particular case, and the results will differ if based on different facts.

Contact & Links
  • 12760 High Bluff Drive, Suite 150
    San Diego, CA 92130
  • University of San Diego, JD
Bar Admissions
  • California, 1994
  • American Academy of Trusts and Estates Counsel - Fellow
  • Litigation Counsel of America - Fellow
  • San Diego Law Review - Executive Editor

Recognized in The Best Lawyers® in America 2023 for work in:
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Litigation - Trusts and Estates
  • Trusts and Estates
  • San Diego’s top 25 women attorneys across all fields of law in 2013, 2014 and 2015
  • Best Lawyers in America® for 2016 in the area of Commercial Litigation
  • California “Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyers® magazine
  • “Top Lawyers in San Diego” by San Diego Magazine
  • “Top Attorney in Southern California”
  • “AV Preeminent” from the Martindale Hubbell®


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