Mark E. Swatik is a Certified Legal Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate law under the State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization, which is a distinction held by less than 1% of California attorneys. Mr. Swatik practices in the area of Estate Planning, Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts, Probate, and Trust Administration. Mr. Swatik’s practice also includes advanced tax planning, Asset Protection, Special Needs planning, and Elder law, as well as civil litigation with an emphasis in Trust and Will contests, Personal Injury & Wrongful Death. Mr. Swatik also works with financial advisors and CPA’s to assist their clients in drafting complex irrevocable trusts, including Dynasty Trusts, Grantor Retained Trusts (GRATS/GRUTS), Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts (IDGTS), Qualified Personal Residence Trusts (QPRTS), Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts (ILITS), Family Limited Partnership Trusts (FLPS), Spousal Lifetime Access Trusts (SLATS), and Charitable Remainder/Lead Trusts (CRATS/CRUTS/CLATS).
Mr. Swatik was a partner at the firm of Sanders, Montalto and Swatik, LLP, and in 2015, Mr. Swatik was invited to join the premier estate planning, business and real estate law firm in the South Bay, Burkley & Brandlin, where he was named as a partner and the new firm name has now become Burkley Brandlin Swatik & Keesey LLP.
Concurrent with his employment at Sanders, Montalto and Swatik, LLP, Mr. Swatik also served the Hawthorne Police Department as a Police Sergeant, having performed the roles of Patrol Supervisor/Watch Commander, an Internal Affairs Supervisor, a Special Projects Manager for Policy revision, and a Detective Bureau Supervisor. Mr. Swatik also supervised and managed the Defensive Tactics Team and Reserve Officer program, as well as serving as Team Leader of the Hostage/Crisis Negotiations Team. Mr. Swatik honorably retired from law enforcement in 2013 to dedicate all of his efforts and time to his law practice.
In 2009, Mr. Swatik graduated from William Howard Taft School of Law where he received his Juris Doctorate degree. Mr. Swatik was selected as the honored recipient of the 10th Annual National Law Enforcement Law School Scholarship (2004), where he was selected as the sole recipient after a comprehensive review of numerous applications submitted by law enforcement personnel from throughout the United States.
Mr. Swatik also earned an MBA, with an emphasis in Finance, from Webster University (Summa Cum Laude), and has an undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice. Mr. Swatik is also an Adjunct Graduate Professor for National University’s MPA program.
Mr. Swatik is also a licensed California Real Estate Broker, which has been very beneficial in overseeing dozens of real estate transactions during probate and trust administrative matters.
Mr. Swatik brings an extensive background in business management to the firm’s Estate Planning practice, differentiating him from many other Estate Planning attorneys. Additionally, because Mr. Swatik not only drafts trusts and Estate Plans, but litigates them in court, he is provided a unique perspective in understanding the shortcomings of many trusts, and how to perfect them whether it be in the area of tax avoidance, creditor protection, or simply protecting the client’s wishes from being successfully challenged later in court.
In addition to his legal experience in areas of estate planning and administration, Mr. Swatik has extensive experience and training in Risk Management and civil liability pertaining to Public Sector employment. He has provided “Use of Force” expert testimony and has been the designated City representative regarding policies and procedures in Federal and State courts. Mr. Swatik also assisted in multiple federal and state civil litigation matters pertaining to municipal defense against civil rights and tort claims. Mr. Swatik has also testified before State Senate and State Assembly Committees for Senate Bill 506 (2005) and Assembly Bill 1595 (2005), and assisted in the drafting of these documents, both of which have been passed into current laws regarding Public Safety Professional’s Privacy Rights.
Mr. Swatik has authored Risk Management newsletters and offered instruction to police agencies on administrative, legal and procedural matters. Mr. Swatik had been the Department’s designated investigator/facilitator during 4 Civil Service Commission disciplinary hearings involving excessive force and police misconduct.
Areas of Practice