Civil Procedure Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

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Ambac Sues Countrywide For Alleged Fraud in Connection with $1.7 Billion in RMBS

On December 27, Ambac Assurance Corporation filed a complaint against several Countrywide entities and Bank of America Corporation in New York state court, seeking to recover at least $600 million in damages in connection...more

Second Circuit Holds that Trust Indenture Act Does Not Apply and Dismisses RMBS Investor Claims Against BNY Mellon

On December 23, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit dismissed claims against Bank of New York Mellon, as trustee, by four pension funds in a putative class action relating to 530 Countrywide RMBS trusts...more

T&E Litigation Newsletter - January 2015

As 2014 came to a close, Massachusetts state and federal courts issued decisions concerning a number of issues of interest to estate planning attorneys and probate litigation attorneys, including testamentary capacity,...more

The liability of a trustee who honors a fraudulent exercise of a power of appointment

A trustee who transfers trust property to a permissible appointee for the benefit of an impermissible appointee such that the fraud on a special power doctrine is implicated incurs no liability as a consequence, unless the...more

Best in Law: Head Off a Contest: Bolster Your No-Contest Clause

The inherent problem with safeguarding your wishes after death is that you are not here to defend them. To discourage litigation and protect your requests, most trusts contain a “no-contest” clause. The clause typically...more

Insurance for Professional Fiduciaries

In an important decision for professionals operating in the trust and asset management sector - and their employers - the English Court of Appeal has recently provided guidance in the case of Rathbone Bros Plc and Paul...more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Whether Trustee May Rescind Reverse Mortgage

During its September term, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to decide an issue of importance to property and banking practitioners: is the statutory right to rescind a reverse mortgage limited to the original property owner?...more

International Estate Planning: Establishing Your Domicile

In one of our recent blog posts, we discussed the legal term “domicile” and outlined exactly why it is so important to establish the correct domicile during the estate planning process. If you are part of an international...more

Amendments to Virtual Representation Statute Take Effect on January 1, 2015

There is increasing interest among trustees and beneficiaries to resolve disputes and modify trust documents without going to court. For many years, the primary mechanism to accomplish that in Illinois has been the Virtual...more

Wealth Management Update - November 2014

November Interest Rates for GRATs, Sales to Defective Grantor Trusts, Intra-Family Loans and Split Interest Charitable Trusts - The November Section 7520 rate for use with estate planning techniques such as CRTs, CLTs,...more

Bank is Not Entitled to Deficiency Judgment Against Debtors Who Did Not Consent to Disposal of One of Two Properties Securing the...

The California Fifth Appellate District (Appellate Court) has decided that in a judicial foreclosure action, a bank whose loan was secured by two parcels of real property is precluded by C.C.P. section 726 (the one form of...more

Arizona Court of Appeals Recognizes Right of Publicity While Protecting Free Speech in Precedent Setting Case

For the first time ever, an Arizona state court has recognized that individuals enjoy a right of publicity that protects them from the unauthorized use of their name or likeness for commercial or trade purposes. In its April...more

Warner Bros.’ Super Victory: U.S. Supreme Court Effectively Ends Lengthy Superman Copyright Dispute

Warner Bros. and its DC Comics subsidiary can now breathe a bit easier, as the U.S. Supreme Court has recently declined to intervene in the ongoing dispute over the ownership rights to Superman. And so ends (at least for...more

Recent Changes to the use of Power of Attorney (POA)

Using a Power of Attorney (“POA”) could soon be a lot more complicated. New legislation was passed in Pennsylvania in an effort to minimize the opportunities for abuse perpetrated using a POA and to provide clearer guidance...more

T&E Litigation Newsletter - 10/2014

With the Supreme Judicial Court’s issuance of its decisions in O’Connell v. Houser, Jr. et al., 2014 Mass. LEXIS 841 (SJC-11698) (Oct. 28, 2014) and Bank of America, N.A. v. Babcock et al., 2014 Mass. LEXIS 840 (SJC-11651)...more

New Massachusetts Guardianship Law

On January 1, 2015, the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act (UAGPPJ) takes effect in Massachusetts....more

Defamation From Beyond the Grave: Using Your Last Will To Get In The Last Word

Halloween is a good time to think about how you want to die. Do you want to leave the world peacefully? Or do you want to go down trash talking, making sure that your enemies know exactly what you think about them, and that...more

Financial affairs structure dodges a “related entities” exclusion

The Queensland Supreme Court recently delivered a judgement demonstrating how an exclusion intended to exclude claims from which the Insured may benefit directly or indirectly did not do its work due to the way in which the...more

Nominating Non-Resident Guardians for Your Children in California

In the event that you and your spouse could no longer take care of your minor children, who is best suited to do the job? For many first-generation families living in the United States, the best guardian for their children...more

NOT SO FAST … The Lesson of Taylor: A trust cannot be modified to allow removal of the trustee without court approval.

In August 2014, the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas ruled on an issue of first impression under the Uniform Trust Act – whether a trust could be amended under § 7740.1 to add a provision allowing for the removal of the...more

11th Circuit Certifies Questions Regarding Insured’s Breach of Consent to Settle Clause

In its recent decision in Piedmont Office Realty Trust v. XL Specialty Ins. Co., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 20141 (11th Cir. Oct. 21, 2014), the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, applying Georgia law, elected...more

Federal Tax Lien Did Not Survive Death of Joint Tenant

Two individuals (Cunning and Wren) acquired real property in the U.S. Virgin Islands as joint tenants with rights of survivorship (JTWROS) in 2005. In 2010 the IRS filed a federal tax lien against Cunning in the U.S. Virgin...more

Bankruptcy Bleak House—The Limited Ability of Bankruptcy Courts to Enter Final Judgments

In Stern V. Marshall, ____ U.S ___, 131 S. Ct. 2594 (2011), the Supreme Court held that bankruptcy courts cannot issue final judgments on state law counterclaims even though they are “core proceeding”. Stern V. Marshall is...more

Superman Dodges a Bullet: Supreme Court Denies Certiorari in Heirs’ Bid to Reclaim Character Copyright

Close on the heels of the settlement between Marvel Comics and Jack Kirby’s heirs, which ended their dispute over copyright in a number of iconic comic book characters, the heirs to one of Superman’s co-creators, artist...more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide If Accountant-Client Privilege Applies to Will Contests

In the closing days of its September term, the Illinois Supreme Court allowed a petition for leave to appeal in Brunton v. Kruger. Brunton involves the scope of the accountant-client privilege – more specifically, what...more

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