Constitutional Law Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning Civil Procedure

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Federal Court Decision Warns Delaware: Be Prepared to Defend Audit Practices in Court

The United States District Court for the District of Delaware dismissed a lawsuit against the Delaware State Escheator, Abandoned Property Audit Manager, and the Secretary of Finance, and Kelmar Associates, LLC, but it came...more

Settlement Reached in Temple-Inland; Delaware Internally Reviewing Unclaimed Property Audit Practices

The court case challenging Delaware’s unclaimed property audit methodologies has settled following an opinion brutalizing Delaware’s position. This settlement leaves the US District Court for the District of Delaware...more

Breaking News: Federal Court Finds Delaware’s Unclaimed Property Enforcement “Shocks the Conscience”

On June 28, 2016, the much-anticipated memorandum opinion of the US District Court for the District of Delaware in Temple-Inland, Inc. v. Cook et al., No. 14-654-GMS was released on the parties’ cross-motions for summary...more

Virginia Supreme Court Issues New Ruling Regarding Guardianship Orders

A recent Virginia Supreme Court case highlights the importance of using precise language in an order appointing a guardian, as well as ensuring that when a guardian files suit on behalf of a ward, the guardian sues in the...more

Tables Turned: 21 States Tell Delaware to “Fork Over Our Unclaimed Property!"

The latest salvo in an ongoing battle against Delaware was fired on June 9, when 21 states, led by Texas and Arkansas, filed a motion in the U.S. Supreme Court to force Delaware to return to the States between $150 million...more

Unclaimed Property Hunger Games: States Seek Supreme Court Review in ‘Official Check’ Dispute

Background - As detailed in our blog last month, MoneyGram Payment Systems, Inc. (MoneyGram) is stuck in between a rock and a hard place as states continue to duel with Delaware over the proper classification of (and...more

Bank of America as Trustee v. Commissioner of Revenue: Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Will Hear Case in 2016

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) will hear the appeal of Bank of America against the Massachusetts Commissioner of Revenue in 2016. The SJC accepted Bank of America’s application for Direct Appellate Review on...more

The Bank of America Case: May Massachusetts Tax the Trust Fund Income of Non-Resident Families with Unborn and/or Unascertained...

Background - Before addressing the Bank of America case, it is necessary to understand the Massachusetts taxation of trustees and their beneficiaries, which is described in 830 CMR 62.20.1: Income Tax on Estates and...more

Supreme Court Decides Wellness International Network, Ltd. v. Sharif

On May 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Wellness International Network, Ltd. v. Sharif, (No. 13-935), holding that Article III does not prevent bankruptcy judges from entering final judgment on claims that seek only...more

North Carolina Business Court Rules Tax on Trust Unconstitutional

The North Carolina Business Court held North Carolina’s taxation of a trust unconstitutional in Kaestner v. North Carolina Department of Revenue. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 105-160.2 imposes a tax on the undistributed income of a...more

T&E Litigation Newsletter- April 2015

On April 6th the Appeals Court issued a decision concerning standing in guardianship proceedings under the Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code (“MUPC”) that may influence future cases involving the interpretation of other...more

Court Hears Arguments in Litigation Challenging the Constitutionality of North Carolina’s Taxation of Trusts

The Kimberly Rice Kaestner 1992 Trust (the “Trust”) originated from the Joseph Lee Rice, III Family 1992 Trust (the “JLR Trust”) created in 1992. The JLR Trust was created in New York when its initial trustee and settlor were...more

Debtor-trustees can run but they can’t hide behind the Fifth Amendment

Judgment debtors often try to use the Fifth Amendment’s privilege against self-incrimination to avoid post-judgment discovery of their assets and income. However, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri...more

Beneficiaries Lack Standing to Challenge Trustee's Actions in Bankruptcy Court

In a recent ruling on In re Land Securities Investors, Ltd., the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado ruled that trust beneficiaries do not have standing to appear in a bankruptcy case even when the...more

U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Cases Regarding the Constitutionality of Same-Sex Marriage Bans

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear four cases from Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and Tennessee, respectively, regarding the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans by the states. ...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

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

Standing: How Much Is A Ticket To The Dance?

The purpose of this article is to explain the concept of “standing” in probate and guardianship actions, to discuss how the topic should be raised, and to provide some specificexamples of situations where the standing of a...more

IP/Entertainment Law Weekly Case Update for Motion Picture Studios and Television Networks -- January 30, 2014

Smith v. Sunshine Sound Enterprises, Inc., USCA, 11th Circuit, January 22, 2014 - Eleventh Circuit reverses dismissal of estate’s claims for copyright infringement, holding that songwriter who assigned his legal rights...more

Pennsylvania Tax Developments - A Reed Smith Quarterly Update (3rd Quarter 2013)

This is a brief update on recent Pennsylvania tax developments. It is intended to provide an overview of issues and cases to watch, as well as administrative and legislative developments. ...more

A Not-So-Good Domestic Asset Protection Trust Case

Several states have adopted asset protection trust statutes that allow a grantor to establish a trust that is protected from the grantor’s creditors, even though the grantor is a discretionary beneficiary....more

Sanctions Are Issued Where Court Determines That Special Motion To Strike Was Filed For Improper Purpose

In Kleveland v. Siegel & Wolensky LLP, 2013 DAR 4961(2013) the California Courts of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District affirmed the denial of a special motion to strike and the award of costs and attorney fees as...more

Illinois Supreme Court to Hear Five Civil Cases In May

On Tuesday, the Illinois Supreme Court announced its oral argument calendar for the May term, and it includes arguments in five civil cases. The cases, with the questions presented in each, are...more

Estate Tax Marital Deduction Allowed For Same-Sex Couple

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has ruled that same-sex couples can take advantage of the estate tax marital deduction provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. This ruling has...more

Judicial Restraint in the Early Days Following Stern v. Marshall

Over five months have passed since the United States Supreme Court entered its landmark decision of Stern v. Marshall, 131 S. Ct. 2594 (2011) [2011 BL 165774] the Court’s first key ruling in decades on bankruptcy court...more

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