Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning Civil Procedure General Business

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Missouri Bank Hit for Punitive Damages & Found Liable for Fiduciary’s Misappropriation of Funds

In Delarosa v. Farmer's State Bank, the Missouri Court of Appeals, W.D., expounded upon the duty imposed upon Missouri Banks under § 469.270 of the Missouri's Uniform Fiduciaries Law ("UFL"). Specifically, the court addressed...more

Brumley v. Albert E. Brumley & Sons Inc. - USCA, Sixth Circuit, May 16, 2016

Sixth Circuit concludes that author’s 1975 assignment of gospel song “I’ll Fly Away” was subject to 2008 termination notice, notwithstanding subsequent 1979 assignment of rights by late composer’s wife....more

New York Supreme Court Dismisses ACE Action Re-Asserting Repurchase Claims against DB Structured Products

On March 29, 2016, Justice Marcy Friedman of the New York Supreme Court rejected the trustee’s attempt to renew previously dismissed claims in ACE Securities v. DB Structured Products, Inc. As we previously reported, the...more

Florida Court Says it’s Not Fraud When Misrepresentations are Made During Settlement Negotiations

When settling a case, litigators are naturally focused on avoiding “Round 2” of the litigation for their clients. Toward this goal, lawyers avoid drafting settlement agreements that include any sort of representations or...more

Court Holds That Will Did Not Revoke Inter Vivos Trust

In Gordon v. Gordon, a man and his wife executed a revocable trust agreement and began to fund the trust. No. 11-14-00086-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 3357 (Tex. App.—Eastland March 31, 2016, no pet. history). The couple later...more

Defence & Indemnity - February 2016: V. Surety and Bond Issues: The relationship between trust and lien claims under Provincial...

Stuart Olson Dominion Construction Ltd. v. Structal Heavy Steel, 2015 SCC 43, per Rothstein, J. - I. FACTS AND ISSUES - Stuart Olson Dominion Construction Ltd. (“Dominion”) was the general contractor of a football...more

Molek v. Molek and Parol Partitions

Oral agreements to partition lands are tricky situations that must be dealt with carefully when analyzing the title to a piece of property. Known legally as parol partitions, these agreements often arise in the context of...more

Jarmoc and Jarmoc: A Modern-day Bleak House?

A family feud recently unfolded in the Connecticut probate court, a typical venue for family feuds to play out after the death of a successful business owner. That is the case especially when a contested will is produced...more

The Double-Fraction Dilemma: Intent-Focused Inquiry Prevails

As the oil and gas industry has moved away from the legacy of the 1/8th royalty, double-fraction language has generated a multitude of disagreements as to whether a royalty interest should be construed as "fixed" or...more

Avoiding the Upsurge in Trust, Probate and Estate Planning Malpractice

The number of lawsuits against trust, probate and estate planning attorneys has significantly increased over the last several years. Today, trust, probate and estate planing attorneys are charged with legal malpractice and...more

Court Affirmed Judgment That A Deed By A Trustee Without Specifying The Trustee’s Capacity Transferred Trust Property

In West 17th Res. LLC v. Pawelek, children of a grantor sued the grantees, alleging that the grantor did not convey a trust’s ownership interest in the property because the grantor did not indicate her capacity as a trustee...more

Court Concludes Spouses’ Joint Will Was a Contractual Will and Imposes Constructive Trust to Enforce Terms of Joint Will

In Estate of Pursley, a husband and wife (Harold Sr. and Mildred) with three children executed a joint will in 1975 that provided the survivor would take the entire estate “to be used, occupied, enjoyed, conveyed and expended...more

Donald Sterling Loses Appeal of Clippers Sale: Court of Appeal Rejects Bid To Regain Team’s Ownership

The California Court of Appeal today affirmed the sale in August 2014 of the Los Angeles Clippers for a record-shattering price of $2 billion to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. In a unanimous decision, the three justices...more

Recent Cases of Interest to Fiduciaries

In re Estate of House, 2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 3006 (Wash. Ct. App. 2014) - A release waiving any and all claims that the parties may have or may acquire, bars recovery for unknown claims existing at the time the release...more

Court Warns That Marriage Does Not Render A Spouse Automatically Entitled To Preexisting Life Insurance Policies

In a recent unpublished decision, the New Jersey Appellate Division has again stressed the importance of complying with the beneficiary designation requirements contained in life insurance policies. See Fox v. Lincoln...more

Trust Matters Update - May 2015

The Trust Matters Update is a periodical summary of cases, case comments, consultations, publications, legislative developments, legal updates, articles and news in the area of trust law and related issues. 1. Can...more

Court Of Chancery Explains How To Prove Bad Faith

While not a corporate case, this decision is useful in explaining how to prove a party acted in bad faith so as to be outside the exculpation provisions of a trust or Sec. 102(b)(7). ...more

Copyright Co-Owner’s Ability to Grant an Exclusive Right to a Third Party - Corbello v. DeVito

Revisiting the issue of a copyright co-owner’s right to grant an exclusive right to a third party, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit clarified its prior ruling in Sybersound v. UAV, and explained that a...more

Reach Out And Designate Someone?

The seemingly staid world of retirement plan beneficiary designations was surprised by a recent federal appeals court decision suggesting that a new beneficiary could be designated by a telephone call. ...more

(US) Revised Pennsylvania Statute Creates Power of Attorney Chaos

The Pennsylvania Legislature enacted extensive changes to Title 56 of the Decedents, Estates and Fiduciaries Code affecting powers of attorney, effective as of January 1, 2015. The amendments create a number of issues for...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

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

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

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

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