Business Torts Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

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Supreme Court Hits Home Run for 401(K) Plan Beneficiaries

This week’s decision by the United States Supreme Court in Tibble v. Edison International, 2015 U.S. LEXIS 3171 (May 18, 2015), is expected to trigger an increase in lawsuits against 401(k) plan fiduciaries....more

Supreme Court Ruling Heightens Pressure on Fiduciaries to Monitor 401(k) Plan Investments

On May 18th, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held in Tibble et al. v. Edison International et al., No. 13-550 (S. Ct. May 18, 2015) that ordinary principles of trust law impose on ERISA fiduciaries a duty to continually...more

Supreme Court Instructs Ninth Circuit to Consider Common Law of Trusts in Applying ERISA's Statute of Limitations

The Supreme Court has once again emphasized the importance of ERISA’s origins in the common law of trusts, this time in interpreting its statute of limitations. On May 18, the Court reversed the Ninth Circuit’s decision in...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

Participant’s Estate Fails to Show a Claim For Failure to Give Notice of Right to Continue Life Insurance Coverage: Estate of...

Providing a practical lesson on determining a duty to give notice to ERISA participants, the U. S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida dismissed the claim by the estate of an ERISA group life insurance plan...more

Digital Insights & Trends: "Digital Assets"...or Liabilities?

Delaware’s Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets and Digital Accounts Act (H.B. 345) makes Delaware the latest state to regulate access to “digital assets” after death. Unless the account-holder instructs otherwise, legally...more

Laches as a Limit on the Duty of a Trustee to Account

Doris Corya was a trustee (or co-trustee) of four trusts that failed to provide fiduciary accountings to a beneficiary otherwise entitled to receive accountings under Florida law. The failure to account went back many years –...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

S.D.N.Y. Judge Permits Novel Theory And Allows SEC To Use Unpaid Taxes As Measure Of Disgorgement In Securities Fraud Case

In a case against Dallas billionaires Sam Wyly and the estate of his late brother, Charles, Judge Shira Scheindlin of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York agreed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange...more

Timing of judgment creditor's entitled fee petition key to enforcement

In Conservatorship of McQueen the California Supreme Court decided a unique issue concerning the interpretation of Code of Civil Procedure Section 685.040. Under that statute, a judgment creditor is entitled to the reasonable...more

T&E Litigation Newsletter – August 2014 #1

After a quiet start to the summer for probate litigation cases, the Supreme Judicial Court recently issued its much-anticipated decision in The Woodward School for Girls, Inc. v. City of Quincy, Case No. SJC-11390, 2014 Mass....more

Fourth Circuit Rejects Widow’s Claim for Equitable Relief

The Fourth Circuit recently rejected fiduciary breach and equitable estoppel claims for life insurance coverage by Leslie Moon, the widow of a deceased employee, who claimed that the employer’s actions resulted in Mr. Moon’s...more

BuckleySandler Achieves Landmark Settlement in Navajo Nation Breach of Trust Lawsuit Against United States

WASHINGTON (June 1, 2014) — BuckleySandler LLP is proud to announce that it has obtained a $554 million settlement on behalf of its client the Navajo Nation. The settlement resolves the Nation’s landmark lawsuit alleging that...more

Round-up of Recent Decisions Relevant to Trustee and Protector Liability and Indemnities

There continue to be an increasing number of offshore Court judgments considering the nature and extent of an offshore trustee’s liability to third parties (including third parties in foreign jurisdictions), and the rights of...more

Can Remainder Beneficiaries of a Revocable Trust Sue for a Breach of Fiduciary Duty That Occurred During the Settlor’s Lifetime?

Imagine the following scenario: The trustee of a revocable trust dissipates a substantial amount of trust assets to buy men’s basketball season tickets at the Dean E. Smith Center. The settlor does not follow college...more

Why infect the law of trusts with good faith doctrine?

The law’s good faith principle has traditionally regulated legal relationships, such as the contractual relationship. Equity’s more intense fiduciary principle has generally regulated equitable relationships, such as the...more

Insight on Estate Planning - February/March 2014

In This Issue: - The BDIT: A trust with a twist - Thanks, Grandma and Grandpa! 3 estate-planning-friendly strategies to pay for a grandchild’s college education - Power of attorney abuse: What can you do...more

Family Battle Royale: Lessons Learned from the Rollins Trust Dispute Case

Rollins v. Rollins, a recent breach of trust and fiduciary duty case, addressed interesting issues at the appellate level regarding the dilemma that can ensue when two older family members are selected as trustees of a trust...more

What to Do If You Believe a Fiduciary is Mishandling Assets

It is quite common for beneficiaries, shareholders and other parties in interest to have questions or concerns about how a fiduciary is handling their affairs. Sometimes these concerns can bloom into full-fledged litigation...more

Fiduciary Liability and Offshore Assets

Fiduciaries, like trustees and conservators, may face personal liability for wrongful acts in administering estates. Among the liabilities that a fiduciary may face is to the IRS for wrongful distributions such as those made...more

Fiduciary Duty and What it Means to You

Fiduciary duty is a concept that appears across a wide variety of areas of law, so much so that most people in California will probably serve in a fiduciary capacity at some point in their lives. While the details of...more

The Limits of Discretion: Trust Distributions for Health, Education, Maintenance and Support

Trustees are often granted the power to distribute trust property “in the Trustee’s discretion” for a beneficiary’s “general well-being,” “best interests,” “comfort,” or, most commonly, “health, education, maintenance and...more

Trustees Holding Interests in the Family Business: Intersection of Shareholder and Member Rights and Fiduciary Duties

Trustees holding interests in family enterprises may have conflicting duties to the beneficiaries as well as unrelated shareholders and members of the business. ...more

So, You inherited an unreported offshore account, now what!

There may have been a time when inheriting an unreported offshore financial account was not problematic; but not today. The executor/trustee of the estate of the decedent has fiduciary responsibility to IRS and faces personal...more

Courts Do Not Always Agree

I blogged recently about a decision from a federal district court in Virginia (Eastern District) involving a widow who sought to recover life insurance benefits from her late husband’s employer-sponsored group term life...more

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