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Court Held That Statutory Probate Court Had Subject Matter Jurisdiction Over Trust Dispute

In Barcroft v. Walton, a statutory probate court entered sanctions, struck a defendant’s pleadings, and entered a default judgment against a defendant in a trust case. No. 02-16-00110-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 8541 (Tex....more

Legislative Update: New Vulnerable Persons and POA Statutes

On October 26, 2017, David F. Johnson presented “Legislative Update Impacting Fiduciaries,” to the Texas Bankers Association’s Advanced Trust & Portfolio Management Forum in San Antonio, Texas. This presentation discussed new...more

Court Refuses To Enforce Arbitration Clause By Financial Advisor

In Steer Wealth Mgmt., LLC v. Denson, Denson, in her individual capacity and as executor of her husband’s estate, sued Steer Wealth Management, LLC, for causes of action including breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract...more

Federal Courts Hold That Lenders Do Not Generally Owe Fiduciary Duties To Borrowers

In Hagood v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., a borrower sued a lender for several claims, including breach of fiduciary duties. No. A-17-CA-00784-SS, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165943 (W. D. Tex. October 6, 2017). The defendant...more

Temporary Injunctive Relief in Texas

David F. Johnson, lead writer for the Texas Fiduciary Litigator blog, presented his detailed paper entitled “Temporary Injunctive Relief in Texas” to the Tarrant County Bar Association’s Business Litigation Section on October...more

Texas Supreme Court Will Hear Oral Argument On Whether Texas Recognizes A Claim For Tortious Interference With Inheritance Rights

On October 11, 2017, the Texas Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Anderson v. Archer, No. 03-13-00790-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 2165 (Tex. App.—Austin March 2, 2016, pet. filed). In Anderson, the trial court’s judgment...more

Court Addresses Breach Of Fiduciary Duty and Partition Issues In Trust Dispute

In Koda v. Rossi, a mother created a trust that provided that her son was to serve as trustee and that she, he, and a daughter were the beneficiaries. No. 11-15-0150-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 8194 (Tex. App.—Eastland August...more

Court Holds That Attorneys Acted As An Escrow Agent And Could Be Sued For Breach Of Fiduciary Duty By A Non-Client

In Alexander O&G, LLC v. Nomad Land & Energy Res., LLC, Nomad entered into a Purchase and Sale Agreement (“PSA”) with Alexander O&G, LLC (“AOG”) for the sale of oil and gas interests. No. H-16-2065, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS...more

Court Affirms Judgment For Estate Representative Due To A Statute-Of-Limitations Tolling Statute

In Kaptchinskie v. Estate of Kirchner, the purchasers of property sued an estate to establish that the estate’s claim under a note was extinguished by the statute of limitations. No. 14-15-01080-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 7012...more

Texas Supreme Court Enforces Forum-Selection Clause In Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Case Arising From A Shareholder Agreement

In Pinto Tech. Ventures, L.P. v. Sheldon, the Texas Supreme Court held that business tort claims, including breach of fiduciary duty, were subject to a forum-selection clause in a shareholders agreement. No. 16-0007, 2017 WL...more

Texas Adopts New Legislation Protecting Vulnerable Persons From Financial Exploitation And Places New Burdens On Financial...

The Texas Legislature passed, and the Governor has signed, a new act that creates new protections for vulnerable individuals. HB 3921 creates a new chapter 280 of the Texas Finance Code and a new Article 581, Section 45, of...more

Court Affirms Summary Judgment In Will Contest Where There Was No Evidence Of Undue Influence

In Estate of Frye, parties filed an application to set aside an order probating a will due to an allegation of undue influence. No. 07-16-00398-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 6992 (Tex. App.—Amarillo July 26, 2017, no pet....more

New Texas Statutes That Impact Fiduciaries Become Effective Today (9/1/2017)

The Texas Legislature passed, and the Governor has signed, a new act that creates new protections for vulnerable individuals. This impacts financial institutions, broker/dealers, and investment advisors. ...more

Court Affirms Arbitration Decision Arising From Trust Dispute

In Saks v. Rogers, a beneficiary of a trust challenged a trial court’s enforcement of an arbitration decision. No. 04-16-00286-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 6923 (Tex. App.—San Antonio July 26, 2017, no pet. history)....more

Court Held That Estate Representative Was Entitled To Discover Documents To Establish A Claim

In In re Cokinos, Boisien & Young, a representative of an estate of a deceased attorney sought documents from a law firm related to an alleged agreement to share fees. No. 05-16-01331-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 6911 (Tex....more

Court Holds That Former Broker Did Not Owe Fiduciary Duties To Client Regarding An Investment

In Holmes v. Newman, the plaintiff made an investment in a start-up internet company that provided betting tips to gamblers for a fee. No. 01-16-00311-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 6177 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] July 6, 2017,...more

Court Affirms Submission of Mitigation Instruction In A Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Case To Affirm A Jury’s Finding Of No Damages

In E.L. & Associates v. Pabon, a company sued two former directors and their son for breaching fiduciary duties when the company lost a lease for a restaurant it operated and the directors’ son opened a nearly identical...more

Court Holds That Board Of Trustees Of A Nonprofit Do Not Owe The Same Duties As A Trustee Of A Trust

In Young v. Heins, Young brought third-party claims against the board of trustees of a nonprofit home owner association for breach of fiduciary duty, breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing, breach of contract,...more

Court Holds That Majority Shareholders In Closely Held Corporation Do Not Owe Fiduciary Duties To Minority Shareholders

In Herring Bancorp, Inc. v. Mikkelsen, a corporation acquired a majority of the outstanding shares of preferred stock by “repurchasing” those shares in accordance with the articles of incorporation, including the shares owned...more

Court Reversed A Finding Of Breach Of Fiduciary Duty (And $470,000,000 Judgment) Because No Partnership Ever Existed Due To The...

In Enterprise Prods. Partners, L.P. v. Energy Transfer Partners, L.P., the jury found Enterprise Products Partners, L.P. (“Enterprise”) was in a general partnership with Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. (“ETP”) regarding a...more

Court Finds That Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Claims Is Preempted By Trade Secrets Claim

In Super Starr Int’l, LLC v. Fresh Tex Produce, LLC, a Texas entity that distributes produce throughout the United States filed suit against another Texas entity that imports foreign grown produce into the United States and...more

Court Reverses Summary Judgment For Directors Because They Could Not Consent To Their Own Breaches of Fiduciary Duty

In Corley v. Hendricks, three individuals (Gaylen, Dan, and Corley) operated a business as shareholders, officers, and directors. No. 02-16-00293-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 3846 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth April 27, 2017, no pet....more

Court Reviews Damages For Mental Anguish, Exemplary Damages, and Other Categories For A Trustee’s Breach Of Fiduciary Duty

In Wells Fargo v. Militello, a trustee appealed a judgment from a bench trial regarding a beneficiary’s claims for breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, and fraud. No. 05-15-01252-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 5640 (Tex....more

Texas Supreme Court Will Decide Whether Texas Recognizes A Tortious Interference With Inheritance Claim

In Anderson v. Archer, the trial court’s judgment awarded the plaintiffs $2.5 million in damages based on a tortious interference with inheritance claim. No. 03-13-00790-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 2165 (Tex. App.—Austin March...more

Courts Hold That Fiduciaries Waived Complaints About Trial Court Orders

In In re Estate of Roach, a trial court removed an executor for multiple grounds, including: (1) Texas Estates Code Section 404.0035(b)(5), which authorizes removal when an independent executor becomes incapable of properly...more

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