Texas Fiduciary Litigator

The Intersection of Texas Courts and the Fiduciary Field

Latest from Texas Fiduciary Litigator

I.     Introduction In fiduciary litigation, parties often file motions that raise important legal issues before trial. For example, parties may file motions on preemption, the statute of limitations, exculpatory clauses, legal duties, legal construction of documents, etc. One party or the other may want to appeal a trial court’s decision on these important legal issues before trial to save the expense and delay of a trial on the merits. In fact, trial courts often…
In UPS Ground Freight, Inc. v. Trotter, parties filed claims against an estate representative based on a car accident in the county where the estate was being administered. No. 12-19-00135-CV, 2020 Tex. App. LEXIS 1127 (Tex. App.—Tyler February 10, 2020, no pet. history). A defendant, employer of the decedent, moved to transfer venue to the county where the accident happened. The trial court denied the motion to transfer, and the defendant filed an appeal. The…
In In re Estate of Debra E. Hunt v. Arabia Vargas, a trial court granted summary judgment interpreting a will to devise a large share of the testatrix’s personal property to her life partner. No. 01-19-00216-CV, 2020 Tex. App. LEXIS 1036 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] February 6, 2020, no pet. history). The will stated: “I give all of my remaining household and personal property to Arabia Vargas.” The partner contended that the testatrix bequeathed to…
David F. Johnson presented his paper “Trustee Quandary: Criminal Activity By a Beneficiary  With or On Trust Property,” to the Tarrant County Probate Bar Association on March 5, 2020.  The presentation dealt with a trustee managing trust assets that are being used by a beneficiary in the course of criminal activity and addressed a trustee’s duties to the trust and beneficiaries, such as the duty of loyalty (and its limits), confidentiality, and to properly manage…
In In re Jones, parties filed a mandamus proceeding to challenge the trial court’s disqualification of their attorney. No. 12-19-00354-CV, 2019 Tex. App. LEXIS 11267 (Tex. App.—Tyler December 31, 2019, original opinion). An attorney sent an email to the beneficiary of the estate, stating that the attorney for estate was a bad lawyer and only looking out for his own interest and other related bad things. The beneficiary took the position that the estate’s attorney…
David F. Johnson, lead writer for the Texas Fiduciary Litigator blog, discusses the enforceability of arbitration, forum-selection, and jury-waiver clauses in trust and will disputes as well as other related issues associated with these litigation-altering clauses such as common defenses, standards for enforcement, and potential forms for these clauses. CLICK HERE FOR WEBINAR Arbitration FSC and Jury Waiver in Trusts – PowerPoint Arbitration FSC and Jury Waiver in Trusts – Paper If you are interested…
In In the Estate of Mahaffey, a testatrix executed a new will nine days before she died of cancer. No. 04-19-00122-CV, 2019 Tex. App. LEXIS 11171 (Tex. App.—San Antonio December 27, 2019, no pet. history). A niece offered the new will for probate. The new will cut out one of the testatrix’s sisters, and the sister offered an earlier will for probate and argued that the testatrix did not have mental capacity to execute the…
Join us for a complimentary webinar on the enforceability of arbitration, forum-selection, and jury-waiver clauses in trust and will disputes. We will also discuss other related issues associated with these litigation-altering clauses such as common defenses, standards for enforcement, and potential forms for these clauses. Date: Tuesday, February 18, 2020 Time: 10:00 – 10:45 a.m. Central Time Cost:  Complimentary Speaker: David F. Johnson Continuing Education Credit Information: Accreditation of this activity by the MCLE Committee…
In Taylor v. Rothstein Kass & Co., PLLC, a receiver for a failed business sued an accounting firm for various claims arising from the auditor’s issuance of a clean audit report concerning certain financial statements. No. 3:19-CV-1594-D , 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17435 (N.D. Tex. February 4, 2020). The defendants filed a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) motion, challenging the claims. The court addressed the receiver’s claim for aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary…
In Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. v. Enter. Prods. Partners, L.P., one pipeline company sued another for breaching a duty of loyalty that allegedly arose out of a partnership to develop a pipeline. No. 17-0862, 2020 Tex. LEXIS 46 (Tex. January 31, 2020). One company decided to no longer work with the other and developed the project with other parties. The company that was left out of the project sued. The jury answered “yes” to the…