Texas Fiduciary Litigator

Texas Fiduciary Litigator

The Intersection of Texas Courts and the Fiduciary field

Category Archives: Cases Decided

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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. history). The decedent left bequests to her daughters, Judy and Patsy, in her will, but left nothing to… Continue Reading

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). The parties entered into a mediated settlement agreement (MSA) that included an arbitration agreement for “disputes aris[ing] with regard to the… Continue Reading

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. App.—Dallas July 25, 2017, original proceeding). The trial court ordered that the estate representative have access to… Continue Reading

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 restaurant in the same location.  No. 14-15-00631-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 4547 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] May… Continue Reading

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, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and for a declaratory judgment. No. 01-15-00500-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 5075 (Tex.… Continue Reading

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 by a trustee. No. 07-15-00327-CV2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 5131 (Tex. App.—Amarillo June 2, 2017, no pet. history). This was against the wishes… Continue Reading

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

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 pipeline project and that Enterprise breached its duty of loyalty as a partner to ETP. No. 05-14-01383-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 6658 (Tex. App.—Dallas… Continue Reading

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 other related entities for a variety of claims arising from the defendants’ attempts to distribute produce without the plaintiff.… Continue Reading

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. history). Galen then terminated Corley and removed him as an officer and director. Corley then sued the other two for breach of… Continue Reading

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. App.—Dallas June 20, 2017, no pet. history). Militello was an orphan when her grandmother and great-grandmother created trusts for her. She… Continue Reading

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 performing his fiduciary duties due to a material conflict of interest, and (2) Section 404.0035(b)(3), which authorizes removal when an independent executor… Continue Reading

Court Affirms Jury Finding Of No Breach Of Fiduciary Duty In Partnership Dispute

In Thunder Rose Enters. v. Kirk, the plaintiffs sued the defendant for various claims, including breach of fiduciary duty based on an alleged partnership dispute. No. 13-15-00431-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 3481 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi April 20, 2017, no pet. history). The jury determined that the defendant did not breach a duty, and the plaintiffs… Continue Reading

Court Held That Submission Of Jury Question On Fiduciary Duty Was Harmless Due To Duplication Of Damages

In Hughes v. Hughes, a husband and wife sued each other for various claims, including breach of fiduciary duty. No. 13-15-00496-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 3489 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi April 20, 2017, no pet. history). In the charge conference, the wife objected to the question as having an improper definition of fiduciary duty and objected… Continue Reading

Court Held That Settlor Had Standing To Assert Extra-Contractual Misrepresentation Claims Regarding Insurance Policies He Previously Transferred To An Irrevocable Insurance Trust

In Lee v. Rogers Agency, Lee purchased three whole-life insurance policies in the 1980s where each had a face value of $1,000,000. No. 06-15-00037, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 1069 (Tex. App.—Texarkana February 8, 2017, pet. filed). It was represented to Lee that the policies provided that Lee could shorten the premium payment period by tendering… Continue Reading

Court Holds That Family Member Did Not Owe Fiduciary Duties To Other Family Member

In Walker v. Walker, a son sued his father and brother regarding the ownership of a beach house. No. 14-16-00357-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 2742 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] March 30, 2017, no pet. history). The son alleged that the father made an oral gift of the property to the son. The son alleged that… Continue Reading

Court Affirms Sanctions Order Against Fiduciary Due To Discovery Abuses

In Eng v. Kolbe, a mother sued her daughter for abusing a power of attorney document. No. 03-15-00409-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 2680 (Tex. App.—Austin March 30, 2017). The daughter was assisting her aging parents with their finances as her father suffered from dementia and her mother suffered from macular degeneration. Later the mother revoked… Continue Reading

Court Enforces Release Agreement Between Trustees/Executors and A Beneficiary

In Harrison v. Harrison Interests, a beneficiary of an estate and multiple trusts had a dispute with the executors and trustees. No. 14-15-00348-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 1677 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] February 28, 2017, no pet. history). The parties then executed a master settlement agreement that allowed the parties to dissociate themselves, distribute property,… Continue Reading

Court Denied Motion To Stay Enforcement of A Turnover Order Against Fiduciary

In In the Estate of Gary, a trial court granted a motion to remove an administrator and later granted a turn over order regarding same. No. 07-16-00421-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 1991 (Tex. App.—Amarillo March 8, 2017, no pet. history). The administrator filed two motions requesting that the trial court set a supersedeas amount on… Continue Reading

Court Held That Company’s Employee Did Not Owe Fiduciary Duty To Vendor

In E-Learning LLC v. AT&T Corp., the plaintiff provided computer software services to the defendant. No. 04-16-00291-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 1726 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2017, no pet. history). Beginning in 2010, the parties changed the way they transacted business. From 2010 to 2012, the plaintiff provided goods and services on three projects and dealt… Continue Reading

Court Finds That There Is A Fact Issue On Whether Corporate Shareholder And Officer Breached Fiduciary Duties To Creditors

In Tow v. Wellington Yu, a bankruptcy trustee sued a corporation’s shareholder and officer for breaching fiduciary duties by entering into a settlement agreement that required the sale of real estate where the defendant would take a percentage of the proceeds. No. H-14-3103, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21987 (S.D. Tex. January 30, 2017). The defendant… Continue Reading

Courts Hold That Multiple Probate Court Orders Were Not Appealable

In The Management Trust of Norsworthy, the court reviewed a trustee’s accountings and petition for approval to enter into an agreement with the beneficiary’s wife to make regular distributions to her for certain recurring expenses. No. 05-16-00683-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 1335 (Tex. App.—Dallas February 15, 2017, no pet.). Thereafter, the beneficiary’s wife attempted to… Continue Reading

Please Release Me, Let Me Go: Court Affirms The Appointment Of A Receiver Over Ray Price’s Assets Pending A Contest

In In re Estate of Price, Ray Price, a renowned country music singer and songwriter, died in 2013 and was survived by his wife and his biological son. No. 06-16-00062-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 1265 (Tex. App.—Texarkana February 15, 2017, no pet. history). Crazy Arms [And Maybe Mind?]. Shortly before Price’s death, and while he… Continue Reading

Court Holds That A One-Line Will Should Have Been Admitted To Probate

In In the Estate of Setser, the decedent signed a 1993 will naming his daughter as the sole beneficiary. No. 01-15-00855-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 937 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] February 2, 2017, no pet. history). Later, in 2014, he signed a hand-written will naming his good friend and roommate Heim as the sole beneficiary… Continue Reading
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