Texas Fiduciary Litigator

Texas Fiduciary Litigator

The Intersection of Texas Courts and the Fiduciary field

Tag Archives: Breach of Fiduciary Duty

Court Affirms Summary Judgment For A Trustee Against A Beneficiary Due To The Statute of Limitations And Discusses Constructive Knowledge Of Probate Records

In Gilmore v. Rotan, a testamentary trust’s beneficiaries sued the trustees in 2015 for making a transfer of trust property in 2003 that was evidenced by a deed filed in 2010. No. 11-16-00253-CV, 2018 Tex. App. LEXIS 7705 (Tex. App.—Eastland September 20, 2018, no pet. history).  The beneficiaries claimed that the trustees engaged in self-dealing… Continue Reading

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 26, 2017, no pet. history). Upon the mother’s death, the trust was to terminate and the… Continue Reading

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 2200357, at *9 (Tex. May 19, 2017). The plaintiffs, two shareholders, asserted business tort claims related to the alleged dilution… Continue Reading

Court Reverses Summary Judgment On Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Claim Against Corporate Director

In E&E Serv. & Supply v. Ruddick, a corporation sued a former employee who formed a competing business. No. 11-14-00055-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 7514 (Tex. App.—Eastland July 14, 2016, no pet. history). The trial court granted summary judgment for the employee based on the alleged absence of any evidence of a fiduciary duty. The… Continue Reading

Court Reverses Judgment Dismissing Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Claim Because No-Evidence Summary Judgment Motion Was Not Sufficiently Specific

In Tex v. Iom, a former employer sued a former employee based on a covenant not to compete and breach of fiduciary duty and sued the new employer for tortious interference. No. 12-14-00254-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 7317 (Tex. App.—Tyler July 12, 2016, no pet. history). The defendants filed a no-evidence motion for summary judgment,… Continue Reading

Court Holds that Disgorgement Award for Breach of Fiduciary Duty Was Neither Punitive Nor Excessive and that Exemplary Damages Were Reasonably Proportioned to Damages

A court of appeals recently issued an opinion rejecting a fiduciary’s claims regarding the excessiveness of the trial court’s judgment that awarded disgorgement and exemplary damages.  In Swinnea v. ERI Consulting Engineers, Inc., Snodgrass and Swinnea owned equal interests in ERI, a small consulting company that managed asbestos abatement projects, for approximately ten years.  No.… Continue Reading

Court Rules In Favor Of An Attorney Regarding Claims Arising From A Conflict of Interest

In Fitts v. Richards-Smith, three brothers were riding in a car when the car hit another vehicle properly stopped in the road. 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 1542 (Tex. App.—Texarkana February 17, 2016, no pet. history). The driver was killed and the two other brothers were seriously injured. The family of the killed driver and the… Continue Reading

Court Reversed Forfeiture Damages Because They Were Not Linked To Fiduciary Breach

In Ramin’ Corp. v. Wills, an employer sued a former employee for breach of fiduciary duty and other claims based on the employee competing with the employer while she was an employee. No. 09-14-11168-CV, 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 10728 (Tex. App.—Beaumont October 15, 2015, no pet. history). The trial court found that the employee did… Continue Reading

Texas Supreme Court Denies Petition For Review In Ward vs. Standford Opinion

On October 9, 2015, the Texas Supreme Court denied the petition for review in Ward v. Standford, 443 S.W.3d 334 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2014, pet. denied).  This case dealt with the accrual of the statute of limitations for breach of fiduciary duty claims against trustees where the plaintiff complained of an act of omission.  The court of… Continue Reading

There Can Be a Fact Issue on the Accrual of a Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claim Arising From an Act of Omission

In Ward v. Standford, a father and a mother set up an irrevocable trust in the 1970s and transferred many assets to it. 443 S.W.3d 334 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2014, pet. filed). In the 1980s, the father and his company borrowed money from the trust and issued a note. The father and his company defaulted, and… Continue Reading

There is a Split in the Courts of Appeals Regarding the Requirements to Obtain an Injunction Preventing a Trustee From Paying Lawyers From Trust Funds

In Zaffirini v. Guerra, beneficiaries sued the trustees of a trust for breach of fiduciary duty and removal. No. 04-14-00436-CV, 2014 Tex. App. LEXIS 12761 (Tex. App.—San Antonio November 26, 2014, no pet.). The trustees paid their attorneys from the trust to defend the suit. Beneficiaries obtained a temporary injunction preventing the payment of fees… Continue Reading

Beneficiaries Generally Do Not Have Claims Against Attorneys Retained by the Testator for Malpractice

In Donaldson v. Mincey, an attorney drafted estate documents for a father. No. 05-13-00271-CV, 2014 Tex. App. LEXIS 13522 (Tex. App.—Dallas December 17, 2014, pet. filed). The attorney later drafted a trust amendment that would have increased distributions from a trust to the father’s children. The father never signed the amendment and died shortly thereafter.… Continue Reading

A Party Does Not Owe a Duty to Inform Another Regarding the Meaning and Impact of an Arbitration Clause

In Greenberg Traurig, LLP v. Nat’l Am. Ins. Co., a client sued its attorney for malpractice. 448 S.W.3d 115 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2014, no pet.). The defendant filed a motion to compel arbitration due to an arbitration clause in the parties’ engagement agreement. The plaintiff alleged that the arbitration clause was not enforceable because… Continue Reading
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