Ford + Berger’s Litigation Practice has Spectacular September

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F+B has closed out the month of September with a spectacular string of litigation successes for its clients. The following successes were achieved with the combined talents of all of the lawyers at the firm broken into teams handling litigation in several counties across Texas.  Below is a sample of these victories:

•    Will Contest in Marlin, Falls County, Texas:  F+B was retained two months prior to trial to assist a group of personal injury lawyers in attempting to uphold the provisions of a Decedent’s Will.  The estate held more than $4 million in assets that the Decedent had received through oil and gas royalties towards the end of her life.  Not only did F+B win the trial, but most of the case was decided by a directed verdict, which is a fairly rare method for winning a trial of this nature.

•    Removal of a Trustee in Dallas County, Texas:  F+B was retained by multiple beneficiaries of a Trust to seek the removal of the trustee on allegations that he took money from the Trust without making appropriate distributions to the Trust beneficiaries.  At issue in the case was more than 11,000 financial transactions that F+B analyzed and consolidated for the Court in its consideration of the removal.  Those transactions showed that the Trustee has received and spent nearly $2 million from the Trust.  Much of the money had been spent for personal expenses of the Trustee, but none had been distributed to the beneficiaries.  At the conclusion of the Trial, the Court removed the Trustee to the benefit of F+B’s clients.

•    Mediation of Guardianship Litigation in Collin County, Texas:  F+B was retained by two siblings who were seeking to stop their sister from financially exploiting a family member.  At issue was over $4 million in cash and investments belonging to the incapacitated family member.  F+B managed to obtain a temporary injunction preventing the sister from making distributions from the family member’s money, which ultimately forced the parties into mediation to attempt to work out the issues.  Following an all-day mediation, F+B’s clients walked away with a substantial victory in the mediation, which resulted in better financial protection for their family member and a conclusion to any future litigation with their sister.

•    Trust Litigation Dispute in Austin, Travis County, Texas:  F+B was retained by the beneficiary of a Trust established by the client’s deceased husband holding over $1 million in rental real estate.  The trustee of the trust had been refusing to make distributions to the beneficiary, despite clear provisions in the instrument creating the Trust.  The Trustee’s lawyers petitioned the Court asking for a legal determination that the Trustee was not required to make the distributions because the language of the agreement did not require it.  After substantial legal research, analysis, and briefing by the F+B litigation team working on this case, the Court not only denied the request from the Trustee’s lawyers, but it instead entered a judgment that the Trust definitely required the distributions and that the Agreement was clear on its face.  This judgment provided a substantial benefit to the trust beneficiary client.

•    Will Contest in Houston, Harris County, Texas:  F+B was retained by the grandchildren of a decedent who had been cut out of a Will executed 5 days before their grandmother’s death.  At issue in the estate was more than $5 million in assets belonging to the 90+ year old woman.  Within a very short period of time following her death and without notice to the other family members, the deceased woman’s daughters had the new Will admitted to probate by the Courts, which cut out the children of the deceased woman’s son who died prior to her.  F+B quickly moved to have the Court overturn its prior ruling and set aside the Will.  The Court agreed with F+B that the circumstances surrounding the Will were too speculative, and the Court withdrew the Will from probate.  Upon a further request by the attorney for the daughters, the Court again denied the Will citing the concerns over the closeness in time of its execution to the woman’s date of death.  This victory opens up the path for F+B’s clients to receive a ¼ share of the estate.

The sampling above represents substantial victories on cases totaling more than $15 million in assets for our clients.  Likewise, these victories were achieved in counties all over Texas.  If you have an estate, trust, or guardianship litigation dispute in Texas, please do not hesitate to contact us so that we can try to achieve similar results for you!

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