Texas Court of Appeals

In Marshall v. Estate of Freeman, a trial court’s order admitting a will as a muniment of title forty-one years after the testator’s death was reversed. No. 03-20-00449-CV, 2022 Tex. App. LEXIS 2857 (Tex. App.—Austin April 29, 2022, no pet. history).
Continue Reading Court Reversed Order Admitting A Will To Probate As A Muniment Of Title Due To The Statute Of Limitations

In Prather v. Callon Petroleum Operating Co., the court of appeals resolved a will construction issue that determined who owned certain mineral interests. No. 11-20-00189-CV, 2022 Tex. App. LEXIS 3200 (Tex. App.—Eastland May 12, 2022, no pet.). The decedent left all of her property equally to her two daughters and then stated: “In the event that one of the beneficiaries in this paragraph is not living at the time of my death, then his or her share shall go to the survivor(s) thereof.” One daughter predeceased the decedent. That daughter’s children believed that they owned half of the decedent’s minerals upon her passing, and signed mineral leases. The other daughter’s children thought that they owned all of the minerals as their mother had survived the decedent. Thereafter, various parties asserted claims regarding these minerals and the interpretation of the will.
Continue Reading Court Construed A Will To Provide That Mineral Interests Were Devised To The Surviving Daughter’s Family And To Cut Out A Predeceased Daughter’s Family

In Power v. Power, one brother sued the other brother for breach of fiduciary duty related to their partnership in real estate investing. No. 05-19-01557-CV, 2022 Tex. App. LEXIS 2926 (Tex. App.—Dallas May 3, 2022, no pet. history). The trial court found for the plaintiff, and the defendant appealed.
Continue Reading Partner Had Capacity To Sue Other Partner For Breach Of Fiduciary Duty

In Ahmed v. Bank of Whittier, a party sued a bank for aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty by assisting the plaintiff’s attorney in improperly depositing settlement funds. No. 05-21-00058-CV, 2022 Tex. App. LEXIS 2987 (Tex. App.—Dallas May 4, 2022, no pet. history). The trial court granted summary judgment for the defendant, and the plaintiff appealed. The court of appeals first implied that there was no aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty claim under Texas law citing to an earlier opinion: Hill v. Keliher, No. 05-20-00644-CV, 2022 Tex. App. LEXIS 502, 2022 WL 213978, at *10 (Tex. App.—Dallas Jan. 25, 2022, pet. filed).
Continue Reading Court Affirmed Summary Judgment For Bank On Non-Customer’s Aiding And Abetting Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Claim

In Dillon v. King, one sister contested their father’s will and codicil and also asserted other claims against her sister. No. 05-20-00215-CV, 2022 Tex. App. LEXIS 2991 (Tex. App.—Dallas May 4, 2022, no pet. history). In 2010, the father executed a will leaving everything equally to his two daughters. Thereafter, he moved to Texas to be near the contestant. The contestant then accessed the father’s bank account. The father told Texas Adult Protective Services that he allowed her to use the account but that she no longer had access to it. Later, the father signed a new codicil, leaving everything to the applicant. After a bench trial, the trial judge admitted the will and codicil to probate and ordered the contestant to take nothing on her other claims. On appeal, the appellate court discussed many different issues.
Continue Reading Court Affirmed Admitting A Codicil To Probate As The Testator Had Mental Capacity And Was Not Unduly Influenced And Discussed Expert Testimony Issues

In Ahlgren v. Ahlgren, the plaintiff asserted that the defendant breached fiduciary duties by taking assets held in trust for the plaintiff’s father. No. 13-22-00029-CV, 2022 Tex. App. LEXIS 2843 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi April 25, 2022, no pet. history). The jury found for the plaintiff and awarded him fifty percent of certain assets. “It found that the value of Nim’s share of the assets at the time of Paco’s breach was as follows: (1) $9,074,390 4 in Bitcoin; (2) $1,900,000 for the Park City property; and (3) $375,000 for the Austin property. The jury was not asked to value Nim’s interest in gold. Finally, the jury found that Paco earned a $29,329,378 profit resulting from his breach.”
Continue Reading Appellate Court Rules On Supersedeas Issues For Appeal Of Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Judgment

In Jones v. Jones, the decedent’s wife filed an application for probate of an attested will for her husband, and the decedent’s son from a previous marriage filed a petition contesting the will. No. 01-20-00073-CV, 2022 Tex. App. LEXIS 2019 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] March 29, 2022, no pet. history). The trial court denied the application to probate the will, and the wife appealed.
Continue Reading Court Holds That Initialing A Will Is Sufficient To Meet The Execution Requirement

In Hussion St. Bldgs., LLC v. TRW Eng’rs, Inc., the plaintiff landowner claimed its real property was injured by the failure of an engineering firm involved in developing the adjoining property to include a water-detention plan. No. 14-20-00641-CV, 2022 Tex. App. LEXIS 2193 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] April 5, 2022, no pet. history). The landowner asserted claims of negligence and breach of fiduciary duty, and the trial court granted the engineering firm’s summary-judgment motion on the grounds that limitations barred the negligence claim and licensed engineers do not owe fiduciary duties to non-clients.
Continue Reading Court Holds That Engineer Does Not Owe Fiduciary Duties To A Non-Client

In In re Estate of Vines, a probate court appointed a receiver over a business that was owned by a decedent. No. 01-21-00003-CV, 2022 Tex. App. LEXIS 2327 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] April 12, 2022, no pet. history). After the decedent died, her grandchildren challenged a new will and other documents that were executed by their grandmother in favor of the grandmother’s nephew. The trial court appointed a temporary administrator and later appointed a receiver over a business that was owned by the grandmother, but that was now controlled by the nephew. The nephew appealed the receivership order on multiple grounds.
Continue Reading Appellate Court Affirmed Receivership Order Where Appellant Waived His Complaints By Not Securing Rulings And By Not Challenging All Potential Grounds Upon Which The Order Was Based