Texas Court of Appeals

In In re Pitts, the parties in a case settled and had a special needs trust drafted. No. 05-22-00542-CV, 2022 Tex. App. LEXIS 4143 (Tex. App.—Dallas June 16, 2022, original proceeding). The trial court entered a different trust. The parties filed a petition for writ of mandamus challenging the trust entered by the trial

In In re Estate of Hogan, a father executed a new will, leaving his estate to one of his sons (Harold) and disinheriting his other son (Gary). No. 11-20-00170-CV, 2022 Tex. App. LEXIS 3863 (Tex. App.—Eastland June 9, 2022, no pet. history). Gary filed a will contest, and the trial court heard same in a bench trial. After the court ruled against Gary, he appealed.
Continue Reading Appellate Court Affirms Findings That Decedent’s Will Was Not A Product Of Undue Influence And That He Had Mental Capacity

In In re Eisenbise, the parties, a mother and son, argued about a trial court’s order requiring an executrix to produce certain documents pursuant to her duty to provide initial disclosures in a dispute concerning the grandmother’s estate. No. 10-22-00090-CV, 2022 Tex. App. LEXIS 3866 (Tex. App.—Waco June 8, 2022, original proc.).
Continue Reading Appellate Court Denies Mandamus Regarding A Trial Court’s Initial Disclosure Order In An Estate Case

In Trench Tech Int’l, Inc. v. Tech Con Trenching, Inc., the son of an owner of a company, who was an employee, downloaded design plans and other information and went to another company who used that information. No. 4:19-cv-00201-O, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100280 (N.D. Tex. June 6, 2022). The company and the company that owned it sued the son for trade secret misappropriation and breach of fiduciary duty. The defendant moved for summary judgment, and the federal district court denied the motion. Regarding the breach of fiduciary duty claim, the defendant argued that he was only an employee of the first company and not its owner and therefore did not owe fiduciary duties to the owner.
Continue Reading Employee’s Fiduciary Duty May Not Be Limited To His Or Her Employer

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