Florida Probate & Trust Litigation Blog

Florida Probate & Trust Litigation Blog

By Juan C. Antúnez of Stokes McMillan Antúnez P.A.

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Monthly Archives: October 2008

2d DCA: Does Civ Pro Rule 1.525 (Motions for Costs and Attorneys’ Fees) apply to trust proceedings?

Posted in Compensation Disputes
Donkersloot v. Donkersloot, — So.2d —-, 2008 WL 4647415 (Fla. 2d DCA Oct 22, 2008) Civil Procedure Rule 1.525 governs the mechanics of attorney’s fee motions in general commercial litigation.  Here’s what the rule says: Any party seeking a judgment taxing costs, attorneys’ fees, or both shall serve a motion no later than 30 days … Continue Reading

5th DCA: Why a de novo appellate standard of review can be your best friend in trust-construction litigation

Posted in Will and Trust Contests
Brown v. Miller, — So.2d —-, 2008 WL 4600940 (Fla. 5th DCA Oct 17, 2008) In trust construction litigation the litigants are asking the judge to read the trust agreement and tell them what it means. In this type of litigation you often have the choice of allowing the court to rule on the trust agreement without … Continue Reading

4th DCA says NO to compulsory medical examination of 88-year old man caught up in someone else’s litigation

Posted in Practice & Procedure
Urbanek v. Hopkins, — So.2d —-, 2008 WL 4489266 (Fla. 4th DCA Oct 08, 2008) What this case is really about is good lawyering. Miami probate litigator David H. Goldberg was hired to represent an 88-year old man suffering from Parkinson’s disease who had the misfortune of getting sucked into trust litigation he didn’t start … Continue Reading

4th DCA: What’s it mean to have “rendered services to an estate” when seeking attorneys fees in probate litigation?

Posted in Compensation Disputes
Duncombe v. Adderly, — So.2d —-, 2008 WL 4489234 (Fla. 4th DCA Oct 08, 2008) If a beneficiary of an estate wants to get his attorney’s fees paid with assets of the estate, the statute he’ll have to hang his hat on is F.S. 733.106(3), which provides as follows: (3) Any attorney who has rendered … Continue Reading

Can you compel a trust beneficiary to arbitrate a claim based on an arbitration agreement he never signed, but his trustee did?

Posted in Will and Trust Contests
Eichler v. Leshner, Slip Copy, 2008 WL 4459029 (M.D.Fla. Sep 29, 2008) In the linked-to case the beneficiary of a trust tried to sue the trust’s investment manager for having "failed to properly invest trust assets."  The defendant’s filed a motion to compel arbitration based on an arbitration clause contained in the account agreement signed … Continue Reading

4th DCA: “fabled twins of speculation and conjecture” aren’t enough to validate a lost will

Posted in Will and Trust Contests
Balboni v. LaRocque, — So.2d —-, 2008 WL 4414240 (Fla. 4th DCA Oct 01, 2008 The absence of supporting evidence is a recurring theme when it comes to appellate reversals in probate litigation [click here].  In this case the issue was whether the proponents of a lost will had overcome the presumption that the will was … Continue Reading

Another probate judge gets reversed for failing to appoint the testator’s nominated PR

Posted in Removal of Personal Representatives and Surcharge
McCormick v. McCormick, — So.2d —-, 2008 WL 4377136 (Fla. 1st DCA Sep 29, 2008) Florida probate judges are given a great deal of latitude when making calls on how an estate should be administered.  But there’s one estate-administration issue over which their authority is severely limited: whether or not to appoint the personal representative … Continue Reading