Firm Featured in Lawyers Weekly for Probate Litigation Win
Correira & Correira LLP is featured on the front page of the December 1, 2016 issue of Massachusetts Lawyer’s Weekly for an interesting trust litigation matter in which the probate judge eliminated the share of certain beneficiaries of the estate and awarded it as legal fees to the law firm.
In Giroux v. Laranjo et al, Bristol County Probate Court, Taunton – the estate beneficiaries who unsuccessfully sued the estate’s personal representative after she used her power of attorney to amend distribution percentages on a realty trust could be liable for attorney’s fees in an amount that would ultimately wipe out their individual interests in the estate and trust. The fees spanning two years of litigation totaled nearly $150,000.
The decedent of the estate was Joseph Peixoto, the former owner of Oakland Variety on Rt. 140 in Taunton and concerned the adjoining home. The litigation evolved into other disputes over the estate and last will and testament as well.
Managing Partner David J. Correira said ”the ruling serves as a reminder that bad feelings and anger are no basis for a lawsuit.” Partner Eric D. Correira said “the decision reinforces the fact that, at least in Probate Court, there is an exception to the American Rule that all parties bear their own fees and costs.”
The firm relied on a special but often unapplied statute G.L.c. 215 Sec. 45 to shift their fees from the estate and trust to the losing parties.
Here is the full article: giroux-lw-article
Here is the fee order: giroux-fee-order
Here is the original decision: giroux-sj-order
Finally, here is a flier for a seminar on this case presented by the Massachusetts Bar Association: ProbateLitigation_0317