Firm Wins Featured at Heckerling and in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly

Two of Correira Law’s 2016 litigation success stories, Audette v. Poulin, et al. and Giroux v. Laranjo, et al., have been featured at a national conference and in Lawyers Weekly, respectively.

For the case law update at the 51st Annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning held in Orlando, Florida, the speakers noted Audette v. Poulin, a favorable decision for the firm by the Rhode Island Supreme Court. In the Audette matter, the Court held that a trustee’s attorney, hired to represent the trustee in a dispute with a trust beneficiary, could not in turn be held liable to the beneficiary for allegations of negligence and breach of fiduciary duty. A case of first impression in Rhode Island, the Audette matter clarifies the relationship of a trustee’s attorney to the trust’s beneficiaries, and is of particular importance to attorneys practicing in the area of trusts and estates. For more information, see Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning 2017 Materials, Chapter 8 at Page 66.

In addition, in the December 1, 2016 issue of Massachusetts Lawyer’s Weekly, Correira Law is highlighted for an interesting trust litigation matter in which the probate judge eliminated the share of certain beneficiaries of the estate and awarded it instead as legal fees to the law firm. In Giroux v. Laranjo, the Bristol County Probate Court, relying on M.G.L. c. 215 Sec. 45, held that 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 over $150,000. For the full text of the article, click here. Also, for a seminar on this case presented by the Massachusetts Bar Association, click here.