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Can A Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Land A Fiduciary In Jail?

March 21, 2013

Authors

Luke Lantta

Can A Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Land A Fiduciary In Jail?

March 21, 2013

by: Luke Lantta

We spend a lot of time here looking at civil cases involving corporate and individual fiduciaries.  That doesn’t mean that the wrongful acts underlying a breach of fiduciary duty can’t also pose criminal problems for a fiduciary.  Occasionally a criminal fiduciary case catches our attention, like the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee’s opinion in Elkins v. Gibson (link provided through Justia.com).  This was a case where a fiduciary sued a police detective for malicious prosecution stemming from a warrant issued for the fiduciary’s alleged theft from his principal.  The fiduciary was arrested but was not convicted of any crime.  Why we’re interested is because the alleged theft took place using a power of attorney.

The federal court dismissed the plaintiff’s case finding that the detective was entitled to qualified immunity.  Specifically, the federal court found that at the time the objectionable warrant was issued, the

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Georgia Executor Converted Estate Assets

November 18, 2011

Authors

Luke Lantta

Georgia Executor Converted Estate Assets

November 18, 2011

by: Luke Lantta

In In re Estate of Tapley, the Georgia Court of Appeals took on a number of procedural issues regarding litigation over the Estate of Opal Mae Tapley.

The case highlights a common problem with fiduciary litigation – estate disputes often span multiple courts and involve multiple separate lawsuits.  The case therefore serves as a good reminder to fiduciary litigators that it is their responsibility to follow proper procedure or risk losing a damage award on appeal.

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Is A Trustee’s Lawyer Required To Advise His Client Not To Breach Fiduciary Duties?

October 10, 2011

Authors

Luke Lantta

Is A Trustee’s Lawyer Required To Advise His Client Not To Breach Fiduciary Duties?

October 10, 2011

by: Luke Lantta

Somewhere Kirby E. Cole sits in prison, having plead guilty to mail fraud.  As trustee for the Phillips Foundation, Cole breached his fiduciary duties to the Foundation by fraudulently transferring Foundation property and mineral rights for free to himself.  So, Cole did what any imprisoned former trustee would do – he sued his lawyer.

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