There may be good strategic reasons to get a trust litigation case into federal court, especially if you’re the trustee. But, just because you meet the diversity jurisdiction requirements to get the case into federal court doesn’t mean the federal court will hear the case. The court may still find that an exception to otherwise perfectly good diversity jurisdiction exists. While we more regularly see federal courts invoke the probate exception to diversity jurisdiction in fiduciary litigation cases, in McCavey v. McCavey-Barnett (unpublished), a federal appellate court affirmed a Georgia district court’s decision to not hear a trust dispute based on the domestic relations exception to diversity jurisdiction.
The case that the federal court declined to hear involved allegations concerning an inter vivos family trust. A husband and wife deeded aRead More