Posts tagged "Citizens"

Brady, et al. v. Citizens Union Savings Bank, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-025-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   16-P-308                                        Appeals Court   NANCY BRADY, executrix,[1] & another[2] vs. CITIZENS UNION SAVINGS BANK[3] & another.[4]     No. 16-P-308.   Bristol.     December 6, 2016. – March 9, 2017.   Present:  Green, Agnes, & Desmond, JJ.     Probate Court, Attorney’s fees, Trust.  Trust, Attorney’s fees.  Executor and Administrator, Attorney’s fees.  Practice, Civil, Attorney’s fees.       Complaint in equity filed in the Bristol Division of the Probate and Family Court Department on July 13, 2011.   Following review by this court, 88 Mass. App. Ct. 416 (2015), an award of attorney’s fees, costs, and compensation for professional services was entered by Virginia M. Ward, J.     Carol L. Ricker for Dale Eggers. Edwin F. Landers, Jr., for W. Nancy Brady. Ben N. Dunlap for Edwin J. Haznar, Jr.     GREEN, J.  On remand following our decision in a previous appeal in this case, see Brady v. Citizens Union Sav. Bank, 88 Mass. App. Ct. 416 (2015) (Brady I), the Probate and Family Court judge entered a thorough and detailed written memorandum of decision, in which she reduced from $ 457,902.09 to $ 350,680.80[5] the amount the plaintiffs could recover as reimbursement for fees and costs their decedents incurred in defense of a lawsuit brought against them by the defendant Dale Eggers and her daughter.  Eggers has again appealed, contending that (1) the amount of fees is unreasonable in light of the nature and complexity of the underlying litigation; (2) the amount of fees represents an unreasonable proportion of the value of assets held by the Wilson O. Smith Trust (trust); and (3) the judge failed adequately to consider the availability of insurance proceeds as an alternative source of reimbursement.  We affirm, addressing Eggers’s arguments in turn.[6] Lodestar method.[7]  In determining the amount of a reasonable fee, we consider “the nature of the case and the issues presented, the time and labor required, the amount of damages involved, the result obtained, the experience, reputation and ability of the attorney, the usual price charged for similar services by other attorneys in the same area, and the amount of awards in similar cases.”  Linthicum v. Archambault, 379 Mass. 381, 388-389 (1979).  Determination of a reasonable fee is in the first instance largely committed to the sound discretion of the trial judge, who is in the best position to evaluate the […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - March 9, 2017 at 3:26 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , , , , ,

Brady, et al. v. Citizens Union Savings Bank, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-152-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   14-P-1641                                       Appeals Court   W. NANCY BRADY, executrix,[1] & another[2]  vs.  CITIZENS UNION SAVINGS BANK[3] & another.[4]   No. 14-P-1641. Bristol.     June 1, 2015. – September 30, 2015.   Present:  Sullivan, Maldonado, & Massing, JJ. Probate Court, Attorney’s fees, Trust.  Trust, Attorney’s fees.  Practice, Civil, Attorney’s fees.  Executor and Administrator, Attorney’s fees.       Complaint in equity filed in the Bristol Division of the Probate and Family Court Department on July 13, 2011.   The case was heard by Virginia M. Ward, J.     Philip J. Laffey for Dale Eggers. Edwin F. Landers, Jr., for W. Nancy Brady. Ben Nathan Dunlap for Edwin J. Haznar, Jr.     MASSING, J.  Defendant Dale Eggers, a beneficiary of the William O. Smith Trust (the trust), appeals from a decree issued by a judge of the Probate and Family Court awarding attorney’s fees, costs, and compensation for professional services to be paid to the plaintiffs from trust funds.  The plaintiffs’ petition to the court claimed that their decedents (the trustees) had rendered legal and accounting services to the trust and had incurred expenses in their defense of a lawsuit that Eggers initiated against them in connection with their duties as trustees.  The amount of the award was nearly sixty percent of the value of the trust at the time of the petition.  While we do not reach the question of the reasonableness of the award, we remand the case for the judge to “undertake a more specific and searching analysis of the actual requests for fees and costs submitted than the record suggests took place.”  Matter of the Estate of King, 455 Mass. 796, 809 (2010) (King). Background.  Eggers’s father, Wilson O. Smith, established the trust in 1987.  Among the beneficiaries were Smith’s wife, Betty Georgas (who was not Eggers’s mother), Eggers, and Eggers’s children.  In December, 2006, Eggers and one of her daughters initiated a lawsuit in the Probate and Family Court against the trustees, Thomas T. Brady and Edwin J. Haznar, alleging breach of fiduciary duty in their 1994 conveyance of a Florida property out of the trust to Georgas (the prior action). After nearly four years of litigation, on November 8, 2010, summary judgment entered in favor of the trustees.  Among the grounds for judgment was that the prior action was barred by the statute of limitations because Eggers […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - September 30, 2015 at 5:02 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , , , , ,

Citizens Bank of Massachusetts v. Coleman (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-063-13)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA 02108-1750;  (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us       12‑P‑365                                        Appeals Court   CITIZENS BANK OF MASSACHUSETTS  vs.  PAMELA BAKER COLEMAN.     No. 12‑P‑365. Suffolk.     October 10, 2012.  ‑  May 15, 2013. Present:  Grasso, Fecteau, & Agnes, JJ.     Husband and Wife, Conveyance between spouses.  Trust, Resulting trust.  Unjust Enrichment.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on June 16, 2005.   The case was heard by Stephen E. Neel, J.; entry of judgment was ordered by Janet L. Sanders, J., and motions to alter or amend the judgment were heard by her.     Steven B. Rosenthal for the defendant. Robert L. Hamer for the plaintiff.     AGNES, J.  The principal question presented by this appeal is whether the judge was correct in determining that the purported transfers of the beneficial interests in two pieces of real estate by a husband to his wife as an alleged estate planning maneuver failed and thereby gave rise to resulting trusts.  We conclude that the judge was warranted in finding that at the time of the transfers the husband’s intent was to protect the two properties from his creditors, and that he did not intend to convey the beneficial interests to his wife.  The combination of the husband’s intent and his wife’s tacit agreement to act as his agent supports the judge’s ruling that the two properties were held by the wife, as trustee, in resulting trusts for her husband’s benefit and thus were subject to reach and apply actions by his creditor.  We therefore affirm. Background.  The plaintiff, Citizens Bank of Massachusetts (Citizens Bank), brought this reach and apply action to obtain assets purportedly held by the defendant, Pamela Baker Coleman (wife), to satisfy debts owed by her husband, Martin J. Coleman, III (husband), a real estate developer.  The case was tried without a jury.  We summarize the pertinent facts, drawn from the judge’s findings of fact, rulings of law, and order of judgment. In April of 1983 and 1984, the husband purchased, in his own name, two multifamily rental properties (collectively, rental properties) in Waltham:  331-333 Grove Street (Grove Street property) and 156-158 Ash Street (Ash Street property).  The judge found that the husband furnished all the consideration to acquire these properties.  In 1986, the husband and wife were married, and the wife began managing the properties.  The judge found that […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - May 15, 2013 at 7:16 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , , , ,