Mail or fax cover letter and resume. We also have the Law Office Internship Program for persons at my private law office for students who are not able to participate in the Public Defender program. The Public Defenders provide Indigent individuals charged with criminal or serious motor vehicle charges with free or limited cost legal defense.
Russo, on the brief. Respondent Laura Brawner has not filed a brief. Robertexecutor of the estate of his late mother, appeals from the October 13, Probate Part order denying his motion for counsel fees. On appeal, Robert argues the judge improperly imposed his own "policy considerations to arbitrarily deny" his "otherwise legally justifiable application.
We discern the following facts from the record. On April 21,her Last Will and Testament was admitted to probate. The Will divided her estate between Robert and Laura, "in equal shares. The decedent also held various non-probate assets, all listing Robert as joint tenant or beneficiary.
According to Robert, soon after their mother's death, Laura expressed a desire to "cash out" her interest in the estate as soon as possible. She was not interested in maintaining resume writing services middlesex county nj property interest in the house as an investment property, while Robert was interested in owning the house as a long-term investment.
According to Robert, these transfers were made to satisfy Laura's interest in the house and the estate. However, the record contains no evidence of any estate administration formalities accompanying these distributions, such as an accounting, an appraisal, or the execution of refunding bonds and releases.
In DecemberLaura filed a verified complaint in the Probate Part to compel Robert to provide an accounting of estate assets. Laura alleged Robert "has refused to provide an accounting of the estate assets.
He also filed his own verified complaint, alleging he had an agreement with Laura to purchase her interest in their mother's house, and further asserting Laura was overpaid her interest in the estate.
The court eventually held a two-day plenary hearing to address the issues raised by the parties and Robert's accounting.
At the conclusion of the hearing, the court entered an order, which stated: The accounting submitted by the Executor is approved in part and rejected in part. Counsel may submit application for counsel fees, if they wish, to be considered by the Court.
Counsel for both parties submitted requests for counsel fees. Both requests exceed the value of the residual estate. Both parties were responsible for the protracted litigation, which [Laura] eventually admitted that she knew all along that the house was purchased from her pursuant to an agreement with [Robert].
Since I can find that both parties in some respect share responsibility for the litigation which proceeded, it would be unjust and unfair to award counsel fees for either party, as the amount of success obtained by the extensive litigation is minuscule compared with the attorney's fees.
Therefore, the Court will impose the American rule and each party shall bear their own expenses.
We review a trial judge's decision to award attorneys' fees under an abuse of discretion standard. A reviewing court "will disturb a trial court's award of counsel fees only on the rarest of occasions, and then only because of a clear abuse of discretion.
In awarding attorneys fees in probate the trial judge must "exercise. In that case, we held that the Probate Part could not reduce an attorney's fee request by fifteen percent in accordance with the judge's personal policy of "discouraging or 'deterring'" fee-shifting cases.
We conclude, however, such considerations did not motivate the judge in this case, as the judge identified specific factors supporting his decision. Robert was fairly sloppy in his performance of work as an executor and felt that he had no obligation to explain to his sister what the assets of the [E]state were and what had happened with the Estate's expenses and disbursements from the estate.
Robert never cooperated in the filing of an accounting until [Laura] filed her complaint demanding in accounting and other relief. An executor, in performing the duties assumed, "must generally act with the care and skill which a [person] of ordinary prudence would exercise under the circumstances.
Robert's lack of cooperation, causing Laura to file litigation to receive the accounting she should have received long ago, clearly fell short of the ordinary prudence standard.
The trial judge's denial of attorney fees did not constitute an abuse of discretion, let alone a clear abuse of discretion. The order will not be disturbed.Bill provide some useful guidance about writing an every fact or published.
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