Texas Supreme Court Held That The Reformation Statute For The Rule Against Perpetuities Could Apply To An Instrument Created By A Corporation Because Corporations Can Create Inter Vivos Trusts

In Yowell v. Granite Operating Co., the Texas Supreme Court reviewed the validity of an interest in a mineral lease regarding the rule against perpetuities (“Rule”). No. 18-0841, 2020 Tex. LEXIS 425 (Tex. May 15, 2020).  The court of appeals held the reserved overriding royalty interest (“ORRI”) in new leases violated the Rule and was… Continue Reading

Texas Supreme Court Holds That  Parties Can Conclusively Agree That, As Between Themselves, No Partnership Will Exist Unless Certain Conditions Are Satisfied

In Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. v. Enter. Prods. Partners, L.P., one pipeline company sued another for breaching a duty of loyalty that allegedly arose out of a partnership to develop a pipeline. No. 17-0862, 2020 Tex. LEXIS 46 (Tex. January 31, 2020). One company decided to no longer work with the other and developed the… Continue Reading

Presentation: Summary Judgments in Texas

David F. Johnson, lead writer for the Texas Fiduciary Litigator blog recently presented his paper on “Summary Judgments in Texas” at the State Bar of Texas’s Advanced Civil Appellate Course in Austin, Texas.  This presentation included a discussion of the finality of summary judgments, the standard and scope of review of traditional and no-evidence summary judgments in…… Continue Reading

Texas Supreme Court Holds That Contractual Clauses That Waive The Statute Of Limitations May Be Enforceable

In Godoy v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., a bank sued a guarantor to recover on a deficiency following a foreclosure sale. No. 18-0071, 2019 Tex. LEXIS 443 (Tex. May 10, 2019). The defendant guarantor alleged that any such claim was barred by the two-year statute of limitations. The lender argued that the guarantor waived the…… Continue Reading

The Texas Supreme Court Holds That The Only Consideration In Probating A Will After The Four-Year Limitations Period Is Evidence Of The Applicant’s Default

In Ferreira v. Butler, a husband and wife divorced, and the husband married a second wife. No. 17-0901, 2019 Tex. LEXIS 375 (Tex. April 12, 2019). The second wife died, and the husband never probated her will, which left everything to him. Nine years later, the husband died and his will left most of his…… Continue Reading

Texas Supreme Court Holds That Conspiracy Theories Have the Same Statute Of Limitations As Their Underlying Torts

Joint liability for breach of fiduciary duty claims is a rather confusing area of law in Texas. Texas courts have discussed three different theories that allow for joint liability: knowing participation in breach of fiduciary duty, aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty, and conspiracy. There is a claim for knowing participation in Texas. See…… Continue Reading

Texas Supreme Court Holds That A Limitation-Of-Liability Clause Eliminated A Punitive Damage Claim Where A Fraud Plaintiff Enforced The Contract But Refused To Address If The Holding Would Similarly Apply To A Breach-of-Fiduciary-Duty Claim

In Bombardier Aero. Corp. v. Spep Aircraft Holdings, a plaintiff who had purchased an aircraft sued the defendant for fraud associated with representations regarding whether the aircraft was new or used. No. 17-0578, 2019 Tex. LEXIS 101 (Tex. February 1, 2019). The purchase agreement stated: “Flexjet will not be liable to either customer for any…… Continue Reading

Texas Supreme Court Held Bank Was Not Liable For Fraudulent Withdrawals From An Account Due To UCC 4.406

In Compass Bank v. Calleja-Ahedo, an identity thief drained the plaintiff’s bank account through a series of fraudulent transactions in 2012 and 2013, and the plaintiff sued his bank to recover the stolen funds. No. 17-0065, 2018 Tex. LEXIS 1314 (Tex. December 21, 2018). The trial court granted summary judgment for the bank under Section…… Continue Reading

The Texas Supreme Court Denies Review In A Case Awarding Mental Anguish Damages, Exemplary Damages, and Other Damages For A Trustee’s Breach Of Fiduciary Duty

Today, the Texas Supreme Court denied review in Wells Fargo v. Militello, No. 05-15-01252-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 5640 (Tex. App.—Dallas June 20, 2017, pet. denied). In Militello, the court of appeals affirmed a trial court’s judgment against a trustee regarding a beneficiary’s claims for breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, and fraud where the trial court awarded $1,328,448.35…… Continue Reading

A. A Fractured Texas Supreme Court Holds That There Is No Tortious Interference With Inheritance Claim In Texas

In Archer v. Anderson, Jack, who had no children, executed a will leaving his estate to his brother and his brother’s children, the Archers. No. 16-0256, 2018 Tex. LEXIS 611 (Tex. June 22, 2018). Later, Jack had a stroke and was mentally incompetent. Jack’s friend Anderson, an attorney, drafted durable and medical powers of attorney…… Continue Reading