Robert B. Cohen was a man of “great wealth.” At the time of his death at age 86, he had suffered for years from a progressive form of Parkinson’s disease. His son James filed a complaint to declare that Cohen’s 2009 will, as later modified, was valid. In turn, Cohen’s granddaughter Samantha filed a complaint.. read more →

Gregory Bock, Jr. was born two months after his mother married Gregory Bock, Sr. However, Gregory Jr. was the result of his mother’s previous relationship with Douglas Castellano. Gregory Sr. and Castellano both knew that Castellano was the biological father; however, the birth certificate identified Gregory Sr. as the father. When Gregory Jr. was approximately.. read more →

The decedent, John F. Piazza, died a widower in 2012, survived by three children: Barbara Piazza (“Barbara”), John H. Piazza (“John”), and Debra Elly Shaefer (“Debra”). His will appointed Barbara as executrix, and left his residuary estate to his three children equally. However, there was a purported codicil to his will, which disinherited Debra. Following.. read more →

The decedent’s will was admitted into probate in Bergen County, New Jersey, after the court found that he was a New Jersey domiciliary at the time of his death. His ex-wife sought to challenge New Jersey’s jurisdiction, claiming that the decedent was a New York domiciliary. The decedent had died unexpectedly in July 2016, during.. read more →

A New Jersey appeals court vacated an order approving a settlement and placing it in a special needs trust (SNT), ruling that there was no “meeting of the minds” between the parties. V.M. v. Jersey Shore University Medical Center, (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div., A-0781-16T1, Nov. 3, 2017). LaTanya Murphy and her adult son V.M… read more →

Dolores Pierce died in December 2014. She appointed her son Michael as executor of her estate, and letters testamentary issued on May 20, 2015. The decedent’s estate included 3 parcels of real property: a farm, a house (the “Pine Tree” property), and a third property where Michael lived and worked (the “Ramshorn” property). The decedent’s.. read more →

In 2005, Stuart and Phyllis Rauch purchased a nursing home facility through an LLC they formed. Their son Eric convinced them to hire his wife, Shan Chin, as a bookkeeper. The business suffered financial losses; by 2008, its net losses exceeded $585,000. In 2009, after losing his job at a law firm, Eric approached his.. read more →

Plaintiff Christopher Hermanns had been an adjunct college professor. He claimed that he quit his job at his father’s request to work in his father’s linen rental business (the “Company”). His father was the sole shareholder of the business, although plaintiff served as the president for six years. According to plaintiff, during his years of.. read more →

Following a daughter’s application to be appointed as guardian for her father, her brother objected and sought to be appointed as the guardian. Middlesex County Judge Frank M. Ciuffani held a four-day trial, during which it was established that the siblings had a contentious relationship and that the daughter had been named alternate executor under.. read more →

A California appeals court held that a trial court’s order directing a trial attorney to remove posts from her law firm website touting her successes constituted an unlawful prior restraint on the trial attorney’s constitutional right to free speech. Christie Steiner v. Superior Court of Santa Barbara County, 2d Civil No. B235347 (Super. Ct. No… read more →

In an August 29, 2013 unpublished decision, the Appellate Division considered and affirmed the trial court’s denial of a nursing home’s motion to dismiss a personal injury and wrongful death claim brought by the estate of a former resident. Levonas v. Regency Heritage Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (Docket No. A-4995-11T4, Aug. 29, 2013). In Levonas, the.. read more →

Earlier this month, Hon. Robert P. Contillo, Presiding Judge of the Chancery Division, Bergen County, New Jersey, set aside a decedent’s Last Will and Testament, ruling that the Will was the result of undue influence by one of her adult children who was the principal beneficiary of the will. In doing so, Judge Contillo made.. read more →

Lawrence Toppin was a juror in a criminal trial in Bergen County. Jury selection took 6 days. As part of voir dire questioning, the Court asked the jurors whether they could abide by his direction to limit their consideration only to those facts which “are from the testimony and exhibits introduced at the trial. You.. read more →