One of our firm’s successful appeals of a trial court’s erroneous ruling(s). This case is particularly instructive in regards to the duties of a fiduciary to a protected person, the distinction between legal and equitable ownership of assets, and the nature of estate plans (wills, trusts, beneficiary deeds) in relation to a conservatorship. Attorney for the firm: John H. Barron, III.
The “heart” of the issue was whether the Superior Court of Arizona had jurisdiction to decide matters regarding the administration of a trust administered in a foreign country. The Superior Court, Maricopa County, granted “our side’s” motion to dismiss but denied the request for statutory attorney fees. Having been successful in the trial court regarding the issue of jurisdiction and obtaining dismissal of the action, the opposition appealed. The Court of Appeals did not publish the portion affirming the dismissal, but did publish the portion regarding fees and held that suits that arise out of a trust relationship are not suits arising out of a “contract” for purposes of the statutes allowing attorney fee awards to the successful party in an action arising out of a contract. Attorney for the firm: John H. Barron, III.