Probate abuse clips from (10/2/15)

Accidentally On Purpose: Washington Court Finds Coverage For Contempt Of Court Based On “Misunderstanding”

JD Supra

September 30, 2015

Professional liability policies cover claims based on the insured’s alleged negligent acts, errors or omissions, and not claims for “sanctions or penalties” for “willful” professional misconduct.  But the insurer’s duty to defend is very broad.  Recently, a debtor in a bankruptcy proceeding filed a motion against the attorney for a judgment creditor, seeking to have her held in civil contempt for an allegedly “willful” violation of a discharge injunction.  In Gauthier v. Twin City Fire Ins. Co., No. C14-693 (W.D. Wash. Aug. 11, 2015), a federal court in Washington ruled that the attorney’s liability insurer owed a duty to defend the claim, because the insurer was unable to convince the court the claim was “clearly not covered by the policy.”


Funeral Home Said to Target Mentally Ill (IN)

Courthouse News Service

September 30, 2015

INDIANAPOLIS (CN) – An Indiana funeral home and cemetery targeted mental health patients to sell them thousands of dollars of pre-need funeral services, the guardian of an alleged victim claims in court.
In a class action filed Monday in the Marion County, Ind. Superior Court, Deitra Covington claims defendant Crown Hill Management, which does business as the Crown Hill Funeral Home and Cemetery, violated the Indiana Pre-Need Act, by targeting vulnerable patients who reside in mental health care facilities to sell them expense funeral service packages.


Ray Charles Foundation can challenge heirs’ attempt to reclaim copyrights


September 30, 2015

Ray Charles Foundation v. Robinson et al.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court’s dismissal of a suit brought by the sole beneficiary of the Ray Charles estate, concluding that the Ray Charles Foundation had standing to challenge Charles’s heirs in their attempt to reclaim several copyrights to the late singer’s works because the Foundation’s right to royalties from such works would be affected. Ray Charles Foundation v. Robinson et al., Case No. 13-55421 (9th Cir. July 31, 2015) (Christen, J.).