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Farm caretaker sues over probate mess (CT)

Sam Manzo, the Southington farm caretaker hoodwinked out of his inheritance, is fighting back. Manzo is now suing the lawyers who were supposed to adhere to the wishes of Josephine Smoron, who died nearly two years ago. Faithful readers know I have made a big deal out of the Smoron Farm case because I believe it illustrates some of the fundamental failures of our probate courts, which too often operate without proper oversight. If there’s…


‘Probate stench’ follows attempted CT estate looting action

Probate Stench: Developer Suing Over Smoron Farm Rick Green December 17, 2010 Hartford Courant The developer who signed a deal so he could acquire the lucrative Smoron Farm has gone to court to get the land. Carl Verderame, a Southington developer, signed a deal to buy the Smoron Farm from three local churches under a scheme engineered by John Nugent, who was suppose…


Smoron farm probate mess moves closer to clean up

The long-running probate court shell game where a judge and a prominent lawyer in Southington sought to change an elderly woman’s will may be a little close to resolution. Lawyers are close to a deal that would send the matter back before a new probate judge who would consider Josephine Smoron’s estate as she intended. The old Polish farmer wanted to give her farm to her longtime caretaker, Sam Manzo, but former Probate Judge Bryan M…


CT letter to editor on Smoron estate, Meccariello conduct

Impeachment Clearly Called For In Probate Case Letters to the Editor October 18, 2010 Hartford Courant,0,4311421.story Shame on the Council on Probate Judicial Conduct for only censuring Probate Judge Bryan Meccariello when the Josephine Smoron property disinheritence case clearly calls for impeachment [editorial, Oct. 4, "The Least He Could Do"]. Mr. Meccaraiello s…


Connecticut probate reforms termed as ‘working,’ Smoron estate case observers likely disagree

When a case like the Josephine Smoron estate hijacking still lingers in the Connecticut legal system, terming the state’s probate reforms to be “working” seems a bit overstated. Connecticut’s probate courts can trace their history to the 1630s, and until a couple of years ago were still clinging to many of the efficiencies of the 17th century. That, fortunately, has changed. Reform legislation passed in 2009 and implement…

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