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Posts tagged "Civil"

Aggressive trial approach

Yale Law tried a will contest to a Jury for 8 days resulting in client being awarded her homestead, a monetary award in excess of $350,000.00, retirement funds, and an ongoing payment of expenses. Client was charged hourly and court-awarded attorney's fee paid from opponent's funds. 

Real Estate dispute tried to Jury

Yale Law represented former Dallas Maverick basketball player in the sale of his home to a former Dallas Cowboy player. The Cowboy sued the Mav regarding a breach of contract and the Maverick counter-sued the Cowboy. The Jury unanimously found in our client's favor & awarded a high six-figure damage award. 

Effective Civil Litigation

Yale Law Group was retained to represent a defendant against a national bank 30 days before trial. We revised the pleadings and mounted a successful defense to obtain a zero verdict for our client on an alleged breach of guaranty agreement which resulted in our client not being held liable for an excess of $350,000.00. The client had only previously received offers to settle if he paid the entire alleged liability. 

Have you put up collateral on a note or loan?

In Texas, when a creditor takes possession of collateral they must demonstrate that they have given notice to the debtor or guarantor as well as that the disposition of that collateral is commercially reasonable. If you have been sued as a debtor or guarantor and have put up collateral, it is very important that you alert your attorney as to the fact that you have placed collateral to guarantee the note or loan. The attorney must affirmatively plead that not all of the conditions for recovery under the note or loan have occurred and specifically identify the deficiencies that the lender has failed to address. Because area of the law is highly technical and many of the decisions are made by less experienced personnel at the lending institution, you may be able to avoid your debt with an attorney who is well versed in this type of litigation.

TAX DEDUCTIONS FOR CHILDREN IN A DIVORCE

There is often a question who will have the tax deductions for the children following a divorce of parents. The short answer is the parent who has the child or children the majority of the time, that being more than 50 percent of the time. However, the parties may agree to divide the deductions as a means of settling their marital estate and in doing so the Internal Revenue Service requires that a form be completed. That form is Form 8332. That form may be obtained at WWW.IRS.GOV. If the Final Decree of Divorce is silent as to who can claim the children then the parent who has the children the majority of the time is recognized as the proper party by the Internal Revenue Service. There are certain instances where it is favorable for a party to negotiate away their right to claim the children as deductions. One example would be where a stay-at-home parent has no income and therefore could not use the deduction, while the other parent may be a high income earner and would benefit by the deduction reducing their total taxable income. In any event, a rough calculation as to the value of the tax deductions should be done before you give away this valuable asset. 

WHAT IS A WILL CONTEST?

A will contest is a challenge to probating what appears to be a basically valid Will. When a party believes that a Will is not properly admitted to probate they may contest the Will by filing an objection to the Will in the probate court. Once the objection to the Will has been filed the proponent of the admission of the Will to probate must prove that the deceased had testamentary capacity at the time that they signed the Will and that all proper formalities for signing a Will have occurred. Alternatively, the opponent of the Will may contest the Will on either this issue of whether there had been testamentary capacity and the formalities had been followed or they may contest the Will on the basis that there had been undue influence on the deceased at the time that they signed the Will. The burden of proof to prove testamentary capacity rests with the proponent of the Will, while the burden of proof for demonstrating undue influence or over-reaching lies with the opponent of the Will. Each case necessarily rests on the facts of that case and can only be properly evaluated by a lawyer who has experience with Will contests.

Attorney's Fees Awards and Lawsuits

In Texas, attorney fees are available to be awarded to the winner of a lawsuit in limited circumstances. Some of those circumstances are when a statute provides for attorneys' fees or the attorneys' fees are based on a contract between the parties. Generally attorneys' fees are not awarded to the prevailing party in a lawsuit relating to a personal injury matter such as a car accident. When attorneys' fees are awardable under a contract, you must show that you prevailed in the lawsuit for the contract before you can be awarded attorneys' fees. Attorneys' fees are often termed a tagalong claim in that if you are not the prevailing party in the lawsuit the court is without ability to award you attorneys' fees at all. This means that you must receive at least nominal damages in order to be entitled to attorneys' fees.

Mediation

In today's litigation climate virtually every court will require the parties to attend mediation. Mediation is useful both in terms of settling a claim as well as discovering weaknesses in your claim as well as weaknesses and/or strengths in the opposing party's claims against you. There are numerous strategies on how to handle mediation and proper preparation for a mediation puts you in the best position for a favorable outcome. Many people put a bottom line resolution into their plan prior to entering mediation. This sometimes works but as often as not if you (or your attorney) are a creative out-of-the-box thinker you can craft a solution to offer to the other side that will allow the case to be resolved favorably to you. 

It is Worthwhile to go to Small Claims Court in Texas

In Texas the monetary jurisdictional limits for a small claims court is $10,000.00. This threshold allows a suit to be filed if the total amount that is sought by the plaintiff is less than $10,000.00, however, it is not always wise to take this type of matter to small claims court for a number of reasons. First, many of the judges in Texas for small claims court are not lawyers but members of society who have had little or no training in the law. This leads to inconsistent remedies and results. Second, small claims court judgments can be easily appealed to the county court at law. This makes for double the work for the attorney to take a case through small claims court as the appeal process is a trial de novo (everything is re-litigated). Three, small claims court do not have formal discovery procedures and therefore many times a trial is nothing more than a "shoot from the hip" trial without a fair and proper litigation by the parties. Therefore, we recommend that if the case is important to you, you retain an attorney, and the case be filed either in a county court at law or a state district court.