In Rostanzo v. Rostanzo, Case No. 09-P-1671, 2010 Mass. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1334 (Dec. 14, 2010), a decision issued pursuant to Rule 1:28, the Appeals Court affirmed the superior court's dismissal of the plaintiff's quantum meruit claim against the decedent's estate for the uncompensated "services" she allegedly provided to the decedent.
The plaintiff was married to the decedent. Prior to marrying, they entered into an antenuptial agreement which stated that each would continue to own the real and personal property with which they came to the marriage and that both would abandon any rights or claims to the other's property. In connection with a separate proceeding that was commenced in probate court, the validity of the antenuptial agreement was upheld. Based on the validity of the antenuptial agreement, the superior court and then the Appeals Court ruled that the plaintiff had effectively contracted away her quantum meruit claim. "That rather comprehensive contract essentially specifies that the plaintiff waived any interest in any aspect of the estate without reservation of any obligation that the decedent undertook to 'take care' of the plaintiff upon his death. Given that there is a binding contract addressing the very subject that the plaintiff here presses, the quantum meruit claim is necessarily and fatally flawed."
Day Pitney Partner Angela Titus McEwan authored an article, "The UTC and the Duty to Inform and Report," published in Trusts & Estates.
Keith Bradoc Gallant and Rebecca Iannantuoni authored an article, "When a Client Lacks Legal Competency, Who Files for the Divorce?," for Family Advocate, a publication of the American Bar Association Section on Family Law.
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Clifford Nichols wrote an article, "When Addressing Cybersecurity and Data Breach, Don't Forget eDiscovery," for New Jersey Law Journal. The article is about how companies should consider eDiscovery and litigation response issues when making policy or infrastructure changes to address cybersecurity and data breach risks.
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Rick Sanders is quoted in an article, "Business Groups Encouraged by Legislators," in NJBIZ, which addresses political activity behind a bill to phase out New Jersey's estate tax. Under the bipartisan bill, the estate tax, which currently applies to inheritances valued at $675,000 or more, would be eliminated gradually over a five-year period. "It affects such a small part of the population," Sanders said. "It just strikes me as unusual that all of a sudden, this bill came. I think it's not coincidental that the governor was campaigning for president at the time he called for the repeal. For years and years, there's been proposals to increase the exemption to $1 million and it never got any traction in New Jersey."
Boston, Mass., January 20, 2016 – Day Pitney is pleased to announce Jillian Hirsch, a partner in Day Pitney’s Litigation Practice, has been selected as one of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly’s 2015 Lawyers of the Year. Honorees were nominated by their colleagues, clients and other legal professionals for their outstanding professional accomplishments.
Boston, Mass. November 11, 2015 – Day Pitney is pleased to announce Leiha Macauley, a partner in Day Pitney’s Individual Clients Practice, has been selected as a 2015 Boston Rising Star by The National Law Journal.
Jillian Hirsch was quoted in an article, "Trust divisible in divorce despite possible new beneficiaries," in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. In the article, Hirsch, who represented the wife in the matter, explains why the Appeals Court's decision of Pfannenstiehl v. Pfannenstiehl is significant.
"It confirmed that an interest in a trust with an ascertainable standard--specifically one with a history of distributions woven into the fabric of the marriage--is a vested, presently enforceable interest and therefore properly included in a marital estate for purposes of equitable division of property in a divorce," she said.