Pursuing and Defending Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claims Against Trustees of Closely Held Business Assets
Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A
This CLE webinar will provide estate planning counsel, fiduciary advisers, and litigators with a thorough and practical guide to pursuing and defending breach of fiduciary duty claims against trustees whose trusts have significant or controlling interests in closely held businesses. These circumstances often arise after the death of a principal owner or founder. The panel will discuss the risks involved when an employee or officer of a closely held business serves as a trustee, detail possible issues concerning conflicts of interest, and describe various states’ rules and approaches to claims against trustees/managers after the death of a principal owner of a closely held corporation.
- Breach of fiduciary duty claims against trustees who are also officers or managers of closely held businesses held in whole or in part by a trust
- Management decisions, including distribution, capital expenditures, diversification of business lines, and sale or divestiture of some or all of the business
- Improper delegation claims
- Conflict of interest claims
- Business judgment rule application, including legislative initiatives
- Enhanced scrutiny, fairness standard, and gross negligence in evaluating business decision-making
- Documentation to evaluate fiduciary’s discretion
The panel will discuss these and other important topics:
- Identifying increased possibility of conflict of interest claims due to having to strike a balance between the duties owed as trustee and those owed as officer/manager.
- How courts apply the standard of fiduciary duty and the business judgment rule in evaluating whether a trustee/manager acted properly.
- Business judgment rule presumptions relating to the good faith and ordinary care of the trustee acting as officer/manager, and how those presumptions might be rebutted.
- What types of documents and fact patterns could impact whether the trustee/manager can demonstrate that they met their fiduciary duties and obligations.
Kenneth J. Fair
Wright & Close
Mr. Fair's practice focuses on in the area of general commercial litigation, with an emphasis on complex probate,... | Read More
Mr. Fair's practice focuses on in the area of general commercial litigation, with an emphasis on complex probate, trust, and fiduciary litigation. He represents executors, trustees, and beneficiaries in will contests, disputes over will and trust interpretation, removal actions, and fiduciary-liability actions. He has written and presented on trust, probate and guardianship issues.Close
Robert C. Port
Mr. Port has extensive experience in general commercial litigation and fiduciary disputes involving wills, trusts,... | Read More
Mr. Port has extensive experience in general commercial litigation and fiduciary disputes involving wills, trusts, estates, guardianships and conservatorships. With an emphasis on representing investors harmed by the misconduct of their stockbroker, investment advisor, insurance agent, or other trusted advisor, he handles court and arbitration cases across a broad range of fiduciary and financial disputes.Close
Tina N. Babel
Ms. Babel practices in the area of business litigation with a concentration in fiduciary litigation. She... | Read More
Ms. Babel practices in the area of business litigation with a concentration in fiduciary litigation. She represents businesses and individuals in both defense and plaintiff's work, managing a wide array of disputes, including those arising out of contract, tort, breach of fiduciary duty, and class action disputes. She is a featured speaker at numerous fiduciary litigation CLE programs.Close