MZS has had a recent run of successful litigations this November!
First, on November 7, 2023, the Connecticut Supreme Court issued its decision in Barash v. Lembo and ruled in MZS’s clients’ favor. This appeal arose out of a contentious litigation concerning the administration of a decedent’s residuary estate. The Connecticut Supreme Court overturned the trial court grant of summary judgment to the trustee who had argued she had no fiduciary duties to the beneficiaries before the distribution of the residuary assets. The Connecticut Supreme Court disagreed and held that a trustee’s begin when the trustee accepts the trusteeship and a trustee owes a fiduciary duty to administer the trust in the benefit of the beneficiaries, which include a duty to collect and protect trust property, as well as the associated responsibility of taking reasonable steps to uncover and redress any breach of duty committed by a predecessor fiduciary, and, when trust property is held or controlled by another, the duty to collect and protect trust property may require the trustee to take reasonable steps to enforce claims held by the trust. Attorney Barbara Schellenberg argued the case before the Connecticut Supreme Court, with Attorney Zabel and Attorney Owen Weaver assisting on the brief. The opinion can be found here: https://www.jud.ct.gov/external/supapp/Cases/AROCR/CR348/348CR61.pdf
Second, on November 22, 2023, a Stamford jury returned a defense verdict in favor of MZS’s client in the matter Native Materials, LLC v. Carrubba, Inc. The Plaintiff had alleged that Carrubba, a Connecticut producer of botanical fragrances, had breached an agreement with it and had sought $8 million in damages. Attorney Dennis Kokenos, who serves as Carrubba’s outside general counsel, tried the case with other outside counsel.
Finally, on November 29, 2023, the Tax Session of the Superior Court rendered a decision in the matter Drake v. Fairfield. MZS defended the Town in this tax appeal. The Court found the Town’s appraiser, Peter Vimini, to be the more credible of the two experts and ultimately adopted much of Mr. Vimini’s expert opinion. Attorney Owen Weaver tried the case. A copy of that decision can be found here: https://civilinquiry.jud.ct.gov/DocumentInquiry/DocumentInquiry.aspx?DocumentNo=26379179