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Suing an Estate’s Lawyers for Misappropriation of Funds

A recent appellate opinion from the 1st District Court of Appeal discusses a lawyer who is accused of misappropriating funds from the estate’s trust account to pay for misc expenses for the firm.

Suing an estate’s lawyer for misappropriation of funds. This is serious business and the subject of a very recent Florida appellate decision. Hello, my name is John Pankauski, I’m an estate litigation attorney with Pankauski Hauser in West Palm Beach. You know, many times lawyers and law firms call us and want
to hire us to represent them in a fee fight or a fee petition or just trying to get paid
for the services they rendered to an estate. Anybody who is involved in estate litigation
may want to read a very recent case that was just issued as an appellate opinion from Florida’s
1st District Court of Appeal. The case is 1d17-2871, it’s the Richard Kerry Adkinson
and Kerry Adkinson, P. A., vs Margaret Morey case. It was issued March 8th 2018 and this
is a very serious accusation in this case.

The case involves supposedly a lawyer having or being accused of misappropriating $219,000 from the estate’s trust account using it pay bills and operational expenses of the firm. That’s very serious. If you are being involved in an estate and you feel that a lawyer may have misappropriated some money issues may
arise of when you should assert this and what you should do, talk to a probate litigation
attorney about what you should do and this case stands for one other proposition that’s
rather important. On appeals, you can’t raise new issues that you didn’t raise at the trial
court. The jist of this opinion is that a statute of limitations defense was not raised
in at the trial court and you are generally prohibited from raising them at the appellate
level, defense or legal position is that you didn’t raise at the trial court. My name is
John Pankauski and this concludes my remarks about this recent estate litigation case.