Thursday, September 13, 2007

I need some shelter of my own protection baby,To be with myself and center, clarity, Peace, Serenity

Fergie Big Girls Don't Cry Lyrics

*** Complimentary Big Girls Don't Cry Ringtone ***
Da Da Da Da
The smell of your skin lingers on me now
You're probably on your flight back to your home town
I need some shelter of my own protection baby
To be with myself and center, clarity
Peace, Serenity

I hope you know, I hope you know
That this has nothing to do with you
It's personal, myself and I
We've got some straightenin' out to do
And I'm gonna miss you like a child misses their blanket
But I've got to get a move on with my life
It's time to be a big girl now
And big girls don't cry
Don't cry
Don't cry
Don't cry

The path that I'm walking
I must go alone
I must take the baby steps 'til I'm full grown, full grown
Fairytales don't always have a happy ending, do they?
And I foresee the dark ahead if I stay

I hope you know, I hope you know
That this has nothing to do with you
It's personal, myself and I
We've got some straightenin' out to do
[Big Girls Don't Cry lyrics on]

And I'm gonna miss you like a child misses their blanket
But I've got to get a move on with my life
It's time to be a big girl now
And big girls don't cry

Like the little school mate in the school yard
We'll play jacks and uno cards
I'll be your best friend and you'll be mine Valentine
Yes you can hold my hand if you want to
'Cause I want to hold yours too
We'll be playmates and lovers and share our secret worlds
But it's time for me to go home
It's getting late, dark outside
I need to be with myself and center, clarity
Peace, Serenity

I hope you know, I hope you know
That this has nothing to do with you
It's personal, myself and I
We've got some straightenin' out to do
And I'm gonna miss you like a child misses their blanket
But I've got to get a move on with my life
It's time to be a big girl now
And big girls don't cry
Don't cry
Don't cry
Don't cry

La Da Da Da Da Da
*** Complimentary Big Girls Don't Cry Ringtone ***
Big Girls Don't Cry Music Video
Submit Corrections
Female Today at 01:13 AM (4h 34m ago) by Mandy<333 Female Stars
BORED!!! I HATE HOMERWORK!! lol but this song is sooo good! I can't believe that Fergie would sing something like this but she has a great voice so she can sing anything!

Female Yesterday at 04:31 PM (13h 15m ago) by jeezy_babe Female Stars
can't belive she did a slower song! She did great at it though, she should do it more often! I love her music

Female Sep 12, 2007 at 11:11 PM by mzshawty Female Stars
Loving all her music, they just great..But of all i love this song so much, i have it everywhere, Ipod, CDs, Cell Phone, Laptop, I mean

Female Sep 12, 2007 at 07:49 PM by nick0lve Female Stars
this song is realy good it was fun in the music video wit the candies underewear

Female Sep 12, 2007 at 01:51 PM by malena666 Female Stars from croatia...teens here dont listen too much fergie but me either...but!!!i adore this is very i have a boyfriend but i am singing it all the time and he is asking me very often am i going to leave him...but i am not....ccc!!lov u all...big hug from 16 years old girl from croatia...kiss

Female Sep 11, 2007 at 12:40 AM by nick0lve Female Stars
it is good becaus i dont like fregi

Female Sep 11, 2007 at 12:40 AM by nick0lve Female Stars
it is good becaus i dont like fregi

Female Sep 10, 2007 at 10:10 AM by annoying_chic
holy molly!this song is da BOMB!
go fergie!

Female Sep 09, 2007 at 07:56 PM by cammie52 Female Stars
am in love with this guy but he has a girlfriend its complicated but i know he has chosen her over me even though am feeling real sad right now as fergie says big girls dont cry and am trying hard not too

Female Sep 09, 2007 at 07:15 PM by swit_chik86 Female Stars
I super love it!!! It's so hard to find yourself

Female Sep 09, 2007 at 02:39 PM by x.jamie- Female Stars
i love this song! this song reminds me of my ex, because i left him, because i moved to a different city, and i didnt want a long-distant relationship, i'm still not over him!!! NICHOLAS I MISS YOU!!!

Female Sep 09, 2007 at 08:59 AM by Alex-Rox Female Stars
This song is so catchy and so meaningful! 5/5! definatly 1 of fergies best songs!

Female Sep 09, 2007 at 07:19 AM by lady_rum
is that Milo????what a boy....i love him so much....

Female Sep 09, 2007 at 12:39 AM by katheryn_07 Female Stars
this song rulz!!i love fergie bc we could b twins lol!!

Female Sep 08, 2007 at 04:03 PM by I am Glamorous
Cool song! I like it alot!

Female Sep 08, 2007 at 03:43 PM by rockerchik901 Female Stars
I luv this song so much i almost passed out when i saw tha candies comercial

Female Sep 08, 2007 at 02:52 PM by ashley77zac77
I love ths song. And I like Glamorous. It was on that Candies commercial.

Female Sep 08, 2007 at 09:21 AM by ann18
I found the song in flifkr'dot'com

Female Sep 08, 2007 at 01:13 AM by ..yv0nn3.. Female Stars
i love dis song..!! fergie rulez..!!

Female Sep 07, 2007 at 09:17 PM by AutumnK94 Female Stars
i luv this song! i em not too much of a fan of fergie myself, but i luv this song and glamorous, this song reminds me of my ex boyfriend cuz i cant cry about him, so i have to be a big girl now, and big girls dont cry! Josh i miss u!!! :(

Female Sep 06, 2007 at 03:20 PM by Snerf Female Stars
I love this song. I played over and over again. Even my 2 yr old daughter shelove's it. Evrytime she heard this song she started to sing. And she look so cute. I love Fergie.... Finally the star is born....

Female Sep 06, 2007 at 08:38 AM by cheekychild_99
meridith if u love someone to death you wouldn't want to leave them to be with youself

Female Sep 06, 2007 at 08:36 AM by cheekychild_99
jesscrox2 u r tottaly wrong it should b played more i hardly hear it luckily i have it on my comp! oh and if any on wants to add mii on myspace or msn this is my email adress what i have used

Female Sep 05, 2007 at 04:05 PM by Britz
i luv this song! it rox ...XxX

Female Sep 05, 2007 at 06:24 AM by NahNah16
this song is like my favourite song its awesome/

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Kenedy Mystique: Judge Orders San Antonio Express-News not to publish articles related to matters contained in the court records

UPDATE: Judge demands paper return court documents

Web Posted: 08/23/2007 04:50 PM CDT
John MacCormack
Express-News Staff Writer

A state district judge who this spring presided over the guardianship case of a prominent South Texas rancher has ordered the San Antonio Express-News not to publish articles related to matters contained in the court records, regardless of how the information was obtained.

In his Wednesday order, District 229 Judge Alex Gabert also gave the newspaper five days to surrender any paper copies of court documents relating to the Robert C. East case, and destroy any electronic records.

In early June, Gabert issued a temporary order sealing court documents and also kept the court proceedings closed to the public.

In his Wednesday order, Gabert cites the newspaper's “callous, conscious, willful and deliberate disregard” for his earlier orders sealing records, which occurred while East was still alive.

East, 87, a pioneering South Texas rancher from Hebbronville, died June 18 after a lengthy illness, leaving an estate valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

East left no direct heirs, and his death came just days after a nasty legal fight involving his relatives and several employees was largely resolved.

Among the disputed issues was East's mental competence and his need to have an independent guardian.

On July 22, the Express-News published a lengthy article exploring the complicated legal issues surrounding East's final days, including the question of his capacity.

The article was based in part on documents obtained outside of the court process. It is those records that Gabert ordered be turned over to the executor of East's estate within five days.

“The Express-News published a story that we believe was of significant public interest, based on documents we obtained legally,” said Robert Rivard, editor of the Express-News.

His order extends to all parties to the proceeding, including the various lawyers and their employees and all court officers and employees.

Lawyers for the Hearst Corp., which owns the newspaper, were preparing a legal response to Gabert's order Thursday.

Stolen Wealth From Grave Robbers

Ranch foreman is inheriting legal fight

Web Posted: 08/23/2007 01:31 PM CDT
John MacCormack
HEBBRONVILLE — On June 15, as one of the wealthiest and most reclusive men in South Texas was quietly dying at his ranch 35 miles from town, the lawyers were very busy.

The rich man's relatives, employees and attorneys were struggling for money and control, and time was short. A doctor had given the aging rancher less than 24 hours to live.

If Robert C. East, 87, were to die before they settled it, an even nastier legal fight likely would ensue.

East, a great-grandson of Richard King, founder of the fabled King Ranch, had no known descendants. He measured his worth in hundreds of millions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of acres.

A pioneering cattleman in his own right, he had spent most of his life deep in the Jim Hogg County mesquite with the cattle and vaqueros of his family spread, the San Antonio Viejo Ranch.

East worked on horseback well into his 80s, preferred border Spanish to English and answered to "Roberto." He so rarely came to town that even some older, lifelong Hebbronville residents had never met him.

"He was a very old-fashioned kind of guy. Very old times, and very, very private," recalled one East employee, who, like others, asked not to be named.

In late 2006, East's health began to fail. By late spring, weakened by pneumonia, he was malnourished, gravely ill and increasingly uncommunicative.

A closed-door court battle began in May, when some relatives pressed for a court-appointed guardian.

The foreman

At stake was East's welfare — and administrative control of his considerable assets. Since the entire estate would go to a family wildlife trust, the parties bickered over who would be in charge after his death.

The fight centered on Oscar Ozuna, the ranch foreman since 2001 who claimed he had East's full confidence, having been raised on the ranch and having worked for him off and on for decades.

But East's relatives saw Ozuna as a manipulative Svengali, claiming the foreman had cut East off from his family, neglected his health and property and taken over his affairs.

In the fall, East had put shaky signatures to a set of legal documents that greatly benefited Ozuna.

There was a long-term employment contract that paid Ozuna $11,000 a month.

Ozuna, ranch employee Carilu Cantu Leal and Celestino Canales, a local justice of the peace, became sole officers of the Robert C. East Management Trust, which would control his wealth after his death.

Another instrument authorized a $500,000 payout to Ozuna from the trust, payable at East's death.

A broad power of attorney was granted to Ozuna, Cantu and Canales in the event East became incapacitated.

In court filings, Ozuna said all these actions clearly showed East wanted him in charge.

"In naming Mr. Ozuna as his attorney-in-fact, Robert C. East thereby expressed his confidence and trust in Mr. Ozuna's ability to conduct (East's) business affairs and to care for (East) in health-related matters," said a document filed by Ozuna lawyer Preston Hendrichson.

Doctors who saw East last spring noted he seemed most comfortable when Ozuna and other familiar ranch hands were present.

But Ozuna was self-serving, not benevolent, some of East's nieces and nephews argued.

"As soon as he was hired, Oscar Ozuna and persons associated with him began a long and deliberate plan to isolate Robert Claude East ... (and) control the flow of information to Robert Claude East, and consolidate their control over Robert Claude East," reads one court motion.

His assets, the motion said, have "at best been mismanaged and at worst systematically plundered by Oscar Ozuna and his associates."

Neither Ozuna nor Hendrichson responded to requests for comment. Nor did Cantu and her lawyer, Frank Enriquez. Reached in Hebbronville, Canales declined to comment.

'Incapacity is total'

District Judge Alex Gabert, at the request of East's lawyers, made the court hearings and case file off limits to the public, and most of the parties have declined to comment.

Information is also scarce on the streets of Hebbronville.

"This whole thing is touchy. I can't talk. Everyone has got the mums," said one longtime East acquaintance.

But the secret legal drama can be glimpsed in court documents obtained by the San Antonio Express-News.

The key issue was East's mental competence. Some of his relatives argued that he had been legally incapacitated for months and desperately needed an independent guardian.

Ozuna, Canales and Cantu, as well as two lawyers who represented East, claimed he was still able to make important decisions.

"I believe he has capacity, but I am not saying he has total capacity," testified Paul Price, one of East's lawyers, in a May 21 hearing.

When a court-approved psychiatrist visited the ranch on May 30, he found East "essentially non-communicative" and in failing health.

"Mr. East is described by all interviewed as someone who preferred to have few if any visitors. His greatest pleasure was the day-to-day operations of his ranch," Dr. Mark A. Burns reported.

"It is also reported that he has had challenging relationships with various family members and is largely estranged from his blood relations."

As to East's mental state, Burns was unequivocal.

"In terms of decision-making capacity, Mr. East appears to be severely impaired ... He clearly meets the definition of an 'incapacitated person.' ... His incapacity is total and a guardian should be appointed," he wrote.

No guardian was appointed.

But on the same afternoon he approved a comprehensive agreement, the judge named an attorney ad litem, who assured the court that it was in East's best interest.

Secret showdown

When they began mediating in May, the parties were millions of dollars apart on a deal that would remove Ozuna and his associates from the picture.

Although a partial deal was reached in early June, leading to Ozuna, Cantu and Canales being banned from the ranch, by midmonth nothing was final.

The lawyers were growing anxious. If East were to die before an agreement was reached, the mediation would become void, leaving Ozuna and his associates still in charge.

On June 15, a Friday afternoon, Judge Gabert presided in blue jeans at an emergency hearing in Rio Grande City. Ozuna, the sole witness, testified East was of sound mind last year when he signed the critical documents.

"He was in his five senses ... He knew everything he did," Ozuna said.

Moments later, Gabert signed an order approving East's will, the comprehensive settlement and various other documents. At 4:40 p.m. the order was stamped by the district clerk.

All told, about $2 million of East's money changed hands, with Ozuna reportedly receiving nearly $900,000. Cantu and Canales together were paid about $325,000. The balance went to pay their attorneys.

In exchange, the three agreed to drop all claims to East's estate, renounce their powers of attorney and step down as officers of the charity due to inherit East's money.

The hush-hush deal — which some parties to the litigation learned about later — came none too soon. On Saturday, a Catholic priest administered the last rites and by early Monday East was dead.

Three days later, more than 150 people paid their last respects in a graveside ceremony at the ranch. A mariachi played, poetry was read and East was laid to rest near his parents and siblings.

But if East had forever secured the peace and privacy he loved, the legal wrangling was hardly over.

Ten days after his death, the office of Attorney General Greg Abbott — which oversees all charities — notified all the parties that a complaint had been received about the East case.

"The matter is under review to determine if it warrants an investigation," said Abbott spokesman Tom Kelley.

Late last week, a lawyer for Helen Kleberg Groves, one of East's cousins, asked Gabert to set aside his approval of the settlement because Groves and other parties weren't consulted when the final deal was hammered out.

The lawyer, Dick DeGuerin of Houston, also argued that East was likely "totally incapacitated" long before he died and should have had a guardian appointed to protect his interests.

The motion further noted that toxicology test results aren't in, so "the causes of Robert C. East's death have not been fully explored."

"We're not satisfied that all the facts are known," DeGuerin said later by telephone. "When you have five parties to a controversy and only three are in the room when the settlement is made, it just doesn't smell right."

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Why spend your money for what your wages for what fails to satisfy?

Sunday, July 31, 2005
Today's reading
Thus says the LORD:
All you who are thirsty,
come to the water!
You who have no money,
come, receive grain and eat;
Come, without paying and without cost,
drink wine and milk!
Why spend your money for what is not bread;
your wages for what fails to satisfy?
Heed me, and you shall eat well,
you shall delight in rich fare.
Come to me heedfully,
listen, that you may have life.
I will renew with you the everlasting covenant,
the benefits assured to David.

Hunger in the world always scares me a little. For some reason, it seems worse when I think that the real food comes from above.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Corpus Christi Caller Times: Corpus Christi Daily Digital: Linda was the first person in a Corpus Christi Public Housing Dev. to successfully run 4 pu

Corpus Christi Caller Times: Corpus Christi Daily Digital: Linda was the first person in a Corpus Christi Public Housing Dev. to successfully run 4 pub office: a person who picked

Corpus Christi Daily Digital: Linda was the first person in a Corpus Christi Public Housing Dev. to successfully run 4 pub office: a person who picked herself up by her bootstraps

by hkarsh

August 2, 2007

I was a candidate for the Del Mar Board of Regents. I picked up the package to run for office. I am College Educated. I have several degrees. I'm pretty good at reading and writing contracts and such. I'm not a lawyer and believe me I could have used a lawyer to explain all the stuff I was responsible for and had to do. Del Mar wasn't going to explain it to me and the local party bosses wouldn’t have anything to do with me. Del Mar certainly wasn't going to help Linda whose brother they had railroaded out of a job. Now Linda was the first person in a Corpus Christi Public Housing development to successfully run for a public office and her neighbors were very proud of her. So here we have a person who picked herself up by her bootstraps with out the aid of the local democratic or republican bosses and won her election. So what do the local politicos do and that includes our slimy DA

there's more at the link above

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Straight shooter and A Square dealer........flash back the 1922 land tract.......ring a bell?

EAST, SARITA KENEDY (1889-1961). Sarita Kenedy East, South Texas rancher and philanthropist, daughter of John G. and Marie Stella (Turcotte) Kenedy, was born on September 19, 1889, in Corpus Christi, Texas. Her grandfather was Mifflin Kenedy,qv founder of the vast La Parra Ranch in what was then Cameron County (now Kenedy County). She spent much of her childhood at La Parra, and her father named the new town of Sarita, located on the Kenedy ranch, for his daughter upon the town's founding around 1904. Sarita attended Incarnate Word Academy in Corpus Christi and then H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College in New Orleans. She also made her debut in New Orleans. She did not complete college, but instead returned to La Parra. On December 8, 1910, she married Arthur Lee East, a South Texas rancher. They did not have any children. After Arthur East died in 1944, Mrs East and her brother John G. Kenedy, Jr., were in charge of the 400,000-acre Kenedy ranch. Upon her brother's death in 1948, Sarita and her sister-in-law Elena Suess Kenedy became the sole heirs to the ranch. Sarita East also owned the San Pablo Ranch near Hebbronville and Twin Peaks Ranch in Colorado. She served as a county commissioner of Kenedy County and was on the board of directors of Alice National Bank. In addition to her business dealings she engaged in philanthropy especially to Catholic charities. In 1952 she received the Ecclesia et Pontifice medal and membership in the Ladies of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem from Pope Pius XII for her service to the church. She was also named an honorary member of the Franciscans and the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.qqv In her 1948 will she bequeathed La Parra ranch headquarters and 10,000 acres of land to the Oblate fathers and 13,000 acres to the Diocese of Corpus Christi.qv The rest of her vast estate was divided among relatives and ranch kin.

In 1948 Mrs. East met Christopher Gregory, a Trappist monk who had taken the name Brother Leo. Two years earlier Brother Leo had been released from his vow of silence and assigned to raise funds for new Trappist monasteries. He was on a fund-raising trip through South Texas when he met Sarita East, and over the next few years he became her advisor and traveling companion. In the 1950s Mrs. East allowed oil and gas exploration on her ranch, which up to that time had largely been an untapped resource. During that time she gave money to the Trappist monks and visited monasteries throughout the world. In 1959, with other family members and Brother Leo, she went on a South American tour, one of several trips she made, and donated $300,000 to build a mission in Chile. That same year Brother Leo introduced her to J. Peter Grace, chairman of the board of W. R. Grace and Company, in New York. The three began the work of forming a charitable foundation. On January 21, 1960, they established the John G. and Marie Stella Kenedy Memorial Foundation, with Sarita Kenedy East as sole member. Mrs. East also wrote another will leaving the bulk of her estate to the foundation. Over the next few months she wrote a series of codicils to her will that increasingly gave more control of the foundation to Brother Leo and Grace. Just before her death she named Brother Leo sole member of the foundation. Sarita Kenedy East died of cancer on February 11, 1961, in New York City and was buried at La Parra Ranch.

Within months after her death a group of South Texans, including Elena Suess Kenedy, members of the Turcotte family, and the Diocese of Corpus Christi, filed a lawsuit disputing Brother Leo's control of the foundation, charging that Leo and Grace exerted undue influence over Mrs. East while she was disoriented by medication. Other relatives also contested her 1960 will and wished to reinstate her 1948 will dividing the estate among various beneficiaries. Over the course of the battle more than 200 people claimed to be legitimate heirs. In 1964 a settlement regarding the foundation resulted in the splitting of assets. Grace and the New York group relinquished control of the foundation over Brother Leo's objections. The bulk of the funds, approximately $100 million, went to the control of the South Texans, but Grace received oil royalties (not to exceed $14.4 million) from the estate and established a smaller foundation in New York, the Sarita Kenedy East Foundation, worth approximately $13 million. In 1966 Brother Leo filed an appeal against the decision; after a further series of appeals the Texas Supreme Court ruled against him. In June 1981 the United States Supreme Court refused to hear his appeal, thereby affirming the rights of the Texas relatives to retain control of the foundation. Through a series of court battles over the years the 1960 will was upheld over the 1948 will, and the assets of the foundation and most of the Kenedy estate remained intact. As Mrs. East wished, the ranch headquarters went to the Oblate fathers. The estate, which had been held in escrow by the Alice National Bank, was finally turned over to the foundation in 1982. In 1984, basically the first year that the foundation officially operated, it had $100 million in assets and was the largest charitable foundation in South Texas. It was stipulated that at least 10 percent of the income go to the Corpus Christi diocese, with a total of 90 percent of funds going for religious activities and the other 10 percent going to secular agencies.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Corpus Christi Caller-Times, August 26-29, September 23-27, December 16-19, 1984. Stephan G. Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth, If You Love Me You Will Do My Will (New York: Norton, 1990). Vertical Files, Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin.

Laurie E. Jasinski

Sunday, June 03, 2007

In this case, the “claimant” may be either the decedent or the personal representative of the decedent’s estate.

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Kristin Terk Belt and Kimberly Terk Murphy, Joint Independent Executrixes of The Estate of David B. Terk, Deceased, Petitioners


Oppenheimer, Blend, Harrison & Tate, Inc., Glen A. Yale, J. David Oppenheimer and Kenneth M. Gindy, Respondents


On Petition for Review from the

Court of Appeals for the Fourth District of Texas


Argued September 29, 2005

Chief Justice Jefferson delivered the opinion of the Court.

Justice Green did not participate in the decision.

Kristin Terk Belt and Kimberly Terk Murphy (the Terks)—the joint, independent executors of their father David Terk’s estate—sued several attorneys and their law firm, Oppenheimer, Blend, Harrison, & Tate, Inc. (collectively, the Attorneys) for legal malpractice. The Attorneys moved for summary judgment on the ground that estate planners owe no duty to the personal representatives of a deceased client’s estate. The trial court granted the motion, and the court of appeals affirmed the judgment. We hold, to the contrary, that there is no legal bar preventing an estate’s personal representative from maintaining a legal malpractice claim on behalf of the estate against the decedent’s estate planners. Accordingly, we reverse the court of appeals’ judgment and remand to the trial court for further proceedings.



David Terk hired the Attorneys to prepare his will. After his death, the Terks became the joint, independent executors of their father’s estate. As executors, the Terks sued the Attorneys for legal malpractice, alleging that the Attorneys were negligent in drafting their father’s will and in advising him on asset management. They claim the estate incurred over $1,500,000 in tax liability that could have been avoided by competent estate planning.

In affirming the trial court’s judgment for the Attorneys, the court of appeals cited Barcelo v. Elliott, in which we held that beneficiaries cannot maintain a malpractice cause of action against a decedent’s estate-planning attorney because the attorney lacks privity with non-client beneficiaries and therefore owes them no duty. 141 S.W.3d 706, 708-09 (citing Barcelo, 923 S.W.2d 575 (Tex. 1996)). The Terks argue that the Barcelo rule bars only claims by beneficiaries suing for their own injuries and does not preclude suits brought by personal representatives on an estate’s behalf. We granted the Terks’ petition to consider whether personal representatives may bring legal malpractice claims on behalf of a decedent’s estate. 48 Tex. Sup. Ct. J. 524 (Apr. 11, 2005).



Legal malpractice claims sound in tort. See Cosgrove v. Grimes, 774 S.W.2d 662, 664 (Tex. 1989). The plaintiff must demonstrate “that (1) the attorney owed the plaintiff a duty, (2) the attorney breached that duty, (3) the breach proximately caused the plaintiff’s injuries, and (4) damages occurred.” Peeler v. Hughes & Luce, 909 S.W.2d 494, 496 (Tex. 1995).

While an attorney always owes a duty of care to a client, no such duty is owed to non-client beneficiaries, even if they are damaged by the attorney’s malpractice. See Barcelo, 923 S.W.2d at 577. In Barcelo, we considered whether beneficiaries dissatisfied with the distribution of estate assets may sue an estate-planning attorney for legal malpractice after a client’s death. Id. at 576. In that case, the intended beneficiaries of a trust, which was declared invalid after the client’s death, sued the attorney who drafted the trust agreement. Id. We held that the non-client beneficiaries could not maintain a suit against the decedent’s estate planner because “the greater good is served by preserving a bright‑line privity rule which denies a cause of action to all beneficiaries whom the attorney did not represent.” Id. at 578.

Several policy considerations supported our Barcelo holding. First, the threat of suits by disappointed heirs after a client’s death could create conflicts during the estate-planning process and divide the attorney’s loyalty between the client and potential beneficiaries, generally compromising the quality of the attorney’s representation. Id. at 578. We also noted that suits brought by bickering beneficiaries would necessarily require extrinsic evidence to prove how a decedent intended to distribute the estate, creating a “host of difficulties.” Id. We therefore held that barring a cause of action for estate-planning malpractice by beneficiaries would help ensure that estate planners “zealously represent[ed]” their clients. Id. at 578-79.

Thus, in Texas, a legal malpractice claim in the estate-planning context may be maintained only by the estate planner’s client. This is the minority rule in the United States—only eight other states require strict privity in estate-planning malpractice suits.[1] In the majority of states, a beneficiary harmed by a lawyer’s negligence in drafting a will or trust may bring a malpractice claim against the attorney, even though the beneficiary was not the attorney’s client. See, e.g., Lucas v. Hamm, 364 P.2d 685, 689 (Cal. 1961), cert. denied, 368 U.S. 987 (1962); Schreiner v. Scoville, 410 N.W.2d 679, 683 (Iowa 1987).

The question in this case, however, is whether the Barcelo rule bars suits brought on behalf of the decedent client by his estate’s personal representatives. Because most states allow beneficiaries to maintain estate-planning malpractice claims, only a handful of jurisdictions have considered this specific issue. See, e.g., Beastall v. Madson, 600 N.E.2d 1323, 1327 (Ill. App. Ct. 1992); Hosfelt v. Miller, No. 97-JE-50, 2000 Ohio App. LEXIS 5506, at *11-12 (Ohio Ct. App. Nov. 22, 2000); Sizemore v. Swift, 719 P.2d 500, 503 (Or. Ct. App. 1986); Rutter v. Jones, Blechman, Woltz & Kelly, P.C., 568 S.E.2d 693, 695 (Va. 2002). We confront this question for the first time today.

Generally, in Texas an estate’s personal representative[2] has the capacity to bring a survival action on behalf of a decedent’s estate. See Austin Nursing Ctr., Inc. v. Lovato, 171 S.W.3d 845, 850 (Tex. 2005); see also Tex. Prob. Code § 233A (personal representative can institute suit for recovery of estate’s personal property, debts or damages). Therefore, if the Terks’ legal malpractice claim is brought on behalf of the decedent’s estate and survives the decedent, the Terks may maintain a suit against the Attorneys.


When no statute addresses the survivability of a cause of action, we apply common law rules. Thomes v. Porter, 761 S.W.2d 592, 594 (Tex. App.–Fort Worth 1988, no writ). “[A]t common law all causes of action for damages die with the person of the party injured, or the person inflicting the injury, except such damages as grow out of acts affecting the property rights of the injured party.” Johnson v. Rolls, 79 S.W. 513, 514 (Tex. 1904); see also Landers v. B. F. Goodrich Co., 369 S.W.2d 33, 34 (Tex. 1963) (refusing to depart from long-standing rule that an action for damage to real or personal property survives the death of the owner). Thus, absent a statute providing to the contrary, a cause of action that is penal or personal in nature typically does not survive, while claims that are contractual in nature or affect property rights survive the death of either party. See 1 Am. Jur. 2d Abatement, Survival and Revival § 65 (2006).

We have never specifically considered whether a legal malpractice claim in the estate-planning context survives a deceased client. A claim that an estate planner’s negligence resulted in the improper depletion of a client’s estate involves injury to the decedent’s property. See Tex. Prob. Code § 3(z) (defining the “personal property” of an estate to include interests in goods, money, and choses in action); see also Williams v. Adams, 193 S.W. 404, 405 (Tex. Civ. App.–Texarkana 1917, writ ref’d) (tort claim alleging fraud, which resulted in financial loss to the plaintiff, survived the death of the defendant because it involved the wrongful acquisition of property); Cleveland v. United States, No. 00-C-424, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18908, at *9 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 27, 2000) (tort claim for financial loss resulting from estate-planning malpractice deemed an action for damage to personal property). Moreover, when an attorney’s malpractice results in financial loss, the aggrieved client is fully compensated by recovery of that loss; the client may not recover damages for mental anguish or other personal injuries. See Douglas v. Delp, 987 S.W.2d 879, 885 (Tex. 1999).

Thus, estate-planning malpractice claims seeking recovery for pure economic loss are limited to recovery for property damage. See id. Therefore, in accordance with the long-standing, common-law principle that actions for damage to property survive the death of the injured party, we hold that legal malpractice claims alleging pure economic loss survive in favor of a deceased client’s estate, because such claims are necessarily limited to recovery for property damage.[3] See G. H. & S. A. R. R. v. Freeman, 57 Tex. 156, 158 (Tex. 1882) (a cause of action “brought for damage to the estate and not for injury to the person, personal feelings or character, . . . upon the death, bankruptcy or insolvency of the party injured, passes to the executor or assignee as a part of his assets, because it affects his estate, and not his personal rights”); see also Traver v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 930 S.W.2d 862, 871 (Tex. App.–Fort Worth 1996) rev’d on other grounds, 980 S.W.2d 625 (Tex. 1998) (legal malpractice claim arising from representation in personal injury case survives death of client).

The court of appeals found for the Attorneys after holding that its prior decision in Estate of Arlitt v. Paterson controlled. 141 S.W.3d at 708. In Estate of Arlitt, the court held that an estate-planning malpractice claim does not accrue during a decedent’s lifetime—and therefore does not survive the decedent—because the estate’s injuries do not arise until after death.[4] See Estate of Arlitt v. Paterson, 995 S.W.2d 713, 720 (Tex. App.–San Antonio 1999, pet. denied).

We disapprove Estate of Arlitt’s holding that no legal malpractice claim accrues before death when an estate-planning attorney’s negligent drafting results in increased estate tax consequences. Even though an estate may suffer significant damages after a client’s death, this does not preclude survival of an estate-planning malpractice claim. While the primary damages at issue here—increased tax liability—did not occur until after the decedent’s death, the lawyer’s alleged negligence occurred while the decedent was alive. Apex Towing Co. v. Tolin, 41 S.W.3d 118, 120 (Tex. 2001) (legal malpractice claim accrues “when facts have come into existence that authorize a claimant to seek a judicial remedy”). If the decedent had discovered this injury prior to his death, he could have brought suit against his estate planners to recover the fees paid to them. See, e.g., Burrow v. Arce, 997 S.W.2d 229, 240 (Tex. 1999) (client need not prove actual damages in order to obtain forfeiture of attorney’s fees for the attorney’s “clear and serious” breach of fiduciary duty to the client). In addition, the decedent could have recovered the costs incurred in restructuring his estate to minimize tax liability. See, e.g., Porter v. Ogden, Newell, & Welch, 241 F.3d 1334, 1337 (11th Cir. 2001) (allowing suit to recover client’s costs, incurred during his lifetime, in curing problems created by negligent drafting of trust document, including funds expended in seeking judicial reformation of the trust and in lobbying the Florida legislature to change law affecting the trust). Therefore, if the injury occurs during the client’s lifetime, a claim for estate-planning malpractice survives the client’s death.[5] See Russell v. Ingersoll‑Rand Co., 841 S.W.2d 343, 345 (Tex. 1992) (decedent must suffer an “actionable wrong” during lifetime for claim to survive).


Because legal malpractice claims survive in favor of the decedent’s estate, the estate has a justiciable interest in the controversy sufficient to confer standing. See Austin Nursing Ctr., Inc. v. Lovato, 171 S.W.3d 845, 850 (Tex. 2005). A decedent’s estate, however “is not a legal entity and may not properly sue or be sued as such.” Id. at 849. (citing Price v. Estate of Anderson, 522 S.W.2d 690, 691 (Tex. 1975)). Rather, certain individuals have the capacity to bring a claim on the estate’s behalf. Id. Generally, “only the estate’s personal representative has the capacity to bring a survival claim.” Id. at 850-51 (noting that in certain circumstances, heirs may bring suit on behalf of the estate, such as when no administration is pending or necessary).

In this case, it is undisputed that the Terks are the independent executors of their father’s estate. Thus, they may bring a claim on behalf of the estate in their capacity as personal representatives. Lovato, 171 S.W.3d at 850; see also Tex. Prob. Code § 3(aa) (definition of “personal representative” includes independent executor of an estate). We have previously held that a bankruptcy trustee can maintain a legal malpractice claim on behalf of a debtor’s estate, and we see no reason to curtail a personal representative’s similar malpractice claim on behalf of a decedent’s estate. See Douglas v. Delp, 987 S.W.2d 879, 882 (Tex. 1999) (once party with legal malpractice claim declares bankruptcy, trustee of bankruptcy estate is only party with standing to pursue the claim). This holding is in accord with other jurisdictions, which have also recognized that, because the estate “stands in the shoes” of a decedent, it is in privity with the decedent’s estate-planning attorney and, therefore, the estate’s personal representative has the capacity to maintain the malpractice claim on the estate’s behalf.[6]


In holding for the Attorneys, the court of appeals noted that the policy concerns expressed in Barcelo concerning suits against estate planners by intended beneficiaries should also bar suits brought by personal representatives of an estate. 141 S.W.3d at 708. As noted above, in Barcelo we held that an attorney’s ability to represent a client zealously would be compromised if the attorney knew that, after the client’s death, he could be second-guessed by the client’s disappointed heirs. 923 S.W.2d at 578. Accordingly, we held that estate-planning attorneys owe no professional duty to beneficiaries named in a trust or will. Id. at 578-79.

While this concern applies when disappointed heirs seek to dispute the size of their bequest or their omission from an estate plan, it does not apply when an estate’s personal representative seeks to recover damages incurred by the estate itself. Cases brought by quarreling beneficiaries would require a court to decide how the decedent intended to apportion the estate, a near-impossible task given the limited, and often conflicting, evidence available to prove such intent. See id. at 578 (noting the problems associated with allowing extrinsic evidence to prove testator intent). In cases involving depletion of the decedent’s estate due to negligent tax planning, however, the personal representative need not prove how the decedent intended to distribute the estate; rather, the representative need only demonstrate that the decedent intended to minimize tax liability for the estate as a whole.[7]

Additionally, while the interests of the decedent and a potential beneficiary may conflict, a decedent’s interests should mirror those of his estate. Thus, the conflicts that concerned us in Barcelo are not present in malpractice suits brought on behalf of the estate. See Nevin v. Union Trust Co., 726 A.2d 694, 701 (Me. 1999) (holding that the better rule is to allow only personal representatives, not beneficiaries, to sue for estate-planning malpractice, because what may be good for one beneficiary is not necessarily good for the estate as a whole).

We note, however, that beneficiaries often act as the estate’s personal representative, and our holding today arguably presents an opportunity for some disappointed beneficiaries to recast a malpractice claim for their own “lost” inheritance, which would be barred by Barcelo, as a claim brought on behalf of the estate.[8] The temptation to bring such claims will likely be tempered, however, by the fact that a personal representative who mismanages the performance of his or her duties may be removed from the position. See Tex. Prob. Code § 222(b)(4). Additionally, even assuming that a beneficiary serving as personal representative could prove, for example, that the deceased client intended to maximize the size of the entire estate by leaving a larger inheritance to the personal representative, he or she would not necessarily recover the lost inheritance should the malpractice claim succeed. Because the claim allowed under our holding today is for injuries suffered by the client’s estate, any damages recovered would be paid to the estate and, only then, distributed in accordance with the decedent’s existing estate plan. See Russell, 841 S.W.2d at 345 (recovery in survival action flows to those who would have received it had it been part of decedent’s estate immediately prior to death). Thus, the recovery would flow to the disappointed beneficiary only if the estate plan had provided for such a distribution, fulfilling the decedent’s wishes. These factors prevent personal representatives who are also beneficiaries from using our holding today as an end run around Barcelo.

Since our decision in Barcelo, we have allowed non-clients to maintain negligent misrepresentation suits against attorneys despite a lack of privity. McCamish, Martin, Brown & Loeffler v. F.E. Appling Interests, 991 S.W.2d 787, 791 (Tex. 1999) (party who entered into settlement agreement with lender, which could not be enforced after lender was declared insolvent, could bring suit against lender’s attorneys for representing that agreement would be enforceable). In doing so, we noted that the policy concerns expressed in Barcelo did not apply in the negligent misrepresentation context. Id. at 793. Such suits arise only in situations where an attorney has determined that communication with the third party is compatible with the attorney-client relationship and the attorney receives consent from the client to communicate with the non-client. Id. Thus, we held that allowing the third party to bring a negligent misrepresentation claim would not cause the client to “lose control over the attorney-client relationship,” a concern we expressed in Barcelo. Id. Additionally, we found that allowing negligent misrepresentation claims by non-clients would not subject attorneys to “almost unlimited liability,” because liability was limited to those situations in which the attorney provided information to a third party with the knowledge that the third party intended to rely on it. Id. at 794.

These principles apply here. Limiting estate-planning malpractice suits to those brought on behalf of a client’s estate by a personal representative will prevent the client from “losing control of the attorney-client relationship,” because the interests of the estate—which merely “stands in the shoes” of the client after death—are compatible with the client’s interests. Additionally, limiting the class of potential estate-planning malpractice claimants to the personal representatives of a client’s estate will ensure that estate-planning attorneys are not subject to “almost unlimited liability.”

Finally, we note that precluding both beneficiaries and personal representatives from bringing suit for estate-planning malpractice would essentially immunize estate-planning attorneys from liability for breaching their duty to their clients. As the Barcelo dissent noted, however, allowing estate-planning malpractice suits may help “provide accountability and thus an incentive for lawyers to use greater care in estate planning.” 923 S.W.2d at 580 (Cornyn, J., dissenting). Limiting estate-planning malpractice suits to those brought by either the client or the client’s personal representative strikes the appropriate balance between providing accountability for attorney negligence and protecting the sanctity of the attorney-client relationship.



The Terks—in their capacity as personal representatives of their father’s estate—may maintain an estate-planning malpractice claim against the Attorneys. We therefore reverse the court of appeals’ judgment and remand to the trial court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. Tex. R. App. P. 60.2(d).


Wallace B. Jefferson

Chief Justice


[1] See Robinson v. Benton, 842 So. 2d 631, 637 (Ala. 2002); Pettus v. McDonald, 36 S.W.3d 745, 751 (Ark. 2001); Nevin v. Union Trust Co., 726 A.2d 694, 701 (Me. 1999); Noble v. Bruce, 709 A.2d 1264, 1278 (Md. 1998); Swanson v. Ptak, 682 N.W.2d 225, 231 (Neb. 2004); Deeb v. Johnson, 566 N.Y.S.2d 688, 689 (N.Y. App. Div. 1991); Simon v. Zipperstein, 512 N.E.2d 636, 638 (Ohio 1987); Copenhaver v. Rogers, 384 S.E.2d 593, 595 (Va. 1989).

[2] The definition of “personal representative” includes an "executor, independent executor, administrator, independent administrator, [or] temporary administrator, together with their successors." Tex. Prob. Code § 3(aa).

[3] A number of other jurisdictions have allowed legal malpractice claims to survive a decedent. See, e.g., Loveman v. Hamilton, 420 N.E.2d 1007, 1008 (Ohio 1981) (holding that, regardless of whether a legal malpractice action sounds in contract or tort, “the gist of the the attorney’s breach of his contractual obligation to represent his client”); see also Jones v. Siesennop, 371 N.E.2d 892, 895 (Ill. App. Ct. 1977) (action for legal malpractice could be construed as “personal property” within the meaning of the state’s survival statute); McStowe v. Bornstein, 388 N.E.2d 674, 677 (Mass. 1979); Johnson v. Taylor, 435 N.W.2d 127, 129 (Minn. Ct. App. 1989); Newbach v. Giaimo & Vreeburg, 618 N.Y.S.2d 307, 308 (N.Y. App. Div. 1994) (legal malpractice claim survives in favor of estate when decedent was injured by attorney’s negligence during his lifetime).

[4] Some states have used similar reasoning in determining that estate planning malpractice claims do not survive, and a few of those courts have held that language in their state’s survival statute necessitated such a result. See McDonald v. Pettus, 988 S.W.2d 9, 15 (Ark. 1999) (personal representative could not bring tort-based malpractice claim on behalf of decedent; Arkansas’s survival statute required decedent suffer injury or damages prior to death, but injury or damages caused by estate-planning malpractice did not occur until will took effect after death); Rutter, 568 S.E.2d at 695 (no survival action because claim did not “exist” prior to death—as required by Virginia’s survival statute—since the client’s estate did not suffer damage or injury until after client’s death); see also Brewer v. Davis, 593 So. 2d 67, 68 (Ala. 1991) (state’s survival statute precluded survival of a tort-based malpractice action that was not filed until after client’s death). Other jurisdictions, however, have held such claims do not survive as a matter of common law. See Deeb, 566 N.Y.S.2d at 689 (in New York, malpractice claim did not survive because estate did not incur damages until after client’s death); Heyer v. Flaig, 449 P.2d 161, 165 (Cal. 1961) (noting that “the executor of an estate has no standing..., since in the normal case the estate is not injured by [negligent estate planning] except to the extent of the [attorney’s] fees paid”).

[5] We note that, while an injury occurred during the decedent’s lifetime for purposes of determining survival, the statute of limitations for such a malpractice action does not begin to run until the claimant “discovers or should have discovered through the exercise of reasonable care and diligence the facts establishing the elements of [the] cause of action.” Apex Towing Co. v. Tolin, 41 S.W.3d 118, 121 (Tex. 2001); Willis v. Maverick, 760 S.W.2d 642, 646 (Tex. 1988); see also Little v. Smith, 943 S.W.2d 414, 420 (Tex. 1997) (statute of limitations for breach of fiduciary duty claim does not begin to run until claimant “knew or should have known of facts that in the exercise of reasonable diligence would have led to the discovery of the wrongful act”). In this case, the “claimant” may be either the decedent or the personal representative of the decedent’s estate.

[6] See Stanley L. & Carolyn M. Watkins Trust v. Lacosta, 92 P.3d 620, 625 (Mont. 2004) (citing Espinosa v. Sparber, Shevin, Shapo, Rosen & Helbronner, 612 So. 2d 1378, 1380 (Fla. 1993)); Hosfelt v. Miller, No. 97-JE-50, 2000 Ohio App. LEXIS 5506, at *17 (Ohio Ct. App. Nov. 22, 2000) (holding that a “legal malpractice claim arising from errors by an attorney in rendering estate-planning services is properly brought by the personal representative of the estate when excess estate taxes are paid by the estate in contravention of the decedent’s intended estate plan”); Sizemore, 719 P.2d at 503 (administrator of estate in Oregon could sue estate-planning attorneys to recover costs incurred by the estate during litigation concerning a negligently-drafted will).

[7] A testator may intentionally structure the estate in a way that does not minimize tax liability. Thus, courts should not presume that the testator intended to minimize tax liability; rather, it is the complaining party’s burden to present evidence of this intent.

[8] For example, a spouse that is both a beneficiary and personal representative may argue that, if the estate-planning attorney had not committed malpractice, the spouse would have received a larger inheritance and the decedent’s estate would have suffered a lower tax burden, because the estate could have taken better advantage of the unlimited marital tax deduction. Under our holding today, a personal representative could maintain such a claim only if the representative established that the estate-planning attorney negligently failed to structure the estate in accordance with the testator’s wishes, and the estate incurred damages as a result.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

CCISD: Freedom of Information Request: The process the CCISD Board used is unethical and unfair.

CCISD: Freedom of Information Request: The process the CCISD Board used is unethical and unfair.

CCISD: Freedom of Information Request: The process the CCISD Board used is unethical and unfair.

Freedom of Information Request

This Publication request any and all communications including email and written correspondence from one week before Trustee Harry Williams resigned.

Must I formalize it on Monday?

Think I am bluffing?

You gotta ask yourself

Do you feel lucky?

Well Do ya?

Go ahead.........

You guys get the idea?

Now, don't go and seek the OAG's opinion as it will delay our children.

Just fess up and conduct business with honor and integrity and at least give us an appearance of due process. Not one black appointment. You guys are definitely walking on thin ice or maybe already fallen through but just don't know it. Such inadequacy is unacceptable.

CORPUS CHRISTI - CCISD school board members interviewed five candidates Friday to fill the board position vacated by Reverend Harry Williams.

The school board said it will set another meeting to discuss the finalists, and will possibly make a decision then, but still no word on when that would be.

Williams served the school board for more than seven years before resigning last month.

Nick Adame
"Do not be a disservice to our community and choose because this guy is my friend or this guy is my business associate," Dr. Nick Adame said. "I don't want to hear that. I want to hear that we're going to choose somebody because they're going to do right for the community."

Last week, the board narrowed the list of 20 candidates to five

Where is the criteria the process for "narrowing the list"?

The process the CCISD Board used is unethical and unfair. Every single applicant took the time to fill out an application, and the thought process for the letter of interest and update of their resume and references. For all intensive purposes this CCISD Board just threw that work product into the trash can while opting for business partners, friends cronies and industry allies.

It is not about the 5 selected it is about how the 5 were selected. It is not about Barrera or Prezas or Bill Clark or Lucy Rubio.

It is about a change of policy where policy is defined by processes of the past. Lucy is the only one with the guts to make the motion, "for the board to scrap the current process and start over. There was no second to the motion." Are there others in that room who agree with her, but politically, they are bound & gagged. The current process is in conflict with current policy. The current process is now a civil rights issue. Is that what CCISD wanted, another Cisneros v CCISD?

We have 19 Candidates who deserve Equal Opportunity and fair consideration. It is called due process.

1. Herbert Cromwell Arbuckle, III Retired Teacher
2. Rolando G. Barrera Insurance Agent
3. Tony C. Diaz, Ed.D. Retired CCISD Administrator
4. Victor Frazier, Ed.D. Minister and University Instructor
5. Cezar Galindo Business Owner and College Instructor
6. Marsha Lynn Grace Professor of Education
7. Coretta Graham Lawyer
8. Helen Gurley, Ph.D. Educator, Director of Academics
9. Patricia Harris Educator
10. Robert Elliott Jones Pastor and Business Manager
11. Deborah W. Johnson Retired Firefighter
12. Bradford Lee Kisner Director of Music and Fine Arts
13. Verna Faye Portis Retired CCISD Administrator
14. Raul R. Prezas, Ed.D. College Professor
15. Norman Haden Ransleben Certified Public Accountant
16. Woodrow Mac Sanders Medical Social Worker
17. Ronald G. Sepulveda Athletic Aquatic Superintendent
18. George Wetzel Retired Public School Administrator/Consultant
19. Goldie Lamarr Wooten Retired Educator

Rubio has said she disagrees with the selection process and would have preferred to use a scoring system instead.

Trustees selected the five candidates to be interviewed by each nominating one from a pool of 20 applicants.

We elect you guys to represent the district with honor & integrity

But before trustees interviewed the first candidate, trustee Lucy Rubio motioned for the board to scrap the current process and start over. There was no second to the motion.

Rubio has said she disagrees with the selection process and would have preferred to use a scoring system instead.

CCCT Editorial

The trustees' refusal to lay out the cards is beyond irritating; it borders on the outrageous.

Particularly disturbing is the fact that three new trustees elected last year - Carol Scott, John Longoria and Dwayne Hargis, all of whom emphasized their intent to bring new openness to the board - appear to have bought into the mum's-the-word ethos that has dominated this exercise.

To be sure, they (and their colleagues) could, and should, reverse their field.

CCISD Trustees: Pick and choose Policy Making with malice. Shame on YOU.

CORPUS CHRISTI - CCISD school board members have decided not to change their policy which forbids seniors who fail the TAKS from graduating.

One parent we spoke with Thursday said the policy didn't make sense, because while students who fail the TAKS test during the school year aren't allowed to take part in graduation ceremonies. The same doesn't hold true for summer school grads. They're allowed to participate in summer graduation ceremonies without knowing whether they passed the test.

The decision didn't sit well with some parents and students.

School board member Lucy Rubio had hoped to amend the policy, and allow seniors who failed the TAKS to at least walk in with their class during may commencement. But other school board members didn't agree.