Court’s ruling in HRBK case upheld by the Appellate Court of Illinois

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The Appellate Court of Illinois recently affirmed the judgment in favor of the firm’s client who had been accused of using undue influence to force a family member to transfer a large amount of farm land.

The client’s mother had decided to give farm land to the client. She met with another attorney and signed a deed in favor of the client. Years later, another family member challenged the conveyance of the land and claimed that the mother was infirm and easily manipulated. By the time the suit was brought, the mother suffered from severe dementia and could not testify. On behalf of the client, testimony was presented from the attorneys who represented the mother, the mother’s treating physician and various other family members and acquaintances. The trial court found in favor of the firm’s client and ruled that the client had proven that the transfer was not a result of any undue influence.

On appeal, the family member bringing the suit claimed that the trial judge committed error and that the deed should be set aside. The Appellate Court found the client had met her burden of proof and the transfer was not a result of undue influence. The claim against the firm’s client was dismissed.

Jeff Rock from the firm handled this case. He also represents other firm clients in cases involving will challenges and estate claims.

A copy of the decision is here.