Articles Posted in U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

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When the decedent in this case died he owed over $340,000 in unpaid federal income tax liabilities. The decedent was survived by his wife, Appellant, and four minor children. Appellant, the decedent’s wife, was appointed executrix of the decedent’s estate. When Appellant told the IRS she was not cooperate with the IRS’s attempt to collect on the estate’s federal tax debts, the IRS served Appellant with a formal notice of potential liability under the federal priority statute, 31 U.S.C. 3713. The government then sued the decedent’s estate and Appellant, both individually and in her capacity as executrix. The district court concluded that Appellant was personally liable for the value of the estate’s assets Appellant transferred to herself without first paying the estate’s federal tax debts. The district court then entered judgment holding that estate and Appellant as executrix liable for $351,218 and holding Appellant, individually, liable for $125,938. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that the district court did not err in entering summary judgment against Appellant personally, as the government showed that Appellant’s conduct satisfied the requirements of section 3713(b) to be held personally liable for amounts not paid to the United States. View "United States v. McNicol" on Justia Law

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Father, a Florida resident, filed this diversity suit against Daughter, a Massachusetts resident, in the District of Massachusetts, alleging that Daughter, to whom he had given a power of attorney, breached her fiduciary duty to him. The jury returned a verdict in Father’s favor. Daughter appealed, and Father cross-appealed. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that the district court (1) did not err in denying Daughter’s motion for judgment as a matter of law; and (2) did not err in awarding Father prejudgment interest from the date that he filed this lawsuit rather than the date Daughter breached her fiduciary duty. View "Berkowitz v. Berkowitz" on Justia Law

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Appellant, acting in the capacity as the executor of the estate of Marion Bingham, brought this lawsuit against Supervalu, Inc., alleging that Supervalu acted as an insurer of one of its subsidiaries and violated Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 176D and Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 93A by failing to promptly and equitably resolve prior litigation between the subsidiary and the State. Supervalu removed the action to federal court, arguing that it was not in the business of insurance and was thus not subject to regulation under Chapter 176D. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Supervalu, ruling that Supervalu was not in the business of insurance. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that the district court did not err in concluding that Supervalu was not in the business of insurance. View "Bingham v. Supervalu, Inc." on Justia Law