Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Georgia Supreme Court Refuses to Apply Collateral Estoppel to Issues of Incapacity and Undue Influence Decided Under Higher Burden of Proof
In Copelan v. Copelan, the Georgia Supreme Court recently held that collateral estoppel did not bar claims of incapacity and undue influence which had previously been rejected under a higher burden of proof. In previous proceedings between the same parties, state appellate courts had improperly rejected the claims under a "clear and convincing" burden of proof. The Georgia Supreme Court held that because the claims only needed to be proven by the lower standard of a "preponderance of the evidence," the previous denials did not trigger collateral estoppel.
See Luke Lantta, Collateral Estoppel Did Not Prevent Georgia Will Contest, Bryan Cave Fiduciary Litigation, March 11, 2014.
Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.