Summary Judgement Motion in a Will Contest: An Updated Proponent’s Perspective

By: Gary E. Bashian, Esq.

A motion for summary judgment, pursuant to CPLR § 3212 or § 3211, is a powerful procedural tool that can end litigation immediately.

Summary judgment can deliver a swift and decisive victory on the outcome of a matter. It can limit the issues, or award the broadest types of relief by ending all claims. When granted, it can avoid years of potential litigation and expense.

But for all of its versatility, drafting a motion for summary judgment can be a daunting and complex undertaking. The facts (hopefully none in question), and the applicable law in every matter can make it difficult to identify issues with no triable issue of fact. Communicating them clearly to the Court so as to show that summary judgment should be granted is the challenge.

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“I Did, but now I Don’t.” Vacatur of a Probate Decree Admitted on Consent Rarely Granted

“Droll thing life is — that mysterious arrangement of merciless logic for a futile purpose. The most you can hope from it is some knowledge of yourself — that comes too late — a crop of inextinguishable regrets.”

― Joseph Conrad


Clients often come to regret past decisions, and very often seek counsel for a means to resolve the difficulties and complications that result from them. Commonly, a client will approach counsel, often indignant, sometimes sheepishly, and ultimately admit that they have found themselves bound to an agreement of which they now want, for lack of a better term, to get out of. An unforeseen, unintended, or a simply poor result has forced a reconsideration and change of mind as is often the case; what was once opportunity, is now a liability that needs remedy.

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Estate Litigation Tidbits Fall/Winter 2014

Surrogate’s Summary Judgment Roundup – Very Interesting!

A Series of Recent Decisions from Surrogate’s Throughout Metropolitan New York, Further Highlight the Increased Use of Summary Judgment in the Courts.

  1. Matter of Lubin, 30 Misc. 3d 1234A [Bronx County Surrogate’s 2011], is instructive as it again reminds practitioners of the burdens assigned to Objectants and Proponents in a Will contest proceeding.

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