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Barcelo v. Elliott

Supreme Court of Texas
923 S.W.2d 575 (1996)


Attorney David Elliott drafted a will and trust for Frances Barcelo. The trust provided for certain distributions to Barcelo’s children and siblings after her death, with the remainder to be distributed to Barcelo’s grandchildren. After Barcelo’s death, the probate court found the trust to be invalid. Barcelo’s grandchildren (plaintiffs) brought a malpractice suit against Elliott (defendant). The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Elliott, finding that he did not have a duty to Barcelo’s grandchildren because Elliott was not the grandchildren’s attorney. The court of appeals affirmed. Barcelo’s grandchildren argue on appeal that an attorney owes a duty of care to the beneficiaries specifically identified in a client’s estate plan.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Phillips, C.J.)

Dissent (Cornyn, J.)

Dissent (Spector, J.)

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