Logourl black
From our private database of 13,800+ case briefs...

Morris v. West’s Estate

Texas Court of Appeals
643 S.W.2d 204 (1982)


Facts

The decedent, C.K. West, executed a will that gave one-third of his estate to his daughter’s ex-husband, Jackson Morris (plaintiff), and which omitted West’s grandson, Patrick. The two witnesses to West’s will watched West sign the will in a conference room, then walked down a hallway to a secretary’s office to sign the attestation clauses while West remained in the conference room. The conference room and secretary’s office were separated by another office. The Texas probate code requires witnesses to a testator’s will to sign their names in the presence of the testator. West’s daughter, Lorraine, and Patrick (defendants) objected to admitting West’s will to probate. A jury trial was held to determine whether the two witnesses to West’s will were in West’s presence when they signed the will. The jury found that the witnesses were not in West’s presence when they signed the will, and the trial court therefore declined probate of the will. Morris appealed, arguing that the witnesses were in West’s presence as a matter of law when they signed West’s will, because they were in the same office suite and because West would have been able to physically see the witnesses sign the will with a minimum of effort.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Holding and Reasoning (Dickenson, A.J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 170,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,800 briefs, keyed to 187 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.