Marshall A. Adams, Esq., partner at preeminent law firm Lubell Rosen, recently obtained trial victory in favor of his client, a local widow, against a claim that her recently deceased husband of 50 years executed a quitclaim deed for a Miami condominium, in favor of a woman who claimed to be his mistress. In the case Zeidy Calderon vs. Judith Nazareth Lopez, Judge Jerald Bagley of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court, Civil Division, entered a 20-page final judgment on Oct. 31, 2017.The right to appeal the judgment expired on Dec. 1, 2017.
“Elder abuse and fraud on the elderly is on the rise, with one report estimating that older Americans lose $36.5 billion each year to financial scams and abuse. This especially affects South Florida, which has a large population of retirees,” said Adams. “This was a particularly sad case, with so many disturbing facts. I was so happy to get my client justice and closure.”
“Marshall’s dogged pursuit of this case and his attention to detail was a substantial factor in the favorable outcome for our client,” said Lubell Rosen Managing Partner Mark Rosen.
The defendant took the position that her husband was taken from his “death bed” and brought miles away to notarize and execute the deed. The court was not convinced that the decedent actually signed the deed, and found that if this occurred, it was “unconscionable and inhumane.”
Adams presented evidence that, while his client’s late husband was in hospice, dying of cancer, the deed was either forged or acquired through undue influence, duress or fraud, or was executed when the husband lacked capacity to make an informed decision concerning the transfer of the property. In addition to fact witnesses, Adams presented medical and handwriting experts.
The court described the evidence as “overwhelmingly supporting,” not only a finding of undue influence, but also lack of capacity. The court also found that the evidence was “clear and convincing” that the decedent was under duress at the time he “purportedly” executed the deed. The court further found fraud was demonstrated by the testimony that the decedent was dying, in home hospice, and never left home that day. “Most importantly,” the testimony of the forensic document expert testified that there was a high probability of certainty that the signature of the decedent was forged. The court punctuated the fraud findings by describing as “troubling” the recanting “almost in its entirety” of a sworn affidavit of a Notary Public (procured by the defendant’s son) who allegedly saw and notarized the execution of the deed.
The court ordered that the deed to the property was void and ordered that “the respondent, having no possessory interest in the property, vacate the property”.
Adams focuses his practice on commercial litigation, with an emphasis on construction, real estate and business disputes; representing individuals and entities ranging from small family owned businesses, to interstate companies with thousands of employees. Adams has been recognized as a Florida Super Lawyer® from 2013–2017, representing the top 5 percent of lawyers in the state of Florida. Adams has also been recognized as “AV Preeminent Rated” by Martindale-Hubbell® since 2011.
About Lubell Rosen
Lubell Rosen is a law firm dedicated to providing full service representation as well as defending and protecting entrepreneurs and business owners, as well as small, medium and large businesses in industries ranging from construction to telecommunications. Lubell Rosen also represents physicians, healthcare professionals and businesses in the healthcare industry. The firm has been named a U.S. Top Ranked Law Firm by FORTUNE MoneyMagazine. Only the finest attorneys are invited to join the practice. Lubell Rosen’s headquarters are located at 200 S. Andrews Ave., Suite 900, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. To reach Lubell Rosen’s headquarters, call 954-880-9500. The firm also has offices in Coral Gables, Florida; Syosset, New York. For more information, visit www.lubellrosen.com.