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Probate Litigation 101: The Nuts and Bolts (FL)

Our Probate Litigation: Nuts and Bolts program takes an in-depth look at the pre-procedural rules, statutes, and major issues and areas of law that you need to handle when dealing with probate litigation. Since so much of probate litigation is the time leading up to actual trial, a large portion of the program will be focused on all of the actions, procedures and tasks you must know about, and accomplish, long before you get to trial. Then, towards the end of the day, you’ll get concrete advice regarding trial procedure and what to expect.

Our speakers will cover a multitude of procedural issues, statutes and case law that govern Probate Litigation, and will provide practical advice geared to helping you succeed before and at trial.

The program is geared towards the attorney who already has a good understanding of estate planning law and terms. Litigators wanting to know more about this form of litigation may want to order some of our estate planning audio packages to familiarize themselves with the concepts, legal areas, terms and other particularities of estate planning – of which there are a lot – prior to taking this course. You can search on “Estate Planning” under our audio tab to find many options, or call us for some suggestions (877) 858-3848.


8:30 – 9:45

Procedure & Timelines

  • Statutory deadlines
    • Estate proceedings
    • Trust proceedings
    • Probate Code – look to underlying cause of action
  • Local Rules
    • E-Filing!
  • Petitions
  • Motions
  • Ex Parte
  • Citation and Summonses
  • Dos and Don’ts

9:45 – 10:00

Statute of Limitations

10:00 – 10:30



  • Civil discovery procedures apply
  • Probate specific discovery procedures and code(s)
  • Subpoenaing Records
    • From estate planning attorney
    • Medical records
    • Financial records
    • Law enforcement

10:30 – 10:45



10:45 – 12:00

Capacity & Undue Influence

  • Presumption of Capacity
  • Capacity to execute trust
  • Capacity to execute will
  • Conservatorships (functional capacity)
  • Burden of proof on contestant
  • Elements to establish undue influence
  • Presumption of Undue Influence
  • Rebutting Presumption of Undue Influence 

12:00 – 1:00



(on your own)

1:00 – 2:15

Types of Actions & Issues


  • Trust Contests
  • Will Contests / Revocation or Probate
  • Contract to Make a Will

Removal of Fiduciaries and Accounting Litigation

  • Appointment of temporary trustee.
  • Probate Code discussion
  • Strategy re proposing neutral
  • Real property – recording interim order.
  • Accounting Litigation

 2:15 – 3:30

Elder Abuse and Guardianship


Financial Elder Abuse

  • Probate Code
  • Cases
  • Remedies and Damages


3:30 – 3:45



3:45 – 5:15

Trials and Evidence


  • Final status conference
  • Trial prep
  • Pre-trial deadlines
  • Trial briefs
  • Motions in limine
  • Excluding witnesses


  • Objections
  • Attorney-Client Privilege
  • Exceptions in evidence


  • Order of trial
    • Opening statements
    • Whose case is presented first
    • Order of witnesses / Direct & Cross Examinations
    • Expert witnesses
    • Introduction of Exhibits
    • Objections
    • Closing arguments
  • Fiduciaries and Successor Fiduciaries
  • Holder of privilege after death
  • Settlement


5:15 – 5:30

Final q/a


Dates and Times and Locations

April 13, 2018
8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (lunch on your own)
Check in between 8:00 – 8:30 a.m.

Gallery One – a DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel
2670 East Sunrise Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 33304

(Be sure to arrive at least ten minutes before start time if you want to make sure you have a good seat)


The following testimonials are from our recent Probate Litigation 101 program held in California:

“The book really was like a goldmine of information…This was a fantastic program, very complete and very substantive. Great panel with great information. I learned a lot which I know will help my practice.” – Steven A. Friedman, Esq.

“Enjoyed the program. Learned a great deal of material…comments from the bench are always helpful.” – Tom Borchard, Esq.

“My goal was a brief overview of Probate Litigation, with some helpful practice takeaways – both were accomplished!” – Abigail McLaughlin, Esq.

“There were certain areas I had not considered before, but which will be helpful for [practicing in] both L.A. County and Orange County.” – Austin Borchard, Esq.

“[Speakers] All were super knowledgeable and practical…Learned a few very important nuggets to keep me malpractice free.” – Elizabeth Vozzella, Esq.

“Well-organized…very informative. Good Q&A.” – David Kim, Esq.

“I really enjoyed the content. It appeals to new probate attorneys, attorneys new to litigation, and is a refresher for those who are more experienced.” – Savannah Estenson, Esq.

“Great presentation! Very relevant…great panel. Thank you!” – Marta N. Jonsson, Esq.

“Loved [Lauriann Wright’s] real-life case experience and practice tips. She was so helpful.” – Jill Piano, Esq.

“All speakers were clear, informative, organized, and engaging. Fantastic panel. Thank you! Content was…incredibly relevant and informative. [The] speakers paced through the amount of information well without sacrificing quality. I am a new practitioner and I appreciate the overview of each topic. Each speaker clarified many practical issues (not just probate concepts): e.g., filing petitions, considering how to handle difficult clients and/or court appearances. Well-organized event. Thank you! I look forward to taking part in more CLE events with Pincus.”

“I just started in probate law and this was a wonderfully informative program, and provides a great overview.”

“The program overall was exceptional. The thoroughness of what was covered in the time constraint of one day was well done.”

“Excellent presentations. [Speakers] were great…[Judge Thornton was] an excellent, engaging speaker and I felt lucky to have such an experienced judge teaching us…Excellent materials.”

“Great program. Appreciated the focus on practical ‘how-to’.”

“Great opportunity for insight from a sitting judge. Thanks for the tips! …Very intensive course with great depth. Covered a lot of smaller issues, and the insight into these, and lesser-known tricks and tips, was great.”

“Really appreciated the [judge’s] intro and big picture overview at the beginning. Appreciated [Edgar Saenz’s] cheat sheets.”

“Having Judge House was great!”

“[Lauriann Wright was] very knowledgeable as to litigation and providing case examples to cover points… [Marshal Oldman] Thanks for sharing witness tips!”

“The handout materials are great.”

“Really good [handouts].”

“I found it very helpful to have the judge’s perspective… [The] materials are very useful.”

“Excellent overview.”


Alison Brown, Esq.

Holland & Knight

Alison K. Brown is a commercial litigation attorney in the firm’s West Palm Beach office. She has worked on a wide variety of significant litigation, including civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) claims, fraud, shareholder rights lawsuits, investor claims and government investigations.

Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Ms. Brown worked in the public sector as an Assistant Attorney General arguing cases before the Missouri Courts of Appeals and the Supreme Court of Missouri. She also served as a career law clerk to the Honorable Kenneth L. Ryskamp in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

In the community, Ms. Brown serves on the Advisory Board of the World Affairs Council of Palm Beach, an organization that promotes understanding of the world through people-to-people diplomacy, distinguished speakers and educational outreach programs. She also took a one-year sabbatical to volunteer with Legal Services of Eastern Missouri to represent victims of domestic violence in the organization’s family law section.


Elizabeth Hughes, Esq.
Senior Counsel
Greenspoon Marder, P.A.

Elizabeth Hughes is of counsel in Greenspoon Marder’s Wills, Trusts & Estates practice group.  Ms. Hughes represents clients in all aspects of probate, guardianship, trust law and litigation proceedings. She has not only represented clients in such matters, but has served and continues to serve as court appointed counsel, guardian ad litem (namely minor settlements), estate curator, guardian, and emergency temporary guardian in Florida probate, trust and guardianship matters.

Ms. Hughes has experience litigating and resolving will contests, fee disputes, determination of heir disputes, disputes over appointment of fiduciaries, removal of fiduciaries, elective share disputes, and breaches of fiduciary obligations. She regularly assists individuals and clients serving as fiduciaries in reforming and construing wills and trusts, determining rights in wills and trusts, modifying trusts, as well as terminating trusts.

Ms. Hughes has represented both petitioners and respondents in Florida Marchman Act proceedings. She has also served as private counsel for alleged incapacitated persons as well as wards.

Bar Admissions



Florida Fellows Institute of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, 2017

J.D., University of Miami, School of Law, 2012

CALI Excellence for the Future Award in Women & The Law Stories Seminar, Fall

Dean’s Scholarship Recipient, 2011

B.S., University of Florida, cum laude, 2005

Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Medical Honors Society


Jeremy Leathe, Esq.

Dunwody White & Landon, P.A.

Jeremy P. Leathe is an attorney in the Coral Gables, Florida, office of Dunwody White & Landon, P.A. Mr. Leathe specializes exclusively in the areas of Wills, Trusts, Estates, and Guardianships. His practice is divided equally among estate planning, probate and trust administration, and probate and trust litigation matters.

Mr. Leathe was born and raised in Miami. He graduated from DartmouthCollegewith an A.B. in History (cum laude), and received his J.D. (magna cum laude) and LL.M. in Estate Planning from the University of Miami School of Law. While in law school, Mr. Leathe served as Articles and Comments Editor for the University of Miami Law Review, received the American Jurisprudence Book Award (highest grade in the class) in Property I, was elected to the Order of the Coif (top 10% of the graduating class), and was inducted into the Phi Delta Phi legal honor society. Upon graduation, Mr. Leathe served for two years as Judicial Clerk to the Honorable Lenore C. Nesbitt, U.S. District Court Judge for the Southern District of Florida.

Mr. Leathe has significant experience in drafting wills and trusts, including revocable, irrevocable, and charitable trusts. He also appears regularly in probate court with regard to probate administration, trust administration, and guardianship proceedings.

In addition to his experience as an estate planning lawyer, Mr. Leathe has extensive litigation experience. After his federal clerkship, he was an associate in the litigation department at Greenberg Traurig PA, and a shareholder in the litigation department at Akerman Senterfitt, P.A. Mr. Leathe also spent six years litigating complex civil matters in state and federal courts as an Assistant County Attorney forMiami-DadeCounty. He has tried numerous jury and non-jury cases in both the state and federal courts, and has argued appellate cases before the Third District Court of Appeals (state) and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals (federal). As a trusts and estates lawyer, he has had considerable experience with will contests, trusts contests, and breach of fiduciary duty cases.

Mr. Leathe is a member of the Estate Planning Council of Greater Miami, the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of the Florida Bar, and the Probate and Guardianship Committee of the Dade County Bar Association. He speaks frequently on topics related to Wills, Trusts, and Estates, such as homestead law, will and trust contests, and estate and trust administration.

Mr. Leathe is also active in his community, serving on the Board of Directors for Temple Beth Am, one of the largest Reform congregations in the southeast United States. In addition, he serves as a member of the Professional Advisors Council of the Foundation of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation. A continued supporter of his alma mater, Mr. Leathe works as an interviewer for candidates applying to Dartmouth College.

Mr. Leathe lives in Pinecrest with his wife and three children.

Joshua Levenson, Esq.
Holland & Knight

Joshua R. Levenson is a partner in Holland & Knight’s Fort Lauderdale office and is a trial attorney in the firm’s Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice. He concentrates in the areas of commercial litigation, trusts and estates litigation, medical malpractice defense, premises liability, title insurance litigation and commercial landlord-tenant litigation. Mr. Levenson handles cases in both state and federal court and his trial experience includes handling matters from the pre-suit phase through trial.


Kelly O’Keefe
Stearns Weaver

Kelly represents businesses, fiduciaries, and individuals in trust and estate litigation, real estate litigation and complex business litigation. She also represents businesses before government agencies and advises candidates regarding campaign laws. Kelly’s experience spans state, federal and local government forums. She has managed cases in multiple parallel forums, including arbitration, and brought cases successfully through appeal.


Registration fees are per person.

Individual: $425

Group: $399 per person for 2 or more from the same company pre-registering at the same time

Government employee/Non-Profit* Rate: $375

Law Students/paralegals*: $235 (current JD students only)


Program materials:

We’ve gone green.  Registration fees include an electronic copy of your handbook emailed one week in advance of the program.  Be sure to check your spam folder if you don’t see it by then.

If you prefer, you may order a hard copy of the handout to be provided the day of the program for $25. To do so, please be sure to check the box when you register. If you want a hard copy, you must order it when you register; there will not be any available for purchase the day of the program.

** Legal Aid/Non-Profit attorneys are those attorneys employed by Legal Aid/Non-Profit firms. It does not include attorneys who have their own practice, or are employed by law firms, that volunteer their time for non-profit causes or take on pro-bono cases. Full and partial scholarships may be available to a limited number of non-profit/Legal Aid attorneys, based upon registration. Please call (877) 858-3848 to discuss or email your request to info@pincusproed.com.


CLE Credits

FL General:  This program is approved for 9.0 general CLE units in Florida through October 13, 2019.

FL Board Certified: This program is approved for units of Board Certified CLE in Florida as follows:

  • Elder Law: 9.0 units through October 13, 2019
  • Wills, Trusts and Estates: 9.0 units through October 13, 2019

CA General:  This program is approved for 7.5 units of general CLE in California.

NJ General: The LIVE session of this course is approved, under New Jersey’s CLE Approved Jurisdiction policy, for 7.5 CLE units. Pincus Professional Education is a CA Accredited Provider, which is a NJ approved jurisdiction. See the New Jersey State CLE Board Regulations and Guidelines for further information.

NY General: The LIVE session of this course is approved, under New York’s CLE Approved Jurisdiction policy, for 7.5 CLE units. Pincus Professional Education is a CA Accredited Provider, which is a NY approved jurisdiction. See Section 6 of the New York State CLE Board Regulations and Guidelines for further information.

This program is approved for CLE in the states listed above.  Upon request, Pincus Pro Ed will provide any information an attorney needs to support their application for CLE approval in other states other than what is listed above.

Terms & Refund Policies

Recording policy: No audio or video recording of any program is permitted.

Seminar Cancellations: Should you be unable to attend for any reason, please inform us in writing no later than 14 days prior to the event and a credit voucher will be issued. If you prefer, a refund, less a $50 non-refundable deposit, will be issued. No refunds or credits will be given for cancellations received within 14 days of an event. However, if you notify us within 14 days of an event, and wish to convert your in-person attendance registration to an Audio CD package (with handout), we can do so. A small additional shipping charge, and sales tax in CA, will be incurred. No shipping charge is incurred for downloads. We will also issue a voucher for the amount paid if you notify us within 14 days and prefer not to have the audio recording.

Substitutions may be made at any time.

Reminder: The room temperature at hotels and other seminar locations are notoriously hard to control. Please bring a sweater or jacket in case it gets cold and/or layer as if you are going to the movies so you are comfortable.

For policies related to audio products, please select “I want a download or CD” on the right.

$235.00$425.00 each

Our Probate Litigation program takes an in-depth look at the pre-procedural rules, statutes, and major issues and areas of law that you need to handle when dealing with probate litigation.


Printed Materials

[ All attendees receive a pdf of the materials one week prior to the program. To purchase a printed hard copy, please select this option to order it now. ]

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