Recent Developments


FLP by Estoppel: A family limited partnership (FLP) was formed and hired an investment manager. Years later the FLP sued the manager for providing lousy advice. The manager moved to have the suit dismissed because the FLPs attorney failed to ever file the certificate of limited partnership that the family signed with the state, so the FLP wasn't properly formed. The court applied a theory of estoppel and held that the investment manager had earned fees for years from the FLP it could not now argue that the FLP was not valid (it was "estopped" from making this argument). The court held the partnership was valid. Since both sides engaged in business in a mutually beneficial manner they could not argue that the entity wasn't valid. The court extended the doctrine of corporation by estoppel to an FLP. Boslow Family Limited Partnership v. Glickenhaus & Co., 7 N.Y.3d 664 (Dec. 14, 2006). Hey, compare this real case to the estate tax FLP cases where the courts have seized on the miniscule violations of entity form to overturn FLPs and LLCs. Perhaps Judge Laro could be encouraged to ponder this case for a while (See Estate of Lillie Rosen).


Anna Nicole Smith Court battles over her interest in billionaire J. Howard Marshall II's estate may continue following her death. Although J. Howard's son, E. Pierce Marshall died last year, his widow is continuing his side of the court battle. The Supreme Court held that the general rule that state courts have final say on probate and will contest matters didn't apply because a bankruptcy issue, normally disputed in federal courts, was involved. The bankruptcy judge could still continue to hear the case. If Anna Nicole's estate ultimately receives an award, presumably her daughter Dannielynn will benefit, but a paternity suit might be necessary to determine who her father, and perhaps guardian, will be.

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