Thursday, March 25, 2010

Winans v. Timar (Cal. Ct. App. - March 25, 2010)

We've got a lot of legal doctrines that shield the jury room from scrutiny. We know they're making sausage in there. We don't want to see it made, notwithstanding the fact that we desperately rely on the resulting product. To have faith in the system, we'd just rather not know.

We can do that with verdicts. Albeit at a cost. We can't, however, do that with wills. And we don't. When there's a will contest, we actively inquire into the circumstances under which the will(s) were made, and why.

Unfortunately, sausage sometimes looks good by comparison.

See if you had the same reaction that I did to this case from the Court of Appeal earlier today.

My reaction was: "Ewww." I didn't especially like the circumstances that resulted in any of the bequests at issue. There just seemed to be a lot of (actual or potential) scheming, manipulation and abuse in an attempt to get the estate's assets directed their way in the will. Yuk.

And unlike sausage, the results don't even taste good. Except to the victors, of course.