News & Insights

December 11, 2013

Conrad O’Brien achieves dramatic victory in Superior Court

Conrad O’Brien obtained a significant appellate victory for its client in one of the largest estate litigations in Pennsylvania history.  The case was brought by the beneficiaries to the Estate of Samuel Rappaport against the primary former executor to the Estate, Richard Basciano represented by Conrad O’Brien, and involves challenges to numerous real estate and stock transactions occurring during the former executor’s eight year administration of the Estate.  A four week non-jury trial was held in 2009 in the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas, Orphans’ Court Division.  The Court issued an adjudication in August of 2010 finding in favor of the former co-executors on the majority of the Objections (claims) lodged against them.  In a decision issued on November 1, 2013 the Superior Court reversed the portion of the Orphan’s Court’s decision that had ordered the former executors to return commercial property and stock to the Estate, and further reversed the Orphans’ Court decision to award the beneficiaries millions in legal fees.  The decision by the Superior Court represents a vindication of the work of the former executor on behalf of the Estate of Samuel Rappaport, which Mr. Basciano successfully transformed from a nearly bankrupt business to a flourishing real estate empire.  In litigation spanning approximately 13 years, the beneficiaries of the Estate had challenged dozens of transactions undertaken by Mr. Basciano, seeking in excess of $60 million in connection with claims of waste, mismanagement and self-dealing.  With the issuance of the Superior Court decision, Mr. Basciano and his legal team defeated nearly all of the beneficiaries’ claims. 

 

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