Mr. Manceri was on the winning side in Jervis v. Tucker, 82 So.3d 126 (Fla. 4th DCA 2012)

Mr. Manceri was on the winning side in Jervis v. Tucker, 82 So.3d 126 (Fla. 4th DCA 2012) a 5 year battle over the validity of a Trust Amendment made while the Grantor, Bernice J. Meikle, was incapacitated.

The Jervis matter centered around Bernice J. Meikle, who was adjudicated incapacitated at the request of her brother, Donald Jervis, in October, 2000. Mr. Jervis was appointed Guardian and at the same time was serving as Trustee of Bernice J. Meikle’s Trust which she created in 1991. At the time she was adjudicated incapacitated, Mrs. Meikle’s Trust provided that Donald Jervis would receive $5,000.00 upon her death and the remainder of the Trust would be distributed among her step-daughter and step-grandchildren, all of whom were represented by Mr. Manceri.

On December 27, 2001, over a year after Bernice J. Meikle was adjudicated incapacitated, a Trust Amendment was signed by Mrs. Meikle and Donald Jervis increasing his share of the Trust upon Mrs. Meikle’s death from $5,000.00 to approximately $1,000,000.00, to the detriment of Mr. Manceri’s Clients. The same law firm represented Mrs. Meikle, who was incapacitated and Donald Jervis, as both Guardian and Trustee, when the Trust Amendment was signed.

The execution of the Trust Amendment was never brought to the attention of the Court overseeing Mrs. Meikle’s Guardianship. Additionally, Mr. Manceri’s Clients were not made aware of the Trust Amendment until shortly after Bernice J. Meikle’s death in August, 2007, nearly 6 years after it was signed.

Approximately 2 months after Mrs. Meikle’s death, Mr. Manceri filed a ten (10) Count Complaint against Donald Jervis seeking to void the Amendment alleging, among other things, Bernice J. Meikle’s lack of capacity; Donald Jervis’ exercise of undue influence upon her and various conflicts held by Donald Jervis in his roles as Guardian, Trustee and beneficiary.

Extensive litigation ensued over the next two and a half years until the Trial Court declared the Trust Amendment void in December, 2009. Donald Jervis then appealed to the Fourth District Court of Appeal in West Palm Beach, Florida requesting the Trial Court Order be reversed.

Mr. Manceri then took up his Clients cause with the Appellate Court and after preparing and filing lengthy appellate Briefs and presenting his oral argument before the Appellate Court, the Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed the Trial Court and issued it’s Mandate in April, 2012.

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