News Brief

Lee Obtains Directed Verdict for Trustee Client in Breach of Fiduciary Duty Case

July 17, 2018

Matthew Lee (Partner-DC Metro) obtained a directed verdict in favor of a trustee at the close of a breach of fiduciary duty case in the Fairfax County Circuit Court. The firm’s client was the trustee on a multimillion-dollar deed for a large tract of residential real estate in the Dulles Toll Road corridor. The borrower had been in default for years and actively opposed foreclosure. When the trustee sought to foreclose, the borrower filed two motions for injunctions. Ultimately, the court denied the borrower’s motions, and the trustee foreclosed. The borrower then filed a $20 million breach of fiduciary duty claim against the firm’s client, alleging collusion and a failure to act with the requisite impartiality. After four days of trial, Matt moved to strike the claim at the close of the plaintiff’s proof, successfully arguing that the trustee sought the court’s guidance with respect to the borrower’s two motions for injunction, and both times the court denied the requested relief. The trial judge granted his motion, reading into the record that he was doing so because our client had proved, as a matter of law and based solely on the evidence adduced in the plaintiff’s case in chief, that the client had not breached its fiduciary duty. Dacey Gilligan, paralegal McLean, attended trial and was instrumental in the defense in this matter.

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