Practice Highlights - April 21, 2023

Jury Award of Over $1.2 Million in Probate Lawsuit

Jones Foster attorneys Steven J. Rothman and Zachary M. Rothman served as counsel for the personal representative of a decedent’s estate in a lawsuit in Palm Beach County Circuit Court. The dispute involved promissory notes between the decedent and his ex-spouse and life insurance policy proceeds that were paid to the ex-spouse in excess of the debt owed.

Counsel for the personal representative asserted that the ex-spouse breached the promissory notes and the estate was entitled to the life insurance proceeds in excess of the debt owed. After a four-day trial, the jury returned a $1.22 million verdict in favor of the personal representative and estate, finding that the ex-spouse “breached the contracts and engaged in conversion by retaining the amount of the life insurance proceeds in excess of the Decedent’s debt.”

About Steven J. Rothman

Steve litigates in a wide variety of matters, often in cases with complex technical issues, and focuses his practice on civil litigation with an emphasis on product liability, wrongful death, personal injury, defamation, real estate, and commercial litigation. He represents individuals, businesses, and governmental bodies, and his cases have included numerous multimillion-dollar claims. As a result of decades of high-stakes litigation experience, Steve has gained extensive knowledge, skills, and understanding of the intricacies of various industries, enabling him to better serve clients across all sectors.

Steve currently serves as President of the American Board of Trial Advocates Palm Beach Chapter, an invitation-only national association of experienced trial lawyers and judges, considered to be one of the most prestigious affiliations for trial attorneys. Steve’s leadership role in ABOTA adds to his honors and recognition in the legal industry, which includes being named a 2023 “Lawyer of the Year” for Personal Injury Litigation in the West Palm Beach metro area by The Best Lawyers in America.

About Zachary M. Rothman

Zack represents clients in litigation involving estates, trusts, guardianships, and fiduciary disputes, as well as commercial litigation matters. He also counsels personal representatives, trustees, court-appointed administrators, beneficiaries, and creditors in all facets of probate, trust, and guardianship administration.

Zack holds leadership positions in state and local bar associations, serving as Secretary of The Florida Bar’s Probate Rules Committee; Liaison of the Code & Rules of Evidence Committee to the Probate Rules Committee; and Co-Chair of the Style Subcommittee. In addition, he is a member of the Palm Beach County Bar Association’s Probate/Guardianship Committee and the Estate/Probate CLE Committee. Zack is a graduate of the Florida Fellows Institute of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and has been recognized by Florida Super Lawyers as a Rising Star.

About Jones Foster

Jones Foster is a commercial and private client law firm headquartered in West Palm Beach, Florida. Established in 1924, the Firm has served as an integral part of South Florida’s growth and prosperity for nearly a century. Through a relentless pursuit of excellence, Jones Foster delivers original legal solutions that help clients, colleagues, and the community to move forward. The Firm’s attorneys focus their practice in Real Estate, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Private Wealth, Trusts & Estates, Corporate & Tax, and Land Use & Governmental. For more information, please visit