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Varnum Wins for Client in Multimillion-dollar Real Estate Dispute

October 24, 2022

A Michigan Court of Appeals decision recently affirmed a lower court ruling in a multimillion-dollar real estate dispute between siblings over share of ownership of a family farm. Varnum successfully represented the defendant in the matter which involved enforcement of a prior judgment concerning multiple trusts, a secret will and a 1956 oral agreement.

Varnum provided a successful defense for the client whose sibling alleged that the interests in the Southeast Michigan property had not been properly recorded following a 1993 probate court order. In January 2020, the sibling filed an action for quiet title and declaratory judgment in circuit court, asking the court to modify the property’s title and significantly reduce the defendant’s interest in the farm property. In response, the defendant filed a motion for summary judgment which was granted and which the sibling appealed.

In September, the Court of Appeals affirmed the circuit court decision, concluding that Varnum’s client’s share was not to be reduced and enforced the prior judgment.

Varnum partner Sarah Wixson represented the client in this matter.

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