Skip to main content
James Brian Thomas

James Thomas’s Answers

591 total


  • Can I sue my wifes employer (federal agency) for allowing her to have an extramarital affair with a supervisor in her office?

    My wife is a lower level GS employee and was having an affair with a supervisor in her office and her management recognized the issue but did not take any steps to prevent the two from spending time together while on duty.

    James’s Answer

    Can you sue? Sure. Can you win? Doubtful. I would be surprised to learn that employers owe non-employee spouses a duty that the employee spouse remains faithful to his or her marriage. Arguing that the employer should have fired or demoted your spouse (thus somehow preventing infidelity) is going to be tough. Sometimes, blame belongs on the party that made a bad choice.

    See question 
  • How or where would you find info on whats been recorded or filed on an estate? i searched public records and could not find any.

    my sister hired a lawyer 17 months ago to file an "application to determine heirship and for letters of independent administration" , my brother and i signed waivers and agreed to let our sister handle the distribution of the property. she told us...

    James’s Answer

    Chalk this one up to being careful about what you sign. In many circumstances, it would be common for you and your brother to sign waivers like this, and it is very likely that there is nothing out of place about it. But, when you waive notice, you don't get notice. Your sister's lawyer does not represent you. Should you care enough to have an attorney look out for your own interests, I would take the time to locate and hire one.

    If you're simply interested in seeing what has happened, if anything, with regard to the Estate, the link below should take you to the Tarrant County probate records (assuming that the Estate is pending in the same county that you posted from).

    See question 
  • How can a get a my father's will from from his lawyer?!

    My dad passed away a week ago. My grandmother has a copy of the will, but I very much believe it's been falsified. She has sold some of his posessions without a death certificate. She is taking EVERYTHING, and no one else in the family is getting ...

    James’s Answer

    Hire your own probate lawyer. When you proceed without your own attorney, you run the significant risk that there is nobody involved in the case looking out for your interests or protecting your rights. If you care about your interests and rights enough, take the time to locate and speak with a probate attorney.

    See question 
  • What constitutes a breach of fiduciary duty? Would this be enough to remove a Trustee under § 113.082. tex prop?

    In Texas, Trustees owe a beneficiary, among other things, a fiduciary duty. If Trustees used their trust to deprive its beneficiary of his only money, car, and home would that be a breach. They've also assaulted me and had me falsely imprisoned ...

    James’s Answer

    You need to seek the assistance of an attorney if you're serious about the matter. No competent counsel could take your paragraph and provide you with specific instructions about where to file, what to file, what to seek or how to get it.

    Sadly, trustees breach fiduciary obligations all the time. And, yes, sometimes they get away with it. If they've done something wrong (and they may not have), your trustees will get away with it as well unless you have a real conversation with an attorney.

    See question 
  • County court took guardianship of all fathers assets. Trying to sell his assets. Has 3 living children (heirs)

    father has mild to moderate dementia. Being victimized by legal system. What can his children do to legally stop them. Has 2 homes 1 home unoccupied. Can children move into home? What are the Texas occupancy the laws. Rights of heirship??

    James’s Answer

    Guardianships are not created on a whim. If the Court appointed someone to manage your father's personal care or financial affairs, it did so because the Court received facts that made that appointment necessary. If done correctly, and assuming that the guardianship is permanent, you also received notice of the proceeding and were given an opportunity to participate, but you don't explain why you did not. I don't meant to doubt you without the benefit of all of the facts, but I don't buy that a guardianship proceeding is "victimizing" your father.

    Any right that you may have in your father's property (which is probably none) is certainly less than your father's right to use that property for his care if needed.

    See question 
  • Can we stop a nominated executor from filing probate ? We are seeking in process of uncontested guardianship.

    My sister is POA for my mother and father. Her 4 siblings have filed for guardianship after 2 yrs of obvious receipt from her concerning our folks assets , her obvious drug issues, misuse of both cash& credit and the selling of our parents house a...

    James’s Answer

    Mr. Pyke is correct. You can't do much to stop her from filing what your sister wishes to file. You can, however, oppose the relief that she asks the Court to give her. Speak with an attorney immediately, particularly because your sister already has the advantage of an attorney working to represent her interests, whereas it sounds like you don't have one.

    Sadly, the guardianship fight for your father is over before it ever really started. Whether or not his estate requires administration is another question. From your very brief facts, his estate may hold a legal claim against your sister. Moreover, she may not be qualified to serve as the executor. Advancing either of these theories requires that you (a) hire a good probate attorney and (b) remain vigilant concerning what is being filed.

    Self-help won't help you here. Share your facts with an attorney today.

    See question 
  • Pro hac vice admission for probating mother-in-law's estate

    I practice criminal law in Denver and I'm only admitted to the Colorado bar. I've just learned of my mother-in-law's death in Dallas County. How difficult is it to seek a pro hac vice admission for the purposes of probate? My wife is the ...

    James’s Answer

    The Texas Board of Law Examiners oversees our pro hac vice requirements. You will find some helpful information at http://www.ble.state.tx.us. Look under their "Frequently Asked Questions" link and the pro hac vice admission process is explained in pretty good detail.

    I'm not sure if anyone will tell you if pro hac vice admission is easier or harder for probate or any other of our Texas courts. Dallas County has three statutory probate courts, and our judges are all very well-reasoned jurists. A motion to any of them for pro hac vice admission (which must be accompanied by a fee acknowledgement letter from the Board of Law Examiners) would probably be well-met.

    All that said, and with no disrespect to your own practice of course, the majority of Texas estate administrations are straightforward and uncomplicated. Our independent administration system often eliminates tons of time and fees. Unless you just really want to be your wife's attorney, I'm not sure that pro hac vice (whether it's a hassle or not) is necessary. Even under this procedure, you still have to associate with a Texas attorney. Why not just hire one that knows how to guide you through the process?

    See question 
  • Can my mother gift her inherited property to my husband ?

    My father inherted my grandfathers property 30+ years ago. My father passed away 5+ years ago therefore the property transfered to her name via mutation. 4 years ago my cousins & Aunts filed a suit against my mother that is pending in court. No St...

    James’s Answer

    This is a perfect question for your mother's attorney in the lawsuit that was filed and involves her. Unfortunately, this site is really not designed to give you the advice that you're seeking here, since anyone attempting to answer your questions would need significantly more information.

    See question 
  • Do I need to go to probate court?

    My mom passed away and she had a will, she has 6 others kids and 3 adopted children but she left everything to me. She didn't own any assets, no car, house, bonds or trust. Her bank account was a pod account with my name on it. The only real 'mone...

    James’s Answer

    What you're describing may just be a situation where the cost of any procedure outweighs the probable benefit. You've received some terrific insight already, mostly explaining that any work you do would probably be done only to benefit the Estate's creditors, and the work would cost more than you would receive.

    One thing that you might also consider doing is depositing the Will with the county clerk for the county in which your mother lived at her death. Technically, you aren't supposed to just hang on to the Will yourself. Depositing it costs around $5.00, and if anybody wants or needs to probate the Will in the future, the document is kept safe for that purpose. Who knows, you might uncover an asset in the future and wish you could still find the document that leaves it to you.

    See question 
  • What are the steps necessary in handling my mother's estate?

    My mother has recently passed and there is no will. There are six siblings total. The majority of the siblings would like to have my brother removed from the house. He has lived and been supported by my mother for the last thirty years. If the...

    James’s Answer

    Your first and most important step is to hire a probate lawyer. This is not a situation that you can address by yourself. To begin with, dying without a Will typically results in the surviving family having to use procedures that most probate attorneys try to avoid -- heirship determinations and dependent administrations. An experienced probate attorney can explain these processes to you and help you choose the one that will get you to the result as efficiently as possible.

    See question