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Betty Simon, Trustee LLC v. Israel

February 13, 2009

BETTY SIMON, TRUSTEE LLC, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
ROCHELLE B. ISRAEL, TRUSTEE OF THE HERMAN MILLER TESTAMENTARY TRUST, ROCHELLE B. ISRAEL, INDIVIDUALLY, AND THOMAS ISRAEL, HER HUSBAND; MARTIN "MARTY" MILLER; MRS. MARTIN "MARTY" MILLER, DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Atlantic County, Docket No. F-1802-06.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Argued September 16, 2008

Before Judges Graves and Grall.

Following a bench trial, the court entered a judgment in favor of plaintiff, Betty Simon, Trustee LLC (Simon or plaintiff), and against defendant Rochelle B. Israel, Trustee of the Herman Miller Testamentary Trust (the Miller Trust).*fn1 The Miller Trust appeals from the judgment and an order denying its motion for a new trial or, in the alternative, an amended judgment.

On appeal, the Miller Trust presents the following arguments:

POINT I.

THE TRIAL JUDGE IMPROPERLY INTERJECTED HIMSELF INTO THE CASE AND EXHIBITED DISTINCT PARTIALITY.

POINT II.

THE TRIAL COURT'S CONCLUSION THAT THE TRUSTEE, ROCHELLE ISRAEL, AUTHORIZED THE RELOADING OF $100,000 ONTO THE THEN $130,000 OBLIGATION WAS MANIFESTLY UNSUPPORTED BY THE EVIDENCE SO AS TO OFFEND THE INTEREST OF JUSTICE.

A. THE TRIAL COURT'S CONCLUSION THAT WOLFSON'S TESTIMONY WAS INTERNALLY CONSISTENT AND THEREFORE RELIABLE WAS MANIFESTLY UNSUPPORTED BY THE EVIDENCE SO AS TO OFFEND THE INTERESTS OF JUSTICE.

B. THE TESTIMONY OF PLAINTIFF'S PRIMARY WITNESS, FAWZY WAS UNRELIABLE, CONTRADICTORY AND NOT CREDIBLE.

POINT III.

THE TRIAL COURT FAILED TO ARTICULATE A RULING CONCERNING THE LEGAL EFFECT OF THE LETTER AGREEMENT SIGNED BY THE ...


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