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In the Matter of the Estate of Rosalyn J. Schaul, Deceased.
Mark Schaul, Joan Clark, Dale Schaul, and Mary Ann Knabenbauer,
Dennis Schaul, Individually and as executor, and Dean Schaul,
Attorney for Appellants
David J. Dutton and Nathan J. Schroeder
Attorney for Appellee Janet Glynn
William S. Vernon and Robert S. Hatala
Attorney for Appellees
Matthew D. Gardner
Court of Appeals
Court of Appeals Opinion
Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Delaware County, Thomas A. Bitter, Judge. AFFIRMED IN PART, REVERSED IN PART, AND REMANDED ON APPEAL; AFFIRMED ON CROSS APPEAL. Heard by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ. Opinion by Ahlers, J. (21 pages)
This case involves a dispute between seven siblings regarding the estate of their mother. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiffs both on their will contest and their claim the defendants intentionally interfered with their inheritance. The defendants appeal, and the plaintiffs cross-appeal. OPINION HOLDS: The plaintiffs’ cross-appeal is waived for failure to identify issues or make arguments. Regarding the intentional-interference-with-inheritance claim, the jury instructions correctly stated the law and the evidence is sufficient to prove the plaintiffs’ theories of fraud, duress, and coercion. However, submitting the misuse-of-confidential-information theory on this claim was in error. Additionally, we find no abuse of discretion in allowing both sets of plaintiffs’ counsel to participate in trial, substantial evidence supports the verdict setting aside the will, and the trial court did not err in admitting a business record. Therefore, we vacate the judgment and attorney fees in favor of the plaintiffs on the intentional-interference-with-inheritance claim and remand for new trial on that claim, and we affirm the verdict setting aside the will.