In re Estate of WeatherbeeAnnotate this Case
Michael Weatherbee brought litigation to recover money misappropriated by his sister, Peggy McPike, while she was handling their parents’ money before their deaths. The superior court entered judgment in favor of the parents’ estates in the amount of $92,400 in restitution. The probate court subsequently directed that Weatherbee be compensated of the estates for attorney fees and expenses. McPike appealed, claiming, among other things, that the probate court erred in applying the common fund doctrine to require that attorney fees be paid by the estates. The Supreme Court vacated the judgment, holding that neither the common fund doctrine nor the Probate Code nor any other equitable exception to the American Rule provided a basis for the award of attorney fees out of the estates.