Expert Witness

To date, Steve has been engaged in 26 cases since 2012, including cases in state and federal courts. Steve’s qualifications as an expert have never been successfully challenged.

A recent Idaho Supreme Court opinion, quoting a portion of the trial transcript: “Masterson testified that Edwin, as trustee, satisfied his duty to report and inform the beneficiaries of the Trust of the expenses and income. Further, Masterson testified that Edwin accounted for the income and expenses of Frizzell’s properties until they were officially distributed to Frizzell during the post-TEDRA period. Masterson also testified that he had no knowledge that Edwin converted or stole monies rightfully due to Frizzell, acted willfully negligent or in bad faith, or acted grossly negligent. Ultimately, Masterson testified that Edwin satisfied his legal responsibilities to the beneficiaries of the Trust. The only criticism Masterson had of Edwin was ‘allowing himself to be bullied by Mr. Frizzell.‘” Donald Craig Frizzell, et al v. Edwin DeYoung, et al, Idaho Supreme Court. Defendant Trustee was awarded a monetary judgment and attorney fees and costs.

In his recent Final Judgment, Judge Edward Nicholas includes the following: “Mr. Masterson gave the Court a primer on the criteria necessary to establish a fiduciary duty, both express and by implication. His analysis was thorough, objective and well-reasoned – and the Court afforded his testimony great weight.” “Ultimately, this Court agrees with Mr. Masterson.” Bank of America v. Holmes, et al, 2009CA12859, 12th Circuit, Manatee County, Florida.

In addition, Steve has been appointed by judges to fiduciary roles in several adversarial litigation matters, including as Personal Representative, successor and interim Trustee, and as Special Administrator.

As an Expert Witness in estate and trust litigation, Steve uses the breadth and depth of his experience to shed light on the often confusing and overwhelming duties and obligations of a fiduciary.  Here is a list of topics which Steve is available to address:

  • Standards of care for the administration of estates and trusts by individual and corporate fiduciaries
  • Standards of care for the management of specific types of assets owned by estates and trusts
  • Standard for fiduciary duty by individual and corporate fiduciaries to beneficiary(ies)
  • Standards for care under the Uniform Prudent Investor Act
  • Standards of trust and estate accounting under the Uniform Principal and Income Act
  • Policy standards for discretionary distributions of income or principal to beneficiaries
  • Accounting and taxation of conduit entities (partnerships, LLCs, and sub-S corporations) by irrevocable trusts
  • Compensatory and opportunity lost determinations
  • Fiduciary conflicts of interest (duty of loyalty)
  • Bank trust department trust and estate administrative policies
  • Suitability of estate and/or trust plan design and implementation

Context of services:

  • Pre-litigation case evaluation
  • Litigation consulting support after petition has been filed (discovery, pre-trial preparation, depositions, interrogatories, advice during trial)
  • Expert witness at trial

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