Bernard A. Jackvony is a nationally recognized fiduciary litigator and Of Counsel with Pannone Lopes Devereaux & O’Gara LLC. He concentrates his practice in the areas of trust and estate planning, litigation and administration for individuals, families, fiduciaries and charitable organizations and has represented clients in fiduciary litigation in Rhode Island, Florida, New Jersey, California, New York, Massachusetts and Oklahoma. Mr. Jackvony served the citizens of Rhode Island as Lieutenant Governor in the late 1990s and is a former member of the National Republican Committee, the Rhode Island State Investment Commission and Chairman of the Rhode Island Criminal Justice Oversight Commission.
With a strong commitment to public service and advancing the quality of life for others, Mr. Jackvony has been a volunteer with the American Cancer Society for over 30 years, including serving on the Board of Directors of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the New England Division Board of Directors and former member of the Florida Division Board of Directors. He is also a former member of the Board of Directors of the Oncology Nursing Society Foundation.
Attorney Jackvony earned his J.D. from Suffolk University, his master’s degree in taxation from Boston University and his undergraduate degree in accounting from Bryant University. He served as a member of the Board of Trustees at Bryant University for nine years and has assisted the university in its transition to a fully accredited international business school. Mr. Jackvony served as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps from 1970 to 1973. He is admitted to practice law in Rhode Island and Florida.
Areas of Practice
- Estate Litigation
- Estate Planning & Administration
- Trust and Estate Litigation
- Trust and Estate Planning and Administration
- Estate & Trust Administration and Litigation
- Florida, 1975
- Rhode Island, 1970
Honors and Awards
- Super Lawyers
- Fellow, American College of Trust and Estate Counsel
- Boston University School of Law, Boston, Massachusetts
- LL.M. – 1975
- Major: Taxation
- Suffolk University Law School, Boston, Massachusetts
- J.D. – 1970
- Bryant College, Smithfield, Rhode Island
- B.S. – 1967
- Minor: Accounting
- University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut
- Financial Management of Trusts and Estates, National Business Institute, 2008
- Resolving Estate, Will and Trust Contests, National Business Institute, 2009
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Rhode Island Bar Association
- Florida Bar Association
- American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, Fellow
- Greater Boca Raton Estate Planning Council
Pro Bono Activities
- American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Board of Directors
- American Cancer Society, New England Division Board of Directors
- Oncology Nursing Society Foundation, former Board of Directors
- In Siegel v. J.P. Morgan Trust Co., 71 So. 3d 935 (Fla. 4th D.C.A. 2011), represented several family members in a dispute with the J.P. Morgan as trustee who refused to provide accountings and relevant information regarding the trust. The Florida Court of Appeals held that the family members did have standing in the dispute and had the right to pursue the litigation. The court also concluded in its decision that J.P. Morgan breached its fiduciary duty.
- In Giguere Kumble v. Voccola, C.A. No. 12-3338, represented a lifetime beneficiary of a testamentary trust ten years after the death of her husband who was also the testator. The surviving spouse and her daughter as remainder beneficiary sought to terminate the trust and demanded that the trustees distribute the trust’s assets to the remainder beneficiary. The trustees argued that the lifetime beneficiary was barred from disclaiming her interest in the trust; however, the Court disagreed and held that since there was no material purpose for continuation of the trust, the beneficiaries together were able to terminate the trust.
- In Wolcott v. Lieberman, C.A. No. WC 12-110, represented the plaintiff step-sisters in an action filed against the co-trustees for failing to provide them with copies of a trust document and relevant information regarding the administration of three Florida trusts. The co-trustees argued that since the plaintiffs were challenging the trusts they had forfeited their interests under the trusts. The Superior Court granted the motion to terminate the trusts and later the parties settled by distributing the assets to all trust beneficiaries, including those who were not parties to the suit.
- In Dauray v. Legion of Christ, C.A. No. 11-2640; Dauray v. Bank of America, C.A. No. 11-2757; and Dauray v. Estate of Mee, C.A. No. 10-1195, Ms. Dauray, the niece of Gabrielle Mee, a deceased widow, filed multiple actions against the Legion of Christ, Bank of America as corporate trustee, and the Estate of Gabrielle Mee, to recover $60,000,000 in gifts made by Mrs. Mee to the Legion that were later claimed to have been made as a result of undue influence and fraudulent actions by the Legion. The plaintiff is currently appealing the decision of the Superior Court that she has no standing to bring the action. In its decision the Superior Court found that Bank of America, as a professional trustee, was held to a higher standard than individual trustees. Dauray v. Estate of Mee, 2012 R.I. Super. LEXIS 141 (Sept. 7, 2012). Further, the Court listed many of the Legion’s actions which raised a “red flag,” and many of the Bank’s actions showing that it breached fiduciary duties. Id.
- In a separate decision, the Superior Court lifted a Probate Court Order that prevented the documents from being open to the public. In Dauray v. Estate of Mee, 2013 R.I. Super. LEXIS 19 (Jan. 23, 2013). The Court found that any records relied upon the Court in making decisions were “judicial records,” and that, the balancing of interests weighed in favor of the public’s right of access to judicial records. Id.
- In re Trust of Burford, No. PT-2006-013, an Oklahoma District Court ordered J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. to pay $18.1 Million to the Carolyn S. Burford Trust, created in 1955, which held shares of Exxon Mobil Corp. The Court found that the trustees breached their fiduciary duty through imprudent transactions in which the trustees received significant fees.
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