Lawyer for Perelman Patriarch Ducks Suit

     (CN) – The father of billionaire cosmetic tycoon Ron Perelman cannot pursue claims that his lawyer miswrote a trust to secretly help his other son, a federal judge ruled.
     Raymond Perelman and his son Jeffrey co-ran several companies in the 1980s until they had a falling out. In 1990, they reached an agreement under which Raymond transferred 13 subsidiary firms to Jeffrey under certain conditions.
     In a 2012 complaint, Raymond said he discovered discrepancies while investigating the sale 20 years later.
     He claimed that deal was supposed to put half of the stock in a trust for Raymond’s granddaughter, Alison, to be managed by his attorney and friend, Arlin Adams. It also required Jeffrey to pay his father $24 million at the close of the deal. Because Raymond was in Florida at the time, he relied on Adams to draft the agreements for the transfers and trust without oversight.
     Raymond’s 2010 investigation allegedly revealed, however, that Adams had executed a trust on Jeffrey’s behalf, without making any provision for Alison. Jeffrey also never paid the purchase price stated in the agreement, according to the complaint.
     Raymond had sued Adams after he failed to levy claims against Jeffrey. Jeffrey and Adams also brought unsuccessful claims against each other, and they beat a Raymond’s attempt to revoke or revise the trust in a separate action.
     Raymond meanwhile also brought an unsuccessful suit against the firm that employed his lawyer, Schnader, Harrison, Segal & Lewis.
     U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno dismissed the latest action against Adams last week, hoping to “put an end of the seemingly endless litigation among members of this unhappy family.”
     In his complaint, Raymond “appears to argue that because he was so wealthy, he could not be expected to notice the absence of $24 million,” Robreno wrote. “He states, ‘[w]hile for most the absence of $24 million would cause immediate concern, Raymond Perelman has achieved a level of financial success where the amount was not a large percentage of his total net worth.'”
     The judge was not impressed by this line of reasoning.
     “Even if true, this argument focuses on plaintiff’s subjective state of mind,” Robreno wrote. “Given the objective nature of the reasonable diligence inquiry, this argument is unavailing.”
     Raymond furthermore failed in the Schnader action to support his claims concerning Alison’s trust.
     Raymond’s “efforts to now decouple defendant from the Schnader firm without pointing to any intervening facts from those asserted in the second Philadelphia County litigation, constitutes bad faith,” the ruling states. “Therefore, plaintiff is judicially estopped from making such a misrepresentation to the court on this late day.”

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