Court stays Lynn Wright probate case until after Kleiman v Wright
Lynn Wright’s probate case against Ira Kleiman and the Dave Kleiman estate is to be stayed until after the Kleiman v Wright litigation is resolved, a Florida court has ruled.
Ira Kleiman is currently suing Dr. Craig Wright (the ‘federal case’) on behalf of his deceased brother and, more importantly, W&K—the company which Kleiman claims was created by his brother and Dr. Wright. While Kleiman has variously represented that he is either an authorized representative of W&K, has a controlling stake in the company or has received one as a result of his brother’s passing, Kleiman’s story was undermined last year when Dr. Wright’s ex-wife appeared with evidence showing that she in fact has a significant interest in W&K—in direct contradiction to among other things, Kleiman’s on-record position that he is the sole representative of the company—and that Ira Kleiman had no right to use W&K to sue one of its own members. She filed a petition asking the Court to both determine the ownership in W&K and declare that Ira’s lawsuit against Wright was an unauthorized use of W&K.
Kleiman sought to dismiss Lynn Wright’s petition, or alternatively stay it until after the lawsuit against Dr. Wright is resolved.
Now, after hearing arguments from the parties last month, the Court has stayed the probate case.
The ruling was less a comment on the merits of either Lynn Wright or Ira Kleiman’s respective arguments and more a procedural requirement that the Court felt it was bound to adhere to; as both the federal and the state probate case concern largely the same subject matter, then the later case should be stayed pending the resolution of the earlier action. This is to avoid the risk of irreconcilable judgments between two Courts and to ensure that the resources of both the Courts and parties are not wasted on redundant legal efforts.
It is unfortunate that a matter which could debase the federal case is unable to be properly litigated until the question is rendered moot by the outcome of Kleiman v Wright. From the perspective of Lynn Wright, Ira Kleiman has been allowed to use a company in which she holds a large and potentially controlling share to sue her ex-husband, another of W&K’s members—all without Kleiman needing to produce even a fraction of the evidence that Lynn Wright has produced by filing just one document in the probate case.
However, the evidence being offered by Lynn Wright will no doubt play a role in the June federal trial where the pressure will remain on Kleiman to produce any evidence corroborating his own version of events regarding the relationship between his deceased brother and Dr. Wright and in particular, the ownership of W&K.
The Kleiman v Wright trial is set to begin on June 1, provided a to-be scheduled second attempt at mediation fails to produce a resolution of its own.
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