Mark Caldwell

4851 LBJ Freeway  Suite 601
Dallas, TX  75244
T: 972-395-5600
F: 972-833-2240

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Mark R. Caldwell routinely represents executors, guardians, fiduciaries and beneficiaries in complex estate, trust and guardianship litigation. He uses his talents as a problem solver and critical thinker to review and analyze medical, financial and property records and transactions so he can best represent his clients.

Committed to developing strong, personal relationships with his clients, Mark offers smart, pragmatic and cost-effective legal advice and believes that the strongest arguments are the ones that are simple, direct and understandable. While he strongly and aggressively advocates for his clients, he also takes a great deal of pride in his work believing that he is fighting the good fight, overcoming adversity with faith, determination and integrity.

Representative Experience

  • Obtained favorable jury verdict for lack of testamentary capacity and undue influence in hotly contested will contest and favorable jury verdict for lack of contractual capacity and breach of fiduciary duty in same lawsuit regarding certain non-probate beneficiary designations
  • Recovered significant settlement in case involving fraud on the community and breach of fiduciary duty through the use of a power of attorney
  • Obtained favorable jury verdict in a guardianship case involving an elderly ward
  • Successfully defeated claim that will was executed without testamentary capacity on summary judgment
  • Routinely obtains temporary injunctions and temporary guardianships to halt rogue agents from abusing their powers of attorney
  • Obtained partial summary judgment against Trustee for breach of fiduciary duty involving the failure to account
  • Represents guardians, executors, and administrators in all phases of guardianship and estate administration
  • Routinely serves as attorney ad litem and guardian ad litem in guardianship cases
  • Routinely serves as temporary guardian in contested guardianship cases and as temporary administrator and administrator in decedents’ estates
  • Successfully obtained ancillary estate administration in California to collect and administer assets and claims due and owing to Texas estate
  • Successfully transferred guardianships to and from California

Publications & Public Speaking

  • Co-Author: “You Settled it Right? Family Settlement Agreements in Probate, Trust and Guardianship Disputes” – Texas Tech Estate Planning and Community Property Law Journal,  11 Est. Plan. & Community Prop. L.J. 213 (Spring 2019)
  • Co-Author/Speaker: “Know When to Hold Em’ and Know When to Fold Em’: Probate Litigation and Settlements Involving IRAs” – Intermediate Estate Planning & Probate (2019)
  • Co-Author: “You Settled It, Right? Family Settlement Agreements in Probate, Trust and Guardianship Disputes” – North Texas Probate Bench Bar (2019)
  • Co-Author/Speaker: “Choosing Your Own Adventure and Navigating Self-Dealing Transactions Under the New Power of Attorney Act” – 29th Annual Estate Planning & Probate Drafting (2018)
  • Co-Author/Speaker: “A Road Increasingly Traveled: Multistate Probate Issues” – The Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Section of the San Diego County Bar Association (2017)
  • Co-Author: “Ensure Powers of Attorney Fulfill Intended Purposes” – Estate Planning, Thompson Reuters Checkpoint, (January 2018)
  • Co-Author: National College of Probate Judges: “Constitutional Considerations When Restricting Access to the Proposed Ward in Contested Guardianship Proceedings” – Spring Journal (2017)
  • Co-Author/Speaker: State Bar of Texas: “Litigation Involving Powers of Attorney & Bank Accounts” – Advanced Estate Planning & Probate (2017)
  • Co-Author/Speaker: State Bar of Texas: “What’s New in Guardianship” – Advanced Guardianship Law Course (2017)
  • Co-Author/Speaker: State Bar of Texas: “The Shortest Route to Victory: Summary Judgment Practice in Probate and Trust Litigation” – 40th Annual Advanced Estate Planning and Probate Course (2016)
  • Co-Author/Speaker: Dallas County Bar Association, Probate, Trust and Estates Section: “Trends in Litigating and Administering Guardianships” (2016)
  • Author/Speaker: State Bar of Texas: “Injunctive Relief–The Lethal Preemptive Strike in Probate, Trust and Guardianship Litigation” – 39th Annual Advanced Estate Planning and Probate Course (2015)
  • Co-Author/Speaker: State Bar of Texas: “Elder Exploitation” – Advanced Guardianship Law (2015)
  • Co-Author/Speaker: Travis County Bar Association: “Winning the Battle & the War: A Remedies–Centered Approach to Litigation Involving Durable Powers of Attorney” (2015)
  • Co-Author: “Properly Performing Annual Accounts in Guardianships and Management Trusts Where One or Both Spouses are Incompetent” – Real Estate, Probate, & Trust Law Reporter, Volume 52, No. 4 (2014)
  • Served as Moderator for the Guardianship and Ad litem Attorney Certification Course, sponsored by the Dallas Bar Association Probate, Trusts & Estate Section, Dallas County Probate Courts and the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program to train lawyers in the representation of guardians of indigent wards, and the role and responsibilities of the Attorney ad litem (2014)
  • Co-Author: “Winning the Battle and the War; A Remedies—Centered Approach to Litigation Involving Durable Powers of Attorney”– 64 Bay. L. Rev. 435 (Spring 2012)
  • Author/Speaker:  “An Introduction to Guardianships” – Texas Department of Assistive & Rehabilitative Services (DARS), Dallas, Texas (Fall 2010; Spring 2011)
  • Co-Author/Speaker: “Proof of Facts and Common Evidentiary Problems Encountered in Contested Probate Proceedings,” at the Seventh Probate Litigation Seminar, sponsored by the Tarrant County Probate Bar Association (September 2010)
  • Author, A Good Deed Repaid: “Awarding Attorney’s Fees in Contested Guardianship Proceedings” – 51 S. Tex. L. Rev. 439 (Winter 2009)

Education

  • General Course, The London School of Economics, London, United Kingdom (2001-2002)
  • B.A., magna cum laude, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas (2002)
  • J.D., New England Law | Boston, Boston, Massachusetts (2005)

Certifications, Awards & Recognition

  • Board Certified Estate Planning and Probate Law – Texas Board of Legal Specialization
  • Named Rising Star by Texas Super Lawyers,  a Thompson Reuters service (2014-2019)
  • Selected Rising Stars Top 100 Up & Coming Attorneys in Texas, a Thompson Reuters service (2018-2019)

Community and Bar Association Involvement

  • State Bar of Texas; Real Estate, Probate and Trust Law Section, Guardianship Committee; Member (2015-2018)
  • Dallas Bar Association; Probate and Trust Section Member; Trial Skills Section Member
  • Dallas Bar Association; Probate and Trust Section; Council Member (2015-2016)
  • Dallas Association of Young Lawyers; Elder Law Section Member
  • Member, St. Thomas More Society
  • Dallas Bar Mentor Program; Participated as Mentee; Mentor, Edward V. Smith III
  • Board of Directors and Vice President, City of Sachse Economic Development Corporation (2010-2014)
  • Member, Charter Review Commission, City of Sachse, Texas (2012-2013)
  • Organized and leads an ongoing monthly probate study group featuring prominent guest speakers and court staff