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  • Judge fights mum's $1m will
  • By Norrie Ross
  • Herald Sun
  • 18/03/2008 Make a Comment (1)
  • Contributed by: admin ( 27 articles in 2008 )
Prominent Family Lawyer Barrister Marylyn L Smallwood accused of coercion
Be Grateful Today!
A COUNTY Court judge believes his two sisters coerced their elderly mother to cut him out of her million-dollar-plus will, the Supreme Court heard yesterday.

In an affidavit, Judge John Smallwood said his mother, Ethel Smallwood, made five wills in which he was a beneficiary, but cut him out of her sixth and final will.

He alleged Mrs Smallwood was induced by his sisters, Mary-Lyn Smallwood, who is a barrister, and Kealy Smith, to change her long-standing view that the bulk of the estate should be divided equally between her five children.

Barrister Shane Newton, for Judge Smallwood, said it was his client's case that the two sisters moved their mother from Foster, in Gippsland, to Melbourne to bring her under their control. Judge Smallwood's brother, David, died in 2003 and his other brother Paul died a year later. Their families also lost out in the final will because they would have been equal beneficiaries.

Mrs Smallwood died in 2006, aged 86, and had property worth $120,000 and $964,000 in the bank.

Judge Smallwood and the children of the two dead brothers are challenging the will.

Mr Newton said it had been suggested Judge Smallwood was cut out of the will because he had fallen out with his mother, but they had tensions going back 30 years.

Ms Smith told the court her mother made unpleasant and nasty comments about family members, including Judge Smallwood. She denied she put pressure on Mrs Smallwood to move to Melbourne.

Mary-Lyn Smallwood said her mother talked about her will and that she had a "pretty good idea" she intended to change it so that Judge Smallwood got nothing.

She said there was nothing sinister in the fact she made the appointment at which her mother changed her will and drove her to the solicitor's office in Foster.

"It was clear mum was very down on John, but that doesn't go to me coercing her," Ms Smallwood said.

The hearing before Justice David Byrne was expected to continue today.

A thought to ponder:
Would Mary Smallwood have the capability of coersion, considering her experience as a barrister, influencing judges, solicitors and parents in numerous acts of destruction to vulnerable Australian families in the Family Court of Australia?

Legal definition: Coersion: "intimidation of a victim to compel the individual to do some act against his or her will by the use of psychological pressure, physical force, or threats.

Coercion, as an element of duress, is grounds for seeking the rescission or cancellation of a contract or deed. When one party to an instrument is forced against his or her will to agree to its terms the document can be declared void by a court."

    By:lawobiding citizen from vic, australia on August 25, 2010 @ 1:15 pm
    marylyn smallwood is a menace in the law industry and watching this act just proves the heartlessness

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