Steve Spitzer

Steve Spitzer – Managing Shareholder

Steve Spitzer focuses on probate litigation, will contests, guardianships and trust disputes. He also litigates other civil matters, including personal injury cases and business disputes.

Mr. Spitzer’s probate clients have disputed wills, trusts, guardianships, and heirships. Mr. Spitzer handles business and commercial litigation, and was extensively involved in representing health care providers prior to the medical negligence tort reform that passed in 2003. He has been active in both personal injury and probate litigation from that point forward.

Mr. Spitzer was a successful litigator for a major Dallas law firm from 1989 to 2011, and has been with Ramey & Flock since 2012. He has litigated many types of cases in his over 30 years of practice. He has served as the first chair attorney in over two dozen jury trials, has been Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 1997, and is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates. 

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Education

  • Baylor University School of Law, J. D., cum laude (1989)
  • Baylor University, B.B.A., with honors (1988)

Certifications

  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • Martindale-Hubbell: AV Rating
  • Personal Injury Trial Law
  • Texas Board of Legal Specialization
Board Certified - Personal Injury Trial Law Martindale Hubbell - AV Preeminent American Board of Trial Advocates

Practice Areas

  • Probate Litigation – Estate Disputes
  • Business & Commercial Litigation
  • Wills – Probate – Estate Planning
  • Health Care
  • Premises Liability

 

Representations

  • Trial of will contest involving legal capacity and undue influence of an elderly person who executed a second will within days of death.
  • Local Counsel for Fortune 500 company involved in multi-million dollar East Texas lawsuit.
  • Guardianship defense of elderly client from claims of mental incapacity.
  • Trust revision suit to update terms of decades-old trust containing over $1 million in assets.
  • Jury trial involving defense of wrongful termination against an East Texas employer of over 500 employees.
  • Multiple jury trials defending claims against health care providers in East Texas
  • Representation of nationwide long term health care provider in contested arbitration

 

Professional Associations

  • State Bar of Texas
  • Smith County Bar Association
  • Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce
  • ABOTA (American Board of Trial Advocates)

 

Civic Activities

  • Grace Community Church – Elder
  • Grace Community School – Board Member

 

Admitted to Practice

  • U.S. District Courts for the Eastern, Northern, Southern and Western Districts of Texas
  • Texas State Courts

 

Selected Publications & Speaking Engagements

  • November 2020, Steve Spitzer was featured speaker at Henderson Co. Bar Association Meeting on “Probate Litigation Update”
  • January 2016, Steve Spitzer spoke at Gollob Morgan Peddy, CPAs on “2015 Legislative Update”
  • September 2015, Steve Spitzer was featured speaker at TAALP monthly luncheon – “Probate, Guardianship & Trust Trends”

Probate Law Newsletters

Heir Property Transfers

Texas has joined several other states by adopting the Uniform Partition of Heirs’ Property Act.  The Act makes title determinations easier and makes fair market value transfers available. Title Determinations Clearing title to real estate held by multiple heirs, often...

Non-Probate Accounts Pulled Into Probate

In some situations, joint accounts that are otherwise non-probate assets can be brought into the probate estate. The estate executor can recover the non-probate funds from the beneficiaries who received them and can also force financial institutions to provide...

“Strong Arm” Sale Ends Loncar Estate Battle

Brian Loncar died from a cocaine overdose at age 56 in December of 2016, two days after the funeral of his 16-year-old daughter, Grace. Mr. Loncar, a plaintiff’s personal injury attorney famous for his advertisements as "The Strong Arm," was found dead at his law...

Undue Influence Found

The Tyler Court of Appeals recently upheld an undue influence finding that denied the probate of a will. Case Facts: The testator was terminally ill with congestive heart failure and pneumonia, and the will was signed less than six weeks before the death. A...

Why Most Adults Need an Estate Plan

A will or an estate plan is important for most individuals to have. But unfortunately, it is considered an afterthought for many people. Surprisingly, the majority of American adults do not have a will. If tragedy were to strike, this could create a variety of...

Probate Dispute News: Aretha Franklin’s Holographic Will

Aretha Franklin’s legendary singing career spanned five-plus decades. The “Queen of Soul” made the most appearances on the Billboard charts of any female performer ever. She died from pancreatic cancer in August of 2018 at age 76. 1. Probate Case It was initially...

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