Mary Burdette

Mary C. Burdette

Director of Probate & Fiduciary Litigation

Mary is an accomplished fiduciary litigator who achieves results for her clients by relentlessly maneuvering for strategic advantage.  She is personable and persuasive.  Her practice areas are will contests, trust contests, cases involving breach of fiduciary duties and contested guardianships.  She defends fiduciaries and also represents individuals making claims against fiduciaries for wrongful conduct.

Mary graduated first in her class at the University of Texas at Dallas with a BBA (Accounting).  She passed all her CPA exams in one sitting.  She graduated in the top ten of her class at the SMU School of Law where she was elected to the Order of the Coif and was a Case Notes Editor for the Southwestern Law Review.

Mary is known for her creative strategies in litigating complex trust issues, will contests and breach of fiduciary duty disputes.  She has been Board Certified in Estate Planning and Probate law by the State Bar of Texas since 1996 and was elected as a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (“ACTEC”) in 2008.  These qualifications, along with Mary’s many articles and speeches, including those to several State Bar of Texas Advanced Estate Planning and Probate courses, are among the reasons why she is an acclaimed probate litigation and fiduciary law expert in the State of Texas.

Education

  • Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting, summa cum laude, from the University of Texas at Dallas, 1978
  • Juris Doctor Degree, cum laude, from Southern Methodist University School of Law, 1982
  • Phi Delta Phi Scholastic Honorary Fraternity
  • Order of the Coif
  • Notes and Comments Editor, Southwestern Law Review

Professional History and Recogniton

  • Admitted to the State Bar of Texas by the Supreme Court of Texas, November 1982
  • Thompson & Knight, P.C., Dallas, Tax and Estate Section, 1982 -1994 (Shareholder from 1987)
  • Calloway, Norris, Burdette & Weber, PLLC, Partner from 1994 – 2018
  • Burdette Law Firm from 1/1/2019 to the present
  • Board Certified Estate Planning and Probate Law – Texas Board of Legal Specialization, 1996
  • Certified Public Accountant (inactive status)
  • Chair of Probate, Estates & Trusts Section, Dallas Bar Association 2003-2004
  • Council Member, Real Estate Probate & Trust Law Section, State Bare of Texas 2004-2008
  • Member, State Bar of Texas Committee on Pattern Jury Charges for Family & Probate, 2017-21
  • Fellow, American College of Trust and Estate Council, 2008
  • Member, Texas Board of Legal Specialization Estate Planning and Probate Law Legal Assistant Exam Commission (1999-2004)
  • Named “Texas Super Lawyer” by Texas Monthly Magazine since 2002
  • Listed in “The Best Lawyers in America” since 2001
  • Member, Dallas Bar Association, Probate, Trusts & Estates Section
  • Member, State Bar of Texas, Real Estate, Probate & Trust Law Section
  • Frequent Author and Speaker at Probate, Trust and Fiduciary Seminars

Papers and Presentations

 

  1. Tarrant County Probate Bar Association 2002, Fiduciary Issues Regarding Financial Powers of Attorney

 

  1. Tarrant County Probate Bar Association, Probate Litigation Seminar 2002, Experts in Probate The Search for the Right Stuff, presented with Judge Steve M. King, Probate Court Number One, Tarrant County, Texas

 

  1. Tarrant County Probate Bar Association Probate Litigation Seminar 2003, Evidentiary Issues in Probate and Fiduciary Litigation.

 

  1. Travis County Bar Association 2003, Handbook for the Fiduciary Advising and Counseling Executors and Trustee.

 

  1. State Bar of Texas, Advanced Estate Planning and Probate Course, Daubert – the Impact on Estate and Fiduciary Litigation, presented with Judge Steve M. King, Probate Court Number One, Tarrant County, Texas

 

  1. Dallas Bar Association Headnotes Article, July 2004, Joint Tenancy with Rights of Survivorship Accounts

 

  1. Tarrant County Probate Bar Association Third Annual Probate Litigation Seminar 2004, Avoiding Probate Litigation

 

  1. The Center For American and International Law, 43rd Annual Program on Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning 2004, Pitfalls of the Not So “Simple” Probate

 

  1. Docket Call in Probate 2005. Pitfalls of the Not So “Simple” Probate

 

  1. Houston Bar Association, Wills and Probate Institute 2005, Fiduciary Issues in Probate and Trust Matters, Handbook for the Fiduciary, Advising and Counseling Executors and Trustees

 

  1. State Bar of Texas, Advanced Estate Planning and Probate Seminar 2005, Standing Issues in Probate Litigation or No “Meddlesome Intruders” Allowed

 

  1. Dallas Bar Association Legal Assistants Section 2005, Avoiding Probate Litigation

 

  1. Tarrant County Probate Litigation Seminar in 2005, Defending the Fiduciary’s Lawyer

 

  1. State Bar of Texas, Advanced Drafting: Estate Planning & Probate Course 2005, Handbook for the Fiduciary, Advising and Counseling Executors and Trustees

 

  1. State Bar of Texas, Advanced Estate Planning and Probate Course 2006, Dealing With the Runaway Executor, Panel with Mike Cenatiempo and Al Golden

 

  1. Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas, Texas Advanced Paralegal Seminar 2006, Dependent Administrations

 

  1. Houston Bar Association Probate, Trust & Estates Section, 2007 Wills and Probate Institute – Fundamentals, Houston, 2/9/07, Executors Handbook

 

  1. Houston Bar Association, Probate, Trusts and Estates Section, 2007, Wills and Probate Institute – Fundamentals, Handbook for the Fiduciary Advising and Counseling Executors and Trustees

 

  1. State Bar of Texas, Advance Estate Planning Strategies Course 2007, Fiduciary Issues

 

  1. State Bar of Texas Fiduciary Litigation Seminar 2008, Attorney Liability Issues in Estate Planning and Probate

 

  1. State Bar of Texas Advance Estate Planning and Probate Course 2008, Death After Divorce

 

  1. Texas Bankers Association, Wealth Management and Trust Division, Estate Administration Seminar 2008, Handbook for the Fiduciary Advising and Counseling Executors and Trustees

 

  1. Fort Worth Estate Planning Council 2009, Do’s and Don’ts for Fiduciaries.

 

  1. The Tarrant County Probate Bar Association, Probate Litigation Seminar 2010, Enforcing Beneficiaries Rights

 

  1. State Bar of Texas, Advanced Estate Planning and Probate Course 2010, Enforcing Beneficiaries Rights

 

  1. State Bar of Texas, Advanced Guardianship Law Seminar 2010, Gunfight at the OK Corral: Litigation and Discovery Issues

 

  1. The Probate Section of the Collin County Bar Association 2011, Enforcing Beneficiaries Rights

 

  1. State Bar of Texas, Annual Advanced Estate Planning Strategies Course 2011, Keeping Your Plans From Getting Waylaid in Administration

 

  1. State Bar of Texas, Advance Estate Planning and Probate Course 2011, What Did You Mean By That? Trust Language and Application by Trustees

 

  1. Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants, Advanced Estate Planning Conference 2011, Handbook for the Fiduciary Advising and Counseling Executors and Trustees

 

  1. State Bar of Texas, Fiduciary Litigation: Beyond Basics Seminar 2011, Fiduciary Duties Within Fiduciary Duties:  Trusts Owning Stock in a Closely-Held Corporation

 

  1. State Bar of Texas, Advanced Estate Planning and Probate Seminar 2012, Fiduciary Duties Within Fiduciary Duties

 

  1. University of Texas School of Law, Estate Planning, Guardianship and Elder Law Conference 2012, Handbook for the Fiduciary, Advising and Counseling Trustees

 

  1. State Bar of Texas, Advanced Estate Planning Strategies Seminar 2013, Trusts and Trustee: A New and Expanding World of Trust Fiduciaries, Flexibility and Situs

 

  1. State Bar of Texas, Advanced Estate Planning and Probate Seminar 2013, Remedies for Breach of Fiduciary Duty

 

  1. State Bar of Texas, 25th Annual Estate Planning and Probate Drafting 2014, What Every Trustee Should Know

 

  1. Dallas Bar Association Probate, Trust& Estate Section, Dallas County Probate Courts, & Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program 2014, Intestacy and Heirship Issues, Panel with Honorable Brenda Hull Thompson and John R. Norris III

 

  1. Texas Tech University School of Law, Estate Planning and Community Property, Law Journal CLE 2014, Remedies for Breach of Fiduciary Duty

 

  1. Trust and Estate Administration Seminar, Wealth Management & Trust, Texas Bankers Association 2014, Discretionary Distributions: Clear as Mud

 

  1. State Bar of Texas, Fiduciary Litigation Seminar 2015, Practical Considerations in Trying a Fiduciary Litigation Case – Specific Themes for Your Trials

 

  1. State Bar of Texas, Advanced Estate Planning Strategies Seminar 2015, A Beautiful Mind or a Broken Synapse? Capacity Issues In Estate and Probate Matters

 

  1. State Bar of Texas, Advance Estate Planning Strategies Seminar 2016, May (shall) I take out your HEMS? Current trends in the Drafting and Application of Trust Distribution Standards

 

 

  1. State Bar of Texas, Advanced Guardianship Law Seminar 2016, Litigation in Guardianship

 

  1. State Bar of Texas, Advanced Guardianship Law Seminar 2017, The Interaction of Powers of Attorney in Guardianships

 

  1. State Bar of Texas, Advanced Estate Planning Strategies Seminar 2018, Fiduciary Duties

 

  1. Course Director, State Bar of Texas, 9th Annual Fiduciary Litigation Course 2014

 

  1. Course Director, State Bar of Texas, 42nd Annual Advanced Estate Planning and Probate Course 2018

 

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