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Defense of Trustees in an Action for Breach of Fiduciary Duty and Removal

A beneficiary sought the removal of two trustees of a Massachusetts Business Trust, alleging that the trustees had acted beyond their authority and breached their duties in carrying out a number of complicated transactions designed to place a conservation easement on family-owned land and exchange various parcels of land among several trusts.  At trial, the Court found that the trustees had not breached their duties and awarded fees and costs to the trustees.  The Appeals Court determined that the trustees had authority under the trust to effectuate the transactions at issue and affirmed the trial court’s determination that no breach of fiduciary duty occurred.