PLDO Attorneys Rebecca M. Murphy and Samantha M. Vasques Publish a Comprehensive Report on “Tortious Interference with an Expected Inheritance” in the U.S.

The article examines RI’s recent ground breaking decision that recognized the tort for the first time.

Pannone Lopes Devereaux & O’Gara LLC (PLDO) attorneys Rebecca M. Murphy and Samantha M. (Clarke) Vasques recently co-authored a comprehensive treatise entitled, A New Hope: Tortious Interference with an Expected Inheritance in Rhode Island,which was published in the summer edition of the Roger Williams University Law Review. The scholarly article details the genesis and development of tortious or wrongful interference with an expected inheritance and highlights differences in the approach states take regarding torts requirements as well as damages available to victims. It also delves into practical considerations, including exhaustion of remedies and when parties may initiate the tort action.

In addition, the two attorneys discuss Rhode Island Superior Court Associate Justice Michael A. Silverstein’s January 2017 decision in Americans United for Life v. Legion of Christ of North America, Inc., which found in favor of PLDO attorneys Bernard A. Jackvony and Attorney Murphy and their client, Americans United for Life (AUL). Judge Silverstein’s decision was ground breaking in that it recognized for the first time in Rhode Island’s history the independent tort of tortious interference with an expected inheritance.

“Though the Rhode Island Supreme Court has yet to weigh in, our firm’s recent victory for Americans United for Life breaks new ground in Rhode Island jurisprudence, creating a deterrent for wrongful conduct and, consequently, provides greater protections to vulnerable members of the Rhode Island populace,” said Attorney Murphy. “We are very pleased to provide this article as an in-depth examination of this important issue across the country with special attention paid to Judge Silverstein’s decision.”

Attorney Murphy is a member of the Estate and Trust Planning, Administration and Litigation Team. She has significant experience counseling clients in all areas of trust and estate planning and administration, Medicaid planning, disability planning, probate administration and trust and estate litigation. She is the author of Murder, Fraud, and Tortious Interference: The Interplay Between Probate Court Jurisdiction and Superior Court Jurisdiction in Rhode Island, also published in the Roger WilliamsUniversity Law Review. She has been named a Rhode Island Super Lawyers Rising Star by Thomson Reuters, a distinction that recognizes the top 2.5 percent of Rhode Island lawyers under the age of 40 or those in practice for 10 years or less. Attorney Murphy earned her J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law and graduated with a B.A. in Religious Studies from the College of Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. She is admitted to practice law in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Attorney Vasques is a member of the firm’s Estate and Trust Planning, Administration and Litigation, Corporate & Business and Litigation teams. She concentrates her practice on providing legal support, advocacy and counsel representing clients including performing pre-trial investigation and discovery, and motions and pleadings preparation through trial, settlement and the appeal process. She earned her J.D., summa cum laude, from Roger Williams University School of Law, and graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, summa cum laude, with a B.A. in Economics. She is admitted to practice law in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
To reach attorneys Murphy and Vasques, call 401-824-5100 or email [email protected] and [email protected] For information about PLDO, visit and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

About Pannone Lopes Devereaux & O’Gara LLC

Pannone Lopes Devereaux & O’Gara (“PLDO”) attorneys are highly skilled with a proven track record of achievement representing clients with respect to complex matters in a wide range of disciplines and industries. The founders of PLDO were formerly partners in an international law firm and are trained in multiple disciplines. The primary areas of practice for the firm include business law, special masterships, government relations and legislative strategies, civil litigation, real estate development, commercial lending, municipal law, nonprofit law, health care, white collar defense, estate planning, probate administration and trust litigation. The core values of respect, integrity, quality service and responsiveness are stressed each day at PLDO and the firm is committed to supporting the community in a meaningful way. The firm is headquartered at 1301 Atwood Avenue in Johnston, RI with offices in Massachusetts and Florida. For more information, visit

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