Timothy J. Holman


Practice Areas

Fiduciary Litigation
Guardianship Litigation
Commercial Litigation
Bankruptcy Litigation

tholman@skhlaw.com | Tel: 610.518.4909 | Fax: 610.407.7218

Want to learn more about fiduciary litigation?
Read Tim Holman’s blog: Around the Pennsylvania Orphans’ Courts >>

Timothy J. Holman partnered with David Smith in January 2014 to form Smith Kane Holman. Tim had re-joined David, his old friend and former partner, in September 2012, following the death of Smith Kane co-founder, Bill Kane.

Tim focuses his practice primarily on fiduciary and guardianship litigation, while also handling commercial and bankruptcy litigation matters.

Tim began his career at Duane, Morris & Heckscher in Philadelphia, handling insurance defense matters for various insurers and self-insured entities. In 1997, Tim left Duane, Morris & Heckscher with Bill Kane and Michael Willner to form the boutique commercial litigation law firm of Kane, Willner & Holman in Philadelphia. After a friendly parting in 2001, Tim became a partner of David Smith at the firm then known as Smith & Giacometti in Philadelphia, where he continued to focus his practice on commercial litigation. In 2005, Tim joined a regional trusts and estates law firm, where for 7 years, he limited his practice to fiduciary and guardianship litigation.

Tim lectures frequently for the Philadelphia Bar Association, the Pennsylvania Bar Institute and others on fiduciary litigation topics, ethical issues facing lawyers, and trial advocacy.  He is the representative of the Executive Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Probate and Trust Law Section to the Board of Governors of the Philadelphia Bar Association.  He recently concluded a three year term as an elected member of the Probate Section’s Executive Committee, and for six years served as Chair of the Probate Section’s Orphans’ Court and Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee.  Tim taught a class on “probate process and practice” for several years in Villanova Law School’s Graduate Tax Program.

Tim has been recognized from 2012 through 2019 by the “Best Lawyers in America” in the field of fiduciary litigation, and as a Pennsylvania “Super Lawyer” from 2016 through 2018 in estate and trust litigation.

Representative Experience

  • Obtained $845,000.00 judgment after a four day trial in a breach of contract action in the Philadelphia Civil Trial Division, successfully arguing that the defendant ratified the agreement it had with plaintiff by accepting plaintiff’s services.
  • Successfully obtained $351,000.00 surcharge against an Agent Under Power of Attorney by proving the invalidity of alleged gifts to the Agent by the Principal, and by proving the Agent improperly withdrew money from the Principal’s bank accounts before and after her death.
  • Negotiated settlement on behalf of an incapacitated person’s child to vacate the Deed transferring ownership of the incapacitated person’s house, when the incapacitated person signed the Deed shortly before she was adjudicated an incapacitated person.
  • Successfully argued that the Executrix of an Estate was entitled to recover legal fees and costs incurred in defending a surcharge action in the Chester County Orphans’ Court.
  • Represented the beneficiary of a life insurance annuity contract in an action to void a beneficiary designation change form under the theory that the beneficiary designation change was the product of undue influence, and obtained substantial settlement.
  • Represented Estate beneficiaries in successfully removing Executors due to fiduciary misconduct and estate mismanagement in Philadelphia County, Montgomery County, and Delaware County.
  • Represented claimant against Estate in successfully arguing that claimant’s acceptance of periodic payments for certain caregiving services during Decedent’s lifetime did not bar claimant from seeking additional payment for her services from Decedent’s Estate.

Education
J.D. 1991, Temple University Law School, Philadelphia PA—magna cum laude
B.A. 1987, French/Political Science, LeMoyne College, Syracuse NY—cum laude

Bar Memberships
Pennsylvania
New Jersey
US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, US District Court for the Eastern and Middle Districts of Pennsylvania, US District Court for the District of NJ

Professional Affiliations & Activities
Member, Pennsylvania Bar Association, Philadelphia Bar Association; Representative, Executive Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Probate and Trust Law Section to the Board of Governors of the Philadelphia Bar Association; Member and Former Chair, Orphans’ Court Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee of the Probate Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association; Member of the Executive Committee of the Probate Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association; Member, Montgomery Bar Association; Member, Philadelphia Estate Planning Council; Member, Chester County Estate Planning Council. Tim has authored and lectured on a number of topics for the Philadelphia Bar Association and the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, including the “Trial of a Will Contest,” “Surcharge and Removal of Fiduciary Issues” for the “Litigating in Orphans’ Court” program, “Cross Examination Strategies For Even The Most Difficult Witnesses,” “Conflicts of Interest in and Around the Orphans’ Court,” and “A Power of Attorney is Not ‘Just a Form’ – One Fiduciary Litigator’s Perspective.”