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Argued November 28, 2000

In this case, the administrator of an estate misappropriated the estate’s funds. We must decide whether the estate can recover counsel fees incurred in the proceeding to recover the misappropriated amounts from the surety on the bond, or whether the estate is responsible for those fees. We also must determine the appropriate interest rate on the surcharged amount and the date on which the interest should commence.

The Appellate Division found that the surety was not liable for attorneys’ fees on the bond. In re Estate of Lash, 329 N.J. Super. 249, 252 (App. Div. 2000). Because we conclude that the estate is entitled to recover those fees as damages caused by the administrator’s wrongful conduct, we reverse that determination and remand for entry of an order requiring the surety to pay the attorneys’ fees incurred in the bond litigation. The panel also determined that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in awarding simple interest from the date that the complaint was filed. Ibid. We affirm that conclusion.

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