News Honors Case Summaries

Archives: Texas Intermediate Appellate Courts

 

District Court Grants Summary Judgment and Awards Attorney’s Fees for Successfully Defending Against Declaratory Judgment Action

Brett Kutnick, Deborah Hankinson, Jennifer Rangel Stagen, and Stephanie Dooley Nelson successfully represented Eagle Oil & Gas Company (“Eagle Oil”) in the trial court in a second lawsuit filed by TRO-X, L.P. concerning oil and gas interests in the Permian Basin. Following extensive briefing and… + read more

Brett Kutnick, Deborah Hankinson, Jennifer Rangel Stagen, and Stephanie Dooley Nelson successfully represented Eagle Oil & Gas Company (“Eagle Oil”) in the trial court in a second lawsuit filed by TRO-X, L.P. concerning oil and gas interests in the Permian Basin. Following extensive briefing and a hearing, the trial court granted Eagle Oil’s motion for summary judgment on grounds of res judicata, collateral estoppel, the statute of limitations, and waiver, and denied TRO-X’s cross-motion for summary judgment. After a later evidentiary hearing on Eagle Oil’s request for attorney’s fees under the Declaratory Judgments Act, the trial court rendered final judgment that TRO X take nothing on its claims and awarded Eagle Oil attorney’s fees incurred in the trial court in the amount of $175,819.50, plus up to $261,000 in conditional appellate attorney’s fees for representation in the court of appeals and Texas Supreme Court. The case is currently on appeal in the Dallas Court of Appeals. TRO-X, L.P. v. Eagle Oil & Gas Co., No. DC-16-01439, in the 116th Judicial District Court of Dallas County, Texas.

 

Improper Post-Judgment Orders Successfully Challenged on Appeal

During collection efforts against the firm’s client, the trial court signed several orders to enforce a judgment under the turnover statute. One order awarded the plaintiff attorney’s fees and costs that were incurred after the judgment had been satisfied. A second order purported to vest… + read more

During collection efforts against the firm’s client, the trial court signed several orders to enforce a judgment under the turnover statute. One order awarded the plaintiff attorney’s fees and costs that were incurred after the judgment had been satisfied. A second order purported to vest the trial court with jurisdiction over related litigation pending in other courts. Rick Thompson successfully challenged these orders on appeal. The court of appeals reversed the first order and struck the offending parts of the second order. Evans v. Frost National Bank, No. 05-12-01491-CV (Tex. App. – Dallas Aug. 11, 2015).

 

Take-Nothing Judgment in Favor of Contractor Affirmed on Appeal

Brett Kutnick and Jennifer Stagen successfully represented Triad Electric and Controls, Inc. on appeal from a take-nothing judgment rendered in Triad’s favor after a multi-week jury trial in which the plaintiff, MEMC Pasadena, Inc., sought over $25 million in lost profits allegedly sustained by MEMC’s… + read more

Brett Kutnick and Jennifer Stagen successfully represented Triad Electric and Controls, Inc. on appeal from a take-nothing judgment rendered in Triad’s favor after a multi-week jury trial in which the plaintiff, MEMC Pasadena, Inc., sought over $25 million in lost profits allegedly sustained by MEMC’s polysilicon manufacturing facility from a power outage during the construction of an expansion project. After Brett Kutnick presented oral argument, the Court of Appeals for the Fourteenth District of Texas in Houston rejected MEMC’s challenges to the legal and factual sufficiency of the evidence and the jury charge, concluded that the evidence supported the jury’s findings that MEMC agreed to exclude consequential lost profits in its contract with Triad and was estopped from claiming otherwise, and held that the economic loss rule bars MEMC’s recovery of negligence damages from Triad. The court therefore affirmed the trial court’s judgment that MEMC take nothing from Triad. MEMC Pasadena, Inc. v. Riddle Power, LLC and Triad Electric and Controls, Inc., No. 14-13-00117-CV, ___ S.W.3d ___, 2015 WL 4628143 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] Aug. 4, 2015, no pet. hist.).

 

Take-Nothing Summary Judgment Affirmed in Products Liability Action

Brett Kutnick and Stephanie Nelson successfully defended a take-nothing summary judgment rendered in favor of Hankinson LLP client, Whirlpool Corporation, in a recent products liability appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The plaintiff had sued Whirlpool alleging carbon monoxide exposure… + read more

Brett Kutnick and Stephanie Nelson successfully defended a take-nothing summary judgment rendered in favor of Hankinson LLP client, Whirlpool Corporation, in a recent products liability appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The plaintiff had sued Whirlpool alleging carbon monoxide exposure from a gas range. The Hankinson appellate team persuaded the Fifth Circuit that the district court properly excluded plaintiff’s expert witnesses on causation and design defect and that summary judgment was proper on all of the plaintiff’s claims. Accordingly, the Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court’s summary judgment. Macy v. Whirlpool Corp., No. 14-20603, 2015 WL 3505511 (5th Cir. June 4, 2015).

 

Order Granting New Trial Reviewed and Vacated on Mandamus

Brett Kutnick led a team of Hankinson lawyers, including Deborah Hankinson, Joseph Morris, Jennifer Rangel Stagen, and Stephanie Nelson, in successfully representing the defendants in a petition for writ of mandamus seeking to set aside a trial court’s order granting the plaintiffs a new trial… + read more

Brett Kutnick led a team of Hankinson lawyers, including Deborah Hankinson, Joseph Morris, Jennifer Rangel Stagen, and Stephanie Nelson, in successfully representing the defendants in a petition for writ of mandamus seeking to set aside a trial court’s order granting the plaintiffs a new trial after a multi-week jury trial concerning the alleged breach of an attorney-client contingency fee agreement. Following briefing, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth District of Texas in San Antonio conditionally granted the mandamus petition and ordered the trial court to vacate its order granting a new trial and issue a new order specifying its reasons for granting a new trial. In re Davenport, No. 04-14-00666-CV, 2015 WL 1089679 (Tex. App.—San Antonio Mar. 11, 2015, orig. proceeding) (mem. op.).

 

Hankinson LLP’s Government Practice Assists City of Grapevine in Condemnation Case

Hankinson LLP successfully represented the City of Grapevine before the Fort Worth Court of Appeals and the Texas Supreme Court.  In this case, the State condemned real property located in the City.  Because a billboard owned by CBS Outdoor, Inc., overhung that property, the State… + read more

Hankinson LLP successfully represented the City of Grapevine before the Fort Worth Court of Appeals and the Texas Supreme Court.  In this case, the State condemned real property located in the City.  Because a billboard owned by CBS Outdoor, Inc., overhung that property, the State condemned the billboard to remove the aerial encroachment.  In an effort to avoid condemnation, CBS asked the City to permit it to shift the billboard away from the property to remove the encroachment.  The City refused, explaining that nonconforming billboards, like CBS’s billboard, could not be moved, altered, or adjusted under the City’s existing zoning ordinances.  After CBS removed a 4-foot section of the billboard, the City ordered CBS to remove its billboard.  CBS sued the City.  The City filed a plea to the jurisdiction based on its governmental immunity, but the district court denied the plea.  On appeal, the court of appeals reversed the district court’s order in part and rendered judgment that CBS take nothing on its claims for judicial review, injunctive relief, violations of due process, declaratory relief, and attorney’s fees.  On August 22, 2014, the Texas Supreme Court denied CBS’s petition for review.  Rick Thompson argued the case before the Fort Worth Court of Appeals and briefed the case to the court of appeals and the Supreme Court.  See City of Grapevine v. CBS Outdoor, Inc., No. 02-12-00040-CV, 2013 WL 5302713 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth Sept. 19, 2013, pet. denied).

 

Appellate Court Affirms Summary Judgment in Favor of the Dallas Mavericks

Hankinson LLP defeated an effort to place its client, the Dallas Mavericks, into receivership.  A minority stakeholder in the team sued for the appointment of a receiver, claiming that the team was insolvent or in imminent danger of insolvency.  Finding no merit to the claims,… + read more

Hankinson LLP defeated an effort to place its client, the Dallas Mavericks, into receivership.  A minority stakeholder in the team sued for the appointment of a receiver, claiming that the team was insolvent or in imminent danger of insolvency.  Finding no merit to the claims, the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the Mavericks. On appeal, the Hankinson LLP team successfully defended the trial court’s ruling.  Deborah Hankinson argued the case to the Dallas Court of Appeals.  Rick Thompson and Joseph Morris drafted the appellate briefs.  See Hillwood Inv. Props. III, Ltd. v. Radical Mavericks Mgmt., LLC, No. 05-11-01470-CV, in the Fifth Court of Appeals.

 

Death Penalty Sanctions Vacated on Mandamus

Brett Kutnick, Jennifer Rangel Stagen, and Joseph Morris successfully represented Medtronic, Inc. in a petition for writ of mandamus seeking to set aside a death penalty sanction for Medtronic’s alleged improper contact with the opposing party’s consulting expert.  Following briefing, the Court of Appeals for… + read more

Brett Kutnick, Jennifer Rangel Stagen, and Joseph Morris successfully represented Medtronic, Inc. in a petition for writ of mandamus seeking to set aside a death penalty sanction for Medtronic’s alleged improper contact with the opposing party’s consulting expert.  Following briefing, the Court of Appeals for the Tenth District of Texas in Waco held that (1) petition for writ of mandamus was not barred by laches, (2) Medtronic lacked an adequate remedy by appeal, and mandamus was thus an appropriate vehicle to challenge the trial court’ sanctions order, and (3) the trial court abused its discretion in imposing evidentiary sanctions against Medtronic.  The court thus conditionally granted the petition for writ of mandamus and directed the trial court to vacate its order granting sanctions for the alleged improper contact with the consulting expert.  In re Medtronic, Inc., No. 10-14-00077-CV, 2014 WL 2159555 (Tex. App.—Waco May 22, 2014, orig. proceeding) (mem. op.).

 

 

D Magazine Features Case Recently Argued by Deborah Hankinson: Tenaska Energy Inc. v. Ponderosa Pine Energy LLC

A recent edition of D Magazine (May-June 2014) posits that the Supreme Court of Texas could change the way companies do business in a matter of months. The case of Tenaska Energy Inc. v. Ponderosa Pine Energy LLC concerns a $125 million award in Ponderosa’s… + read more

A recent edition of D Magazine (May-June 2014) posits that the Supreme Court of Texas could change the way companies do business in a matter of months. The case of Tenaska Energy Inc. v. Ponderosa Pine Energy LLC concerns a $125 million award in Ponderosa’s favor over the sale of a Cleburne power plant. The award was vacated by a trial court, which found that an arbitrator had failed to fully disclose the nature and extent of his relationship with Ponderosa’s attorney.

On appeal, the Dallas Court of Appeals reversed and rendered judgment confirming the award, saying that the arbitrator had disclosed enough, and that by not objecting or investigating further, Tenaska had waived further complaint. Tenaska took the dispute to the state’s highest court, where Deborah Hankinson presented oral argument on its behalf.  [Link to full story]

 

Court of Appeals Affirms Trial Court Ruling in Favor of Hankinson LLP Client

Rick Thompson was a key member of the legal team that successfully represented Republic Power Partners, L.P., in an interlocutory appeal before the Amarillo Court of Appeals.  Republic Power sued West Texas Municipal Power Agency (WTMPA) for breach of an agreement to promote and develop… + read more

Rick Thompson was a key member of the legal team that successfully represented Republic Power Partners, L.P., in an interlocutory appeal before the Amarillo Court of Appeals.  Republic Power sued West Texas Municipal Power Agency (WTMPA) for breach of an agreement to promote and develop new sources of electric power for the cities of Brownfield, Tulia, Floydada, and Lubbock.  WTMPA asserted its governmental immunity from suit in a plea to the jurisdiction, but the district court denied WTMPA’s plea.  WTMPA filed an interlocutory appeal.  The court of appeals affirmed the district court’s order, concluding that the Legislature waived WTMPA’s governmental immunity from suit by enacting Section 271.152 of the Texas Local Government Code.  See West Texas Mun. Power Agency v. Republic Power Partners, L.L.P., 428 S.W.3d 299 (Tex. App.—Amarillo 2014, no pet.).

 

Take-Nothing Judgment in High-Dollar Oil-and-Gas-Rights Dispute Affirmed on Appeal

In this large oil-and-gas dispute, Plaintiff Community Bank of Raymore asserted that the drilling rights of Defendants Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C. and Anadarko Petroleum Corporation terminated as to certain deep depths.  Plaintiff had two theories:  (1) that a horizontal-termination clause had terminated Defendants’ deep-depth drilling rights… + read more

In this large oil-and-gas dispute, Plaintiff Community Bank of Raymore asserted that the drilling rights of Defendants Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C. and Anadarko Petroleum Corporation terminated as to certain deep depths.  Plaintiff had two theories:  (1) that a horizontal-termination clause had terminated Defendants’ deep-depth drilling rights at the expiration of the lease’s primary term; and (2) that a severance clause was triggered, effecting a partial termination of deep-depth drilling rights as to areas of the lease in which Defendants had already achieved production at the expiration of the primary term.  Defendants on appeal–represented by Hankinson LLP–argued that neither partial-termination clause had been triggered because the lease continues to be held in full force, past the expiration of the primary term, by the lease’s continuous-development operations.  After briefing and oral argument, the El Paso Court of Appeals sided with Defendants and affirmed the trial court’s judgment that Plaintiff take nothing on its claims.  Community Bank of Raymore v. Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C. & Anadarko Petroleum Corp., No. 08-12-00025-CV (Tex. App.–El Paso Nov. 6, 2013).

 

$8.2 Million Judgment for Breach of Contract Reversed on Appeal

Deborah Hankinson, Brett Kutnick, and Jennifer Rangel Stagen successfully represented Eagle Oil & Gas Company (“Eagle Oil”) in an appeal of a judgment after a jury trial awarding the plaintiff, TRO-X, L.P., over $8.2 million in damages and attorney’s fees, based on alleged breaches of… + read more

Deborah Hankinson, Brett Kutnick, and Jennifer Rangel Stagen successfully represented Eagle Oil & Gas Company (“Eagle Oil”) in an appeal of a judgment after a jury trial awarding the plaintiff, TRO-X, L.P., over $8.2 million in damages and attorney’s fees, based on alleged breaches of a contract to acquire and dispose of oil and gas leases and interests.  Following oral argument, the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh District of Texas in Eastland held that (1) Eagle Oil could not, as a matter of law, deprive TRO-X of its right to retain an unpromoted working interest by selling to Eagle Oil & Gas Partners, LLC on a promoted basis without consultation with TRO-X, (2) the evidence conclusively establishes that Eagle Oil did not deprive TRO-X of its right to retain an unpromoted working interest, (3) Eagle Oil did not breach the agreement by sending a letter to TRO-X, and (4) Eagle Oil could not, as a matter of law, deprive TRO-X from acquiring its proportionate share of an overriding royalty interest and working interest back-in, and the evidence conclusively establishes that Eagle Oil did not deprive TRO-X of the interests.  The court thus reversed and rendered judgment that the plaintiff take nothing on its multi-million dollar breach-of-contract claims against Eagle and instead rendered judgment that the plaintiff recover $379,788.80 under a court-ordered accounting.  The court further affirmed the take-nothing judgment rendered in favor of the firm’s other client, Eagle Oil & Gas Partners, LLC, on the plaintiff’s tortious interference claim.  Eagle Oil & Gas Co. v. TRO-X, L.P., 416 S.W.3d 137 (Tex. App.—Eastland  2013, pet. filed), reh’g denied, 427 S.W.3d 580 (Tex. App.—Eastland  2014).

 

Judgment Against Owner of Limited Liability Company Reversed on Appeal Because the Evidence Was Legally Insufficient to Pierce the Corporate Veil

Brett Kutnick and Jennifer Rangel Stagen successfully represented Jesse Marion in an appeal of a judgment after a jury trial awarding the plaintiff, Donnelley, L.P., over $578,000 in damages and attorney’s fees based on an alleged breach of a mail processing agreement.  After Brett Kutnick… + read more

Brett Kutnick and Jennifer Rangel Stagen successfully represented Jesse Marion in an appeal of a judgment after a jury trial awarding the plaintiff, Donnelley, L.P., over $578,000 in damages and attorney’s fees based on an alleged breach of a mail processing agreement.  After Brett Kutnick presented oral argument, the Court of Appeals for the Fifth District of Texas in Dallas held that the trial court erred in piercing the corporate veil of Mr. Marion’s mail processing company, Metroplex Mailing Services, LLC, and rendering judgment against Mr. Marion individually because there was no evidence to show that Mr. Marion used Metroplex to perpetrate an actual fraud for his direct personal benefit.  The court thus reversed and rendered judgment that the plaintiff take nothing on its claims against Jesse Marion.  Metroplex Mailing Services, LLC v. RR Donnelley & Sons Co., 410 S.W.3d 889, 2013 WL 5202069 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2013, no pet.).

 

Dallas Appellate Attorney, Mediator Deborah Hankinson Earns Best Lawyers Distinction

DALLAS – Dallas attorney and mediator Deborah Hankinson of the appellate boutique law firm Hankinson LLP has been selected for a seventh consecutive year in The Best Lawyers in America based on her work in appellate law. Ms. Hankinson, a former justice with the Supreme… + read more

DALLAS – Dallas attorney and mediator Deborah Hankinson of the appellate boutique law firm Hankinson LLP has been selected for a seventh consecutive year in The Best Lawyers in America based on her work in appellate law.

Ms. Hankinson, a former justice with the Supreme Court of Texas and the 5th District Court of Appeals in Dallas, has been included in Best Lawyers each year since 2008. In 2012, she was named Best Lawyers’ Dallas Appellate Lawyer of the Year.

“Deborah has long been among the elite appellate lawyers in Texas and the entire nation,” says Rick Thompson, Hankinson LLP’s managing partner. “An honor such as this is an indication of the continued respect her peers in the legal profession have for Deborah and the work she does for clients.” Best Lawyers, the oldest peer-review publication in the legal profession, is widely considered the top guide to U.S. lawyers. To compile the annual publication, Best Lawyers conducts a rigorous peer-review survey that includes more than 3 million confidential evaluations by other lawyers.

Ms. Hankinson represents clients as an appellate attorney, oral advocate, strategist, mediator, arbitrator, and problem-solver. She is Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. A fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, she also is a member of the American Arbitration Association’s national roster of neutrals.

In addition to appearing in the 2014 edition of Best Lawyers, Ms. Hankinson has been honored for her appellate work by the publishers of Texas Super Lawyers, D Magazine, Chambers USA, Benchmark Appellate, Texas Lawyer and the Dallas Business Journal.

Hankinson LLP, the preeminent civil appellate firm in the Southwest, provides clients with
innovative legal insights and judicial perspective in all phases of litigation. The firm’s attorneys work with trial teams to develop strategies designed to put a case in the best position before, during and after trial. Dallas-based Hankinson LLP represents national clients, regional companies, governmental bodies, and individuals with trial and appellate matters, and offers mediation and arbitration services as well. Learn more about the firm at http://hankinsonlaw.com.

 

Summary Judgment in Favor of Executive Rights Holder Reversed on Appeal

Brett Kutnick and Jennifer Rangel Stagen successfully represented plaintiff Betty Lou Bradshaw, the holder of a non‑participating royalty interest, in her appeal of the trial court’s orders granting summary judgment to multiple defendants on her claims for breach of fiduciary duty, conspiracy, and a constructive… + read more

Brett Kutnick and Jennifer Rangel Stagen successfully represented plaintiff Betty Lou Bradshaw, the holder of a non‑participating royalty interest, in her appeal of the trial court’s orders granting summary judgment to multiple defendants on her claims for breach of fiduciary duty, conspiracy, and a constructive trust. After Brett Kutnick presented oral argument, the Court of Appeals for the Second District of Texas in Fort Worth held that the executive rights holder owed a fiduciary duty to Ms. Bradshaw and that genuine issues of material fact existed as to whether the executive rights holder breached its fiduciary duty to Ms. Bradshaw.  The court therefore reversed the trial court’s orders granting summary judgment to the defendants and remanded the case to the trial court for further proceedings.  Bradshaw v. Steadfast Financial, L.L.C., 39 S.W.3d 348 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 2013, pet. filed).

 

Trial Court Renders Take-Nothing Judgment in Favor of General Contractor

Brett Kutnick served as appellate counsel for a team of trial lawyers in defending Triad Electric and Controls, Inc. in a lawsuit filed by MEMC Pasadena, Inc. seeking over $25 million in lost profits and property damages allegedly sustained by MEMC’s polysilicon manufacturing facility during… + read more

Brett Kutnick served as appellate counsel for a team of trial lawyers in defending Triad Electric and Controls, Inc. in a lawsuit filed by MEMC Pasadena, Inc. seeking over $25 million in lost profits and property damages allegedly sustained by MEMC’s polysilicon manufacturing facility during the construction of an expansion project.  After a multi-week jury trial, the 151st Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas in Houston rendered a take-nothing judgment in Triad’s favor.  Mr. Kutnick was responsible for the jury charge, many of the significant legal and evidentiary issues that arose during the course of the trial, and all post-verdict motions.  The case is currently being appealed by MEMC in the Court of Appeals for the Fourteenth District of Texas in Houston.  MEMC Pasadena, Inc. v. Riddle Power, LLC and Triad Electric and Controls, Inc., No. 2008-11010, 151st Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas.

 

Vacatur of Arbitration Award for Evident Partiality Upheld on Appeal

Deborah Hankinson, Brett Kutnick, and Jennifer Stagen represented Occidental Petroleum Corporation and several of its subsidiaries in moving to vacate an arbitration award regarding the interpretation of a purchase and sales agreement.  After extensive briefing and argument, the trial court vacated the arbitration award for… + read more

Deborah Hankinson, Brett Kutnick, and Jennifer Stagen represented Occidental Petroleum Corporation and several of its subsidiaries in moving to vacate an arbitration award regarding the interpretation of a purchase and sales agreement.  After extensive briefing and argument, the trial court vacated the arbitration award for evident partiality by one of the neutral arbitrators.  The First District Court of Appeals in Houston subsequently affirmed the vacatur of the arbitration award, and after requesting full briefs on the merits, the Texas Supreme Court denied the petitioners’ petition for review and motion for rehearing.  Amoco D.T. Co. v. Occidental Petroleum Corp., 343 S.W.3d 837 (Tex. App.–Houston [1st Dist.] 2011, pet. denied).

 

$3 Million Breach of Fiduciary Duty Judgment Reversed on Appeal

Brett Kutnick and Jennifer Stagen were principal members of the legal team that successfully represented Douglas Strebel in an appeal of a judgment after a jury trial awarding the plaintiff, a member of a Delaware limited liability company and a limited partner in a Texas limited… + read more

Brett Kutnick and Jennifer Stagen were principal members of the legal team that successfully represented Douglas Strebel in an appeal of a judgment after a jury trial awarding the plaintiff, a member of a Delaware limited liability company and a limited partner in a Texas limited partnership, nearly $3.5 million in lost distributions, attorney’s fees, and interest based on alleged breaches of fiduciary duties by Strebel.  Following oral argument, the Court of Appeals for the First District of Texas in Houston held that the parties contractually disclaimed the fiduciary duties related to profit distributions to the plaintiff.  The court thus reversed the judgment on the plaintiff’s breach of fidcuary duty claims and remanded the case to the trial court for consideration of the jury’s alternative liability and damages finding on the plaintiff’s minority oppression claim.  Strebel v. Wimberly, 371 S.W.3d 267 (Tex. App.–Houston [1st Dist.] 2012, pet. denied).

 

Appellate Court Reverses, Renders Judgment That Plaintiffs Take Nothing in Oil-and-Gas Mineral Interest Title Dispute

In a highly complex title dispute between Texas oil-and-gas operators, the plaintiffs claimed superior title to a mineral lease on a 169.1-acre tract in Concho County, Texas. After the jury found that the plaintiffs had superior title, the trial court ordered the defendants—who possessed and… + read more

In a highly complex title dispute between Texas oil-and-gas operators, the plaintiffs claimed superior title to a mineral lease on a 169.1-acre tract in Concho County, Texas. After the jury found that the plaintiffs had superior title, the trial court ordered the defendants—who possessed and had drilled a producing well on the tract—to turn over possession of the property, drilling equipment, and almost $1 million being held in suspense pending adjudication of the case. Hankinson LLP attorney Deborah Hankinson  represented the defendants on appeal. The Austin Court of Appeals reversed the trial-court judgment, rendered judgment that the plaintiffs take nothing, and also rendered judgment that title and possession of the mineral estate, equipment, and funds belonged to the defendants. The plaintiffs appealed to the Texas Supreme Court, which denied review after requesting full briefing on the merits.  McCammon v. Ischy, No. 03-06-00707-CV, 2010 WL 1930149 (Tex. App.—Austin May 12, 2010, pet. denied).

 

Dallas Court of Appeals Rules for DART Contractor in Dispute Against Architect

In a second appeal involving the same lawsuit, Brett Kutnick was a principal member of the legal team that successfully represented Martin K. Eby Construction Company in its negligent misrepresentation suit against LAN/STV, an architect and engineer that prepared faulty construction plans and drawings for… + read more

In a second appeal involving the same lawsuit, Brett Kutnick was a principal member of the legal team that successfully represented Martin K. Eby Construction Company in its negligent misrepresentation suit against LAN/STV, an architect and engineer that prepared faulty construction plans and drawings for an extension of the DART rail project. Following the remand in the first appeal, Eby settled its administrative claim against DART for $4.7  million and proceeded to trial against LAN/STV.  The jury found that LAN/STV had committed negligent misrepresentations that caused Eby $5 million in damages, but the trial court reduced the award to $2,250,000 plus interest based on the jury’s additional finding that LAN/STV was 45% responsible.  On appeal, the Dallas Court of Appeals rejected LAN/STV’s arguments regarding the derivative governmental immunity statute, the economic loss doctrine, the evidence of negligent misrepresentations, and the effect of the DART settlement.  The court also declined to reinstate the full amount of the verdict, as Eby had requested.  Martin K. Eby Construction Co. v. LAN/STV, 350 S.W.3d 675 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2011), rev’d, 435 S.W.3d 234 (Texas 2014).

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