Last week, the 5th District Court of Appeals in Dallas affirmed an earlier summary judgment won by The Law Offices of Brad Jackson in a $1 million dispute partnership dispute.
While Brad Jackson and Cheryl Mann are best known for their work helping plaintiffs and defendants at the trial level, this case demonstrates their ability to make those results stand up if the case reaches the court of appeals.
Partnership Turns Into Lawsuits
The dispute began in 2012 when our clients voted to remove their business partner (who was a fellow shareholder) as president of a Dallas-based company that manufactures printed labeling for various products.
The business partner responded by filing a lawsuit, which he later dismissed, nonsuiting all his claims. He continued to threaten our clients and sent a letter indicating that he intended to file a new lawsuit. We responded by filing our own lawsuit for declaratory judgment seeking a court declaration that our clients had acted appropriately in dealing with the terminated partner, who then launched a series of counterclaims seeking more than $1 million in damages from our clients.
In addition to asking the court to appoint a receiver to oversee the company, the business partner also accused our clients of breach of fiduciary duty, conspiracy, and misappropriation and conversion of corporate funds, allegations that our clients denied.
We also prevailed in a mid-case appeal after the trial court refused to dismiss an out-of-state client (one of our clients’ relatives), who was also sued. The appellate court agreed with us and dismissed the relative from the lawsuit.
After contentious litigation in the partnership dispute (including a series of depositions, court motions and hearings) the trial court issued a summary judgment in our clients’ favor in late 2016. The court’s ruling dismissed all claims against our clients and granted a declaratory judgment that helped them avoid a costly trial. In the final judgment, the court concluded that our clients were within their rights to terminate the partner as president of the company.
We Know How to Handle Legal Appeals
After losing in the trial court, the terminated partner went on to file an appeal at the 5th District Court of Appeals based on 13 different areas where he claimed the trial court had erred.
In oral arguments before the appeals court, Brad Jackson defended the trial court judge’s reasoning and successfully argued that none of the terminated business partner’s claims should withstand legal scrutiny.
The 5th District Court of Appeals agreed in a 15-page opinion that affirmed the trial court in full and ordered the terminated business partner to pay for the costs of the appeal.
Good Companies Not Immune from Lawsuits
Lawsuits like this one shouldn’t happen to honest people who are trying to operate a successful business, but a partnership dispute is more common than you might think. Even though they were in the right from day one, our clients still faced the potential of over $1 million in damages.
Thankfully, they were protected by the law and we were able to prove it at both the trial and appellate level based on the facts and our many years of work in similar cases.
In the end, our clients are grateful they can now continue to operate their company without the distractions that caused them to remove their former partner as president in the first place.