Beck Redden Trial Win Affirmed

  • May 22, 2013

A complete trial win obtained by Beck Redden was unanimously affirmed by Houston’s Fourteenth Court of Appeals. Corporate shareholders had sued the firm’s clients—a lawyer and his law firm—for legal malpractice in a dispute about the formation, dissolution, and acquisition of several companies. The claim included a request for equitable relief in the form of fee forfeiture and disgorgement of profits. Denying all liability, Beck Redden’s clients demanded a jury trial.

Beck Redden partner Michael Richardson was on the team that tried the case for six days, obtained favorable jury findings on all of the claims against the law firm and lawyer, and the trial court entered a take-nothing judgment in their clients’ favor. The plaintiffs appealed, arguing that the trial court had applied the wrong state’s law to questions of liability and misused the jury verdict in refusing to issue equitable relief. 

On briefs alone, the Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment for Beck Redden’s clients unanimously. For the central dispute about distributing functions between jury and judge, Beck Redden convinced the court that “the jury had the exclusive role of resolving factual issues underlying a request for equitable relief, including whether appellees breached fiduciary duties or committed any other misconduct.” The opinion also rejected the plaintiffs’ other arguments and affirmed the take-nothing judgment in its entirety.