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COURT OF APPEALS OF TEXAS FIFTH DISTRICT DALLAS

COLLECTIVE ASSET PARTNERS LLC, Appellant v. MICHAEL KEN SCHAUMBURG AND SCHAUMBURG ARCHITECTS, P.C., Appellees

The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant in this suit alleging, inter alia, misrepresentation concerning the sale of a property. The defendant is an architect who had a business relationship with the appellants. There were two documents setting forth the parties' relationship concerning the property: an Unimproved Property Contract providing meerely that the contract is contingent on the execution of a joint venture to develop or sell the property within five days, and a memorandum of understanding best characterized as a profit-sharing agreement. Neither agreement discusses professional services. The assertion that the defendant owed a duty is without merit. The statement that the property was able to be developed was true, and cannot be the basis of an alleged fraud claim. The trial court's judgment is affirmed. Dallas Court of Appeals, No. 05-13-00040-CV, 04-11-2014

Practice Areas: Torts

COURT OF APPEALS OF TEXAS EIGHTH DISTRICT EL PASO

MARK DAVIS, Appellant, v. NORMA CHAPARRO, Appellee.

The appellant challenges the trial court's finding of breach of contract in this case involving an attorney's hiring of a translator. When an attorney contracts third-party services on behalf of a client without specifying his agency status, the attorney may assume special liability for payment of the services. Absent an express disclosure of the attorney's agency status at the time the contract with the translator was formed, the evidence supports an implied finding that the appellant expressly or impliedly assumed special liability and is responsible for payment of the contract. The trial court's judgment is affirmed. El Paso Court of Appeals, No. 08-12-00067-CV, 04-11-2014

Practice Areas: Contracts

COURT OF APPEALS OF TEXAS FIFTH DISTRICT DALLAS

NATIONAL FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY OF HARTFORD, VALLEY FORGE INSURANCE COMPANY, AND CONTINENTAL CASUALTY COMPANY, Appellants v. CE DESIGN, LTD., AND PALDO SIGN AND DISPLAY COMPANY, Appellees

The trial court granted the appellees' special appearances and dismissed them from the underlying declaratory judgment action. Appellees serve as representatives of a nationwide class consisting of approximately 143,000 class members. That a class member may reside in a state does not subject a class representative of a nationwide class to personal jurisdiction as a defendant in an insurance coverage suit filed by a third party in that state. The trial court's order is affirmed. Dallas Court of Appeals, No. 05-13-00720-CV, 04-18-2014

Practice Areas: Appellate Law - Civil

COURT OF APPEALS OF TEXAS FIFTH DISTRICT DALLAS

GID PORTER, Appellant v. SOUTHWESTERN CHRISTIAN COLLEGE, JACK EVANS, AND HERBERT EVANS, Appellees

The trial court granted summary judgment to the defendants on the plaintiff's claims of slander, conspiracy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The no-evidence motion on slander is limited to the issue of damages. General damages are presumed on a defamation per se claim. An inference of malice may be supported by the repetition of a false statement when its truth or falsity was peculiarly within the knowledge of the speaker. The trial court's judgment is affirmed in part, and reversed and remanded in part. Dallas Court of Appeals, No. 05-12-01737-CV, 04-07-2014

Practice Areas: Torts

COURT OF APPEALS OF TEXAS FIFTH DISTRICT DALLAS

ORYON TECHNOLOGIES, INC. AND ORYON TECHNOLOGIES, LLC, Appellants v. M. RICHARD MARCUS, Appellee

This is an emergency motion asking for a stay on the trial court's unsealing order. Appellants filed a motion to set a supersedeas bond amount but the hearing was scheduled the day after the unsealing order was signed. In many cases under Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 76a, including this case, it would be difficult for the trial court to quantify the monetary value of pre-trial public access to the documents and weigh the monetary value of that access against the appellant's presumptive property right in matters it contends are trade secrets until the judicial process has finally declared the status of the alleged trade secrets by determination on the appeal under rule 76a. The trial court's unsealing order is stayed pending resolution of the appeal. Dallas Court of Appeals, No. 05-14-00446-CV, 04-14-2014

Practice Areas: Intellectual Property

COURT OF APPEALS OF TEXAS SIXTH DISTRICT TEXARKANA

THE STATE OF TEXAS, Appellant v. JORGE LOUIS VERDE, Appellee

The trial court ordered alleged contraband suppressed based on its findings that the supporting affidavit deliberately misled the warrant-issuing judge by omitting key information. The affidavit alleged that the appellee was in possession of a stolen trailer. An omission, here the omission of the date of purchase of the trailer, may qualify as a Franks violation. Adjusted for its errors, the affidavit would not support probable cause. The trial court's ruling is affirmed. Texarkana Court of Appeals, No. 06-13-00115-CR, 04-23-2014

Practice Areas: Criminal Law

COURT OF APPEALS OF TEXAS FIRST DISTRICT HOUSTON

THADDEUS AND BONNIE SAMUEL, Appellants v. FEDERAL HOME LOAN MORTGAGE CORPORATION, CITIMORTGAGE, INC., AND MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS, INC., Appellees

The trial court found that the appellants' claims involving a foreclosure are barred by res judicata and collateral estoppel. Res judicata bars the suit because the appellees are in privity with the mortgage company in the first suit, through successor-in-interest. The trial court's judgment is affirmed. Houston's 1st Court of Appeals, NO. 01-13-00850-CV, 04-17-2014

Practice Areas: Appellate Law - Civil

COURT OF APPEALS OF TEXAS FIRST DISTRICT HOUSTON

CASA DEL MAR ASSOCIATION, INC., Appellant v. GOSSEN LIVINGSTON ASSOCIATES, INC., Appellee

The trial court dismissed this case against an architecture firm applying the principles of collateral estoppel from arbitration proceedings. The arbitration proceedings involved the same allegations. Strict mutuality is not required; the party asserting collateral estoppel has to establish that the party against whom collateral estoppel is asserted was a party in the prior proceeding. Because the arbitration panel concluded that the appellant could not establish that the architecture firm caused the alleged damages, collateral estoppel bars the claims. The trial court's judgment is affirmed. COURT OF APPEALS OF TEXAS FIRST DISTRICT HOUSTON, NO. 01-13-00556-CV, 04-10-2014

Practice Areas: Appellate Law - Civil

COURT OF APPEALS OF TEXAS FIFTH DISTRICT DALLAS

WEAVER AND TIDWELL, L.L.P., Appellant v. THE GUARANTEE COMPANY OF NORTH AMERICA USA, Appellee

The appellant challenges a judgment awarding the appellee approximately $2.6 million for losses that the trial court found the appellee sustained as a result of the appellant's alleged negligent misrepresentations in audited financial statements. Although the appellee argued that the discovery rule applied, it did not obtain findings on when it knew or should have known of the facts that gave rise to its cause of action. The trial court's judgment is reversed and rendered, and the the trial court's dismissal of the appellant's counterclaims are affirmed. Dallas Court of Appeals, No. 05-12-00750-CV, 04-08-2014

Practice Areas: Appellate Law - Civil

COURT OF APPEALS OF TEXAS FIFTH DISTRICT DALLAS

RHONDA MIMS-BROWN, Appellant v. BESSIE R. BROWN, Appellee

This case involves a dispute over funds distributed from a joint tenancy account. Texas Probate Code 440 does not apply. A customer information brochure, together with the account application and account documents describing the account as "JTWROS" were sufficient to confer a right of survivorship. The trial court's judgment is affirmed. Dallas Court of Appeals, No. 05-12-01132-CV, 03-31-2014

Practice Areas: Trusts and Estates