Fiduciary and Probate Litigation, Real Estate and Construction Litigation

Dallas Court of Appeals Accepts Flegle’s Expert Testimony on Attorney Duties

On April 8, 2008, the Dallas Court of Appeals rendered judgment on a Dallas County jury verdict. The jury had found in favor of McGuire, Craddock, Strother & Hale, P.C. (MCSH) on claims for breach of a fee agreement and a claim for fraudulent inducement against Transcontinental Realty Investors, Inc. (TRI) and RT Realty, L.P. (RT Realty). The jury awarded MCSH $298,630 in damages, representing the number of fees and expenses billed but not paid.

TRI and RT Realty had counterclaimed for breach of contract, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, and negligent misrepresentation. The jury found against TRI and RT Realty on all counterclaims.

Jim Flegle testified as an expert on behalf of MCSH.

After a hearing on post-verdict motions, the District Court granted the Motion for Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict filed by TRI and RT Realty and ordered that both parties take nothing.

In reversing the District Court, the Dallas Court of Appeals noted in its opinion that Flegle testified that MCSH had not breached its fiduciary duties, that the attorney’s fees sought were reasonable and necessary (using the Arthur Andersen factors, among other things), and that the billing method was appropriate. The cause was remanded to the trial court to address additional attorney’s fees incurred in prosecuting the lawsuit and the appeal.

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