The Blog

Injunction rescues a business.

Injunctions in Texas are complex and lawyers need to be on their toes.

We work on cases that seek to have an injunction entered. We also work on cases trying to defeat an injunction. In this case, we are defending against the injunction.

The client and his prior lawyer went to the temporary injunction on a Friday. The hearing did not go well and was carried over until Monday. Because it didn’t go well, I received an email from the client (then only a potential client) on Friday night.

This case was a dispute over the sale of a business. The client was accused of agreeing to sell a business to a couple of employees and then backing out of the agreement three years later. The hearing was supposed to determine whether the client could continue to operate the business.

The client could tell that his prior lawyer wasn’t experienced in temporary injunction matters and was in a panic. The hearing was clearly not going well.

We received an email from the client asking if we would be interested in taking over on Monday. Darrell agreed to meet with the client on Friday night to review the situation. We didn’t want to take on a matter if we couldn’t do a good job.

We accepted the case and worked over the weekend preparing for the contuation of the hearing. We electronically filed a flurry of documents on Sunday and appeared at the hearing on Monday morning.

We took the case because the employees could not meet their burden at the hearing to be awarded a temporary injunction. This proved to be true at the hearing as we continually reminded the judge that one element of a temporary injunction, the requirement of “irreparable harm,” would prevent the granting of a temporary injunction.

The court agreed and denied the request for injunction against our client. When the judge announced his ruling we were treated to the added pleasure of seeing one of the employees collapsing in disappointment.

We love this job.


A collections TRO

Some collections matters require a TRO.

We were called by the general counsel of a large, publicly-traded company that had a substantial receivable in Dallas against a nursing home. The client’s customer service representative learned from the nursing home’s employees that the owner was planning to transfer the business to another company they owned in an attempt to avoid its creditors.

When the General Counsel called she was worried that there was nothing to be done to stop the nursing home from dissipating assets and defrauding its creditors.

We immediately filed suit and asked the court for a TRO stopping the transfer from going forward. The court granted the TRO and we proceeded to the temporary injunction hearing.

In the meantime, we found where they had created new companies and found witnesses that corroborated everything we had heard from the client’s customer service representative.

Armed with this evidence we headed to the temporary injunction hearing. Before the hearing was to begin we met with the lawyers for the nursing home and a dialogue for settlement began. As a result, the court agreed to delay the hearing for an hour.

Eventually, before the temporary injunction hearing was commenced, the client settled on terms they found favorable.


When the debtor dies...

Life as a Texas collections lawyer is rarely boring. Not every lawyer knows the best practice for collecting a judgment. No two situations are the same. Frequently we are retained by lawyers who obtain a judgment and then are stumped. A lawyer in Houston had obtained a judgment against a debtor who had a Big Firm lawyer representing him. Prosecuting judgments in Texas is a specialty, not every one understand the process and eventually we were hired to collect the judgment.

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Defeating delay

Sometimes Texas construction lawyers see next level delaying tactics.

The client was a demolition company that was hired to demolish the public square of a local college. The job was supposed to take three weeks. However, the client had a backhoe cause some minor damage to one of the college’s existing buildings.

The client’s insurance company repaired the damage and the delay to the project was only a few days as the client worked weekends to make sure the overall project wasn’t unnecessarily delayed.

Once the project was 90% complete the general contractor told the client not to come back to the job site. There were procedures for terminating the contract and the general contractor ignored all of them.

The the general contractor refused to pay the sums due under the contract.

We sent a demand letter and the response from the general contractor’s lawyer was that the damage to the building was such that our client should not be paid. But…the insurance company paid for the damage and the repairs were made in a matter of weeks. So that was no defense.

We filed suit and the case was tried to a judge, not a jury.

We went to trial and the judge ruled in the client’s favor on about 95% of the items in question. So we obtained a significant judgment for the client.

The debtor general contractor refused to pay and so we sent the usual post-judgment discovery. Before the due date of that discovery the defendant paid 100% of the amount due under the judgment, including interest.

The client’s commitment was strong and they were well-rewarded.


An asset saving TRO

A lender in Georgia had loaned money to a builder in Houston. The lender hired a large national law firm in Houston who obtained a judgment against the home builder. The builder specialized in large luxury homes.

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