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DALLAS – Trial lawyer John T. Burkhead of The Law Offices of Frank Branson has been selected for the second consecutive year to the Super Lawyers Texas Rising Stars list. The prestigious list recognizes the top Texas attorneys age 40 years and younger or those who have practiced law for 10 years or less.

Mr. Burkhead’s selection to the 2017 Rising Stars reflects his devotion to working with clients in high-stakes personal injury litigation and business disputes. He represents individuals who have suffered injuries in truck crashes, transportation accidents, and other acts of recklessness and negligence. He also represents clients, including prominent professionals, in critical business disputes both at the courthouse and in arbitration.

Mr. Burkhead also is involved in professional organizations, including the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers, the Dallas Trial Lawyers Association and the Texas Trial Lawyers Association. He is a graduate of Baylor Law School and an undergraduate of the University of Richmond.

Only 2.5 percent of Texas lawyers are selected to the Texas Rising Stars list each year based on nominations from other lawyers, independent research and a review by separate advisory boards. The list is published in the April 2017 Texas edition of Super Lawyers magazine and Texas Monthly.

Firm founder Frank Branson recognized for 31st year, honored in five areas

DALLAS – The Law Offices of Frank L. Branson in Dallas is proud to announce that firm founder Frank L. Branson and fellow attorneys Debbie Dudley Branson and Thomas Farmer have been selected by their legal peers across the United States to the 2017 edition of The Best Lawyers in America, one of the oldest and most respected guides to the country’s top attorneys.

Mr. Branson is recognized in the 2017 Best Lawyers for his work in commercial litigation, personal injury litigation, product liability litigation, professional malpractice law and medical malpractice law.

Along with a consistent stream of standout verdicts and settlements on behalf of people injured by reckless and negligent corporations, dangerous products, trucking accidents, dangerous oilfield operations and workplaces, Mr. Branson has earned some of the legal profession’s highest honors.

He is among a select group recognized in Texas Lawbook’s inaugural “Lions of the Bar” series. He has earned a place on Texas Super Lawyers’ list of the Top 10 lawyers in Texas on 10 occasions, while The National Law Journal named him one of the nation’s 50 Elite Trial Lawyers for Plaintiffs in 2014. Mr. Branson is one of the few attorneys in the nation to be honored by Best Lawyers every year since its 1987 debut.

Ms. Branson marks her fifth Best Lawyers appearance for her expertise in personal injury and commercial litigation. A repeat honoree of Texas Super Lawyers and D Magazine’s “Best Lawyers in Dallas,” she is the 2016 recipient of Dallas’ oldest and most prestigious civic honor, the Linz Award. She was recognized for her tireless and dedicated commitment to helping correct regulatory and compliance deficiencies at Parkland Memorial Hospital, the largest public hospital in North Texas.

Best Lawyers is honoring Mr. Farmer for the fourth consecutive year for his expertise in commercial litigation and personal injury litigation. In addition to repeat selection by Texas Super Lawyers, Mr. Farmer is rated AV preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest-possible.

The Law Offices of Frank L. Branson represent clients in cases involving complex product liability, catastrophic injury, commercial air crashes, professional negligence, and business torts. Visit http://www.flbranson.com to learn more about the firm.

For more information, contact Robert Tharp at 800-559-4534 or robert@androvett.com.

DALLAS – Accomplished trial lawyer Frank L. Branson of The Law Offices of Frank L. Branson in Dallas has earned his 10th consecutive selection as one of the Top 10 lawyers in the state on the annual Texas Super Lawyers list. At the same time, firm attorneys Debbie Dudley Branson, Thomas Farmer, Chip Brooker and Kern Lewis also have earned repeat Super Lawyers honors.

Known for his courtroom mastery in high-stakes personal injury and commercial litigation, Mr. Branson is one of only three attorneys in Texas to earn Top 10 recognition for 10 years straight.

The 2016 list marked the ninth year Ms. Branson and Mr. Lewis have been selected. It was the sixth for Mr. Farmer and the second for Mr. Brooker. All the firm’s honorees were singled out by their peers in the legal community based on their successful work for plaintiffs in personal injury litigation.

Attorneys selected to the Texas Super Lawyers list are chosen through a process involving nominations by other lawyers, a review by a blue-ribbon panel of attorneys who practice in the same areas of law, and research by the publication’s staff. The list appears in the October 2016 editions of Texas Monthly and the Texas edition of Super Lawyers magazine and can be found online at http://www.superlawyers.com.

Along with a consistent stream of standout verdicts and settlements on behalf of people who have been wronged by fraud or failed fiduciary duties in a partnership or corporation, dangerous products, trucking accidents, oilfield operations, pipeline explosions and dangerous workplaces, Mr. Branson has earned some of the legal profession’s highest honors. He is among a select group recognized in Texas Lawbook’s inaugural “Lions of the Bar” series, and The National Law Journal named him one of the nation’s 50 Elite Trial Lawyers for Plaintiffs in 2014. He is one of the few attorneys in the nation to have been honored by The Best Lawyers in America every year since the publication’s 1987 debut.

The Law Offices of Frank L. Branson represents clients in cases involving complex product liability, catastrophic injury, commercial air crashes, professional negligence, and business torts. Visit http://www.flbranson.com to learn more about the firm.

Dallas firm’s $43 million win in Texas oil royalties dispute earns Top 5 ranking

DALLAS – A $43 million verdict achieved by The Law Offices of Frank L. Branson of Dallas over a partnership dispute involving a West Texas mineral rights leasing deal is ranked as the fourth-largest jury award in Texas during 2015, according to an analysis by The National Law Journal and VerdictSearch.

The October 2015 verdict stemmed from a partnership dispute between investors who were acquiring large amounts of mineral rights acreage in Fisher County. Attorneys Frank L. Branson and Eric Stahl presented evidence that a group of business partners breached their fiduciary duties to the investors by crediting themselves for payments to the partnership that were never made and by excluding other partners from additional lease acquisitions after it became apparent that the project would be tremendously successful.

The case is Tiburon Land and Cattle LP, et al. v. Sarah Kate Jones, as Independent Executrix of the Estate of Thomas J. Taylor, deceased, et al., No. DC-2013-0016.

Jurors agreed that the defendants improperly excluded their fellow partners from 16,000 acres of leases that were acquired by Abilene oilmen Thomas J. Taylor and Chester Carroll and attorney Kerwin Stephens of Graham. According to testimony, the defendants even created a second set of books to disguise profits and make it look as though the partnership’s contributions were their own.

The $43.1 million verdict included $24 million in actual damages and $19 million in exemplary damages after jurors returned a finding that the fiduciary breaches constituted “theft.”

“The jury wanted to send a message that this kind of conduct shouldn’t be allowed in West Texas or anywhere else,” says Mr. Branson. “I’m proud to have helped our clients protect their rights and get their money back.”

The Law Offices of Frank L. Branson maintains a reputation for courtroom excellence based on significant verdicts and settlements for clients in high-stakes litigation and business disputes. The firm’s record verdicts and recoveries stem from cases involving trucking and transportation injuries, dangerous and defective products, construction accidents, commercial plane crashes, explosions and burns caused by gas and electric power utilities, medical negligence, workplace catastrophes and business disputes. Visit http://www.flbranson.com to learn more.

The Law Offices of Frank L. Branson congratulates firm founder Frank Branson and attorneys Debbie Dudley Branson and Eric Stahl for their selection to the 2016 D Magazine Best Lawyers in Dallas edition.

Peer d logolawyers across North Texas selected Frank Branson and Debbie Branson based on their representation of individuals who have suffered catastrophic injuries as a result of trucking and transportation accidents, oil field mishaps and dangerous and defective products. Eric Stahl has been singled out by D Magazine for his commercial litigation expertise.

Mr. Branson is among a select group of North Texas litigators who have been honored by D Magazine every year since the Best Lawyers in Dallas list debuted in 2001. The D Magazine recognition is just the latest accolade for Mr. Branson, who has earned some of the legal profession’s highest honors, including being named among the Top 10 lawyers in the state by Texas Super Lawyers for nine years straight. This year, he is included in a select group of Texas lawyers recognized by Texas Lawbook and the Dallas Morning News in the inaugural “Lions of the Bar” series. Lawbook summed up his reputation as a trial lawyer by saying:

His clients are ordinary people who have been horribly injured and business leaders who have been screwed over by unscrupulous partners. Nearly 20 of his trials resulted in multimillion-dollar jury verdicts.

Debbie Branson’s repeat Best Lawyers in Dallas selection reflects her place as a successful and trail blazing trial lawyer and courtroom strategist, as well as her tireless commitment to legal, community and political leadership on local, state and national stages. A fourth-generation lawyer, she is a respected, talented attorney with extensive experience and an unwavering commitment to her clients and the legal profession. Debbie Branson is the 2016 recipient of the Linz Award, Dallas’ oldest and most prestigious civic honor, for her leadership role in bringing Parkland Memorial Hospital into critically important federal regulatory compliance.

An experienced and highly regarded litigator, Eric Stahl provides clients with a deep level of expertise in commercial litigation. He is actively engaged with the Texas State Bar, giving presentations on fiduciary litigation at the Advanced Civil Trial and the Fiduciary Litigation courses.

In 2015, Mr. Branson, Ms Branson and Mr. Stahl secured the No. 5 jury verdict in Texas. The $43 million jury verdict included $19 million in exemplary damages related to a partnership dispute between investors who were acquiring large amounts of subsurface mineral rights acreage in Fisher County in West Texas.

The Best Lawyers in Dallas list appears in D Magazine’s May edition and is available online at  www.dmagazine.com.

 

 

Kickapoo Casino in Eagle Pass, Texas

Kickapoo Casino in Eagle Pass, Texas

As authorities continue to investigate the tragic weekend crash of an OGA Charters bus en route to the Kickapoo Casino in Eagle Pass, Texas, the daily newspaper in the Rio Grande Valley, The Monitor, interviewed Frank Branson regarding the casino’s responsibilities to ensure safety on its charters.

Writes The Monitor:

The Eagle Pass casino where more than 50 people from the Rio Grande Valley were headed Saturday before a bus crash resulted in the death of eight people near Laredo could be held responsible for negligence, attorneys say.

Earlier this month Frank Branson, a Dallas attorney who specializes in high-stakes personal injury cases, won an $11 million lawsuit against the Choctaw Nation after a 2013 one-vehicle charter bus crash near Irving.

Branson represented several bus passengers that were on their way to the Choctaw tribe’s casino in Oklahoma, including one of the three victims who died as a result of the crash that also injured more than a dozen people.

“Evidence showed how casinos rely on these buses to bring in business, and the Choctaw Nation was aggressive in its contract negotiations to get the very cheapest price from these bus companies while having little vigilance for safety,” Branson said. “Trial testimony revealed that a charter bus carrying 50 passengers was guaranteed to generate $15k to $50k for the casino.”

Eight passengers were killed and dozens more were injured when the bus driver lost control on a highway near Laredo and flipped. Read the full story here.

Attorney Frank L. Branson: Choctaw Nation responsible for safety of all passengers on its casino’s charter buses

DALLAS – A Dallas County jury returned a combined $10.9 million verdict against the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma for its role in a deadly 2013 crash of a charter bus that was carrying elderly North Texas residents to the Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant, Oklahoma.

“The Choctaw Nation can’t simply farm out its passengers and other key bus operations without consideration for the safety of its charter bus operators and drivers,” says lead trial lawyer Frank L. Branson. “This jury spoke loud and clear, and hopefully this verdict forces the Choctaw Nation to take the safety of North Texas residents seriously. They are the most precious cargo that the Choctaw Casino carries every single day.”

Jurors deliberated more than four days before awarding a combined $10.9 million verdict on May 2 for the deaths of 83-year-old Alice Stanley and 69-year-old Paula Hahn. The Law Offices of Frank L. Branson represented the estate and surviving children of Ms. Stanley, who was hospitalized for 10 days before dying from her injuries, which included a traumatically amputated arm and numerous broken bones sustained when she was partially ejected from the bus. Jurors awarded $4.9 million to the estate and family of Ms. Stanley and $6 million to the estate and family of Ms. Hahn, who was represented separately by Spencer Browne of Reyes Browne Reilley.

The Choctaw Nation offered to settle the Stanley lawsuit for $50,000 before trial and aggressively contested its responsibility for the crash, arguing that passenger safety was the sole duty of the charter bus company, Cardinal Coach Lines, and its driver. To reach their verdict, jurors made a key finding that the Choctaw Nation retained the right to control the charter bus and its driver and thus bore responsibility for the safety of the casino’s passengers on the charter bus. In addition to Mr. Branson, the Branson trial team included Chip Brooker and Debbie Dudley Branson.

The crash occurred April 11, 2013, before the Cardinal bus had even left the Dallas-Fort Worth area with a group of 45 senior citizens on a day trip to the casino. According to trial testimony, a woman who organized the trip on behalf of the Choctaw Nation did not ensure that basic safety measures were followed inside the bus. Witnesses also testified that bus driver Loyd Rieve was distracted immediately before the bus veered into guard barrels on northbound George Bush Turnpike in Irving, swerved across multiple lanes, hit a concrete barrier and flipped over. All told, three passengers were killed and dozens more were injured.

The Law Offices of Frank L. Branson maintains a reputation for courtroom excellence based on significant verdicts and settlements for clients in high-stakes litigation and business disputes. The firm’s record verdicts and recoveries stem from cases involving trucking and transportation injuries, dangerous and defective products, construction accidents, commercial plane crashes, explosions and burns caused by gas and electric power utilities, medical negligence, workplace catastrophes and business disputes.

DALLAS – The Law Offices of Frank L. Branson in Dallas is pleased to announce that firm founder Frank L. Branson again has been named one of the state’s Top 10 attorneys by fellow lawyers and the publishers of Texas Super Lawyers. Firm attorneys Debbie Dudley Branson and Chip Brooker also earned selection to the 2015 listing of the state’s top attorneys. All three were named to the exclusive list based on their work in plaintiffs’ personal injury cases.

Mr. Branson has been named to the Texas Top 10 for nine years running, including being named among the Top 3 on multiple occasions, and has been listed among the Top 100 every year since Texas Super Lawyers was first published in 2003.

Ms. Branson earned her eighth Super Lawyers honor, and Mr. Brooker is recognized for the first time in 2015. He previously earned multiple selections to the companion Texas Rising Stars list of the state’s top young lawyers.

The annual Texas Super Lawyers list is based on nominations solicited from more than 70,000 practicing Texas lawyers. A blue-ribbon attorney panel assists with final selections, and no more than 5 percent of all Texas lawyers earn the honor each year. This year’s list appears in the October editions of Texas Monthly and Texas Super Lawyers magazines, and online at http://www.superlawyers.com.

The Law Offices of Frank L. Branson maintains a reputation for courtroom excellence based on significant verdicts and settlements for clients in high-stakes personal injury cases and business disputes. The firm’s significant verdicts and recoveries stem from cases involving trucking and transportation injuries, product liability, construction accidents, commercial plane crashes, explosions and burns caused by gas and electric power utilities, medical negligence, workplace catastrophes, sports facilities, amusement parks, professional negligence and business torts. Visit http://www.flbranson.com to learn more.

DALLAS – Noted trial lawyers Frank L. Branson, Debbie Dudley Branson and Thomas J. Farmer of The Law Offices of Frank L. Branson in Dallas have earned selection among the nation’s top lawyers in multiple practice areas in the 2016 edition of The Best Lawyers in America, the widely respected and oldest peer-review listing in the legal profession.

Recognized annually by Best Lawyers in America since 1987, Mr. Branson is honored in the 2016 edition based on his expertise in Personal Injury Litigation, Product Liability Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Professional Malpractice Law and Medical Malpractice Law.

Ms. Branson has earned Best Lawyers honors for the past five years and is recognized in the current edition for her work in Commercial Litigation and Personal Injury Litigation. Mr. Farmer returns to the Best Lawyers list for the second year based on his advocacy on behalf of plaintiffs in Commercial Litigation and Personal Injury Litigation.

Selection to Best Lawyers is based on nominations by other lawyers, peer review by those in the same practice area, and an analysis and review by the publication’s editors.

In addition to the Best Lawyers honors, the attorneys at The Law Offices of Frank L. Branson have earned some of the top accolades in the legal profession based on courtroom excellence and the firm’s work to uphold the profession’s highest standards. Mr. Branson was again named among the Top 10 lawyers in Texas by Texas Super Lawyers and among the “Elite Trial Lawyers” in the U.S. by The National Law Journal, among many additional honors. He is a recent Texas Verdicts Hall of Fame honoree based on standout verdicts for personal injury and business litigation.

The Law Offices of Frank L. Branson maintains a reputation for courtroom excellence based on significant verdicts and settlements for clients in high-stakes personal injury cases and business disputes. The firm’s significant verdicts and recoveries stem from cases involving trucking and transportation injuries, product liability, construction accidents, commercial plane crashes, explosions and burns caused by gas and electric power utilities, medical negligence, workplace catastrophes, sports facilities, amusement parks, professional negligence and business torts. Visit http://www.flbranson.com to learn more.

Partners in Cline Shale lease acquisitions deceived, defrauded partnership 

ROBY, Texas – A West Texas jury has awarded more than $43 million to a group of oil and gas investors after finding that their business partners had breached fiduciary duties by crediting themselves for financial contributions they never made and by excluding the investors from a lease acquisition project after it became apparent that the project would be tremendously successful.

Dallas attorneys Frank L. Branson, Eric T. Stahl and Debbie Branson of The Law Offices of Frank L. Branson represented one of the investor groups, consisting of Dallas-based Tiburon Land and Cattle LP and Trek Resources Inc. on behalf of the Three Finger/Black Shale Prospect Partnership. The Fisher County trial was heard in 32nd District Court in Roby.

“In Fisher County a deal is a deal,” says Mr. Branson. “It was very clear to the jurors that the defendants did not honor their word and took opportunities that did not belong to them, and that’s a very serious matter in West Texas.”

Although the plaintiffs shared in the first 30,000 acres of leases acquired in the project, they presented evidence that they were excluded from an additional 16,000 acres of leases that were acquired by Abilene oil man Thomas J. Taylor and his co-defendants, Chester Carroll and attorney Kerwin Stephens. The Plaintiffs argued that the defendants created a second set of books to disguise profits and make it look as though the partnership’s contributions were their own.

The case is Tiburon Land and Cattle LP and Trek Resources on behalf of the Three Finger/Black Shale Prospect Partnership v. Sarah Kate Jones, as Independent Executrix of the Estate of Thomas J. Taylor, deceased, et al., No. DC-2013-0016.

The $43.1 million verdict included $24 million in actual damages and $19 million in exemplary damages. The total verdict amount was strengthened based on a finding that the fiduciary breaches constituted “theft.”

The Law Offices of Frank L. Branson maintains a reputation for courtroom excellence based on significant verdicts and settlements for clients in high-stakes litigation and business disputes. The firm’s record verdicts and recoveries stem from cases involving trucking and transportation injuries, dangerous and defective products, construction accidents, commercial plane crashes, explosions and burns caused by gas and electric power utilities, medical negligence, workplace catastrophes and business disputes.