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Verdict Won by Law Offices of Frank L. Branson Among Year’s Largest in Texas

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.

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