Dallas, Texas – Shamoun & Norman LLP led the defense team that obtained a complete defense verdict after seven years of litigation and a three-week jury trial in a $180-million lawsuit on May 20, 2021, in Clapper, et al. v. American Realty Investors, Inc., et al., No. 3:14-CV-2970-X (N.D. Tex., Starr, J.).
Lead Counsels Gregory Shamoun and Brian Norman of Shamoun & Norman LLP (“S&N”); Stephen Khoury of Kelsoe, Khoury, Rogers, & Clark, P.C. (“KKRC”); and Don Swaim of Cunningham Swaim LLP defended the late Gene Phillips, American Realty Investors (NYSE: ARL), and its subsidiaries against claims of fraudulent transfers and alter egos.
With the help of attorneys Blair Norris, Kayla Wells, Sarah Carattini, and Blake Glatstein of S&N and Ryan Seay of KKRC, the defense scored a huge victory when the jury needed less than five hours to deliberate to find no liability on any claim.
Gene Phillips, ARL, and its subsidiaries were accused by Plaintiffs David Clapper and his Atlantic Midwest companies of a variety of wrongdoings in 2014. Clapper accused ARL’s subsidiary American Realty Trust (ART) of fraudulent transfers in 2010, 2011, and 2014 to ARL and ARL’s subsidiary EQK Holdings to avoid Clapper’s 2016 $63-million final judgment against ART in ART Midwest, Inc. v. Clapper, No. 3-99-CV-2355-N (N.D. Tex., Godbey, J.). Clapper also accused Phillips of being the alter ego of ARL and ARL the alter ego of its subsidiaries.
The unanimous jury found in favor of the estate of Gene Phillips, ARL, and its subsidiaries on all counts. The jury delivered a zero-dollar verdict. The jury determined that none of the transfers were fraudulent and no party was an alter ego of another. This win is especially notable because it vindicates Phillips’s estate and ARL from ART Midwest, Inc. v. Clapper that started in 1999—the culmination of 22 years of litigation.