Areas of Expertise | Law Office of Gregory N. Jones |

Case Studies

Attempted Cut Out of Clients' Ownership Interest

Represented the putative partner in a company operating in the Barnett Shale gas play of North Texas against a large Canadian public company that acquired the operating company and schemed to cut out the clients' ownership interest. The case was filed in Wise County, Texas, and was settled on the eve of trial; the client recovered over $10 million.

Putative Royalty Owners Against Oil and Gas Fraud

Defended a suit by putative royalty owners against an oil and gas operating company for fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of contract related to mineral leases for horizontal drilling rights in the Austin Chalk in Central Texas. After a trial to a jury in Fayette County, Texas, a take nothing judgment was entered in favor of the defendants.

Shareholder Claim Against LTAC Company

Represented plaintiffs in a shareholders' derivative claim against a company providing long term acute (LTAC) medical care, its lender and officers of the LTAC, who were also affiliated with the lender. Plaintiffs were founding shareholders and chief executives of the company, which had grown from zero revenues at start-up, to revenues in excess of $300 million. The case settled and clients recovered over $42 million.

Reverse Merger & An Affair with The Daughter of The Company President

Represented a Vancouver, British Columbia venture capital company that entered into a written reverse merger agreement between a publicly-held company and with a Texas emergency room physician group that utilized telecommunications for remote operations of rural emergency rooms. The client contracted with a national, big-four accounting firm to conduct due diligence for the to-be-formed public company, as required of the CDNX. The accountant assigned to the engagement subsequently began an affair with the daughter of the president of the physicians' group and then convinced the president that he could negotiate a better deal for the group than the pending deal with accountant's client. After suit was filed against the physicians' group and accounting firm, the case was settled on confidential terms at mediation just before trial.

Misappropriated Confidential Proprietary Data

Successfully defended an oil and gas exploration and production company and one of its employees in a suit filed by the employee's former employer related to a claim that the employee misappropriated confidential proprietary data that was downloaded from the employee's laptop computer owned and provided by the employer. The plaintiff alleged the down-loaded information provided the informational basis for a $750 million offer by the defendant to purchase properties identified in the downloaded data. At the hearing for temporary restraining order, the defendants produced to the court a thumb drive on which all of the allegedly misappropriated data had been downloaded, along with a representation that all of the data had been removed from defendants' computers, which the plaintiff could verify by inspections of the computer hard drives by plaintiff's IT expert. The court concluded this was not the usual spoliation case because the employer had specifically asked for the return of its confidential information and for prevention of access to the information by anyone at the new employer. Also, due to delivery of the thumb drive to the court and plaintiff, the deleted information remained in existence and in plaintiff's hands. After the results of the forensic examination were reported, the court denied plaintiff's request for injunctive relief or sanctions because no bad faith had been shown.

Refusal to Distribute Proceeds From the Sale of the Company

Represented a minority shareholder plaintiff in a suit against the controlling shareholder based on the controlling shareholder's refusal to distribute proceeds from the sale of the company. After two appeals to the Texas Supreme Court and eleven years after being filed, the case settled during a jury trial when the controlling shareholder agreed to distribute all of the withheld sales proceeds. The impetus for settlement occurred when the trial court re-administered the oath to the defendant midway through his cross examination after he had been caught repeatedly misrepresenting facts that had been undisputedly established by the companies own books and records, including minutes of directors meetings.

Wage Cuts to Company Ownership

Represented a class of employees against management of a refining company in an ERISA case filed after the plaintiff class had agreed to wage cuts based on management's promise that the company would become an "employee owned" upon acquisition of the company from its previous owners. In fact, only management became owners. The case settled and the class collected over $120 million.

Tax Accounting Malpratice

Represented 10,000 cattle investors in a class action suit against a big-four public accounting firm for tax accounting malpractice. The accounting firm had approved and filed tax returns that claimed over $35 million in deductions for grazing land without any support or proof that the land was actually being used for that purpose. After a trial in which the jury awarded punitive damages, the court entered judgment in favor of the class.

“The diversity of personalities, events and legal principles are what keep civil litigation forever intriguing.”

- gregory n. jones