H. H. Hudgins v. David Nathan Hudgins, In the 223rd District Court, Gray County, Texas; Case No. 21634
This case was a five-day jury trial over the validity of a potential fifty (50) year lease on a 5,000 acre ranch in Gray County. We represented David Hudgins against unrelated parties with the same last name. The original contract, handwritten on the back of an envelope, was made in conjunction with the purchase of a cow herd that David bought from H. H. Hudgins. As amazing as it may seem, there were several “fine print” type provisions on the envelope, including a provision that had to do with whether steer could be grazed on the ranch. After a period of some months in which the parties seemed happy with each other and the envelope, controversy arose over the type of cattle that would be allowed on the ranch. At that point, the controversy escalated into a bitter, extended lawsuit over the validity of the envelope contract. The jury returned a verdict that both sides interpreted as being in their favor. Subsequently, Ross Buzzard, attorney for H. H. Hudgins, persuaded the Court to enter judgment for his client. Thereafter, the case was appealed by other counsel.
Burns & Parks Painting Company et al. v. Bank One, In the 106th District Court of Dallas County, Texas; Case No. 91-487-H
This was a case against a bank based on the bank’s failure to protect our clients from the embezzlement of over $600,000 from their account by an employee who was using her credentials with the bank to make wrongful withdrawals. With co-counsel Philip Russ, we tried this case to a jury for six days with the jury reaching verdict in favor of our client, Burns & Parks. In post-verdict rulings, the Court took away the verdict in our favor and that ruling was sustained on appeal to the Dallas Court of Appeals.
Vilas Hysinger, Helen Hysinger Slack, and Claude L. Slack v. Wall & Sons Drilling, Inc., In the 222nd District Court of Deaf Smith County, Texas; Case No. DC-9702
This case, tried to a jury over several days, ended up in a settlement that occurred just as the jury was getting ready to deliberate. We represented Wall & Sons who drilled an irrigation well for Mr. Hysinger. Billy Wall and Hysinger had been good friends. Wall had drilled several irrigation wells for Hysinger. But, Hysinger had died and now his widow was unhappy about this latest well and had filed this lawsuit to recover damages for what she perceived to be its shortcomings. The presentation of the lawsuit went very well for Wall & Sons. As the trial moved toward conclusion, it became clear to everyone that the widow’s perceptions about the well’s defects were misguided. Finally, attorneys for the widow asked if there was any way to resolve this case without it going to the jury. When this “request for mercy” was communicated to Mr. Wall, instead of rejoicing with the rest of us, he taught us a lesson in wisdom and grace. He cut us short and said, “I never wanted to see this woman suffer, and, “I never want a customer to feel that I have taken advantage of them.” Thereupon, he instructed us to make an offer that would allow his old friend’s wife to “save face.” Of course, the check he wrote was far smaller than the amount she had been suing for. But, it was far in excess of what she was going to get from the jury, which was probably nothing. By his actions, he taught a young lawyer that there is a gracious way to demonstrate that you have won a lawsuit.