Fraud

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Devil You Know: Pick Business Partners Wisely and Plan For Problems Ahead

By: Ladd Hirsch (Dallas)

Picking the devil you know in selecting a business partner may seem like a good strategy.  But the list of celebrities who have suffered financially in their dealings with business partners is striking with losses totaling millions of dollars in some cases.  Uma Thurman lost $1 million. Sting lost $9.8 million. Billy Joel lost $90 million.  And celebrities are not the only ones who have suffered negative results because they, like so many people, picked poor business partners.  Fortunately, there are steps that anyone entering into a long-term relationship with a business partner can take to avoid the financial consequences of a disastrous partnership.


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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Dallas Court Overturns Judgment in Favor of Oppressed Minority Shareholder—Are Majority Shareholders Still Accountable for Their Oppressive Conduct?

By Ladd Hirsch

On August 29, 2012, the Dallas Court of Appeals reversed a trial court’s decision that ordered the issuance of an $85 million dividend based on a minority shareholder’s claim of oppression. See ARGO Data Resources Corp., et al. v. Shagrithaya, No. 05-10-00690-CV, 2012 WL 3755748 (Tex. App.—Dallas, Aug. 29, 2012, no pet. h.).  A copy of the court’s opinion is available here.  The one-time dividend in ARGO Data would be split between the majority (53%) and minority (47%) shareholders. The trial court’s judgment was based on the results of a six-week trial where the jury made extensive findings that the majority shareholder had committed fraud, violated his fiduciary duties and improperly withheld dividends. The Dallas Court of Appeals nevertheless held that the minority shareholder was not oppressed primarily because the value of the company increased while the majority shareholder engaged in various improper acts, including the implementation of a secret scheme to phase out the minority shareholder from the company. Id. at *13.


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