HMC-Hotel Properties II L.P. v. Keystone-Texas Property Holding Corp.

Led by David M. Gunn, one of the nation’s Top 30 “Appellate Litigation Stars,” according to Benchmark Litigation, our unparalleled appellate expertise was on full display this past June. By a 9-0 vote, the Texas Supreme Court vindicated the Firm's clients in a case involving a property along the San Antonio Riverwalk. (June 13, 2014).

A San Antonio jury had found the clients guilty of slander of title and tortious interference with a contract to sell the property – with actual damages of over $39 million, punitive damages of $7.5 million dollars more, attorney’s fees, and interest.  The trial court rendered judgment for the plaintiff but deleted the punitive damages.  The court of appeals upheld the entire recovery but reinstated the punitive damages.

But the Supreme Court had a different view.  It ruled that the plaintiff had not proven a causal connection between any action by the clients and the loss of the sale of the property.  Thus, the Supreme Court reversed the court of appeals’ judgment and rendered judgment that the plaintiff take nothing.

Beck Redden appellate partner David M. Gunn entered the case after the court of appeals had upheld all the damages.  He and his colleagues Erin H. Huber, Connie H. Pfeiffer, and John S. Adcock worked side-by-side on the briefing with an appellate group from Fort Worth’s Kelly Hart firm, consisting of David E. Keltner, Marianne M. Auld, Matthew D. Stayton, and Mary H. Smith.  Mr. Keltner delivered the opening part of the oral argument in the Supreme Court, and Mr. Gunn delivered the rebuttal.