HO&P victorious on appeal in defense of theft of trade secrets case

by Jim Orr

Heygood, Orr & Pearson recently received notice of their success on appeal in their defense of a client in a theft of trade secrets case. The client is a company involved in the sale of investments known as life settlements.

A life settlement is where a person buys the life insurance policy on the life of another for investment purposes. After purchase, the investor pays the premium on the policy and collects the death benefit upon the passing of the insured under the policy. Another life settlement company sued this client alleging that they had stolen their trade secrets, including forms used in connection with selling the life settlement investments. The client was represented at trial by a very large Dallas firm, and the jury found against the client and rendered a large verdict in the plaintiff’s favor.

After the verdict, the client switched horses and retained Heygood, Orr & Pearson. Heygood, Orr & Pearson filed a lengthy post verdict motion and brief with the trial court arguing that the jury’s result was erroneous because the evidence showed that the forms at issue did not contain anything that was a “secret” in the industry. Heygood, Orr & Pearson also argued that the evidence did not support the jury’s findings related to lost profits. The trial court agreed and entered a judgment in favor of Heygood, Orr & Pearson’s client, despite the jury’s verdict.

The plaintiff then pursued an appeal of the trial court’s decision arguing that the judge should have entered a judgment against Heygood, Orr & Pearson’s client per the jury’s verdict. Heygood, Orr & Pearson successfully defended against that appeal at the Dallas Court of Appeals, wherein the Court of Appeals found there was insufficient evidence of any damages linked to the alleged use of the plaintiff’s trade secrets.

The plaintiff then sought rehearing which was granted, but after extensive further briefing, the Court of Appeals again affirmed the JNOV in favor of Heygood, Orr & Pearson’s client. The plaintiff then filed a petition for review with the Texas Supreme Court, which was ultimately denied at the urging of Heygood, Orr & Pearson on behalf of their client.

Commercial Litigation Claims Filed by Heygood, Orr & Pearson

The law firm of Heygood, Orr & Pearson has handled hundreds of commercial litigation claims, including cases involving life settlements investments and intellectual property matters. Our attorneys have filed lawsuits on behalf of businesses of all sizes, ranging from small, local businesses to some of the largest multinational corporations in the world.

If you or your company requires legal representation, contact Heygood, Orr & Pearson for a free legal consultation. You can reach our attorneys by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by following the link to our free case evaluation form and answering a few simple questions about your case to get started.