Dallas-based law firm Kennedy Law, P.C. announced that it won a final judgment for $6.5 million for Commerce Street Capital against First United Bank & Trust Company and Durant Bank Corp. for breaching an investment banking agreement. The final judgment, entered by Judge Martin J. Hoffman on February 22, 2019, follows a unanimous jury verdict handed-down on October 22, 2018. The Dallas jury found that First United and Durant Bank Corp. failed to comply with a contract for investment banking services relating to a $450 million transaction where Durant Bank Corp. acquired American Bank of Texas in 2016.
Greg Massey, CEO of First United and Durant Bank Corp., testified live at trial that Commerce Street Capital was not owed a fee for any investment banking services performed. Lacy Harber, the former owner of American Bank of Texas, also testified at trial through a deposition claiming that no fee was owed. Both Greg Massey and Lacy Harber pointed to Dallas lawyer Phil Whitcomb of Munsch Hardt, who advised American Bank on the deal, and gave them the legal opinion that Commerce Street was not owed a fee.
The jury disagreed, however, and ordered that Greg Masseys company pay Commerce Street $4,600,000 in actual damages and $1,000,000 in compensatory damages. Judge Hoffman, in his final judgment entered on February 22, 2019, tacked-on an additional $975,000 to compensate Commerce Street attorneys fees and prejudgment interest. The $6.5 Million judgment follows a multi-million dollar employee lawsuit against Lacy Harber in December of 2016 stemming from the same transaction with First United Bank & Trust Company and its affiliated holding company Durant Bank Corp. Harber settled that suit on undisclosed terms.
Commerce Street Capital was represented by veteran Dallas trial attorney Stephen A. Kennedy of Kennedy Law, P.C. We made a clear argument to the jury that First United Bank &Trust and Durant Bank Corp breached the agreement with my client. The jury agreed, and were pleased with the result, said Mr. Kennedy. He expects the defendants to appeal.
Case Number: DC-16-14703 Texas 68th Judicial District, Dallas County
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Kennedy Law, P.C. is a business litigation boutique with nearly 32 years experience in trying business cases in Texas and throughout the United States. Kennedy Law represents prominent clients in business litigation and intellectual property disputes.