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Texas Fiduciary Duty Law
Elma Garza Gonzalez v. Norma Garza Martinez, Ricardo Garza Gonzalez, Albino Garza Gonzalez, Hugo Garza Gonzalez, Danny Garza Gonzalez, Yesenia Quijana, Julio Cesar Garza Gonzalez and Raul Garza

Appellant Elma Garza Gonzalez was sued by her eight siblings for fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and conversion in connection with the disposition of their
late father’s assets. The trial court granted summary judgment against Elma,
awarding damages to her siblings and declaring void a gift of real property.
On appeal, Elma raises two issues, arguing that the court lacked subjec... More...
   $0 (05-23-2017 - TX)

Joan Johnson, Kaleta Johnson, Seth Johnson and Wirt Blaffer v. Michael Phillips, Spindle Top Publishing, and Phillips Akers Womac, P.C.

After siblings Kaleta and Seth Johnson sued Dinesh Shah for Shah’s protracted abuse of their family, Michael Phillips, a Houston attorney, defended Shah against the allegations in a 2008 civil trial. Phillips later published a book,
titled “Monster in River Oaks,” about the events giving rise to the suit. According to its prologue, the book tells the “story of a predatory monster that set out ... More...
   $0 (05-23-2017 - TX)

Derek Thomas Baldit v. The State of Texas

Court of Appeals First District

In January 2015, Laurita Elvir, the complainant, and appellant had been dating
for approximately two years, and they were engaged. Elvir and her daughter, D.G.,
who was five years old at the time, lived with appellant in a house in Katy, Texas.
On January 27, 2015, Elvir and appellant began arguing while he was getting
dressed in an upstairs bedroom. Appellant walked downstai... More...
   $0 (05-21-2017 - TX)

Marcell Lamont Kennedy v. The State of Texas

Court of Appeals First District

In the early morning of November 12, 2014, Trevonta Rusher pointed a gun
at two people. He took their phones and the wallet of one of the complainants. Based
on a description of the car in which Rusher fled, the police found the car and detained
Rusher and Appellant, the driver of the car. The police found two phones and some
money in Appellant’s pockets. The phones belonge... More...
   $0 (05-19-2017 - TX)

Susan Ashton v. Koonsfuller, P.C.

Susan Ashton appeals the trial court’s partial no-evidence summary judgment granted in favor of KoonsFuller, P.C. In two issues, Ashton argues the trial court erred by granting summary judgment on her claims for breach of fiduciary duty and fraud. We affirm the trial court’s judgment.
KoonsFuller represented Ashton during her divorce from Ivan Ashton, but withdrew from t... More...
   $0 (05-15-2017 - TX)

Johnson Kidz, Inc. v. Vertex Community Bank, N.A.

Appellant Johnson Kidz, Inc. (“Kidz”), the tenant of commercial property owned by
appellee Veritex Community Bank, N.A. (“Veritex”), sued Veritex after the property became
uninhabitable due to vandalism. Veritex answered asserting various affirmative defenses and
conditionally counter sued Kidz for breach of contract and Kidz’s owner, Nelson Johnson, for
breach of a guaranty agreem... More...
   $0 (05-15-2017 - TX)

Karra Trichele Allen v. The State of Texas

We review alleged jury-charge error in two steps: first, we determine whether
error exists; if so, we then evaluate whether sufficient harm resulted from the error to require
reversal. See Price v. State, 457 S.W.3d 437, 440 (Tex. Crim. App. 2015) (citing Almanza v. State,
686 S.W.2d 157, 171 (Tex. Crim. App. 1985) (op. on reh’g)); Ngo v. State, 175 S.W.3d 738, 743
(Tex. Crim. App... More...
   $0 (05-05-2017 - TX)


In January 2015, Laurita Elvir, the complainant, and appellant had been dating
for approximately two years, and they were engaged. Elvir and her daughter, D.G.,
who was five years old at the time, lived with appellant in a house in Katy, Texas.
On January 27, 2015, Elvir and appellant began arguing while he was getting
dressed in an upstairs bedroom. Appellant walked downstai... More...
   $0 (05-04-2017 - TX)


Court of Appeals Sixth Appellate District of Texas at Texarkana

After a jury heard evidence that John Robert Phelps engaged in sexual intercourse with his
nineteen-year-old biological daughter, they convicted him of prohibited sexual conduct.1 In
accordance with the jury’s verdict, the trial court sentenced Phelps to twenty years’ imprisonment,
ordered him to pay a $10,000.00 fine, and also ordered him to pay $400.00 for his court-appointed More...
   $0 (04-27-2017 - TX)


Sex Offender

Vanessa Denise Thomas appeals her conviction, following the adjudication of her guilt,
for aggravated sexual assault of a child younger than fourteen years. The trial court assessed
punishment at thirteen years’ imprisonment. On appeal, appellant’s attorney filed a brief in
which he concludes the appeal is wholly frivolous and without merit. The brief meets the
requirements ... More...
   $0 (04-27-2017 - TX)


Court of Appeals Fifth District of Texas at Dallas

A jury convicted Montrance Tyrone Roberson of aggravated robbery and assessed
punishment at eighty years in prison. On appeal, appellant brings two issues: (1) the trial court
erred by failing to sua sponte instruct the jury at punishment on temporary insanity due to
intoxication and (2) the judgment should be modified to accurately reflect defense counsel’s
name. We overrul... More...
   $0 (04-27-2017 - TX)


Court of Appeals Fifth District of Texas at Dallas

Dean was indicted for sexual assault of a child younger than seventeen years of age. See
TEX. PENAL CODE ANN. § 22.011(a)(2), (c)(1) (West 2011). After Dean was indicted, the State
filed a special plea of enhancement, alleging that Dean had a prior conviction. On the first day
of trial, before voir dire, the State filed an amended special plea of enhancement, alleging an
add... More...
   $0 (04-26-2017 - TX)

Zachary Fennessey-Underwood

Local Man Convicted and Sentenced for Human Trafficking and Compelling Prostitution of a Minor

Fennessey-Underwood filed two pretrial motions for continuance and a motion for
new trial, contending that the State delayed in disclosing certain evidence to him, including
information in the victim’s juvenile records, the contents of Fennessey-Underwood’s computer, and
statements from a witness, A.M. The court denied the motions for continuance and the motion for
new trial. Thi... More...
   $0 (04-26-2017 - TX)

Margaret Kinsley, Individually and on behalf of Laddie Frances Kinsley, deceased v. Cartwright's Ranch House, LLC and John Clayton Cartwright

Denton County Texas Courthouse

Appellee John Clayton Cartwright owns and operates Appellee Cartwright’s Ranch House, LLC, (CRH) a restaurant in Denton, Texas. One
1See Tex. R. App. P. 47.4.
morning, after Margaret and Laddie Kinsley ate breakfast together at CRH, as Laddie negotiated his walker off the curb in front of CRH and into the parking lot on the passenger-side of the couple’s vehicle, he fell. He was take... More...
   $0 (04-06-2017 - TX)

Richard Vargas v. The State of Texas

Around midnight on a Friday morning, Vargas called his ex-girlfriend Carmen and asked
her to visit him at his brother’s apartment in Cameron, Texas. After Carmen arrived, she saw
Vargas with plastic bags and believed he was selling marijuana and cocaine. Carmen became upset,
and Vargas asked her to leave, but she refused. Vargas pushed and shoved Carmen, and she shoved
him back... More...
   $0 (04-19-2017 - TX)

Ali R. Alavian v. The State of Texas

Massage Therapist Gets Max 10 Years For Attempted Sexual Assault During Massage

Austin was charged by indictment with the third-degree felony offense of family-violence
assault, enhanced by a previous family-violence assault conviction. TEX. PENAL CODE ANN.
§ 22.01(b)(2)(A) (West Supp. 2016). Pursuant to a plea agreement, Austin pleaded guilty to the
offense and “true” to the enhancement paragraph contained in the indictment. The trial court
sentenced A... More...
   $0 (04-12-2017 - TX)

Michael Edward Osborne v. The State of Texas

Appellant Michael Edward Osborne was charged with evading arrest or detention
while using a vehicle, a third-degree felony. See Tex. Penal Code § 38.04(a), (b)(2)(A). The State
gave notice of two enhancement paragraphs, one alleging that Osborne used a deadly weapon in the
commission of the offense and the other alleging that he had previously been convicted of a felony.
The enha... More...
   $0 (04-11-2017 - TX)

Trenton Avery Ashton v. The State of Texas

Sex Offender

In 2013, J.W. began babysitting seven-year old J.S. at J.W.’s home four nights
a week while the boy’s mother worked the night shift. J.W. shared her home with
her husband and nephew, as well as her son, appellant.
J.S.’s mother, the outcry witness, testified that, on November 18, 2013, J.S.
told her that appellant “stuck his wee-wee in my butt” and “white stuff came out.”
... More...
   $0 (04-11-2017 - TX)

Juan Sergio Carreon Toledo v. The State of Texas

Former Cy-Fair ISD soccer coach pleads guilty to sex charges

From the summer of 2014 until his arrest, Carreon worked as the girls’ varsity
soccer coach at a high school in Harris County, Texas. That fall, Carreon began
texting with a 17-year-old student who was a high school senior on the soccer team
“in a flirty way.” Their communications led to clandestine hotel encounters and an
intimate sexual relationship. Carreon and the studen... More...
   $0 (04-11-2017 - TX)

Jay Gannaway and Stephanie Gannaway, Individually and as Next Friends of B.D.G., a Minor Child v. Pedro Nelson Chavez, M.D., and Covenant Medical Group

Appellants, Jay and Stephanie Gannaway, individually and as next friends of B.D.G., a minor child, appeal the trial court’s grant of the no-evidence summary judgment motion of appellees, Pedro Nelson Chavez, M.D., and Covenant Medical Group. The Gannaways had sued Chavez and Covenant for negligence or medical malpractice. Chavez and Covenant joined issue and eventually filed a no-evidence motion f... More...   $0 (04-07-2017 - TX)

Jerry C. Johnson and Jacob Johnson v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company

This appeal arises from a suit brought by Jerry C. Johnson seeking declarations
construing the terms of two insurance policies following an automobile accident in which Jerry’s
son, Jacob, a minor at the time, was injured while Jerry was driving.1 See Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem.
Code §§ 37.001–.011. Jerry sued State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, which had
issued Jerry an aut... More...
   $0 (04-06-2017 - TX)

Laquanda Antrones Matthews v. The State of Texas

On August 5, 2011, Officer E. Cisneros, a peace officer with the Texas City
Police Department, was working the front desk at the police station when he heard
a commotion. Someone later notified him that a woman with outstanding
municipal warrants was trying to leave the front lobby. Officer Cisneros, who was
wearing his uniform, testified that he went into the lobby and follo... More...
   $0 (04-04-2017 - TX)

Mervin Richard Haye v. The State of Texas

During the early morning hours of January 31, 2014, a dispute arose between
appellant and the complainant, David Harriott, at a Jamaican dance hall in Houston,
Texas. Less than an hour later, Harriott was shot dead in the hall’s parking lot.
Andrea Herron, Gillian Bartley, and George Gordon were present when the shooting
occurred and testified at appellant’s trial.1
Herron... More...
   $0 (04-04-2017 - TX)

Vernon Earl Brooks v. The State of Texas

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Appellant and Sergio Saldana, the complainant, had crossed paths at least
once before Saldana’s murder on September 25, 2012. Saldana’s friend Richard
Deviller t... More...   $0 (03-30-2017 - TX)

Bruce Hitt v. Frank Zarauskas d/b/a Boondocks Bar & Grill

This is an appeal from an order denying a motion for new trial following a post-answer
default judgment. Because the defendant presented uncontroverted proof entitling him to relief, we
must reverse.
Appellant Bruce Hitt is a real-estate broker and investor who, at relevant times,
owned a San Angelo restaurant then known as the “Stillwater Bar & Grill.”1 In 2013, Hit... More...
   $0 (03-29-2017 - TX)

Jane Doe v. Columbia North Hills Hospital Subsidiary, L.P., Columbia North Texas Subsidiary GP, LLC, and HCA Health Services of Texas, Inc.

A court cannot compel arbitration in the absence of a valid arbitration
agreement, and a valid arbitration agreement cannot exist in the absence of
employee notice and acceptance. In re Dallas Peterbilt, Ltd., L.L.P., 196 S.W.3d
161, 162 (Tex. 2006); In re AdvancePCS Health L.P., 172 S.W.3d 603, 605 (Tex.
2005). In this appeal from a final judgment confirming an arbitr... More...
   $0 (03-23-2017 - TX)

Memorial Hermann Health System v. Samia Khalil, M.D.

After 40 years of employment at Memorial Hermann hospital, Dr. Samia
Khalil sued Memorial Hermann Health System for defamation, tortious
interference with an existing contract, conspiracy, and intentional infliction of
emotional distress. Khalil, age 77, also sued for age discrimination. Memorial

Hermann sought to dismiss several of her claims under summary dismiss... More...
   $0 (03-29-2017 - TX)

Brian Cloninger v. The State of Texas

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Eight-year-old D.J. testified late one afternoon, he noticed a truck he had never seen
before in the parking lot of his apartment building. Cloninger was standing at ... More...   $0 (03-23-2017 - TX)

Jose Flores FRANCO v. The STATE of Texas

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The State requested an interpreter for one of its witnesses who primarily spoke Spanish.
The tria... More...
   $0 (03-21-2017 - TX)

David Wayne Smith v. The State of Texas

A grand jury indicted appellant for committing assault. The indictment
alleged that he had a romantic or dating relationship with the victim, that he had
been previously convicted of assault against a member of his family or
household, and that he had been previously convicted of two felony offenses.
Pursuant to a plea bargain agreement, appellant pled guilty, and the trial c... More...
   $0 (03-21-2017 - TX)

Ex parte Elida Uribe

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Lewisville police arrested Uribe, a Mexican citizen, on March 31, 2009,
alleging that she had beat... More...
   $0 (03-16-2017 - TX)

Sergey Efremov v. Geosteering, L.L.C.

Plaintiff/appellee GeoSteering LLC sued defendant/appellant Sergey Efremov seeking a temporary restraining order, a temporary injunction, a permanent injunction, and damages. The trial court entered a temporary injunction in GeoSteering’s favor, and Efremov brought this interlocutory appeal.
The service of “geosteering” involves monitoring drilling operations using real-ti... More...
   $0 (03-15-2017 - TX)

In the Matter of: Lisa Ann Galaz

Appellants Raul Galaz (“Raul”) and Segundo Suenos, LLC1 appeal the
district court’s judgment awarding actual and exemplary damages to debtor
Lisa Ann Katona, formerly known as Lisa Galaz (“Lisa”). We AFFIRM the
judgment of the district court.
1 “Segundo Suenos” was likely formed with the intention of reading “Segundo Sueños,”
which is Spanish for “Second Dreams.” This opinion w... More...
   $0 (03-13-2017 - TX)

Christopher Richmond v. The State of Texas

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Officers J. Sneed and D. Morelli were on patrol at 1:00 a.m. on August 7,
2015. They were investigating a club... More...
   $0 (03-12-2017 - TX)

Emanuel D. Hayes v. The State of Texas

On November 6, 2013, six young people—appellant, Darion Amos,
“Marcus,” “Zae,” and two girls—knocked on the door of 78-year-old Richard
Chandler, forced their way into his apartment when Chandler opened the door, and
stole several items, including a computer tablet, keys to a truck, and a gold ring
that Mr. Chandler usually wore.
During the home invasion, Chandler was kn... More...
   $0 (03-11-2017 - TX)

Linda Ann Parrish Richardson and Gary Bruce Richardson, co-trustees of the M.C. Parrish, Jr. Testamentary Trust, et al. v. Donald Roger Mills, et al

The heirs, devisees, and assigns of Robert Lindsay and June C. Harris1 (Appellants) filed a motion for rehearing. We grant the motion, withdraw our December 30, 2016 opinion and judgment, and substitute the following opinion and a corresponding judgment in their place.
This suit involved the construction of a 1906 instrument pertaining to the minerals under certain property and a 1908 release.... More...
   $0 (02-08-2017 - TX)

Harvey Harwell v. Bell Investment Corporation

Harvey Harwell appeals the trial court’s order granting a directed verdict and final judgment that Harwell take nothing in his suit against Bell Investment Corporation. Because the trial court erred in granting Bell’s motion for directed verdict, the trial court’s order and judgment is reversed, and this case is remanded to the trial court for further proceedings.
Harwell v. Bell Investment Co... More...
   $0 (03-09-2017 - TX)

State Farm Lloyds v. Dennis Webb

State Farm Lloyds (“State Farm”) appeals the trial court’s judgment in favor
of Dennis Webb following a jury trial. In five appellate issues, State Farm challenges
the legal and factual sufficiency of the evidence supporting the jury’s bad faith
findings and award of extra-contractual damages, as well as the trial court’s
admission of expert testimony, exclusion of evidence, refusa... More...
   $0 (03-09-2017 - TX)

Nemoria Coria v. Christopher Jide Ogidan and Moses Gbolabo

Appellant Nemoria Coria purchased a home from appellees Christopher Jide Ogidan and
Moses Gbolabo. She later sued appellees for breach of contract and DTPA violations. The trial
court entered a take-nothing judgment in favor of appellees. In four issues, appellant argues the
trial court erred by (1) entering a take nothing judgment when the undisputed evidence
established appellees... More...
   $0 (02-28-2017 - TX)

Josephine Douglas-Peters v. Cho, Choe & Holden, P.C.

Josephine Douglas-Peters1 appeals the trial court’s final judgment in favor of Forest Law, P.C. d/b/a Cho, Choe & Holen, P.C.,2 as assignee of Choe, Holen, Yoo & Burchfiel, P.C.,3 on its claim against Douglas-Peters for breach of a legal representation retainer agreement and awarding it $90,453.21 in damages. Douglas-Peters raises four issues on appeal, arguing: (1) the evidence is legally and fac... More...   $0 (03-03-2017 - TX)

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