Matthew Minnis and Cullen 130 LLC v. Citrin Holdings LLC and Jacob Citrin, Case No. 2006-78939
After a three-week jury trial, we obtained a unanimous jury verdict in favor of our clients Matthew Minnis and Cullen 130 L.L.C. against Jacob Citrin and Citrin Holdings L.L.C. in a suit involving the breakup of their partnership to develop and own air and sea cargo facilities across the United States. The jury awarded our clients more than $29 million in actual damages and $14 million in punitive damages. The parties will be trying the issue of attorneys' fees to the Court in the near future. In March of 2007, Mr. Citrin dissolved the limited liability companies formed pursuant to his partnership with Mr. Minnis, but did not liquidate or distribute any of the assets or proceeds to Mr. Minnis or Cullen 130. Defendants denied the existence of any partnership and all other claims. The jury found for our clients on all claims, including the existence of the partnership, and found the defendants liable for fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, breach of partnership agreement, conspiracy, aiding and abetting and malice.
Defendants originally sought to avoid trial by filing a parallel suit in Delaware Chancery Court and asking the Delaware Court to prohibit our case from going forward. After our firm engaged in extended briefing and argument before the Chancery Court, Vice Chancellor Noble ruled that the Delaware case should be stayed and that our jury suit in Texas should go forward.
Defendants then sought to avoid trial by asserting that there was no personal jurisdiction over the Defendants in Texas. The trial court found jurisdiction and denied the defendants' special appearances. Defendants then pursued an interlocutory appeal of the jurisdictional ruling that we argued in August of 2009. The Court of Appeals upheld the trial court's ruling in our favor in December 2009; Citrin Holdings LLC v. Minnis, 305 S.W.3d 269 (Tex. App. – Houston [14th Dist.] 2009, no pet.)
Read the Verdict (PDF)