Claiming the evidence doesn’t support a $1.29 million jury verdict against it, DLA Piper asked a Travis County district court to disregard jury findings and issue judgment in favor of the firm, order a new trial or reduce the damages to $587,145.
In its April 27 Defendant’s Motions for JNOV, New Trial, and, Alternatively, For Suggestion of Remittitur, DLA Piper claims, among other things, that expert testimony at trial for the plaintiff about attorney disciplinary rules “fatally prejudiced the jury verdict.”
A jury in the 345th District Court returned the verdict on Feb. 23 after finding, among other things, that the firm was negligent in failing to advise Linegar, an Australian businessman, that it didn’t represent him in a transaction in which he loaned money to an Austin-based company, IdentiPHI Inc., in which he was a major shareholder.
DLA Piper’s lawyer, Fields Alexander, a partner in Beck, Redden & Secrest in Houston, and Linegar co-counsel Jeffrey Taylor, an associate with The Akin Law Firm’s Austin office, decline comment.
DLA Piper argues in its April 27 motion in Chris Linegar v. DLA Piper LLP (US)that Linegar lacked personal standing to sue because the damage, if any, affected Zaychan PTY Ltd., which is Linegar’s “majority-owned retirement-fund trustee.” Zaychan, not Linegar, loaned the money to IdentiPHI, says the motion.
DLA Piper also alleges there wasn’t evidence to support the jury’s findings on Linegar’s claims for malpractice, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud by nondisclosure, negligent misrepresentation and duty-to-warn. Alternatively, DLA Piper argues the damages shouldn’t exceed the balance that remained after IdentiPHI paid creditors and costs in bankruptcy.
-- Angela Morris