Jim Walker and Ben Wallen secured a major victory for their clients Acius Group, LP and Survivor Outreach Services, LLC in their pursuit of corporate fraud, embezzlement, and related claims against their former CFO and his wife. On Friday, September 13, 2019, the Texas Court of Appeals for the Fifth District at Dallas affirmed a trial court’s denial of a Texas Citizens Participation Act (TCPA) Motion to Dismiss filed in response to the corporate fraud and related claims brought against the former CFO. In affirming the denial of the TCPA motion to dismiss, the Dallas Court of Appeals found the doctrine of quasi estoppel to be a distinct basis on which the trial court could have denied the TCPA Motion to Dismiss filed by former CFO, separate and apart from contesting the applicability of the TCPA to the claims. In so ruling, the Dallas Court of Appeals continued its recent trend of reigning in and otherwise limiting the scope of the TCPA so as to not apply to meritorious claims.
The Court of Appeals also denied an attempt by the CFO’s spouse to dismiss defamation claims filed against her by improperly alleging that the TCPA applied to her right of association and free speech in making certain defaming statements. Although the majority opinion determined that the TCPA did apply to some additional defaming statements made by the CFO’s spouse, one justice wrote separately to dissent as to this determination.
As the law continues to evolve on these matters, please note that this article is current as of date and time of publication and may not reflect subsequent developments. The content and interpretation of the issues addressed herein is subject to change. Cole Schotz P.C. disclaims any and all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this publication to the fullest extent permitted by law. This is for general informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Do not act or refrain from acting upon the information contained in this publication without obtaining legal, financial and tax advice. For further information, please do not hesitate to reach out to your firm contact or to any of the attorneys listed in this publication.
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