» Final Judgment Entered in Texas Partnership Dispute

Final Judgment Entered in Texas Partnership Dispute

Gregory D. Jordan, an experienced Austin business litigation attorney, Austin business attorney and Austin partnership attorney, comments on a judgment in a recent partnership lawsuit.

Dallas District Judge Eric Moyé entered a final judgment on Dec. 31 in a case involving the breakup of the Youngblood & Bendalin partnership. The case was filed by Youngblood & Associates against Ronald M. Bendalin, alleging that he breached a contract and wrongfully withdrew from Youngblood and Bendalin, a partnership that did mortgage work and was the majority owner of a residential mortgage loan and document joint venture with McGlenchey Stafford. The court ordered Bendalin to pay the plaintiff $231,691 in damages and $295,817 in attorney’s, fees in addition to other amounts.

“This case is a perfect example of the problems that can occur when a partnership falls apart. It is almost always important to get good legal advice before you withdraw from a partnership. A mistake can have very serious consequences,” said Austin business attorney Gregory D. Jordan.

In 2009, Youngblood & Associates filed a case against Bendalin for withdrawing wrongfully from the firm. They claimed the withdrawal violated the Texas Revised Partnership Act, reporting that Bendalin withdrew from the firm in late 2008.

Youngblood indicated he was nearing retirement and said that he had agreed to stay on as partner with the Youngblood & Bendalin firm until June 30, 2008. Youngblood alleged that Bendalin had agreed to remain with the partnership until June 20, 2013.

The firm began to suffer greatly in 2007 as a result of the decline in the residential mortgage market. Youngblood said he reversed his plans for retiring as previously planned and extended his stay in order to try and save the firm.

Bendalin allegedly told Youngblood on November 21, 2008, that he would be leaving the partnership to go to Vantium Capital as general counsel for Vantium and that he would be withdrawing from the Youngblood & Bendalin partnership as of December 31, 2008.

Youngblood & Associates claimed that Bendalin began to spend most of his time with Vantium Capital and that he requested to redeem his interests in the partnership for an amount over what was due according to the appropriate redemption formula. The total amount of Bendalin’s interest from the partnership was allegedly in the red on December 31, 2008, and therefore Youngblood & Associates asserted that Bendalin owed the partnership money.

The two phases of the non-jury trial ended with Judge Moyé signing a final judgment against Bendalin finding that under the TRPA, Bendalin wrongfully withdrew from the firm because he had committed to stay on until the end of 2013.

“Not all partnerships end on a happy note,” said Austin business attorney and Austin partnership attorney Gregory D. Jordan. “Often large verdicts and lawsuits could be avoided if partners would seek legal advice before taking action to dissolve a partnership.”

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