Selected Trials and Victories:

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  • Mr. Valdez obtained a unanimous defense jury verdict in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas for business clients in a lawsuit involving extremely difficult to defendant FLSA claims. The Plaintiff filed suit against Mr. Valdez’s clients alleging that she worked 8 hours of overtime per week for a period of 5 years.  Mr. Valdez’s clients did not, at the time, have a payroll system in place, and they could not prove (via documentation) that the Plaintiff did not work any overtime. Plaintiff alleged that, under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the employer has an obligation to maintain accurate employment records.  If the employer does not, then the employee only has to prove, by a preponderance, that the employee worked overtime.  The Plaintiff employee can then submit her version of the hours worked, but is not required to prove the number of hours with certainty.   In this case, the Plaintiff was seeking over 5 years of overtime, plus liquidated damages for alleged “willfulness,” along with attorneys fees and costs. And because Plaintiffs are entitled to recover attorneys fees and costs if they recover, the client was exposed to a potential 6-figure judgment against them.  As a small business, this was essentially “bet the company” litigation.  Understanding that risk, defendants made several settlement offers–including the day before trial–that were rejected.  After a week-long federal jury trial, Mr. Valdez was able to convince the jury that the Plaintiff never worked a single hour of overtime.  After deliberating for 30 minutes, the jury came back with a unanimous defense verdict and zero damages.
  • Mr. Valdez obtained a large 7-figure, lump-sum cash settlement against a large dental service organization (a “DSO”) and the DSO’s nearly 1000-lawyer law firm. Mr. Valdez’s client was a highly-respected Arizona dentist who was recruited by the DSO to to implement the Dr.’s highly successful operation in Texas and open a chain of pediatric dental offices.  During the negotiation of the parties’ extremely complicated 40-year agreement, the 900+ lawyer firm represented the DSO while also providing services to the Dentist–including setting up the Dentist’s company (which would ultimately be the signatory to the contract between the DSO and Dentist). After a few years of their highly-profitable business enterprise, the DSO became increasingly dissatisfied with the Doctor’s refusal to put profits over patient care.  As a result, the DSO began implementing strategies to essentially “squeeze out” Mr. Valdez’s client.  The DSO (and the very lawyers who drafted the agreement between the parties) filed a lawsuit against the Dentist alleging numerous breaches of contract and asking a Harris County District Court (via declaratory judgment) to terminate the parties’ 40-year contract.  Mr. Valdez vigorously defended the Houston lawsuit (which pitted Mr. Valdez against multiple law firms inside and outside of Texas).  After months of heated litigation, the DSO ultimately dropped the Houston-based lawsuit.  Immediately thereafter, Mr. Valdez filed suit in Dallas County asserting affirmative claims against the DSO and the DSO’s law firm, seeking damages exceeding $10 Million (based on retained experts’ opinions).  Mr. Valdez went on to obtain a temporary restraining order against the DSO preventing them from from attempting to “shut down” the Dentist’s multiple dental offices.  Not surprisingly, the DSO reasserted its previous claims against the Dentist, and the DSO sought damages exceeding $4 Million.  After several months of extremely heated and contentious litigation (and over 4 separate mediations), the Defendants settled and agreed to pay a 7-figure all cash payment.
  • Mr. Valdez obtained extremely rare death-penalty sanctions against defendants in a very complicated and contentious business divorce lawsuit involving two former business partners.  The Death Penalty sanctions were issued months after Mr. Valdez had already obtained a temporary restraining order and a temporary injunction against defendants–despite the fact that there were no non-compete agreements in place.  During cross examination of defendant during the preliminary injunction hearing, Defendant ultimately admitted that he was lying about several different issues related to his unfair competition.  Although Mr. Valdez’s client did not have a noncompete agreeement with his partner, the Court issued an injunction against Defendants partially as a result of Defendants’ being caught (and admitting to) lying during cross examination.  Defendants later violated the Court’s injunction, and during a motion for sanctions, Defendant was caught lying to the Court yet again during cross examination about the violation of the Court’s orders.  As a result, the Court issued death penalty sanctions on a damages model that exceeds several million dollars.  The case is currently on mandamus with the Texas Supreme Court. 
  • Mr. Valdez represented plaintiff mechanical sub-contractor in lawsuit against major general contractor for breach of contract associated with extremely technical engineering failures that occured during construction of a commercial building.  Defendant general contractor failed and refused to pay Plaintiff for work performed claiming that mechanical subcontractor miscalculated elevations resulting in extensive additinoal costs.  Defendants attempted to use experts to prove that Plaintiff miscalculated grading associated with running piping over the distance of several hundred feet.  Moreover, Defendant enforced a very one-sided arbitration clause to remove the case from the district court in hopes of obtaining a more favorable forum.  After removing to arbitration, Defendants asserted counterclaims seeking to recover a very large sum of money allegedly resulting from Plaintiff’s purported faulty work.  After a four day arbitration, Mr. Valdez convinced the arbitrator to award Plaintiff the full amount of damages it sought.  The arbitrator also awarded Plaintiff’s significant attorneys fees (in an amount that was nearly as much as the original claim), thereby nearly doubling the amount of the final judgment.  
  • Mr. Valdez obtained a very favorable settlement (and later a unanimous defense verdict in the same case) for a client who was injured after being rear-ended by a local attorney.  In the months leading up to trial, the local attorney’s insurance company settled with Mr. Valdez’s client and paid the client for the damages that the client client suffered.  Shockingly, however, the attorney-driver alleged that she did not agree to settle the case (despite her insurance company having already paid for her negligence), and the attorney turned around and asserted claims AGAINST Mr. Valdez’s client for purported injuries that attorney-driver suffered as a result of rear ending Mr. Valdez’s client.  Although the attorney-driver’s insurance company paid for the attorney-driver’s negligence, the attorney-driver refused to accept responsibility, and she actually took her claims to trial.  And since Mr. Valdez’s client was a single parent who could not take time off from work, Mr. Valdez actually tried the case without his client being present.  Not surprisingly, the attorney-driver showed up with three lawyers from her firm to try the lawsuit.  After a 3-day jury trial, the jury returned a unanimous defense verdict awarding the Plaintiff lawyer absolutely nothing. 
  • Mr. Valdez represented, pro bono, a local church in a commercial dispute involving a general contractor’s breach of contract.  After severe weather caused significant damages to this small local church, their insurance company agreed to pay for repairs and sent the church a check for over $100,000.  The church, in good, faith, hired one of its parishioners (who was a general contractor) to complete the repairs on the church.  The church paid the contractor up front, and after only half of the repairs were made, the contractor simply “walked off the job.”  The church could not afford to retain a commercial litigator, so Mr. Valdez agreed to do the work pro bono.  The church sued the contractor, who not surprisingly, refused to pay and hired a well known construction firm to defend him.  After a 1-day bench trial, the court rendered a judgment against the contractor on all of Mr. Valdez’s client’s claims.   
  • Mr. Valdez represented client in a very contentious two-week jury trial involving claims for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duties, and breach of non-compete covenants.  This case was essentially a business divorce between Mr. Valdez’s client and his client’s former partner.  The plaintiff was a doctor who partnered with the client and opened a sleep study laboratory.  Mr. Valdez’s client was the sales person, and the one in charge of “bringing in the business.”  After the doctor refused to adhere to the partners’ agreement (by refusing to pay the client commissions and partner distributions), Mr. Valdez’s client quit and opened his own sleep lab.  The doctor filed suit against Mr. Valdez’s client (along with the client’s new partner) seeking millions in alleged lost profits.  The case was litigated for years and involved countless motions for sanctions for alleged discovery abuses before actually getting to trial.  After a two week jury trial, the jury returned a unanimous defense verdict in favor of Mr. Valdez’s clients. 
  • Mr. Valdez represented a plaintiff against his insurance company seeking to obtain coverage on a real estate deal gone bad.  Mr. Valdez’s client had initially borrowed funds from a “hard money lender” in order to finance significant repairs/upgrades to his commercial property.  Pursuant to that agreement, the client executed a promissory note with the lender and began making monthly payments to the lender’s “servicing company.”  Six months later, the client refinanced his loan with a mainstream lender, and he paid off the promissory note, pursuant to the note’s instructions, to the “hard money lender’s” servicing company.  The client obtained free and clear title to his property–all of which went through a mainstream title company with all of the appropriate title insurance.  A few months later, the hard money lender sued the client–and its servicing company–alleging that it had never received payment.  Ultimately, the lender’s servicing company embezzled the funds, and never made full payment to the lender.   Mr. Valdez tendered his client’s defense to the title insurance company, which had already undertaken the defense of the new mainstream lender.  The title insurance company refused to defend Mr. Valdez’s client.  Nonetheless, Mr. Valdez successfully defended against the Plaintiffs claims, and Mr. Valdez secured a favorable defense verdict for his client.  More importantly, Mr. Valdez sued the title insurance company for reimbursement of all costs and attorneys fees associated with his client’s defense.  The insurance company refused to pay his client’s fees alleging that “attorneys fees as damages” could not be recovered.  Mr. Valdez took the case to trial, and after a two-day bench trial, the judge ordered the insurance company to pay all of Mr. Valdez’s client’s outstanding fees and costs associated with the underlying litigation. 
  • Mr. Valdez represented an individual in a multiparty jury trial involving a business dispute that resulted in a unanimous defense verdict for Mr. Valdez’s client, and a $3.5 million award for his side.  Case involved the purchase and sale of a surveying business.  Two Defendants (one of whom was Mr. Valdez’s Client) purchased a surveying business for $1.4M.  Defendants paid $700,000 in cash, up front.  Mr. Valdez’s client executed a promissory note for the remaining $700,000, which included a personal guarantee.   Defendants soon realized that the surveying company was not what the sellers represented it to be.  Defendants, therefore, refused to pay the remaining $700,000 after realizing that they had been duped into buying a worthless business.  The sellers sued Mr. Valdez’s client for payment of the $700,000 remaining balance on the promissory note.   The jury returned a unanimous verdict for Mr. Valdez’s client.  The Jury concluded that sellers had fraudulently induced Mr. Valdez’s client into personally guaranteeing the remaining balance.  They also found that the Sellers had breached the representations and warranties in the sale agreement, and they awarded the purchasers $2.4M.  The final judgment exceeded $3.5 after court costs and attorneys fees were added.
  • Mr. Valdez settled a hard-fought case against a large North-Texas city.  That case involved the drowning death of two teenagers when they were swept away in a flood.  After intensive discovery and investigation, Mr. Valdez’s trial team discovered that there were numerous similar drowning deaths in the same location due to a lack of adequate warning signs.  Mr. Valdez’s team litigated the case for several years, and the case made its way all the way up to the Texas Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of Mr. Valdez’s trial team.  The case ultimately settled for a confidential amount.   As part of the settlement, (1) the City condemned a significant amount of property (worth millions) near the flood plain to keep this from happening again, and (2) they installed over 2,000 “flood warning” signs throughout the City.
  • One day arbitration resulting in an award of $172,875.  Mr. Valdez represented a plaintiff employee against her former employer for wrongful termination.  Mr. Valdez’s client was an older Hispanic lady who signed a 3-year employment contract with the Defendant Employer.  Although she had a three year contract, she was fired after only 3 months.  Defendant refused to honor her employment agreement offerered “nuisance value” in response to Plaintiff’s demand.  The six-figure arbitration award ended up costing them much more.

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