Prichard Young successfully defended a judgment on appeal in favor of a South Texas rancher for over $15 million. The rancher was originally sued by his former attorney for a claimed contingency fee. The rancher asserted counterclaims against the attorney including for fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, as well as claims concerning a property interest worth approximately $4.5 million. The case went to arbitration where Prichard Young successfully obtained an award in favor of the rancher. The arbitrator rejected the attorneys’ claim for a contingency fee and ruled in favor of the rancher on his counterclaims. The attorney then filed for bankruptcy and asked the bankruptcy to vacate the award with respect to the property interest. The bankruptcy court confirmed the arbitration award in its entirety and entered a judgment in favor of the rancher for monetary damages and the property interest collectively worth over $15 million. The attorney appealed to the federal district court which affirmed the judgment. The attorney then appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals arguing that the rancher’s claims regarding the property interest were not subject to arbitration. A panel from the court of appeals unanimously affirmed the judgment, concluding that the rancher’s claims regarding the property interest were subject to arbitration.
David Prichard and David Montpas, along with David Gragg and Natalie Wilson of Langley & Banack in San Antonio, represented the rancher in the bankruptcy court, district court, and court of appeals. David Montpas argued the case before the panel. Jason Davis, Caroline Newman Small, and Hayley Ellison of Davis & Santos represented the attorney, and Jason Davis argued the case before the panel.
In the Matter of Jon Christian Amberson, No. 21-50960, in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.