Arbitration Lawsuit

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·096 231985 08 SCOTT W. MOORING VS. STRASBURGER & PRICE, LLP and CHARLES M. HOSCH § § § § § § IN THE DISTRICT COURT JUDICIAL DISTRICT " _s_'\ . PLAINTIFF'S ORIGINAL PETITION TO THE HONORABLE JUDGE OF SAID COlJRT: (';I o COMES NOW Plaintiff Scott W. Mooring, and files this petition against Defendants, Strasburger & Price, LLP and Gary M. Hosch and would respectfully show this Honorable Court • as follows: I. DISCOVERY 1.1. Plaintiff requests that this case be conducted under Discovery Control Plan Level 2 pursuant to Rule 190 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure. II. PARTIES • 2.1. 2.2. Plaintiff Scott W. Mooring is a resident of Tarrant County, Texas . Defendant Strasburger & Price, LLP is a Texas limited liability company based in Dallas, Texas, who may be served by serving Gary Crapster, a partner at Strasburger & Price, LLP, by agreement. 2.3. Defendant Charles M. Hosch is an individual residing in University Park (Dallas), Texas, who may be served by serving Gary Crapster, a partner at Strasburger & Price, LLP, by agreement. Page 10f7 III. JURISDICTION 3.1. This Court has jurisdiction over this action because the occurrence giving rise to this lawsuit occurred within the State of Texas and the damages sought by Plaintiffs are within this Court's jurisdictional1imits. IV. VENUE 4.1. Venue is proper in the District Court of Tarrant County, Texas pursuant to §lS.002(a)(1) of the Texas.Civil Practice and Remedies Code because all or a substantial part of • the events or omissions giving rise to the Plaintiffs claims occurred in Tarrant County, Texas. V. FACTUAL BACKGROUND 5.1. On April 1, 2004, Plaintiff and Defendants entered into a contract for Defendant Hosch and Defendant Strasburger to arbitrate a dispute involving Plaintiff and former business associates of Plaintiff. The Arbitration Submission Agreement stated that the arbitration would be conducted iriTarrarttCounty. • 5.2. Defendants represented that they would hear the arbitration and charge Plaintiff (and Plaintiffs adversary in the arbitration) a rate of $275.00 per hour for services. Defendants also stated that they would charge for mileage, phone calls, facsimiles, copies and other expenses. In consideration for these expenses, Defendants represented that they would issue a final ruling involving the dispute between Plaintiff and his former business associates. Unfortunately, Defendants took Plaintiffs money, and refused to rule on the arbitration. 5.3. In multiple exchanges between parties and their attorneys, Defendants represented to Plaintiff that they would provide arbitration services to Plaintiff. Defendants billed for all the time Hosch allegedly spent working on this matter, and billed for expenses they allegedly incurred. Page 2 0/7 5.4. 5.5. 5.6. Fort Worth. 5.7. The arbitration was held in Fort Worth. All meetings with Defendants concerning the arbitration were held in Fort Worth. All attorneys' fees paid by Plaintiff for pursuing the arbitration were incurred in At one point during the underlying arbitration proceeding, Defendant Hosch suggested that Plaintiff s opponent should commission a symphony in honor of Plaintiff s spouse as opposed to going further with the arbitration. Plaintiff had paid Defendants to conduct an arbitration and found the symphony suggestion strange, unprofessional, and demonstrated a lack • • of understanding the gravity of the arbitration . 5.8. In reliance on Defendants' representations and agreement to serve as the arbitrator in the underlying matter from early 2004 until Defendants were to issue a final award, Plaintiff spent in excess of $475,000.00 in attorneys' fees, costs, and expenses. This money was spent for the arbitration to be performed and ruled on by Defendants. Indeed, despite hearing the arbitration, accepting briefs, and taking Plaintiffs money and additional money from the other party, Defendants refused to rule on the arbitration. 5.9. Defendants "dec1ar[ed] the hearing closed" as of January 20,2005, and Defendant Hosch wrote that he would "send [Plaintiff] a decision within thirty days" of that date. That was a lie. Defendants refused to rule on the arbitration. 5.10. Despite repeated phone calls and inquiries, months passed with Defendants failing to perform the duties required of them. On December l3, 2005, some eleven months after declaring the arbitration hearing closed, Plaintiff, along with his opponent to the underlying arbitration, sent a letter to Defendants: "The parties jointly request that you, as the arbitrator in the above-referenced arbitration, render an award in this matter as quickly as possible." Frustrated with Defendants taking their money and ignoring their job, the letter, that should not have been necessary, went on to state that Defendants' "attention to this request will be deeply appreciated by all parties." Defendants ignored this request and repeated phone calls. Plaintiff's Original Petition Page 3 0/7 5.11. Months went by with Defendants continuing to ignore their contractual obligations and duties. Therefore, on May 19, 2006, Plaintiff, along with his opponent, again wrote another letter to Defendants stating that they were requesting "the opportunity to visit personally with [Defendants] about the status of your award in this matter." The letter went on to say that the parties were willing to travel to Defendants' office to discuss the now fifteen month past due award. Again, Defendants ignored Plaintiff and their contractual duties. 5.12. After waiting more than a year for Defendants to act as the professional lawyer and law finn they purport to be, Plaintiff and his opposing party were forced to engage another • • arbitrator to actually perfonn Defendants' duties and endure yet another arbitration . 5.13. The second arbitration was conducted and Plaintiff prevailed on the underlying dispute. Unfortunately, the second arbitration could not award the lost time, effort, and money spent for the wasted arbitration with Defendants. 5.14. After receiving the request for reimbursement of all monies wasted on the first arbitration, Defendants' refused to accept responsibility for their misrepresentations and breach of contractual duties. Instead, Defendants created elaborate excuses as to why they were not liable for their fraud and breach of contract, claiming Defendants thought the parties to the arbitration settled, Defendants never got an ultimatum that the parties were going to engage another arbitrator if Defendants failed to perfonn, Defendants were going to rule against Plaintiff, and, many more. Because Defendants have refused to accept responsibility and right their wrongs, Plaintiffhas been forced to file this instant case. VI. BREACH OF CONTRACT AND FRAUD 6.1. entirety. Plaintiff iricorporates the foregoing allegations as if set forth herein in their Page 4 of7 6.2. Based on the above, Defendants are liable to P1aintiff for all damages related to Defendants' breach of contract, including, but not limited to direct damages, consequential damages, court costs, and attorney's fees. 6.3. Defendant is liable for fraud and fraudulent inducement. Defendant gave repeated assurances of compliance with the contract to as arbitrator, made multiple misrepresentations, and intentionally disregarded all obligations to the detriment of Plaintiff. VII. PLAINTIFFS' DAMAGES • • 7.1. As a direct, proximate, andlor producing result of the Defendants' wrongful conduct, as set forth above, Plaintiff has suffered the following damages: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Direct damages; Consequential damages; Reliance damages; Incidental damages; Costs of court; Expenses; and Attorney's fees. 7.2. Plaintiff fnrther pleads that he is entitled to punitive damages for Defendants' knowing false representations, unconscionable conduct, and fraud. VIII. ATTORNEYS' FEES 8.1. As a result of the Defendant's wrongful breach of contract and fraud, Plaintiff has been required to obtain the legal services ofthe undersigned counsel. As such, Plaintiff seeks all Page 5 0/7 • reasonable and necessary attorneys' fees in accordance with Texas law, including but not limited to Chapter 38 of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code. IX. CONDITIONS PRECEDENT 9.1. Plaintiff has satisfied all conditions precedent prior to the filing of this action. X. DISCOVERY 10.1. Plaintiff hereby serves Defendants with Requests for Disclosure. Pursuant to Rule 194, you are requested to disclose, within 50 days of service of this request, all the information • described in Rule 194.2. Further, Plaintiff hereby requests the immediate deposition of Charles M. Hosch. XI. PRAYER WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, Plaintiff requests that Defendant be cited to appear and answer and that on final trial Plaintiff be awarded judgment against Defendant for: (1) All actual damages; Punitive damages; Reasonable and necessary attorneys' fees; Costs of court; Pre-judgment interest at the highest rate allowable by law; Post-judgment interest at the highest rate allowable by law; and Such other and further relief to which the Plaintiff may be justly entitled. • (2) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) Page 60f7 Respectfully submitted, STEPHENS & ANDERSON, L.L.P. 4200 West Vickery Blvd. Fort Worth, Texas 76107 (817) 920-9000 Telephone (817) 920-9 F By:__~~~________-------­ SET JASON . ANDERSON Texas State Bar No. 24001654 • • B. STEPHENS Texas State Bar No. 24003001 ATTORNEYS FORPLAINTITF Petition Page 70f7