Bell Nunnally & Martin LLP RSS Feed Feb 2020 00:00:00 -0800firmwise Nunnally Partners with Buried Alive Project, Reducing Non-Violent Drug Offender's Life Sentence Under First Step Act Nunnally associate Arianna G. Goodman and former associate Anthony B&eacute;gon (now Litigation and Compliance Counsel at McAfee, LLC), in partnership with Brittany Barnett of the Buried Alive Project, achieved a life-altering victory for pro bono client, Steve Jackson, on February 4, 2020 under Section 404 of the First Step Act. <br /> <br /> In 2006, Jackson was convicted of possession with the intent to distribute cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. &sect;&sect; 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(A). As Jackson&rsquo;s third non-violent offense, the government sought a mandatory life enhancement. Sentencing Jackson in August 2007, the judge reluctantly imposed a mandatory life sentence. <br /> <br /> Under the First Step Act, provisions of the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act (&ldquo;FSA&rdquo;) allow courts to retroactively reduce unfair pre-FSA crack penalties if certain criteria are met. As Goodman and B&eacute;gon successfully argued, Jackson&rsquo;s case met all of the criteria, allowing his life sentence to be revisited and potentially reduced. At the time Goodman and B&eacute;gon joined his legal team, Jackson had been incarcerated for nearly 13 years. <br /> <br /> Goodman, B&eacute;gon and Barnett petitioned the court for a reduction in Jackson&rsquo;s sentence to between 151 and 188 months, arguing, &ldquo;If people like Mr. Jackson &ndash; who are the epitome of change and rehabilitation &ndash; are not worthy of a significantly reduced sentence, it is hard to envision someone who is.&rdquo; They further argued that Jackson&rsquo;s rehabilitative efforts during incarceration were unparalleled. In almost 14 years in prison, he has completed nearly every class available to him, including a year-long (400-hour) culinary arts program that allows him to teach culinary programs, and completed an 18-month, faith-based &ldquo;Life Connection Program.&rdquo; In the words of even the federal government, &ldquo;Mr. Jackson&rsquo;s positive history from his time in prison outweighs the negative history from the years he was plagued by addiction&hellip;&rdquo;<br /> <br /> On February 4, the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico reduced Jackson&rsquo;s life sentence to 200 months. With Jackson&rsquo;s impeccable prison record, he will receive &ldquo;good time&rdquo; credit from the Bureau of Prisons, which allows his release before completion of the full 200 months. To date, Jackson has served approximately 14 years in prison, resulting in his release in the summer of 2020. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;It has truly been an honor to work with Mr. Jackson, hear of his success during his incarceration and know that he will soon be putting his new skills to good use while being home with his family &ndash; for the first time in over a decade,&rdquo; Goodman remarked.<br /> &quot;Pro bono legal representation is critical in the movement to transform this nation's criminal justice system. We are honored to partner with Bell Nunnally in this important, lifesaving work.&quot; said Brittany K. Barnett, attorney and co-founder of the Buried Alive Project.<br /> <br /> Bell Nunnally&rsquo;s involvement with the Buried Alive Project is a part of the firm&rsquo;s robust Pro Bono program, which works in conjunction with its community partners. The firm&rsquo;s Pro Bono Committee facilitates the initiative, encourages firm attorneys to provide legal services to those in need and assists with finding opportunities. Bell Nunnally is also partnered with the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program (DVAP), the Human Rights Initiative of North Texas (HRI) and Texas Appleseed. In partnership with DVAP (a joint program of the Dallas Bar Association and Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas), the firm provides services for the organization&rsquo;s Dallas Veterans Clinic and acts as pro bono counsel on cases for indigent clients. Through its involvement with HRI, Bell Nunnally attorneys represent individuals in the affirmative asylum process and in deportation trials. And, working with Texas Appleseed, the firm helps further that group&rsquo;s mission of working to change unjust laws and policies that prevent Texans from realizing their full potential. In 2018, Bell Nunnally received the group&rsquo;s &ldquo;Pro Bono Leadership Award&rdquo; in recognition of firm efforts on behalf of residents of Port Isabel, Texas who sued the city over alleged housing discrimination in the aftermath of Hurricane Dolly in 2008.<br />Press Releases20 Feb 2020 00:00:00 -0800 Nunnally Adds Attorney Jarod Moss Jarod Moss has joined Bell Nunnally as senior counsel. He comes to the firm with more than 15 years of experience in the health care industry, most recently providing consulting and advisory services to health care providers after working in-house with AmeriPath, Inc. and United Surgical Partners International, Inc..<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Jarod&rsquo;s rich corporate experience, in particular his immersion in the business of health care and its delivery, complement and broaden our client offerings,&rdquo; said Christopher Trowbridge, Bell Nunnally&rsquo;s managing partner. &ldquo;We are excited to add him to our team, providing a broad platform for him to expand his practice.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> A member of the firm&rsquo;s Commercial Finance, Corporate and Securities, and Mergers and Acquisitions practice areas, Moss&rsquo; experience spans all areas of corporate law, including mergers and acquisitions, securities offerings and general corporate advice. He represents issuers and underwriters in public and private securities transactions, including public and private equity and debt offerings. Moss also represents sellers and buyers in both asset and equity acquisitions. <br /> <br /> Moss is a graduate of Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law (J.D., <em>magna cum laude</em>, 1998) and University of Texas at Austin (B.S., 1995). <br /> <br /> <br /> Media Contact:<br /> Brittany Lewis<br /> Marketing Manager<br /> 214-880-6661<br /><br /> <br />Press Releases17 Feb 2020 00:00:00 -0800 Circuit Upholds $62.9M Arbitration Ruling in Favor of Bell Nunnally Client and Renewable Energy Investor January 7, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed a $62.9 million arbitration award for Bell Nunnally client, Keith P. Young, against Chinese state-owned Aviation Industry Corp. of China (AVIC) and its wholly-owned subsidiary AVIC International U.S.A. The International Centre for Dispute Resolution and the American Arbitration Association previously held in 2015 that AVIC violated a not-to-compete agreement it had entered into with a group of wind energy developers in the course of its partnership with Soaring Wind Energy LLC. In 2018, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas upheld the arbitration award, leading to the Fifth Circuit appeal. Bell Nunnally Partner Jeffrey S. Lowenstein represented Soaring Wind Energy investor Young, and later his widow, during the arbitration and the subsequent appeals. Prior to joining Bell Nunnally, Senior Associate Brent A. Turman represented one of the claimants during arbitration. <br /> <br /> To read a recap of the matter and its appeal on Law360, please click <a href="">here</a>.<br />News13 Feb 2020 00:00:00 -0800 The Aftermath of an Acquittal – How a Three Year Health Care Fraud Investigation Resulted in "Not Guilty"<strong>Event Details:</strong><br /> <br /> Jeff Ansley and Arianna Goodman are presenting the upcoming webinar, &quot;The Aftermath of an Acquittal - How a Three Year Health Care Fraud Investigation Resulted in 'Not Guilty.'&quot; <br /> <br /> <strong>Time:</strong><br /> <br /> Wednesday, February 5, 2020<br /> 9:00 - 10:00 AM<br /> <br /> <strong>Overview:</strong><br /> <br /> After a nearly seven-week healthcare fraud case in the Northern District of Texas, three defendants were acquitted of all charges, two will be retried and one was convicted. This webinar will review the highlights of the case United States v. Steven Kuper, et al., including how our client, a pharmacist, was acquitted of all charges. This webinar will explain how pre-trial strategy, jury selection, selective cross-examination and confronting bad facts led to Steven Kuper&rsquo;s acquittal. <br /> <br /> &nbsp; <br /> <iframe src="" webkitallowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" width="85%"></iframe>Events05 Feb 2020 00:00:00 -0800 Dos and Donts of Managing Employees in Today's Workplace<strong>Event Details:&nbsp;</strong><br /> <br /> Partner Sonja McGill is teaching a class titled, &quot;The Do&rsquo;s and Don&rsquo;t of Managing Employees in Today&rsquo;s Workplace,&quot; at the Dallas Metropolitan Small Business Development Center for the SBA.<br /> <br /> <strong>Date/Time:</strong><br /> <br /> January 31, 2020<br /> <strong><br /> Location: </strong><br /> <br /> 1402 Corinth St.<br /> Dallas, TX 75215<br /> <br /> <br /> <br />Events31 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 Nunnally's Randall Lindley Panelist on Debt on TV Show The Doctors Nunnally Partner Randall K. Lindley was a featured panelist on a recent episode of the syndicated TV talk show The Doctors discussing medical debt. The episode explored how individuals with medical debt have, at times, faced imprisonment for failure to attend related court hearings. <br /> <br /> Lindley succinctly corrected a false notion that the debt itself, or its medical nature, can lead to jail time: <br /> <br /> <em>[T]he law does not allow someone to be arrested for failing to pay a debt. There simply is not a debtor&rsquo;s prison. People are not put in jail for failing to pay a debt. What they do is they get put in jail for failing to obey a court order. Whether it&rsquo;s a medical debt or some other type of debt, the creditor files a lawsuit to enforce the obligation to pay and the failure of that person to pay that debt results in a judgement&hellip;They&rsquo;re disobeying a court order. That is the trigger for the arresting and the incarceration.</em><br /> <br /> Working closely with creditors as part of his practice, Lindley spoke from years of experience when he added, &ldquo;What happens is the court goes above and beyond in all the cases I&rsquo;ve been involved with to make sure that debtors receive notice of these requirements &ndash; meaning, they receive notice of the order to appear.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Lindley clarified for the viewers, &ldquo;[M]edical debt is not being singled out by the judicial process.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> To watch clips from the full episode, please click <a href="">here</a>.<br />News31 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 Nunnally Promotes Nikki Gibson to Partner Nunnally has elected Nikki Hurst Gibson as its newest partner; she was previously senior counsel. <br /> <br /> Gibson is a member of the firm&rsquo;s Commercial Finance and Real Estate practices. She has extensive experience representing financial institutions and borrowers on commercial lending transactions; structuring, drafting and negotiating loan documentation for asset-based financing transactions, including accounts receivable, inventory and equipment secured loan transactions; senior and subordinated debt financings; syndicated loans; securities as collateral; and real estate transactions.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Nikki is an essential member of our team. She brings significant insight to our clients&rsquo; business matters and embodies our collegial, client-first culture,&rdquo; said Christopher Trowbridge, Bell Nunnally managing partner.<br /> <br /> Gibson regularly represents financial institutions and real estate developers. Her financial institution and borrower clients include real estate investment trusts, development companies, commercial banks and other financial institutions, insurers, entrepreneurs and leasing companies. <br /> <br /> In 2019, Gibson received the Paul Quinn College&rsquo;s &ldquo;President&rsquo;s Award.&rdquo; The award was given in recognition of Gibson&rsquo;s work with the school through her board membership with Duke North Texas and its collaboration with Paul Quinn College to design and implement a mentoring program matching more than 20 current students with accomplished Duke alums. <br /> <br /> Gibson is a graduate of Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law (J.D., 1985) and Duke University (A.B., 1980). <br /> <br /> Media Contact: <br /> Brittany Lewis<br /> Marketing Manager<br /> 214-880-6661<br /><br /> <br type="_moz" />Press Releases27 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 Syed Elected Texas Bar Foundation "Fellow" Nunnally attorney Saba F. Syed has been elected a Texas Bar Foundation &ldquo;Fellow,&rdquo; a distinction bestowed on only one-third of one percent of all members of the State Bar of Texas in any single year and given in recognition of outstanding contributions to the legal profession and a proven commitment to the community.<br /> <br /> Syed joins Bell Nunnally attorneys George W. Coleman, Brent D. Hockaday, Danica L. Mathes, Sonja J. McGill, Kassandra G. McLaughlin, Jacob N. Pollack, Mark A. Shoffner, Larry L. Shosid, Christopher B. Trowbridge and Ross A. Williams as Texas Bar Foundation &ldquo;Fellows.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> To learn more about the &ldquo;Fellows&rdquo; honor, please click <a href="">here</a>.<br />News24 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 Ross Angus Williams Recognized Among Dallas Business Journal's "40 Under 40" Nunnally Partner Ross Angus Williams has been named among the &ldquo;40 Under 40&rdquo; in 2020 by the <em>Dallas Business Journal</em>. He will be honored at an awards reception on March 12 and featured in the March 13 print edition.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Ross&rsquo; professional and personal accomplishments have truly distinguished him. We congratulate him on this latest accolade and look forward to his continued success,&rdquo; said Christopher Trowbridge, Bell Nunnally managing partner.<br /> <br /> Williams was selected after the review of several hundred nominations by a judging panel comprised of past winners from a wide-swath of industries and roles in the private, public and non-profit sectors. He joins past Bell Nunnally honorees Alana K. Ackels (2019), R. Heath Cheek (2013) and Christopher B. Trowbridge (2012).<br /> <br /> Williams is a member of Bell Nunnally&rsquo;s Litigation; Intellectual Property; Labor, Employment and Benefits; and Entertainment, Advertising and New Media practices. He litigates complex disputes involving trade secrets; non-competes and other restrictive covenants; unfair competition; contracts; business torts; cryptocurrency and blockchain; real estate disputes; and internet defamation. Williams also represents creditors on promissory notes, guarantees, unpaid accounts and the foreclosure of secured properties. Williams has briefed appellate matters before Texas and federal courts of appeal, the Supreme Court of Texas and the U.S. Supreme Court (twice at <em>certiorari</em>).<br /> <br /> Highlighted in Williams&rsquo; nomination is his ongoing commitment to the Dallas community. He founded the East Dallas Young Professionals group, and he is the current Chairman of the board for Friends of Fair Park. In 2019, Williams was elected to the board of 100 Men of Dallas &ndash; a 501(c)(3) community organization in the Dallas area, composed of men and women who &ldquo;give a damn&rdquo; about Dallas and its charitable causes. He was also re-elected as the Greater East Dallas Chamber of Commerce&rsquo;s Legal Counsel for the fourth consecutive year. And he serves as a city official in his role as the appointed Commissioner for Council District 14 on Dallas&rsquo;s Community Development Commission.<br /> <br /> Honored by his legal peers, Williams was named to <em>D Magazine's</em> &quot;Best Lawyers Under 40 in Dallas&quot; List in 2018, 2019, and 2020. He has also been featured in <em>Texas Monthly</em> as a &ldquo;Texas Rising Star&rdquo; every year since 2014. In recognition of his &ldquo;outstanding contribution to the community,&rdquo; Williams was honored in 2016 with the Greater East Dallas Chamber of Commerce&rsquo;s &ldquo;Chairman&rsquo;s Award.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Williams is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law (J.D., with honors, 2008) and Tulane University (B.A., summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Pierce Butler Prize, Henry Clay Stier Award, 2005).<br /> <br /> <strong><br /> Media Contact:</strong><br /> Brittany Lewis<br /> Marketing Manager<br /> 214-880-6661<br /><br /> <br type="_moz" />Press Releases22 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 Circuit Affirms Major Jury Verdict for Dallas Food Exporter, Bell Nunnally Client Nunnally partners Jeffrey S. Lowenstein and Karen L. Hart, along with associate Saba F. Syed recently had a favorable client verdict affirmed in a <em>per curiam</em> opinion issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The outcome affirms a &ldquo;win&rdquo; on behalf of Bespoke Group, LLC &ndash; a Dallas-based processor and exporter of dried food, including lentils, peas, chickpeas and other bean crops &ndash; and its sole owner and member Divyesh Patel in a case involving allegations of fraud brought by HostingExtreme Ventures LLC.<br /> <br /> HostingExtreme accused Bespoke Group and Patel of making fraudulent representations and inducing Prosper Trade (a company that sold its claim to HostingExtreme) to enter into a contract to ship 180 metric tons of dried green peas. The suit alleged that Patel did not have the peas or the ability to execute the contract. Bespoke Group countered that the peas were unable to ship due to extreme weather in 2013 affecting railroads in the United States. In 2018, after a two-day trial and only 10 minutes of deliberation, a jury seated in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas rejected Prosper&rsquo;s argument, finding in favor of Bespoke Group &ndash; a decision that has now been upheld on appeal.<br />News21 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800