James Haltom Secures Summary Judgment Victory in Eastern District of Texas

July 25, 2016 02:26 PM
James "Jim" Haltom

IADC member James “Jim” Haltom, together with Christy Hawkins, both of Haltom & Doan, secured a summary judgment victory that dismissed all claims with prejudice asserted against their client, Lakeland Motors.

Hopkins & Raines, Inc. (HRI), a Texarkana based marketing company, filed suit against Lakeland Motors, a Florida based automobile dealer, accusing it of breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets, and conspiracy to commit interference with contracts involving business relations.
HRI claimed that Lakeland hired one of its former independent contractors thereby breaching the
non-compete agreement. Lakeland denied all the claims and aggressively set forth to dispel them.

Jim Haltom and Christy Hawkins successfully removed the case to federal court. After months
of discovery and several depositions, Haltom & Doan provided evidence that Lakeland Motors
did not hire a former HRI independent contractor. As trial neared, both parties filed motions for
summary judgment.

On July 19, 2016, Judge Craven, sitting in the Texarkana Division of the Eastern District of Texas,
issued a 24-page order denying Hopkins & Raines’ motion for summary judgment and granting
summary judgment in favor of Lakeland Motors. Despite numerous instances of noncompliance
with the Local Rules and procedural missteps by Hopkins & Raines, Judge Craven examined the
substance of Lakeland Motors' motion and supporting facts, ultimately dismissing all of HRI's
claims on the merits.

Haltom & Doan's strategy to remove the case to federal court, garner strong evidence for summary judgment, and knowledge of the local rules and procedures resulted in a successful early outcome for their client. Mr. Haltom noted, “Summary judgments are hard to come by in the Eastern District of Texas. We are very pleased to be able to vindicate our client through a quick summary judgment -- and pleased that Judge Craven dismissed all claims against Lakeland with prejudice.”

Lakeland Motors was represented by Jim Haltom and Christy Hawkins of Haltom & Doan.

Hopkins & Raines was represented by Casey Erick of Bennett, Weston, LaJone & Turner, P.C.

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