Kingwood sued Chevron, Phillips Chemical Company, who was represented by Attorney Jeff Nobles of Deans & Lyons, LLP, in an attempt to eliminate language in title documentation for a property that Kingwood was trying to purchase from Phillips Chemical Company. After the jury verdict, the court entered judgment in favor of Kingwood and granted Kingwood’s pretrial motion for sanctions against Exxon Land Development Inc., another company related to a discovery dispute.
Alexander Dubose stated that it was entitled to half of the sanctions judgment because of its work through the various courts, including the appellate court and the Texas Supreme Court. Phillips Chemical Company argued the appeal should be dismissed based on jurisdictional grounds since Alexander Dubose did not abide by the December 2013 deadline to “appeal the turnover regarding the sanction funds.” Alexander Dubose argued that the trial court's June 2014 order was timely since the turnover order was not appealable, but an interlocutory order instead.
The Ninth Court of Appeals disagreed and reinforced what the trial court judge stated at the time of the hearing regarding the turnover order. However, the appellate court stated that the trial court’s turnover order was ambiguous and made the decision that Kingwood owned the sanction funds, not Alexander Dubose.
The court wrote that Alexander Dubose’s amended plea asked the court to reconsider the findings in the turnover order that Kingwood owned the funds and that the funds should be payable to Phillips Chemical Company. In addition, the court stated, “The trial court denied the relief requested by Alexander Dubose on June 9, 2014. It is from this order that Alexander Dubose now seeks to appeal. We decline to treat the trial court’s denial of Alexander Dubose’s second request for the same relief as an independently appealable order. Finally, the provision of the June 9, 2014 order that released the funds from the trial court’s registry served as nothing more than a ministerial act, not resolving any substantive issues.”
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