Justia Securities Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Texas
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In this case concerning the scope of the Expedited Declaratory Judgment Act (EDJA), the Supreme Court held that the EDJA gives the trial court jurisdiction to declare whether the execution of contracts entered into by the San Jacinto River Authority to sell water to cities and other customers was legal and valid but not whether the Authority complied with the contracts in setting specific rates. The Authority, which used the revenue from the contracts to pay off its bonds, sought declarations regarding the contract and the specific water rates set forth pursuant to the contracts. Several cities filed pleas to the jurisdiction, arguing that the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to adjudicate SJRA's claims under the EDJA. The trial court denied the pleas to the jurisdiction. On appeal, the court of appeals held primarily for the Authority. The Supreme Court reversed in part, holding (1) the trial court may exercise jurisdiction over the Authority's execution of the contracts - which met the statutory definition of "public security authorization" - but may not exercise jurisdiction over whether the Authority complied with the contracts in setting the water rates; and (2) the Cities' governmental immunity did not bar this EDJA suit, which was brought in rem to adjudicate interests in property. View "City of Conroe, Texas v. San Jacinto River Authority" on Justia Law

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The Golf Channel, Inc. entered into an agreement with Stanford International Bank Limited (Stanford) under which Golf Channel received $5.9 million in exchange for media-advertising services. It was later discovered that Stanford used a classic Ponzi-scheme artifice. At issue in this case was whether Golf Channel must return all remuneration paid for services rendered absent proof the transaction benefited Stanford’s creditors. The Fifth Circuit initially ordered Golf Channel to relinquish its compensation, concluding that media-advertising services have “no value” to a Ponzi scheme’s creditors despite the same services being potentially “quite valuable” to the creditors of a legitimate business. On rehearing, the Circuit vacated its opinion and certified a question to the Supreme Court regarding the Texas Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (TUFTA), under which an asset transferred with intent to defraud a creditor may be reclaimed for the benefit of the transferor’s creditors unless the transferee took the asset in good faith and for “reasonably equivalent value.” The Supreme Court held that TUFTA does not contain separate standards for assessing “value” and “reasonably equivalent value” based on whether the debtor was operating a Ponzi scheme and that value must be determined objectively at the time of the transfer and in relation to the individual exchange at hand. View "Janvey v. Golf Channel, Inc." on Justia Law