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PRESS RELEASE (COLLIN COUNTY, TX) A business dispute ended (this week) when a Collin County judge sanctioned Altesse Healthcare Solutions, Inc., nearly $900,000 for defying a court order and basically looting a company it purchased and then gave back to the original owners.

Collin Kennedy of Hanshaw Kennedy, LLP said that this rare “death penalty sanction” from State District Judge Scott Becker effectively ended the lawsuit his clients filed against Altesse. Mr. Kennedy’s clients, Allen and Becky Wilson, sold their healthcare business to Altesse in June 2014 for $800,000 and agreed to seller-finance the deal. When the first payment was due, instead of paying the Wilsons, Altesse sued the Wilsons in federal court claiming the sale of the business was fraudulently induced. In December 2014, the Wilsons sued Altesse in state court and sought and received a Temporary Restraining requiring Altesse to turn back over control of the business to the Wilsons and to prevent Altesse from causing further damage to the business.

“Altesse blatantly disregarded the TRO and instead diverted the assets of the business to another entity it controlled,” said Mr. Kennedy, the lead counsel for the Wilsons. His co-counsel was David Wortham. “The Court said it simply could not turn a blind eye to the intentional disobedience of a court order due to the dangerous precedent it would set.”

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Mr. Hafen’s client, a hard-working small business owner, hired Mr. Hafen in a proverbial David v. Goliath case. In an extremely contentious case, Mr. Hafen got won a favorable jury verdict on behalf of the Client. After the Defendant appealed, Mr. Hafen successfully briefed and argued the client’s case in front of the Court of Appeals. Subsequently, The Court of Appeals issued a favorable opinion and rendered a judgment in favor of Mr. Hafen’s client.

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Sometimes even a veteran lawyer sees a case unlike he has ever seen. This happened twice to Mr. Kennedy in 2014.

In a probate proceeding in Ellis County, Mr. Kennedy represented a client who had been acquitted of murdering her spouse. While she was incarcerated and waiting for her criminal trial, the adult children of her deceased spouse obtained an injunction preventing the client from inheriting substantial life insurance proceeds and other investments from their dad. Mr. Kennedy entered the case and immediately filed a Motion to Dissolve the Injunction. On the day of the hearing, the case settled and Mr. Kennedy’s client received a huge settlement.

Similarly, Mr. Kennedy was hired by a client in Harris County who was in jail charged with murdering his wife. There were many questions surrounding the facts related to the murder charge, but the Client needed Mr. Kennedy’s help because a civil court had awarded an injunction in favor of the children, effectively preventing the client from having access to all of his substantial estate. Mr. Kennedy filed a Motion to Dissolve the Injunction. Yet again, on the day of the hearing, the opposition capitulated and Mr. Kennedy was able to achieve a favorable settlement for the client.

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Hanshaw Kennedy Marquis PLLC is proud to announce that attorney Charles M. Gearing has been elected Secretary of the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers (“DAYL”) for 2015 by the organization’s 2,400+ voting members across the DFW Metroplex and North Texas. Charlie, as he is known to his clients and colleagues, will serve as a member of the organization’s five-member executive board for the next five years, rotating into President in 2019. During this time, Charlie will work to provide educational, networking, and personal improvement programming to DAYL’s 3,300+ total members.

Charlie presented his plans for the organization during his campaign, which stretched over much of the Fall of 2014. “We had a conversation about building DAYL into an even greater resource for Dallas’ young lawyers and for the community,” Charlie recalls. “DAYL is going to help our members with mental health issues that specifically affect young attorneys. We need to lead our members into even greater pro bono service and service to the community. Young lawyers and new graduates also face steep challenges in a tight job market, so our focus on helping young lawyers get jobs will only grow over the next five years.”

Charlie has a considerable record of service to DAYL. Thus far, Charlie’s work includes programming on young lawyer mental health and wellness issues, service with the organization’s Animal Welfare and Aid to the Homeless committees, and collaboration with other DAYL leaders to launch a new DAYL website in early 2015. Charlie previously received DAYL’s Pro Bono Service Award in 2013, was a member of DAYL’s Leadership Class in 2013, and served as a member of the DAYL’s Board of Directors in 2014.

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Charles Gearing and John Hafen have been named to the Texas Rising Stars list as one of the top up-and-coming attorneys in Texas for 2015. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state receive this honor. The selection for this respected list is made by the research team at Super Lawyers. Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

The annual selections are made using a rigorous multi-phased process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates, and peer reviews by practice area. The Rising Stars lists are published nationwide in Super Lawyers magazines and in leading city and regional magazines across the country. For more information about Super Lawyers, go to

The first Super Lawyers list was published in 1991 and by 2009 the rating service had expanded nationwide. In February 2010 Super Lawyers was acquired by Thomson Reuters the world’s leading source of intelligent information for business and professionals.

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