Haynes and Boone Assists in High-Profile San Antonio Rivercenter Land Dispute


DALLAS – In a significant victory for Keystone-Texas Property Holding Corp., Haynes and Boone, LLP acted as appellate counsel in partnership with lead trial counsel Crouch & Ramey LLP, who secured a favorable jury verdict for the property company in excess of $80 million in combined actual and punitive damages.

Haynes and Boone appellate Partner Alan Wright of Dallas, Houston Partner Mark Trachtenberg and Houston Associate Polly Graham were hired by Crouch & Ramey to represent Keystone as appellate counsel. The Haynes and Boone appellate team participated in the five-week trial to ensure an accurate record in anticipation of appeal. The verdict is not yet final and is subject to post-trial motions.

“Crouch & Ramey dedicated more than four years and countless hours upholding Keystone’s right under the terms of its lease agreement to sell one of its marquee properties,” Mr. Wright said. “It was a hard-fought victory and lead trial counsel Cole Ramey and Michael Ellis deserve a pat on the back for their outstanding efforts.”

The dispute centered around Keystone’s attempted sale of the land under the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter Hotel. On Feb. 8, a jury in the 166th District Court of Bexar County found that Host Hotels & Resorts Inc. and its affiliate HMC Hotel Properties II Limited Partnership intentionally interfered with Keystone’s attempted sale of the ground lease and slandered title to the property. The jury awarded damages of $34.3 million and $39 million respectively, as well as $7.5 million exemplary damages on the latter claim. Final judgment is expected to also include statutory interest and attorneys’ fees.

Haynes and Boone appellate lawyers are often retained by trial lawyers at other firms to assist in high-profile cases. With more than 20 full-time practitioners, the firm’s appellate practice is one of the largest and most experienced in Texas.

“Our appellate group encompasses a wealth of experience in all areas of appellate law,” Mr. Wright said. “We have a teamwork attitude that reaches across state lines. We can look at the expertise in each of our offices and hand-pick the best lawyers for the client’s specific needs.”

Mr. Wright said Keystone acted within the parameters of its contract with HMC Hotel Properties II Limited Partnership and deserved restitution for the $65 million lost sale, but noted that a judgment of this size rarely goes uncontested. “Crouch & Ramey laid the groundwork and we look forward to defending the verdict on appeal,” he said.

Haynes and Boone, LLP is an international corporate law firm with offices in Texas, New York, California, Washington, D.C., Mexico City and Moscow, providing a full spectrum of legal services. With almost 550 attorneys, Haynes and Boone is ranked among the largest law firms in the nation by The National Law Journal. The firm has been recognized as one of the "Best Corporate Law Firms in America" (Corporate Board Member Magazine, 2001-2009), as one of "The Best 20 Law Firms to Work For" (Vault.com, 2009), and as a Top 100 law firm for both diversity (MultiCultural Law Magazine, 2009) and women (Women 3.0, 2008).

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