Fifth Circuit Rules Equity Trust Must Face Trial in Austin, Texas

2019-01-30T16:38:30-06:00July 31st, 2018|News|

Six years into litigation and Hampton turns a pivotal corner

NEW ORLEANS, LA  The United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its mandate today vacating an injunction issued by Judge Lee Yeakel that prevented Laura Hampton from pursuing her claims in Texas state court. Her claims were originally set for trial in June 2016, but at the request of Defendant, Equity Trust Company, Judge Yeakel issued an injunction barring that trial. Hampton appealed. The Fifth Circuit reversed that decision in its opinion on May 31, 2018, and issued its mandate enforcing that judgment on July 31, 2018. As a result of the Fifth Circuit’s decision, Laura Hampton’s claims will now proceed to trial in the 353rd Judicial District Court in Austin.

Hampton was the victim of a Ponzi-scheme operated by Robert Langguth in the Austin area. When Langguth filed for bankruptcy on March 2, 2010, the house of cards crumbled. The Ponzi-scheme received media coverage in Austin, and ultimately Langguth pled guilty to fraud charges and went to prison. Based on the initial investigation by special counsel for the trustee-in-bankruptcy, Hampton retained Derrick Boyd has her attorney. Further investigation led Hampton to file suit in Austin against Langguth and Equity Trust Company alleging that Equity Trust aided and abetted Langguth’s scheme.

On September 23, 2015, Judge Gisela D. Triana denied Equity Trust Company’s Motions for Partial Summary Judgment, but stayed Laura Hampton’s case pending a ruling by the Ninth District Court of Appeals in Ohio. When the Ninth District Court of Appeals in Ohio ruled against Equity Trust Company in that proceeding, Judge Tim Sulak lifted the stay as to Laura Hampton’s claims. Judge Sulak later set Laura Hampton’s case for trial in June 2016. Immediately, Equity Trust sought an injunction against the case proceeding to trial in state court. On June 8, 2016, Judge Yeakel granted Equity Trust the injunction it sought. The Fifth Circuit’s opinion, judgment, and mandate vacate that injunction.

Laura Hampton is represented by the law firm of Boyd, Powers & Williamson in Decatur, Texas. Lead counsel Derrick Boyd has represented Laura Hampton every step of the way during her six-year journey through the litigation process. Boyd led a team of lawyers that obtained a jury verdict in favor of another victim of the Langguth Ponzi scheme in February 2015 that also received KXAN television and newspaper coverage in Austin. That verdict was listed as the second-largest fraud verdict in Texas for 2015 in Texas Verdicts & Decisions by Texas Lawyer Verdict Search, an ALM Publication.

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