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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Crown Leasing Inc., which was owned by Robert White, sold three properties appraised by the government at $3 million to Rodney D. Jones for $800,000. The deal included a side agreement to improve Crown’s tax liability whereby Jones would later sell the properties back to White and would keep $100,000 for himself. Subject to several class-action suits at the time, though, Crown filed for bankruptcy. When it came time for Jones to resell the property, he sold one parcel to an individual at White’s direction. The two other properties were sold to White’s son, Patrick. Based on the purchase amount, the tax liability and a judgment debt White owed Jones, White nonetheless contended that Jones owed him $242,833; Jones claimed that White owed him approximately the same amount. One of the investment accounts used in the midst of all of the transactions between Crown, White and Jones was originally funded by R&R White Family Limited Partnership, of which White was a member; Jones was the account holder. Jones paid more than $600,000 from the account to satisfy one of the class action suits. White suspected that Jones had cut himself a $30,540 check from this account, while Jones contended that he and White had commingled money in that account, so he was entitled to use money from it for his own use. Another transaction related to the sale of the property involved the purchase of cattle. White bought cattle as a tax shelter for another pending class action suit. Jones said he lost $200,000 while setting up the operation for White. White and Jones also had a stock trading account for margin trading that did not do as well as anticipated. They both lost large amounts of money. The R&R trust sued Jones, then Jones sued White. The trial court concluded that R&R was not the aggrieved party and so was not a proper party in interest. The trial court determined in a bench trial that White and Jones were in a fiduciary relationship, that the sale of the properties was tax fraud, and that R&R’s claims were barred by fraud, estoppel and unclean hands. The trial court determined that neither side deserved to win, and that any damage either one suffered was offset by damage to the other. R&R appeals, but Jones does not. HOLDING:Affirmed. The court says it must first determine whether the trial court was correct in deciding that R&R was not a property party in interest to the suit. The court says the more accurate question is whether R&R had standing. Because the issue is standing, the court rejects R&R’s and Jones’ argument about whether the requirements of Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 93 were met, whether the requirements were waived or whether the waiver was waived. The evidence reflects that, at some point, White’s advisors created a plan to protect White’s assets from possible creditors. In that plan, Crown’s remaining assets were transferred to an entity called Equichase Limited, a limited partnership described by White as “the main entity that owns the assets of the family.” R&R was set up as the general partner of Equichase. The court says this raises the questions of whether R&R had standing, as the general partner of Equichase, to bring suit. More specifically, the question is whether Equichase, through its general partner R&R, or did R&R have standing separately. The court finds that the actions were all specific to White, not to any partnerships or corporations. For instance, the side agreement required Jones to sell the properties back to White, not to any of White’s corporate identities. There was no evidence, either, that White ever assigned his personal causes of action to the partnerships. There is no conclusive proof to the contrary, either, the court adds. OPINION:Donald R. Ross, J.; Morriss, C.J., Ross and Carter, JJ.

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