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Harry M. Reasoner,left, of Vinson & Elkins and David J. Beck,right, of Beck Redden. Harry M. Reasoner,left, of Vinson & Elkins and David J. Beck,right, of Beck Redden. Photo:Mark Graham/ALM

Houston litigators Harry Reasoner of Vinson & Elkins and David Beck of Beck Redden successfully defended an $1.82 million attorney fee award in an appellate case involving a family feud within one of Texas’ legendary dynasties, the Moody family.

Finding that Robert L. Moody Jr. didn’t prove key elements of his shareholder derivative lawsuit against family business National Western Life Insurance Co.—and that he actually sued the company and family board members for an improper purpose—Houston’s First Court of Appeals on Thursday upheld the dismissal of the litigation based on jurisdictional grounds. It also affirmed the fees, although the justices clarified that $505,000 in appellate fees were conditional on the defendants winning any further appeals. Winning in the court of appeals already won them $250,000 of appellate fees, and they’ll win an extra $255,000 if the case advances all the way to a Texas Supreme Court oral argument.

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Angela Morris

Angela Morris is ALM Media's Texas litigation reporter. She covers lawsuits in all levels of Texas state and federal courts. Based in Austin, Morris earned journalism and government degrees from the University of Texas at Austin in 2006, and since then, has worked primarily as a reporter and writer, but also has skills in videography, photography and podcasts. Follow her on Twitter at @AMorrisReports.

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