Won a summary judgment dismissing a copyright infringement lawsuit brought against Beyoncé, Sony BMG and the co-writers and publishers of “Baby Boy.” The court found that Beyoncé’s Grammy Award-winning song “Baby Boy” did not infringe the plaintiff’s copyright. The decision was affirmed on appeal in all respects. Armour v. Knowles, 2006 WL 2713787 (S.D. Tex. filed Sep 21, 2006), aff’d, 512 F.3d 147 (5th Cir. 2007) (per curiam).
Won the dismissal of a client from a $30 million Civil Rights Act race discrimination suit when federal court granted the client’s motion to dismiss.
Because Texas is one of the most debtor-friendly states in the nation, post-judgment collections in Texas can be a challenge. Homesteads are protected and exempt from seizure by creditors (except in limited circumstances, such as failure to pay taxes or a purchase money mortgage). Other assets that are also exempt in Texas, with certain limitations as to the aggregate fair market value ($100,000 for families, $50,000 for individuals, exclusive of liens and encumbrances), include:
(1) home furnishings, including family heirlooms;
(2) provisions for consumption;
(3) farming or ranching vehicles and implements;
(4) tools, equipment, books, and apparatus, including boats and motor vehicles used in a trade or profession;
(5) wearing apparel;
(6) jewelry not to exceed 25 percent of the aggregate limitations prescribed by Section 42.001(a);
(7) two firearms;
(8) athletic and sporting equipment, including bicycles;
(9) a two-wheeled, three-wheeled, or four-wheeled motor vehicle for each member of a family or single adult who holds a driver’s license or who does not hold a driver’s license but who relies on another person to operate the vehicle for the benefit of the nonlicensed person;
(10) the following animals and forage on hand for their consumption:
(A) two horses, mules, or donkeys and a saddle, blanket, and bridle for each;
(B) 12 head of cattle;
(C) 60 head of other types of livestock; and
(D) 120 fowl;
(11) household pets;
(12) a certain percentage of unpaid commissions for personal services
And, these assets are completely exempt from seizure and do not count towards the aggregate fair market value referenced above:
(1) current wages for personal services, except for the enforcement of court-ordered child support payments;
(2) professionally prescribed health aids of a debtor or a dependent of a debtor;
(3) alimony, support, or separate maintenance received or to be received by the debtor for the support of the debtor or a dependent of the debtor; and
(4) a religious bible or other book containing sacred writings of a religion that is seized by a creditor other than a lessor of real property who is exercising the lessor’s contractual or statutory right to seize personal property after a tenant breaches a lease agreement for or abandons the real property.
The deck is stacked against judgment creditors in Texas, but Hank Fasthoff has had considerable success in collecting judgments from judgment debtors by utilizing a variety of post-judgment collections tactics, strategies and tools, such as independent fraudulent transfer actions, turnover orders, getting receivers appointed, writs of garnishment, writs of attachment, writs of sequestration, and writs of execution.
The most powerful of these is the turnover order, a court order that requires a judgment debtor to turn over non-exempt assets to a court-appointed receiver. A receiver has extraordinarily broad powers, such as re-directing a judgment debtor’s mail, seizing phone numbers, seizing trademarks and other intellectual property, changing door locks on a judgment debtor’s business, among many other powers. Judgment debtors often learn that they can run but they cannot hide, and often wind up finding a way to pay the judgment.
This is a very high-level, incomplete, general overview of a few aspects of Texas collections laws. Do not rely on it as legal advice because it is not legal advice.
With more than 20 years of experience representing clients needing to collect commercial debts in Texas, the Fasthoff Law Firm has had success in collecting hundreds of unpaid debts and satisfying judgments for judgment creditors. Feel free to contact the firm now to discuss how we may be able to assist you and your business.
Some of the clients for whom Hank has provided representation and legal services include:
Anadarko ¦ Bayway Lincoln ¦ Babyface ¦ Beyoncé ¦ Bill Ham ¦ Bobby Bowden
Caroline Kole ¦ Caterpillar Financial ¦ Chamillionaire ¦ CrazyMass ¦ Destiny’s Child
EMI Music Publishing ¦ Fats Domino ¦ Floyd Mayweather, Jr. ¦ GE Capital
Guy Oseary ¦ Heart of Fashion ¦ Heirs of Moon Mullican ¦ Hilco Trading ¦ Intocable
James Prince ¦ Jay-Z ¦ JPL RFID ¦ Johnson Supply ¦ Kelly Rowland ¦ Lady Antebellum
Lakewood Church ¦ Live Nation ¦ Luminess ¦ Magda Sayeg ¦ McGraw-Hill Companies
Michelle Williams ¦ McDonald’s ¦ Music World Entertainment ¦ Munters ¦ MustangCAT
My Country Nation ¦ Night Flight Concepts ¦ OTW Bat Co. ¦ Pei Partnership Architects
Pete Rose’s Hit King Baseball Academy ¦ Pharos Marine Automatic Power ¦ Pipeline Track
Rackspace ¦ Rap-A-Lot Records ¦ Samuel Son & Co. ¦ Samson Oil & Gas ¦ Sony/ATV
Sony Music Entertainment ¦ Target ¦ Trustmark ¦ TWR Lighting ¦ U-Store-It
Valero Energy Corporation ¦ Wilson Mohr ¦ Zions National Bank
If you need assistance collecting a debt or satisfying a judgment in Houston, The Woodlands, Sugar Land, Pearland or anywhere else in Texas, contact the Fasthoff Law Firm post-judgment collections attorneys and commercial collections attorneys who can assist.
Hank is AV-rated (highest) by Martindale-Hubbell, is a Top Rated Intellectual Property Attorney by Texas Super Lawyers®, was ranked for five consecutive years as a Texas Super Lawyers® Rising Star in the fields of Entertainment and Intellectual Property, and has been ranked from 2013-present by US News & World Reports’ Best Lawyers® Litigation – Intellectual Property Litigation.