Results-Driven Commercial Litigation

Special Litigation Counsel for bankruptcy trustees and insurance receivers involved in commercial litigation

Do you have a viable commercial case?  This is the first and perhaps most important question facing trustees and receivers tasked with managing an insolvent entity. Filing a commercial suit that does not have a significant chance of achieving a meaningful recovery for the estate achieves nothing.  The Cullens Group knows and appreciates the many challenges that trustees and receivers must overcome to hold insiders and third-parties financially responsible for the insolvent entity’s failure.  By analyzing the facts and law from the start, the Cullens Group helps trustees and receivers determine if they should pursue commercial litigation in the first place, and if so, against whom, where, and how best to do so.  

Our Process

Refined from decades of combined experience, our process is proven through our results.

For us, our process starts with a fierce focus on our clients, their unique needs, and their ultimate success.  Once the decision is made to file suit, the Cullens Group is committed to obtaining as large of a recovery as possible from those responsible for the insolvent entity’s failure.  Before litigation begins, we can and will advise you how to secure and manage the voluminous electronic data and evidence that is typically involved in this type of commercial litigation.  And once suit is filed, the Cullens Group manages every stage of the litigation for you:  insurance coverage, written discovery, depositions, pre-trial motions, trial, and appeal.  Our job is to win:  to secure a meaning monetary recovery for you and the creditors of your estate. Although relatively small, the Cullens Group has the ability and financial wherewithal to litigate for however long is necessary to achieve success.  If you hire us, we will be your partner for the long haul.  

Dynamic Fee Structure

Our fee structure options embody our approach to Special Counsel Litigation.

The Cullens Group does not have a fixed, one-size-fits-all fee structure. We structure our fee to meet the needs of our clients and their specific goals. We offer a variety of fee arrangements, all subject to negotiation depending upon the facts of your case and the financial condition of your estate, including:
Pure Contingency Fee: If you have a strong, compelling commercial case against solvent defendants, we are willing to represent a trustee or receiver on a contingent fee basis: we only get paid a fee if and when we achieve a successful result. The percentage of our fee depends upon the relative strength of your case and whether you or our firm is responsible for paying litigation expenses.
Reverse Contingency Fee: In the right case, we are willing to consider a reverse contingent fee arrangement: our fee is based upon an agreed upon percentage of the savings achieved by the estate as a result of our legal work.
Hybrid Contingency Fee: On occasion, we will represent a trustee or receiver by charging a reduced hourly fee for our representation and receive a reduced contingent fee upon any recovery secured by our efforts.  
Pure Hourly Fee: Standard hourly fee arrangement: we may agree upon a fixed, hourly fee depending upon the nature of the case and the services to be rendered.

Our Success

A proven history of results through litigation.
Below are a few of our more high-profile cases.

Wooley, et al.  v. Health Net, et al. (a/k/a “AmCare”)

61 So.3d 507 (La. 4/1/11), stay denied by U.S.S.Ct., Judge and Jury Verdicts, June 2005, Louisiana 19th JDC, total verdicts in excess of $125 million; on April 1, 2011, a unanimous Louisiana Supreme Court reversed the appellate court decision, reinstated the trial court’s verdicts, and increased the punitive damages award by $20 million. Including legal interest, the total award paid to all three plaintiffs exceeded $180 million.  The Cullens Group was lead special litigation counsel representing the Commissioners of Insurance of Louisiana and Oklahoma, through their respective Receivers, in a plaintiff’s capacity asserting fraud and breach of fiduciary duty claims against one of the largest healthcare corporations in the nation, a Big 5 accounting firm, an international law firm, and numerous officers and directors of three (3) failed AmCare HMOs in Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas. ranked this award as the 16th largest trial verdict of 2005 in the nation. The AmCare case, which was litigated for more than ten (10) years, raised complex legal and factual issues, involved millions of documents, required extensive expert testimony from more than a dozen specialists, included more than 100, pre-trial depositions, resulted in a trial record consisting of more than 120 volumes, and was actively litigated for seven (7) years before the appellate courts of Louisiana.

Carey Ebert v. Howard Appel, et al. (a/k/a “LSI”)

Federal Court, N.D. of Texas, Fort Worth Division, November 2014-present; Jury Verdict, July 2017, totaling more than $21.4 million in compensatory and punitive damages against defendants. The Cullens Group is lead special litigation counsel representing the Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Trustee for the estate of Latitude Solutions, Inc. (“LSI”), a publicly traded corporation allegedly controlled and defrauded by several groups of corporate insiders through a pump-and-dump conspiracy. The LSI case involves claims of fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty, deepening insolvency, etc. The primary defendant is John Paul DeJoria, the billionaire founder and owner of Paul Mitchell Studios and Patrón Tequila.  Based primarily on the jury verdict obtained by the Cullens Group in LSI, the law firm of Walters, Papillion, Thomas, Cullens, LLC was one of five (5) law firms in the nation nominated for the 2018 Elite Trial Lawyers Award, awarded by the National Law Journal for the most outstanding achievement in the business torts category. LSI is current on appeal before the U.S. Fifth Circuit.

Louisiana Health Cooperative, Inc. v. Terry Shilling, et al. (a/k/a “LAHC”)

August 2016-present, Louisiana 19th JDC. The Cullens Group is lead special litigation counsel for the Receiver appointed by the Louisiana Department of Insurance to pursue various breach of fiduciary duty and professional negligence claims against certain directors and officers, third party administrators (“TPAs”), and actuaries of the failed cooperative insurance company created pursuant to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which lost more than $70 million dollars before being declared insolvent and placed into Receivership. More than a terabyte of data has been produced through discovery.  To date, the Receiver has obtained several Confidential Settlements with the directors and officers and their insurers and one of the TPAs.  The LAHC case is being actively litigated against the remaining defendants.

Louisiana Hospital Association v. Louisiana Commissioner of Insurance, et al.

168 So.3d 676 (La. 1st Cir. 12/30/14), writ denied, 169 So.3d 372 (La. 5/1/15), Louisiana 19th JDC in Baton Rouge. The Cullens Group was lead counsel for the Louisiana Department of Insurance defending the constitutionality of Emergency Rule 26, an emergency regulation issued by the state that banned balance billing by out-of-network health care providers for thirty (30) days following Hurricane Isaac.

Crochet v. American MetroComm Corporation, et al. (a/k/a “AMC”)

847 So.2d 253 (La.App. 3rd Cir. 5/28/03) writ denied, 855 So.2d 765 (La. 10/17/03) (related case), Confidential Settlements prior to trial, 2001-2004, Louisiana 14th JDC in Lake Charles. The Cullens Group was lead counsel representing a group of more than 50 Louisiana, New York, and other foreign investors in a Blue Sky / securities fraud case involving approximately $10 million against officers and directors of a failed telecom business based in New Orleans, a top Wall Street investment bank, a fortune 100 IT company, a New York based venture capitalist, and their respective insurers.

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