Appeal from the 151st District Court Harris County, Texas
Trial Court Case No. 2014-10578
consists of Chief Justice Radack and Justices Brown and
Radack Chief Justice
case involves an investment in a start-up internet company
that provides betting tips to gamblers for a fee. Appellant,
Leonard J. Holmes, appeals from a summary judgment in favor
of appellee, Steven Newman. In two issues on appeal, Holmes
contends that (1) the trial court erred by excluding
testimony from his expert witness regarding the meaning of a
term used by the parties in the contract; and (2) fact issues
preclude summary judgment. We affirm in part and reverse and
remand in part.
and Newman had a prior business relationship; Newman worked
at TD Ameritrade and Holmes was a customer. Newman left TD
Ameritrade before the events giving rise to this suit.
made Holmes aware that he was looking for an investor to help
fund a start-up website business that would provide advice
and information to sports bettors. In April 2013, Holmes
invested $50, 000 in return for a 50% interest in
parties memorialized their agreement through a series of
emails, which are dated April 3, 2013 and April 4, 2013. The
April 3rd email from Newman to Holmes provides:
This is what we came up [with].
50k for 50%.
We also agreed the first return of capital would go to you up
to 50k (your investment) and then be split according to
Capital will be distributed quarterly, 4 times a
2 of the 3 partners must agree to make material decisions.
If the site requires Rob [Abbott, the third investor] or I
spending too much time on it, they will need to get paid at a
We do not foresee that being an issue the first 12 months.
If it all sounds good, let me know if you would like to meet
Rob or the best way to proceed to get this wrapped up.
responded via email on April 4th that stated: no pay till I
get paid is that ok . . . lets do it . . .thanks . . .jimmy
Newman responded on April 4th:
Let's do it!
We are going to set it up as an LLC . . . what name do you
want on the paperwork? Address? I'm going to have the
paperwork done tomorrow.
Once set up, you can wire the money into the new account or
if easier, write a check and we will get it deposited.
April 10, 2013, a Certificate of Formation Limited Liability
Company for SportsPicks.com was filed ...