Looks like it’s still a gunfight at the OK Corral in the Fort Worth Stockyards. When last we checked on the lawsuit between the owners of Billy Bob’s Texas, the case was crawling along at a nag’s pace while enriching a posse of attorneys (“Those Battlin’ Billy Bobbers,” Apr 18, 2018).
Six months later, the litigants remain frozen in their gunfighter poses, and the attorneys are still making bank.
“It soldiers on,” said Philip Murrin. “Incredibly costly.”
Philip and his dad, Steve Murrin, are part owners along with former Billy Bob’s general manager Concho Minick and former Dallas Mavericks general manager Donnie Nelson. Those guys own a combined 35 percent of the world’s largest honkytonk. In May 2017, they sued the other owners, including Concho’s father, Billy Minick, and the person with the deepest pockets of all, Brad Hickman.
Philip said the minority owners filed the lawsuit after Hickman led efforts to oust Concho as manager even though the company charter required a unanimous decision among owners for all major business decisions.
Arbitration failed. State District Judge Mike Wallach ruled against the plaintiffs’ motions on their last visit to court, when they accused Hickman and the other majority owners of charging their legal fees to Billy Bob’s. This meant the minority owners were in effect paying 35 percent of their opponents’ legal fees –– bills that reportedly topped the $1 million mark many months ago.
The plaintiffs appealed Wallach’s ruling, and the case headed to the Texas Supreme Court.
“If the Supreme Court overrules [Wallach’s decision], that would speed things up toward a resolution,” Philip told us in September. “Until the Supreme Court does something, it’s in limbo –– and lots of money going out, and not much money coming in.”
Concho has moved on to new business endeavors. The Murrins are ready to move on as well. The majority owners have taken control of the club. And yet the case keeps dragging through the court.
“Why are we still doing this?” Philip said.
That’s a question many people are wondering.
We called to pose that question to Hickman but didn’t receive a return call by press time.