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Plaintiffs’ Original Complaint PAGE - 1
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
RODNEY D. VANNERSON. §
ENOS CABELL, §
TOM ROBERSON, §
THE JOINT VENTURE OF §
“THREE FRIENDS” §
v. § CIVIL ACTION NO. _____________
VINCENT PAUL YOUNG, JR., §
VINCENT YOUNG INC., and, §
DELPHINE M. JAMES §
PLAINTIFFS’ ORIGINAL COMPLAINT
TO THE HONORABLE JUDGE OF SAID COURT:
COME NOW, Plaintiffs, Rodney D. Vannerson, Enos Cabell, Tom Roberson and the
Joint Venture of “Three Friends” (hereinafter referred to as "Vannerson," "Cabell," “Roberson”
and "Three Friends Venture” respectively and collectively as "Plaintiffs") complaining of
Vincent Paul Young, Jr., Vincent Young, Inc. (hereinafter jointly with Vincent Paul Young, Jr.,
referred to as “Young”), and Delphine M. James (hereinafter referred to as “James”; and
collectively with Young as “Defendants”) and for cause of action would show this Honorable
Court as follows:
Case 4:14-cv-02263 Document 1 Filed in TXSD on 08/07/14 Page 1 of 7
Plaintiffs’ Original Complaint PAGE - 2
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
1. This suit is filed to enforce and collect money due under a settlement agreement
which was incorporated into a Consent Judgment issued in Cause No. 4:08-CV-03649; Vincent
Paul Young, Jr. et al, vs. Rodney D Vannerson et al, in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of Texas, Houston Division (the “Underlying Case”). (Docket Entry No. 77
therein). Pursuant to the Court’s Consent Judgment this Court “. . . shall retain jurisdiction for
purposes of implementing and enforcing the Confidential Settlement Agreement.” (Docket Entry
No. 77 therein, p. 2 Paragraph I.A. Jurisdiction). Additionally, pursuant to the terms of the
Consent Judgment, the Parties agreed “… to present any disputes under this Settlement
Agreement, including without limitation any claims for breach or enforcement of the
Confidential Settlement Agreement, exclusively to this Court.” (Id.)
2. Plaintiffs, Rodney D. Vannerson, Enos Cabell, Tom Roberson are individuals,
each residents of Harris County, Texas. The Joint Venture of “Three Friends” is an informal
venture of these three.
3. Defendant Vincent Paul Young, Jr., is an individual resident of Travis County,
Texas, who may be located for service of process at his place of business:
Vincent Paul Young, Jr.
c/o Vincent Young, Inc.
1707 Directors Blvd., Suite 370
Austin, Travis County, Texas 78744
Case 4:14-cv-02263 Document 1 Filed in TXSD on 08/07/14 Page 2 of 7
Plaintiffs’ Original Complaint PAGE - 3
4. Defendant Vincent Young, Inc., is a Texas Corporation which may be located for
service of process by and through its registered agent as follows:
Elton R. Lockings
6200 Savoy, Suite 548
Houston, Harris County, Texas
5. Defendant, Delphine M. James, is an individual who may be located for service of
process at her principle place of business as follows:
Delphine M. James
Law Offices of Delphine M. James
2616 South Loop West, Suite 415
Houston, Harris County, Texas 77054
STATEMENT OF FACTS
6. In the Underlying Case, the Young (the plaintiffs in the Underlying Case) sued
the Plaintiffs herein (defendants in the Underlying case) for a Declaratory Judgment concerning
the ownership of certain trademark applications and violation of the Lanham Act. Defendant
James was Young’s attorney of record in the Underlying Case.
7. The parties in the Underlying Case reached a settlement agreement at mediation
before the Magistrate Judge Milloy on April 30, 2010, and read the settlement into the record
taken down by the court reporter. (Docket entry No. 62 therein). The settlement agreement was
eventually reduced to writing and signed by the parties hereto (the “Settlement Agreement”).
See the Settlement Agreement, filed under seal herewith as EXHIBIT A.
8. The essential terms of the settlement were that Vannerson would assign his entire
right, title and interest in and to his pending intent to use trademark applications, along with all
good will associated with those marks, to Young. Young were to pay Plaintiffs herein a sum
reflected in the Settlement Agreement and in the agreement read into the Court record.
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Plaintiffs’ Original Complaint PAGE - 4
9. In the ensuing months, both parties filed motions asserting breach of the
Settlement Agreement and for reinstatement of the case. Those disputes were settled and
Consent Judgment incorporating the Settlement Agreement was entered on October 14, 2010.
(Docket Entry No. 77 in the Underlying Case).
10. Again, the parties each filed motions asserting that the other side had failed to
comply with the Settlement Agreement and the Consent Judgment and seeking enforcement of
11. On July 11, 2012, this court issued its Memorandum and Order confirming
performance by the Plaintiffs herein under the Settlement Agreement. (Docket Entry No. 120 in
the Underlying Case).
12. In that Memorandum and Order, the Court concluded that:
“… the record amply demonstrates, the PTO confirmed that defendant Rodney
Vannerson “ ‘assign[ed] the entire interest and the goodwill’ of trademark
applications 78786883, 78786073, and 78786069 to Plaintiff [Vince] Young six
days after the settlement agreement was executed. (Docket Entry No. 100, at 6).” ;
“There was no material breach of the settlement agreement of the settlement
agreement on this basis.” (Docket Entry No. 120, at 5 in the Underlying Case).
13. The Court found no record that the Defendants had repudiated the settlement.
(Docket Entry No. 120, at 6 in the Underlying Case).
14. The Court further found that “settlement agreement and consent judgment remain
in place”. (Docket Entry No. 120, at 8 in the Underlying Case).
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Plaintiffs’ Original Complaint PAGE - 5
15. Further under the terms of the Settlement Agreement, Young was to “…pay into
the IOLTA account of Delphine James, Attorney at Law, . . . . ” the amount due under the
Settlement Agreement. Ms. James then assumed the responsibility of paying such sums to
Plaintiffs herein upon their performance under the Settlement Agreement. Ms. James assumed
the role of trustee for such funds and had both a contractual and a fiduciary responsibility (to
both her clients and the Plaintiffs herein) to timely and properly distribute said funds. (See
paragraph 4 of Exhibit A attached under seal hereto). She failed to comply with her contractual
and fiduciary responsibilities.
16. Plaintiffs herein, having fully performed under the Settlement Agreement, assert
that the funds required to be paid to them under the terms of the Settlement Agreement and
Consent Judgment have not been tendered or paid by the Defendants.
CAUSES OF ACTION
Breach of the Settlement Agreement by all Defendants
17. Plaintiffs herein aver that by failing to pay the amounts agreed upon in the above
referenced Settlement Agreement, the Defendants have jointly, and severally, breached the
Breach of Trust and Fiduciary Duty
18. Plaintiffs herein aver that James has breached both the trust placed in her, as well
as, her fiduciary duty to timely and properly distribute the funds. She has admitted that the
required funds were paid into her IOLTA account; but claims to have returned them to her client.
Plaintiffs aver, on information and belief, that she retained such funds and used them for her own
Case 4:14-cv-02263 Document 1 Filed in TXSD on 08/07/14 Page 5 of 7
Plaintiffs’ Original Complaint PAGE - 6
Conversion of Funds
19. Plaintiffs herein aver that James has converted funds paid in trust to her for her
own benefit. Demand has been made for payment by Plaintiffs to James and no such payment
has been forthcoming.
20. Pursuant to paragraph 13 of the Settlement Agreement (Exhibit A attached hereto
and filed under seal) and Sec. 38.001 et seq of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code,
Plaintiffs herein seek recovery of their reasonable and necessary Attorney’s fees required by the
prosecution of this action.
21. In light of the knowing and willful acts of James, including but not limited to her
continued misrepresentations to the court concerning payment under the agreement, and her
conversion of the funds held in trust, Plaintiffs seek exemplary damages as and against James not
to exceed three (3) times the amount due.
WHEREFORE PREMISES CONSIDERED, Plaintiffs, Rodney D. Vannerson, Enos
Cabell, Tom Roberson and the Joint Venture of “Three Friends”, pray that the Court, upon final
hearing hereof, issue judgment against the Defendants for all damages shown, exemplary
damages, reasonable and necessary attorney’s fees, pre and post judgment interest as accrued,
and for such other and further relief as they may show themselves justly entitled and for which
they shall ever pray.
Case 4:14-cv-02263 Document 1 Filed in TXSD on 08/07/14 Page 6 of 7
Plaintiffs’ Original Complaint PAGE - 7
Dated: August 7, 2014 Respectfully submitted,
By: /s/ Kelly D Stephens /s/
Kelly D Stephens
Texas State Bar No. 19158300
Stephens & Domnitz, PLLC
ATTORNEYS FOR PLAINTIFFS
RODNEY D. VANNERSON, ENOS
CABELL, TOM ROBERSON AND THE
JOINT VENTURE OF “THREE
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