DALLAS — A Reed Smith trial team obtained a jury verdict of more than $22 million for Daniel Moos in a breach of contract and declaratory judgment against Pillar Income Asset Management, Inc. (Pillar), a company founded by late Dallas real estate mogul Gene Phillips. The verdict followed an eight-day trial in the 160th Judicial District Court of Dallas County, Texas.

The Reed Smith team, led by Mark Johansen, along with Brian Mitchell, Steve Smith, Alan York and Rachael Seidl, also successfully defended Moos from counterclaims seeking more than $36 million. Texas Senator Royce West, of West and Associates, served as co-counsel alongside the Reed Smith team.

Moos is the former president and chief executive officer of Pillar and its predecessors, as well as the former chief executive officer of multiple public company affiliates. The dispute arose when Pillar terminated Moos and refused to pay compensation owed to him under the terms of his employment contract. Pillar also attempted to improperly seize Moos’s interest in a separate real estate venture worth $15.7 million. To avoid its contractual obligations, Pillar brought claims against Moos for alleged breaches of fiduciary duties.

Moos testified over three days during the trial before Judge Aiesha Redmond. The jury awarded Moos $4.2 million in damages for breach of contract and $2.3 million in attorneys’ fees; it also found that he had not assigned his interest in the real estate joint venture and was its legitimate owner, entitling him to more $15.7 million held in the registry of the court.

“The jury’s verdict affirmed Mr. Moos’s entitlement to the payments owed to him under the plain and unambiguous language of his employment agreement with Pillar and its predecessors,” said partner Mark Johansen. “The jury saw through Pillar’s contrived claims that he had committed a breach of fiduciary duty, and they recognized that Moos was entitled to recover the full amount on account of his interest in the joint venture. We are pleased this matter concluded exactly as it should have – with a full victory for Mr. Moos.”

Casey Laffey, co-chair of Reed Smith’s Global Commercial Disputes Group, added, “This verdict is the latest of several significant trial victories our deep bench of litigators has achieved in 77 trials and arbitration hearings in the past year.”

The case is Daniel J. Moos v. Prime Income Asset Management, Inc., et al.; Cause No. DC-20-17668; 160th Judicial District Court of Dallas County, Texas.