It has been brought to our attention that certain disparaging postings appear on the internet related to Daniel T. Layton and J. Clarke Legler. These types of baseless attacks should not warrant a response other than our successful defense of the associated meritless lawsuits. In the internet age, however, even the most baseless claims take on a life of their own. And those that post them conveniently ignore the fact Mr. Layton and Mr. Legler were vindicated in a court of law.
Daniel T. Layton and his business partner, J. Clarke Legler are successful energy executives and private equity investors. On December 21, 2011, certain individuals and related entities filed lawsuits systematically to assassinate the character and business reputation of Messrs. Layton and Legler, such lawsuit being timed to disrupt an initial public offering for a portfolio company in which Messrs. Layton and Legler were significant shareholders. These individuals brought two separate actions in bad faith, using false and fabricated information, the sole purpose of which was to disrupt the IPO and harass Mr. Layton, Mr. Legler and their related affiliates their time, money and, more importantly, their reputation for personal monetary gain.
The plaintiffs had invested in two investment funds, operated by the affiliated entities of Mr. Layton. The lawsuits alleged various theories of recovery, including claims for conversion, a violation of Texas securities laws. Rather than take the easy way out and just pay to avoid the merit less claims, Mr. Layton and Mr. Legler engaged distinguished counsel, as well as a highly reputable forensic accountant to review the allegations. The forensic review concluded no evidence existed to support any of the claims. Additionally, counsel for Mr. Layton and Mr. Legler met with plaintiff's counsel and invited the plaintiffs to review all of the pertinent books and records, confident the review would satisfy the plaintiff's claims. This offer was summarily declined.
Mr. Layton acted aggressively to defend his reputation, successfully obtaining a dismissal not once, but twice. Once again, plaintiffs continued in their character assassination by filing a frivolous appeal of the second motion to dismiss. The Appeals Court dismissing the plaintiff's appeal as frivolous. After the plaintiffs refiled, to deliver finality to this case, Federal Court Judge Simeon Lake of United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas entered a final judgement in favor of Mr. Layton and Mr. Legler.
The plaintiffs continued to harass Mr. Layton by having their attorney, Kevin Colbert, file an action against all of Mr. Layton's attorneys, as well as two additional suits in Texas state court, all of which were dismissed by the court. Mr. Layton and his attorneys moved for and were awarded sanctions against plaintiff's attorney, Mr. Colbert, who was assessed over $50,000 in fines by the Federal Court for his actions.
We understand how this gossip on the internet may give rise to some questions. Too many business people pay these kind of people off, treating it as a cost of doing business. We however, believe honest business people must fight back and in the end the courts, as they did here, will right the wrong. We welcome any questions you may have.
Mr. Layton's and Mr. Legler's business activities are international with revenues well into the hundreds of millions. We understand how this unfortunate circumstance may give rise to questions and we welcome any dialogue on the matter. Please feel free to contact the company directly or through our general counsel Tim Lavender at Kelly Drye & Warren (312) 857-2630.
The Layton Group of companies