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Mark Werbner and Eric Pearson successfully defend Jean-Raymond Boulle in $200M breach of contract

By Katherine Yung / The Dallas Morning News May 19, 2006

Jean-Raymond Boulle, an international businessman and former Dallas

resident, prevailed Thursday over one of his brothers in a long-running

lawsuit that had sought $200 million in damages.

It took a

Dallas jury less than two hours to decide that Jean Boulle did not

breach an agreement with Marie Joseph Franco Boulle, known as Franco,

and Franco Boulle’s companion, Lesa Schmidt, nor did he commit fraud.

The

one-time business partners in the mining and minerals industry had

parted ways in 1992, with Franco Boulle agreeing to transfer his share

of assets owned by their partnership to Jean Boulle. In exchange,

Franco was to receive a 5 percent interest in the net revenue generated

by any of the projects he had transferred to his brother.

Jean

Boulle went on to form a company, Diamond Fields Resources Inc., that

discovered one of the world’s largest nickel deposits, in northeastern

Canada. He then made a fortune from selling the company to Inco Ltd., a

giant Canadian mining company.

But Franco Boulle, a citizen of

the United Kingdom who now lives in Ensenada, Mexico, alleged that Jean

Boulle did not honor the terms of their agreement and filed the lawsuit

in 1998. The suit alleged that Jean Boulle used some of the projects

from their former partnership to form Diamond Fields. It also described

several projects from their former partnership that Franco Boulle

alleged he should have received money from.

Jean Boulle, who

now lives in Monaco, denied the allegations, saying that none of the

projects Franco Boulle previously had an interest in ever generated any

revenue. He told the jury that he performed his obligations under the

agreement by paying Franco Boulle $45,000, defending lawsuits against

their former partnership and paying more than $750,000 to settle their

former debts.

“I am very happy that the jury found that I fully

complied with the 1992 agreement I made with my brother, Franco, and

completely rejected the accusations that he had made in the lawsuit,”

Jean Boulle said in a statement. “I am delighted to have this personal

family dispute resolved after all of these years.”

Jean Boulle

made news in 2002 when his 43,000-square-foot mansion on Strait Lane in

Dallas was burned to the ground in a construction accident.

Dallas

jeweler Denis Boulle, another brother, was on the witness list but was

not called. “I remain close to my family, but I was not a participant

in this lawsuit,” he said.

Franco Boulle’s attorney, Larry

Veselka, said his client was glad to get his day in court after so

long. No decision has been made on whether to appeal.

Staff writer Cheryl Hall contributed to this report.

E-mail kyung@dallasnews.com

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