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.
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.
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
“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.”
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.
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.