Jackson Walker Wins Jury Trial in Alleged Trade Secrets Dispute Between Competing Insurance Companies

March 20, 2024 | Client Results

After a two-week jury trial, Jackson Walker delivered a complete defense verdict in a multimillion-dollar alleged trade secrets dispute between two competing insurance companies selling life insurance in Latin America. The trial, which began on February 26, 2024, was held in the 455th District Court of Travis County, Texas.

Jackson Walker’s client, Randall H. Riley, was fired from plaintiff Citizens, Inc., a publicly traded insurance conglomerate. Mr. Riley subsequently started his own life insurance company, Citizens American Life. Believing them to be working with Mr. Riley, Citizens also fired our clients Alexis Delgado and Carlos Nalsen Landa, who were some of the plaintiff’s top-selling insurance agents in Venezuela. The plaintiff then sued our clients, claiming they formed an illegal copycat company, breached non-disclosure agreements, and misappropriated trade secrets, and also sued First Trinity Financial Corporation after it purchased Mr. Riley’s company.

The plaintiffs sought $15.9 million in actual damages as well as punitive damages. After a two-week jury trial, the jury came back and awarded the plaintiffs zero dollars and awarded Mr. Delgado and Mr. Nalsen a combined $1.29 million as a result of their claims related to plaintiffs’ wrongfully taking away their sales commissions.

A Jackson Walker team led by Austin partner Scott W. Weatherford and senior counsel Peter C. Hansen represented Mr. Delgado, Mr. Nalsen, and Mr. Riley and his companies. Co-defendants First Trinity Financial Corporation, Trinity American, and Mike Buchweitz were represented by Dan Richards and Chase Hamilton at Richards Rodriguez & Skeith.

The case is Citizens, Inc. v. Riley, No. D-1-GN-18-006739, in the 455th District Court of Travis County, Texas.

Meet Our Team

Scott WeatherfordScott W. Weatherford focuses on intellectual property, trade secret, and technology-related commercial disputes. He also counsels clients on how to navigate workplace compliance and legal issues related to employee misconduct, personnel policies, unfair competition, and protection of proprietary business information. He has been admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern, Northern, Southern, and Western Districts of Texas. His practice has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America in 2024, in Super Lawyers – Rising Stars since 2019, and in Austin Monthly’s list of “Austin’s Top Attorneys” since 2021.

Peter HansenPeter C. Hansen handles appeals in federal and state court and complex trial litigation requiring dispositive motions briefing, jury charge work, error preservation, and post-judgment briefing. Peter has experience with a range of issues such as class actions, sovereign/governmental immunity, and commercial disputes. He has been admitted to practice before the Texas Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal, Fifth, and Ninth Circuits, and the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas. Austin Monthly has named Peter to the “Austin’s Top Attorneys” list for Appellate Law since 2021.

About Jackson Walker’s Trial Team

Jackson Walker’s trial group is one of the largest in the Southwest, comprising about 30% of the firm’s more than 500 attorneys. A formidable opponent in the courtroom, our diverse experience covers a broad range of industry sectors and specialty practice areas and takes us into courthouses across the state and nearly every Texas county. Our trial practice also spans the U.S., as we have litigated cases in all 50 states. To explore the firm’s experience representing clients in real estate-related disputes, visit the Trial & Appellate Litigation practice page.

In This Story

Peter C. Hansen
Senior Counsel, Austin

Scott W. Weatherford
Partner, Austin