Refusal To Settle Case Out Of Court Costs HISD $9 Million

Experienced business litigation lawyers know there is no one-size-fits-all solution to legal matters. Success and winning should be defined by the unique circumstances of each case. Sometimes the most successful resolution to a case is not a long and drawn out court battle, but a careful negotiation and settlement. This is a lesson the Houston Independent School District (HISD) just learned the hard way in a recent lawsuit. Although HISD had the option to settle a copyright infringement lawsuit for just $250,000 out of court, the district decided to pursue the case in court where a jury ordered it to pay a whopping $9 million.

The lawsuit started when DynaStudy, a two-person educational materials supplier, alleged HISD made four violations of federal copyright laws. DynaStudy proposed a modest six-figure settlement on multiple locations, but HISD refused. DynaStudy reportedly proposed a $250,000 settlement, which the district rejected, leading the supplier to file a lawsuit.

During the discovery process, DynaStudy found dozens of other brazen copyright violations. Evidence showed some teachers used white tape and sticky notes to cover copyright notices and one teacher even wrote in an email that she was “OK with violating” copyrights.

After refusing several settlement offers, HISD launched a three-year legal battle that culminated in a $9.2 verdict against the district. Additionally, HISD may be on the hook for DynaStudy’s attorneys’ fees, which could amount to an additional $1.5 million. The jury decided in DynaStudy’s favor after hearing how dozens of HISD employees repeatedly violated copyrights and distributed copyrighted material for ten years.

Securing A Successful Resolution with the Help of Business Litigation Attorneys

The reality is most business litigation cases are not decided in a courtroom. This doesn’t mean trials are always a bad strategy for resolution, but it highlights the importance of understanding what a successful resolution looks like for each client. Oftentimes, out of court settlements are the quickest and most cost-effective way to resolve a dispute. Taking a case to trial can also present serious risks, as seen in the HISD copyright lawsuit.

Business Litigation Attorneys

At Feldman & Feldman, our business litigation attorneys put our clients’ interests first. We can explain your legal options and the benefits and drawbacks of each option. Our attorneys will help you make an informed decision about resolution strategies and continuously fight for what’s right for you. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced attorneys.