United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Jonesboro Division
CHAD SANDINE; GROUNDHOGZ EXPRESS, INC.; and GROUNDHOGZ LOGISTICS, INC. PLAINTIFFS/ COUNTER-DEFENDANTS
DON TATE; and TATE EXPRESS, INC. DEFENDANTS/ COUNTER-CLAIMANTS
Court is attaching working drafts of its final instructions
and alternative verdicts. These drafts implement Don
Tate's election to proceed on the contract. The first
verdict covers fraud and contract claims, the second only
contract claims. We'll see what the proof supports. And
we will revise the instructions and verdict as needed during
Marshall Jr., United States District Judge
all the Court's instructions. Written and spoken
instructions are equally important. And it doesn't make
any difference when I give an instruction. Follow them all.
job is to decide what happened. Don't take anything I
said or did as a suggestion about what your decision should
be. You're the judges of the facts, not me.
decide the case based on sympathy, prejudice, or emotion.
Decide based on the evidence, the law, and your common sense.
evidence is the witnesses' testimony, the exhibits, any
facts agreed by the parties, and any facts I've told you
that you must accept as true. Anything the lawyers said (such
as questions, statements, arguments, and objections) is not
evidence. If I told you to disregard something, ignore it. If
you saw or heard something about this case outside the
courtroom, ignore that, too. If I told you some evidence must
be used only for a limited purpose, do so.
careful evaluating each witness's credibility. Use your
life experience and your common sense in deciding what
testimony you believe.
sellers of this trucking business were Chad Sandine,
Groundhogz Express, Inc., and Groundhogz Logistics, Inc. For
simplicity, the Court will refer to all these parties as
Groundhogz. The buyers were Don Tate and Tate Express, Inc.
For simplicity, the Court will refer to both these parties as
party with the burden of proof must prove the facts asserted
by a preponderance of the evidence. That means the party must
prove that something is more likely true than not true. I
will tell you whether Groundhogz or Tate has the burden of
proof on particular issues. If Groundhogz has the burden of
proof on a fact, and the evidence is equally balanced, then
the sellers have not carried their burden. If Tate has the
burden of proof on a fact, and the evidence is equally
balanced, then the buyers have not carried their burden.
Neither Groundhogz nor Tate must prove anything beyond a
reasonable doubt. That's the standard for criminal cases,
not civil cases like this one.
claims that Tate violated the contract by not making monthly
payments to Groundhogz and by not honoring Groundhogz"s
right of first refusal. To succeed on this claim, Groundhogz
that Groundhogz and Tate made a contract. All parties agree
that they did;
that the contract required Tate to perform a certain act;
that Groundhogz did what the contract required it to do; and
Fourth, that Tate did not do what the contract
required of it.
find that Groundhogz proved each of these propositions, your
verdict should be for Groundhogz. If, though, you find that
Groundhogz failed to prove one or more of these propositions,
your verdict should be for Tate.
decide that Tate violated the contract, then you must fix the
amount of money that Groundhogz has proved will reasonably
and fairly compensate it. Any award should put Groundhogz in
no better position than it would have been in if both sides
had performed their promises under the contract.
elements of damage that Groundhogz claims under the contract
-the due but unpaid monthly payments; and
-the lost right of first refusal.
either of these elements of damage has been proved by the
evidence is for you to determine.
Tate claims that Groundhogz violated the contract by not
disclosing necessary information and by keeping money paid by
FedEx to Groundhogz that Tate earned. To succeed on this
claim, Tate must prove:
that Tate and Groundhogz made a contract. All the parties
agree that they did;
that the contract required Groundhogz to perform a certain
that Tate did what the contract required it to do; and
Fourth, that Groundhogz did not do what the contract
required of it.
find that Tate proved each of these propositions, your
verdict should be for Tate. If, though, you find that Tate
failed to prove one or more of these propositions, your
verdict should be for Groundhogz.
decide that Groundhogz violated the contract, then you must
fix the amount of money that Tate has proved will reasonably
and fairly compensate it. Any award should put Tate in no
better position than it would have been in if both Tate and
Groundhogz had performed their promises under the contract.
elements of damage that Tate claims under the contract are:
- the amount Groundhogz received from FedEx during the
transition period for services ...