$1.5 Million Verdict in Lamar County Business Dispute Trial


On Wednesday a Lamar County jury returned a $1.5 million verdict in Hinton v. Rolison. The case involved a partnership in a car dealership.
Here is the Complaint.
Here is the Verdict.
Lici Beveridge’s article in the Hattiesburg American reported on the verdict here. From the article:

Hinton claimed in his lawsuit that he was an equal partner in the business, having purchased, financed and sold cars on behalf of the business. 
Rolison denied the partnership ever existed and claimed Hinton did nothing for the business, attorney Clark Hicks said in an email. Hicks and Lane Dossett of Hicks’ law firm represented Hinton at trial.
Rolison instead argued that Hinton was only a car wholesaler from whom he purchased cars. 
Hinton filed a lawsuit against Rolison in 2013, saying Rolison refused to give him his share of the profits and would not give him access to business records.
The partnership was based on a handshake agreement, Hicks said, with no contract in writing. However, the men had a lease agreement that stated the men were equal partners.

Rolison argued the lease agreement was a forgery.
The parties have a long and storied litigation history.  In 2012, Hinton discovered that Rolison had drafted and recorded a deed transferring the car lot out of Hinton’s children’s names to Rolison.  A lawsuit was filed in the Lamar County Chancery Court to set aside the deed, which resulted in a settlement.  However, Hinton remained obligated on the mortgage, which he could not refinance because title was not in his name.  The property proceeded to a foreclosure sale.  Hinton and Rolison’s attorneys both appeared at the foreclosure sale.  The courthouse auction resulted in a large surplus, with Rolison’s attorneys ultimately winning the bid.
A second lawsuit was filed between Hinton and Rolison over ownership of the surplus.  Hinton claimed ownership as the obligated party under the deed of trust and

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