Attorneys for the group of minority owners of Billy Bob’s Texas were unsuccessful Tuesday in obtaining an emergency order that would have maintained the status quo at the Stockyards honky-tonk.
Both State District Judge Mike Wallach and the 2nd Court of Appeals rejected pleas from attorneys for embattled Billy Bob’s President Concho Minick and his allies to keep Minick in place as the establishment’s top executive while an appeal of an earlier ruling proceeds.
After Wallach ruled last week to let a temporary restraining order expire and declined to issue a new injunction prohibiting majority owners from removing Concho Minick, a group of opposing owners and their representatives fired Minick on Aug. 9.
Although he questioned their authority to do so, he vacated his office at Billy Bob’s. But two days later, he returned to resume his duties and has remained at work, even though his father, Billy Minick, the retired CEO;Billy Minick’s wife, Pam, a former marketing executive; and former General Manager Marty Travis returned to resume their roles.
The status of the management standoff remained unclear on Tuesday.
Marshall Searcy, attorney for the majority owners, including developer Brad Hickman and his family who own 40 percent, said on Tuesday that his clients have the authority to fire Concho Minick through majority rule.
“We have always had the authority and we already terminated him,” Searcy said. “Now, if he would just leave.”
Attorneys for Concho Minick and his allies, Dallas Mavericks General Manager Donnie Nelson and the family of former Fort Worth City Councilman Steve Murrin, had predicted in court documents that chaos would occur because there has been no ruling on the matter of governing authority at the heart of the dispute.
In a letter to attorneys explaining his ruling last week, Wallach said that the governance issue would likely be taken up later in a separate trial, if a case were to be brought.
“The seeds of the current situation, which have now sprouted and blossomed, were laid by the parties and their predecessors on both sides of this case long before the current dispute arose,” Wallach wrote.
He further stated that both sides have leveraged the two governing documents, the company operating agreement and a certificate of formation, to their own advantage over time.
“Both sides have been involved with ownership and management and both sides have failed to adhere to governance practices, which would have provided clarity with respect to ownership and management structure, duties, benefits and responsibilities,” he wrote.
Minority owners stand by the language of the company operating agreement that requires a unanimous decision of owners on major decision such as termination of the top manager.
They have appealed Wallach’s ruling on the injunction to the 2nd Court of Appeals and asked the court to expedite the process.
“We’re concerned that since the ruling resolves none of the disputes between the parties and doesn’t preserve the status quo, it will create more chaos at Billy Bob’s and will make it all the more difficult to keep Billy Bob’s on an upward trajectory,” the attorneys for the minority owners stated.