The Dallas Court of Appeals has held that a trial court did not abuse its discretion by excluding the amount of the judgment appealed from the judgment debtor’s net worth calculation for purposes of a supersedeas bond. What is different from this opinion than from a prior opinion we blogged about is that in this case there was expert testimony on both sides of the issue.
In Anderton v. Cawley, Anderton sought to reduce the amount of supersedeas required of him. He filed an affidavit of net worth with a negative net worth and showing the amount of the trial court’s judgment against him as a liability. One Appellee objected to the affidavit and a hearing was held to determine the debtor’s net worth. Anderton presented expert testimony showing why the judgment should be treated as a liability under generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). The Appellee also presented expert testimony. Its expert testified that not including the judgment in the net worth calculation is consistent with GAAP. The trial court rejected inclusion of the judgment as a liability, determining that it would be "illogical" to do so.
On motion to review the trial court’s ruling, the court of appeals holds that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in excluding the judgment. The reasoning for the decision is limited. The court noted that supersedeas requires calculation of net worth and observed that the statute regarding supersedeas does not include a "contingent money judgment" as a liability. The court’s opinion may be found here.