Robert R. Bell is a partner in the firm's Amarillo office. He has been with the firm since 1993 and a partner since 2000. He focuses his practice in two primary areas: complex commercial litigation and appellate law. Mr. Bell's commercial litigation practice includes handling cases involving officer and director liability, legal malpractice, accounting malpractice, fraudulent transfers and creditor's rights. Mr. Bell has handled cases in Texas state courts, and in federal courts in Alabama, California, Colorado, Texas, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska and West Virginia.
Since 2009, Mr. Bell has represented the trustee of the Yellowstone Club Liquidating Trust ("YCLT") in numerous lawsuits and appeals against the Yellowstone Club's founder, Timothy Blixseth. On behalf of the YCLT Mr. Bell and his firm have obtained judgments against Blixseth in amounts in excess of $200 million. Mr. Bell has successfully defended these judgments before the Ninth Circuit in numerous appeals.
Over the last several years, Mr. Bell has represented the FDIC as Receiver for several failed banks, including banks in Alabama, Florida, Nebraska, Ohio, Puerto Rico and Texas. The representation of the FDIC as Receiver has involved the investigation, analysis and prosecution of claims involving director and officer liability, accounting malpractice and fidelity bond litigation. To date, Mr. Bell has assisted the FDIC as Receiver in recovering over $50 million from defendants who were responsible for these banks' failures.
In 2004, Mr. Bell tried a case in the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. Mr. Bell represented the FDIC, as Receiver for the First National Bank of Keystone. In this suit, the FDIC sued Harald Bakkebo, claiming that he defrauded the bank in connection with the bank's mortgage-backed securitization program. After a seven-day trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the FDIC in the amount of $161,000,000.00. This was the 11th largest jury verdict in the United States for 2004. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed this $161 million judgment.
Besides the cases described above, Mr. Bell has handled other cases involving both professional liability claims and fraudulent transfers. The fraudulent transfer cases include obtaining injunctions preventing debtors from making fraudulent transfers. In one such case, Mr. Bell and his firm were able to bust an offshore trust in the Cayman Islands and recover several millions of dollars for his clients.
Mr. Bell also practices in the area of appellate law. He has handled appeals in the Fourth Circuit, the Fifth Circuit and the Ninth Circuit, as well as in Texas intermediate courts and the Texas Supreme Court. A list of his published opinions is stated herein.
Mr. Bell graduated from Baylor University with a Bachelor of Arts in 1982. He received his law degree with highest honors from Texas Tech University School of Law in 1993. While in law school, he was on the law review, the board of barristers, and state and national moot court teams.
Areas of Practice:
Bankruptcy and Creditors' Rights
State Courts: Texas (1993)
U.S. District Courts:
Northern District of Texas (1994)
U.S. Courts of Appeals:
Fifth Circuit (1999)
Ninth Circuit (1998)
Fourth Circuit (2003)
Texas Tech University School of Law
(J.D. summa cum laude) (1993)
Texas Tech Law Review
(1992 - 1993)
Blixseth v. Yellowstone Mountain Club, LLC, 796 F.3d 1004 (9th Cir. 2015)
Blixseth v. Yellowstone Mountain Club, LLC, 742 F.3d 1215 (9th Cir. 2014)
In re Yellowstone Mountain Club, LLC, 585 Fed.Appx. 393 (9th Cir. 2014)
FDIC as Receiver for BestBank v. St. Paul Companies, 634 F.Supp.2d 1213 (D. Colo. 2008)
FDIC v. Bakkebo, 506 F.3d 286 (4th Cir. 2007)
NLI v. Robinson, 98 S.W. 3rd 781 (Tex. App., Amarillo,
pet. denied 2003)
King's Court Racquet Ball v. Dawkins, 62 S.W. 3rd 312 (Tex. App., Amarillo, no writ. 2001)
SCPOA v Annett, 978 S.W. 2nd 654 (Tex. App., Amarillo, no writ. 1998)
State Bar of Texas
Panhandle Bankruptcy Bar Association
Amarillo Area Young Lawyers Association,
Director (1995 - 1996)
Amarillo Bar Association,
Director (2003 - 2005)