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FROM BAD TO WORSE: Court Ups Default Judgment In Favor of Brandon Callier to $132,500.00.
Wednesday, April 17, 2024

21 phone calls.

$132,500.00 in damages.

That’s what happens when you don’t show up to court to defend yourself.

TCPAWorld readers will remember Brandon Callier just scored a nice chunk of change in a suit against Tip Top Capital’s alleged owner, Adim Shtivelman.

When Shtivelman didn’t show up to defend himself in court the magistrate judge entered a default against him for $27,500.00.

Well things just went from bad to worse for Shtivelman. A lot worse.

In Callier v. Tip Top, 2024 WL 1637535 (W.D. Tex. April 16, 2024) the district court found that Shtivelman could also be held liable for violation of a Texas state law IN ADDITION to the TCPA for the same calls.

The Texas law (Tex. Bus. & Com. Code § 302.101 and 302.302(a)) permits up to $5k in damages for violations.

So the 21 calls at issue carried $105,000.00 in damages as to the state law claim alone.

All totaled then the district court finds the defendant now owe Callier $132,500.

My goodness.

Look folks, you have to show up to defend yourself in court–otherwise you may end up owing a guy like Callier six figures. Even in a case involving just 21 calls!

This case is particularly brutal as Callier is not exactly famous for bringing meritorious cases. Plus–other than default judgments–the Texas law at issue has never been successfully leveraged against a caller to my knowledge. So the $5k per call penalty should have been easily avoided if competent counsel had been retained.

Just awful.

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