Those of you who keep close tabs on Texas hedge fund manager James Dondero know that he has been battling his ex-wife Becky Dondero over how much money he owes her for some time now. Complicating things slightly is a related suit/countersuit involving a former Highland Capital Management employee , Patrick Daughtery, who was sued by Dondero after he testified on behalf of Becky, claiming that over drinks, his boss told him he planned to “get his net worth down and pay her as little as possible.” In the suit, Dondero claimed that Daughtery made the story up to get back at Dondero/Highland for compensation that was never paid out, in addition to alleging that that Daugherty had suffered brain damage. Anyway, jury selection for the Dondero/Daughtery trial started yesterday, and the judge presiding over the case is not gonna lie: he’s looking forward to the juicy details.
In addition to alleging Daugherty defamed and disparaged the firm, Highland has accused its former executive of breach of contract. The firm said Daugherty’s actions upon leaving nullify his entitlement to accrued money from various firm incentive programs. The judge said at the Jan. 10 hearing he would allow the jury to hear testimony regarding Dondero’s divorce, as long as it relates to Daugherty. “The case will be more interesting if we let all that stuff in,” Hoffman said.