In Archer v. Allison, a plaintiff sued his daughter and her husband for breaching fiduciary duties and other related causes of action related to their work in certain businesses. No. 07-14-003130CV, 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 12361 (Tex. App.—Amarillo December 3, 2015, no pet. history). The plaintiff represented to a United States Bankruptcy Court in 2002 that he had no interest in the properties at issue. The defendants filed motions for summary judgment based on judicial estoppel, which the trial court granted.
Judicial estoppel is a common law principle that applies when a party contradicts his sworn statement in prior litigation. The affirmative defense is established through proof that 1) the positions were clearly inconsistent, 2) the court in the prior proceeding accepted the position, and 3) the prior position was asserted intentionally rather than inadvertently. The court explained: “Simply put, Archer previously represented in a legal proceeding that he claimed no interest in various of properties he now attempts to recoup.” Id. The court of appeals affirmed the trial court’s judgment based on judicial estoppel.