Judicial Admissions: Be Careful What You Plead, and How

Advantage Aviation Technologies, Inc. v. Axcess Aviation Maintenance Services, Inc.
Dallas Court of Appeals, No. 05-23-00344-CV (December 27, 2023)
Justices Molberg (Opinion, linked here), Pedersen III, and Smith
Axcess secured judgment against Advantage Aviation for breach of two contracts. Advantage challenged that judgment on appeal by arguing that it had no contracts with Axcess and that the contracts on which the judgment was based were between Axcess and a different party. Problem was, in the trial court Advantage had counterclaimed, unsuccessfully, for breach of the very same contracts that it tried to deny on appeal. And it had done so “without equivocation and not in the alternative,” alleging it sustained damages of more than $90,000 from Axcess’s breach of those contracts. Oops.

Citing its prior opinion in Murphy v. Killer Ridez, Inc., No. 05-13-00035-CV, 2014 WL 428987, the Dallas Court of Appeals summarily rejected Advantage’s appeal and affirmed, saying: 
Assertions of fact, not pleaded in the alternative, in the live pleadings of a party are regarded as formal judicial admissions. … A judicial admission that is clear and unequivocal is conclusive upon the party making it; it relieves the opposing party of the burden of proving the admitted fact and bars the admitting party from disputing it.
Print Friendly and PDF