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Court allows United Development Funding suit against Hayman Capital to proceed

The County Court of Dallas County denied Hayman Capital Management LP's motion to dismiss United Development Funding's lawsuit under the Texas Citizen's Participation Act.

In November 2017, several United Development Funding real estate investment trusts filed a lawsuit against Hayman Capital and its manager Kyle Bass, accusing them of making false statements that vilified United Development Funding's business and interfered with its contracts and business relations.

The defendants filed a motion under the Texas Citizen's Participation Act arguing that they were exercising rights of free speech in publishing negative material concerning United Development Funding's business and that the speech was made without actual malice.

In March, the court authorized limited discovery, including the production of some documentary evidence. And following an extended hearing, the court has now ruled in the favor of United Development Funding and has allowed the lawsuit to proceed to trial.

United Development Funding CEO Hollis Greenlaw vowed to pursue the lawsuit to trial.

Meanwhile, Cole Ramey, the defendants' representative, said in a statement, "We continue to believe this lawsuit is without merit and meant to detract and deflect from UDF's other problems." Hayman Capital and Bass plan to address their arguments to the court of appeals, Ramey added.