Ex-host sees legal victory

Richard C. Davis of James Island's Trademark Properties was the center of "Flip This House," for one season on A&E. The real estate reality show chronicled Davis and others as they bought homes and sought to "flip" them for a quick profit after fixing the


Richard Davis, creator and onetime host of "Flip This House" cable series, claimed a second legal victory Wednesday when a federal judge upheld a $4 million verdict in his favor.

Attorneys for A&E Television Networks had requested a judgment for the company or a new trial in the breach of contract case that awarded Davis the damages.

But U.S. District Court Judge C. Weston Houck affirmed the November jury verdict at a hearing Wednesday.

Michael Feeney, senior vice president of corporate communications at A&E, declined to comment about Houck's decision but said the network would appeal.

Davis alleged he and A&E representatives forged an oral contract to divide evenly any profit from "Flip This House," which chronicled his James Island business, Trademark Properties Inc.

Houck, who asked the jury to break down the value of its award at the end of the trial, said the verdict made sense. Though Davis and A&E lacked a written contract, "the terms that Mr. Davis proposed to A&E were clear," he said.

"Taking all that body of evidence, I think the jury has done that, weighed that, and I think the verdict should stand," he added.

Davis' attorney, Frank Cisa, spoke briefly at the hearing, calling the 12 individuals who decided the case "a smart jury."

A&E local attorney Richard Farrier argued that no contract existed. He suggested the jury knew that but acted on emotion.

"I think what we had was a jury that wanted to help out Mr. Davis in some way and was looking for a compromise verdict," Farrier said at the hearing.

Davis said Wednesday's events could be best summarized by the third "Flip This House" episode entitled "What the heck? Write the check."

Going into the hearing, "I was 100 percent confident," he said.

"Over the last six months I haven't thought twice about it. I've been able to go back and refocus on my company and refocus on what I'm best at," Davis said.

He said he expects a second season of his show, "The Real Deal," to begin airing next month on the The Learning Channel. Given the surge in foreclosures, he said, the series will follow his company as it buys bank-owned properties, renovates and sells them.