One Down, One to Go: SMU Settles Lawsuit With Former University Gardens Condo Owner

Southern Methodist University and Dr. Robert Tafel have agreed on an undisclosed settlement regarding the lawsuit filed by Tafel and attorney Gary Vodicka in which they allege that SMU defrauded residents of the 350-unit University Gardens Condominiums in a land grab for the George W. Bush Presidential Library.

"Dr. Tafel is satisfied that he has accomplished what he set out to accomplish," says Larry Friedman, Tafel's attorney. "This was never about money for him. This was about transparency."

John McElhaney, of counsel with Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell, which represents SMU, confirmed the settlement, but was unwilling to offer any further information. "All either side is saying is that we've reached a settlement," he says. "That's the extent of what we're going to say."

How about a comment on how close he is to settling with Vodicka? "No," he says while laughing. "I certainly will not comment on that."

Both Tafel and Vodicka previously rejected $1 million settlement offers, as chronicled in our July cover story about the lawsuit.

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Sam Merten
Contact: Sam Merten