The Firm's appellate lawyers have established a vibrant, cutting-edge appellate practice that has achieved precedent-setting results for our clients. In the last two years alone, our appellate lawyers have orally argued appeals at the Texas Supreme Court, the United States Courts of Appeals for the Third, Fifth, and Tenth Circuits, and numerous Texas Courts of Appeals.
Our active trial docket results in frequent courtroom appearances for our appellate lawyers, who assist in all phases of litigation -- from drafting of initial pleadings to framing and arguing the jury charge. The Firm's appellate lawyers are also regularly called in to assist other firms at both the trial and appellate stages.
Our appellate lawyers have served as judicial law clerks for the Supreme Court of Texas and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. This has given them insight into how appellate judges think and what arguments are persuasive.
The Firm's appellate lawyers have achieved precedent-setting results in a broad variety of cases. They have established that companies targeted in CERCLA cases have the right to intervene to object to settlements that could bar their ability to seek contribution. They ended the negligent-credentialing claim in medical malpractice cases. They established that a company does not have to warn a sophisticated user about open and obvious defects. They have also changed the way disability law applies to the cruise industry.
Reported decisions illustrating successes of the Firm's appellate lawyers include:
- Critical Path Resources, Inc. v. Cuevas, ___ S.W.3d ___, 2019 WL 1532343 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2018, no pet. h.) (won affirmance in refinery-explosion case)
- JBS Carriers, Inc. v. Washington., 513 S.W.3d 703 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2017, pet. filed) (won affirmance of jury verdict in wrongful-death case)
- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Forte, 497 S.W.3d 460 (Tex. 2016) (filed amicus brief on behalf of Texas local governments and local-government elected officials; Texas Supreme Court adopted clients’ position that government suits for civil penalties are not subject to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Chapter 41’s provisions regarding exemplary damages)
- Kelsey-Seybold Med. Group PA v. Great-West Healthcare of Texas, Inc., 611 Fed. Appx. 841 (5th Cir. 2015) (won reversal of summary judgment, the Court of Appeals held that healthcare provider’s claims against insurance company were not preempted by ERISA and ordered case remanded to state court)
- Bigham v. Se. Tex. Envtl., 458 S.W.3d 650 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2015, no pet.) (won reversal and rendition of $2.6 million judgment in breach-of-fiduciary-duty and breach-of-contract case) Benge v. Williams, 472 S.W.3d 684 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2014, pet. granted) (won reversal of $2 million judgment in medical-malpractice case based on error in jury charge)
- Danet v. Bhan, 436 S.W.3d 793 (Tex. 2014) (per curiam) (won reversal of court of appeals’ opinion in a pro bono child-custody case)
- Int’l Paper Co. v. Harris County, 445 S.W.3d 379 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2013, no pet.) (won affirmance of denial of temporary injunction; in case of first impression in Texas, the Court of Appeals held that a government entity using contingency-fee counsel to bring a civil-penalty case did not violate the defendants’ constitutional rights)
- Seeberger v. BNSF Railway Co., No. 01-12-00583-CV, 2013 WL 5434141 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] Sep. 26, 2013, pet. denied) (mem. op.) (won affirmance of order granting new trial solely on damages in a FELA railroad-worker injury case; the Court of Appeals held that federal law—not Texas law—governed whether damages-only retrials were allowed in FELA cases)
- Huffman v. Union Pac. R.R. Co., 675 F.3d 412 (5th Cir. 2012) (won reversal of $600,000 judgment in a FELA railroad-worker injury case; Fifth Circuit ordered district court to enter judgment in favor of client)
- Raynor v. Moores Mach. Shop, LLC, 359 S.W.3d 905 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2012, no pet.) (won reversal of summary judgment in wrongful-death case)
- Spence v. The ESAB Group, Inc., 623 F.3d 212 (3d Cir. 2010) (won reversal of summary judgment in trucking-accident case; Third Circuit held that a shipper who loads cargo onto a truck has a duty to make sure that the cargo is secured).
- United States v. Albert Investment Co., 585 F.3d 1386 (10th Cir. 2009) (won reversal of order denying intervention in a CERCLA case; Tenth Circuit held that non-settling potentially responsible parties in CERCLA cases had the right to intervene to object to settlements that would cut off their contribution rights).
- Garrett v. Borden, 283 S.W.3d 852 (Tex. 2009) (per curiam) (won reversal of dismissal in a statutory-interpretation case).
- Spector v. Norwegian Cruise Line, Ltd., 125 S.Ct. 2169 (2005) (established that Americans with Disabilities Act applies to cruise ships).
- King v. Dallas Fire Ins. Co., 85 S.W.3d 185 (Tex. 2002) (established that “occurrence” in an insurance policy is determined from the insured’s viewpoint).
- Sauder Custom Fabrication, Inc. v. Boyd, 967 S.W.2d 349 (Tex. 1998) (established that defendant does not have to warn sophisticated users about open and obvious defects).
- Peace v. American General Life Ins. Co., 462 F.3d. 437 (5th Cir. 2006) (won reversal of summary judgment in ERISA case).
- SMI Realty Mgmt. Corp. v. Underwriters at Lloyd’s London, 179 S.W.3d 619 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2005, pet. denied) (won reversal of summary judgment in insurance-coverage case).
- Nikolouzos v. St. Luke’s Episcopal Hosp., 162 S.W.3d 678 (Tex. App.—[14th Dist.], 2005, no pet.) (won dismissal of appeal of temporary restraining order).
- Davis v. Methodist Hosp., 997 S.W.2d 788 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 1999, no pet.) (won affirmance of summary judgment in libel case related to hospital credentialing).