Appellate Lawyer of the Week

Dallas Lawyer Gets Back $16.9M Client Had Paid in Arbitration

By John Council |

The arbitration process has been a thorough nightmare for Tom Loose's energy company client. But Loose recently convinced Dallas Fifth Court of Appeals that his clients had a legal right to have their money back — including a finding that opposing counsel was jointly and severally liable for pre- and post-judgment interest in the case.

Houston Lawyer Wins Appeal for Amputee

By John Council |

David Carlson was allegedly burned so badly by an infrared medical treatment device that it caused him to have part of his leg and foot amputated. He also lost his products liability case before a Houston federal jury after the defense presented one expert witness—the chiropractor who thought the treatment was a good idea.

Michael O'Connor, partner, O'Connor & Craig, Houston, Tx.

Houston Attorney Beats Big Bank, Big Attorney Fees at First Court of Appeals

By John Council |

Francisco Calleja-Ahedo sued Compass Bank for refusing to refund payment of an alleged $38,700 forged check on his account—only to end up owing the bank $49,186 in attorney fees after losing his case before a Harris County district judge.

Attorney Uses the Fifth Circuit to Get U.S. Documents for Mexican Lawsuit

By John Council |

After chasing an evasive litigation investment company all over the United States with a federal subpoena, Meredith Parenti's corporate defendant client has so far been unsuccessful in compelling documents that may be crucial to a lawsuit it faces in Mexico.

Dallas Lawyer Convinces Fifth Circuit to Vacate Doctor's Sentence

By John Council |

The federal government came down hard on Dr. Tariq Mahmood two years ago, sending him to prison for eleven years for Medicare fraud after his chain of East Texas hospitals allegedly overbilled taxpayers to the tune of $599,128.02.

Thad Spalding

Dallas Lawyer Lands in the 5th Circuit to Save Aircraft Claim

By John Council |

When Thad Spalding's client paid $110,000 for a used helicopter only to later discover that it wasn't airworthy, the seller beat them to the courthouse and won a summary judgment ruling that sealed the deal. So Spalding took the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and recently won a ruling that may make his client whole.

L to R: Chris Pittard, Dara Smith

Discrimination Laws Apply to Federal Disabled Workers and Independent Government Contractors

By John Council |

In a case of first impression, Chris Pittard and Dara Smith both help convince the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit that a seminal employment law meant to protect the rights of the federal disabled workers should also be applied to independent government contractors.

Andrew Guthrie c/o Hayes & Boone

Associate Scores Big Win in Free Speech Case

By John Council |

Last summer, Haynes and Boone associate Andrew Guthrie was presented with a tantalizing offer—would he like to argue a juicy political free speech case in front of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit? There was a hitch though. The argument was only three weeks away.

Attorney Wins Libel Ruling With Evidence of Actual Malice

By John Council |

The First Amendment provides the media broad protections against libel suits—unless they publish a false defamatory allegation against a plaintiff and do so with "actual malice.'' But Joe Sibley recently convinced an appellate court he had evidence of both when a newspaper columnist allegedly accused his parent clients of being dishonest about the reasons for their teenage son's suicide.

From R&B to Tejano, Lawyer Wins Music Cases

By John Council |

"It's the dilemma faced by record labels. Someone hears a song on the radio and says, 'Hey—that's my song!' And the record label has never heard of that song," said Roland Garcia who successfully defended a copyright dispute over a Tejano song. "The legal nuances are important to the record industry. Otherwise, there would be no record industry."

Iain Simpson, Houston solo

Appellate Lawyer of the Week: Wrong Hospital Address Wins Reversal

By John Council |

A good appellate lawyer will scour the record looking for multiple theories for why a trial court was wrong to dismiss a case. Iain Simpson did all of those things. But it turns out he only needed to look up the defendant hospital's address to win a reversal from Houston's First Court of Appeals.

Sreve Couch, Kelly Sutter & Kendrick.

Appellate Lawyer of the Week: Attorney Gets Defendant Out of Valley, Into ADR

By John Council |

Like most lawyers who defend lawsuits in the Rio Grande Valley, Steve Couch's prime objective is to keep his client away from the regions that have a reputation for having plaintiff-friendly juries, if at all possible. And he recently accomplished that goal in a big way.

Jenny Lee Smith, attorney, Austin, Cobb & Counsel

Appellate Lawyer of the Week: Lawyer Sways Fifth Circuit in $1.4M Award

A federal jury awarded Hilda Garza $1.4 million in front pay as an assistant county attorney after she ran for the local school board and was fired, only to have the trial judge erase that part of the verdict because it was "advisory."