Appellate Lawyer of the Week

Warren Harris

Appellate Lawyer of the Week: Houston Attorney Erases $80 Million KBR Verdict

By John Council |

Three years ago, an Oregon federal jury hammered Houston-based contractor KBR for negligence for exposing soldiers to a dangerous chemical. It was a trial that should have never happened, according to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Heidi Gumienny

Appellate Lawyer of the Week: Police Chase Case Prompts Tough Questions

By John Council |

Houston attorney Heidi Gumienny successfully defended the city of Baytown, which was sued by a family who lost their teenage son in a tragic accident.

Jack Peacock, a partner in Dallas' Gagnon Peacock & Vereeke

Appellate Lawyer of the Week: Dallas Lawyer Saves Widow's Case at Fifth Circuit

By John Council |

Jack Peacock helped convince an appeals court that not all of his client's state law wrongful foreclosure claims against a bank were pre-empted by federal law.

Gregory R. Ave, managing partner, Walters Balido & Crain, Dallas

Appellate Lawyer of the Week: 'Don't Slip' Case Skids to a Close

By John Council |

"It's one of those cases where you have to check your common sense at the door if you find for the plaintiff," said Greg Ave, who defended a client who warned a mailman, "Don't slip," just before he fell on her sidewalk and later sued. "Warning him at the door isn't enough? What do you have to do?"

John Helms, a partner in Dallas' Broden, Mickelsen Helms & Snipes

ALOTW: Dallas Lawyer Scores Win in Judge Bribery Case

By John Council |

"I had to unravel their theory, put it back together and show how it did not fit the bribery statute,'' said John Helms, who beat prosecutors in an appellate decision that orders his client's acquittal.

Brian P. Shaw, partner in Dallas' Shackelford, Melton, McKinley & Norton

Appellate Lawyer of the Week: Big Win Against Cop in 'Hot Pursuit'

By John Council |

Brian Shaw won an appellate court ruling that a police officer doesn't have a blanket protection from a lawsuit after he allegedly entered a family's house without knocking and announcing his presence.

David Keltner, a partner in Fort Worth’s Kelly Hart & Hallman

Appellate Lawyer of the Week: Anti-Cloned Horses Is Not Antitrust

By John Council |

Because of David Keltner's victory before the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the American Quarter Horse Association can't be sued for its rules banning the registry of cloned steeds.

From left: Houston solos Jeffrey J. Tompkins and Christopher Nunnallee

Appellate Lawyer of the Week: Energy Dispute Gets New Lease on Life

By John Council |

Houston solos Jeff Tompkins and Chris Nunnallee will soon refile a lawsuit they hope will settle a father/son dispute over a profitable oil and gas lease. But first they had to convince Houston's Fourteenth Court of Appeals to give them a second chance.

Samuel A. 'Sam' Houston, a partner in Houston's Shepherd, Scott, Clawater & Houston

Appellate Lawyers of the Week: A 'Licking My Wounds' Victory

By John Council |

Sam Houston and Jerry M. Young convinced Houston's Fourteenth Court of Appeals to uphold rulings tossing out fraud claims against their clients.

Appellate Lawyer of the Week: Bob Wise

By John Council |

Bob Wise successfully defended no-evidence summary judgment rulings by tossing out the plaintiffs' theories that his electrical company caused a fire through either faulty equipment or a smoking employee.

Casey Low, a partner in the Austin office of Bracewell & Giuliani

Appellate Lawyer of the Week: Sinking a 'Fishing Expedition'

By John Council |

"The hardest thing to overcome for a mandamus—especially when it's on discovery—is when the request is merely overbroad, not necessarily unduly burdensome," said Casey Low, a partner in Bracewell & Giuliani.

W. Matthew Waldrop of The Waldrop Law Firm in Houston

Appellate Lawyer of the Week: 'One Shot' to Reverse a Controversial Trial Judge

By John Council |

Matt Waldrop appealed a ruling by former District Court Judge Denise Pratt that his client was "intentionally underemployed" because the decision was "so egregious," he said.

Kenton Brice, associate with Highland Village's Chirstman Kelley & Clarke

Appellate Lawyer of the Week: Winning a Case Before 5th Circuit's Newest Judge

By John Council |

Kenton Brice's clients' case was argued on Fifth Circuit Judge Gregg Costa's first day on the appellate bench. That worked out well for some of Brice's clients.

Timothy B. Garrigan, Lone Star Legal Aid, Nacogdoches

Appellate Lawyer of the Week: 'Terror Babies' and the First Amendment

By John Council |

East Texas lawyer wins ruling on behalf of client who alleges his refusal to be associated with U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert cost him his job at a state university.

David Lynch, partner in Houston's Coats Rose

Appellate Lawyer of the Week: Texas Law Applies to $1.5 Million Insurance Dispute

By John Council |

Ruling means insured may get a chance to make its insurance company pay for a punitive damage award.

Larry Rothenberg, Houston solo

Appellate Lawyer of the Week: Solo Gets Win for World's Fastest Court Reporter

By John Council |

The Guinness Book of World Records notes that Mark Kislingbury "is the National Court Reporters Association [NCRA] speed and real-time champion, achieving 360 words per minute with 97.23 percent accuracy, at the NCRA 2004 summer convention on July 30, 2004."

Timothy B. Kirwin of Houston's Randle Law Office

Appellate Lawyer of the Week: Homeowner v. Historical Commission

By John Council |

"After much consternation … we got it filed, it went on the agenda, the vote happened and we won," Timothy Kirwin said.

John Venzke, Houston solo

Appellate Lawyer of the Week: Hallelujah! Lawyer Wins Battle for Church

By John Council |

"It's a tiny church. When it's not about money, it's about money," said Houston solo John Venzke.

Lawrence Fischman, of counsel, Glast, Phillips & Murray, Dallas

Appellate Lawyer of the Week: Lawrence Fischman

By John Council |

"In the best-case analysis, I've got a $1.34 million lawsuit to try," said Lawrence Fischman, of counsel in Dallas' Glast, Phillips & Murray.

Appellate Lawyer of the Week: Big Win Defeating 'Hail Mary Pass' Motion to Dismiss

By John Council |

"The plaintiff filed this case in federal court, and we spent a lot of money defending it," said Megan O'Laughlin, an attorney with Dallas' Hitchock Evert. "We didn't want to have to start over.''

Doug Allison, solo, Corpus Christi

Appellate Lawyer of the Week: Intervening Party in Wrongful-Death Case Deemed Texan, Wins Forum Fight

By John Council |

"She's pure Texan and she belonged here," said Doug Allison, a Corpus Christi solo, of the significance of his client's 6-3 win in the high court's decision in In Re Ford Motor Company.

Brad Foster, a partner in Andrews Kurth in Dallas

SCOTUS Cert Denial Preserves Win for Stockbrokers in R. Allen Stanford-Related Case

By John Council |

The high court will not hear Janvey v. Alguire, a four-and-a-half-year- old arbitration dispute in which Foster represents 115 stock brokers who were employed by the Stanford Group, a business once owned by R. Allen Stanford.

Robert B. Gilbreath, partner in Hawkins Parnell Thackston & Young

Font + Amici + Advocacy = Supreme Court Win

By John Council |

About his first petition for review, Robert Gilbreath said, "After I lost, I looked at my petition online as if a judge were reading it on a screen. And I realized the font I was using—Garamond—didn't look very good."

Jim Sullivan, a partner in Austin's Icenogle & Sullivan

Insurance Attorney Takes on Civil Rights Case

By John Council |

"I don't normally do this, I normally represent insurance companies," Jim Sullivan said of his reason for accepting the civil rights case. "I thought, I've got to help this guy.''

Noelle M. Reed, partner, Skadden Arps, Houston

No Fees, But Injunction Upheld

By John Council |

"It's the longest I've ever waited for an expedited appeal," Noelle Reed said of the Fifth Circuit's decision.