Appellate Lawyer of the Week

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."

Nelia Robbi

Appellate Lawyer of the Week: Lawyer Gets Jurisdiction to Stick in Adhesive Case

By John Council |

Nelia Robbi convinced Austin's Third Court of Appeals that her client's lawsuit against a California corporation that produces floor adhesive deserved to be heard in a Texas court.

George Kurisky, partner in Houston's Johnson DeLuca Kurisky & Gould.

Appellate Lawyer of the Week: Defense Lawyer Gets Checkered Flag in Porsche Case

By John Council |

"It was a battle of a forms deal," said George Kurisky, who convinced Houston's First Court of Appeals that a warranty claim filed against his car dealer client over a blown-up Porsche engine should be heard in arbitration. "Clearly this transaction is covered by the arbitration provision."

Jack Ayres, attorney with Ayres Law Office, Addison, TX

Appellate Lawyer of the Week: Lawyer Wins Ruling for Teen Shot By Police

By John Council |

"The Fifth Circuit has taken the moral and legal high ground that conduct like this is not going to be tolerated," Jack Ayres said of a Fifth Circuit decision that allows the majority of his clients' case against three police officers to go to trial. "We hope this opinion will save lives."

Trang Q. Tran

Appellate Lawyer of the Week: Lawyer Wins Ruling Concerning Coffee and Tips

By John Council |

Trang Tran's recent win from the Fifth Circuit means that his waiter clients might not have to share their tips with a fine-dining restaurant's resident "coffeeman."

Appellate Lawyer of the Week: Winning a Bad-Luck Case

By John Council |

"Judge Atlas actually said the case had bad luck," Robert McKnight said. "That's in the transcript when they're talking about the chalkboard. But some of the luck was good."

Sean Gorman (left) and Peter Scaff

Appellate Lawyer of the Week: No-Go for $6.4 Billion Togo Oil Suit

By John Council |

Houston lawyers Sean Gorman and Peter Scaff had very different reasons for why their energy company clients couldn't be sued in Texas over a failed $6.4 billion oil production agreement with the tiny African republic of Togo.

Appellate Lawyer of the Week: Attorney Wins 'Old Fart' Discrimination Ruling

By John Council |

"What the court honed in [on] was that the [supervisor] was going to get rid of the old farts. And sure enough he did,'' Alfonso Kennard said of his plaintiff client's age discrimination victory before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Appellate Lawyer of the Week: Plaintiffs Beat Governmental Immunity in Med-Mal Case

Joseph Gourrier won a big decision from Houston's First Court of Appeals that denies governmental immunity to a nonprofit health care clinic associated with a large state teaching hospital.

Austin solo Jody Scheske

Appellate Lawyer of the Week: Same-Sex Divorce Before Same-Sex Marriage

By John Council |

"It's very reaffirming for us," said Jody Scheske. He and Jason Steed became the first appellate lawyers to successfully defend the right of a lesbian couple to be divorced before Texas' highest court—seven days before the rest of the state's LGBT population would win the right to be married from the U.S. Supreme Court.

Appellate Lawyer of the Week: Dallas Lawyer Wins Moldy Real Estate Appeal

By John Council |

Mike Yanof convinced Dallas' Fifth Court of Appeals to reverse and render a jury's fraud verdict against his real estate agent client in a take-nothing judgment.

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.