2022

  • Sunchase IV Homeowners Ass’n, Inc. v. Atkinson, 643 S.W.3d 420 (Tex. 2022).

A condominium owner sued his homeowner’s association, claiming it violated its governing rules and bylaws. A jury found no violations and awarded no damages to the owner, and it awarded the association its attorney’s fees. WCB represented the association on appeal. The court of appeals upheld the trial court’s take-nothing judgment but vacated our client’s award of attorney’s fees, holding the association was not a prevailing party that could recover its fees. Granting WCB’s petition for review, the Texas Supreme Court reversed the court of appeals and upheld the judgment of the trial court, concluding the language of the applicable statute authorized our client to recover its fees as a prevailing party where it defeated all of the owner’s affirmative claims.

  • Johnson v. Caroli, 2022 WL 1499280 (5th Cir. May 12, 2022).

In a wrongful death action arising from a motor-vehicle collision, the district court held the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act’s exclusive-remedy provision barred the plaintiffs’ personal injury claims because the driver at fault was in the course and scope of his employment at the time of the accident. The Fifth Circuit affirmed the summary judgment, agreeing with WCB that the driver’s conduct fell within the “continuous coverage rule” because he was returning to a well-site man camp in a company vehicle during an out-of-town business trip.

  • Powe v. DowDuPont, Inc., 2022 WL 872241 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2022, no pet.).

A welder claimed radiation exposure led to a cancer diagnosis and sued his former employer, DowDuPont. The trial court rendered summary judgment for our client on the grounds that the plaintiff’s claims were barred by limitations. The plaintiff appealed, arguing the development of his illness delayed the limitations period. The court of appeals disagreed and affirmed the lower court’s judgment in our client’s favor.

  • Thompson Hancock Witte & Associates, Inc. v. Stanley Spurling & Hamilton, Inc., 2022 WL 1010270 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2022, no pet.).

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, our client—an architectural firm—was sued by property owners over damage sustained when a retaining wall design allegedly exacerbated flooding on their property. Because the plaintiffs failed to file a required certificate of merit, the trial court dismissed their claims. On appeal, the court of appeals agreed with WCB that the applicable statute required the submission

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, our client—an architectural firm—was sued by property owners over damage sustained when a retaining wall design allegedly exacerbated flooding on their property. Because the plaintiffs failed to file a required certificate of merit, the trial court dismissed their claims. On appeal, the court of appeals agreed with WCB that the applicable statute required the submission of a certificate of merit in such claims, and it affirmed the judgment for our client.

  • Henegar v. Regal Marine Indus., Inc., 2022 WL 54572 (Tex. App.—Tyler 2022, pet. denied).

In a personal injury action, the victims of a boating accident sued the manufacturers of the boat, the compass, and the lights, alleging the glare caused by onboard instruments contributed to the collision. The trial court rendered summary judgment for WCB’s clients. On appeal, the court concluded the plaintiffs failed to prove causation and affirmed the lower court’s judgment for our clients.

In a personal injury action, the victims of a boating accident sued the manufacturers of the boat, the compass, and the lights, alleging the glare caused by onboard instruments contributed to the collision. The trial court rendered summary judgment for WCB’s clients. On appeal, the court concluded the plaintiffs failed to prove causation and affirmed the lower court’s judgment for our clients.

  • Lopez v. Fluor Corp., 2022 WL 1222823 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2022, no pet.).

Following an explosion at a chemical plant in Mexico, our client Fluor found itself facing the prospect of unexpected and unwelcome litigation in a foreign country. Though Plaintiff appealed the dismissal of his case, WCB was able to show that Appellants were not in fact legal residents of Texas, and that all factors favored dismissal under forum non conveniens, prompting the appellate court to affirm the trial court’s judgment in favor of our client.

  • Fluor Corp. v. E.D.G.M., 2022 WL 1222713 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2022, no pet.).

In this interlocutory appeal, WCB challenged EDGM’s petition to intervene in litigation arising in the wake of a Mexican chemical plant explosion. WCB successfully argued the trial court erred in dismissing our client’s motion to strike because the parents of the intervenor were not legal residents, as required by the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code. The appellate court reversed the trial court’s ruling and dismissed the claims on forum non conveniens grounds.

  • In re Walmart Inc., 2022 WL 1572272 (Tex. App.—Texarkana 2022, orig. proceeding).

Our client, Walmart, was sued in Texas over the alleged misappropriation of trade secrets despite a contractual forum-selection clause mandating that any litigation arising from the agreement would be filed in Arkansas. The plaintiff claimed the subject of the lawsuit fell outside the agreement, but WCB successfully argued the opposite, prompting the court of appeals to grant mandamus relief and direct the trial court to dismiss the suit.

  • In re Guardianship of Lugo, 2022 WL 2919937 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2022, no pet. h.).

Our client, the legal guardian of her permanently incapacitated sister, challenged a trial court ruling removing her as guardian without notice after she resigned. Upon the denial of a bill of review, WCB convinced the court of appeals that none of the requisite statutory grounds supported her removal without notice, and the case was reversed and remanded.

  • Vela v. Salas, 2022 WL 2976444 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi 2022, n.p.h.).

In a wrongful death action, a plaintiff claimed standing to recover as the surviving spouse of the decedent despite their recent divorce. The trial court rendered summary judgment denying her claim. On appeal, WCB successfully persuaded the court of appeals that the parties’ divorce was final before the decedent died. The court of appeals affirmed the judgment in favor of our clients.

  • In re Hellas Constr., Inc., 2022 WL 2975702 (Tex. App.—Austin 2022, orig. proceeding).

Following a fatal workplace injury, a dispute arose concerning whether the decedent was in the course and scope of his employment at the time of the accident. While this issue was being considered by the Texas Department of Insurance Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC), the trial court in the underlying lawsuit lifted the abatement of that suit, and WCB pursued mandamus relief. The court of appeals agreed the underlying lawsuit should remain abated until the outcome of the DWC proceeding, which is dispositive of whether the decedent was in the course and scope of employment at the time of the accident. Accordingly, the court of appeals granted mandamus relief directing the trial court to abate the lawsuit until the resolution of the DWC proceeding.

  • Motiva Enterprises, LLC v. Nat’l Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 2022 WL 92324 (Cal. Ct. App. 2022).

Following a fire at a Motiva refinery that resulted in claims for wrongful death and serious injuries, Motiva pursued insurance coverage claims against our clien, its insurer, for the settlements it paid to resolve the underlying claims. The parties’ dispute concerned the application of policy exclusions regarding asbestos abatement procedures (which were ongoing at the time of the fire). On appeal, WCB successfully argued the asbestos exclusions applied because the fire “arose out of” the abatement and removal work, and the court of appeals affirmed judgment in favor of our client.

2021

  • Catholic Diocese of El Paso v. Porter, 2021 WL 1822943 (Tex. 2021).

After a fire injured several teenagers volunteering in a 4-H club booth at a church festival, their parents sued both the church and a local propane retailer. WCB partnered with trial counsel in the defense of the propane retailer, and the jury found no liability on either defendant. The court of appeals affirmed the take nothing judgment in favor of our client. The Texas Supreme Court granted review, and also affirmed the lower court’s judgment.

  • Charles v. K-Patents, Inc., 2021 WL 826402 (5th Cir. 2021).

Plaintiffs were injured using a tool manufactured by K-Patents, Inc. and pursued claims for alleged design and marketing defects. The district court rendered summary judgment in favor of the manufacturer, and the plaintiffs appealed. The Fifth Circuit affirmed the summary judgment, agreeing with our arguments that the evidence supported the district court’s rulings as to the evidence and its decision to exclude an expert opinion on the ground it was based on conjecture and speculation.

  • White Star Pump Co., LLC v. Alpha Hunter Drilling, LLC, 2021 WL 5707713 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2021, no pet.).

WCB represented a pump manufacturer in an appeal from a judgment awarding damages to a drilling company resulting from an explosion that destroyed the pump. The court of appeals agreed that, because the pump manufacturer’s activities were authorized by contract and the only loss was the damage to the pump itself, the economic loss rule barred the drilling company’s tort claims. The court of appeals reversed the trial court’s judgment and rendered a take-nothing judgment in favor of our client.

  • Brown v. McClure, 2021 WL 6119990 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2021, no pet.).

After a jury awarded a plaintiff minimal damages on claims arising from a motor-vehicle accident, the plaintiff appealed. WCB successfully argued that the trial court properly rendered summary judgment in favor of the defendant’s employer, and had not erred in its pretrial rulings regarding discovery, the exclusion of an expert report, and the timing of trial. The court of appeals affirmed the trial court’s judgment.

  • Freyer v. Lyft, Inc., 639 S.W.3d 772 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2021, no pet.).

A woman injured during a Lyft ride filed claims against the company, alleging Lyft was responsible for her injuries because the driver was acting within the course and scope of employment at the time of the accident. On appeal, WCB successfully argued the passenger had not established that Lyft’s alleged undertaking to perform background screenings increased her risk of harm, and the court of appeals affirmed the trial court’s judgment in favor of our client.

  • Love & Joy Services, LLC v. Unity Nat’l Bank, 2021 WL 1685192 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2021, no pet.).

After a fire destroyed a construction project, the corporate owners of the property discovered their insurance coverage had lapsed. The plaintiffs sued WCB’s clients, a bank and lender service provider of the loan used to build the project. The plaintiffs alleged various contract, fiduciary duty, negligence, and DTPA claims. The trial court rendered summary judgment in favor of our clients. On appeal, WCB successfully argued the trial court’s judgment was proper because the lender and service provider did not owe the duties alleged by the property owners. The court of appeals affirmed the judgment in favor of our clients.

  • National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, PA v. Exxon Mobil Corp., 2021 WL 4268898 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2021, no pet.).

In two related appeals, WCB represented National Union challenging summary judgments rendered in favor of Exxon for breach of contract. The trial court concluded that, as a matter of law, Exxon was entitled to coverage as an additional insured under an umbrella policy National Union issued to a subcontractor whose employees were injured working at an Exxon refinery. The trial court awarded Exxon more than $20 million for its settlement of the resulting lawsuits. The court of appeals agreed with our arguments that the underlying contract language requiring the subcontractor to provide “normal and customary commercial general liability coverage” to Exxon did not create or expand coverage for Exxon under the terms of National Union’s umbrella policy. Accordingly, the court reversed and rendered a take-nothing judgment in favor of National Union.

  • United Parcel Service, Inc. v. Norris, 2021 WL 3024861 (Tex. App.—Beaumont 2021, no pet.).

After a multi-vehicle accident involving a UPS tractor-trailer occurred in Louisiana, the injured plaintiffs filed suit in Jefferson County, Texas against UPS and its driver (who lived in Harris County). The trial court overruled UPS’s challenge to venue and conducted a bench trial. The trial court found UPS’s driver at fault and awarded damages totaling more than $27 million. WCB handled the appeal. The court of appeals agreed that venue was improper in Jefferson County, reversed the judgment, and remanded for the trial court to transfer the case to Harris County.

  • Apache Corp. v. Castex Offshore, Inc., 2021 WL 1881213, at *1 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2021, no pet. h.).

In a breach of contract case, a jury rendered a verdict in favor of Castex for more than $8 million in damages, costs, and attorneys’ fees; and more than $50 million based on claims of willful misconduct. WCB handled the appeal on behalf of Castex. The court of appeals agreed with our argument that the evidence supported the jury’s finding of breach and the resulting damages. But the court of appeals reversed the finding of willful misconduct, reducing the overall award of damages accordingly.

  • Southcross Energy Partners GP, LLC v. Gonzalez, 2021 WL 706788, at *11 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2021, no pet.).

When an explosion during “hot tapping” work resulted in the deaths of two employees and serious injuries to a third, plaintiffs sued Southcross for negligence and gross negligence. A jury found Southcross liable for negligence and gross negligence, and the trial court rendered judgment against it awarding compensatory damages totaling over $800,000 and punitive damages totaling nearly $7 million. WCB represented Southcross on appeal. The court of appeals agreed that no evidence supported the gross negligence finding, and reversed judgment’s award of punitive damages.

  • White Star Pump Co., LLC v. Alpha Hunter Drilling, LLC, 2021 WL 2394634 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2021, n.p.h.).

After an oil and gas pump failed, the well operator sued the pump manufacturer for contract, warranty, and negligence claims. A jury found no breach of contract or warranty, but found the manufacturer liable for a negligent undertaking and awarded damages of more than $1 million. On appeal, the court of appeals held the operator’s tort claim was barred by the application of the economic loss rule because the only damages were to the pump itself. The court reversed the judgment and rendered a take-nothing judgment in favor of our client.

  • Kendall v. Lewellen, 2021 WL 2153785 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2021, no pet.).

At a bench trial over the disputed sale of a company, the trial court determined no binding agreement existed between the parties. The court of appeals upheld the lower court’s judgment in favor of our client, finding it not liable for breach of contract.

  • Prado v. Lonestar Resources, Inc., 2021 WL 3173931 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2021, no pet.).

Following a fatal accident at a railroad crossing on private property, the surviving family members sued our client – a contractor who operated a nearby wellsite – claiming the contractor and Union Pacific jointly controlled the crossing and should have made it safer. The trial court rendered summary judgment dismissing all claims against our client. The court of appeals upheld the lower court’s ruling that our client owed no duty to warn of any open and obvious hazards.

  • Cash America Pawn, LP v. Alonzo, 2021 WL 4155795 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2021, no pet.).

A jury awarded a former pawn shop manager compensatory and punitive damages against the shop’s parent company on claims of malicious prosecution after charges against him for felony theft following a series of improper transactions was dismissed. The court of appeals held no evidence supported the claims against WCB’s client and rendered judgment that the plaintiff take nothing.

  • Argonaut Great Cent. Ins. Co. v. MLLCA, Inc., 2021 WL 1919641 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 2021, no pet. h.).

After sustaining severe hail damage to its commercial property, an insured hired a contractor to repair the damages. The contractor kept the money and failed to make repairs. The insured sued its insurance company for refusing to pay for the remaining repair costs, and a jury found for the insured on its claims of fraud and breach of contract, and awarded more than $750,000 in compensatory and punitive damages. WCB handled the appeal. The court of appeals agreed no evidence supported the jury’s findings, reversed the trial court’s judgment, and rendered judgment a take-nothing judgment in favor of our client.

  • Munguia as Next Friend of E.S.U. v. Justrod, Inc., 2021 WL 282569, at *1 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2021, no pet.).

After an employee was fatally injured, his family pursued wrongful death claims on behalf of his children. The trial court rendered a summary judgment in favor of the defendant, and the plaintiffs appealed. WCB handled the appeal for the defendant. The court of appeals agreed with our arguments and affirmed the trial court’s judgment in favor of our client.

  • Desai v. Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church of Houston, 2021 WL 1414282, at *1 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2021, no pet. h.).

After a dispute arose over the sale of real estate owned by a local church, our client sued the church for breach of contract. A jury found no breach occurred, but determined our client was ready to pay the agreed sale price at the time the sale would have occurred. WCB handled the appeal and successfully argued the finding of no breach was not based on the evidence. The court of appeals reversed the trial court’s decision, rendered judgment of specific performance in favor our client.

  • In re UV Logistics, LLC, 2021 WL 306205, at *1 (Tex. App.—Tyler 2021, orig. proceeding).

WCB successfully obtained mandamus relief from a trial court’s discovery orders requiring the production of over a decade of electronic data unrelated to the issues involved in the litigation. The court of appeals held the trial court abused its discretion in ordering the production of electronic records without imposing any limits on the discovery requests and ordered the trial court to vacate the discovery orders.

  • In re Team Indus. Services, Inc., 2021 WL 1845981 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2021, orig. proceeding).

WCB successfully obtained mandamus relief from a trial court’s order attempting to enforce a subpoena for an upcoming trial setting that was served on an expert witness for a prior trial setting that had been canceled. The court of appeals agreed with our argument that prior trial subpoena had expired and directed the trial court to vacate its order.

  • In re Charney, 2021 WL 2371251, at *1 (Tex. App.—Beaumont 2021, orig proceeding).

WCB successfully obtained mandamus relief from a trial court’s denial of a defendant’s motion for a medical evaluation. The plaintiff claimed damages resulting from a traumatic brain injury and intends to present evidence from a retained expert witness, and the defendant sought an evaluation by its own expert. The court of appeals held the trial court’s order prejudiced the defendant and prevented a fair trial, and that access to data from the plaintiff’s examination was an insufficient substitute for an examination by a retained medical expert. The court of appeals directed the trial court to vacate its order.

  • In re NCS Multistage, LLC, 2021 WL 4785743 (Tex. App.—El Paso 2021, orig. proceeding).

In a product liability suit concerning claimed damages exceeding $20 million resulting from the alleged failure of oil and gas fracturing sleeve assemblies, the manufacturer of the assemblies sought to designate a component-part manufacturer as a responsible third party. The trial court denied the designation, and WCB pursued mandamus relief. In an issue of first impression, the court of appeals held the “innocent seller” statutory exception did not prohibit the designation. The court clarified that only sellers who have “sustained a loss” – such as by being joined as parties to the lawsuit – are eligible for such indemnity and cannot be joined as responsible third parties. The court of appeals also held the record otherwise contained sufficient facts to support the designation, and it reversed the trial court’s ruling and conditionally granted mandamus relief in favor of our client.

2020

  • Berkel & Co. Contractors, Inc. v. Lee, 612 S.W.3d 280 (Tex. 2020).

A construction superintendent who sustained severe injuries in a worksite crane collapse sued a subcontractor for negligence, gross negligence, and intentional injury. A jury found the subcontractor liable, and the trial court signed a judgment of more than $43 million against the subcontractor. We handled the appeal, and argued that the plaintiff’s acceptance of workers’ compensation benefits barred recovery on his claims of negligence and gross negligence under the Texas Labor Code, and that no evidence supported a claim for intentional injury in these circumstances. The court of appeals agreed and reversed the judgment against our client, but it remanded the case for a new trial “in the interest of justice” after adopting a new definition of intent in the workers’ compensation context. We pursued an appeal to the Texas Supreme Court, which held that no circumstances justified a remand because that Court had previously rejected the definition of intent adopted by the court of appeals. As a result, the Texas Supreme Court rendered a take-nothing judgment in our client’s favor.

  • FTS International Servs., LLC v. Patterson, 2020 WL 5047913 (Tex. App.—Tyler 2020, no pet.).

After a side swipe accident between a tractor-trailer and a pickup truck the court described as “not severe,” the plaintiff sought damages for back and neck injuries. A jury awarded the plaintiff more than $26 million in compensatory damages and more than $5 million in punitive damages against the trucking company. WCB handled the appeal, and the court of appeals agreed with our arguments that the jury’s awards were unsupported and excessive. The court of appeals reversed the judgment and remanded the case for a new trial on all issues. This result was also singled out by Law360 as among the “Biggest Injury Verdict Reductions of 2020.”

  • Zale Corp. v. Berkley Insurance Co., 2020 WL 4361942 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2020, no pet.).

Following its merger with another company, Zale agreed to pay $34 million to settle appraisal litigation pursued by shareholders who dissented to the merger, but failed to notify the excess insurers to its directors’ and officers’ policy until after the settlement was reached. Zale then brought first-party coverage and bad-faith claims against its excess carriers, one of which was represented by WCB. The trial court rendered summary judgment in favor of our client, on the grounds that the policy’s plain language ended coverage the day before the merger and did not provide coverage for alleged “wrongful acts” – including the merger itself – that occurred after that date. The court of appeals affirmed the judgment in favor of our client in all respects.

  • Enbridge Pipelines (N. Tex.) L.P. v. Sullivan2020 WL 2991499 (Tex. App.—Tyler 2020, no pet.).

Our firm assisted in defending a company and its employee against negligence claims arising from a motor-vehicle accident. At trial, the trial court denied our request that it instruct the jury not to consider claims regarding the company’s training, supervision, retention, undertaking, or entrustment, or its discovery conduct, when determining the responsibility for the accident. After the jury awarded the plaintiff nearly $22 million in damages, we handled the appeal. The court of appeals held the trial court’s denial of the requested instructions was harmful error, reversed the judgment against our clients, and ordered a new trial.

  • Bierscheid v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, 606 S.W.3d 493 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2020, pet. filed).

WCB represented heirs in a suit to enforce and collect a net profits interest in the Hogg-Japhet Lease in Brazoria County from the working interest owners. In 1919, Mr. Japhet transferred the working interest in the Hogg-Japhet Lease to Humble Oil & Refining Company, reserving an interest in the lease’s net profits to himself and his heirs. Many years later, the heirs sued the working interest owners for failing to pay the reserved net profits. After years of litigation, the working interest owners sought to compel arbitration. The trial court denied that motion and found the working interest owners liable for the net profits interest. Based on a jury verdict on the remaining issues, the trial court rendered judgment awarding damages, attorneys’ fees, and interest totaling more than $1.5 million to our clients. The court of appeals affirmed the trial court’s judgment in favor of our clients in a 107-page decision.

  • Raicevic v. Fieldwood Energy, L.L.C., 979 F.3d 1027 (5th Cir. 2020).

After an employee of a contractor was injured on an offshore platform, he sued the platform’s owner for negligence. A jury found the employee and the owner were equally responsible for the accident. Based on post-trial briefing WCB submitted, the trial court rendered a take-nothing judgment in favor of the platform owner, on the grounds that the plaintiff’s claims were barred because he was the owner’s borrowed employee pursuant to the federal Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. On appeal, the 5th Circuit affirmed the judgment in favor of our client.

  • Ardelean v. Wal-Mart, Inc.No. 20-20202, 2020 WL 7636258 (5th Cir. 2020).

A truck driver injured his ankle while making a delivery at a distribution center, and sued Wal-Mart for his damages. After the district court rendered a summary judgment in favor of Wal-Mart, the plaintiff appealed. The 5th Circuit agreed with our argument that the record presented no evidence of any unreasonably dangerous premises condition, and affirmed the judgment for our client in all respects.

  • Givens v. Anderson Columbia Co., Inc.2020 WL 3815926 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2020, n.p.h.).

Several plaintiffs filed suit following a fatal, multi-vehicle accident, and sought nearly $180 million in damages. Following a complete defense verdict, the trial court granted a mistrial. WCB pursued mandamus relief, and when a new judge was elected, we persuaded the court of appeals to abate the proceedings so that judge could reconsider the case. After the trial judge rendered a judgment in favor of our client, the plaintiffs appealed. We successfully persuaded the court of appeals to affirm the judgment for our client.

  • Abshire v. Pannell2020 WL 3820912 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2020, n.p.h.).

WCB successfully appealed the denial of a special appearance challenging a Texas court’s jurisdiction over a Louisiana company and its owner. Our clients, an internationally recognized dog trainer and his company, were sued for allegedly making a defamatory statement about the plaintiff in a telephone conversation with the plaintiff’s boss. The court of appeals reversed the trial court and dismissed all claims against our clients, agreeing with us that there was no basis for personal jurisdiction over our clients in Texas.

  • Doe v. Ripley Entertainment, Inc., 2020 WL 57339 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2020, n.p.h.).

WCB partnered with trial counsel defending an amusement park and its parent company from claims of negligent security after a minor was sexually assaulted on the premises by a school teacher during a school-sponsored field trip. The trial court rendered summary judgment in favor of our clients, and we handled the appeal. The court of appeals held that no evidence raised a fact issue that our client’s actions proximately caused this assault, and it affirmed the judgment in favor of our clients.

  • Sunnyland Dev., Inc. v. Shawn Ibrahim, Inc., No. 01-19-00118-CV (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2020, n.p.h.).

We were retained by the debtors of a three-year-old judgment, in a dispute over the proper calculation of interest. The trial court agreed with us that our clients had fully satisfied the judgment, rejecting the creditor’s request for nearly $500,000 in additional interest. We then successfully defended the trial court’s ruling in the court of appeals.

  • In re Redbird Trails Apartments, et al., 2020 WL 3445811 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2020, n.p.h.).

WCB pursued mandamus relief from a trial court’s decision to rule on a party’s request for independent medical examinations by sua sponte disqualifying the party’s expert, selecting a doctor chosen by that party’s opponent to perform the exams, and imposing other requirements. The court of appeals determined the trial court’s rulings were an abuse of its discretion, and it conditionally granted mandamus relief vacating the challenged order.

  • In re FedEx Ground Package System, Inc.2020 WL 2832683 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2020, n.p.h.).

WCB successfully obtained mandamus relief from a trial court’s eve-of-trial order that required our client to produce either a named employee (located outside the court’s subpoena range) or a designated corporate representative to give trial testimony on topics not previously identified. The court of appeals held the trial court abused its discretion in summoning an individual employee who resides more than 150 miles from the courthouse, and in compelling the appearance of a representative to testify at trial on the designated topics.

  • In re WTG Fuels, Inc., 2020 WL 205254 (Tex. App.—Eastland 2020, orig. proceeding).

After a trial court ordered our client to produce discovery materials related to its net worth, we filed a petition for mandamus relief with the court of appeals. The court of appeals agreed with us that a trial court must first find “a substantial likelihood of success” on the merits of a claim for gross negligence before permitting such discovery. Because the trial court failed to make such a finding, the court of appeals conditionally granted mandamus relief and vacated the challenged order.

  • Massachusetts Bay Ins. Co. v. Adkins615 S.W.3d 580 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2020, no pet.).

In this appeal from a case regarding asbestos litigation, WCB represented an insurance company and successfully argued that the litigation belonged in the Texas multi-district litigation (MDL) court designated for asbestos litigation. The court of appeals also affirmed the judgment of the trial court granting a special appearance in favor of our client.

  • Escondido Resources II, LLC v. Las Tinajas Minerals, Ltd.2020 WL 7753986 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2020, no pet.).

In response to a lawsuit over disputed mineral royalties, our client responded by asserting counterclaims against the plaintiff. When the trial court denied the plaintiff’s attempt to dismiss those counterclaims, the plaintiff appealed. The court of appeals upheld the trial court’s ruling allowing our client’s counterclaims to proceed.

2019

  • Fort Bend County v. Davis587 U.S. ___, 139 S.Ct. 1843 (2019).

Our firm garnered national attention after winning a unanimous victory in the Supreme Court of the United States. We represented an employee in a Title VII religious discrimination suit against her former employer, who denied her request for time off to attend a church service on a Sunday morning and then fired her when she did not report to work. The Court ruled the employer waived its ability to challenge whether she exhausted her administrative rights before the EEOC by waiting years into the litigation to assert this defense, and remanded the case. We represented Ms. Davis at trial, where a jury returned a verdict awarding all of her claimed damages.

Read the 9-0 Opinion by Justice Ginsburg.
Listen to the argument (starting ~00:25).
Read more about Our News.

  • Martinez v. Walgreens Co., 935 F.3d 396 (5th Cir. 2019).

When a pharmacy mistakenly gave its customer someone else’s prescription, the customer suffered an adverse reaction to the medication while driving and caused an accident that fatally injured both the customer and another motorist. The customer’s family settled its claims, and the family of the deceased motorist sued the pharmacy. The trial court granted a summary judgment in favor of the pharmacy, and our firm represented the pharmacy on appeal. The 5th Circuit affirmed the judgment in favor of our client holding that, under Texas law, a medical professional owes no duty to third parties in such circumstances.

  • Henderson v. Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations, LLC, 783 Fed.Appx. 380 (5th Cir. 2019) (per curiam).

We represented an offshore platform owner in a lawsuit arising from injuries sustained by an independent contractor while he was working on the platform. The district court granted summary judgment for the platform owner. The 5th Circuit affirmed the judgment in our client’s favor, holding the record did not establish the platform owner exercised any supervision or control over the contractor’s actions.

  • Longoria v. Hunter Express, Ltd., 932 F.3d 360 (5th Cir. 2019).

After two 18-wheelers collided, one of the drivers obtained a judgment against the other awarding more than $2.8 million in a personal-injury damages. We handled the appeal to the 5th Circuit, which significantly reduced the damage awards by reversing and vacating the award of future mental anguish damages and remanding the award of future physical pain for reduction by the trial court.

  • Equistar Chemicals, LP v. ClydeUnion DB, Ltd., 579 S.W.3d 505 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2019, pet. denied).

A commercial dispute arose between a chemical refining company and a British pump manufacturer over the operational failure of two custom-made ethane pumps. The refining company sued for breach of warranty, seeking damages totaling more than $12 million in lost profits and costs. We partnered with trial counsel representing the pump manufacturer. The jury found a breach occurred but awarded damages of less than $400,000. The trial court applied Texas’ settlement offer rule, and rendered judgment awarding a modest amount of damages to our client on its counterclaim for payment of an outstanding balance for the cost of the pumps. The refiner appealed, seeking a new trial, and we handled the appeal. The court of appeals set aside the award for our client, but otherwise affirmed the judgment in our client’s favor.

  • Stockdick Land Co. v. Deutsche Bank National Trust Co., 2019 WL 6913329 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2019, n.p.h.).

WCB represented the purchasers of a home in a commercial dispute with a mortgage bank. The bank sued our clients seeking recovery of excess proceeds from a tax foreclosure sale. The trial court rendered judgment in favor of our clients on the grounds that the bank’s claims were barred by res judicata and collateral estoppel. On appeal, the court of appeals affirmed the judgment in favor of our clients.

  • Houston Forensic Science Center, Inc. v. Barette, 2019 WL 5792194 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] n.p.h.).

After an employer moved to dismiss its former employee’s defamation claims and sought its fees and costs, the employee non-suited her claims and the trial court denied the motion to dismiss. We represented the employee in the employer’s appeal. The court of appeals agreed with us that tort claims asserted against a government entity are governed solely by the Tort Claims Act, which provides immunity from all claims except those listed in the Act. The court held that, because the plaintiff’s claims did not fall within the class of torts for which the statute waives immunity, the trial court should have dismissed all of the parties’ claims and counterclaims.

  • Tauch v. Angel, 580 S.W.3d 808 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2019, pet. filed).

We represented an individual challenging a summary judgment on the grounds that he had a valid settlement agreement with a bank. The court of appeals agreed with us that the parties entered into a binding settlement agreement that was not revoked before acceptance. Accordingly, the court reversed the judgment against our client, and rendered judgment awarding our client his attorneys’ fees and costs.

  • Juarez v. Hammett, 2019 WL 2147825 (Tex. App.—Waco 2019, no pet.).

After a motorcycle rider recovered a substantial verdict for personal injuries against another motorist, we handled the appeal. The court of appeals reversed the trial court’s judgment and remanded the case for a new trial on the grounds that the jury should have been permitted to consider newly discovered evidence of the plaintiff’s addiction to prescription medications.

  • Atkinson v. Sunchase IV Homeowners Association, Inc., 2019 WL 6906570 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi 2019, n.p.h.).

A condominium owner sued an HOA and its board for breach of its fiduciary duties and other claims. After the trial court rendered a judgment in favor of the HOA, and awarding attorneys’ fees against the owner, we represented the HOA and board on appeal. The court of appeals reversed the award of the HOA’s fees but otherwise affirmed the judgment against the owner on the merits of his claims.

  • Zermeño v. Z Ready Mix, Inc., 2019 WL 2063090 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2019, no pet.).

When a commercial dispute arose between the owners of a family concrete business, our firm assisted trial counsel in representing one set of owners against the others, on claims of breach of fiduciary duty and breach of the parties’ agreements. The jury found in favor of our clients, and the trial court rendered judgment awarding them nearly $500,000. We handled the appeal, and the court of appeals affirmed the judgment in favor of our clients.

2018

  • Austin Bridge & Road, LP v. Suarez556 S.W.3d 363 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2018, pet. denied).

The firm assisted in representing a general contractor building a bridge over the Brazos River to Baylor University’s McLane Stadium. During construction, a subcontractor’s employee was killed in an accident. A jury found the general contractor liable and awarded more than $17 million. WCB handled the appeal, and the court of appeals held the claims against our client were barred by the implementation of a workers’ compensation insurance program, and there was no evidence of gross negligence. The court reversed and rendered a take-nothing judgment in our client’s favor, and the Texas Supreme Court denied review.

  • John M. O’Quinn, P.C. v. Lexington Ins. Co., 906 F.3d 363 (5th Cir. 2018).

A fee dispute arose between the law firm of the late John O’Quinn and plaintiffs he represented in breast implant litigation, concerning the deduction of litigation expenses from settlements obtained for those plaintiffs. After that law firm settled that dispute, it sought $10 million in insurance coverage for the settlement payments from its insurer. WCB represented the carrier before the district court, which granted summary judgment in our client’s favor. On appeal, the 5th Circuit agreed that the policy’s definition of “loss” did not include the reimbursement of legal fees, costs, or expenses, and it affirmed the take nothing judgment in favor of our client.

  • Sierra Equipment, Inc. v. Lexington Insurance Co.890 F.3d 555 (5th Cir. 2018).

A heavy equipment leasing company sued a contractor for damage to its equipment. After the contractor went bankrupt, the leasing company sought coverage for the damage from the contractor’s insurer, under the equitable lien doctrine. WCB assisted in securing a judgment in favor of the insurer in the trial court, and handled the appeal. The 5th Circuit agreed that, because there was no agreement for the contractor to obtain coverage with a loss payable clause to the leasing company and because no such clause was included in the policy, the leasing company lacked standing to sue the insurer. The Court affirmed the judgment in favor of our client.

  • Davis v. Fort Bend County893 F.3d 300 (5th Cir. 2018).

In the second appeal in this case, WCB again challenged the district court’s rendition of summary judgment in favor of the County – this time on the grounds of exhaustion of remedies. In this important appeal, the 5th Circuit resolved a split of authority and agreed with our arguments that a failure to exhaust administrative remedies is not a jurisdictional prerequisite to filing suit under Title VII. In reaching this holding, the 5th Circuit joined the majority of federal circuit courts so holding. Because the County failed to raise this defense until more than five years into this case, it was waived. The 5th Circuit reversed the lower court’s rulings and remanded our client’s claims for trial.

 

  • W&T Offshore, Inc. v. Meyers577 S.W.3d 247 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2018, pet. filed).

An independent contractor was injured on an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico when a crane cable snapped and part of the crane fell on his foot. A jury found the platform owner liable and the trial court awarded the plaintiff nearly $3 million. WCB handled the appeal. The court of appeals agreed that the contractor’s claims were governed by Louisiana premises law, and that the submission of a negligent activity theory of liability was improper. The court of appeals reversed the trial court’s judgment and remanded the case for a new trial.

  • Hidalgo County Emergency Service Foundation v. Mejia2018 WL 2731881 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi 2018, pet. denied).

After a trial court rendered a $1.5 million default judgment, WCB pursued review in the court of appeals. The court of appeals agreed that the evidence demonstrated our clients were not consciously indifferent to the lawsuit and raised a meritorious defense to the liability and damages claims. The court of appeals remanded all claims for a new trial.

  • American National County Mutual Ins. Co. v. Medina, 2018 WL 4037357 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2018, no pet.).

After a jury found a carrier breached a Stowers duty to pay a policy limits demand, WCB handled the appeal from the trial court’s judgment of nearly $500,000. The court of appeals held that a jury finding that the purported insured failed to cooperate with the carrier’s investigation – by misrepresenting who owned the vehicle – barred coverage under the policy. The appellate court reversed and rendered a take-nothing judgment in our client’s favor.

  • International Ins. Co. of Hannover SE v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 2018 WL 3655567 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi 2018, no pet.).

After heating equipment caught fire and burned a postal facility, the insurer for the U.S. Post Office brought product liability claims in subrogation against Wal-Mart seeking nearly $2 million in property damage. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Wal-Mart. In affirming the judgment in favor of our client, the court of appeals agreed that the carrier failed to prove who manufactured the equipment or that our client sold it.

  • APMD Holdings, Inc. v. Praesidium Medical Professional Liability Ins. Co., 2018 WL 3150672 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2018, no pet.).

WCB represented incorporators of a startup medical-malpractice insurance company, which sought financing for the capital surplus required to operate in Delaware. In exchange for a stake in the company, a Nevada mining company offered to fund the surplus with convertible preferred shares of the mining company. But when the mining company failed to provide audited financial statements or convert the preferred shares into cash, the Delaware Department of Insurance refused to license the insurance company. WCB successfully convinced the appellate court that the mining company breached its contract by failing to provide preferred shares that could be converted to cash on demand. The court of appeals affirmed the judgment in favor of our client.

 

  • Porter v. Heritage Operating, L.P.569 S.W.3d 686 (Tex. App.—El Paso 2018, pet. filed).

After an accidental fire in a church festival booth burned several teenage volunteers, the plaintiffs sued the local Catholic diocese and a propane supply company accused of improperly filling a propane tank that allegedly caused the fire, seeking more than $15 million. A jury returned a defense verdict, finding none of the defendants liable for the fire. The court of appeals affirmed the take-nothing judgment as to our client, the propane supply company.

  • In re Hulcher Services, Inc., 568 S.W.3d 188 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 2018, orig. proceeding).

After this case was remanded for a new trial on attorneys’ fees, the trial court denied our client’s demand for a jury trial, based on an agreement made during the previous trial. WCB pursued mandamus relief from this order. The court of appeals held the parties’ prior agreement did not apply to future trials, and it granted mandamus relief permitting our client a trial by jury.

  • In re American National Property & Casualty Co., 582 S.W.3d 400 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2018, orig. proceeding).

WCB successfully obtained mandamus relief from a trial court’s denial of appraisal in a commercial property coverage dispute. The court of appeals reversed the lower court’s ruling, holding an insurer does not waive its right to invoke a policy’s appraisal clause by answering a lawsuit filed by its policy holder, and held the insured failed to show prejudice from proceeding with appraisal.

  • In re Ace Real Property Investments, LP, 2018 WL 915192 (Tex. App.—Beaumont 2018, orig. proceeding).

In a dispute following the sale of a multi-million dollar shopping center, the buyer and its broker were briefly represented by the same counsel before the broker retained separate counsel. After the trial court disqualified the buyer’s counsel from representing any party in the lawsuit, WCB handled the appeal. The court of appeals agreed the record did not demonstrate prejudice requiring disqualification, and granted mandamus relief vacating the disqualification.

 

2017

  • Texas Properties, LP v. Petrie, 517 S.W.3d 98 (Tex. 2017).

WCB assisted in defending owners of an apartment complex, after criminals shot a visitor on the premises. The trial court rendered judgment for the property owners. The court of appeals reversed and remanded for trial, holding the record raised a fact question on whether the risk of crime was foreseeable and unreasonable. The Texas Supreme Court reversed the court of appeals, clarifying that the Timberwalk standard for determining the existence of a duty to protect persons from the criminal conduct of others requires proof that the risk of a crime was both foreseeable and unreasonable. Because the court of appeals erred in concluding a party could satisfy these two requirements solely with proof of foreseeability, and because the record contained no evidence of an unreasonable risk, the Texas Supreme Court rendered judgment in favor of our clients.

  • Longhorn Gasket & Supply Co. v. United State Fire Ins. Co., 698 Fed.App’x 774 (5th Cir. 2017) (per curiam).

WCB represented an excess carrier in a lawsuit filed by a primary insurer of a gasket maker, claiming payments the primary insurer made to settle asbestos claims exhausted several years of coverage and triggered the excess policy. The district court held the excess policy’s pollution exclusion did not apply to bar coverage for the underlying asbestos claims, and rendered a judgment in favor of the primary carrier totaling more than $2.4 million in settlement payments and defense costs. On appeal, the 5th Circuit agreed with our arguments that asbestos is an excluded pollutant under the policy’s pollution exclusion. The appellate court vacated the lower court’s judgment and remanded for further proceedings to determine whether an exception to the exclusion applied.

  • Roberts Company, Inc. v. Moore, 214 So.3d 202 (Miss. 2017).

After a grocery store defendant obtained a complete defense verdict, the plaintiff sought a new trial on the ground that one juror was a convicted felon and therefore disqualified under Mississippi law. The trial court disregarded the defense verdict and granted a new trial, and we pursued an interlocutory appeal for the defendant. In a case of first impression, the Mississippi Supreme Court analyzed the applicable juror disqualification statutes and reversed the lower court, holding the juror’s conviction did not automatically vitiate the underlying verdict, and rendered a take nothing judgment in favor of our client.

  • City of El Paso v. Viel523 S.W.3d 876 (Tex. App.—El Paso 2017, no pet.).

We represented the City of El Paso in an accelerated appeal. After the City was sued for damages sustained by a cargo company employee injured at the El Paso International Airport, the trial court denied the City’s plea to the jurisdiction on immunity grounds. On appeal, the court of appeals held the employee’s claims for negligence, negligent undertaking, and gross negligence were barred because the City was engaged in a governmental function – operating the airport. However, the appellate court also held the City was not immune from suit on the employee’s premises claim and affirmed that portion of the lower court’s order.

  • Torres v. Chauncey Mansell & Miller Supply Co., 518 S.W.3d 481 (Tex. App.—Amarillo 2017, pet. denied).

WCB successfully defended a summary judgment rendered in favor of a premises owner against claims asserted by an independent contractor injured when his concrete “bull float” contacted an overhead powerline. The court of appeals upheld the trial court’s rulings that Chapter 95 applied to the plaintiff’s claims and that the plaintiff failed to prove the premises owner controlled the methods of the contractor’s work. The Texas Supreme Court denied review.

  • In re York Risk Services Group, Inc.2017 WL 5622951 (Tex. App.—Tyler 2017, orig. proceeding).

We successfully challenged a trial court order requiring production of a claims adjuster’s file materials from a related lawsuit to a plaintiff who was denied coverage in a different suit. The court of appeals held the trial court erred in ordering the production without conducting any in camera review of the materials sought. In addition, the court of appeals held the work-product privilege applied to most of the information in the claim file, on the grounds that it was made to facilitate rendition of professional legal services to an insured and was, by its nature, confidential. Such materials included notes of conversations, amounts of reserves, detailed factual notes, litigation updates, and settlement discussions. As a result, the court conditionally granted mandamus relief vacating the trial court order.

2016

  • 4Front Engineered Solutions, Inc. v. Rosales505 S.W.3d 905 (Tex. 2016).

A subcontractor sued WCB’s client, a premises owner, after the subcontractor was injured by another contractor’s negligence while they worked on the owner’s premises. After a jury found our client negligently entrusted a forklift to a contractor, the trial court rendered judgment for compensatory and punitive damages totaling $13 million. On appeal, the court of appeals reversed the punitive damages finding, but affirmed the remaining damage awards. The Texas Supreme Court reversed the lower courts, and rendered judgment that plaintiff take nothing from our client, holding that no evidence supported any findings of liability against the premises owner based on theories of negligent entrustment or premises liability.

  • Centerpoint Builders GP, LLC v. Trussway, Ltd.496 S.W.3d 33 (Tex. 2016).

A construction employee was injured when a roof truss broke as he was carrying supplies across it. After the general contractor settled the injured worker’s claims, the contractor sued our client (the truss manufacturer) for statutory indemnity, claiming the injured worker’s claim alleged a product defect. The trial court ruled for the contractor based on its novel argument that it was a “seller” of roof trusses and had to indemnity from Trussway under Chapter 82 of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code. The court of appeals reversed in favor of our client, holding an apartment builder is not a “seller” of roof trusses or other components under the statute. In a case of first impression, the Texas Supreme Court affirmed the judgment in favor of our client, agreed that a general contractor is not “engaged in the business of selling” the components incorporated into a finished apartment complex, and held the contractor was not entitled to indemnity under the statute. This important holding clarifies the scope of Chapter 82’s application to construction injury claims filed in Texas.

  • In re J.B. Hunt Transp., Inc.492 S.W.3d 287 (Tex. 2016).

After a deadly 18-wheeler accident, separate lawsuits were filed by the trucking company and the motorists in different counties. When the trial court in the second-filed case refused to dismiss that lawsuit, and after the court of appeals denied mandamus relief, WCB was hired to pursue relief in the Texas Supreme Court. We obtained an emergency stay from the Texas Supreme Court, and ultimately prevailed on the merits. In a case of first-impression, the Court agreed with our argument that the case should be tried in the county of the first-filed lawsuit. The Court also overruled its own precedent by holding that mandamus relief is available in such cases, so courts may resolve jurisdictional conflicts and prevent parties from needlessly trying two lawsuits.

  • Byrdson Services, LLC v. S.E. Tex. Reg’l Planning Comm’n, 516 S.W.3d 483 (Tex. 2016).

The South East Texas Regional Planning Commission hired our client, Byrdson Services, to rebuild homes damaged by Hurricane Ike, using federal government funds. A dispute arose between the parties after the commission refused to pay Byrdson for work on several homes. Byrdson sued, and the commission claimed governmental immunity. The trial court ruled Byrdson’s suit was not barred, but the appellate court reversed and dismissed the claims against the commission. We argued the matter in the Texas Supreme Court. The Court reversed the appellate court and agreed that the commission waived immunity from suit when it contracted with our client, allowing our client’s claims to proceed. This important decision clarified Texas immunity law in the context of government contracts funded by federal grants.

  • Oiltanking Houston, L.P. v. Delgado, 502 S.W.3d 202 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2016, pet. denied).

After an industrial accident at a petroleum facility, a wrongful death lawsuit was filed on behalf of several independent contractors. The jury returned a verdict for the plaintiffs, and the trial court signed a final judgment awarding $22 million against the premises owners. WCB handled the appeal for the premises owners and obtained a reversal and a take-nothing judgment in favor of our clients. The court of appeals agreed that the plaintiffs presented no evidence that our clients possessed actual knowledge of any purported dangerous condition, as required by Chapter 95 of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code. The Texas Supreme Court denied review.

  • Gemini Insurance Co. v. Drilling Risk Mgmt., Inc.513 S.W.3d 15 (Tex. App.—San Antonio, 2016, pet. denied).

An insurance coverage dispute arose over an insurer’s partial payment of its insured’s claim for expenses following two blowouts in a well it was drilling. After the trial court rendered summary judgment in favor of coverage under a “control of well” policy, WCB partnered with trial counsel to defend the insurer at trial on claims for bad faith and deceptive practices. The jury returned a verdict against the insurer, and the trial court signed a judgment totaling more than $9.5 million in damages and fees. On appeal, the court of appeals agreed that the claimed re-drilling expenses were not covered because they were not caused by the blowouts, and it reversed the lower court’s judgment and rendered a take-nothing judgment in favor of our client. The Texas Supreme Court denied review.

  • Texas Instruments, Inc. v. Udell2016 WL 4485573 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2016, pet. denied).

After an independent contractor won a nearly $500,000 verdict against our client, WCB was retained to appeal the judgment. The court of appeals agreed with us that the contractor’s claims were barred by the recovery of workers’ compensation benefits, and it reversed the trial court’s judgment, and rendered a take-nothing judgment in favor of our client. The Texas Supreme Court denied review.

  • Hulcher Services, Inc. v. Emmert Indus. Corp.2016 WL 368180 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 2016, pet. denied).

A business that assists railroads and commercial carriers salvage equipment after derailments was sued for damage allegedly caused to its customer’s 240-ton electric transformer. We were retained to challenge an adverse judgment of more than $4 million, based largely on an award of speculative lost profits. The firm persuaded the court of appeals to reverse the trial court’s judgment, reduce the damage award by 90 percent (including eliminating all lost profits damages), vacate a large portion of the court costs, and remand the case to the trial court for a substantial reduction of the attorneys’ fees award. The Texas Supreme Court denied review.

  • The Branch Law Firm LLP v. Osborn2016 WL 444867 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2016, pet. denied).

An attorney sued his former law firm for fees allegedly owed him stemming from a class-action settlement. WCB pursued an interlocutory appeal from the trial court’s denial of a motion to compel arbitration required under the parties’ agreement. The court of appeals reversed the trial court and remanded for the matter to be referred to arbitration.

  • Bennett v. Commission for Lawyer Discipline, 489 S.W.3d 58 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2016, no pet.).

We were retained to appeal a judgment of disbarment after an attorney was found to have violated two disciplinary rules. On appeal, the court agreed that no evidence supported a finding of a violation of one of the rules, and it reversed the disbarment, reinstated the attorney’s law license, and remanded the matter for further proceedings.

2015

  • Campbell, Harrison & Dagley, LLP v. Hill, 782 F.3d 240 (5th Cir. 2015).

We prevailed on our clients’ claims in a lengthy and complex arbitration proceeding, and obtained an award of more than $35M in favor of several former counsel of Al Hill, III, in a dispute over legal fees. The 5th Circuit reversed a district court’s decision to reduce the fee award, and it rendered judgment affirming the arbitration award in its entirety in favor of our clients, plus interest and attorneys’ fees.

  • JAW the Pointe, LLC v. Lexington Ins. Co., 460 S.W.3d 597 (Tex. 2015).

The firm successfully represented an insurance company in a coverage appeal involving allegations of Insurance Code violations and bad faith. We obtained a complete reversal of a $4 million judgment against our client and secured a rendition of judgment that the plaintiff take nothing. The Texas Supreme Court unanimously agreed with our position and affirmed the rulings of the court of appeals.

  • Ard v. Hudson, 2015 WL 4967045 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth, 2015, no pet.).

After two brothers attempted to disinherit their sister for seeking injunctive relief related to their management of their mother’s estate, our firm was hired to appeal from the probate court’s judgment against the sister. The court of appeals reversed the lower court’s decision and ruled that our client, as a beneficiary, had inherent rights to challenge the actions of the executors and trustees.

  • Brenham Oil & Gas, Inc. v. TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Co., 472 S.W.3d 744 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2015, no pet).

We partnered with co-counsel for a seismic data company to defeat claims of interference with an oil company’s prospective production rights with the government of the Republic of Togo. The trial court dismissed the plaintiff’s claims of more than $6.5 billion in damages on the grounds of forum non conveniens, and the court of appeals affirmed the judgment for our client in all respects.

  • Medallion Transport & Logistics, LLC v. Williams, 2015 WL 3526089 (Tex. App.—Texarkana, 2015, no pet.).

Following a $4 million verdict arising from an 18-wheeler accident, we partnered with co-counsel for a trucking company to appeal the trial court judgment. The court of appeals reversed the adverse judgment against our client in its entirety and remanded the case for a new trial, after concluding the trial court’s decision to submit a spoliation instruction to the jury was harmful error.

  • Cady v. Cargile, 2015 WL 2058965 (Tex. App.—Waco 2015, no pet.).

The firm assisted trial counsel in obtaining a take-nothing judgment in favor of a trucking company, in a wrongful death claim following a fatal accident. The court of appeals affirmed the trial court’s judgment for our clients in all respects.

  • In re Heritage Operating, LP a/k/a Denman Propane, 468 S.W. 3d 240 (Tex. App.—El Paso 2015) (orig. proceeding).

We partnered with trial counsel to defend a propane company sued after a fire injured several minors at a church festival. After a four-week trial, during which the plaintiffs sought $12 million in damages, the jury rendered a complete defense verdict and the trial court signed a judgment in favor of our client. A newly elected trial judge then granted a new trial. We successfully persuaded the court of appeals that the trial court acted outside of its plenary power in granting a new trial. The court of appeals directed the trial court to reinstate the judgment in favor of our client.

  • Hernandez v. W-S Industrial Servs., Inc., 2015 WL 5136771 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi, 2015, no pet.).

We worked with trial counsel to obtain a summary judgment in favor of a defendant sued after a temporary worker was injured in a hydro-blasting accident. We handled the appeal, in which the court of appeals affirmed the judgment in our client’s favor on the grounds that the plaintiff was a borrowed servant of the defendant.

  • Bulthuis v. Avila, 2015 WL 9487472 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi, 2015, pet. denied).

Our firm was hired following an adverse jury verdict of $850,000 was returned against our client in a defamation lawsuit. We worked with trial counsel to persuade the trial court to render a judgment notwithstanding the verdict, awarding the plaintiff nominal damages of $10 only. The court of appeals affirmed the trial court’s judgment in favor of our client, and Texas Supreme Court denied review.

2014

  • LAN/STV v. Martin K. Eby Construction Co., 435 S.W.3d 234 (Tex. 2014).

We obtained the reversal of a judgment following a jury verdict for $2.25M in tort damages, where the parties’ dispute arose from the performance of a contract. The Texas Supreme Court held that parties may not recover tort damages where their duties are governed by contract, and the Court rendered a take-nothing judgment in favor of our client.

  • Boerjan v. Rodriguez, 436 S.W.3d 307 (Tex. 2014).

This matter arose from a wrongful death suit brought against a South Texas ranch owner by the surviving family members of three undocumented immigrants who died when a smuggler crashed his vehicle on a ranch road. The Texas Supreme Court held that our clients owed no duty under these circumstances, reversed the lower court’s judgment, and rendered a take-nothing judgment in favor of our clients.

  • Tenaska Energy, Inc. v. Ponderosa Pine Energy, LLC, 437 S.W.3d 518 (Tex. 2014).

The firm and our co-counsel successfully persuaded the Texas Supreme Court to uphold a lower court’s decision to vacate a $125M arbitration award against our client. The Court held that one of the arbitrators failed to disclose the extent of his ongoing business contacts with opposing counsel, creating an inference of evidence partiality.

  • Becon Construction Co., Inc. v. Alonso, 444 S.W.3d 824 (Tex. App.—Beaumont 2014, pet. denied).

We pursued an interlocutory appeal in a lawsuit alleging workplace injuries, and obtained the reversal of a lower court’s judgment against our clients. The court of appeals held that the plaintiffs could not recover as a matter of law, and rendered judgment for our clients.

  • Davis v. Fort Bend County, 765 F.3d 480 (5th Cir. 2014).

In a workplace religious discrimination case brought under Title VII, we successfully persuaded the 5th Circuit to reverse the district court’s grant of summary judgment against our client. In remanding the case for trial, the Court agreed that our client’s participation at a Sunday morning religious event at her church triggered Title VII’s protection for religious observances.

  • Perez v. Arredondo, 452 S.W.3d 847 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2014, no pet.).

The firm was retained after an adverse verdict in a bus-crash case and persuaded the trial court to disregard an award of $1 million in punitive damages against the bus company, which amounted to almost 75% of the total verdict. The court of appeals affirmed the trial court’s ruling in our client’s favor.

  • Astin Redevelopment Group, LLC v. CITGO Petroleum Corp., 2014 WL 7232573 (Tex. App.—Waco 2014, pet.dism’d).

In a commercial lease dispute, we assisted trial counsel in defending our client’s possession of the premises containing its critical pipeline operations control center. The court of appeals upheld the lower court’s judgment and its award of attorneys’ fees in our client’s favor.

  • Scarlott v. Nissan North America, Inc., 771 F.3d 883 (5th Cir. 2014).

Hired after a district court rendered summary judgment and sanctioned our client, we successfully persuaded the 5th Circuit to reverse the lower court’s adverse rulings and remand the matter to state court because of a lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

  • Hunter Bldgs. & Mfg., L.P. v. MBI Global, L.L.C., 436 S.W.3d 9 (Tex.App—Houston [14th Dist.] 2014, pet. denied).

In an appeal of a trade secrets case, our firm persuaded the court of appeals to reverse the $4.4 million judgment against our clients. The court of appeals rendered judgment that the plaintiff take nothing. While the appeal was pending, we also obtained the reversal of the trial court’s determination of the amount of a supersedeas bond after that court found the defendants and their related business entities had a “consolidated” net worth of nearly $10 million based on financial statements prepared under GAAP rules. In a case of first impression, the court of appeals reversed the trial court and held that using consolidated financial statements to determine a parties’ net worth impermissibly comingled assets of unrelated entities and non-liable parties.

  • In re Villagio Builders, LLC, 2014 WL 1481821 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2014, orig. proceeding).

On petition for writ of mandamus, we successfully defended a death-penalty-sanctions order striking all claims asserted against our client in a building contract dispute.

2013

  • Wellogix, Inc. v. Accenture, LLP, 716 F.3d 867 (5th Cir. 2013).

In a trade secrets dispute over the development of oilfield industry software, we successfully persuaded the 5th Circuit to uphold a $50 million jury verdict in favor of our client, a software company. The Supreme Court of the United States denied the opposition’s petition for writ of certiorari.

  • Washington v. Liem, 2013 WL 1490494 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2013, pet. denied).

The firm persuaded the court of appeals to uphold a take-nothing judgment in favor of a dram shop provider in a wrongful death case, based on a jury verdict that the decedent was more than 50 percent responsible for the accident.

  • Mangham v. YMCA of Austin, 408 S.W.3d 923 (Tex. App.—Austin 2013, no pet.).

The firm successfully obtained summary judgment for a YMCA in a personal injury case, and the court of appeals upheld the trial court’s judgment in favor of our client.

 

2012

  • Continental Cas. Co. v. North Am. Capacity Ins. Co., 683 F.3d 79 (5th Cir. 2012).

We successfully represented an excess insurer that paid approximately $3 million to defend its insured in an arbitration proceeding when three separate primary insurers breached their respective duties to defend. After the federal district court denied the excess carrier any recovery from the primary insurers, the excess carrier retained us to pursue an appeal. The 5th Circuit reversed, holding that our client was entitled to full recovery of its defense costs based on contractual subrogation.

  • ClearValue, Inc. v. Pearl River Polymers, Inc., 668 F.3d 1340 (Fed. Cir. 2012).

We successfully represented a multi-national chemical manufacturer in the defense of patent infringement and trade secret misappropriation claims. Following trial, the district court rendered judgment in our clients’ favor on the plaintiffs’ trade secret claims. On appeal, the Federal Circuit held the patent at issue was invalid, and rendered a take-nothing judgment in favor of our client.

  • Blum’s Furniture Co., Inc. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyds London, 459 Fed.Appx. 366 (5th Cir. 2012).

The firm defended an insurer from a bad faith claim after the insured invoked the appraisal provision of the policy. Applying Texas law, the 5th Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of our client, holding that when an insurer timely pays an appraisal award, there is no breach of contract.

  • Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. v. Stockdick Land Co., 367 S.W.3d 308 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2012, pet. denied).

We represented a tax-sale purchaser of residential property in a dispute with the mortgage company over whether the mortgage lien was reinstated. The court of appeals affirmed the trial court’s summary judgment in favor of our client.

  • Rapid Settlements, Ltd. v. Settlement Funding, LLC, 358 S.W.3d 777 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2012, no pet.).

The firm successfully represented a factoring company in an appeal from a temporary injunction obtained by a competitor. The court of appeals reversed the trial court’s order, holding that the injunction constituted an unreasonable restraint on trade.

2011

  • Harris County App. Dist. v. Riverway Holdings, LP, 2011 WL 529466 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2011, pet. denied).

In an ad valorem tax dispute, we represented a commercial property owner in defense of its judgment against HCAD establishing the appraised value of the property in question. On appeal, the court of appeals affirmed the judgment of the trial court in our client’s favor.

  • AMS Construction Co., Inc. d/b/a AMS Staff Leasing v. K.H.K. Scaffolding Houston, Inc., 357 S.W.3d 30 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2011, pet.dism’d).

In a breach of contract dispute between an employer and a staff leasing company, we represented an employer sued by its employee after the staff leasing company failed to obtain workers’ compensation insurance to cover the injured worker. The court of appeals affirmed the judgment in our client’s favor, holding the trial court had jurisdiction to decide this dispute and the jury’s findings were supported by the evidence.

  • Vinmar Trade Finance, Ltd. v. Utility Trailers de Mexico, S.A. de C.V., 336 S.W.3d 664 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2011, no pet.).

The firm successfully defended a Mexican company in a dispute over the purchase of $5 million worth of commercial trailers. The court of appeals affirmed the judgment in favor of our client, and upheld the dismissal of all of the plaintiff’s claims on forum non conveniens grounds.

  • Delta Seaboard Well Service, Inc. v. Duke, 2011 WL 3847373 (Tex. App.—Beaumont 2011, no pet.).

The firm represented a defendant on appeal from an adverse verdict in an 18-wheeler accident. The court of appeals reversed the judgment against our client and remanded the case for a new trial.

  • Avalon RF, Inc. v. WiFi Wireless, Inc., 2011 WL 676084 (Cal. App. Fourth Dist. 2011).

We successfully obtained a new trial for a defendant challenging a $3.2 million verdict. On appeal, the California court of appeals affirmed the trial court’s ruling in favor of our client.

  • GSF Energy, LLC v. Padron, 355 S.W.3d 700 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2011, pet. denied).

The firm represented a plant operator in a suit brought by the employee of an independent contractor, who was killed by falling debris inside a tank he was cleaning. The court of appeals reversed the trial court’s $10 million judgment against our client and remanded the case for a new trial.

2010

  • MCI Sales & Service, Inc. v. Hinton, 329 S.W.3d 475 (Tex. 2010).

The firm successfully represented a motor coach manufacturer in an appeal from a $17.5 million products-liability judgment arising from injuries incurred by several passengers in a highly publicized accident near Hewlitt, Texas. The court of appeals and the Texas Supreme Court agreed with us that the trial court committed harmful error by not allowing the jury to consider whether the bus driver and his employer were responsible for the accident. The court reversed the judgment and remanded the case for a new trial.

  • In re B.W., 313 S.W.3d 818 (Tex. 2010).

In a case that generated national attention, our firm successfully represented (pro bono) a 13 year-old girl adjudicated as a delinquent on a charge of prostitution. In a case of first impression, the Texas Supreme Court held that, because a minor cannot legally consent to sex, a minor cannot commit prostitution as that offense is defined by the Penal Code, and that the Texas Legislature did not intend to “transform a child victim of adult sexual exploitation into a juvenile offender.”

  • Lyle v. Jane Guinn Revocable Trust, 365 S.W.3d 341 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2010, pet. denied).

In a case involving the construction of a nearly century-old oil and gas lease, our firm represented heirs of royalty owners seeking unpaid royalties. The operator argued our clients were entitled only to payments that ended in 1919. The trial court and court of appeals disagreed, holding our clients were entitled to a portion of the net profits, in perpetuity. After briefing on the merits, we convinced the Texas Supreme Court to deny the operator’s petition for review.

  • Cleveland Regional Medical Center, LP, et al. v. Celtic Properties, LC, 323 S.W.3d 322 (Tex. App.—Beaumont 2010, pet. denied).

In a commercial lease dispute, we represented a landlord on appeal from a judgment in its favor against its tenant. The court of appeals affirmed the judgment in favor of our client regarding the tenant’s failure to remit unpaid rents, and remanded our client’s tort claims regarding damage to the leased premises for a new trial.

  • Carpenter v. Phelps, 391 S.W.3d 143 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2010, no pet.).

The firm represented defendants in a dispute over an oil and gas investment, on appeal from the trial court’s judgment against our clients for nearly $500,000 in damages and fees. The court of appeals reversed the judgment and rendered judgment in our clients’ favor that the plaintiffs take nothing.

  • Pate v. MSDW Office Partners, LP, 2010 WL 3025589 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2010, pet. denied).

We obtained a summary judgment in favor of a building owner against a premises liability claim. On appeal, the court of appeals affirmed the judgment in favor of our client.

2009

  • Ditta v. Conte, 298 S.W.3d 187 (Tex. 2009).

The firm represented a guardian in a successful appeal from a court of appeals decision. In a case of first impression, the Texas Supreme Court unanimously held that no limitations period restricts a court’s discretion to remove a trustee, and that the guardian’s suit seeking removal of the trustee was not barred.

  • In re Liberty Mutual Ins. Co., 2009 WL 441897 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2009, orig. proceeding).

The firm successfully challenged a trial court order severely restricting the scope of discovery necessary to defend against the opposing party’s bad faith claims. The court of appeals granted mandamus relief and ordered the trial court to vacate the order.

2008

  • SSP Partners v. Gladstrong Investments (USA) Corp., 275 S.W.3d 444 (Tex. 2008).

In this products-liability indemnity action, our firm represented a domestic importer of an allegedly defective product manufactured by a Chinese corporation and distributed by a Hong Kong corporation (our client’s parent company). The Texas Supreme Court held that a non-manufacturer that does nothing more than facilitate entry of a product into the United States owes no duty to indemnify a seller under the indemnity statute (Chapter 82 of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code) or the common law. The Court rejected using a “single business enterprise” theory to impose the obligations of one corporation onto another.

  • Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. v. Sevcik, 267 S.W.3d 867 (Tex. 2008).

The firm partnered with the late Rusty McMains to obtain reversal of a $4 million judgment in a personal-injury case against our client, Reliance Steel. The Texas Supreme Court held the trial court abused its discretion by admitting evidence of Reliance Steel’s annual gross revenues and that this evidence probably caused the jury to award damages that were substantially inflated.

  • Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee v. American Home Assurance Co., 261 S.W.3d 24 (Tex. 2008).

In a widely-reported, landmark victory for the insurance industry, the Texas Supreme Court held that the use of staff counsel to defend policyholders who are sued by third parties did not constitute the unauthorized practice of law. Our firm (along with Prof. William Dorsaneo) successfully defended this practice against a challenge by the Texas State Bar’s Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee.

  • Nat’l Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa. v. Crocker, 246 S.W.3d 603 (Tex. 2008).

The firm obtained reversal of a $1 million judgment against our client, National Union, for allegedly breaching its duty to defend an additional insured under a CGL policy issued to a nursing home. Having tried and lost her personal-injury claims against the named insured based on the conduct of its employee, the plaintiff obtained a default judgment against the employee and then sued National Union for allegedly breaching its duty to defend the employee, an additional insured under the policy. On certified questions from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, the Texas Supreme Court unanimously held that an insurance company owes no duty to defend an additional insured who does request a defense under the named insured’s CGL policy.

  • Hunt Construction Group, Inc. v. Konecny, 290 S.W.3d 238 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2008, pet. denied).

The firm represented the general contractor and subcontractors in an appeal from a jury verdict and judgment in favor of a plaintiff who collected workers’ compensation insurance benefits following an injury on the jobsite. The firm obtained a reversal of the trial court’s judgment and a rendition of judgment in our clients’ favor on all claims.

  • In re AIG Aviation (Texas), Inc., 2008 WL 4163184 (Tex. App.—San Antonio, 2008, orig. proceeding).

The firm successfully challenged a trial court order, signed after judgment, awarding substantial litigation expenses to our client’s opponent. The court of appeals granted mandamus relief and ordered the trial court to vacate the award.

  • A&B Bolt & Supply, Inc. v. National Oilwell Varco, L.P., 2008 WL 340511 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2008, no pet.).

The firm represented the defendants in a bitter fight over “trade secrets” allegedly misappropriated by the plaintiff’s former employees and their new employer. The firm succeeded in obtaining the reversal of a temporary injunction against our clients. The firm’s attorneys then worked closely with trial lawyers from other firms on evidentiary issues, the jury charge, and other matters during a month-long trial. These efforts resulted in a complete defense verdict.

  • American Heritage, Inc. v. Nevada Gold & Casino, Inc., 259 S.W.3d 816 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2008, no pet.).

The firm represented Nevada Gold, which obtained a jury verdict based on American Heritage’s breach of a casino operating contract. The court of appeals affirmed all of the contractual damages awarded by the jury in favor of our client.

  • Tenneessee Gas Pipeline Co. v. Technip USA Corp., 2008 WL 3876141 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2008, pet. denied).

The firm represented Technip USA and its parent corporation in this appeal. The jury awarded TGP over $18 million for delays and allegedly defective work arising from a construction project. The trial court eliminated most of the delay-related claims under a provision in the parties’ contract excluding indirect and consequential damages. The court of appeals affirmed the trial court’s judgment, agreeing with us that the majority of TGP’s claimed damages were not recoverable under the contract. The appellate court also eliminated TGP’s claimed damages for alleged defects for failure to provide notice of those claims as required under the contract and rejected TGP’s attempt to impose liability on Technip USA’s parent company.

2007

  • Schott v. Knight, 2007 WL 4465586 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2007, no pet.).

The firm successfully represented the defendants in the plaintiff’s appeal from a judgment awarding her zero damages for past and future mental anguish she allegedly suffered from an automobile accident. The court of appeals affirmed the trial court’s judgment.

  • Kipp v. Dyncorp Tech. Servs., LLC, 2007 WL 3293719 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2007, no pet.).

The court of appeals affirmed a no-evidence summary judgment in favor of our clients in a suit alleging premises liability.

  • Encompass Power Servs., Inc. v. Eng’g & Construction Co., 224 Fed.Appx. 329 (5th Cir. 2007).

The firm represented a general contractor seeking to join a responsible third-party subcontractor into an arbitration proceeding filed against the general contractor. The 5th Circuit affirmed the district court’s order requiring the subcontractor to join in the arbitration.

  • In re Gupta, 263 S.W.3d 184 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2007, orig. proceeding).

The firm represented a steel mill in response to a mandamus proceeding filed by a scrap metal dealer challenging “death penalty” sanctions imposed by the trial court against the dealer. The court of appeals denied the mandamus and refused to disturb the sanctions.

  • Coastal Refining & Marketing, Inc. v. United States Fidelity and Guaranty Co.,, 218 S.W.3d 279 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2007, pet. denied).

The firm represented Lexington Insurance Company in the appeal from a summary judgment in favor of USF&G in a coverage dispute. The trial court held that USF&G had no duty to indemnify for a settlement, based on USF&G’s allegations that Coastal, the insured, provided late notice, settled the underlying matter without consent, and failed to cooperate. The court of appeals reversed the judgment and remanded for further proceedings. The Texas Supreme Court denied review.

  • Ellwood Texas Forge Corp. v. Jones, 214 S.W.3d 693 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2007, pet. denied).

The firm represented a premises owner in an appeal from an adverse judgment in a case involving a worksite injury. The court of appeals held the premises owner owed no duty to the independent contractor’s employee because there was no evidence the owner retained control over the scope of work. The Texas Supreme Court denied review.

2006

  • Cross Creek Homes, Inc. v. First Continental Mortgage Co., 2006 WL 2959268 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2006, no pet.).

The firm represented a lender in an appeal filed by a manufactured home seller from a summary judgment on the home seller’s claims of breach of contract, promissory estoppel, fraud, and conspiracy. The court of appeals affirmed the judgment in our client’s favor.

  • Williams v. LifeCare Hospitals of North Texas, 207 S.W.3d 828 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 2006, no pet.).

The firm represented a hospital system in the plaintiffs’ appeal from a low-damages jury verdict. The court of appeals granted our motion to dismiss the appeal, on the grounds that, by accepting the benefits of the judgment (which the defendants satisfied in full) the plaintiffs were estopped from pursuing an appeal.

  • Magana v. Hammer & Steel, 05-20337 (5th Cir. 2006).

The firm assisted trial counsel in preparing findings of fact and conclusions of law in this negligence and products-liability action arising from a worker’s fall. Our proposed findings were largely adopted by the district court in rendering a take-nothing judgment in favor of our client. The firm then handled the appeal before the 5th Circuit, which affirmed the trial court’s judgment two days after oral argument.

2005

  • Argovitz v. Argovitz, 2005 WL 2739152 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2005, pet. denied).

The firm successfully obtained a dismissal of the appeal from the trial court’s judgment in our client’s favor in a divorce proceeding, based on our opponent’s voluntary acceptance of certain benefits from that judgment.

  • Qwest Int’l Comms., Inc. v. AT&T Corp., 167 S.W.3d 324 (Tex. 2005) (per curiam).

The firm represented Qwest on appeal from a jury verdict awarding $350 million in exemplary damages for alleged malice in cutting another company’s fiber-optic cable during Qwest’s cable-laying operations. The punitive-damage award was capped by the trial court and subsequently eliminated by the Texas Supreme Court.

2004

  • Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania v. Pearson, 2004 WL 2053285 (Tex. App.—Amarillo 2004, no pet.).

The firm obtained reversal of a $1 million judgment against our client in a dispute over coverage under a Texas commercial auto policy. The court of appeals agreed with our interpretation of the relevant policy language and held that there was no coverage for injuries that occurred after the driver exited the vehicle.

  • Wilson v. K.W.G., Inc., 2004 WL 1925599 (Tex. App.—Eastland 2004, no pet.).

The firm represented a bar owner sued for actual and exemplary damages by a patron who was assaulted by an intoxicated customer. The trial court granted our motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict and disregarded the jury’s award of punitive damages. The court of appeals affirmed the trial court’s ruling in our client’s favor.

  • American Home Assurance Co. v. United Space Alliance, LLC, 378 F.3d 482 (5th Cir. 2004).

The 5th Circuit reversed a $2 million judgment against our client, American Home, and remanded the case for a new trial.

  • Feldman/Matz Interests, L.L.P. v. Settlement Capitol Corp., 140 S.W.3d 879 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2004, orig. proceeding).

In this mandamus proceeding, we successfully argued that the Federal Arbitration Act did not authorize the trial court to conduct a hearing on a request for a temporary injunction before submitting the case to arbitration.

  • City of Galveston v. Garza, 2004 WL 21994741 (Tex. App.—Waco 2003, pet. denied).

We obtained appellate reversal of a $10 million judgment against the City of Galveston and the Flagship Hotel in a case in which two adults drove off the pier at the hotel and drowned in the Gulf of Mexico. The Texas Supreme Court denied review.

2003

  • Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Aguilera-Sanchez, 2003 WL 21338174 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2003, pet. denied).

We successfully represented Wal-Mart on appeal from a $20 million judgment for malicious prosecution in a mistaken identity case. The court of appeals reversed and rendered a take-nothing judgment, and the Texas Supreme Court denied review.

  • King’s Park Apartments v. National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa., 101 S.W.3d 525 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2003, pet. denied).

We represented National Union in this contentious litigation that lasted for over eleven years and which resulted in a bad faith verdict that the plaintiffs argued was worth $16 million. We convinced the trial judge to reduce the verdict to a $2.5 million judgment. The court of appeals reversed, and rendered judgment in our client’s favor that the plaintiffs take nothing on their claims. The Texas Supreme Court denied review.

2002

  • Rocor Int’l, Inc. v. National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa., 77 S.W.3d 253 (Tex. 2002).

Founding partner Tom Wright handled this case in the Texas Supreme Court, addressing whether an excess insurer violated a duty to avoid unreasonable delay in settlement. The Court held that because no demand was made to settle the claim within the policy limits, the insurer did not violate any duty. The Court interpreted the statutory unfair claims settlement provisions to coincide with common law Stowers claims, avoiding potentially inconsistent duties.

  • Texas Real Estate Holdings, Inc. v. Quach, 95 S.W.3d 395 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2002, pet. denied).

Our firm represented Texas Real Estate Holdings in an appeal challenging a $1.1 million judgment rendered in a premises liability case. The court of appeals reversed and rendered a take-nothing judgment, and the Texas Supreme Court denied review.

  • In re American Home Assurance Co., 88 S.W.3d 370 (Tex. App.—Texarkana 2002, orig. proceeding).

Our firm pursued mandamus relief from a trial court order requiring an insurer to produce information about its setting of reserves for third-party claims against an insured. The Texarkana Court of Appeals granted mandamus relief, holding the order was improper and would not lead to discovery of admissible evidence.