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Experience

Melissa Davis focuses her practice on civil appeals. She has represented clients in the United States Supreme Court, the Supreme Court of Texas, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, other federal Court of Appeals, Texas and other states’ courts of appeals, and trial courts across the county.

Ms. Davis is Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She focuses her practice on appellate briefing and oral argument, strategic dispositive motions, expert challenges, preservation of error, and jury charges. Her areas of expertise include federal preemption, expert evidence in Texas, shareholder litigation, partnership disputes, and oil-and-gas litigation. She has particular insight into judicial decision making due to her experience working as an attorney for the Texas Supreme Court and the First Court of Appeals in Houston, as well as a clerkship with the Texas Supreme Court.

Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization

Received a top national ranking for Appellate Law in U.S. News - Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” 2019

Representative Matters

United States Supreme Court

  • Griffioen v. Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Railway Co., No. 18-499 (2019) (represented prevailing party in opposing certiorari after Court requested response to petition on federal-preemption issue)
  • Wyeth v. Levine, 555 U.S. 555, 129 S. Ct. 1187, 173 L. Ed. 2d 51 (2009) (represented amicus in support of prevailing party on federal-preemption issue)
  • Altria Group, Inc. v. Good, 555 U.S. 70, 129 S. Ct. 538, 172 L. Ed. 2d 398 (2008) (represented amicus in support of prevailing party on federal-preemption issue)

Texas Supreme Court

  • Brazos Elec. Power Coop., Inc. v. Tex. Comm’n on Envtl. Quality, 576 S.W.3d 374 (Tex. 2019) (represented prevailing party in appeal from denial of tax exemption)
  • Burlington Res. Oil & Gas Co. LP v. Tex. Crude Energy, LLC, 573 S.W.3d 198 (Tex. 2019) (represented Texas Oil and Gas Association in amicus briefing in favor of prevailing party)
  • Med. City Dallas, Ltd. v. Carlisle Corp., 251 S.W.3d 55 (Tex. 2008) (represented prevailing party in appeal regarding issue of statutory construction)

U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals

  • eCommission Sols., LLC v. CTS Holdings Inc., No. 18-1672-CV, 2019 WL 2261457 (2d Cir. May 28, 2019) (represented prevailing party in unfair competition lawsuit)
  • Westfall v. Luna, 903 F.3d 534 (5th Cir. 2018) (represented prevailing party in appeal from immunity-based summary judgment)
  • Hagerty ex rel. United States v. Cyberonics, Inc., 844 F.3d 26 (1st Cir. 2016)(represented prevailing party in suit under False Claims Act)

Texas Courts of Appeals

  • Boytim v. Brigham Expl. Co., No. 03-17-00722-CV, 2018 WL 6816827 (Tex. App.—Austin Dec. 28, 2018, pet. denied) (represented prevailing party in shareholder class-action litigation)
  • Dallas Petroleum Gp., LLC v. RCPTX, Ltd. & Royalty Clearinghouse, Ltd., No. 08-17-00017-CV, 2017 WL 5826002 (Tex. App.—El Paso Nov. 29, 2017, no pet.) (obtained settlement on appeal)
  • Newman v. Bailey Square Surgical Ctr., Ltd., No. 03-17-00200-CV, 2017 WL 3897315 (Tex. App.—Austin Aug. 22, 2017, no pet.) (represented prevailing party in partnership dispute)
  • In re Second St. Props. LLC, No. 14-16-00390-CV, 2016 WL 7436649 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] Dec. 22, 2016, no pet.) (obtained mandamus in dispute over dominant jurisdiction)
  • Post-Newsweek Stations, Houston, Inc. v. Dugi, No. 13-10-00366-CV, 2011 WL 2463057 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi June 16, 2011, pet. dism’d) (represented prevailing party in defamation action)
  • Blaine v. Nat’l-Oilwell, L.P., No. 14-09-00711-CV, 2010 WL 4951779 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] Dec. 7, 2010, no pet.) (represented prevailing party in personal-injury action)
  • In re Marriage of Grisham, No. 10-09-00429-CV, 2010 WL 4570266 (Tex. App.—Waco Oct. 20, 2010, pet. denied) (represented prevailing party in dispute over division of business interests)
  • Westbo v. Metzger, 01-09-00952-CV, 2010 WL 2991121 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] July 29, 2010, pet. denied) (represented prevailing party in dispute over assets)
  • Leon Cty. v. Donahoe, No. 10-09-00010-CV, 2010 WL 486886 (Tex. App.—Waco Feb. 10, 2010, no pet.) (represented prevailing party in dispute over governmental immunity and jurisdiction)
  • In re Boxer Prop. Mgmt. Corp., No. 14-09-00579-CV, 2009 WL 4250123 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] Sept. 3, 2009, no pet.) (obtained mandamus to vacate discovery order)
  • Macy v. Waste Mgmt., Inc., 294 S.W.3d 638, 641 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2009, pet. denied)(represented prevailing party in employment contract dispute)

Prior Employment

  • Attorney for the Honorable Jeffrey S. Boyd, Justice, Texas Supreme Court, 2013-2016
  • Attorney for the Honorable Harvey G. Brown, First Court of Appeals, 2011-2013
  • Judicial Clerk to the Honorable Don R. Willett, Justice, Texas Supreme Court, 2005-2006

Honors & Affiliations

Distinctions/Honors

  • The Best Lawyers in America® by Woodward/White Inc. (Appellate Practice), 2021
  • Texas Rising Stars® by Thomson Reuters (Appellate), 2018-2019
  • Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Civil Appellate Law Advisory Commission
  • National Center for State Courts, Lawyers Committee

Memberships/Affiliations

  • Advisory Commission Member, Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Civil Appellate Law Advisory Commission
  • Counsel Member, Austin Bar Association Appellate Section
  • Lawyers’ Committee Member, National Center for State Courts
  • Committee Member, Third Court of Appeals Pro Bono Committee
  • Member, American Bar Association; Section of Litigation, Judicial Division
  • Member, State Bar of Texas; Appellate and Advocacy Section
  • Member, Austin Bar Association; Civil Appellate Section
  • Member, Houston Bar Association; Appellate Practice Section

Education & Admissions

Education

  • J.D., 2004, with honors, The University of Texas School of Law; Texas Law Review; Teaching Quizmaster; William O. Huie Endowed Presidential Scholarship; Bob Gibbins Endowed Presidential Scholarship; Keith Morrison Endowed Presidential Scholarship
  • B.S., 2001, magna cum laude, Texas A&M University; Distinguished Student Award (Liberal Arts); Vice President of Alpha Chi Omega

Admissions

  • Texas
  • U.S. Supreme Ct.
  • U.S. Ct. of App., First Circuit
  • U.S. Ct. of App., Second Circuit
  • U.S. Ct. of App., Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Ct. of App., Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Ct. of App., Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Dist. Ct., E. Dist. Texas
  • U.S. Dist. Ct., N. Dist. Texas
  • U.S. Dist. Ct., S. Dist. Texas
  • U.S. Dist. Ct., W. Dist. Texas