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Appellate

Thompson & Knight handles appeals and mandamus proceedings throughout Texas and around the country, including appearances in the U.S. Supreme Court, the Texas Supreme Court, all 14 Texas courts of appeals, the U.S. Courts of Appeals, and other state and federal courts.

Overview

In the high-stakes world of appellate litigation, Thompson & Knight’s appellate attorneys offer depth, experience, and knowledge. Thompson & Knight’s appellate partners include attorneys who are Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, former judicial law clerks, and experts who write and speak on appellate and other legal issues in a variety of forums.

In addition to appeals, Thompson & Knight’s appellate attorneys actively participate at the trial court level, preparing strategic motions, drafting jury charges, and structuring cases for appeal or emergency relief.

We have a depth of experience handling appeals in the following areas of law, among others:

  • Antitrust
  • Bankruptcy
  • Business disputes
  • Class actions
  • Constitutional issues
  • Government and regulatory disputes
  • Insurance coverage
  • Intellectual property
  • Labor and employment
  • Oil, gas, and energy
  • Federal preemption
  • Products liability
  • Railroads
  • Tax
3

Three TK attorneys 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” 2020

Experience

  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of its real-estate client in this deed-construction case involving differentiation between mineral and royalty interests and “fixed” versus “floating” royalties. In an appellate decision with far-reaching effect in the oil-and-gas industry, the Fifth Circuit affirmed the judgment that the deed granted TK’s client owns an undivided 3/8ths mineral interest. Five Star Royalty Partners, Ltd. v. Mauldin, No. 19-50860, 2020 WL 5104232 (5th Cir. 2020)
  • In a false-advertising and Federal Claims Act suit, obtained summary judgment for its manufacturing clients on their competitors’ claims against them for more than $100 million, and the Fifth Circuit affirmed the summary judgment on appeal. Boltex Manufacturing Co. v. Galperti, Inc., No. 19-20440, 2020 WL 5506404 (5th Cir. 2020)
  • Texas Supreme Court case, obtained a victory for its client, a Texas electricity provider, on an issue of first impression that required the Court to interpret a statute that creates a tax exemption for pollution-control equipment. Brazos Elec. Power Coop., Inc. v. Tex. Comm’n on Envtl. Quality, 576 S.W.3d 374 (Tex. 2019)
  • Obtained a series of victories in federal courts across the country on the much-publicized issue of whether obesity qualifies as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). See, e.g., Shell v. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company, 941 F.3d 331 (7th Cir. 2019); Morriss v. BNSF Ry. Co., 817 F.3d 1104 (8th Cir.), denied, 137 S. Ct. 256 (2016); see also Taylor v. Burlington Northern Railroad Holdings Inc., 801 F. Appx. 477 (9th Cir. 2020) (deciding similar issue under Washington state law)
  • Multi-billion-dollar class-action lawsuit that was the subject of new coverage and law review articles, plaintiffs sought certiorari from the United States Supreme Court in an effort to overturn the Iowa Supreme Court’s holding that their claims against a railroad were preempted by federal law. After the Supreme Court called for a response, which occurs in only approximately 1% of non-pauperis petitions, TK successfully opposed certiorari, preserving the defense victory for its railroad client. Griffioen v. Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Railway Co., No. 18-499 (2019)
  • Represented the Texas Oil and Gas Association in amicus briefing before the Texas Supreme Court in this case requiring interpretation of critical and customary oil-and-gas-lease language. Burlington Res. Oil & Gas Co. LP v. Tex. Crude Energy, LLC, 573 S.W.3d 198 (Tex. 2019)
  • In a partnership dispute, a partner of Thompson & Knight’s client sough to dissolve their healthcare partnership under conditions that would allow the partner to usurp much of the partnership’s multi-million dollar value. TK obtained a jury verdict in favor of its client on the opposing party’s claims for dissolution and on counterclaims brought individually and derivatively on behalf of the partnership. The Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment in favor of TK’s client on the derivative claims and against the opposing party on the dissolution claims. Shannon Med. Ctr. v. Triad Holdings III, L.L.C., No. 14-18-00638-CV, 2019 WL 6606406 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2019, no pet.)
  • Section 1983 litigation, prevailed in obtaining a rare appellate opinion from the Fifth Circuit that overturns a district court’s immunity-based summary judgment. Westfall v. Luna, 903 F.3d 534 (5th Cir. 2018)
  • Putative shareholder class-action lawsuit, obtained multiple reversals of orders certifying a class and subsequently obtained affirmance of an order denying class certification. Boytim v. Brigham Expl. Co., No. 03-17-00722-CV, 2018 WL 6816827 (Tex. App.—Austin Dec. 28, 2018, pet. denied); Brigham Expl. Co. v. Boytim, No. 03-15-00248-CV, 2016 WL 3390287, at *1 (Tex. App.—Austin June 15, 2016, no pet.); Brigham Exploration Co. v. Boytim, No. 03-13-00191-CV, 2014 WL 4058965 (Tex. App.—Austin Aug. 15, 2014, no pet.)
  • Obtained summary judgment in product liability suit in favor of its manufacturer client after successfully excluding all of the plaintiff’s proffered experts; the Court of Appeals affirmed; and the Texas Supreme Court denied the plaintiff’s petition for review. Jackson v. Michelin N. Am., Inc., No. 07-16-00325-CV, 2018 WL 4323624 (Tex. App.—Amarillo 2018, pet. denied); No. 18-1222 (Tex. 2019)