Jackson Walker’s appellate lawyers have substantial and successful experience in appeals before both state and federal courts in significant cases that have often involved novel issues of law. However, we also recognize that appellate law is not limited to handling cases on appeal. Rather, working closely with trial counsel, our appellate team provides careful legal analysis, strategy, and issue identification in order to craft and preserve the most persuasive legal arguments at every stage of a litigation matter.
Our appellate lawyers bring exceptional depth and breadth of knowledge to this work, obtained from years of experience in private practice, government service, and in the judiciary. Our team includes a former appellate judge who also served on the trial court bench, the former President of the University of Texas at Austin and Dean of the University of Texas School of Law, and former top-level advisors to the Texas Attorney General.
We have represented clients before the United States Supreme Court, federal circuit courts, the Supreme Court of Texas, and each of Texas’ fourteen intermediate appellate courts. These appeals have involved wide-ranging substantive areas including breach of contract, constitutional issues, medical malpractice, anti-SLAPP provisions, defamation, arbitration agreements, employment law, patent infringement, insurance disputes, bankruptcy, class actions, and discrimination claims.
Many of our attorneys served as federal appellate and district court law clerks. Others gained experience as state appellate clerks and briefing attorneys. In addition, our attorneys serve on the American Law Institute, as well as the Texas Supreme Court Rules Advisory Committee, including the Chairman of the Committee.
Our appellate lawyers get involved in litigation early and are often called upon to plan, research, draft, review, and argue critical pretrial motions, such as motions to dismiss, motions for summary judgment, and motions related to expert testimony. We also regularly assist our trial attorneys at trial in preparing motions for instructed verdict, motions for judgment as a matter of law, jury charges, and post-verdict motions in anticipation of litigating a successful appeal.
Our appellate lawyers are frequently called upon to resist or initiate original proceedings, including petitions for writs of mandamus, prohibition, injunction, and habeas corpus. Our wealth of experience enables us to provide swift, accurate, and persuasive briefing on short timetables.
For decades, Jackson Walker attorneys have filed amicus briefs to assist federal and state appellate courts on important issues of substantive or procedural law. For instance, our attorneys submitted an amicus brief on behalf of forty-eight cattle and agricultural associations in support of the winning position in Johanns v. Livestock Marketing Association, 544 U.S. 550 (2005), an important freedom of speech case. And in 2012, Jackson Walker attorneys submitted an amicus brief on behalf of Texas and twenty-five other States that successfully argued an important sovereign immunity issue in Coleman v. Maryland Court of Appeals, 132 S.Ct. 1327 (2012), and that was specifically relied upon by the Court.
United States Supreme Court
- Storman’s Inc. v. Wiesman, No. 15-862, decision pending (submitted amicus brief on behalf of forty-three members of Congress in support of Petitioners and arguing that there is a uniform consensus in both the States and federal government that the conscience rights of healthcare professionals are entitled to protection).
- Thomas v. Lynch, No. 15-889, decision pending (submitted amicus brief on behalf of members of Congress in support of petitioner and arguing that the Court should grant the Petition to clarify the scope and meaning of the Citizenship Clause of the United States Constitution).
- Coleman v. Maryland Court of Appeals, 132 S.Ct. 1327 (2012) (submitted amicus brief on behalf of Texas and 25 other States successfully arguing an important sovereign immunity issue, and that was cited and quoted by the Court).
- Medellin v. Texas, 552 U.S. 491 (2008) (successfully defended Texas and won a landmark decision that the World Court cannot bind the U.S. justice system, and the President of the United States cannot order state courts to obey the World Court).
- Dist. of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008) (submitted amicus brief on behalf of thirty-one States successfully defending the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms).
- Baze v. Rees, 553 U.S. 35 (2008) (submitted amicus brief for twenty States successfully defending the constitutional validity of Kentucky’s lethal injection protocol against Eighth Amendment challenge).
- Johanns v. Livestock Mktg. Ass’n, 544 U.S. 550 (2005) (submitted successful amicus brief on behalf of forty-eight cattle and agricultural associations in a landmark First Amendment case).
Federal Courts of Appeal
- Stokes v. Southwest Airlines, No. 17-10760 (5th Cir. 2018)(holding that the Air Carrier Access Act of 1986 does not confer a private right of action for disability discrimination against an air carrier, overruling its own 30-year precedent).
- In re Deepwater Horizon, 784 F.3d 1019 (5th Cir. 2015) (affirming dismissal of Mexican States’ claims for pollution-related damages from the Macondo Oil spill as barred by the Robins Dry Dock rule).
- In re Deepwater Horizon, 745 F.3d 157 (5th Cir. 2014) (affirming dismissal of claims brought by local governmental entities as preempted).
- In re W. Feliciana Acquisition, L.L.C., 744 F.3d 352 (5th Cir. 2014) (affirming trial court’s grant of summary judgment and holding that a claim for lost profits or consequential damages was not covered by a lender’s policy of title insurance).
- McLane Foodservice, Inc. v. Table Rock Rests., L.L.C., 736 F.3d 375 (5th Cir. 2014) (affirming the trial court’s interpretation of a guaranty agreement that client was not liable for over $700,000 in claimed damages).
- Whitley v. Hanna, 726 F.3d 631 (5th Cir. 2013) (affirming the client’s motion to dismiss in § 1983 action brought by sexual abuse victim against state officers involved in investigation and arrest of sexual offender).
- Asgeirsson v. Abbott, 696 F.3d 454 (5th Cir. 2012) (successfully defending the constitutional validity of a core provision of the Texas Open Meetings Act, defeating a First Amendment challenge brought by a group of Texas municipal officers).
- Texas v. U.S. EPA, 690 F.3d. 670 (5th Cir. 2012) (overturning EPA’s disapproval of Texas’ Flexible Permit Rule as arbitrary and capricious under the Clean Air Act).
- M.D. ex rel. Stukenberg v. Perry, 675 F.3d 832 (5th Cir. 2012) (successfully overturning a federal district court order certifying an injunctive class comprised of children in Texas’ permanent managing conservatorship).
Supreme Court of Texas
- Boerjan v. Rodriquez, 436 S.W.3d 307 (Tex. 2014) (addressing an important question of landowner liability in the context of illegal smuggling operations, the Court reversed in favor of the position urged by amicus curiae mining client).
- Venture Cotton Cooperative v. Freeman¸ 435 S.W.3d 222 (Tex. 2014) (successfully upholding arbitration agreement against challenge of unconscionability)
- Univ. of Tex. at El Paso v. Herrera, 322 S.W.3d 192 (Tex. 2010) (successfully overturning lower court order holding that Congress validly abrogated the State’s sovereign immunity in the “self care” provision of the Family and Medical Leave Act).
Texas Appellate Decisions
- The reversal of a $61 million judgment and rendition of a take-nothing judgment based on a jury verdict that a national department store breached a bond indenture by prematurely redeeming corporate bonds held by a number of institutional investors.
- Dallas Morning News, Inc. v. Mapp, 05-14-00848-CV, 2015 WL 3932868 (Tex. App.—Dallas June 26, 2015, no. pet.) (mem. op.) (libel suit by unsuccessful U.S. Senate candidate, complaining of newspaper editorial that stated his immigration position as a “shoot on sight” policy, dismissed under Texas anti-SLAPP statute).
- Shipp v. Malouf, 439 S.W.3d 432 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2014, pet. denied) (Texas dentist was not defamed by false allegation of bankruptcy in news broadcast that accurately reported official accusations of massive Medicaid fraud against the dentist; therefore, anti-SLAPP dismissal should be granted).
- Mayfield v. Fullhart, 444 S.W.3d 222 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2014, pet. denied) (in a case of first impression for Texas state appellate courts, the 14th Court of Appeals found that the single-publication rule applies to news media reports posted on the internet).
- Man Indus. (India), Ltd. v. Midcontinent Express Pipeline, LLC, 407 S.W.3d 342 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2013, pet. denied) (affirming $1 million judgment in favor of pipe broker client in breach-of-contract and fiduciary duty case).
- Avila v. Larrea, 394 S.W.3d 646 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2012, pet. denied) (in a case of first impression, reversing trial court’s order and dismissing defamation claims against media clients under Texas’ new anti-SLAPP statute).
- Leach v. Tex. Tech. Univ. , 335 S.W.3d 386 (Tex. App.—Amarillo 2011, pet. denied) (successfully overturning a trial court ruling that would have allowed terminated head football coach Mike Leach to seek more than $10 million in breach-of-contract damages from Texas Tech University).