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George Gerachis and Marie Yeates Named “Texas Trailblazers” by Texas Lawyer

Texas Lawyer has named Vinson & Elkins partners George Gerachis and Marie Yeates to its second annual list of “Texas Trailblazers,” recognizing attorneys who have made significant marks on the practice of law.

Yeates, a practice group leader of V&E’s firm-wide appellate practice, has presented more than 135 appellate oral arguments in federal and state appellate courts across the country. A profile in Texas Lawyer highlights Yeates’ representation of the plaintiff respondents in a state court appeal brought by an automobile manufacturer following a $200 million judgment against it at trial, as well as her role fighting to make way for a high-speed rail connecting Dallas and Houston. Yeates compares appeals like these to puzzles that demand a keen sense of strategy and collaboration. “You have to be willing to make novel arguments because you never know when you’re going to change the law,” she said.

Gerachis, head of V&E’s Tax and Executive Compensation and Benefits Department, has tried cases in the United States Tax Court and Federal District Courts and handled numerous appeals in his more than three decades with V&E. He is often credited with establishing key precedents along the way, including a case in which the IRS challenged how BMC Software, like many high tech companies, repatriated its profits. BMC prevailed on appeal in the 5th Circuit in a decision which, five years later, remains the “law of the land.” As U.S. Supreme Court standards continue to evolve for determining the validity of regulations, Gerachis has been busy advising on tax regulations that could be challenged. “Looking ahead, that’s the most exciting area for me,” he tells Texas Lawyer. “I think these cases might contribute to the development of the law moving forward.”

The complete list of “Texas Trailblazers” is featured in Texas Lawyer’s October/November 2020 issue.

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