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Fifth Circuit Appeals

Vinson & Elkins has a long and successful history advocating before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Our lawyers appear regularly before the Court, representing clients in high-stakes, high-profile matters, and setting significant precedent in a wide range of substantive legal areas. Working fluidly with our trial groups, V&E’s Appellate team draws on extensive experience and practical knowledge to help clients develop the best strategy for achieving their goals. We implement that strategy diligently and efficiently with brief-writing and oral advocacy that is both clear and compelling.

Our Appellate lawyers capably handle a wide range of legal issues across nearly every industry sector, including issues involving securities fraud, federal procedure, and the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. We have significant experience with Texas and Louisiana state law, and a number of our lawyers are licensed in both states.

With an array of former Fifth Circuit clerks, and decades of experience arguing before the Court, V&E’s Appellate group has a unique understanding of the Court’s members, its local rules and procedures, and the most effective way to present arguments before it. Our solid reputation as elite Appellate practitioners has also helped V&E to establish strong ties with top academics, commentators, and professionals in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. This combination provides exceptional value to our clients, and senior team members are frequently asked to speak at appellate seminars on Fifth Circuit practice and jurisprudence.

Experience Highlights

  • (5th Cir.); (E.D. Tex.) – Obtained affirmance of dismissal of RICO, conspiracy, tortious interference, and defamation claims against local newspaper and its employees and owner

  • (5th Cir.) – Won vacatur of a preliminary injunction issued under the Endangered Species Act and National Environmental Policy Act that prevented operation of Lydia Ann Channel Moorings LLC’s barge facility

  • (5th Cir.) — Successfully defended a district court ruling that a provision of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code requiring one-year of residency to receive a mixed-beverage permit was invalid under the Dormant Commerce Clause

  • (5th Cir.); (N.D. Tex.) — Won and upheld summary judgment in bankruptcy court, federal district court, and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of an independent oil and gas company on title claims related to leases and wells in the Barnett Shale

  • (5th Cir.) — Successfully argued before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, winning unanimous reversal and remand on complex tax issue of first impression involving research and development tax credits; authored winning brief on remand

  • (5th Cir.) — On a matter of first impression, obtained mandamus relief from district court’s denial of a motion to reconsider Multidistrict Litigation court’s denial of forum non conveniens motion, and denial of opposing party’s petition for a writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court

  • (5th Cir.) — Obtained a judgment for a producer of oil on the Alaskan North Slope for $14 million (net) for breach of the pricing formula of a crude oil sales contract involving price adjustments for Quality Bank credits on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline

  • (5th Cir.) — Successfully argued that the federal government does not “provide” statutorily mandated telecom-company universal-service contributions within the meaning of the False Claims Act, winning reversal of district court’s denial of motion to dismiss

  • (5th Cir.) — Obtained affirmance of a dismissal for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction on behalf of utility entities in a case of first impression involving citizen suit jurisdiction under the Clean Air Act

  • (5th Cir.) — On behalf of Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas and Dr. James Knochel, secured reversal of a record $366 million jury verdict in a physician peer review case; judgment was rendered in our clients’ favor, holding that they were immune from damages claims under the federal Health Care Quality Improvement Act; the United States Supreme Court denied plaintiff’s petition for certiorari

  • (5th Cir.) — Obtained affirmance of dismissal for lack of personal jurisdiction for foreign publishers

  • (5th Cir.) — Obtained reversal of a $13 million bankruptcy preference judgment

  • (5th Cir.) — Obtained reversal of a federal district court’s order remanding a case to state court on the eve of trial in a complex products liability case, and denial of opposing party’s petition for a writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court