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Texas Supreme Court

Twenty-five years ago, Vinson & Elkins was one of the first large Texas law firms with the foresight to form a dedicated Appellate practice. Since then, V&E’s Appellate lawyers have been a consistent and respected presence in the Supreme Court of Texas, routinely representing clients in filing petitions for review, briefing on the merits, mandamus petitions, and amicus briefs, and in presenting oral argument to the Court. Our work before the Court covers all major industries, including energy, healthcare, media, transportation, construction, engineering, and insurance, among others.

An appeal to the state’s highest court involves considerations particular to that Court. Our decades of experience handling Supreme Court appeals and mandamus  petitions in cases spanning a vast range of substantive legal areas gives V&E’s Appellate team an intimate understanding of the Court’s procedures, precedent, and current docket. This, in turn, provides clients with the insight and ability to evaluate an appeal comprehensively, and to advise on the arguments and strategies most likely to achieve the desired outcome.

Our lawyers — nearly all of whom served as judicial clerks at either a state appellate court, a federal district court, a federal court of appeals, or the United States Supreme Court — are attuned to the types of arguments that resonate with the Court, and have the sophistication and skill to present those arguments clearly and persuasively. Further, where a case in the Texas Supreme Court warrants the involvement of amici, our lawyers have the contacts necessary to identify appropriate organizations and experts who can support our clients’ positions with amicus briefs.

In addition to an enviable track record before the Supreme Court of Texas, V&E’s longstanding commitment to excellent advocacy is nationally recognized, most recently being praised for “outstanding achievements” in the National Law Journal’s 2014 “Appellate Hot List.” Our extensive experience, collaborative mindset, and efficient approach make V&E’s Appellate group one of the most respected and successful in the country.

Experience Highlights

  • (Tex.) — Obtained ruling that Anadarko Petroleum Corp. is entitled to recover its multimillion dollar defense costs, from Underwriters at Lloyd’s of London, arising out of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident

  • (Tex.) – Obtained reversal of lower appeals court decision against The Dallas Morning News in a defamation case arising out of a series of investigative articles on alleged healthcare fraud

  • (Tex.) – Obtained reversal of lower appeals court decision and reinstatement of $1.065 million (net) trial court judgment in favor of small business owners in suit challenging lower court’s evidentiary rulings in condemnation case

  • (Tex.) – Obtained reversal of court of appeals’ and trial court’s decisions against MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings, Inc., a New York entity, in a special appearance proceeding challenging Texas courts’ jurisdiction over a $300 million asbestos settlement

  • (Tex.); (Tex. App. – Beaumont) — Following two oral arguments before the Texas Supreme Court, obtained ruling that a CO2 pipeline owned by Denbury Green Pipeline-Texas qualifies for “common carrier” status with the power of eminent domain; an important win for the pipeline industry in Texas, this decision significantly clarifies how “common carrier” pipeline status may be established under state law  

  • (Tex.); (Tex. App. − Eastland) — Obtained affirmance on behalf of a large international energy company in a case of first impression about how a mineral lessee properly calculates royalties in enhanced recovery operations

  • (Tex.) — Representing a media company in an inverse condemnation action involving the state’s takeover of property containing billboard sign structures owned by our client for a highway expansion project; decision affects outdoor advertising industry in whether condemning authorities pay adequate compensation upon taking, damaging, or destroying improvements on condemned realty

  • (Tex.) — Obtained a ruling unanimously striking down a procedure used by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission that improperly lowered the rates at which Texas hospitals are reimbursed for providing Medicaid services

  • (Tex.) — Obtained reversal, partial rendition, and remand of an $84 million jury verdict on behalf of a major rental-truck company in a personal injury case ($45 million judgment)

  • (Tex.) — Obtained reversal and rendition of judgment for a leading oil and gas producer in a gas royalty dispute involving the legal standard for fraudulent concealment to toll the statute of limitations on mineral interest owners’ claims

  • (Tex.) — Obtained reversal of a multi-million dollar judgment arising out of a dispute concerning whether a controlling shareholder owes a fiduciary duty to a putative shareholder in a closely held corporation

  • (Tex.) — Obtained reversal in a multi-billion dollar dispute over regulatory accounting treatment of nuclear plants

  • (Tex.) — Obtained reversal in an insurance bad faith case in which the Texas Supreme Court imposed significant limits on punitive damages

  • (Tex.) — Successfully opposed mandamus petition seeking to challenge an order assigning a pretrial judge under former Rule 11, Texas Rules of Judicial Administration

  • (Tex.) — In a case involving geological and seismic data trade secrets, obtained mandamus relief from the Texas Supreme Court that an employee’s mere access to trade secret documents at his place of employment does not constitute possession, custody, or control of those documents for purposes of discovery