Yvonne Ho's practice focuses on appeals and original proceedings in Texas and federal appellate courts. Yvonne has been recognized by Thomson Reuters as a Texas Super Lawyer in civil appellate law (2013-2018) and received the Rising Star Award from the University of Houston Law Alumni Association in 2014. She is also a frequent author and speaker on appellate issues, and previously served as a law clerk to the Honorable Ewing Werlein, Jr., in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, and the Honorable Thomas M. Reavley, in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
In addition to handling appeals, Yvonne represents clients in ongoing, high-stakes litigation matters, by assisting trial counsel with formulating legal and evidentiary strategies for winning cases at the trial court level. A key part of her practice involves writing dispositive motions, preparing jury charges and preserving error at trial.
Yvonne volunteers her time to local bar activities and to her law school. She has co-chaired numerous Houston Bar Association committees whose projects include citywide book, diaper, and clothing drives, efforts to improve employment opportunities for minority law students, and mentoring opportunities for young attorneys. Yvonne also serves on the Board of Directors of the Houston Law Review and the Houston Law Review Alumni Association.
Recent Notable Matters
In re KBR, Inc. Burn Pit Litigation, No. 17-1960 (4th Cir. 2018) — Successfully defended on appeal the dismissal of Plaintiffs’ claims for injuries allegedly sustained from open-air burn pits. The MDL proceeding included 57 cases from 42 states including national class actions.
Bixby v. KBR, Inc., 603 F. App’x 605 (9th Cir. 2015) — Prevailed on appeal from an $80 million judgment against KBR arising out of claims alleging exposure to sodium dichromate by 150-plus National Guardsmen at a water-treatment facility in Iraq. The Ninth Circuit resolved the case in KBR’s favor just a week after oral argument, reversing a roughly $80 million judgment in its entirety based on lack of personal jurisdiction. Bracewell also represents KBR in cases involving similar issues in other appellate and district courts.
Peine v. Elite Airfreight, Inc., No. 011400860CV, 2016 WL 4253836 (Tex. App.— Houston [1st Dist.] Aug. 11, 2016, no pet.) — Obtained affirmance of a take-nothing judgment in favor of the defendants in a contract dispute over an agreement for warehouse management services.
International Energy Ventures Mgmt., L.L.C. v. United Energy Group, Ltd., 818 F.3d 193 (5th Cir. 2016) — Successfully defended the removal and dismissal of breach of contract and fraud claims against the individual defendant, Sean Mueller, based on the improper joinder doctrine. Yvonne presented oral argument in the Fifth Circuit.
Wilson v. College of the Mainland, 476 F. App’x 758 (5th Cir. 2012) — Successfully defended an order granting summary judgment in an employment suit involving First Amendment retaliation and due process claims.
Funeral Consumers Alliance, Inc. v. Serv. Corp. Int’l, 695 F.3d 330 (5th Cir. 2012) — Prevailed on appeal on behalf of SCI in an antitrust suit alleging damages in excess of $1 billion, successfully defending the district court’s rulings denying class certification and dismissing most of the individual claims; contributed to appellate briefing on class-certification issues.
Pasadena Refining Sys., Inc. v. McCraven, 2012 WL 1693697 (Tex. App.–Houston [14th Dist.] May 15, 2012, pet. dism’d) — Represented plaintiff in premises liability case appeal; drafted brief of appellee; court upheld $5 million judgment in only second case to be affirmed on this type of claim.
Cardoni v. Prosperity Bank, 805 F.3d 573 (5th Cir. 2015) — Prevailed in substantial part on appeal from an adverse temporary injunction ruling in a dispute with former employees over enforcement of the parties’ non-compete and non-solicitation agreements; contributed to appellate briefing in the Fifth Circuit.
Publications and Speeches
“Waiving Your Appeal Goodbye,” Houston Bar Association’s 2017 Civil/Appellate Bench Bar Conference, April 6, 2017.
“Preservation of Error,” State Bar of Texas, Advanced Trial Strategies, New Orleans, February 10, 2017.
“Mandamus Relief for Denials of Responsible-Third-Party Designations,” State Bar of Texas Appellate Section Report, The Appellate Advocate, Vol. 28, No. 4, 2016.
“Ethics Jeopardy,” Fifth Circuit Judicial Conference, Houston, May 10, 2016.
“Nuts and Bolts of Mandamus Relief,” Houston Bar Association, Houston, December 5, 2014, and Northeast Harris County Bar Association, Kingwood, May 8, 2015.
“U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies Test for Specific Personal Jurisdiction in Intentional Torts,” The Houston Lawyer, May-June 2014.
“Jury Charge Issues In Personal Injury Cases,” State Bar of Texas, 30th Annual Advanced Personal Injury Law Course, San Antonio, August 6, 2014.
“Avoiding Class Arbitrations: Italian Colors and Beyond,” State Bar Litigation Section Report, The Advocate, Vol. 65, 2013.
“United States Supreme Court Roundup: 2011 Term,” Houston Bar Association, Houston, October 2012.
“Mandamus Trends,” State Bar of Texas, Advanced Civil Trial Course, San Antonio, July 2012.
“Appellate Law,” Texas Bar Journal, Vol. 75, No. 1, 2012.
“Federal and State Appellate Procedure,” State Bar of Texas, Civil Appellate Practice 101, Austin, September 2011 and September 2012.