Bracewell’s appellate practice and lawyers are recognized nationally and regionally by publications such as Chambers USA and The Legal 500 United States. Headed by one of Texas’ most experienced appellate lawyers, the team has briefed and presented oral arguments before the Supreme Court of Texas, federal courts of appeals nationwide and state appellate courts throughout Texas. Bracewell’s appellate team has a wealth of experience in high-stakes commercial cases and in a wide variety of subject-matter areas, including energy, environmental, insurance and intellectual property.
Clients rely on Bracewell’s appellate lawyers to analyze legal issues rigorously and creatively; write briefs that are sophisticated yet readable; and efficiently use the limited time at oral argument to persuade judges on the most critical points. We are frequently sought to handle appellate work from clients represented in the trial courts by other firms. We also regularly join a client’s legal team early in order to shape strategy and preserve error with a view toward success on appeal.
Recent Notable Matters
KBR, Inc. — successfully defended KBR, Inc. on appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit against claims asserted by hundreds of thousands of service members and civilian employees alleging they were injured by KBR’s use of burn pits to dispose of solid waste at military bases across Iraq and Afghanistan
McAllen Trust Partnership (James Argyle McAllen and other McAllen Ranch Entities) — Prevailed in the Texas Supreme Court on behalf of the McAllen Ranch against Forest Oil Company for environmental contamination relating to drilling operations. The Court unanimously affirmed the trial court’s judgment confirming the $27 million arbitration award.
Westlake Chemical Corporation — Successfully defended Westlake Chemical Corporation on appeal to the Federal Circuit in a patent infringement case involving two of the largest publicly traded polymer manufacturers in the United States. The Federal Circuit affirmed the lower court’s ruling that Westlake did not infringe a patent related to a method for producing adhesive resins.
Carlton Energy Group, LLC — Prevailed on appeal in a large business dispute involving breach of, and tortious interference with, contracts regarding a gas lease. The trial court signed a judgment of approximately $50 million in Carlton Energy Group’s favor, which the Supreme Court of Texas affirmed. After a remand on a limited issue, the case is pending again in the Texas Supreme Court.
KBR, Inc. — 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. Bracewell’s appellate lawyers served as appellate counsel at trial and were lead counsel on appeal. The Ninth Circuit ruled 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.
ASARCO LLC — Prevailed in the US Supreme Court on behalf of ASARCO in a dispute over whether a Bankruptcy Code provision authorized Baker Botts LLP to recover legal fees that it incurred in litigating against ASARCO. The Supreme Court ruled in ASARCO’s favor and resolved a significant legal issue that applies in every bankruptcy in the country.
GDF SUEZ Energy North America (ENGIE) — Prevailed on appeal on behalf of GDF SUEZ in a first-of-its-kind case that involved novel legal and regulatory issues and that Law360 recognized as one of its Biggest Energy Rulings of 2016. After obtaining dismissal of the suit, which alleged claims arising out of regulated activity by GDF SUEZ in the Texas electricity markets, that ruling was upheld in the Fifth Circuit.
Prosperity Bancshares, Inc. — prevailed in substantial part in the Fifth Circuit on behalf of Prosperity Bank from an adverse temporary injunction ruling in a dispute with former employees over enforcement of the parties’ non-compete and non-solicitation agreements
Economic advisory company and its president — Prevailed in the DC Circuit in defending the dismissal of RICO claims alleging extortion and money laundering against Bracewell’s clients. The case addressed significant issues about the application and extraterritorial effect of RICO and the scope of the act-of-state doctrine.
W&T Offshore, Inc. — prevailed in the Fifth Circuit by obtaining reversal of a district court’s dismissal of $50 million in claims brought by W&T Offshore against its excess insurers over damages to drilling platforms arising out of Hurricane Ike