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Bracewell Secures Three Texas Supreme Court Wins on the Same Day

AUSTIN – On Friday, May 27, Bracewell received results from three separate Supreme Court of Texas cases in one day— each with its own successful resolution. These three victories cap a string of significant victories, over just the past year, for Bracewell’s appellate team in courts throughout the nation.

In the most recent case, Bracewell represented an investor-owned hospital that had been held liable for the alleged negligence of a credentialed physician. The issue of first impression was whether the hospital was vicariously liable on the basis that the physician was a passive investor in the limited partnership that owned and operated the hospital. Bracewell’s Dale Wainwright argued the case, obtained reversal of the court of appeals’ decision, and successfully thwarted what would have been a dramatic expansion of hospital liability in Texas.

In a second case in which Wainwright presented oral argument, Bracewell represented a municipality and convinced the Texas Supreme Court to uphold the dissolution of an injunction that essentially would have denied the city’s rights pursuant to a groundwater deed to produce the groundwater under the ranch.

In the third unrelated victory announced on May 27, Bracewell’s Warren W. Harris and Jeffrey L. Oldham convinced the Texas Supreme Court to deny review of a $25 million arbitration award, stemming from an environmental contamination case relating to drilling operations, that both a trial court and the First Court of Appeals had upheld. A rehearing motion is now pending in the Texas Supreme Court.

Bracewell’s appellate practice has experienced an eventful year. In the past 12 months, Bracewell’s appellate team has achieved numerous victories in a range of courts. Including the three Texas Supreme Court victories resolved on May 27, these additional highlights are a part of our successful year in review:

·         Exactly one year ago today, the U.S. Supreme Court announced Bracewell’s victory for its client in Baker Botts LLP, et al. v. ASARCO LLCin which Bracewell’s client Asarco was engaged in a dispute over whether Section 330(a) of the Bankruptcy Code authorized a firm to recover more than $5 million in legal fees that it incurred in litigating over its bankruptcy fees. Bracewell’s Oldham presented oral argument and led the team briefing the case.

·         Bracewell’s Harris presented oral argument and led the team that obtained a complete reversal by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit of a $81 million judgment against an American engineering, procurement, and construction company.

·         Bracewell’s Harris and Oldham represented Carlton Energy Group in a successful appeal in the Texas Supreme Court in a large business dispute relating to a coalbed methane project. Harris argued the case twice in the First Court of Appeals and in the Texas Supreme Court.

·         Bracewell’s Oldham presented oral argument and led the team that prevailed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit while representing a client in a dispute over alleged bidding strategies in the Texas energy market. The case was recently recognized as one of Law360’s Biggest Energy Rulings of 2016.

·         Bracewell’s appellate team led a client in prevailing on a key issue in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit from an adverse temporary-injunction ruling in the district court in a non-compete lawsuit against four former employees.

·         Bracewell’s appellate team prevailed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit for a client who obtained dismissal with prejudice of a complaint alleging potentially billions of dollars in damages from supposed violations of RICO and other laws.

·         Bracewell’s appellate team prevailed in Houston’s First Court of Appeals for a client who obtained a substantial verdict arising out of an incident on an offshore platform.

·         Bracewell was part of the appellate team representing oil and gas royalty owners in an appeal of fraudulent inducement and breach of mineral lease claims, and helped persuade the Supreme Court of Texas to reinstate a $21 million verdict.