Appeals

Appellate experience, persuasive oral argument and excellent briefs win appeals. SKV delivers all three.
 

Overview

SKV’s experience is nearly unprecedented for a firm of its size:  more than half of the firm’s lawyers began their careers by serving as law clerks for federal appeals court judges, state supreme court justices, or even justices of the United States Supreme Court, learning under some of the country’s most important and influential judges. 

As trial lawyers, we also typically handle appeals of our own matters – usually appeals brought by our opponents after losing at trial – in-house, which gives our lawyers even more opportunities to hone their skills.  And finally, many of our lawyers volunteer for additional appellate work through judicial referrals and the Criminal Justice Act, which means they’re familiar faces across the country. 

SKV’s success is not limited in either geography or subject matter.  Specifically, SKV lawyers have briefed, argued, and won multiple appeals in federal courts, including the United States Supreme Court. Our lawyers also routinely handle state court appeals in Texas and other states. These appeals have concerned matters ranging from breach of contract to criminal matters to intellectual property/unfair competition to torts and healthcare disputes.  SKV’s most recent successes include victories for energy clients in the Texas Supreme Court and Houston’s Fourteenth Court of Appeals, and for white-collar clients and securities fraud defendants in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

SKV’s boutique size and entrepreneurial spirit give clients numerous advantages.  First, when it comes to appeals, we work on both “sides of the v,” representing everyone from tort plaintiffs seeking to protect a favorable trial judgment to major corporate defendants who took a loss at trial and now seek a reversal with new counsel.  Second, nearly all of our team, from senior partners to paralegals and secretaries, has significant experience in appeals.  Third, we staff matters leanly, which means that as a client, you will receive a dedicated and appropriately-sized team that learns your case thoroughly and is available to address your needs.  And finally, we have never been wedded to the billable hour and are always willing to discuss alternative fee arrangements with clients. At SKV, we use a straightforward approach to evaluating your case and your needs, making sure we never lose sight of your goals.

Representative Matters

  • BPX Operating Company f/k/a BHP Billiton Petroleum (TXLA Operating) Crimson Exploration Operating, Inc.: Land Murphy successfully preserved a $1.2 million jury verdict related to breach of an oil and gas lease on behalf of client BPX.
  • Quantlab Technologies Ltd. (BVI) & Quantlab Financial, LLC Godlevsky, et al.: Lee Kaplan, Ty Doyle, and Alex Wolf successfully preserved a $12.2 million jury verdict on behalf of client Quantlab in a trade secret misappropriation dispute with its former research scientists and their business partner.  The judgment followed significant settlements with other defendants.
  • United States v. Kaluza: An SKV team successfully obtained the dismissal of a substantial portion of the indictment of Robert Kaluza in connection with the Deepwater Horizon disaster; the government then appealed, and the dismissal was affirmed.  An SKV team that included Dane Ball, Alex Wolf, and others then ultimately won an acquittal for Kaluza on the remaining charges against him.
  • United States v. Moss, et al.: SKV successfully obtained the dismissal of criminal charges for violations of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) in connection with a welding accident on behalf of Grand Isle Shipyards, Inc.  The government then appealed, and an SKV team that included Dane Ball and Alex Wolf convinced a Fifth Circuit panel to affirm the dismissal.   
  • United Healthcare Services, Inc. et al v. Gonzales, et al.: Michelle Stratton obtained affirmance of trial court’s judgment that claims were barred by statute of limitations, then secured Texas Supreme Court’s denial of petition for review.
  • Shamim Memon and Discovery MM Servs., Inc. v. Carl Meisner, M.D. and Gulf Coast Med. Research, LLC) : Michelle Stratton successfully preserved a substantial trial verdict on behalf of a successful medical practice in business-related dispute.
  • Venator Materials PLC, et al. v. Macomb County Employees’ Retirement System & Firemen’s Retirement System of St. Louis: In a complex securities fraud action, Craig Smyser and Razvan Ungureanu won a reversal of the trial court’s denial of their clients’ pleas to the jurisdiction and venue challenges, resulting in the claims brought in Dallas County against their clients being dismissed.
  • Polyflow, LLC v. Specialty RTP, LLC et al.:  Michelle Stratton successfully briefed and argued appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on behalf of pipe company seeking to arbitrate claims against a competitor for breaching their settlement agreement and related torts, persuading the appellate court that the agreement’s broad arbitration clause reached all claims and that the district court erroneously denied arbitration.

 

 

Michelle Stratton Argues Contract Dispute in the Texas Supreme Court

On February 2, SKV counsel Michelle Stratton argued on behalf of Respondent Baylor Miraca Genetics Laboratories in the Supreme Court of Texas.   In 2018, Brandon Perthuis sued Baylor Genetics, his former employer, for breach of contract, alleging that Baylor Genetics owed him over $1.5 million in sales commissions on sales that Baylor Genetics made after Perthuis ...

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