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


For a firm its size, SKV’s experience is nearly unprecedented: more than half of the firm’s lawyers have clerked for appellate judges, including on the United States Supreme Court, the Texas Supreme Court, and multiple federal appeals courts. With that insight into how appellate courts work, SKV lawyers have successfully briefed and argued numerous appeals in those forums, as well as in the intermediate appellate courts of Texas and other states.

While SKV’s appellate practice is nationwide, our Texas presence means we have particularly deep experience in the Texas Supreme Court, intermediate Texas appellate courts, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. A critical part of Texas Supreme Court practice is convincing the Court to take or not to take a case, and SKV lawyers have crafted scores of excellent petitions for review or mandamus, responses opposing those petitions, and merits briefs. If a case is granted, we’re ready, bringing to bear our oral argument experience in Texas’s high court. We’re also right at home in the Fifth Circuit, where many of our lawyers clerked and the judges both know and respect us. SKV lawyers have ample experience briefing, arguing, and winning Fifth Circuit appeals.

SKV’s appellate success also spans a broad variety of case types. We have significant experience in civil and white-collar-criminal appeals, and in appeals involving all sorts of federal and state laws. Most recently, we’ve secured wins for energy and healthcare clients in the Texas Supreme Court and in Houston’s two courts of appeals, as well as victories for energy clients, white-collar defendants, and securities-fraud defendants in the Fifth Circuit. We work on both “sides of the v,” and we handle appeals in both cases SKV litigated and in cases tried by other counsel.

SKV’s boutique size and entrepreneurial spirit give clients numerous advantages.  Nearly all of our team, from senior partners to paralegals and legal assistants, has significant federal and state appellate experience. We staff matters efficiently, so clients receive a dedicated and appropriately-sized team that learns their case thoroughly and is available to address their needs.  We provide top-quality work, yet at reasonable prices. We’ve not wedded to the billable hour and are always willing to discuss alternative fee arrangements. And we never lose sight of the client’s goals on appeal.

Representative Matters

  • Polyflow, LLC v. Specialty RTP, LLC et al.:  Michelle Stratton, alongside Jeff Potts, Jarod Stewart, and Austin Kreitz, successfully briefed and argued before the the Fifth Circuit on behalf of a pipe company seeking to arbitrate claims against a competitor for breaching their settlement agreement and related torts, persuading the court that the agreement’s broad arbitration clause reached all claims and that the district court erroneously denied arbitration.
  • Venator Materials PLC, et al. v. Macomb County Employees’ Retirement System & Firemen’s Retirement System of St. Louis:  Razvan Ungureanu and Craig Smyser persuaded Dallas’s Fifth Court of Appeals to reverse the trial court’s denial of their clients’ pleas to the jurisdiction and venue challenges in a complex securities fraud action,, resulting in the claims against their clients being dismissed.
  • BPX Operating Company v. Crimson Exploration Operating, Inc.: Land Murphy and Samantha Jarvis successfully preserved a $1.2 million jury verdict related to breach of an oil and gas lease, winning on appeal in Houston’s Fourteenth Court of Appeals and persuading the Texas Supreme Court to deny review.
  • United States v. Moss, et al.: Dane Ball, Alex Wolf, and co-counsel convinced the Fifth Circuit to affirm the dismissal of criminal charges against Grand Isle Shipyards, Inc. for violations of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act in connection with a welding accident.   
  • United Healthcare Services, Inc. et al v. Gonzales, et al.: Michelle Stratton, alongside Jarod Stewart and co-counsel, successfully briefed and argued before Houston’s First Court of Appeals, persuading the court to affirm the trial court’s judgment that claims were barred by the statute of limitations, then secured the Texas Supreme Court’s denial of a petition for review.
  • Quantlab Technologies Ltd. (BVI) & Quantlab Financial, LLC v. Godlevsky, et al.: Lee Kaplan, Alex Wolf, and Michelle Stratton convinced the Fifth Circuit to affirm 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.
  • Shamim Memon and Discovery MM Servs., Inc. v. Carl Meisner, M.D. and Gulf Coast Med. Research, LLC: Michelle Stratton successfully preserved a $1 million trial verdict in Corpus Christi’s Thirteenth Court of Appeals on behalf of a successful medical practice in a business dispute.
  • United States v. Kaluza: Dane Ball, Alex Wolf, and co-counsel persuaded the Fifth Circuit to affirm the dismissal of a substantial portion of the indictment of Robert Kaluza in connection with the Deepwater Horizon disaster, then ultimately won an acquittal for Kaluza on the remaining charges against him.
  • Wilma Reynolds and Carl Gordon v. Quantlab Trading Partners US, LP et al: Alex Wolf and co-counsel convinced Houston’s Fourteenth Court of Appeals to affirm the trial court’s summary judgment that res judicata barred the claims against Quantlab and that Quantlab was entitled to sanctions.
  • Baylor Miraca Genetics Laboratories, LLC v. Perthuis: Michelle Stratton, Land Murphy, and Jarod Stewart persuaded Houston’s First Court of Appeals to reverse a $1 million jury verdict against a genetic testing laboratory in an employment dispute and to render a take-nothing judgment.



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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