Nina Cortell

Practices

Education and Clerkships

J.D., University of Texas at Austin School of Law, 1976, cum laude; Associate Editor, Texas Law Review; Teaching Quizmaster

B.A., University of Texas at Austin, 1973, summa cum laude, Plan II (liberal arts honors program)

Admissions

Texas

Profile

For four decades, Nina Cortell has represented corporations, public entities and individuals in cases that have put her at the forefront of Texas litigation practice. Chambers USA, Chambers & Partners (2016-2017) notes her “superlative reputation” and ranks her as the top appellate lawyer in Texas, with a “star” rating. Texas Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2010-2016, ranks her as one of the top 10 lawyers in Texas.

Nina’s record includes recent significant victories in both state and federal appellate courts, as well as in trial courts. In the Texas Supreme Court, in the 2016-2017 term, she secured two wins for ExxonMobil in cases involving the Texas Anti-SLAPP statute and agency law. In the Fifth Circuit (also in 2017), she represented Trinity Industries in a landmark reversal of a $636 million False Claims Act judgment and Texas Capital Bank in defeating multi-million- dollar lender liability claims. In state courts of appeals, she secured significant wins for Matador Resources Company (in oil and gas disputes) and GTECH Corporation (in a lottery dispute). Her recent trial court victories include dismissals in shareholder derivative suits for AT&T.

Nina also places a high priority on community service. She is proud of her role as a co-founder of the Center for Women in Law at the University of Texas School of Law, which is devoted to enhancing the success of women in law and serves as a national resource to convene leaders, generate ideas, and lead change. Nina also works actively with the judiciary to improve the judicial process. Her current work includes her service on the prestigious Texas Supreme Court Advisory Committee, which is comprised of judges and attorneys from across the state and advises the Court in connection with its rule-making authority.

Nina is honored to have received the 2016 Greg Coleman Outstanding Appellate Lawyer Award from the Texas Bar Foundation, the 2013 Jack Pope Professionalism Award from the Texas Center for Legal Ethics (given annually to one lawyer who personifies the highest standards of professionalism and integrity in the field of law), the 2012 University of Texas School of Law Distinguished Alumnus Award for Community Service, and the 1999 Louise B. Raggio Award for significant contributions toward the advancement of women in the legal profession.

Nina Cortell

Texas Lawbook: Nina Cortell: A Lion With the Bloodline of Albert Einstein

The Texas Lawbook profiles Haynes and Boone Partner Nina Cortell as "widely respected as one of the best and most successful appellate lawyers in Texas. She broke through glass ceilings, gracefully convinced leaders of the legal profession to hire and promote more women and proved through her actions that gender was not a factor when it comes to being a great advocate."

Appellate

Courthouse | Haynes and Boone, LLP

Haynes and Boone Represents Trinity Industries in Landmark Victory

Haynes and Boone Partners Jeremy Kernodle, Nina Cortell and Anne Johnson, Counsel Ryan Paulsen and Associates Nicole Somerville and Andrew Guthrie were part of a multi-firm appellate team that helped overturn a $663 million judgment against client Trinity Industries under the False Claims Act.

Honors

Super Lawyers

Haynes and Boone Makes Strong Showing in 2017 Texas Super Lawyers

Texas Super Lawyers recognized 57 Haynes and Boone lawyers in the 2017 edition of its annual award listing. The awards are based on peer recognition and professional achievements. Of those nominated, only five percent of the total lawyers in the state are selected for inclusion.

Professional and Community Activities

  • Fellow, American Academy of Appellate Lawyers
  • President (2005-2007) and Master, Patrick E. Higginbotham Inn of Court
  • Member, Texas Supreme Court Advisory Committee
  • Member, American Law Institute
  • President (2008-2009), University of Texas School of Law Alumni Association
  • President, Board of Directors of the Texas Law Review Association (2012-2013)
  • Founder and past President, Center for Women in Law at the University of Texas School of Law
  • Trustee, University of Texas Law School Foundation (2013-2017)
  • Trustee, Dallas Bar Foundation (2011-2014)
  • Advisory Board Member, Dallas Women Lawyers Association (2000-2009)
  • Chair, State Bar Task Force on Hiring, Retention and Promotion of Women and Minorities in Law Firms and Corporations (2006)
  • Former Chair, Fellows of Dallas Bar Foundation
  • Former Chair, Judiciary and Courthouse Facilities Committee of the Dallas Bar Association
  • Former member of boards of Temple Emanu-el Dallas (and member of executive committee), American Jewish Committee, and American Jewish Congress

Professional Recognition

  • Recognized as a "Lion of the Texas Bar" by The Texas Lawbook, 2017
  • Recognized as a "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers, Woodward/White, Inc., in Appellate Practice, 2017
  • Recipient of a 2016 Professional Excellence Award for Lifetime Achievers from Texas Lawyer, ALM Media Properties, LLC
  • Named the Gregory S. Coleman Outstanding Appellate Lawyer by the Texas Bar Foundation, 2016
  • Recognized as one of the Top 250 Women in Litigation, Benchmark Litigation, Legal Media Group, Euromoney Institutional Investor, 2012-2017
  • Selected by Lawdragon as one of Lawdragon's 500 Leading Lawyers in America, Lawdragon Inc. (2016-2017)
  • Named by Texas Lawyer, ALM Media Properties, LLC, as one of 20 "Winning Women" in the state, 2014
  • Chosen by the Texas Center for Legal Ethics (TCLE) to receive one of two 2013 Jack Pope Professionalism Awards, which annually recognize one lawyer and one judge who personify the highest standards of professionalism and integrity in the field of law
  • Best Lawyers' 2015 Dallas Appellate Lawyer of the Year and 2013 Dallas Bet-the-Company Litigation Lawyer of the Year, Woodward/White, Inc.
  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America, Woodward/White, Inc., in Appellate, Bet-the-Company Litigation and Commercial Litigation, 2006-2018
  • Recognized in Chambers USA, Chambers & Partners, for Litigation, Appellate (Texas), Star rating (2016-2017) and Band 1 (2008-2015)
  • Texas Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters (2003-2017): Top 10, 2010-2016; Top 100 in the Dallas/Fort Worth Region, and Top 50 Female2003-2017
  • Named "Top Notch Appellate Lawyer" in Texas Lawyer's Go-To Guide, ALM Media Properties, LLC, 2012
  • Selected by Dallas Bar Association as "Outstanding Lawyer of the Year," 2009
  • One of the top appellate lawyers in Dallas, D Magazine, D Magazine Partners2003-2017
  • University of Texas School of Law Distinguished Alumnus Award for Community Service, 2012
  • Higginbotham Inn of Court's 2012 selection to Honorary Serjeant's Inn, in recognition of significant contributions to the profession and community
  • State Bar of Texas Presidential Citation for leadership in furthering the Bar's diversity initiatives, 2007
  • Louise B. Raggio Award for significant contributions toward the advancement of women in the legal profession, 1999
  • Martindale Hubbell® Law Directory with a Peer Review Rating of AV® Preeminent

Selected Client Representations

  • Procured $7.5 million coverage ruling in favor of insured. RSUI Indem. Co. v. Lynd Co., 2015 Tex. LEXIS 442 (Tex. 2015).
  • Upheld choice of law clause, permitting enforcement of forfeiture-for-competition clause in non-contributory profit sharing plan. Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Drennen, 452 S.W.3d 319 (Tex. 2014).
  • Reversed judgment based on unenforceability of provision in fracking contract. Matador Prod. Co. v. Weatherford Artificial Lift Sys., 450 S.W.3d 580 (Tex. App. 2014, pet. denied).
  • Invalidated $29 million liquidated damages provision in renewable energy contract. FPL Energy, LLC v. TXU Portfolio Mgmt. Co., L.P., 426 S.W.3d 59 (Tex. 2014).
  • Reversed venue order. Union Pac. R.R. Co. v. Stouffer, 420 S.W.3d 233 (Tex.App. - Dallas 2013).
  • Obtained dismissal of shareholder derivative suits in the trial court. Pierce v. Stephenson, 193rd Judicial District Court, Dallas County (2016); In re AT&T, Inc. Shareholder Derivative Litigation, Dallas County Court of Law No. 3 (2013).
  • Affirmed order disqualifying counsel. In re RSR Corporation, 2013 WL 242317405 (Tex. App. - Dallas 2013, pet. granted).
  • Obtained $7 million summary judgment on guaranty, overcoming claims that guaranty was fraudulently procured. Texas Capital Bank v. Tri-County Autoplex,162nd Judicial District Court, Dallas, Texas (2012).
  • Reversed temporary injunction on ground that agreements were not enforceable as a matter of law; after court of appeals' ruling, opponent dismissed its suit. Anland North, L.P., et al v. Center Operating Company, Cause No. 05-12-00128-CV (Tex. App. - Dallas 2012).
  • After filing of opening appellate briefs, opponent agreed to settle commercial dispute for almost $200 million less than its judgment. i2 Technologies, Inc. v. Dillards, Cause No. 05-10-01645-CV (Tex. App. -Dallas 2011).
  • Persuaded the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to dismiss the appeal of a $3.6 billion bankruptcy plan of reorganization, which was challenged by a competing bidder and the company's union. In the Matter of Asarco L.L.C., Cause No. 09-41259 (5th Cir. 2010).
  • Obtained remittitur in the district court prior to appeal, reducing punitive damages award by $77.6 million. IRCC, et al. v. Harold Simmons, et al., 192nd Judicial District Court, Dallas, Texas (2009).
  • Obtained mandamus review in the Texas Supreme Court on behalf of a large bank group in $26 billion dispute. In re Citigroup, Cause No. 08-0289 (Tex. 2008).
  • Reversed $8.5 million judgment adverse to client and obtained rendition of $2.5 million judgment in favor client. Blockbuster Inc. v. C-Span and Sunil Dharod, 276 S.W.3d 482 (Tex. Civ. App. – Dallas 2008, pet. granted and judgm't vacated pursuant to settlement).

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