Main Practice Contacts

Lynne Liberato
+1 713.547.2017

Nina Cortell
+1 214.651.5579

Karen S. Precella
+1 817.347.6620

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Representative Experience

In re Fort Worth Star-Telegram, et al, No. 02-14-00144-CV, 2014 WL 3906547 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth, August 12, 2014, no pet. h.)
Represented daily newspaper and three television stations in successful mandamus challenging juvenile court order excluding press and public from hearings in high-profile murder case. In case of first impression, the court of appeals held that Texas statute imposes a duty on juvenile court to open hearings to the public, in cases in which the accused juvenile is at least 14 years old, unless evidence in the record establishes good cause to close a proceeding. The court also held that the press and public have standing to challenge a closure order and that conclusion of the juvenile case in which the closed proceedings occurred did not render the media challenge moot.

In re Woodfill, No. 14-14-00648-CV, 2014 WL 4088704 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] Aug. 15, 2014, orig. proceeding) (mem. op.)
Defeated a petition for writ of mandamus in the Houston court of appeals that sought to rescind the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance.

Main v. Royall, 348 S.W.3d 381 (Tex. App.--Dallas 2011, no pet.)
Represented amicus curiae in an interlocutory appeal obtaining reversal of the trial court’s order denying summary judgment on defamation claims against two media defendants regarding the book, Bulldozed: 'Kelo,' Eminent Domain and the American Lust for Land.

Torster v. Panda Energy Mgmt., No. 07-10-0442-CV, 2011 WL 780522 (Tex. App.—Amarillo Mar. 7, 2011, pet. denied) (mem. op.)
Persuaded the court of appeals to affirm the trial court's refusal to compel arbitration where none of the litigants were signatories to the contract containing the arbitration provision and plaintiffs' tort claims arose from conduct that occurred prior to the execution of the contract. Convinced the Texas Supreme Court to deny review after full briefing.

In re Union Pacific Railroad Co., 294 S.W.3d 589 (Tex. 2009)
In a mandamus proceeding, persuaded the Texas Supreme Court to require a trial court to vacate its order compelling a railroad to produce trade secret information, including its formulas for setting shipping rates.

In re Schmitz, 285 S.W.3d 451 (Tex. 2009)
In a significant victory for businesses that elect to incorporate under the laws of Texas, obtained the first ruling by the Texas Supreme Court on the strict statutory prerequisites for commencing shareholder derivative litigation. Clarified that a shareholder demand letter must provide meaningful notice of a corporation’s supposed wrongdoing.

Citigroup Global Markets, Inc. v. Brown, 261 S.W.3d 394 (Tex. App.–Houston [14th Dist.] 2008, orig. proceeding)
In a consolidated appeal and original proceeding, obtained a writ of mandamus directing the trial court to compel the arbitration of claims against a brokerage firm in the face of plaintiffs’ mental incapacity defense.

In re Citigroup Global Markets, Inc., No. 08-0289 (Tex. May 13, 2008)
Obtained a favorable settlement after persuading the Texas Supreme Court to grant oral argument in this mandamus proceeding involving the application of a forum selection clause to a nonsignatory under the direct benefits estoppel doctrine.

Ibarra v. Harris County, Texas, No. 05-20259, 243 Fed. Appx. 830 (5th Cir. June 28, 2007)
In an interlocutory appeal in a civil rights case, won the dismissal of all claims against four law enforcement officers.

In re Kimberly Clark Corporation, 228 S.W.3d 480 (Tex. App. - Dallas 2007, orig. proceeding)
Obtained a writ of mandamus ordering a trial court to dissolve its discovery order permitting intrusive environmental testing on defendant’s property.

In re Harris County, Texas, No. 05-20404, 240 Fed. Appx. 644 (5th Cir. June 28, 2007)
Persuaded the Fifth Circuit to grant mandamus relief and vacate an order that disqualified the Harris County Attorney’s office from representing Harris County and its law enforcement officers in a civil rights case.

In re SCS, No. 06-0129 (Tex.); In re Marriage of DIS and SCS, No 2005-45073 (310th Dist. Ct., Harris County)
In a divorce case involving simultaneous proceedings in Texas and California, defended against a mandamus petition in the Texas Supreme Court challenging a choice of forum under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, and provided pre-trial analysis and briefing on legal issues and strategies in both the Texas and California trial courts, resulting in a favorable settlement shortly before trial.

In re Schoelpple, 14-06-01038-CV, 2007 WL 431877 (Tex. App. - Houston [14th Dist.] Feb. 8, 2007, orig. proceeding) (mem. op.)
Successfully defended a challenge by mandamus to an order granting a grandparent access to his four-year old grandchild; in a rare departure from the customary summary denial, the court of appeals issued a five-page memorandum opinion denying the petition and affirming the grandparent’s right of access.

Pintail Production Co. v. Osprey Petroleum Co., Nos. 13-06-069-CV, 13-06-151-CV, 2006 WL 1030150 (Tex. App. - Corpus Christi Apr. 20, 2006, no pet.) (mem. op.)
In an oil and gas dispute, obtained dismissal of an accelerated appeal and a related petition for writs of injunction and mandamus.

Harvest House Publishers v. The Local Church, 190 S.W.3d 204 (Tex. App. - Houston [1st Dist.] 2006, pet. denied)
In an interlocutory appeal following the trial court’s denial of summary judgment, obtained rendition of a take-nothing judgment for a media defendant in a defamation case.

BMG Direct Marketing, Inc. v. Peake, 178 S.W.3d 763 (Tex. 2005)
Won reversal of an order that certified a class of hundreds of thousands of Texas-based music club members who sought recovery of late fees paid on their compact disc purchases.

Trigeant Holdings, Ltd. v. Jones, 183 S.W.3d 717 (Tex. App. - Houston [1st Dist.] 2005, pet. denied)
Successfully defended two out-of-state entities’ interlocutory appeal of the denial of their special appearances by persuading the court of appeals that the entities committed acts in Texas for which they were potentially liable under the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act.

Schott Glas v. Adame, 178 S.W.3d 307 (Tex. App. - Houston [14th Dist.] 2005, pet. denied)
Obtained reversal of an order denying a special appearance resulting in the dismissal of an action brought by thousands of plaintiffs against a major German manufacturer.

In re C-Span Entertainment, Inc., 162 S.W.3d 422 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2005, orig. proceeding)
Upheld a contractual jury waiver provision in mandamus proceedings.

Metra United Escalante, L.P. v. Lynd Co., 158 S.W.3d 535 (Tex. App. - San Antonio 2004, no pet.)
Obtained reversal of a temporary injunction - freezing more than $150 million of assets held by real estate investors - based on the Federal Arbitration Act's automatic-stay provision.

Greenpeace, Inc. v. Exxon Mobil Corp., 133 S.W.3d 804 (Tex. App. —Dallas 2004, pet. denied)
Upheld a nationwide temporary injunction preventing illegal and tortious conduct by Greenpeace against ExxonMobil facilities following an unlawful entry by Greenpeace activists at ExxonMobil headquarters.

Moni Pulo Ltd. v. Trutec Oil & Gas, Inc., 130 S.W.3d 170 (Tex. App. - Houston [14th Dist.] 2003, pet. denied)
Won reversal of an order denying a special appearance, resulting in dismissal of a suit that sought more than $100 million in contract damages against an oil company. This complex case involved a dispute over title to an oil field off the coast of Nigeria, with two separate parallel proceedings in the trial and appellate courts of Nigeria, and another in the International Court of Justice at the Hague.

Reversal of Class Certification Order Against Major National Retailer
Won reversal of a class certification order that certified a class of 350,000 employees against major national retailer.

In re Pepsico, Inc., 87 S.W.3d 787 (Tex. App. - Texarkana 2002, orig. proceeding)
Obtained a conditional writ of mandamus ordering a trial court to reinstate a motion to transfer venue.

Klenk v. Bustamante, 993 S.W.2d 677 (Tex. App. - San Antonio 1998, no pet.)
Through an interlocutory challenge to the trial court’s jurisdiction, obtained pretrial dismissal of all claims against three in-house attorneys at a securities firm.

In re Smith Barney Inc., 975 S.W.2d 593 (Tex. 1998)
In a lawsuit against a securities firm arising from the privatization of government-owned enterprises in Eastern Europe, persuaded the Texas Supreme Court, acting in a mandamus proceeding, to overturn a longstanding limitation on the doctrine of forum non conveniens.

General Tire, Inc. v. Kepple, 970 S.W.2d 520 (Tex. 1998)
Prevented disclosure of trade secrets in the case in which the Texas Supreme Court established the procedural rules for sealing court records.

National Medical Enterprises, Inc. v. Godbey, 924 S.W.2d 123 (Tex. 1996, orig. proceeding)
Obtained a writ of mandamus from the Texas Supreme Court disqualifying opposing counsel in a case against a hospital corporation and a former hospital administrator.

Gem Vending, Inc. v. Walker, 918 S.W. 2d 656 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 1996) (orig. proceeding)
In a mandamus proceeding, persuaded the court of appeals that a trial court had improperly granted a new trial despite having lost plenary power to do so. 

Granada Corp. v. Honorable First Court of Appeals, 844 S.W.2d 223 (Tex. 1992)
Obtained a unanimous opinion from the Texas Supreme Court granting mandamus relief, in a case that established Texas law on the inadvertent production of documents and the crime-fraud exception to the attorney-client privilege.

Zuffa, LLC v. HDNet MMA 2008 LLC, 262 S.W.3d 446 (Tex. App.-Dallas 2008, orig. proceeding)
Persuaded the Dallas Court of Appeals to grant mandamus relief directing the trial court to stay litigation pending the outcome of Nevada arbitration proceedings between The Ultimate Fighting Championship mixed martial arts fight promoter and fighter Randy Couture.