Ben Mesches

Practices

Education and Clerkships

J.D., University of Texas School of Law, 2001, with honors; Member, Texas Law Review

B.A., Political Science, Trinity University, 1998, cum laude

  • Justice Harriet O'Neill, Texas Supreme Court (2001-2002)

Admissions

Texas

Court Admissions

United States Supreme Court

Texas Supreme Court

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas

Profile

Chair of the firm’s Litigation Practice Group, Ben Mesches successfully leads appellate and litigation teams in high-stakes constitutional, commercial, and energy cases in state and federal courts across the country.

Ranked by Chambers USA, 2019-2021 (Chambers and Partners) as a leading Texas appellate lawyer, the prestigious directory praises Ben as “a tremendous brief writer and terrific oral advocate” and highlights his ability to “get the microscopic view but also zoom out to the big picture.”

Board certified in civil appellate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Ben has argued major cases at the Texas Supreme Court in each of the last three terms, on constitutional issues impacting billions of dollars in pension funds and a blockbuster electric-power industry case. In recent years, he has prevailed in two significant Fifth Circuit appeals involving renewable energy contracts. He is also handling appeals across the country that touch on emerging legal issues ranging from bitcoin, ownership of social media accounts, and insurance recovery.

Ben’s peers recognize his collaborative leadership style. At the firm, Ben leads the firm’s global litigation practice. He has served as president of the Texas Supreme Court Historical Society, chair of the American Bar Association’s Council of Appellate Lawyers—the only national appellate bench organization in the country—and chair of the Dallas Bar Association’s Appellate Section.

Ben is regularly invited to write and speak on litigation and appellate practice topics, including post-judgment strategy, practicing before the Texas Supreme Court, Fifth Circuit trends, jury charges, bankruptcy appeals, and the selection and preservation of issues for appeal.

Chambers

Chambers USA 2020

Chambers USA Recognizes 58 Haynes and Boone Lawyers

58 Haynes and Boone lawyers spanning 17 practice areas are featured in the 2020 edition of the Chambers USA legal directory published by Chambers & Partners.

Selected Client Representations

Ben’s recent appellate representations include:

  • In the Texas Supreme Court, won a landmark case upholding the constitutionality of public pension reforms implicating nearly $1 billion in pension assets.
  • Before the Fifth Circuit, reversed – for the second time – a district court decision in a wind-power dispute worth more than $300 million.
  • At the Third Circuit, defeating an $80 million claim in a trademark case in which the court held that a major pharmaceutical company owned intellectual property rights.
  • Led an appellate team in the Washington appellate courts in preserving an $81.4 million railroad-divestiture transaction under attack by taxpayer challenges to the validity of the transaction (2014).
  • At the Texas Supreme Court, invalidated a $29 million liquidated damages provision arising in the context of the state’s burgeoning renewable energy industry (2014).
  • In a closely-watched election case, led the appellate team that obtained emergency mandamus relief on the eve of the election (2013).
  • In the Fifth Circuit, dismissal of derivative claims challenging a $54 million merger in the healthcare industry (2013).
  • In the Fifth Circuit, reversed a fee enhancement award granted to debtor's financial advisor, clarifying legal standards applicable to fee claims under § 328(a) of the Bankruptcy Code (2012).
  • Defeated preemption, commerce clause, and eminent domain claims related to natural gas production regulations in the Fifth Circuit (2010).
  • Persuaded the Fifth Circuit Court to dismiss - on equitable mootness grounds - the appeal of a $3.6 billion bankruptcy plan of reorganization of a global mining giant, challenged by a competing bidder and the company's union (2010)

Ben also closely collaborates with trial counsel on legal strategy, dispositive motion practice; preservation of error; jury charges; post-verdict motions and  briefing; and planning for appeal. His recent trial representations include:

  • In federal district court in Oregon, a member of the trial team that defeated $10 million trademark claims and obtained an order cancelling a trademark registration (2014).
  • As lead appellate counsel in a fiduciary-duty case arising in the healthcare arena, obtained relief from a multi-million jury verdict with a successful motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict (2012).
  • In federal district court in Indiana, led the team that obtained dismissal of a suit—on personal-jurisdiction grounds—seeking $200 million in damages related to a multi-billion dollar oil-and-gas transaction (2012).
  • In an oil-and-gas ownership dispute alleging mutual and unilateral mistake in a deed, successfully argued the jury charge as part of a trial team that obtained a complete defense verdict (2011).
  • In a multi-million dollar case under the Texas Securities Act in a Dallas federal court, secured favorable jury charge and motion for judgment as a matter of law rulings, resulting in the complete dismissal of the plaintiff's claims on the eve of closing argument (2009).

Selected Publications and Speeches

  • "Appellate Year-in-Review: The Fifth Circuit and SCOTX," co-author, Texas Lawbook, December 26, 2019.
  • “When the Heat is On: Handling Bonds, Stays, and Other Appellate Emergencies,” panelist, 2019 AJEI Summit, Washington, D.C., November 16, 2019.
  • “Chief Justice Jack Pope’s Influence on Jurisprudence,” presentation at the State Bar of Texas’ History of Texas and Supreme Court Jurisprudence course, Austin, Texas, April 28, 2017.

Professional and Community Activities

  • Chair of the Council of Appellate Lawyers, the nation's only appellate bench-bar organization. In that capacity, he serves on the Board of the Appellate Judges Conference of the ABA's Judicial Division and the Appellate Judges Education Institute - a non-profit educating state and federal judges nationwide.
  • Texas Supreme Court Historical Society: President-Elect; Board of Trustees; Fellow; and Chair of the Marketing Committee
  • Texas Board of Legal Specialization: Member of the Exam Commission for Civil Appellate Law
  • Texas Law Review Association: Member of the Board of Trustees
  • Dallas Bar Association, Appellate Section: Served as Chair of the Appellate Section (2011) and member of the Advisory Council (2007-2012)
  • State Bar of Texas Appellate Section: Website Committee Co-Chair (2011-present)

Professional Recognition

  • Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, 2007-Present
  • Recognized by Chambers USA, Chambers and Partners, as one of the leading practitioners in Texas for Appellate, 2019-2021
  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America, Woodward/White, Inc., Appellate, 2016-2021
  • Recognized by D Magazine, D Magazine Partners, as a "Best Lawyer in Dallas" in Appellate, 2014-2019, 2021
  • Recognized by Texas Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, as a Top 100 Texas lawyer, 2018, 2020
  • Selected for inclusion in Texas Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, Appellate, 2014-2020
  • Selected for Texas Super Lawyers, Rising Stars, Thomson Reuters, 2007-2014
  • Dallas Bar Foundation - Fellow, 2009

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