Federal & State Appeals

At PDH we recognize that in many instances, the trial court may not be the last step in the litigation process. For this reason, we have developed an appellate practice designed to make sure that favorable trial court results are permanently upheld, while unfavorable results are reversed in as efficient and cost effective manner as possible. Whether it is assisting at the trial level with dispositive motions, pretrial motions, jury charges and in other key moments, or attempting to defend or reverse a trial court decision on appeal, seeking the help of a skilled appellate practitioner may mean the difference in victory or defeat for a client. Download our Top 10 Reasons to Seek an Appellate Advocate [PDF].

In the appellate practice, PDH relies on its extensive knowledge and experience in all levels of State and Federal Appeals, including all the way to the United States Supreme Court where the Section Principals are admitted to practice.  In the end though, there is no substitute for good old-fashioned hard work in the intense preparation and research necessary to present a client’s case on achieve the best results for its clients on appeal.  PDH also strives to meet a client’s financial needs with its reasonable hourly rates, but also with alternative fee arrangements tailored to meet a client’s specific needs and goals, including flat fees, contingency fees, and blended fees.  We do this without sacrificing the quality of work expected.

Types of Appellate Cases:

  • Arbitration Appeals
  • Bankruptcy
  • Constitutional
  • Construction
  • Contract Disputes
  • Federal Practice/Federal Statutes
  • Insurance
  • Procedural Appeals
  • Product Liability and Warranty

Specific Published Appellate Decisions:

PDH’s successful appeals speak for themselves.  Here are just a few representative samples, including several reversals (certainly a much more rare result on appeal than an affirmation):

St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Co. v. Labuzan, 579 F.3d 533 (5th Cir. 2009): In a case of first impression before the 5th Circuit, PDH successfully obtained a reversal of a District Court ruling that the Labuzans did not have standing to pursue individual claims based on violations of the bankruptcy automatic-stay provision.

Bocchi v. Commerce Fresh, 515 F.3d 383 (5th Cir. 2008): In another case of first impression before the 5th Circuit, PDH successfully upheld the trial court’s decision that PDH’s client had no individual liability under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA).  This case, for the first time in this Circuit, established the types of agreements which if entered would waive the PACA trust protections.

Ruby Robinson, Inc. v. Herr & Petro v. NatureBest Pre-Cut & Produce LLC, 2011 WL 6152959 (5th Cir. 2011): After the Plaintiff and numerous intervenors resolved their claims against the Defendants for significantly less than the amounts claimed, PDH obtained summary judgment on behalf of its client, NatureBest, for the full amount claimed due.  PDH defended the judgment on appeal and obtained an opinion in the 5th Circuit affirming the judgment for NatureBest.

Bailey v. Morales, 190 F.3d 320 (5th Cir. 1999): In this action challenging the constitutionality of Texas legislation which prohibited chiropractors and other professionals from soliciting employment from certain individuals, PDH successfully obtained a reversal of the district court judgment upholding the statute, and on appeal the legislation was declared unconstitutional as to chiropractors.

Doug Shows v. Man Engines & Components, Inc. et al, 364 SW.3d 348 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 2012) After PDH obtained a successful result from the jury, the trial court judge rendered a take nothing against PDH’s client, wiping out the jury’s verdict.  At the Court of Appeals, PDH achieved a reversal of the trial court’s decision, along with an order to render judgment on the jury’s verdict and determine attorney fees on remand.

Houston Precast Inc. v. McAllen Construction Inc., 2008 WL 4352636 (Tex. App.-Corpus Christi 2008): Here, PDH successfully obtained a reversal of a default judgment obtained against a client by arguing that the client was not properly served, thereby depriving the trial court of jurisdiction to enter such an order.

1.9 Little York, LTD v. Allice Trading, Inc., 2012 WL 897776 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 2012): After PDH obtained a successful result from the jury at trial in a construction dispute, the opposing party appealed.  At the Court of Appeals, PDH successfully defended its client’s judgment against the claims of error by the Appellant.

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