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Appellate Blog

Appellate Law Blog

Chamberlain Hrdlicka's Appellate Blog covers a cross-section of issues of interest to businesses and individuals involved in litigation, trial and appellate lawyers, as well as judges.

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  • Posts by Steven J. Knight
    Shareholder

    Steve Knight is a Shareholder in the Houston Litigation group and is Co-Chair of the Appellate Law section.

    Throughout his career, Mr. Knight has successfully represented clients at every phase of the appellate process, from ...

Reprinted with permission from the April 7, 2022 edition of Texas Lawyer© 2022 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All rights reserved. Further duplication without permission is prohibited, contact 877-257-3382 or reprints@alm.com.

Trial is just around the corner, and you’re feeling confident. You have critical text messages that demonstrate your opponent’s theory of the case is not to be believed. You have a witness lined up to authenticate the messages and explain their meaning, namely your party opponent. But before the start of trial, the court grants your opponent’s ...

In a federal tax refund case with significant implications for the oil and gas industry, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court’s determination that 26 U.S.C. § 4611(b) is an unconstitutional tax on exports, entitling the taxpayer to a refund of more than $4 million in taxes as well as statutory interest.

Trafigura Trading, LLC, a market leader in the global commodities industry, retained Chamberlain Hrdlicka to challenge the constitutionality of § 4611(b), which imposes a “tax on . . . domestic crude oil . . . exported from the ...

I recently won an appellate case that involved an issue that I had not encountered before, so I thought it was worthwhile sharing.

In K Griff Investigations, Inc. v. Cronin, No. 14-19-01020-CV, 2021 WL 3629214 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2021, no pet.), negotiations for the purchase of the plaintiff’s business fell apart. The plaintiff sued various parties involved in the discussions and negotiations, including the parties interested in the purchase and the lender, for, among other things, negligent misrepresentation.

Against the lender, the jury found in favor of the ...

Categories: Appeal

I recently consulted Merriam-Webster for synonyms of the word “important.” The results included words such as “tectonic,” “consequential,” “earth-shattering,” “momentous,” and “significant.” All of these words accurately describe the jury charge conference portion of the trial because it is, indeed, the most important part of the trial.

And word choice matters. Every word in the definitions, instructions and questions can influence how the jury responds and must be given extremely careful deliberation. Equally important is navigating the ...

The majority of lawsuits settle before the case goes to trial. There’s a reason for that. It can be years before a lawsuit is scheduled for trial, the outcome is unpredictable, and the process can be expensive, making an out-of-court settlement attractive.

But often, the parties are unable to reach a settlement because they view the law, the facts, and the chances of obtaining a successful verdict - however they may define it - differently. When the gap between the parties’ respective positions is too large to close, proceeding to trial may become more palatable and, indeed ...

In my previous blog in Part I, I promised to outline the remaining recommendations for avoiding the most common mistakes on jury charges and covered preparation, timely lodging of objectives and outsourcing considerations. This article covers the final three tips.

The trial court is required to provide counsel to the jury charge in advance of the formal charge conference and to provide enough time for a meaningful review. So, the fourth tip is to use this time wisely and not get distracted or just glance over the document. Give the court’s final jury charge absolute undivided ...

Categories: Appeal, Litigation