University of Houston Law Center, J.D.; Blakely-Butler Moot Court Competition, Semi-Finalist
South Texas College of Law; Deans Honor List; Highest Grade Awards—Legal Research and Writing; Certificate of Honor for Academic Achievement
The University of Texas – Austin; Secondary Education Instructor Certification
Texas A&M University, B.S. in Political Science and Economics
Texas State Courts
United States Supreme Court
Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
All Federal District Courts in Texas
Appellate Briefing Attorney, Eighth Judicial District Court of Appeals, 1999-2000
Steven J. Knight is a shareholder in the Appellate and Commercial Litigation Sections of Chamberlain Hrdlicka. Mr. Knight has successfully handled numerous state and federal appeals throughout his career, including presenting oral arguments in the Texas Supreme Court, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and intermediate appellate courts throughout the state.
Mr. Knight also has significant experience in both state and federal courts handling many other areas of civil litigation and dispute resolution, including matters involving insurance, contracts, employment, products liability, warranties, premises liability, consumer protection, and personal injury.
Mr. Knight is a member of the Houston Bar and Texas State Bar Appellate Sections and is currently serving as the co-chair of the Texas State Bar Appellate Section's CLE Committee.
Significant Appellate Cases
- Weeks Marine, Inc. v. Garza, 371 S.W.3d 157 (Tex. 2012). The Texas Supreme Court defined what narrow instruction amounts to a “specific order” for purposes of the “exception” to contributory negligence in Jones Act cases. The Court’s narrow construction is significant because it preserves the contributory negligence defense in all but a few exceptional circumstances.
- Telthorster v. Tennell, 92 S.W.3d 457 (Tex. 2002). The Texas Supreme Court decided that the “risk” and “need” factors applicable to evaluating a police officer’s conduct in an emergency response context do not apply to injuries allegedly suffered during an ordinary arrest.
- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Reece, 81 S.W.3d 812 (Tex. 2002). The Texas Supreme Court clarified the standards of proof relating to circumstantial evidence and constructive notice in premises liability suits.
- Streamline Production Systems, Inc. v. Streamline Manufacturing, Inc., __ F.3d __ (5th Cir. 2017). The Court reversed a $690,000 damage award in a trademark infringement case. The case is important because the Court further defined and clarified the very narrow circumstances under which a “royalty” damage award in trademark cases may be available, as well as the requirements of proof for other forms of damages, such as unjust enrichment and exemplary.
- Hartford Cas. Ins. Co., et al. v. DP Engineering, L.L.C., et al. ,827 F.3d 423 (5th Cir. 2016). The Court affirmed a summary judgment in an alleged duty to defend case and examined the contours of a “professional services” exclusion in a commercial general liability policy in the context of multiple underlying lawsuits filed in the wake of a nuclear power plant accident.
- Timothy White v. Regional Adjustment Bureau, Inc.,647 Fed.App. 410 (5th Cir. 2016). The Court reversed an unusual and severe sanction order against a practicing attorney and restored his standing.
- Saqui v. Pride Cent. America, LLC, 595 F.3d 206 (5th Cir. 2010). The Court rejected the notion that courts in Mexico are deprived of jurisdiction over cases that have first been dismissed in the United States based on forum non-conveniens. The Court’s holding is important because, under the “preemptive jurisdiction doctrine,” a foreign tribunal would, by definition, be unavailable, rendering forum non-conveniens an impossible burden to prove.
- Jenkens & Gilchrist v. Groia & Co., 542 F.3d 114 (5th Cir. 2008). The Fifth Circuit set aside a default judgment, affirming the proposition that any doubt should generally be resolved in favor of securing a trial on the merits.
- In re Craig's Stores of Texas, Inc., 402 F.3d 522 (5th Cir. 2005). The Fifth Circuit resolved a long-standing banking dispute, holding that funds deposited into the registry of the Court must be returned to the depositor if the Court lacks jurisdiction over the substantive dispute.
- Presley v. N.V. Masureel Veredeling, 370 S.W.3d 425 (Tex.App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2012, no pet.). The Court decided important issues arising under Chapter 36 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Texas’s version of the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act.
- Avelo Mortg., LLC v. Infinity Capital, LLC, 366 S.W.3d 258 (Tex.App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2012, no pet). The Court interpreted the Texas Tax Code and held that a transferee of a tax lien had a priority interest in real property.
- AccuFleet, Inc. v. Hartford Fire Ins. Co., 322 S.W.3d 264 (Tex.App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2009, no pet.). The Court held that Continental Airlines did not qualify as an “additional insured” under a commercial automobile policy issued to AccuFleet, Inc. because Continental, which operated a “luggage tug,” was not operating a covered “auto.”
- Lone Star Heat Treating Co., Ltd. v. Liberty Mut. Fire Ins. Co.,233 S.W.3d 524 (Tex.App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2007, no pet.). The Court held that a “dishonesty” exclusion in an insurance policy did not apply with regard to a theft resulting from the named insured’s employee entrusting valuable metal to thief who posed as a customer.
- Schauer v. Morgan, 175 S.W.3d 397 (Tex.App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2005, no pet.). The Court held that a city police officer was immune from liability in an action brought by an arrestee to recover for personal injuries after the arrestee refused to identify himself to the officer who was acting as a security guard at the time.
- Brenham Housing Authority v. Davies, 158 S.W.3d 53 (Tex.App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2005, no pet.) The court held that statutes governing obligations of housing authorities under lease or rental agreements precluded the imposition of liability on the housing authority for a personal injury claim arising under a lease agreement.
- Palacio v. AON Properties, Inc., 110 S.W.3d 493 (Tex.App.—Waco 2003, no pet.). The Court affirmed a summary judgment in a shooting/premises liability case.
- Rayon v. Energy Specialties, Inc., 121 S.W.3d 7 (Tex.App.—Fort Worth 2002, no pet.). The Court affirmed a final judgment in favor of a subcontractor, noting the important standards for the admissibility of expert testimony and the prohibition of “inference stacking.”
Other Noteworthy Appellate Cases
- McCrary v. Brian Davidson d/b/a Panoramic Investigations, __ S.W.3d __ (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2016, no pet). Successful defended a summary judgment on appeal. The case is important because it underscores the importance of an appellant challenging each potential basis for summary judgment when the trial court does not specify the precise ground for the ruling.
Fagerberg v. Steve Madden, 2015 WL 4076978 (Tex.App.—Austin 2015)
Taylor v. Langham, 2015 WL 1540981 (Tex.App.—Beaumont 2015)
First Community Bancshares v. St. Paul Mercury Ins. Co., 593 Fed.Appx. 286 (5th Cir. 2015)
- EMS USA, Inc. v. Epoxy Design Systems, Inc., 2012 WL 1424802 (Tex.App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2012, no pet.)
- In re Wakefield, 2010 WL 5237857 (Tex.App.—Houston [14th Dis.] 2010, no pet.)
- Morton v. Kelley, 2010 WL 4056516 (Tex.App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2010, no pet.)
- Braspetro Oil Services Co. v. Modec (USA), Inc., 240 Fed.Appx. 612, 2007 WL 1425851 (5th Cir. 2007)
- Fein v. R.P.H., Inc., 68 S.W.3d 260 (Tex.App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2002, pet denied).
- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Bolado, 54 S.W.3d 837 (Tex.App.—Corpus Christi 2001, no pet.)
- Rice Food Markets, Inc. v. Ramirez, 59 S.W.3d 726 (Tex.App.—Amarillo 2001, no pet.)
- North American Van Lines, Inc. v. Emmons, 50 S.W.3d 103 (Tex.App.—Beaumont 2001, pet. denied)
- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Renteria ex rel. Renteria, 52 S.W.3d 848 (Tex.App.—San Antonio 2001, pet. denied)
Seminars & Presentations
- Judge for Andrews Kurth National Moot Court Competition, January 2017
Moderator, Texas State Bar Appellate Section and Individual Rights and Responsibilities Section, Texas State Bar Convention, June 2016
- Speaker, Author, and Program Director, “Handling Your First (or Next) Civil Appeal,” State Bar of Texas CLE Seminar, April 15, 2016
- Speaker at the March 9, 2016, Houston Bar Association Lunch and Learn Program, “A Beginners Guide to Mandamus and Interlocutory Appeals”
- Speaker at the 2015 “Texas Energy Law” Symposium and Co-Presenter on “Professional and General Liability Insurance”
- Author and Speaker at “Exceptional Legal Writing,” Texas Bar CLE Seminar, April 2013
- Judge for Andrews Kurth National Moot Court Competition, January 2013
- Texas Bar – Appellate Section
- Houston Bar Association – Appellate Section
- Defense Research Institute - Appellate Committee Member
- Co-Chair of the Texas State Bar Appellate Section CLE Committee
- Law360, December 2016
- Law 360, February 2016
- Law360, September 2015
- Law360, July 2015
- Law360, October 18, 2013
- January 28, 2008
Articles & Publications
- “Movin’ on Up – the Nuts and Bolts of Mandamus and Interlocutory Appeals,” April 2016
- The Unintended, Unworkable, and Counterintuitive Application of Article 21.55 of the Texas Insurance Code in the Context of Third Party Insurance Claims
- Statutory Claims – What Has Changed? – A Review of Chapters 541 and 542 of the Texas Insurance Code