Jane Webre and Kennon Wooten Accept Nominations for ALI Membership
July 10, 2017
SD&M attorneys Jane Webre and Kennon Wooten have accepted their nominations for elected membership in the American Law Institute. When reviewing candidates for membership, the Institute’s Membership Committee considers the following characteristics: professional excellence; experience, interest, and involvement in activities that fall within the mission of the Institute; anticipated desire and commitment to participate in, as well as to make potential contributions to, the Institute’s work and law reform activities; achievement or promise of future achievement in the candidate’s chosen endeavor in the law; and professional recognition or standing among peers. The Institute—made up of judges, lawyers, and law professors—drafts, discusses, revises, and publishes Restatements of the Law, model statutes, and principles of law that are influential in the courts and legislatures, as well as in legal scholarship and education.
SDM is pleased to welcome Cheryl Joseph to the firm
June 22, 2017
Cheryl represents plaintiffs and defendants in a variety of complex litigation, with an emphasis on commercial litigation, professional malpractice defense, energy-related disputes, and oil and gas matters. Prior to joining the Firm, Cheryl practiced at Williams & Connolly LLP in Washington, DC. At Williams & Connolly, Cheryl represented individuals and companies in complex commercial litigation, including securities litigation and bankruptcy litigation, as well as in government investigations.
John Ellis to Moderate Panel of “Texas Legal Legends” at the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting
June 15, 2017
At 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 22, 2017, John Ellis, along with co-moderator Lauren Fincher, will lead a panel discussion with three Texas Legal Legends: Hon. Royal Furgeson, Jr., Hon. Ruby Sondock, and H. Ron White. Each of the panelists has been honored as “Legal Legends” by the Litigation Section of the State Bar of Texas. The event will take place in the Topaz Room of the Hilton Anatole during the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting in Dallas, Texas. Click here for additional details about the event and the panelists.
Mr. Ellis is an associate at SD&M and currently serves on the board of directors of the Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA). Ms. Fincher, an associate at Locke Lord LLP, serves as the TYLA Liaison to the Litigation Section Council. Texas Legal Legends is a project of the Litigation Section of the State Bar of Texas. Its purpose is to memorialize the stories of many legendary lawyers who have practiced in Texas, and to use those stories to enhance the public’s understanding of the historical importance of lawyers and the importance of making a difference.
Kim Bueno Obtains Defense Verdict for Johnson & Johnson
June 12, 2017
SD&M attorney Kim Bueno recently prevailed at trial in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on behalf of defendants Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon, Inc. Kim served as co-lead trial counsel. The plaintiff alleged injuries from a pelvic mesh product that was implanted to treat her incontinence. At the end of the three-week trial, the jury rejected the plaintiff’s claim that a pelvic mesh product caused her injuries. The defense verdict marked Johnson & Johnson’s first win in a pelvic mesh trial in Philadelphia.
Abe Kuczaj, Robyn Hargrove, and Jamie Baskin Win Appeal on Behalf of Hundreds of Victims of the Bastrop County Complex Fire
June 6, 2017
SD&M attorneys Abe Kuczaj, Robyn Hargrove, and Jamie Baskin recently won an appeal on behalf of hundreds of victims of a wildfire in Bastrop County. The property owners sued Asplundh Tree Expert Co., alleging that its negligence caused the fire and resulted in devastating losses to nearby property owners. Asplundh sought dismissal of all claims on the basis of the statute of limitations. On appeal, the Austin Court of Appeals held that the property owners’ claims were not barred by the statute of limitations. The court of appeals’ holding was based on the doctrine of American Pipe tolling, which delays running of the statute of limitations during the pendency of a related class action against the same defendant. The court of appeals’ opinion contains one of the most in-depth discussions of American Pipe tolling by a Texas court to date.
Dan Bitting and Cindy Saiter Defeat Breach of Fiduciary Duties Claim
June 6, 2017
SD&M attorneys Dan Bitting and Cindy Saiter recently defeated claims against the independent administrator of an estate for breach of fiduciary duty, legal malpractice and fraud. The Court found that the claims were barred by the statute of limitations, granted summary judgment for the administrator and denied plaintiffs’ motion for a new trial.
Paige Amstutz, Sara Clark and Ray Donley Win Appeal in Takings Case
June 5, 2017
Representing landowners, SD&M attorneys Paige Amstutz, Sara Clark and Ray Donley recently prevailed in an interlocutory appeal of a trial court’s denial of a municipal plea to the jurisdiction. The landowners sued the City of Rollingwood alleging unconstitutional taking and nuisance claims resulting from the flooding of their property. The City responded with a plea to the jurisdiction, claiming that sovereign immunity barred the landowners’ claims. The trial court denied the City’s plea, and the City pursued an interlocutory appeal of the ruling. Ruling for the landowners, the Austin Court of Appeals found that the trial court properly denied the City’s plea.
Dan Bitting and Cindy Saiter Win Summary Judgment Against Trustee for Breach of Fiduciary Duties
June 1, 2017
As trial counsel for an attorney ad litem appointed to represent the interests of certain beneficiaries of an oil and gas royalty trust, Dan Bitting and Cindy Saiter recently obtained a summary judgment finding that the corporate trustee had breached its fiduciary duties as a matter of law in the manner in which it compensated itself. The Court further found that the breach was a clear and serious breach of fiduciary duty. The case subsequently settled.
Dan Bitting to Speak on Avoiding Legal Malpractice at Estate Planning Seminar
May 9, 2017
SDM's Dan Bitting will speak at the Austin Bar Association’s 31st Annual Estate Planning & Probate Section All-Day CLE in Austin, Texas on Thursday May 11, 2017 at the Austin Bar Association’s Seminar Room. Dan’s presentation, "Avoiding Legal Malpractice” will be one of multiple topics covered during the all-day seminar. More information on the seminar can be found here.
Asher Griffin and John Ellis to Speak at Texas Bar CLE Course for New Lawyers
March 15, 2017
On March 28, 2017, Asher Griffin and John Ellis will speak at the upcoming Practical Skills for New Lawyers continuing legal education course, which is co-sponsored by the State Bar of Texas and the Texas Young Lawyers Association. The course will be held at the Texas Law Center in Austin. Ellis is also serving as the course director for this annual course, which will include presentations by state and federal judges, in-house counsel for leading companies, and many other notable lawyers from across the state. The course covers a broad range of topics with particular emphasis on best practices and important lessons to help young lawyers build good habits for a successful practice. More information about the course, including registration instructions and a copy of the course brochure is available here.
Flip Whitworth and Stephanie Kover to Speak at Texas Bankers Association’s Real Estate and Oil & Gas Conference
March 10, 2017
SDM’s Flip Whitworth and Stephanie Kover will be speaking at the Texas Bankers Association’s Real Estate and Oil & Gas Conference in San Antonio on Friday, March 24, 2017. Flip and Stephanie will cover surface estate issues related to Texas Relinquishment Act lands, including recent developments in General Land Office leasing policy and procedure, surface damage use agreement requirements, and case law defining which substances belong to the surface estate for mineral classified lands. More information about the Seminar can be found here.
Nine Scott Douglass & McConnico Attorneys Selected to the Texas Rising Stars® 2017 List
March 10, 2017
SDM is pleased to announce that Super Lawyers® has selected nine Scott Douglass & McConnico attorneys for inclusion in Texas Rising Stars® 2017 by Thomson and Reuters. The following firm attorneys were selected for this honor: