AZA’s Appellate Group Celebrates Wins

When AZA hired former District Judge Daryl Moore, they knew he was a stellar appellate lawyer. They did not know he could argue two appeals in one day and win both handily.  

Judge Moore argued two back-to-back governmental immunity cases for the City of San Antonio before the Texas Supreme Court. In early 2022, the court ruled in favor of San Antonio, reversing the intermediate appellate court, and dismissing both cases that dealt with police officers and their police vehicles under the Texas Tort Claims Act. The cases are City of San Antonio v. Armando D. Rioja and the City of San Antonio v. Jimmy Maspero. 

“Back-to-back Supreme Court arguments may not be the easiest place to dust the rust off from four years on the bench, so it’s especially gratifying to see our client prevail,” he said.  

The AZA appellate practice group has gotten so busy that in late October lawyers Jane Langdell Robinson and Kelsi Stayart White argued cases to the Texas 14th Court of Appeals on two consecutive days. One was an insurance case, the other a personal jurisdiction case.  

The formidable appellate team has celebrated AZA client victories at both the state and federal levels. The team is a go-to for complex commercial litigation, including energy, healthcare, intellectual property, and business dispute cases, and is often involved in ground-breaking cases which have set precedents for future cases.  

Notably, AZA appellate lawyers recently reversed a hostile work environment summary judgment order in a Houston firefighter’s case, setting two new precedents in hostile work environment cases at the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in Melinda Abbt v. City of Houston. 

Another important win this year came at the 14th Court of Appeals which found that a local court was correct to toss a contractor’s frivolous attempts to use Texas’ anti-SLAPP law to delay an impending trial setting. The matter is now headed back to the trial court. The case is Patriot Contracting, LLC and Stephen J. Friedman, Appellants v. Mid-Main Properties, LP, Appellee.  

Here is a look at the AZA appellate team: 

  • The practice is headed by partner Jane Langdell Robinson. She is Board Certified in civil appellate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and is a co-author of O’Connor’s Texas Rules * Civil Trials. 
  • Former District Judge Daryl Moore, a seasoned trial and appellate lawyer who earned recognition as one of Harris County’s best judges when he served on the bench., He is also Board Certified in appellate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and has taught appellate law and edited O’Connor’s books on appellate law. 
  • Of Counsel JoAnn Storey  has been Board Certified in Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 1987. She is the past chair of the State Bar of Texas Appellate Section and past chair of the Houston Bar Association’s appellate section and an adjunct faculty member at the University of Texas School of Law teaching appellate advocacy.  
  • Associate Kelsi Stayart White focuses on dispositive motions and appeals in state and federal court in all areas of commercial litigation. She has substantial trial experience and brings a trial lawyer’s practical perspective and communication skills to high-stakes motions and appellate briefs.  
  • Associate Hilary S. Greene also brings both trial and appellate experience to the group. She has handled cases for individuals, as well as mass-action litigation. Ms. Greene was on law review and the nationally rated moot court at South Texas College of Law and after graduation has taught and mentored students competing in national moot court. 

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Houston, TX 77010
(713) 655-1101

© 2023 All rights reserved.


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