Overview

UT Law's Conference on State and Federal Appeals – designed for advanced-level civil appellate practitioners – has earned a reputation as the premier program on appellate practice and procedure in Texas and is the annual gathering of state and federal appellate judges. Now in its 28th year, this conference is a must-attend event for Texas civil appellate practitioners.

Highlights include:

  • A Networking Reception on Thursday evening to connect with colleagues and members of the judiciary – new this year!
  • Candid discussion among Texas Supreme Court Justice Paul W. GreenJustice Eva Guzman, and Justice James “Jimmy” Blacklock about what’s new at the Court, the state of the docket, and tips for practitioners.
  • Insight into How the Supreme Court of Texas Operates Today, including what practitioners and their clients need to know about changes to the Court’s internal procedures.
  • A survey of the precedent on Rule 91(a) Dismissals and Appeals and tips for trial-court and appellate practice.
  • Guidance on effective Oral Argument from Both Sides, with perspective from Hon. William J. Boyce, Fourteenth Court of Appeals, Houston, TX, and Robert M. "Randy" Roach Jr., Roach & Newton, L.L.P., Houston, TX.
  • Friday afternoon’s traditional Luncheon with the Judiciary, where attendees can engage in relaxed conversation with members of the state and federal judiciary.
Also new this year, attendees will receive a bonus eCourse after the conference, affording them the opportunity to earn their full 15.0/3.0 Texas MCLE credit hours for the year!

Event Schedule

Program is subject to change.
All times are Central Time Zone.

  • Time
    Credit
    Subject
    Speaker
  • Thursday Morning, June 14, 2018
    Presiding Officer:
    Jane M. N. Webre, Scott Douglass & McConnico LLP - Austin, TX
  • 7:30 am
    Registration Opens
    Includes continental breakfast.

  • 8:20 am
    Welcoming Remarks

  • 8:30 am
    0.75 hr
    Supreme Court of Texas Update
    Explore recent opinions issued by the Court in the current term.

    Hon. Jeffrey S. Boyd, The Supreme Court of Texas - Austin, TX
    Kurt Kuhn, Kuhn Hobbs PLLC - Austin, TX

  • 9:15 am
    0.50 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    Genuine Issues on Summary Judgments
    Discuss trends in summary judgment practice with an emphasis on the challenges during appellate review. Analyze pleadings, scope of review, summary judgment evidence, conclusory or defective evidence, and harmless error.  

    Sharon McCally, McCally Law, P.C. - Houston, TX

  • 9:45 am
    0.50 hr
    Casteel: To Infinity and Beyond
    Charge practice started down a new road almost two decades ago in Crown Life Ins. v. Casteel (Tex. 2000). Take a close look at the post-Casteel developments.

    David M. Gunn, Beck Redden LLP - Houston, TX

  • 10:15 am
    Break

  • 10:30 am
    0.50 hr
    Help! A Default Judgment!
    Explore what to look for and learn what to do when your client asks you to overturn a default judgment.

    Alex Wilson Albright, Alexander Dubose Jefferson & Townsend LLP - Austin, TX

  • 11:00 am
    0.50 hr
    Form Contracts That Don’t Mean What They Say
    In an age when plain-text interpretation dominates cases of contract construction, it is surprising how many contracts do not mean what they plainly say—especially in certain widely used form contracts. When is a nonstandard meaning of a standard contract term an exception to “plain meaning?”

    Hon. Scott A. Brister, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP - Austin, TX

  • 11:30 am
    0.50 hr
    Surprise SLAPP: Applications and Consequences of the TCPA
    Hear an analysis of interesting, unexpected, and perhaps unintended ways in which the TCPA has been used by litigants and interpreted by Texas courts in the last five years. Discuss the consequences this has had on parties, counsel, and the courts.

    Amanda G. Taylor, Beck Redden LLP - Austin, TX

  • 12:00 pm
    0.50 hr
    Rule 91(a) Dismissals and Appeals
    Survey the precedent and get tips for trial-court and appellate practice.

    Anne M. Johnson, Haynes and Boone, LLP - Dallas, TX
    Kennon L. Wooten, Scott Douglass & McConnico LLP - Austin, TX

  • 12:30 pm
    Pick Up Lunch
    Included in registration.

  • Thursday Afternoon, June 14, 2018
    Presiding Officer:
    Constance H. Pfeiffer, Beck Redden LLP - Houston, TX
  • LUNCHEON PRESENTATION
  • 12:50 pm
    0.75 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    First Judges in Texas
    From real estate scams and stolen Supreme Court records to the battle of San Jacinto, the first judges of Texas were interesting people. Learn about two of them in this presentation from the host of the Texas history podcast, "Wise About Texas."

    Hon. Ken Wise, Fourteenth Court of Appeals - Houston, TX

  • 1:35 pm
    Break

  • 1:50 pm
    0.75 hr
    Supreme Court of Texas Panel
    Hear a candid conversation among the Justices about what is new at the Court, the state of the docket, and ways practitioners can improve their chances of obtaining favorable relief for their clients.

    Moderator:
    Jane M. N. Webre, Scott Douglass & McConnico LLP - Austin, TX
    Panelists:
    Hon. Paul W. Green, The Supreme Court of Texas - Austin, TX
    Hon. Eva M. Guzman, The Supreme Court of Texas - Austin, TX
    Hon. James "Jimmy" Blacklock, The Supreme Court of Texas - Austin, TX

  • 2:35 pm
    0.50 hr
    Harmless Error
    Review recent developments affecting whether your error is deemed judgment-critical or swept "under the rug."

    Philip Durst, Deats, Durst & Owen, P.L.L.C. - Austin, TX

  • 3:05 pm
    0.50 hr ethics
    Ethical Implications of Sua Sponte Waivers ​Findings
    Appellate courts sometimes make findings of trial court preservation waiver and appellate court briefing waiver in the absence of any assertion of waiver by either party. Explore the ethical implications of sua sponte waiver findings for appellate courts and appellate practitioners.   

    Scott Rothenberg, Law Offices of Scott Rothenberg - Houston, TX

  • 3:35 pm
    Break

  • 3:45 pm
    0.50 hr
    Equitable Relief at Trial and on Appeal
    Equitable relief can be a powerful and dangerous remedy. Understanding when it is available and what is required to procure it will aid lawyers in trying to protect it or defeat it on appeal.

    Lara H. Hollingsworth, Rusty Hardin & Associates LLP - Houston, TX
    Jeffrey S. Levinger, Levinger PC - Dallas, TX

  • 4:15 pm
    0.75 hr ethics
    “To Tell the Truth"
    A panel of “experts” provide real and fake answers to ethics questions, while the audience tries to guess who’s telling the truth. #FakeEthicsNews

    Moderator:
    Raffi O. Melkonian, Wright Close & Barger, LLP - Houston, TX
    Panelists:
    Hon. Tracy Christopher, Fourteenth Court of Appeals - Houston, TX
    David Keltner, Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP - Fort Worth, TX
    Hon. Daryl L. Moore, 333rd District Court - Houston, TX

  • 5:00 pm
    Adjourn

  • Networking Reception (5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.)
    Join us for drinks and hors d'oeuvres with program faculty and attendees.

  • Time
    Credit
    Subject
    Speaker
  • Friday Morning, June 15, 2018
    Presiding Officer:
    Hon. Daryl L. Moore, 333rd District Court - Houston, TX
  • 7:30 am
    Conference Room Opens
    Includes continental breakfast.

  • 8:30 am
    0.50 hr ethics
    ​Deep Ethics: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Internet
    The work tools in the modern law office now consist of a networked ecosystem of distractions, and our default method of use may be harmful to us and degrade the value we can bring to clients. Change the way you use these tools to preserve wellness and protect your ability to engage in deep, linear, creative thinking.

    Kendall M. Gray, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP - Houston, TX

  • 9:00 am
    0.50 hr
    How the Supreme Court of Texas Operates Today
    Explore what practitioners and their clients should know about how the Court’s internal procedures have been changing, and how they haven’t.

    Don Cruse, Law Office of Don Cruse - Austin, TX
    Blake A. Hawthorne, The Supreme Court of Texas - Austin, TX

  • 9:30 am
    0.50 hr
    Interview with Judge Don R. Willett
    A new appointee to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit discusses his experience so far, and reflects on the differences between state and federal appellate practice.

    Dana Livingston, Alexander Dubose Jefferson & Townsend LLP - Austin, TX
    Hon. Don R. Willett, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit - New Orleans, LA

  • 10:00 am
    0.50 hr
    Update on the Supreme Court of the United States
    Review of the 2017 term and a look ahead to the 2018 term commencing in October.

    Jeremy C. Marwell, Vinson & Elkins LLP - Washington, DC

  • 10:30 am
    Break

  • 10:45 am
    0.50 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    Appellate Road Warrior
    Technology has enabled our practices to become more mobile than ever before. Learn about hardware, software, and best practices that will allow you to work safely, securely, and efficiently from wherever you are. 

    D. Todd Smith, Smith Haley Nobles - Austin, TX

  • 11:15 am
    0.75 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    Oral Argument from Both Sides
    “Yes, we’re talking, but you’re not hearing me.” Sound familiar? Examine how to get more out of oral argument from the perspectives of the lawyer and the court.

    Hon. William J. Boyce, Fourteenth Court of Appeals - Houston, TX
    Robert M. (Randy) Roach Jr., Roach & Newton, L.L.P. - Houston, TX

  • 12:00 pm
    Break

  • Friday Afternoon, June 15, 2018
    Presiding Officer:
    Thomas S. Leatherbury, Vinson & Elkins LLP - Dallas, TX
  • OPTIONAL LUNCHEON WITH THE JUDICIDARY
  • 12:20 pm
    Optional Luncheon with the Judiciary
    Take advantage of this unique opportunity to meet and discuss issues with members of the judiciary. Please select "Luncheon with the Judiciary" on the registration form to attend ($35 additional charge).

  • 1:10 pm
    Return to General Session

  • 1:25 pm
    0.50 hr
    ​Emergency Relief in the Fifth Circuit
    Sometimes you need the Fifth Circuit to act fast. Learn about obtaining stays and other emergency relief from federal appellate courts.

    Leslie Sara Hyman, Pulman, Cappuccio, Pullen & Benson LLP - San Antonio, TX
    Kevin S. Ranlett, Mayer Brown LLP - Houston, TX

  • 1:55 pm
    0.75 hr
    U.S. Fifth Circuit Update
    Review recent opinions and trends from the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

    David S. Coale, Lynn Pinker Cox & Hurst, LLP - Dallas, TX

  • 2:40 pm
    0.50 hr
    Clearing the Hurdles
    Don’t let your case be decided on a procedural ground when it doesn’t need to be! Hear an update on recent cases addressing the most important procedural bars in Fifth Circuit appeals, including qualified immunity, subject matter jurisdiction, appellate jurisdiction, ripeness, and mootness. 

    Raffi O. Melkonian, Wright Close & Barger, LLP - Houston, TX

  • 3:10 pm
    0.50 hr
    Fifth Circuit ​Statistics
    Based on cases argued before the Fifth Circuit over a one-year period, examine statistics such as voting patterns, reversal rates, and timing of decisions.

    William Peterson, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP - Houston, TX

  • 3:40 pm
    Adjourn

Conference Faculty

Alex Wilson Albright

Alexander Dubose Jefferson & Townsend LLP
Austin, TX

Hon. James "Jimmy" Blacklock

The Supreme Court of Texas
Austin, TX

Hon. William J. Boyce

Fourteenth Court of Appeals
Houston, TX

Hon. Jeffrey S. Boyd

The Supreme Court of Texas
Austin, TX

Hon. Scott A. Brister

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
Austin, TX

Hon. Tracy Christopher

Fourteenth Court of Appeals
Houston, TX

David S. Coale

Lynn Pinker Cox & Hurst, LLP
Dallas, TX

Don Cruse

Law Office of Don Cruse
Austin, TX

Philip Durst

Deats, Durst & Owen, P.L.L.C.
Austin, TX

Kendall M. Gray

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
Houston, TX

Hon. Paul W. Green

The Supreme Court of Texas
Austin, TX

David M. Gunn

Beck Redden LLP
Houston, TX

Hon. Eva M. Guzman

The Supreme Court of Texas
Austin, TX

Blake A. Hawthorne

The Supreme Court of Texas
Austin, TX

Lara H. Hollingsworth

Rusty Hardin & Associates LLP
Houston, TX

Leslie Sara Hyman

Pulman, Cappuccio, Pullen & Benson LLP
San Antonio, TX

Anne M. Johnson

Haynes and Boone, LLP
Dallas, TX

David Keltner

Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP
Fort Worth, TX

Kurt Kuhn

Kuhn Hobbs PLLC
Austin, TX

Jeffrey S. Levinger

Levinger PC
Dallas, TX

Dana Livingston

Alexander Dubose Jefferson & Townsend LLP
Austin, TX

Jeremy C. Marwell

Vinson & Elkins LLP
Washington, DC

Sharon McCally

McCally Law, P.C.
Houston, TX

Raffi O. Melkonian

Wright Close & Barger, LLP
Houston, TX

Hon. Daryl L. Moore

333rd District Court
Houston, TX

William Peterson

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
Houston, TX

Kevin S. Ranlett

Mayer Brown LLP
Houston, TX

Robert M. (Randy) Roach Jr.

Roach & Newton, L.L.P.
Houston, TX

Scott Rothenberg

Law Offices of Scott Rothenberg
Houston, TX

D. Todd Smith

Smith Haley Nobles
Austin, TX

Amanda G. Taylor

Beck Redden LLP
Austin, TX

Jane M. N. Webre

Scott Douglass & McConnico LLP
Austin, TX

Hon. Don R. Willett

U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
New Orleans, LA

Hon. Ken Wise

Fourteenth Court of Appeals
Houston, TX

Kennon L. Wooten

Scott Douglass & McConnico LLP
Austin, TX

Planning Committee

Jane M. N. Webre—Chair

Scott Douglass & McConnico LLP
Austin, TX

Douglas W. Alexander

Alexander Dubose Jefferson & Townsend LLP
Austin, TX

Pamela Stanton Baron

Attorney at Law
Austin, TX

Hon. Jane N Bland

First Court of Appeals
Houston, TX

Hon. William J. Boyce

Fourteenth Court of Appeals
Houston, TX

Sharon E. Callaway

Crofts & Callaway, P.C.
San Antonio, TX

Don Cruse

Law Office of Don Cruse
Austin, TX

Philip Durst

Deats, Durst & Owen, P.L.L.C.
Austin, TX

Elana S. Einhorn

MehaffyWeber, P.C.
Austin, TX

Jennifer S. Freel

Ewell, Brown, Blanke & Knight LLP
Austin, TX

Blake A. Hawthorne

The Supreme Court of Texas
Austin, TX

Leslie Sara Hyman

Pulman, Cappuccio, Pullen & Benson LLP
San Antonio, TX

Anne M. Johnson

Haynes and Boone, LLP
Dallas, TX

Kurt Kuhn

Kuhn Hobbs PLLC
Austin, TX

Thomas S. Leatherbury

Vinson & Elkins LLP
Dallas, TX

Dana Livingston

Alexander Dubose Jefferson & Townsend LLP
Austin, TX

Melissa Lorber

Enoch Kever PLLC
Austin, TX

Hon. Daryl L. Moore

333rd District Court
Houston, TX

Constance H. Pfeiffer

Beck Redden LLP
Houston, TX

Richard B. Phillips Jr.

Thompson & Knight LLP
Dallas, TX

Scott Rothenberg

Law Offices of Scott Rothenberg
Houston, TX

Deborah Salzberg

The University of Texas School of Law
Austin, TX

Marisa S. Secco

Vinson & Elkins LLP
Austin, TX

Jo Ann Storey

Jo Ann Storey, P.C.
Houston, TX

Colleen M. Sullivan

Third Court of Appeals
Austin, TX

Credit Info

MCLE Credit
A Texas MCLE Reporting Form will be included in your course materials. Please complete and return to the registration desk and UT Law CLE will report credit on your behalf to the State Bar of Texas, or you can self-report your credit directly to the State Bar of Texas at texasbar.com. A Certificate of Attendance will be provided at the conference to keep for your records.  
At the conference, you will need to sign in on the Record of Attendance form at the registration desk. Self-report your CLE credit directly to the State Bar of California at calbar.ca.gov. You will receive a Certificate of Attendance at the conference to keep for your records. UT Law CLE will maintain Attendance Records for four years.  
At the conference, you will need to sign in on the Record of Attendance form at the registration desk. You will receive a Certificate of Attendance at the conference to keep for your records. UT Law CLE will report credit on your behalf to the Oklahoma Bar Association within 30 days after the conference.
Note on Self-Reporting Your Credits in Another State
If you wish to satisfy MCLE or other professional education requirements in another state for a program offered by the University of Texas School of Law, please check with the state bar or other licensing authority in that state before taking the program to ensure it will qualify for self-reporting your credits.
Other Credit
The University of Texas School of Law (Provider #250) live conferences are presumptively approved by The Texas State Board of Public Accountancy for Texas Accounting CPE credit based on a 50-minute credit hour. Approved for general CPE credit only.

At the conference, you will need to sign in on the Accounting CPE Record of Attendance form at the registration desk. You will receive a Texas Accounting Certificate of Completion at the conference for your records. Self-report your CPE credit directly to TSBPA. UT Law CLE will maintain Attendance Records for four years.  

Contact Laura Tolin, ltolin@law.utexas.edu, if you have additional questions.

Key Dates

Austin – Jun 14-15, 2018 – AT&T Conference Center
Conference Concluded
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Austin
Last day for Individual early registration: Jun 8, 2018

Add $50 for registrations received after this time

Last day for Government Attorney early registration: Jun 8, 2018

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Last day for Group (5 registrants minimum) early registration: Jun 8, 2018

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Last day for Group (10 registrants minimum) early registration: Jun 8, 2018

Add $50 for registrations received after this time

Last day for cancellation (full refund): Jun 8, 2018

$50 processing fee applied after this date

Last day for cancellation: Jun 11, 2018

Venue

speaker

The University of Texas at Austin
1900 University Avenue
Austin, TX
877.744.8822 (reservations)
Map

Accommodations

Special Room Rate: $189 good through May 15, 2018. Reference "Appellate Law Conference" when you call reservations.

Parking Information

Free daily self-parking at UT garages. Separate fees apply for valet and overnight parking.  

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