Overview

UT Law CLE'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 a must-attend event for Texas civil appellate practitioners.

2020 highlights include:
  • Candid discussion among Texas Supreme Court Justices, including Chief Justice Nathan L. Hecht, about what’s new at the Court, the state of the docket, and tips for practitioners.
  • Updates on recent opinions from the Texas Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme Court, and Fifth Circuit on contract issues, attorney’s fees, advanced personal jurisdiction, and certification.
  • Tips for using visuals to transform briefs and writing effective replies, in addition to the findings included in the 2020 Texas Appellate Judicial Survey.
  • Insight into Preparing for and Delivering an Effective Appellate Argument from Michael Dreeben, O’Melveny & Myers LLP, Washington, DC.
  • 2.50 hours of ethics, including presentations on Standards for Appellate Conduct and the always popular Ethics Game Show.
Following the conference, attendees will receive a bonus eSupplement containing up to an additional 2.00 hours of MCLE (including 0.50 hour of ethics) to ensure practitioners can earn their full 15.00/3.00 Texas MCLE hours for the year!

Event Schedule

Program is subject to change.

  • Time
    Credit
    Subject
    Speaker
  • Thursday Morning, Jun. 4, 2020
    Presiding Officer:
    Jane M. N. Webre, Scott Douglass & McConnico LLP - Austin, TX
  • 8:20 am
    Welcoming Remarks

  • 8:30 am
    0.50 hr
    What Are the Odds
    Two jurismetricians provide answers to common questions clients ask about their chances in the Texas Supreme Court.

    Pamela Stanton Baron, Attorney at Law - Austin, TX
    Don Cruse, Law Office of Don Cruse - Austin, TX

  • 9:00 am
    5-Minute Break

  • 9:05 am
    0.75 hr
    Conference Retrospective: 30 Years Later
    Two members of the first class of board-certified civil appellate lawyers discuss how the ensuing 30 years have directly and subtly impacted the appellate process—particularly the “Four Pillars of Appellate Review”:  preservation, the standard of review, harmful/less error and stare decisis.

    Michael A. Hatchell, Haynes and Boone, LLP - Austin, TX
    David Keltner, Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP - Fort Worth, TX

  • 9:50 am
    5-Minute Break

  • 9:55 am
    0.50 hr
    Beyond Breach: Recent Developments in Contract Issues
    Recent decisions from the Texas Supreme Court concerning contract enforcement adhere to the principle that contract rights in Texas are held sacred and shall be enforced. From contract formation to fraudulent inducement claims, application of that principle is shifting contract-based analysis away from the jury and onto the bench.

    Kendyl T. Hanks, Greenberg Traurig, LLP - Austin, TX
    Nicole Córdoba, Greenberg Traurig, LLP - Austin, TX

  • 10:25 am
    5-Minute Break

  • 10:30 am
    0.75 hr
    Texas Supreme Court Update
    Explore recent opinions issued by the Court in the current term.

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

  • 11:15 am
    5-Minute Break

  • 11:20 am
    0.50 hr
    Briefing Beyond the Words
    A discussion on how to use visuals to enhance your written advocacy and transform your briefs.

    Mark Trachtenberg, Haynes and Boone, LLP - Houston, TX

  • 11:50 am
    5-Minute Break

  • 11:55 am
    0.50 hr
    Preparing for and Delivering an Effective Appellate Argument
    The key to effective appellate argument is preparation, gain insight into the strategic and practical steps to take in the weeks before rising to speak at the podium—and what to do when you get there. 

    Michael Dreeben, O’Melveny & Myers LLP - Washington DC

  • 12:25 pm
    Break for Lunch—Presentation Resumes at 12:50 p.m.

  • Thursday Afternoon, Jun. 4, 2020
    Presiding Officer:
    Thomas S. Leatherbury, Vinson & Elkins LLP - Dallas, TX
  • LUNCHEON PRESENTATION
  • 12:50 pm
    0.75 hr ethics
    Standards for Appellate Conduct
    In 1995, Skip Watson and Kevin Dubose led an effort to draft the Standards for Appellate Conduct. 24 years later, they reflect on the effect the Standards have had on the appellate practice and culture in Texas, and what can be done to revitalize the Standards for today’s appellate bar.

    Kevin Dubose, Alexander Dubose & Jefferson LLP - Houston, TX
    Charles (Skip) Watson, Greenberg Traurig, LLP - Austin, TX

  • 1:35 pm
    5-Minute Break

  • 1:40 pm
    0.50 hr
    The Art of the Reply
    The reply brief can be a repetitive, tedious exercise that fails to truly engage on the tough issues. Learn how to make your replies helpful and effective.

    Hon. Gina M. Benavides, Thirteenth Court Of Appeals - Edinburg, TX
    Meredith B. Parenti, Parenti Law PLLC - Houston, TX
    Hon. Gisela D. Triana, Third Court of Appeals - Austin, TX

  • 2:10 pm
    5-Minute Break

  • 2:15 pm
    0.50 hr
    Working with In-House Counsel: Tips and Traps
    Two veteran in-house counsel provide insights and suggestions.

    Nina Cortell, Haynes and Boone, LLP - Dallas, TX
    Lisa L. Havens, Baylor Scott & White Health - Temple, TX
    Tonja De Sloover, Energy Transfer LP - Houston, TX

  • 2:45 pm
    5-Minute Break

  • 2:50 pm
    0.50 hr
    Attorney's Fees Update
    Examine recent case law governing how to prove up attorney’s fees at trial and keep them on appeal.

    Shelby L. O'Brien, Enoch Kever PLLC - Austin, TX

  • 3:20 pm
    5-Minute Break

  • 3:25 pm
    0.50 hr ethics
    Texas Courts Respond to COVID-19
    A discussion of challenges facing the Texas courts during a pandemic and the steps taken to resolve those challenges, both in the trial and appellate courts.

    Moderator:
    Blake A. Hawthorne, The Supreme Court of Texas - Austin, TX
    Panelists:
    Hon. Emily Miskel, 470th District Court, Collin County - McKinney, TX
    David Slayton, Office of Court Administration - Austin, TX

  • 3:55 pm
    5-Minute Break

  • 4:00 pm
    0.50 hr
    U.S. Supreme Court Update
    An overview of major decisions and trends from the Supreme Court’s 2019-2020 term.

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

  • 4:30 pm
    5-Minute Break

  • 4:35 pm
    0.75 hr ethics
    Ethics Game Show
    Watch ambitious appellate practitioners compete against one another, as they try to answer ethics questions that savvy practitioners ought to know. #WhatWouldPhilSay

    Hon. Daryl L. Moore, 333rd District Court - Houston, TX
    Jane M. N. Webre, Scott Douglass & McConnico LLP - Austin, TX

  • 5:20 pm
    Adjourn

  • Time
    Credit
    Subject
    Speaker
  • Friday Morning, Jun. 5, 2020
    Presiding Officer:
    Melissa Lorber, Enoch Kever PLLC - Austin, TX
  • 8:30 am
    0.50 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    The Right to Retain Silence? The Enforceability of NDAs After #MeToo
    The role of nondisclosure agreements in settling sexual misconduct claims has gained widespread media attention following the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, the 2016 presidential election, the criminal trials of Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby, and the ouster of prominent figures such as Bill O’Reilly and Matt Lauer. The use of NDAs—typically used to protect trade secrets and other business confidential data—to shield claims of sexual misconduct from public scrutiny has raised complex legal, ethical, and moral questions, and has stirred a debate over whether courts should enforce these agreements. A focus on the enforceability of such NDAs under Texas law, including the factors courts would examine in deciding whether such contractual provisions violate public policy.

    Karima Maloney, Smyser Kaplan & Veselka, L.L.P. - Houston, TX
    Samantha J. Jarvis, Smyser Kaplan & Veselka, L.L.P. - Houston, TX

  • 9:00 am
    5-Minute Break

  • 9:05 am
    0.75 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    2020 Texas Appellate Judicial Survey
    The first step in tailoring your clients’ oral and written presentations to the preferences and dislikes of appellate justices is learning what they are. The 2020 Texas Appellate Judicial Survey is a valuable tool to achieve that important objective.

    Scott Rothenberg, Law Offices of Scott Rothenberg - Bellaire, TX
    Kent Rutter, Haynes and Boone, LLP - Houston, TX
    Jo Ann Storey, Jo Ann Storey, P.C. - Houston, TX

  • 9:50 am
    5-Minute Break

  • 9:55 am
    0.50 hr
    What is Persuasive Authority and When Does it Stop Being Persuasive?
    What authority do courts find to be “persuasive” even when it’s not binding? And, what happens when the Legislature steps in with statutory directions about authorities the courts can reply upon?

    William J. Boyce, Alexander Dubose & Jefferson LLP - Houston, TX
    Robert B. Dubose, Alexander Dubose & Jefferson LLP - Houston, TX

  • 10:25 am
    5-Minute Break

  • 10:30 am
    0.50 hr
    Settlement Credits
    How to calculate settlement credits, their effect on prejudgment interest, burden placement in determining the amount to be credited, and recent constitutional challenges.

    Jacqueline M. Stroh, The Law Office Of Jacqueline M. Stroh, P.C. - San Antonio, TX

  • 11:00 am
    5-Minute Break

  • 11:05 am
    0.75 hr
    Texas Supreme Court 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:
    David M. Gunn, Beck Redden LLP - Houston, TX
    Panelists:
    Hon. Nathan L. Hecht, The Supreme Court of Texas - Austin, TX
    Hon. J. Brett Busby, The Supreme Court of Texas - Austin, TX
    Hon. Jane N. Bland, The Supreme Court of Texas - Austin, TX

  • 11:50 am
    Break for Lunch—Presentation Resumes at 12:15 p.m.

  • Friday Afternoon, Jun. 5, 2020
    Presiding Officer:
    Laurie Ratliff, Laurie Ratliff LLC - Austin, TX
  • 12:15 pm
    0.50 hr
    Why I Lost
    Lessons learned from advocacy, case selection, error preservation, and adverse authority.

    Sean M. Reagan, Leyh Payne & Mallia PLLC - Houston, TX

  • 12:45 pm
    5-Minute Break

  • 12:50 pm
    0.50 hr
    Unsettled Questions on Advanced Personal Jurisdiction
    The United States Supreme Court issued six personal jurisdiction opinions from 2011 to 2017. What are the open issues after Daimler, Nicastro, and Bristol-Myers?

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

  • 1:20 pm
    5-Minute Break

  • 1:25 pm
    0.50 hr
    Fifth Circuit Update
    A close look at the most interesting and important cases from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in the past year.

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

  • 1:55 pm
    5-Minute Break

  • 2:00 pm
    0.50 hr
    Appellate Judge's View of Employment Law Cases
    A mid-level update of employment law opinions from our intermediate courts of appeal.
    This pre-recorded presentation has been added to the agenda due to the cancelation of "FRAP Traps."

    Hon. Amanda L. Reichek, Fifth Court of Appeals - Dallas, TX

  • 2:30 pm
    5-Minute Break

  • 2:35 pm
    0.50 hr
    Certification by the Circuits
    Has the Fifth Circuit shown a renewed interest in considering certifying state law questions to the Texas Supreme Court? What can other circuits’ approaches teach us about when certification may be appropriate?

    Dana Livingston, Cokinos | Young - Austin, TX

  • 3:05 pm
    Adjourn

Conference Faculty

Alex Wilson Albright

Alexander Dubose & Jefferson LLP
Austin, TX

Pamela Stanton Baron

Attorney at Law
Austin, TX

Hon. Gina M. Benavides

Thirteenth Court Of Appeals
Edinburg, TX

Hon. Jane N. Bland

The Supreme Court of Texas
Austin, TX

William J. Boyce

Alexander Dubose & Jefferson LLP
Houston, TX

Hon. Jeff Boyd

The Supreme Court of Texas
Austin, TX

Hon. J. Brett Busby

The Supreme Court of Texas
Austin, TX

Nicole Córdoba

Greenberg Traurig, LLP
Austin, TX

Nina Cortell

Haynes and Boone, LLP
Dallas, TX

Don Cruse

Law Office of Don Cruse
Austin, TX

Tonja De Sloover

Energy Transfer LP
Houston, TX

Michael Dreeben

O’Melveny & Myers LLP
Washington DC

Kevin Dubose

Alexander Dubose & Jefferson LLP
Houston, TX

Robert B. Dubose

Alexander Dubose & Jefferson LLP
Houston, TX

David M. Gunn

Beck Redden LLP
Houston, TX

Kendyl T. Hanks

Greenberg Traurig, LLP
Austin, TX

Michael A. Hatchell

Haynes and Boone, LLP
Austin, TX

Lisa L. Havens

Baylor Scott & White Health
Temple, TX

Blake A. Hawthorne

The Supreme Court of Texas
Austin, TX

Hon. Nathan L. Hecht

The Supreme Court of Texas
Austin, TX

Samantha J. Jarvis

Smyser Kaplan & Veselka, L.L.P.
Houston, TX

David Keltner

Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP
Fort Worth, TX

Kurt Kuhn

Kuhn Hobbs PLLC
Austin, TX

Dana Livingston

Cokinos | Young
Austin, TX

Karima Maloney

Smyser Kaplan & Veselka, L.L.P.
Houston, TX

Jeremy C. Marwell

Vinson & Elkins LLP
Washington, DC

Raffi Melkonian

Wright Close & Barger, LLP
Houston, TX

Hon. Emily Miskel

470th District Court, Collin County
McKinney, TX

Hon. Daryl L. Moore

333rd District Court
Houston, TX

Shelby L. O'Brien

Enoch Kever PLLC
Austin, TX

Meredith B. Parenti

Parenti Law PLLC
Houston, TX

Sean M. Reagan

Leyh Payne & Mallia PLLC
Houston, TX

Hon. Amanda L. Reichek

Fifth Court of Appeals
Dallas, TX

Scott Rothenberg

Law Offices of Scott Rothenberg
Bellaire, TX

Kent Rutter

Haynes and Boone, LLP
Houston, TX

David Slayton

Office of Court Administration
Austin, TX

Jo Ann Storey

Jo Ann Storey, P.C.
Houston, TX

Jacqueline M. Stroh

The Law Office Of Jacqueline M. Stroh, P.C.
San Antonio, TX

Mark Trachtenberg

Haynes and Boone, LLP
Houston, TX

Hon. Gisela D. Triana

Third Court of Appeals
Austin, TX

Charles (Skip) Watson

Greenberg Traurig, LLP
Austin, TX

Jane M. N. Webre

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 LLP
Austin, TX

Pamela Stanton Baron

Attorney at Law
Austin, TX

William J. Boyce

Alexander Dubose & Jefferson LLP
Houston, TX

Sharon E. Callaway

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

Don Cruse

Law Office of Don Cruse
Austin, TX

Elana S. Einhorn

Austin, TX

Jennifer S. Freel

Vinson & Elkins LLP
Austin, TX

David M. Gunn

Beck Redden LLP
Houston, TX

Blake A. Hawthorne

The Supreme Court of Texas
Austin, TX

Leslie Sara Hyman

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

Kurt Kuhn

Kuhn Hobbs PLLC
Austin, TX

Thomas S. Leatherbury

Vinson & Elkins LLP
Dallas, TX

Dana Livingston

Cokinos | Young
Austin, TX

Melissa Lorber

Enoch Kever PLLC
Austin, TX

Raffi Melkonian

Wright Close & Barger, LLP
Houston, TX

Hon. Daryl L. Moore

333rd District Court
Houston, TX

Hon. Bob Pemberton

West Lake Hills, TX

Constance H. Pfeiffer

Beck Redden LLP
Houston, TX

Laurie Ratliff

Laurie Ratliff LLC
Austin, TX

Scott Rothenberg

Law Offices of Scott Rothenberg
Bellaire, TX

Jo Ann Storey

Jo Ann Storey, P.C.
Houston, TX

Credit Info

MCLE Credit
UT Law CLE will report credit to the State Bar of Texas on your behalf. If you are claiming credit in the last week of your birth month, self-report your credit directly to the State Bar of Texas at texasbar.com. A Certificate of Completion will be emailed to you upon claiming credit.
Self-report your CLE credit directly to the State Bar of California at calbar.ca.gov. Print and keep the Certificate of Completion for your records. A Certificate of Completion will be emailed to you upon claiming credit.
The University of Texas School of Law (Provider #169) live webcast presentations meet the requirements and are presumptively approved by the Oklahoma Bar Association for MCLE credit based on a 50-minute credit hour. This accreditation requires attendance verification. In compliance with the rules, UT Law CLE monitors and records attendee responses to questions that randomly appear during the live webcast presentation. The response record is detailed on the Certificate of Completion.

To claim Oklahoma MCLE credit, Oklahoma credit option must be selected PRIOR to viewing the live webcast. Upon claiming credit, a Certificate of Completion will be emailed to you. UT Law CLE will report credit on your behalf to the Oklahoma Bar Association within 30 days after the webcast.
UT Law CLE is an approved provider of Pennsylvania credit, sponsor #236. Attorney attendance will be reported to Pennsylvania within 2 weeks of the webcast conclusion. Attorneys are not able to report this credit on their own, and UT Law CLE pays all associated fees for the credit hours. Contact Laura Tolin, ltolin@law.utexas.edu, if you have additional questions.
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 to ensure it will qualify for self-reporting your credits.

To claim Other States MCLE credit, Other States credit option must be selected PRIOR to viewing the live webcast. Upon claiming credit, a Certificate of Completion will be emailed to you.

This accreditation requires attendance verification. UT Law CLE monitors and records attendee responses to questions that randomly appear during the live webcast presentation. The response record is detailed on the Certificate of Completion .

MCLE credit is presented based on a 60-minute credit hour.
Other Credit
The University of Texas School of Law (Provider #250) live webcast presentations meet the requirements and 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.

This accreditation requires attendance verification. In compliance with the rules, UT Law CLE monitors and records attendee responses to questions that randomly appear during the live webcast presentation. The response record is detailed on the Certificate of Completion.

To claim Texas Accounting CPE credit, the Texas Accounting CPE credit option must be selected PRIOR to viewing the live webcast. Upon claiming credit, a Certificate of Completion will be emailed to you. Self-report your CPE credit directly to the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy.

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

Key Dates

Live Webcast – Jun 4-5, 2020
Conference Concluded
Austin - CANCELED – Jun 4-5, 2020 – AT&T Conference Center
Conference Concluded
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