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Deborah Hankinson Elected to the American Arbitration Association’s Executive Committee

At the May 2015 meeting of the American Arbitration Association’s Board of Directors, Deborah Hankinson was elected to the organization’s elite Executive Committee.  The Executive Committee members address Association initiatives, strategy, policy matters, finances, legal developments impacting alternative dispute resolution, and other matters related to… + read more

At the May 2015 meeting of the American Arbitration Association’s Board of Directors, Deborah Hankinson was elected to the organization’s elite Executive Committee.  The Executive Committee members address Association initiatives, strategy, policy matters, finances, legal developments impacting alternative dispute resolution, and other matters related to the work of the Association.  The Executive Committee also is delegated broad authority to act on behalf of the Association’s board.

 

Deborah Hankinson Presents at American Arbitration Association Webinar

Deborah Hankinson, who frequently serves as an arbitrator and mediator, spoke at an educational webinar presented by the American Arbitration Association entitled “Developing the AAA Judicial Panel, Working Together.”  The focus of the webinar was the benefit of a judicial presence on arbitration panels. Attorney:… + read more

Deborah Hankinson, who frequently serves as an arbitrator and mediator, spoke at an educational webinar presented by the American Arbitration Association entitled “Developing the AAA Judicial Panel, Working Together.”  The focus of the webinar was the benefit of a judicial presence on arbitration panels.

 

Deborah Hankinson Among Dallas Bar Association’s Texas Trial Legends

Hankinson LLP founder and respected appellate attorney Deborah Hankinson was one of four attorneys honored April 8 by the Dallas Bar Association as a “Texas Trial Legend.” Her selection was based on her unique accomplishments as an attorney and jurist. Ms. Hankinson was a successful… + read more

Attorney:

Hankinson LLP founder and respected appellate attorney Deborah Hankinson was one of four attorneys honored April 8 by the Dallas Bar Association as a “Texas Trial Legend.” Her selection was based on her unique accomplishments as an attorney and jurist. Ms. Hankinson was a successful appellate attorney when she was selected to serve as a Justice on the Fifth District Court of Appeals in Dallas in 1995. In 1997 she was appointed to the Supreme Court of Texas. Since returning to private practice in 2002, she has expanded her role as one of the state’s top appellate attorneys, oral advocates, strategists, mediators, arbitrators and legal problem-solvers. Also honored at the Belo Mansion ceremony were C.L. Mike Schmidt, Bob Vial and the late W. Richard Bernays.

Attorney:

 

Order Granting New Trial Reviewed and Vacated on Mandamus

Brett Kutnick led a team of Hankinson lawyers, including Deborah Hankinson, Joseph Morris, Jennifer Rangel Stagen, and Stephanie Nelson, in successfully representing the defendants in a petition for writ of mandamus seeking to set aside a trial court’s order granting the plaintiffs a new trial… + read more

Brett Kutnick led a team of Hankinson lawyers, including Deborah Hankinson, Joseph Morris, Jennifer Rangel Stagen, and Stephanie Nelson, in successfully representing the defendants in a petition for writ of mandamus seeking to set aside a trial court’s order granting the plaintiffs a new trial after a multi-week jury trial concerning the alleged breach of an attorney-client contingency fee agreement. Following briefing, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth District of Texas in San Antonio conditionally granted the mandamus petition and ordered the trial court to vacate its order granting a new trial and issue a new order specifying its reasons for granting a new trial. In re Davenport, No. 04-14-00666-CV, 2015 WL 1089679 (Tex. App.—San Antonio Mar. 11, 2015, orig. proceeding) (mem. op.).

 

Deborah Hankinson Teaches at Oil & Gas Disputes Course

Deborah Hankinson presented “Do You Want to Arbitrate? Managing the Process When You Do” at the Oil & Gas Disputes Course (Negotiation, Arbitration and Litigation) sponsored by the State Bar of Texas and Texas Tech University School of Law on January 9, 2015, in Houston,… + read more

Deborah Hankinson presented “Do You Want to Arbitrate? Managing the Process When You Do” at the Oil & Gas Disputes Course (Negotiation, Arbitration and Litigation) sponsored by the State Bar of Texas and Texas Tech University School of Law on January 9, 2015, in Houston, Texas.

 

Deborah Hankinson Serves as Faculty Member for the 2014 College for New Judges in Austin, Texas

On December 10, 2014, Deborah Hankinson spoke on “Proper Role: Opinions & Oral Argument” during the College for New Judges in Austin, Texas. + read more

On December 10, 2014, Deborah Hankinson spoke on “Proper Role: Opinions & Oral Argument” during the College for New Judges in Austin, Texas. The College provides information and training for newly elected and appointed Judges in Texas.

 

Deborah Hankinson Spoke at the State Bar’s 32nd Annual Advanced Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law Course on October 3, 2014

Deborah presented “The Arbitrator’s Perspective: Oil and Gas Arbitration.” + read more

Deborah presented “The Arbitrator’s Perspective: Oil and Gas Arbitration.”

 

Deborah Hankinson and Rick Thompson Named 2014 Texas Super Lawyers

Hankinson LLP attorneys Deborah Hankinson and Rick Thompson were named among the state’s top attorneys for 2014 by the publisher Texas Super Lawyers. Their inclusion was based on nominations from peers, an analysis of each attorney’s work, and a panel review. No more than 5%… + read more

Hankinson LLP attorneys Deborah Hankinson and Rick Thompson were named among the state’s top attorneys for 2014 by the publisher Texas Super Lawyers. Their inclusion was based on nominations from peers, an analysis of each attorney’s work, and a panel review. No more than 5% of all Texas lawyers are included in the annual listing. Deborah was singled out as one of the Top 10 and Top 100 attorneys in Texas, the Top 50 Women lawyers in Texas, and the Top 100 attorneys in Dallas-Fort Worth.

 

Deborah Hankinson Serves as AAA Program Facilitator and Leads Arbitration Courses

Deborah Hankinson presented two AAA Arbitrator Continuing Education Courses entitled “Principled Deliberations -Decision-Making Skills for Arbitrators” (which she co-developed) and “Conducting Research and Investigations: The Arbitrator’s Authority.” The courses were held at the AAA (American Arbitration Association) offices in Dallas, Texas, on September 17, 2014.… + read more

Deborah Hankinson presented two AAA Arbitrator Continuing Education Courses entitled “Principled Deliberations -Decision-Making Skills for Arbitrators” (which she co-developed) and “Conducting Research and Investigations: The Arbitrator’s Authority.” The courses were held at the AAA (American Arbitration Association) offices in Dallas, Texas, on September 17, 2014.

 

Deborah Hankinson Earns 2015 Best Lawyers in America Honors

Respected attorney and mediator Deborah Hankinson of Dallas’ Hankinson LLP has once again been named to The Best Lawyers in America listing in recognition of her work as an appellate attorney, oral advocate, strategist, mediator, arbitrator, and problem-solver. The former justice of the Supreme Court… + read more

Respected attorney and mediator Deborah Hankinson of Dallas’ Hankinson LLP has once again been named to The Best Lawyers in America listing in recognition of her work as an appellate attorney, oral advocate, strategist, mediator, arbitrator, and problem-solver. The former justice of the Supreme Court of Texas and the 5th District Court of Appeals in Dallas has been included in Best Lawyers every year since 2008. In addition to Best Lawyers, she has been received regular honors from Texas Super Lawyers, D Magazine, Chambers USA, Texas Lawyer and the Dallas Business Journal, among others.

 

Hankinson LLP’s Government Practice Assists City of Grapevine in Condemnation Case

Hankinson LLP successfully represented the City of Grapevine before the Fort Worth Court of Appeals and the Texas Supreme Court.  In this case, the State condemned real property located in the City.  Because a billboard owned by CBS Outdoor, Inc., overhung that property, the State… + read more

Hankinson LLP successfully represented the City of Grapevine before the Fort Worth Court of Appeals and the Texas Supreme Court.  In this case, the State condemned real property located in the City.  Because a billboard owned by CBS Outdoor, Inc., overhung that property, the State condemned the billboard to remove the aerial encroachment.  In an effort to avoid condemnation, CBS asked the City to permit it to shift the billboard away from the property to remove the encroachment.  The City refused, explaining that nonconforming billboards, like CBS’s billboard, could not be moved, altered, or adjusted under the City’s existing zoning ordinances.  After CBS removed a 4-foot section of the billboard, the City ordered CBS to remove its billboard.  CBS sued the City.  The City filed a plea to the jurisdiction based on its governmental immunity, but the district court denied the plea.  On appeal, the court of appeals reversed the district court’s order in part and rendered judgment that CBS take nothing on its claims for judicial review, injunctive relief, violations of due process, declaratory relief, and attorney’s fees.  On August 22, 2014, the Texas Supreme Court denied CBS’s petition for review.  Rick Thompson argued the case before the Fort Worth Court of Appeals and briefed the case to the court of appeals and the Supreme Court.  See City of Grapevine v. CBS Outdoor, Inc., No. 02-12-00040-CV, 2013 WL 5302713 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth Sept. 19, 2013, pet. denied).

 

Texas Supreme Court Denies Mandamus Relief from Trial Court Ruling in Favor of Hankinson LLP Clients

Hankinson LLP successfully defeated a challenge to a trial court’s ruling in favor of its commercial real estate clients.  After a severe hailstorm, the building owners filed claims under their insurance policies for damage to their buildings.  The insurance company refused to pay, and the… + read more

Hankinson LLP successfully defeated a challenge to a trial court’s ruling in favor of its commercial real estate clients.  After a severe hailstorm, the building owners filed claims under their insurance policies for damage to their buildings.  The insurance company refused to pay, and the building owners were forced to sue.  After actively litigating the case for almost a year, the insurance company attempted to scuttle the litigation by invoking an appraisal clause in the insurance policy.  The trial court denied the insurance company’s motion to compel an appraisal.  The insurance company sought mandamus relief from this ruling in the Dallas Court of Appeals and the Texas Supreme Court.  Both courts denied mandamus relief.  Rick Thompson and Joseph Morris briefed the issues in both courts.  See In re Lexington Ins. Co., No. 14-0182, in the Texas Supreme Court.

 

Appellate Court Affirms Summary Judgment in Favor of the Dallas Mavericks

Hankinson LLP defeated an effort to place its client, the Dallas Mavericks, into receivership.  A minority stakeholder in the team sued for the appointment of a receiver, claiming that the team was insolvent or in imminent danger of insolvency.  Finding no merit to the claims,… + read more

Hankinson LLP defeated an effort to place its client, the Dallas Mavericks, into receivership.  A minority stakeholder in the team sued for the appointment of a receiver, claiming that the team was insolvent or in imminent danger of insolvency.  Finding no merit to the claims, the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the Mavericks. On appeal, the Hankinson LLP team successfully defended the trial court’s ruling.  Deborah Hankinson argued the case to the Dallas Court of Appeals.  Rick Thompson and Joseph Morris drafted the appellate briefs.  See Hillwood Inv. Props. III, Ltd. v. Radical Mavericks Mgmt., LLC, No. 05-11-01470-CV, in the Fifth Court of Appeals.

 

Hankinson LLP Prevails Again in Texas Supreme Court

Deborah Hankinson, Rick Thompson, and Jennifer Stagen successfully convinced the Texas Supreme Court to affirm the court of appeals’s take-nothing judgment in favor of their client, Georgia-Pacific Corporation.  In this significant asbestos case watched by many legal commentators across the country, the Supreme Court defined… + read more

Deborah Hankinson, Rick Thompson, and Jennifer Stagen successfully convinced the Texas Supreme Court to affirm the court of appeals’s take-nothing judgment in favor of their client, Georgia-Pacific Corporation.  In this significant asbestos case watched by many legal commentators across the country, the Supreme Court defined the substantial-factor causation standard for mesothelioma cases.  The Court ultimately concluded that the evidence was legally insufficient to prove that plaintiff’s alleged exposure to asbestos from Georgia-Pacific joint compound was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s mesothelioma.  Deborah Hankinson argued the case before the Supreme Court.  See Bostic v. Georgia-Pacific Corp., No. 10-0775, 2014 WL 3797159 (Tex. July 11, 2014).

 

Supreme Court Vacates $125 Million Arbitration Award

Deborah Hankinson won a sweeping victory for Tenaska Energy, Inc. before the Texas Supreme Court. The Court vacated a $125 million arbitration award, holding that one of the arbitrators had failed fully to disclose facts that might, to an impartial observer, create a reasonable impression… + read more

Deborah Hankinson won a sweeping victory for Tenaska Energy, Inc. before the Texas Supreme Court. The Court vacated a $125 million arbitration award, holding that one of the arbitrators had failed fully to disclose facts that might, to an impartial observer, create a reasonable impression of the arbitrator’s partiality. The Court held that, when an arbitrator has made a partial disclosure, as occurred in this case, it must “examine the undisclosed information together against what [the arbitrator] actually disclosed,” to conclude whether the undisclosed information might have conveyed to a reasonable person an impression of the arbitrator’s partiality toward one of the parties. Applying that test to the facts, the court held the arbitrator showed “evident partiality” toward Ponderosa, requiring vacation of the arbitration award. The Court rejected Ponderosa’s argument that the arbitrator’s disclosure of the relationships in question was sufficient. Tenaska Energy, Inc., et al. v. Ponderosa Pine Energy, LLC, 2014 WL 2139215 (Tex. 2014).

 

Death Penalty Sanctions Vacated on Mandamus

Brett Kutnick, Jennifer Rangel Stagen, and Joseph Morris successfully represented Medtronic, Inc. in a petition for writ of mandamus seeking to set aside a death penalty sanction for Medtronic’s alleged improper contact with the opposing party’s consulting expert.  Following briefing, the Court of Appeals for… + read more

Brett Kutnick, Jennifer Rangel Stagen, and Joseph Morris successfully represented Medtronic, Inc. in a petition for writ of mandamus seeking to set aside a death penalty sanction for Medtronic’s alleged improper contact with the opposing party’s consulting expert.  Following briefing, the Court of Appeals for the Tenth District of Texas in Waco held that (1) petition for writ of mandamus was not barred by laches, (2) Medtronic lacked an adequate remedy by appeal, and mandamus was thus an appropriate vehicle to challenge the trial court’ sanctions order, and (3) the trial court abused its discretion in imposing evidentiary sanctions against Medtronic.  The court thus conditionally granted the petition for writ of mandamus and directed the trial court to vacate its order granting sanctions for the alleged improper contact with the consulting expert.  In re Medtronic, Inc., No. 10-14-00077-CV, 2014 WL 2159555 (Tex. App.—Waco May 22, 2014, orig. proceeding) (mem. op.).

 

 

D Magazine Features Case Recently Argued by Deborah Hankinson: Tenaska Energy Inc. v. Ponderosa Pine Energy LLC

A recent edition of D Magazine (May-June 2014) posits that the Supreme Court of Texas could change the way companies do business in a matter of months. The case of Tenaska Energy Inc. v. Ponderosa Pine Energy LLC concerns a $125 million award in Ponderosa’s… + read more

A recent edition of D Magazine (May-June 2014) posits that the Supreme Court of Texas could change the way companies do business in a matter of months. The case of Tenaska Energy Inc. v. Ponderosa Pine Energy LLC concerns a $125 million award in Ponderosa’s favor over the sale of a Cleburne power plant. The award was vacated by a trial court, which found that an arbitrator had failed to fully disclose the nature and extent of his relationship with Ponderosa’s attorney.

On appeal, the Dallas Court of Appeals reversed and rendered judgment confirming the award, saying that the arbitrator had disclosed enough, and that by not objecting or investigating further, Tenaska had waived further complaint. Tenaska took the dispute to the state’s highest court, where Deborah Hankinson presented oral argument on its behalf.  [Link to full story]

 

Deborah Hankinson’s Role as Mediator Cited in Fort Worth Star-Telegram Coverage of Final Texas A&M Bonfire Settlement

The May 10, 2014 edition of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that, after almost 15 years, litigation surrounding the deadly bonfire collapse at Texas A&M University has come to an end.  In April, the final defendants, Zachry Construction Corp. in San Antonio and Scott-Macon Equipment,… + read more

The May 10, 2014 edition of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that, after almost 15 years, litigation surrounding the deadly bonfire collapse at Texas A&M University has come to an end.  In April, the final defendants, Zachry Construction Corp. in San Antonio and Scott-Macon Equipment, which has a San Antonio office, reached settlements in a lawsuit filed by the parents of four students who were killed and three injured survivors.

The article notes Deborah Hankinson’s role as a mediator in connection with litigation related to the tragedy.  [Link to full story]

 

Dallas Appellate Attorney, Arbitrator Deborah Hankinson Named Among City’s Best by D Magazine

DALLAS – Dallas attorney Deborah Hankinson has earned a place on D Magazine’s 2014 list of The Best Lawyers in Dallas based on her expertise and accomplishments in appellate law, arbitration, mediation and trial consulting. This marks the ninth time the founder of Hankinson LLP… + read more

DALLAS – Dallas attorney Deborah Hankinson has earned a place on D Magazine’s 2014 list of The Best Lawyers in Dallas based on her expertise and accomplishments in appellate law, arbitration, mediation and trial consulting.

This marks the ninth time the founder of Hankinson LLP has been recognized among the premier attorneys in Dallas. In 2010, D Magazine also named her one of the best women lawyers in Dallas.

“It’s always rewarding to be recognized by my colleagues in the legal profession,” says Ms. Hankinson. “I’m proud that the appellate law knowledge and experience our entire firm delivers on a daily basis for clients and referring attorneys continues to merit this honor.”

To assemble the list of the city’s top lawyers, D Magazine sought nominations from lawyers across the North Texas area. A blue-ribbon panel of lawyers helped the magazine’s editors determine the final list of approximately 500 attorneys, which appears in the May 2014 issue of D Magazine.

In addition to her work as a trial and appellate lawyer, Ms. Hankinson served as a Justice on the Fifth District Court of Appeals in Dallas and the Supreme Court of Texas. She is Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Ms. Hankinson is a fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and serves on the Board of Directors for the American Arbitration Association.

She has been repeatedly recognized by Texas Super Lawyers magazine as one of the Top 10 attorneys in Texas, in addition to being honored by The Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA, Dallas Business Journal and Texas Lawyer, among other legal and business publications.

Hankinson LLP, the preeminent civil appellate firm in the Southwest, provides clients with innovative legal insights and judicial perspective in all phases of litigation. The firm’s attorneys work with trial teams to develop strategies designed to put a case in the best position before, during, and after trial. Hankinson LLP represents national clients, regional companies, governmental bodies, and individuals with trial and appellate matters, and offers mediation and arbitration services as well. Learn more about the firm at http://hankinsonlaw.com.

 

Court of Appeals Affirms Trial Court Ruling in Favor of Hankinson LLP Client

Rick Thompson was a key member of the legal team that successfully represented Republic Power Partners, L.P., in an interlocutory appeal before the Amarillo Court of Appeals.  Republic Power sued West Texas Municipal Power Agency (WTMPA) for breach of an agreement to promote and develop… + read more

Rick Thompson was a key member of the legal team that successfully represented Republic Power Partners, L.P., in an interlocutory appeal before the Amarillo Court of Appeals.  Republic Power sued West Texas Municipal Power Agency (WTMPA) for breach of an agreement to promote and develop new sources of electric power for the cities of Brownfield, Tulia, Floydada, and Lubbock.  WTMPA asserted its governmental immunity from suit in a plea to the jurisdiction, but the district court denied WTMPA’s plea.  WTMPA filed an interlocutory appeal.  The court of appeals affirmed the district court’s order, concluding that the Legislature waived WTMPA’s governmental immunity from suit by enacting Section 271.152 of the Texas Local Government Code.  See West Texas Mun. Power Agency v. Republic Power Partners, L.L.P., 428 S.W.3d 299 (Tex. App.—Amarillo 2014, no pet.).