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May 19, 2020

Senior Partners Thomas Fee, William Toles and Jennifer Lee have been selected for inclusion

on D Magazine’s “Best Lawyers in Dallas 2020”

 

FSSV Senior Partners Thomas Fee, William Toles and Jennifer Lee have been selected for inclusion on D Magazine’s “Best Lawyers in Dallas 2020” list, in the May issue of the magazine.

 

D Magazine describes attorneys featured on the “Best Lawyers in Dallas 2020” list as “members of the legal community representing the people and institutions of Dallas with mastery and drive.”  Honorees are selected through peer-review voting, with the final selections determined by an independent panel of distinguished attorneys who work with editors at the publication.  2020 marks Ms. Lee’s second consecutive year of selection, Mr. Toles’ fifth consecutive year and Mr. Fee’s fourth year of selection.

 

 

 

May 10, 2020

Fee Smith Senior Partner William Toles Appointed to National ABOTA’s COVID-19

Task Force

 

The American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) has formed a team of nine plaintiff and defense trial lawyers from around the country to address the impact of COVID-19 on the Judicial Branch.  The team is tasked with assisting judges nationally  with information for conducting hearings and non-jury trials, technology that allows for jury trials with jurors participating remotely, and constitutional issues related to the Seventh Amendment.  Founded in 1958, ABOTA is a national association of experienced trial lawyers and judges dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the civil jury trial right provided by the Seventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  Membership is by invitation only and consists of lawyers – equally balanced between plaintiff and defense – and judges.

 

 

 

April 15, 2020

Partners Michael P. Sharp and Robyn M. Wise obtained another summary judgment in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, in favor of FSSV’s retail client.

 

Partners Michael P. Sharp and Robyn M. Wise recently obtained a favorable opinion and judgment in the Second Court of Appeals in Fort Worth, affirming a judgment entered by a Tarrant County district court in favor of FSSV’s retail client.  Plaintiff asserted claims for premises liability and gross negligence as a result of personal injuries she allegedly sustained in Defendant’s grocery store.  Plaintiff sought to recover damages in excess of $200,000.  The trial court granted Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment and found no evidence Defendant had knowledge of any alleged dangerous condition on its premises.  Plaintiff then attempted four separate times to have the judgment against her overturned. She first filed a Motion for Rehearing, which was denied.  Plaintiff then appealed to the Second Court of Appeals.  The Court of Appeals agreed with FSSV and affirmed the trial court’s judgment.  Plaintiff then filed a Motion for Rehearing, which was denied.  Finally, Plaintiff filed Petition for Review with the Supreme Court of Texas.  The Texas Supreme Court denied Plaintiff’s Petition for Review.

 

Partners Michael P. Sharp and Robyn M. Wise obtained another summary judgment in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, in favor of FSSV’s retail client.  Plaintiff asserted a general negligence cause of action; however, the court clearly recognized Plaintiff’s claims arose out of premises liability.  FSSV’s client sought summary judgment on the grounds Plaintiff had no evidence the grocery store had actual or constructive knowledge of any allegedly dangerous condition on its premises or that Defendant breached any duty to warn Plaintiff of any allegedly dangerous condition on its premises.  The court granted summary judgment in favor of Defendant.

 

These recent judgments and appellate orders further strengthen Texas retailers’ defenses in premises liability cases.  They also establish that “no notice” motions for summary judgment can be effectively used to either dispose of such cases completely or achieve very favorable settlement terms.

 

 

 

February 1, 2020

Congratulations to the newest Rising Stars Honorees.

 

Aaron J. Burke, Jason A. Burris, Travis M. Casey, Ross A, Darville, Drew T. Peters, Tanner A. Wilson and Heather L. Winkles

 

Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The patented selection process includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.

 

 

 

January 26, 2020

Associate Attorney Heather L. Winkles Among Texas Top Women Attorneys in Texas Monthly

 

Heather L. Winkles is featured in the January issue of Texas Monthly in a special section of Top Women Attorneys in Texas. She is a two-time selectee as a Texas Rising Star by Super Lawyers. Attorneys designated as Rising Stars are up-and-coming attorneys who are 40 years of age or younger and have practiced law for 10 years or less. No more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team to receive this honor. The Texas Rising Stars list is also published by Texas Monthly Magazine.

 

 

 

January 24, 2020

Congratulations to Senior Partner William Toles for being Named a Trustee

for the ABOTA Foundation

 

William Toles has been named a Trustee for the ABOTA Foundation by ABOTA Foundation President Peter Riley. The mission of the ABOTA Foundation is to promote and improve the American civil justice system and to preserve the Seventh Amendment right to civil jury trials

for future generations.

 

 

 

January 22, 2020

Congratulations to Senior Partner Lenny Vitullo for his induction into the Dallas Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)

 

Lenny Vitullo was inducted into the Dallas Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) on November 23, 2019. ABOTA is a national association of trial lawyers and judges dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the civil jury trial right provided by the Seventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Membership is by invitation only. Senior Partners Tom Fee and William Toles are also members of ABOTA.

 

 

 

October 15, 2019

Congratulations to the newest Texas Super Lawyers Honorees.

 

Thomas W. Fee, Brian G. Cano, Daniel M. Karp, Howard J. Klatsky, Bret A. Sanders, William M. Toles and Jeff C. Wright

 

Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The patented selection process includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.

 

 

 

October 9, 2019

Announcing the selection of Thomas W. Fee among America’s Top 100 Personal Injury Attorneys® for 2019.

 

Selection to America’s Top 100 Personal Injury Attorneys® is by invitation only and is reserved to identify the nation’s most exceptional litigators for high-value personal injury, catastrophic injury, wrongful death, product liability, and medical malpractice matters.

 

To be considered for selection, an attorney must focus more than 50% of their active legal practice on personal injury, catastrophic injury, wrongful death, product liability, and/or medical malpractice matters.  These minimum qualifications are required for initial consideration.  Thereafter, candidates are carefully screened through Advanced Data Analytics evaluating a broad array of criteria, including the candidate’s professional experience, litigation experience, significant personal injury settlements and/or verdicts, peer reputation, and community impact in order to rank the candidates throughout the state.

 

Only the top 100 qualifying attorneys in each state will receive this honor and be selected for membership among America’s Top 100 Personal Injury Attorneys®.  With these extremely high standards for selection to America’s Top 100 Personal Injury Attorneys®, less than one-half percent (0.5%) of active attorneys in the United States will receive this honor — truly the most exclusive and elite level of attorneys in the community.

 

 

 

September 18, 2019

Senior Partner Howard J. Klatsky and Senior Appellate Counsel Timothy George obtain judgment from Fort Worth Court of Appeals affirming entry of trial court’s judgment

(entered in favor of firms’ client)

 

Senior Partner Howard J. Klatsky and Senior Appellate Counsel Timothy George obtained a Memorandum Opinion and Judgment in the Court of Appeals, Second District of Texas at Fort Worth affirming a Judgment entered by a Tarrant County District Court in favor of FSSV’s construction client in all respects.  Plaintiff asserted claims for conversion, trespass, fraud, and conspiracy concerning the purchase and removal of fill dirt from real property owned by Plaintiff and sought to recover damages in excess of $1,000,000.  The case was tried to a jury, and the trial court entered a Final Judgment in favor of the firm’s client.  Plaintiff appealed, contending that the trial court committed reversible error and certain jury findings were against the great weight and preponderance of evidence presented.  Timothy George prepared the Brief that was filed for FSSV’s client, and Howard J. Klatsky presented oral argument (on appeal).

 

 

 

August 30, 2019

Partner Aaron J. Burke and Senior Associate Nathan Winkler obtained vaping case summary judgment in San Antonio

 

Partner Aaron J. Burke and Senior Associate Nathan Winkler obtained a summary judgment in favor of national e-liquid and vaping company in district court in San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas. The plaintiff was injured when a battery he used for his vaping mod, or e-cigarette, suddenly ignited—"exploded"—while loose in his pocket. The vaping company moved for summary judgment on the basis it was an innocent seller of the product and plaintiff had no evidence against it. Plaintiff attempted to show that the vaping company sold the battery with actual knowledge the battery was defective and made incorrect express factual representations about aspects of the battery. Further complicating the case was significant negative press concerning the household-name battery at issue in the suit and the battery manufacturer’s quick (and unsuccessful) attempts to settle the plaintiff’s questionable claims for several hundred thousand dollars. After a hearing, the trial court granted the vaping company’s motion for summary judgment, leaving the plaintiff to pursue his remaining claims solely against the battery's manufacturer. Indeed, FSSV’s Burke and Winkler were also able to leverage a claim against the battery manufacturer to obtain an indemnity payment by the battery manufacturer, which had previously claimed that it had never paid indemnity to any vaping companies that had sold or distributed its product.

 

 

 

July 30, 2019

Fee Smith Senior Partners Jennifer Lee and William Toles Selected to Speak at the 35th Annual Advanced Personal Injury Law CLE.

 

The State Bar of Texas annually sponsors the Advanced Personal Injury Law CLE in San Antonio, Dallas and Houston, Texas.  Ms. Lee and Mr. Toles are speaking on the topic – When a Criminal Case Becomes a Civil Lawsuit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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