We are legal strategists--not just traditional litigators. Our focus is to win on the law since that's what will hold up on appeal. Our law-based and court-centered approach is calculated to get faster, more economical dispute resolution for our clients.

Legal Strategists

 

Winning on the Law in


Complex Commercial Litigation


Civil Appeals


Policyholder Coverage Disputes

Recent Decisions


Injunction vacated following our appeal freeing assets of three clients


On July 17th,  Roach Newton scored an important appellate win for its three individual clients, when the Houston First Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s temporary injunction that had effectively frozen the clients’ personal bank accounts.  

After the injunction was granted, the Firm was hired to identify, develop, and deliver a winning legal argument to vacate that injunction. Firm partners  Manuel Lopez and Randy Roach  briefed  their legal arguments to the trial court and then to the court of appeals. Based on that  briefing, and without the need for any oral argument,  the Houston court of appeals agreed that the injunction was improper and reversed.  The appeal is currently pending Plaintiffs’ motion for rehearing. Hotze v. Hotze, No. 01-18-00039-CV, 2018 WL 3431587 (Tex. App. – Houston [1st Dist.] July 17, 2018, no pet. h.)


Pre-trial law-driven approach leads to win and allows client to avoid significant and expensive fact and expert discovery


On July 12th, Roach Newton scored a major appellate win for the Firm’s client, BP Lower 48,  in the Beaumont Court of Appeals, when that court reversed and rendered judgment for BP after the trial court awarded title to a valuable oil and gas property to plaintiffs in a declaratory judgment.

Yet another excellent example of the law firm’s law driven approach to litigation, a winning legal argument was identified before trial, developed, and presented before significant and expensive fact and expert discovery needed to take place. After proposing an agreed interlocutory appeal, a declaratory judgment was severed before damages or attorney’s  fees could be discovered and tried, allowing an immediate appeal on the pure legal  question of whether a declaratory judgment is a legally valid cause of action for the adjudication of  title to an oil and gas property.  

The Beaumont court of appeals agreed that it was not legally permissible under Texas law and rendered a take  nothing judgment in favor of the Firm’s client. Randy Roach presented the oral argument, expanding on  a brief written by partner Danny Davis and Roach. Noted East Texas trial lawyer and partner John Newton, along with former partner John Sullivan and current partner Manuel Lopez,  presented the eventual winning legal argument in the trial court.  Lackey v. Templeton, No. 09-17-00183-CV, 2018 WL 3384570 (Tex. App. – Beaumont July 12, 2018, no pet. h.)


Winning Key Pre-trial Legal Rulings.


In May and June 2018, Randy Roach and Danny Davis appeared as appellate counsel at trial to assist lead trial counsel John Zavitsanos in a suit by the world’s largest oilfield services company seeking over $400 million from a oilfield drilling company in connection with claims for breaches of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, and misappropriation of trade secrets. The case was settled in the third week of pre-trial rulings.


Summary Judgments Granted in High-Profile Hidalgo County Alleged Corruption Case.


In a case that drew national media attention, the current and former owners of a small family data collection firm represented by John Newton and accused of corruption and conspiring to defraud the taxpayers of  Hidalgo County out of more than $5 million during the reconstruction of 22 miles of levees with new border fencing along the Rio Grande River were exonerated. Dismissed on motions for summary judgment in early February 2018, the case is a textbook example of our focus on winning litigation quickly based on legal argument. Read more here in the Recent News section of Publications.


Fifth Circuit Embraces Our Arguments and Reverses the Largest Ever Qui Tam Verdict.


On September 29, 2017, the Fifth Circuit unanimously reversed and rendered a $663 million judgment – reportedly the largest ever in a False Claims Act case – against Trinity Industries. United States ex rel. Harman v. Trinity Indus. Inc., 872 F.3d 645 (5th Cir. 2017). In this lawsuit, tried in the Eastern District of Texas, legal arguments developed by Roach & Newton and presented by our lawyers and co-counsel at trial and in an extraordinary mandamus petition were ultimately embraced and accepted by the Fifth Circuit. Read more here in the Recent News section of Publications.


Victory: $41 million verdict


On May 12, 2017, the jury awarded a verdict for approximately $41 million in Prime Natural Resources, Inc. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyds, London, No. 2015-51137, In the 129th District Court of Harris County, Texas. The firm appeared as appellate counsel at trial to assist lead trial attorney John Zavitsanos of AZA in a suit arising from an insurer denying coverage for an offshore oil rig damaged in Hurricane Rita. The jury awarded not only full compensatory damages, but additional bad faith damages for unfair insurance practices.


Successful En Banc Rehearing in Fifth Circuit.


In 2016, Randy Roach and Manuel Lopez successfully sought En Banc rehearing in the Fifth Circuit federal court of appeals on behalf of Stryker Corp. seeking to overturn an adverse panel opinion on an important removal jurisdiction issue. After briefing and oral argument by our lawyers, the En Banc court of appeals then ruled in favor of our client. To see Opinion, click here.


Firm News 


Roach Newton, LLP would like to congratulate the following attorneys named to 2019 The Best Lawyers in America list


  • Randy Roach - Appellate Practice and Insurance Law
  • Robert Cunningham - Insurance Law
  • Manuel Lopez - Appellate Practice


At its annual meeting on June 28, 2018, the Insurance Law Section of the State Bar of Texas re-elected Bob Cunningham to the governing Council for a third 2-year term, running from June 2018 to June 2020. Bob has served on the Council since 2014.


On June 15, 2018, Randy Roach joined Houston Appellate Court Justice Bill Boyce and Fifth Circuit Judge Stephen Higginson at the University of Texas 28th Annual Conference on State and Federal Appeals seminar and presented "Improving Oral Argument from the Perspective of Practitioners and Judges." To obtain a copy of the CLE brochure, click here.


Bob Cunningham served as co-director and presiding officer of the 2018 South Texas / Rio Grande Valley seminar "Insurance Law for Trial Lawyer and General Practitioners" in Brownsville, Texas, sponsored by the Insurance Law Section of the State Bar of Texas on February 16, 2018. He also presented on the topic of "New Life for Bad Faith Damages?" To obtain a copy of the paper "Extra-Contractual Damages: Excess of Judgment (Stowers), Bad Faith, and Prompt Payment," click here.


On November 9, 2017, Randy Roach and former Appellate Court Justice Sharon McCally presented "Lessons Learned about Oral Argument from Teaching and Judging" to the Houston Bar Appellate Section.


Randy Roach was a panelist for the course entitled "Strategic Insurance Considerations for Corporate Policyholders" at the 14th Annual Advanced Insurance Law Course. To obtain a copy of the publication, please click here.


Bob Cunningham published an article entitled "McGinnis v. Phoenix Insurance Co.: Just What is the Texas Supreme Court Thinking" in the Fall 2016 issue of the Journal of Texas Insurance Law, the official publication of the Insurance Law Section of the State Bar of Texas. To obtain a copy of the article, click here.