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, LLP 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.)