Lauren Harris heads the firm’s appellate section. With nearly 30 years of experience as lead counsel in state and federal appellate courts, she prepares briefs and presents oral argument in appeals from judgments, interlocutory appeals, and in original proceedings.

Lauren has handled hundreds of appeals in a variety of areas, including energy litigation, commercial disputes, products liability, labor and employment, healthcare liability, professional liability, legal and medical malpractice, construction litigation, and toxic tort. She is frequently retained to assist clients with preservation of error strategies at the trial court level, including preparing dispositive motions, jury charges, post-verdict and post-judgment motions, and assisting at trial.

Lauren is Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She is the past chair of the Houston Bar Association Appellate Practice Section. She has also served as chair of the International Association of Defense Counsel Appellate Practice Committee, and the Amicus Curiae Committee. Ms. Harris has served on the State Bar of Texas' Appellate Section Council, and on the Board of Directors of the College of the State Bar of Texas.  She was selected for inclusion in Texas Super Lawyers in appellate law in 2003-2008, 2012-2019 and selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America.  BTI Consulting Group has also recognized her as a "Client Service All-Star," awarded annually to a select group of attorneys acknowledged by corporate counsel for client service excellence.

Honors & Recognitions

Texas Super Lawyers, Appellate Law, 2003-2008 and 2012-2019

Best Lawyers in America, 2019-2020

Recognized as a “Client Service All-Star,” BTI Consulting Group (acknowledged by corporate counsel for client service excellence)

  • Board Certified - Civil Appellate
  • Best Lawyers in America

Credentials

Education

J.D., Baylor University School of Law, 1990

Baylor Law Review

B.A., The University of Texas at Austin, Government, 1987

Admissions

Texas

United States Supreme Court

United States Court of Appeals Fifth and Tenth Circuit

United States District Court Northern, Southern, Western and Eastern Districts of Texas

Experience

Energy

  • Achieved favorable jurisdictional ruling on behalf of foreign energy companies in a suit alleging the companies tortiously interfered with a Texas entity’s attempt to purchase Colombian assets. Searcy v. Parex Resources, Inc., 496 S.W.3d 58 (Tex. 2016).
  • Represented energy company in appeal involving a mineral lease dispute and achieved an affirmance of the judgment for the client company. Orca Assets, G.P., LLC v. Burlington Resources Oil and Gas Co., L.P., 464 S.W.3d 403 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi-Edinburg 2015, pet. denied).
  • Represented energy company in competing oil company’s challenge to an adverse judgment relating to title to Louisiana assets, and obtained affirmance of the judgment and a decision that the firm’s client was entitled to recover attorneys’ fees.  Devon Energy Prod. Co., L.P. v. KCS Resources, LLC, 450 S.W.3d 203 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2014, pet. denied).
  • Defended oil and gas company in an appeal involving whether the company owed a contractor’s injured employee a duty to warn of the dangers of hydrogen sulfide gas, and obtained an affirmance of the judgment for the company.  Hammack v. Conoco, Inc., 902 S.W.2d 127 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 1995, writ denied).

Professional liability

  • Assisted in obtaining a reversal of a $2.5 million dollar judgment against an environmental consultant alleged to have breached his fiduciary duties.  Bigham v. Southeast Texas Environmental, LLC, 458 S.W.3d 650 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2015, no pet.).
  • Participated in the successful defense of a leading oil and gas consulting firm in an appeal by a purchaser of oil and gas properties alleging errors in reserve estimates. In re Capco Energy, Inc., 669 F.3d 274 (5th Cir. 2012).
  • Represented oil and gas consulting firm in investor’s appeal in which the trial court’s preclusion of the investor’s claims for fraud and related common law theories for alleged errors in oil reserve estimates was affirmed.  Highland Capital Management, L.P., v. Ryder Scott Co., 402 S.W.3d 719 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2012, no pet.).
  • Successfully defended law firm on appeal against legal malpractice claims asserted by condominium association based on the law firm’s alleged failure to sue a surety on a performance bond.  Augusta Court Co-Owners’ Ass’n v. Levin, Roth & Kasner, 971 S.W.2d 119 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 1998, pet. denied).

Labor and Employment

  • Obtained reversal of substantial judgment against former employee alleged to have used former employer’s trade secrets in a competing business.  Kellmann v. Workstation Integrations, Inc., 332 S.W.3d 679 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2010, no pet.).
  • Represented employee of temporary employment agency before the Texas Supreme Court and obtained reversal of judgment for agency’s client company on whose premises worker was injured. Garza v. Exel Logistics, Inc., 161 S.W.3d 473 (Tex. 2005).

Healthcare

  • Obtained a reversal of the trial court’s failure to dismiss a medical malpractice lawsuit against a Texas hospital based on the plaintiffs’ failure to timely serve expert reports, and an affirmance of the decision dismissing the suit against the treating physician.  Luke’s Episcopal Hosp. v. Poland, 288 S.W.3d 38 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2009, pet. denied); Poland v. Ott, 278 S.W.3d 39 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2008, pet. denied).
  • Assisted in appeal on behalf of health care provider involving whether provider could be liable for administering necessary life-sustaining medical care to a newborn infant contrary to the parents’ instructions. HCA, Inc. v. Miller, 36 S.W.3d 187 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2000), aff’d, 118 S.W.3d 758 (Tex. 2003).
  • Successfully defended health care provider in case involving whether hospital employee could recover for reaction to medication obtained from hospital pharmacy, or whether reaction to medication was extension of work-related injury, making recovery under the Workers’ Compensation Act the employee’s exclusive remedy.  Payne v. Galen Hosp. Corp., 4 S.W.3d 312 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 1999), aff’d, 28 S.W.3d 15 (Tex. 2000).
  • Achieved affirmance of a judgment for a hospital on the plaintiff’s claims for negligence in the peer review and credentialing process.  Mills v. Angel, 995 S.W.2d 262 (Tex. App.—Texarkana 1999, no pet.).
  • Represented health care facility in successful mandamus action involving the application of the hospital committee and peer review committee privileges. In re WHMC, 996 S.W.2d 409 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 1999, orig. proceeding).
  • Successfully represented hospital in appeal involving whether the hospital could be liable under an ostensible agency theory for injuries a minor child suffered during birth.  Valdez v. Pasadena Healthcare Management, Inc., 975 S.W.2d 43 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 1998, pet. denied).

Commercial Disputes

  • Represented a Texas hospital in a lease dispute with a former lessor and obtained affirmance of the summary judgment for the hospital.  Celtic Prop., L.L.C. v. Cleveland Regional Medical Center, L.P., No. 09-13-00464-CV, 2015 WL 4600661 (Tex. App.—Beaumont July 31, 2015, no pet.).
  • Obtained a reversal of a trial court’s determination that personal jurisdiction did not exist over a non-resident chemical company in Texas on behalf of a Texas manufacturer in its suit for breach of a licensing agreement and misappropriation of trade secrets.  Calabrian Corp. v. Alliance Specialty Chem., Inc., 418 S.W.3d 154 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2013, no pet.).
  • Achieved affirmance of a multi-million dollar judgment including punitive damages for clients whose property was damaged as a result of a natural gas pipeline explosion.  Seminole Pipeline Co. v. Broad Leaf Partners, Inc., 979 S.W.2d 730 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 1998, no pet.).

Construction

  • Represented construction company in overturning an adverse judgment for alleged defects in a hazardous waste containment facility where the plaintiff chemical company remediated the alleged defects prior to any inspection.Gulf Chem. & Metallurgical Corp. v. Miner Dederick Constr., LLP, 455 S.W.3d 164 (Tex. 2015) (per curiam).
  • Represented engineering and construction company in the successful defense of a building owner’s appeal asserting alleged construction defects.  South Texas College of Law v. KBR, Inc., 433 S.W.3d 86 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2014, pet. denied).
  • Achieved reversal of a trial court’s denial of arbitration in a remediation contractor’s dispute with a school district over the work performed. Cotton Commercial USA, Inc. v. Clear Creek Indep. Sch. Dist., 387 S.W.3d 99 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2012, no pet.).
  • Defended a contractor of a major high rise project in an appeal by a condominium association to recover for alleged construction defects, and obtained an affirmance of the judgment for the contractor.  Bayou Bend Council of Co-Owners v. Manhattan Constr. Co., 866 S.W.2d 740 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 1993, writ denied).

First Amendment and Anti-SLAPP

  • Accomplished a reversal of the lower court’s decision declining to dismiss tort claims against a non-profit company for its publication of its ratings of the plaintiff’s home repair business. Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan Houston, Inc. v. John Moore Services, Inc., 441 S.W.3d 345 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2013, pet. denied).
  • Secured a reversal of the lower court's denial of a motion to dismiss a second lawsuit by a home repair business for alleged poor ratings, and the client received its attorneys' fees and award of sanctions. Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan Houston, Inc. v. John Moore Services, Inc., 500 S.W.3d 26 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2016, pet. denied).

Family Law

  • Fuentes v. Zaragoza, No. 01-16-00251-CV, 2018 WL 2437120 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] May 31, 2018, no pet.) (achieved reversal of judgment against individual third party and corporate clients alleged to be alter egos of husband in divorce proceeding involving estate claimed to be worth $1 billion).
  • In re Fuentes, 530 S.W.3d 244 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2017, ong. proceeding) (mandamus relief granted to corporate entities and individual against whom wife in divorce proceeding sought to enforce judgment despite $25 million supersedeas bond).

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Affiliations

State Bar of Texas

Appellate Section Council, 2006-2009
Commission for Lawyer Discipline, Special Assistant Disciplinary Counsel, 1998-1999
College of the State Bar of Texas, Board of Directors, 2004-2010

International Association of Defense Counsel

Vice-Chair, Amicus Curiae Committee, Vice-Chair, 2018-2019
Amicus Curiae Committee, Chair, 2004-2010
Appellate Practice Committee, Chair, 2001-2003

Houston Bar Association, Appellate Practice Section, Chair, 2006-2007

American Bar Association, Council of Appellate Lawyers; Tort & Insurance Practice Section, Appellate Practice Committee, 1999-2001

Defense Research Institute (DRI), Member

Texas Association of Defense Counsel, Member

Bar Association of the Fifth Federal Circuit, Member

Texas Association of Civil Trial and Appellate Specialists, Member

Texas Bar Foundation, Sustaining Life Fellow

Houston Bar Foundation, Life Fellow

Houston Young Lawyers Foundation, Life Fellow

Phi Delta Phi Honorary Legal Fraternity, Member

Baylor Law Review Association, Life Member

Junior League of Houston, Board Member, 2000-2001