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.

Honors & Recognitions

Listed, Texas Super Lawyers, Appellate Law, 2003-2008 and 2012-2018

Listed, Best Lawyers in America, 2019

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

  • Board Certified - Civil Appellate

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

  • Foreign energy companies in achieving a favorable jurisdictional ruling 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).
  • An energy company in an appeal involving a mineral lease dispute, achieved an affirmance of the judgment for the client. 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).
  • An energy company in a competing oil company’s challenge to an adverse judgment relating to title to Louisiana assets, obtaining affirmance of the judgment and a decision that the 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).
  • An oil and gas company in defending an appeal involving whether the company owed a contractor’s injured employee a duty to warn of the dangers of hydrogen sulfide gas, obtaining 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

  • An environmental consultant in obtaining reversal of a $2.5 million-dollar judgment for alleged breach of fiduciary duties. Bigham v. Southeast Texas Environmental, LLC, 458 S.W.3d 650 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2015, no pet.).
  • A leading oil and gas consulting firm in defense of 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).
  • An oil and gas consulting firm in an 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.).
  • A law firm in defending an appeal regarding legal malpractice claims asserted by a 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

  • A former employee in obtaining reversal of substantial judgment against allegations the employee used a 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.).
  • An employee of a temporary employment agency before the Texas Supreme Court, obtaining reversal of a judgment for the agency’s client company on whose premises the worker was injured. Garza v. Exel Logistics, Inc., 161 S.W.3d 473 (Tex. 2005).

Healthcare

  • A Texas hospital in obtaining a reversal of the trial court’s failure to dismiss a medical malpractice lawsuit 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).
  • A health care provider in an appeal involving whether the 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).
  • A health care provider in successful defense in a case involving whether a hospital employee could recover for a reaction to medication obtained from hospital’s pharmacy, or whether the employee’s reaction to medication was an extension of a 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).
  • A hospital in achieving affirmance of a judgment 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.).
  • A health care facility in a 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).
  • A hospital in a successful 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

  • A Texas hospital in a lease dispute with a former lessor, obtaining 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.).
  • A Texas manufacturer in obtaining reversal of a trial court’s determination in a suit for breach of a licensing agreement and misappropriation of trade secrets. The trial court had determined that personal jurisdiction did not exist over a non-resident chemical company in Texas. Calabrian Corp. v. Alliance Specialty Chem., Inc., 418 S.W.3d 154 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2013, no pet.).
  • Property owners whose property was damaged as a result of a natural gas pipeline explosion, achieving affirmance of a multi-million-dollar judgment including punitive damages. Seminole Pipeline Co. v. Broad Leaf Partners, Inc., 979 S.W.2d 730 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 1998, no pet.).

Construction

  • A 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).
  • An engineering and construction company in successfully defending against 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.).
  • The contractor for a major high-rise project in an appeal by a condominium association to recover for alleged construction defects, obtaining 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

  • A nonprofit company in achieving reversal of a lower court’s decision declining to dismiss tort claims against it for publishing 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).
  • A nonprofit company in securing reversal of a lower court's denial of a motion to dismiss a second lawsuit by a home repair business for alleged poor ratings by the nonprofit. The client received its attorneys’ fees and an 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

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

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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-present
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