Serving The Legal Needs Of
Dallas, Texas And Surrounding Counties
Watching movies and television shows about lawyers is an American pastime. Almost all one sees are the dramatic courtroom scenes or meetings with clients and witnesses. What is rarely seen in the movies and television is the behind the scenes work that goes into preparing a case.
Cases require legal research, which involves finding the prior court decisions, statutes and regulations that govern the case. There may be a compelling, heart wrenching story, but without supporting legal research, there may not be a case. Legal research often makes or breaks a case.
You have probably heard the term “legal brief.” The legal brief is a document prepared from the legal research that lawyers do. It is presented to the judge to show the judge that there are prior court decisions involving similar cases, or statutes, that stand behind the claims that are being made in a lawsuit. Briefs are the roadmaps that lawyers use to present the case. Briefs can be fifty pages or more in length in complex cases.
Additional important behind the scenes work includes:
- Finding the right expert and working with the expert to make sure his report meets the required legal standards. In most cases, expert testimony and expert reports are required. The United States Supreme Court in the Daubert opinion and the Texas Supreme Court in the Robinson opinion adopted the standards that must be met in order to be able to present expert testimony.
- Preparing questions for witnesses whose depositions will be taken. Witness deposition can last all day in some cases, and thorough preparation is critical essential for drawing out facts from key witnesses.
- Reviewing documents and medical records, which in many cases may be thousands of pages, that support the case, or that could be an obstacle in the case. Documents and records may make or break your case.
Another part of the case that one does not often see in the movies is what happens after:
A favorable jury verdict, or what happens if the judge dismisses the case. Many cases are appealed. The court of appeals reviews what happened in the trial court and determines whether the trial judge made the right decision, or if the jury verdict should stand, or be reversed or modified.
Billy McGill has spent time in courtrooms, and is comfortable there, for most of his career he has been the “behind the scenes” lawyer who spends the vast majority of his time doing the legal research, writing the briefs for trials and appeals, researching reviewing and analyzing documents and records, and preparing for depositions.
One of the events that often occurs in civil cases is that one side, usually the defendant, will file what is called a motion for summary judgment. A motion for summary judgment is an attempt to have the case dismissed before it gets to trial. It is a brief to the judge arguing that there is not enough evidence to support the other side’s case. I have successfully written briefs supporting or defending against motions for summary judgment in over 100 cases over my 22 years of practicing law, in both state courts and federal courts. A few recent examples include:
- Prepared response and brief, and argued it before the court, which that resulted in the defeat of a summary judgment motion filed by a major airline in a breach of contract case;
- Prepared response and brief, and argued it before the court, which resulted in the defeat of a summary judgment motion filed by a municipality in a wrongful death case;
- Prepared response and brief that resulted in the defeat of a summary judgment motion filed in a breach of fiduciary case between business partners;
- Prepared response and brief, and argued it before the court, which resulted in the defeat of a summary judgment motion filed any an insurance company in an insurance bad faith case, which helped facilitate a favorable settlement;
- Prepared a successful motion for summary judgment for a defendant in an employment discrimination case, which resulted in the dismissal of the plaintiff’s lawsuit;
- Prepared a response and brief that resulted in the defeat of a summary judgment motion by a retail store chain’s in a premises liability case, which helped facilitate a favorable settlement;
- Prepared brief in a successful motion to compel arbitration in Ohio in a case where a Texas resident had improperly sued an Ohio company in Texas;
- Prepared brief in support of a special appearance by a business that manufactured specialty cars, which resulted in the dismissal of the lawsuit against the client.
Billy McGill has written appeal briefs and successfully argued before courts of appeal in many cases over the past 22 years, in both state and federal courts. A few recent examples include:
- Prepared briefs and argued before court of appeals in a successful defeat of an appeal filed by the other side in a home construction case involving personal jurisdiction over two of the defendants (Frazier v. Tabacinic, 05-11-00286-CV; Dallas Court of Appeals, 2012);
- Prepared briefs in a successful appeal of an adverse judgment in a commercial litigation case. HP/Management Services, Inc. v. Guaranteed Nursing Staff, L.L.C., 01-05-00944-CV, 2007 WL 4099953 (Tex.App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 2007, no pet.).
- Prepared briefs and argued before the court of appeals in a successful appeal in an election contest challenging amendments to a city charter. Duncan-Hubert v. Mitchell, 310 S.W.3d 92 (Tex.App.-Dallas 2010, pet. denied)
- Prepared briefs and argued before the court of appeals in a successfully appeal of an adverse jury verdict in a commercial litigation case. Kitchen v. Frusher, 181 S.W.3d 467 (Tex.App. – Fort Worth 2005, no pet.)
He does a significant amount of work with other lawyers in cases on both state and federal courts, researching the law, preparing trial briefs, working on jury issues, post-trial submissions, and appellate court briefs.
Billy McGill looks forward to working with you on your case whether you are a Texas lawyer, an out-of-state lawyer, a Texas or out-of-state business, or an individual.
Case History Examples
City of Haltom City v. Aurell, 380 S.W.3d 839 (Tex.App.–Fort Worth,2012)
Tabacinic v. Frazier, 372 S.W.3d 658 (Tex.App.–Dallas,2012)
Best Auto v. Autohaus, LLC 339 S.W.3d 372 (Tex.App.–Dallas,2011)
Duncan-Hubert v. Mitchell, 310 S.W.3d 92 (Tex.App.–Dallas,2010)
Pierre v. Tilley, 2007 WL 2067757 (Tex.App.-Fort Worth,2007)
McLane v. McLane 2007 WL 174348 (Tex.App.-Fort Worth,2007)
Hensarling v. Covenant Health System, 2006 WL 507961 (Tex.App.-Amarillo,2006)
Kitchen v. Frusher 181 S.W.3d 467 (Tex.App.–Fort Worth,2005)
In re Estate of Lathem, 2005 WL 2036563) (Tex.App.-Eastland,2005)
Knowles v. City of Granbury, 953 S.W.2d 19 (Tex.App.–Fort Worth,1997)
Pierre v. Potomac Ins. Co. of Illinois 350 Fed.Appx. 944, 945, 2009 WL 3444790 (C.A.5 (Tex.),2009)
White v. Anselma, Inc. 1994 WL 1107301 (Tex.App.-Dallas,1994)
King v. Associated Air Center, Inc. 1991 WL 284483 (Tex.App.-Dallas,1992)
In re Cueva, 371 F.3d 232 (C.A.5 (Tex.),2004)
Osburn v. Denton County, 124 S.W.3d 289 (Tex.App.–Fort Worth,2003)
NCNB Texas Nat’l Bank v. Winston, 9:91-cv-00187-WMS (E.D. – Tex. 1993)
- Texas 1990
- All state courts in the State of Texas
- United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
- Southern Methodist University, J.D., 1990
Honors: Order of the Coif, Southwestern Law Journal Editor
- University of Texas at Arlington, B.A. Economics, 1978
Honors: Summa Cum Laude, Beta Gamma Sigma, Alpha Chi
Professional Associations and Memberships: