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Law Office of William J. Dyer

Attorney-at-Law ♦ Counselor ♦ Trial Advocate

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Reported appeals
During my judicial clerkship, I read hundreds of appellate briefs, I watched dozens of oral arguments, and I drafted and helped Judge King revise several dozen Fifth Circuit appellate decisions. Based on that experience and on the appeals I've worked on since — several of which I've listed below, with links to the appellate opinions — I'm comfortable handling most appellate matters:





  • Prudential Insurance Co. v. Brown, 1990 WL 113682 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 1990, writ denied) (not designated for publication), cert. denied, 502 U.S. 818 (1991).



  • DeLuca v. Munzel, 673 S.W.2d 373 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 1984, writ ref'd n.r.e.).




In the Aetna and Lowry appeals, I was lead counsel for my own client, but lawyers for one or another of my client's codefendants took the lead in briefing and appeared at oral arguments on behalf of all of the defendants. Otherwise, I was lead appellate counsel in all of these appeals, and in all but the McAllen Copy Data case, if oral argument was permitted, I did that argument.


I have also participated substantially in many other appeals in which my name nowhere appears:


  • For example, after the Texas Supreme Court issued an initial opinion setting precedents under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act that were disastrous for all Texas homebuilders (including my client General Homes Corp.), I "ghost-wrote" a motion for rehearing for the losing homebuilder's lawyer. The strategy worked: The Texas Supreme Court granted the motion and re-wrote its opinion in Melody Home Manufacturing Co. v. Barnes, 741 S.W.2d 349 (Tex. 1987), to substantially limit its precedential effect on the homebuilding industry.


  • Similarly, as a senior associate on the Baker Botts team representing T. Boone Pickens' Mesa Petroleum and its partners, I wrote roughly half of the trial court and Ninth Circuit briefs in Newmont Mining Corp. v. Pickens, 831 F.2d 1448 (9th Cir. 1987), which established the legality under the Williams Act of Drexel Burnam Lambert's "highly confident" letters as a means of tender offer financing.

  • By contrast, in Born v. Virginia City Dance Hall & Saloon, 857 S.W.2d 951 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 1993, writ denied), my partner who'd tried that case with me, Debbie McWilliams, did most of the heavy lifting on the appeal; I contributed only a few paragraphs to our brief, along with moral support.

  • And in one pro bono appeal in which I was listed as lead counsel, Mann v. Smith, 796 F.2d 79 (5th Cir. 1986), I was mostly supervising a not-yet-licensed junior associate. We won in the Fifth Circuit, and the Supreme Court initially granted the State of Texas' petition for a writ of certiorari; once licensed, my young colleague got to present oral argument there, but he did such a good job that the Supreme Court then dismissed the writ as having been "improvidently granted."

As with my list of representative clients and matters, past results in these appeals cannot predict future results. For additional important disclaimers, click here.