April L. Farris

713.632.8076 | Houston, Texas
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Professional Summary

April represents clients in high-stakes matters including government law, breach of contract, partnership issues, product and premises defects, and oil and gas law and is committed to achieving success for her clients at all stages of the litigation and appellate process. She has argued and won cases in the Fifth Circuit, the Sixth Circuit, and the Texas Third Court of Appeals.

April brings to her client representation the skills and experience that she honed as an assistant solicitor general for the State of Texas. Her agency clients included the Texas Secretary of State, the University of Texas at Austin, the Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners, and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. This diverse client roster enabled her to litigate appeals on a broad array of topics including administrative law, tax law, election law, immigration law, habeas corpus, and constitutional law. She also represented the State as supporting counsel in certain large-team, high-profile matters before the Fifth Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court.

April currently serves a three-year term on the Council of the Texas State Bar Appellate Section. She is also a co-chair of the Appellate Section’s Government Appellate Lawyers committee.   She is admitted to practice in Texas, the U.S. District Courts of Texas, the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Fifth, Sixth, Ninth, and Federal circuits, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Representative Experience
  • DTM Assets, LP et al. v. FDNM, Inc. Procured settlement in favor of plaintiff-appellee client for 99.9% of the supersedeas bond amount on the eve of case submission. Briefing demonstrated trial-stage waiver of appellant's primary appellate point.
  • Phillips v. Pneumo Abex Achieved affirmation of defense verdict in Fourth Circuit mesothelioma appeal.
  • In re Valero Ref.  Successful mandamus actions on behalf of client Valero Refining. Actions involved discovery disputes with property appraisal districts that were seeking production of Valero’s sensitive financial information in order to appraise refinery properties using the income method of appraisal.
  • Fulcrum Credit Partners LLC v. Strategic Capital Resources, Inc.  Argued jury charge and drafted key evidentiary motions in federal court trial for breach of contract resulting from a collapsed sale for bankruptcy claims. Trial culminated in an award of nearly $2 million for plaintiff client. Award was named one of the top 15 Texas contract verdicts for 2011 by VerdictSearch.
  • PEMEX Exploracion y Produccion v. Murphy Energy Corp.  Dismissal of federal suit brought by Mexico's state-owned petroleum company against client ConocoPhillips on summary judgment. Case involved claims that Mexican drug cartels were stealing condensate from Pemex and selling it through various intermediaries into the United States.
  • McCune v. Graco Childrens’ Prods.  Responsible for defense-side error preservation, jury charge composition, and drafting Rule 50(a) motions in two-week federal trial on plaintiff's $25-million product liability claims. Jury found no liability.
Professional Honors & Affiliations
  • "Texas Rising Star," by Thomson Reuters' Super Lawyers, 2017-2018
  • Council Member: Texas State Bar Appellate Section, 2016-2019
  • Committee Chair: Government Appellate Lawyers’ Committee, State Bar of Texas Appellate Section, 2014-2017
  • Board Member:  Abilene Christian University Alumni Bar Association, 2016
  • Director: Civil Appellate Practice 101 Annual Course, 2016
  • Fellow:  Texas Bar Foundation
Presentations & Publications
  • "State Anti-SLAPP In Federal Court: An Update From Texas," Law360, November 1, 2018 (co-author)
  • "The Texas Citizens Participation Act: What Every Lawyer Must Know," South Texas Association of Corporate Counsel, Oil & Gas Chapter, 2018 (co-presenter)
  • Gregory S. Coleman Memorial Lecture, Federalist Society Texas Chapters Conference, 2018 (presenter)
  • "Suits Against The Government," State Bar of Texas Advanced Civil Appellate Practice, 2018 (co-author and co-presenter)
  • "Process and Content: Federal Judicial Appointments and Independence of the Judicial Branch," 2018 (moderator)
  • "Model Rule 8.4(g), The ABA’s New Speech Code for Lawyers," Harvard Law School Federalist Society, 2018 (presenter)
  • "Fighting for the Driver's Seat: Who Should Regulate the Rideshare Industry?" Austin Federalist Society (presenter), 2017
  • "The Charge Conference From The Defendant's Perspective,"
    The Advocate, State Bar of Texas Appellate Section, Fall 2016
  • "Sovereign Immunity: The Texas Common Law Doctrine, Its Origins, and Its Modern Applications," Texas Advanced Civil Appellate Practice Course (author and presenter), 2015
  • "The D.C. Circuit Affirms EPA’s Regulation of Greenhouse Gases," Coalition for Responsible Regulation v. EPA, The Advocate, Winter 2012
  • "The ‘Natural’ Aversion: The FDA’s Reluctance to Define a Leading Food-Industry Marketing Claim, and the Pressing Need For a Workable Rule," 65 Food & Drug L.J. 403, 2010, Winner of Food & Drug Law Institute’s H. Thomas Austern Memorial Writing Competition
Education & Professional Background
  • Harvard Law School, J.D. cum laude, 2009 (Managing Editor, Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy)
  • Abilene Christian University, B.S., summa cum laude, 2006 (Presidential Scholarship, ACU Board of Trustees Award)
  • Law Clerk to the Hon. Jennifer Walker Elrod, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, 2009-2010
  • Admitted to practice: Texas, 2009