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Yetter Coleman Wins Defense Of Rig Accident Malpractice Case In First Court of Appeals

The First Court of Appeals issued an opinion in favor of the defendants, including our client, Beck Redden, in a legal malpractice case. Beck Redden had been hired to do briefing and potential appellate work in a personal injury lawsuit filed by Arnold & Itkin on behalf of Mexican citizens arising out of a catastrophic rig explosion in the Bay of Campeche. The personal injury suit was filed in U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Texas and was dismissed on forum non conveniens grounds in favor of jurisdiction in Mexico. A failed attempt to file suit in Mexico, followed by a failed attempt to reinstate in federal court, led to a malpractice case in Harris County against Arnold & Itkin, their local counsel in the Eastern District, and Beck Redden.

In the opinion written by Justice Bland, the Court agreed that the claim was not ripe for adjudication because it depended on hypothetical events, namely, a rejection of a re-filed case in Mexico and a subsequent refusal of the federal court to reinstate. The court of appeals granted mandamus relief and dismissed our permissive appeal as moot.

Our team on the case is Reagan Simpson, who argued for all of the defendants, along with Dori Kornfeld Goldman, Wendie Childress, Rebecca Phelps, and Stephani Brannan.