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July 27, 2017 – Locke Lord has named Dallas Partner Cynthia Timms Chair of the Firm’s Appellate Practice Group. Timms, who is well-known throughout the state for her leadership on appellate issues, is former Chair of the Appellate Section of the State Bar of Texas and most recently served as the Deputy Chair of Locke Lord’s Appellate Practice Group.
This appointment is the latest reflection of Locke Lord’s ongoing commitment to diversity with five offices across the Firm run by women: Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Clements is one of only a handful of women leading AmLaw 100 Firms. Locke Lord has three women on its Firm-wide Executive Committee, and a woman is the Co-Chair of its Board of Directors, of which 10 members are women.
Timms has a wide range of experience in appellate matters, including oil and gas issues, state and federal class action proceedings, arbitration, intellectual property issues, punitive damages, and other civil business matters. She was the lead attorney of the team that secured a landmark ruling on the tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress in Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. v. Zeltwanger and was the lead writer on the briefing that procured the successful Texas Supreme Court decision in Transportation Insurance Co. v. Moriel, which significantly affected Texas’ approach to punitive damages. More recently, she successfully protected her clients’ multimillion-dollar patent judgment in the Federal Circuit in Retractable Technologies Inc. v. Becton Dickinson and Company.
“Cindy is an outstanding lawyer who has consistently demonstrated an unparalleled level of commitment and value to our clients and to our Firm,” said Jerry Clements, Chair of Locke Lord. “Her proven leadership and experience make her the ideal choice to lead and drive the continued growth and success of our talented appellate group.”
Timms is Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and served as a member of the committee that drafted and administered the Civil Appellate exam. As Chair of the Appellate Section of the State Bar of Texas, Timms led that group in lobbying the Federal Advisory Committee on Appellate Rules to enact more lenient restrictions on proposed word limits for federal appellate briefs. Timms serves as Treasurer for the Texas Supreme Court Historical Society, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to the collection and preservation of information, papers, photographs and significant artifacts relating to the Supreme Court and the appellate courts of Texas. She is also a member of the Firm’s Associate Orientation and Development Committee. Timms has been named to The Best Lawyers in America® list since 2013 and was recognized in the 2017 edition of Chambers USA.
Locke Lord’s appellate lawyers have a broad range of experience in appeals and other proceedings concerning: class actions, environmental cases, oil, gas and energy law, employment cases, administrative law (including electric and telecommunications areas), product liability cases, intellectual property matters, health care law, and lending and mortgage matters. The group has obtained substantial court-ordered reversals for clients in multimillion-dollar cases involving many diverse businesses and industries and a myriad of legal issues. Their efforts have led to judicial review of lower court decisions that not only had a positive local, regional and national impact on clients' businesses but also change the law on a wider scale. The practice group was recognized as one of the leading national appellate Firms in the U.S. News – Best Lawyers® Best Law Firms report in 2017.
Some recent and high-profile matters led by other Locke Lord appellate lawyers include:
- Appellate Partner Susan Kidwell, Environmental Partner Elizabeth Mack, and Tax Partner Geoff Polma represented Freestone Power Generation LLC, Freeport Energy Center LLC and Brazos Valley Energy LLC before a Texas appellate court that reversed an order of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) denying a pollution control property tax exemption for heat recovery steam generators (HRSGs), which are used in electrical generating plants. The appellate decision, in favor of Locke Lord’s clients, established that HRSGs are pollution control equipment and are entitled to at least a partial property tax exemption.
- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed judgment of noninfringement for Locke Lord client Zydus Pharmaceuticals (USA) Inc., rejecting Shire Development LLC’s effort to prevent Zydus from bringing to market a generic version of the drug LIALDA® (mesalamine). Judge Kent Jordan, a Third Circuit appellate judge sitting by designation in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, previously ruled that Zydus’ proposed generic product would not infringe Shire’s U.S. Patent No. 6,773,720. LIALDA® is the first and only FDA-approved once-daily oral formulation of mesalamine and is indicated for the induction of remission of active, mild-to-moderate ulcerative colitis and for the maintenance of remission of ulcerative colitis. LIALDA® is also the number one prescribed mesalamine product in the United States. Shire has reported annual global sales of approximately $800 million for this product (which is sold under the name MEZAVANT outside the United States). The Locke Lord team representing Zydus included Michael J. Gaertner (argued), Hugh S. Balsam, James T. Peterka, David B. Abramowitz, Andy J. Miller, Wasim K. Bleibel, Timothy F. Peterson and Andrea L. Wayda.
- Mike Hatchell and Susan Kidwell represented BP America Production Co. as the company received a favorable judgment in the Texas Supreme Court in a dispute over termination of a natural gas lease. Red Deer Resources LLC alleged that BP’s lease had terminated and should be canceled because it was not capable of paying production when it was shut in, as Texas law requires in a shut-in situation. Production from the well had ceased a few weeks before the well was turned off and shut-in royalty timely paid. Red Deer based its claim on the day the well was turned off, although gas had not been sold or used from the well for several weeks. In a unanimous opinion, the court found that Red Deer failed to submit the controlling issue — i.e., whether the well was capable of producing in paying quantities when the last gas was used or sold on the lease, not when the well was turned off. Thus, the Court held that the jury charge would not support termination and it rendered judgment that Red Deer take nothing.
- Chris Dove represented The Beer Alliance of Texas as an amicus curiae in a long-awaited case regarding the “tied house” rules under the Alcoholic Beverage Code. In Cadena Comercial USA Corp. v. Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, the question was whether a company — which operated a string of convenience stores — could get a permit as a retailer of beer if it also owned (indirectly through a series of corporate stock ownerships) an “interest” in a brewery. In a very detailed analysis of the word “interest” and other words in the statute, and construing that term broadly to protect that statutory policy, the Court held that the requested permit would violate “tied house” rules that confine parties to only one of the three tiers — brewer, distributor or retailer. Dove prepared an impressive amicus curiae brief for The Beer Alliance that anticipated the Court’s analysis.
About Locke Lord LLP
Locke Lord is a full-service, international law firm of 20 offices designed to meet clients’ needs around the world. The Firm has a history that spans more than 130 years and is a worldwide leader in the middle market sector. Locke Lord advises clients across a broad spectrum of industries including energy, financial services, fund formation, health care, insurance and reinsurance, private equity and venture capital, public finance, real estate, and technology, media and telecommunications, while providing a wealth of experience through its complex litigation, intellectual property, tax, regulatory and transactional teams.