Clients praise Ms. Stokes as "an outstanding appellate lawyer and a fantastic writer who is knowledgeable, practical and easy to work with."
Chambers USA 2018
Macey Reasoner Stokes heads the firm's Appellate section, which U.S. News & World Report ranked Tier One in the National, Austin, Dallas and Houston categories in the 2018 and 2017 editions of Best Lawyers in America. Over her 25-year career, she has handled a wide variety of civil appeals and extraordinary proceedings in both state and federal court and has frequently provided appellate assistance at trial in complex, high-stakes litigation.
Ms. Stokes was named to Super Lawyers Top 100 Houston list for 2018, 2017, and 2016 and its Top 50 Women list for 2017 and 2016 Texas Lawyer's triennial "Winning Women" list in 2014, and Benchmark Litigation's Top 250 Women in Litigation in America list for 2018, as well as 2013-2016.
Ms. Stokes serves as President-elect and Secretary of the Bar Association of the Fifth Federal Circuit and is an Executive Committee Member, Trustee, and Past President of the Texas Supreme Court Historical Society, as well as a Past Chair of the Appellate Section of the State Bar of Texas.
She has been Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 1998. She served as a briefing attorney to Chief Justice Thomas R. Phillips of the Supreme Court of Texas from 1993 to 1994.
- Reversal and rendition of judgment for oil and gas lessee, holding that as a matter of law, horizontal well that lessee drilled in tight-shale formation complied with lease’s offset well clause, and rejecting attempts to inject additional requirements into clause’s plain language based on drainage principles applicable to vertical wells in conventional reservoirs (Murphy Exploration & Production Co.—USA v. Adams, __ S.W.3d __, No. 16-0505, 2018 WL 2449313 (Tex. June 1, 2018 ))
- Vacatur of jury’s award of damages for wrongful death based on discharge of claims in bankruptcy, and adoption of the “reasonably ascertainable” standard for measuring the constitutional adequacy of bankruptcy notices (Dahlin v. Lyondell Chem. Co., 881 F.3d 599 (8th Cir. 2018))
- Reversal and dismissal of Texas residents’ personal injury claims for lack of personal jurisdiction over foreign corporation with its principal place of business overseas (Chevron Bangladesh Block Twelve Ltd. v. Baldwin, No. 01-17-00303-CV, 2017 WL 6043686 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] Dec. 7, 2017, no pet.) (mem. op.))
- Holding in case of first impression that utility could not be held liable for personal injuries from accident at intersection with inoperable signals resulting from power outage, because drivers’ failure to comply with traffic laws was an intervening and superseding cause of the accident (Rampersad v. CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric, LLC, __554 S.W.3d (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2017, no pet.))
- Holding that purchaser of bankruptcy debtor’s assets was assigned environmental indemnity and defense obligations contained in oil and gas exchange agreement (Noble Energy, Inc. v. ConocoPhillips Co., 532 S.W.3d 771 (Tex. 2017), cert. denied, No. 17-1438, 2018 WL 1858882 (U.S. Oct. 1, 2018)))
- Affirmance of summary judgment holding that as a matter of law, oil and gas lessee did not breach lease’s offset well clause expressly incorporating reasonably prudent operator standard (Mzyk v. Murphy Exploration & Production Co., No. 04-15-00677-CV, 2017 WL 2797479 (Tex. App.—San Antonio June 28, 2017, no pet.) (mem. op.))
- Affirmance of take-nothing judgment on jury verdict on claims for fraudulent inducement of settlement agreement resolving dispute over royalty interests in Syrian oil and gas properties (Syrian American Oil Corp., S.A. v. Pecten Orient Co., 524 S.W.3d 350 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2017, no pet.))
- Affirmance of summary judgment for trustees and executors enforcing release against beneficiary’s breach of fiduciary, breach of contract, fraud, and other tort claims (Harrison v. Harrison Interests, Ltd., No. 14–15–00348–CV, 2017 WL 830504 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] Feb. 28, 2017, pet. denied) (mem. op.))
- Affirmance of dismissal of wrongful death claims alleging exposure to benzene through gasoline (Burst v. Shell Oil Co., 650 F. App’x 170 (5th Cir. May 23, 2016) (per curiam), cert. denied, No 16-241, 2016 WL 4479680 (Oct. 11, 2016))
- Affirmance of dismissal of private nuisance and negligence claims alleging injuries from odors, noises, and toxic emissions from oil and gas operations, in opinion holding that plaintiffs must present qualified expert testimony to support such claims (Cerny v. Marathon Oil Co., 480 S.W.3d 612 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2015, pet. denied))
- Reinstatement of summary judgment on defamation claims, in unanimous opinion holding that an absolute privilege protects a company’s statements made to the U.S. Department of Justice during an investigation of possible Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations (Shell Oil Co. v. Writt, 464 S.W.3d 650 (Tex. 2015))
- Affirmance of take-nothing judgment for premises owner on claims for damages for mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure, in unanimous opinion construing Chapter 95 of the Texas Civil Practices & Remedies Code as applying to claims for both premises defects and negligent acts of the property owner (Abutahoun v. Dow Chemical Co., 463 S.W.3d 42 (Tex. 2015))
- Judgment declaring that the Harris County Flood Control District must pay AT&T’s expenses to relocate its facilities from a bridge designated for demolition by the District’s flood control plan, in unanimous opinion construing Section 49.223 of the Texas Water Code for the first time (Southwestern Bell Telephone, L.P. d/b/a AT&T Texas v. Emmett, 459 S.W.3d 578 (Tex. 2015))
- Appellate member of trial team; mid-trial dismissal with prejudice of trade secret and interference claims seeking $1.37 billion from oil and gas company in February 2015 (Moncrief Oil Int’l, Inc. v. OAO Gazprom, 17th District Court of Tarrant County, Texas)
- Affirmance of dismissal of novel “odorant fade” claims against gas utility (Canas v. CenterPoint Energy Resources Corp.,418 S.W.3d 312 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2013, no pet.))
- Affirmance of dismissal of aesthetic nuisance claim against wind farm (Ladd v. Silver Star I Power Partners, L.L.C., No. 11-11-00188-CV, 2013 WL 3377290 (Tex. App.—Eastland May 16, 2013, pet. denied) (mem. op.))
- Appellate member of trial team; €765 million judgment on a jury verdict for breach of warranty and securities fraud in January 2013 (Liberty Media Corp. et al. v. Vivendi Universal, S.A., et al., U.S. Dist. Ct. S.D.N.Y.)
- Dismissal of inheritance claims that sought to vacate decades-old judgments distributing estates and upholding inter vivos gifts to charitable foundation (John G. and Marie Stella Kenedy Mem. Found. v. Fernandez, 315 S.W.3d 512 (Tex. 2010), cert. denied, 131 S. Ct. 1017 (Jan. 18, 2011))
- Reversal of judgment against oil and gas operator, resulting in holding that lease termination did not automatically terminate lessor’s participation in validly formed unit (Wagner & Brown, Ltd. v. Sheppard, 282 S.W.3d 419 (Tex. 2008))
- Issuance of writs of mandamus and prohibition ordering circuit court to dismiss putative class action against gas utility (CenterPoint Energy, Inc. v. Miller County Circuit Court, 372 Ark. 343 (Ark. 2008))
Awards & Community
Named one of the Top 250 Women in Litigation in America by Benchmark Litigation, 2013-2016, 2018
Recognized in Chambers USA, 2007-2018
Listed in The Best Lawyers in America (Woodward White, Inc.), Appellate Practice and Commercial Litigation, 2005-2018
Listed in Who's Who Legal, Litigation (Law Business Research Ltd.), 2015-2018, & Commercial Litigation, 2012-2014
Recognized as a Texas Super Lawyer, Appellate Law (Thomson Reuters), 2003-2018; named to Top 100 Houston list, 2016-2018 and Top 50 Women list 2016-17
Recognized as a Local Litigation Star-Texas, Benchmark Litigation, 2013-2018
Publications, Speeches & Presentations
Energy Litigation Client Alert
Speaker, Harris County Civil District Judges Conference