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Baker Botts Helps Secure Appellate Win for Texas Families of Transgender Youth


On March 29th, the Texas Court of Appeals, Third District, upheld injunctions in two related cases against the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) and DFPS Commissioner, barring them from implementing the agency’s rule expanding the definition of child abuse to presumptively treat the provision of gender-affirming care as child abuse.

The injunctions bar DFPS from implementing the rule by investigating the families of transgender youth based solely on allegations that they are providing gender-affirming care to their adolescents, or taking any action in open investigations other than to close them so long as DFPS can do so without making further contact with the families.

Last week’s ruling came in two lawsuits, Doe v. Abbott and PFLAG v. Abbott, filed by Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union Jon L. Stryker and Slobodan Randjelović LGBTQ & HIV Project, the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, the ACLU of Texas, and Baker Botts LLP.

The Baker Botts team representing plaintiffs is led by partner Derek McDonald and senior associates Maddy Dwertman and Brandt Thomas Roessler. The team working on the appeals also includes Nish Bhan, Nick Palmieri, John Ormiston, and Parul Aggarwal.

“We are grateful the court affirmed the district court’s injunctions protecting the families of transgender youth from harmful and unlawful DFPS investigations,” said Maddy Dwertman.  Brandt Thomas Roessler added, “We remain grateful to Lambda Legal and the ACLU for trusting us to defend transgender Texans and their families—and the opportunity to join in this fight is especially meaningful to me as a queer Texan lawyer.”

This engagement is part of Baker Botts’ Pride in Action initiative, which embodies the firm’s commitment to LGBTQ+ civil rights through pro bono representation. To learn more about Pride in Action, click here.

Baker Botts is an international law firm whose lawyers practice throughout a network of offices around the globe. Based on our experience and knowledge of our clients' industries, we are recognized as a leading firm in the energy, technology and life sciences sectors. Since 1840, we have provided creative and effective legal solutions for our clients while demonstrating an unrelenting commitment to excellence. For more information, please visit



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