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Sarah Lonvick Joins Firm

GH&A welcomes Sarah as a new associate. Sarah received a B.S. in Political Science from Texas Christian University in 2013, and her J.D. from University of Houston Law Center in 2020.

Sarah will focus her practice on corporate, insurance, securities and regulatory services law. Sarah will be working primarily in the firm’s Galveston office.

Kathleen McStravick Joins Firm

GH&A welcomes Kathleen as a new associate. Kathleen received a B.S. in Forensic and Investigative Sciences from Texas A&M University in 2013, and a J.D. from St. Mary’s University School of Law in 2017.

Kathleen will focus her practice on corporate, insurance, securities and regulatory services law.  Prior to joining the firm, she practiced education law. Kathleen will be working primarily in the firm’s Galveston office.

Navigating Unfamiliar Waters – a Primer on Boating Accident Defense

Robert A. Davee, Of Counsel in the firm’s South Shore office, was a featured speaker during the 2020 Texas Association of Defense Counsel’s Annual meeting on September 25, 2020. Bob presented “Navigating Unfamiliar Waters – a Primer on Boating Accident Defense,” which is also available as an article. We invite you to reach out to Bob at bdavee@greerherz.com if you are interested in a obtaining a copy of his article.

Michel Joo is Sworn in to Texas Bar

The firm congratulates Michel Joo for being sworn in to the Texas Bar by the Honorable Patricia Grady, 212th District Court Judge, Galveston County, Texas. Prior to joining the firm, Michel practiced commercial litigation in New York. She will be working primarily in the firm’s Galveston office focusing her practice on litigation and insurance law.

Ready, set, go: Claims for recovery under the Prompt Payment Act may change the way Texas insurance appraisals operate.

On June 19, 2020, The Texas Supreme Court affirmed its pivotal opinion in Barbara Technologies Corporation v. State Farm Lloyds, 589 S.W.3d 806 (Tex. 2019), reh’g denied (Dec. 13, 2019). See Marchbanks v. LibertyIns. Corp., No. 18-0977, 2020 WL 3393472, at *2 (Tex. June 19, 2020).

In Barbara Technologies, State Farm insured a facility in San Antonio that sustained storm damage. State Farm investigated  Barbara Technologies’ claim, and ultimately denied it, concluding that the deductible exceeded the amount of loss. Barbara Technologies filed suit, alleging, among other things, damages under the Texas Prompt Payment of Claims Act (“PPCA”). Six months later, State Farm invoked the appraisal clause. Under the policy’s appraisal provision, each party hired an independent appraiser to assess the amount of loss, and if the appraisers disagreed, an independent umpire would establish the amount of loss. The parties’ appraisers inBarbara Technologies, however, agreed the loss was $195,345.63, not $3,153 as State Farm originally claimed. State Farm paid Barbara Technologies the full amount owed, less deductible and depreciation. Thereafter, Barbara Technologies amended its Petition to include only a claim for violating the PPCA. 

Disapproving of prior case law, the Barbara Technologies Court held that insurers may face liability under the PPCA if they are liable under the policy yet delayed payment beyond the applicable statutory deadline, regardless of use of the appraisal process. The Court’s analysis rested largely on USAA Texas Lloyds Company v. Menchaca, which provides that “the Insurance Code supplements the parties’ contractual rights and obligations by imposing procedural requirements” on claims handling. USAA Tex. Lloyds Co. v. Menchaca, 545 S.W.3d 479, 488 (Tex. 2018). Menchaca’s reasoninglaid the groundwork for theCourt to hold that payment of an appraisal award does not bar PPCA claims. This is a reversal from prior cases, which held “that full and timely payment of an appraisal award under the policy precludes an insured from recovering penalties under the [PPCA] as a matter of law.” See Garcia v. Lloyds, 514 S.W.3d 257, 275 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2016, pet. denied), abrogated by Barbara Techs., 589 S.W.3d at 819; see also In re Slavonic Mut. Fire Ins. Ass’n, 308 S.W.3d 556, 563-64 (Tex. App.— Houston [14th Dist.] 2010, orig. proceeding), abrogated by Barbara Techs., 589 S.W.3d at 819. In Ortiz v. State Farm Lloyds, a companion case to Barbara Technologies, the Court similarly held that payment of an appraisal award will not foreclose an insurer’s liability if an insured suffers an injury independent of the loss of benefits. Ortiz v. State Farm Lloyds, 589 S.W.3d 127, 135 (Tex. 2019), reh’g denied (Dec. 13, 2019).

Recently, the Court reaffirmed these holdings, in Marchbanks v. Liberty Insurance Corporation, which holds that an insurer’s payment of an appraisal award does not bar an insured’s claim for damages under the PPCA as a matter of law. See Marchbanks, 2020 WL 3393472, at *2.

Accordingly, insurers should be aware that invoking an appraisal provision does not insulate them from damages under the PPCA. Conversely, insureds should be aware that the PPCA can provide a statutory remedy that operates independently from a private appraisal clause. What additional claims for damages independent of the loss of policy benefits will be recognized is still unclear. However, ManchacaMarchbanks, Ortiz, and Barbara Technologies were all decided between 2018 and 2020.  Thus, it stands to reason that the Texas Supreme Court may be considering that question soon.

The Texas Supreme Court affirms the enforcement of an arbitration clause after a jury awards almost $600,000 in damages and attorneys’ fees.

On June 26, 2020, the Texas Supreme Court held that a party does not waive its right to appeal from a final judgment by choosing not to pursue an interlocutory appeal from an order denying a motion to compel arbitration. Bonsmara Nat. Beef Co., LLC v. Hart of Tex. Cattle Feeders, LLC, No. 19-0263, 2020 WL 3476770 (Tex. June 26, 2020).

In Bonsmara, a company entered into a cattle-feeding agreement that contained an arbitration clause. Id. at *2. After Bonsmara shipped over 12,500 cattle to Hart, the parties’ relationship broke down and Bonsmara sued Hart and its owners for breach of contract, negligence, civil conspiracy, unjust enrichment, and other tort claims. Id.  Hart moved to dismiss and compel arbitration. Id.  

The trial court denied the motion to compel arbitration, and instead of filing an interlocutory appeal, Hart sought mandamus relief to compel arbitration. Id. at *2-3. The court of appeals denied mandamus relief, explaining the opportunity to pursue an interlocutory appeal granted an adequate remedy that Hart failed to pursue. Id. at *3.

The parties ultimately went to trial and a jury rendered judgment for Bonsmara. Id. Hart appealed, arguing the trial court erred by failing to compel arbitration. Id. The appellate court agreed, holding the arbitration agreement was enforceable. Id. The Texas Supreme Court held the court of appeals had jurisdiction to review the order denying the motion to compel arbitration, even after a final judgment, because the order denying arbitration merged into the final judgment, which then gave the court of appeals jurisdiction to consider the challenge to the trial court’s order denying arbitration. Id. at *8-9. Hart did not lose its right to challenge the trial court’s order denying arbitration by not pursuing an interlocutory appeal of that order before trial. Id. at *9.  Thus, even though a jury already ruled on the merits and a final judgment had been rendered, the appellate court properly ordered the parties to arbitration. Id. at *12. 

Following Bonsmara, parties should take ensure that an arbitration clause does not foreclose trial, and obtain early rulings on this issue to avoid any additional time and expense litigating a case that may need to be resolved through arbitration.

Freddie Black Passes Away

It is our sad duty to inform you that Freddie Black, a partner with Greer, Herz & Adams, LLP, has passed away. We know you will join us in offering his family and friends our sincerest condolences during this sad time. We will all miss him as a work colleague and friend after his many years of loyal service to this firm.

Michel Joo Joins Firm

GH&A welcomes Michel Joo as a new associate. Michel received a B.A. from University of California, Berkeley in 2011, and a J.D. from UCLA School of Law in 2017, specializing in business law.

Michel will focus her practice on litigation and insurance law.  Prior to moving to Texas, she practiced commercial litigation in New York. Michel will be working primarily in the firm’s Galveston office.

GH&A’s Real Estate and Lending 2019 Report

In 2019, the firm's real estate and lending attorneys represented lenders in closing USD 1,360,650,797.52 of mortgage loans and other credit facilities involving a variety of types of properties including office buildings, shopping centers, parking garages, retail stores, hotels, multi-family residential and mixed use projects, development land,  and single family residential properties in Texas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah and Virginia.  These closings include purchase money loans, development loans, permanent financing, construction loans and participating mortgages.

In addition, in 2019, firm attorneys were actively involved in closing commercial sales and acquisitions valued at USD 77,875,000 and clients’ participating loans and equity investments in limited liability companies and limited partnerships in transactions involving investments of USD 68,293,916.

Members of the firm participating in these closings include Steve Schulz, Debra James, Darryl Levy, Tara Annweiler, Meredith Bates, and Tim Swanson.

Ryan Zapalac Joins Firm

GH&A welcomes Ryan Zapalac as a new associate. Ryan received a B.A., magna cum laude, in Philosophy and English, from the University of the Incarnate Word in 2014, and a J.D. from The University of Texas at Austin in 2017.

Ryan will focus his practice on commercial real estate.  His past practices include estate planning, entity formation and business planning, probate, and trust administration. In addition to English, Ryan is fluent in Russian, Spanish, and German, and he currently serves as a Director of the Russian Speaking Chamber of Commerce in Austin, Texas.  Ryan will be working primarily in the firm’s Bay Area Houston office.

New Partner Announced

The firm is happy to announce that Scott Andrews was named partner in the firm, effective January 1, 2020. Scott joined the firm as an associate in 2011. His practice is primarily focused on commercial, ad valorem tax, and intellectual property litigation.

Scott earned his Bachelors of Science in Biology from Texas State University, summa cum laude, in 2003; his Masters of Science in Forensic Genetics from the University of North Texas Health Science Center School of Biomedical Sciences in 2005; and his Doctor of Jurisprudence in 2008 from Texas Tech School of Law.

The firm is pleased to have Scott join as a partner and looks forward to many years of working with him and the service he will continue to provide to our clients.

GH&A represents client in nursing home sales

Attorneys from GH&A’s Corporate/Regulatory, Health Law, and Real Estate Practice Groups represented National Western Life Group, Inc. (“NWLGI”) in connection with the sale of skilled nursing facilities in Texas and Nevada owned by indirect subsidiaries of NWLGI. The primary GH&A attorneys facilitating these transactions were Sean Monticello, J.D. Epstein, and Ali Denson.

Melissa E. Palmer Joins Firm

GH&A welcomes Melissa E. Palmer as a new associate. Melissa received a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Houston in 1994, and a J.D., cum laude, from the University of Houston Law Center in 1997.

She will focus her practice on commercial litigation, insurance litigation, premise liability, products liability, consumer litigation, and personal injury litigation.  Melissa will be working primarily in the firm’s Galveston office.

Communities in Schools – Bay Area

GH&A collaborated with Communities in Schools - Bay Area (CIS) through CIS's adopt-a-school program for a March donation drive to collect items for at-risk students in Clear Creek ISD and Dickinson ISD. GH&A attorneys and staff pitched in to donate items such as personal hygiene products, blankets, snacks, and other necessary items students need in order to stay focused on their school work and, ultimately, their futures.

GH&A used this project as the first of many community give-back programs that will come out of its newly formed Community Outreach Committee.

GH&A is overjoyed at the opportunity to be involved locally and looks forward to giving back even more to the people and families in the various communities it serves.

Appointments to City of League City

GH&A is pleased to have several firm members appointed to positions with the City of League City:

  • Chelsi Honeycutt – Ethics Review Board, through 2020. Chelsi has been with the firm since July of 2018. She is an associate working primarily in the Bay Area Houston office.
Victoria S. Rutherford Joins Firm

GH&A welcomes Victoria Rutherford as a new associate. Victoria received a B.A., magna cum laude, from Santa Clara University in 2014, and a J.D., cum laude, from Southern Methodist University in 2018.

She will focus her practice on corporate transactional law and civil and commercial litigation.  Victoria will be working primarily in the firm’s Galveston office.

Ian Skewes, Firm Administrator

GH&A is happy to welcome its new Firm Administrator, Ian Skewes.  Ian brings to the firm ten years of experience working in law firm administration and supervision. Welcome, Ian!

Ali Denson Joins Firm

GH&A welcomes Ali Denson as a new associate. Ali received a B.S. in Exercise Science from The University of Texas at Austin in 2012, and a J.D., cum laude, from the University of Houston Law Center, in 2015.

She will focus her practice on corporate, insurance, securities, and regulatory services law. Ali’s past practice includes health care law.  She will be working primarily in the firm’s Galveston office.

Property Owner Not Covered for Guest’s Intentional Shooting

by Judith Aronson

August 2018

Judith Aronson, Senior Counsel with the firm, is a member of the editorial board of the IRMI Commercial General Liability Law Reporter. The editorial board is staffed through the American Bar Association Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section. In Judy’s article, “Property Owner Not Covered for Guest’s Intentional Shooting”, she discusses the significance of a recent ruling from the Idaho Supreme Court which takes a restrictive approach to insurance coverage for claims of negligent supervision of those who intentionally injure others. Click here to read the full article.

Tim Swanson Joins Firm

GH&A welcomes Tim Swanson as a new associate. Tim received a B.B.A. from Texas A&M University in 2005, and a J.D. from South Texas College of Law in 2009.

Prior to joining GH&A, Tim began his legal career as a judge advocate in the United States Marine Corps. Upon leaving active duty, he then served for four years in the Selected Marine Corps Reserve with 4th Assault Amphibian Battalion in Galveston, Texas.

Tim will focus his practice on banking and real estate. He will be working primarily in the firm’s Galveston office.

Chelsi Honeycutt Joins Firm

GH&A welcomes Chelsi Honeycutt as a new associate. Chelsi received a B.S. in Political Communication from The University of Texas at Austin in 2010, and a J.D., cum laude, from Texas Tech University School of Law in 2013.

Prior to joining GH&A, Chelsi served the citizens of Harris County as an Assistant District Attorney with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office for almost five years.

Chelsi will focus her practice on commercial and business litigation, insurance law, and employment law. She will be working primarily in the firm’s Bay Area Houston office.

Aronson selected by American Bar Association

June 2018

Greer, Herz & Adams, LLP congratulates Judith Aronson on being selected by the American Bar Association as a member of the Commercial General Liability Reporter Editorial Board for which she will be writing summaries of significant cases. The Commercial General Liability Reporter is a publication of the International Risk Management Institute.

Clay Heald Joins Firm

GH&A welcomes Clay Heald as a new associate. Clay received a B.S. with honors from Texas A&M University in 2012, and a J.D. from South Texas College of Law in 2016.

Clay will focus his practice on corporate, insurance, securities, and regulatory services law. He will be working primarily in the firm’s Galveston office.

Aronson admitted to Missouri

March 2018

Judith Aronson successfully completed the requirements to practice in the State of Missouri and is now licensed as a member of the Missouri Bar. Judy has been with the firm since January 2017 as Senior Counsel and works in Albany, New York.

GH&A successfully represents clients in mergers

The GH&A Corporate Practice Group recently provided legal support to American National Insurance Company in the mergers of several of its subsidiaries.

  • Effective September 1, 2017, Rural Agency and Brokerage, Inc. merged into American National Insurance Service Company.
  • Effective December 31, 2017, American National Life Holdings, Inc. merged into American National Property & Casualty Holdings, Inc. The surviving entity then changed its name to American National Holdings, Inc.
  • Effective January 1, 2018, American National Life Insurance Company of New York merged into Farm Family Life Insurance Company. The surviving entity then changed its name to American National Life Insurance Company of New York.

GH&A attorney supporting the merger was Kristin Barry under the supervision of partners, Greg Garrison, Sean Monticello, and Christopher Lamm.

GH&A’s Real Estate and Lending 2017 Report

February 2018

In 2017, the firm's real estate and lending attorneys represented lenders in closing USD 1,604,184,269.56 of mortgage loans and other credit facilities involving a variety of types of properties including office buildings, shopping centers, parking garages, retail stores, hotels , multi-family residential and mixed use projects, development land, and single family residential properties in Texas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah and Virginia. These closings include purchase money loans, development loans, permanent financing, construction loans and participating mortgages. In addition, in 2017, firm attorneys were actively involved in closing commercial sales and acquisitions valued at USD 263,102,174 and clients’ participating loans and equity investments in limited liability companies and limited partnerships in transactions involving investments of USD 46,072,229.

Members of the firm participating in these closings include Steve Schulz, Debra James, Darryl Levy, Tara Annweiler, and Meredith Bates.

John A. Buckley, Jr. Announces Retirement

After 34 years with Greer, Herz and Adams, LLP our good friend and valued partner, John A. Buckley, Jr., has retired from the firm effective December 31, 2017. We will all miss John and the many resources he made available to the attorneys and staff working here.

While attending The University of Texas Law School, John interned with the Texas Youth Council as it was implementing the changes Ordered by U.S. District Judge William Wayne Justice. He also interned at the Travis County Juvenile Defender’s Office. On graduating from Law School and getting his Texas license, John accepted the position of General Counsel for the Texas Civil Liberties Union. Several of his cases involved suing public entities who retaliated against public servants and individuals who voiced complaints. He served as lead or co-counsel on several writs of habeas corpus successfully challenging the death penalty.

John left the TCLU and took the position as Managing Attorney for the East Texas Legal Services Office in Texarkana. He got his Arkansas license and practiced on both sides of the Texas/Arkansas border. After leaving Legal Services John hung out his shingle in Texarkana, Arkansas and tried civil and criminal cases in both Texas and Arkansas State and Federal Courts. In 1984 he returned to his home town, Galveston, Texas and began his career at what was then called “Dibrell, Dibrell, Greer & Brown”, then “Dibrell & Greer”, then “Greer, Foutch, Herz & Adams” and now for over 20 years, “Greer Herz & Adams”.

During his career with GHA, John was involved in numerous civil trials. His trial experience provided him the qualifications to become Board Certified in Civil Trial work in which he has been certified for over 20 years. He has represented clients in commercial and residential construction defects, real property disputes and business transactions. He tried cases involving deceptive trade practices and insurance bad faith and fiduciary disputes. He has served as attorney ad litem in numerous Guardianship proceedings, often waiving his fee so as not to impose additional financial burdens on families who are dealing with emotionally draining issues. For the last ten years, he supervised the health care liability claims asserted against a nursing home chain.

He also represented clients in personal injury cases, involving car defects, electrocution, grain elevator conveyors and gas pipeline safety. He has had the opportunity of learning from such co-counsel as Joe Jamail, Broadus Spivey and Andy Mytelka. His clients are personal to him and he has valued their trust and friendship.

In addition to meeting the demands of an active Trial Practice, John is the loving husband of Diana Dettling Buckley and the proud father of John A. Buckley, II and Mary Elizabeth Buckley and step father of Joseph Cheadester Blue. Both John II and Mary followed in their father’s footsteps and went to law school. Both are licensed in Texas. John II practices law in Texas. Mary took the “me too” step and is licensed to practice law and lives in Arkansas. Joseph has followed the outdoorsman trait and lives and works in Seattle, Washington.

John is an active member of the Galveston County legal community. He served as Director and President of the Galveston County Bar Association and as chair of the State Bar Grievance Committee for Galveston County. He has been and continues to be an Adjunct Professor at the University of Houston School of Law where he has taught the PreTrial Litigation course for over 15 years. In addition he has been a frequent instructor at the NITA Deposition Course given in Houston.

John was active in the Boy Scouts of America serving as District Chairman, received the District Award of Merit and earned his Wood Badge the same year his son received his Eagle award. John is an avid outdoorsman. He is a life member of both the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the National Rifle Association.

John and Diana will continue to live in the Clear Lake Area with more frequent trips to Alberta Canada and Alexandria, Egypt where Diana‘s three children Nicole, James and Monique and their families live. John intends to write commentaries and memoirs about cases and courtroom experiences many of which he has experienced He will continue to take consults from attorneys and Of Counsel representations with Greer, Herz & Adams., LLP on a case by case basis.

You can contact John at johnbucklaw@gmail.com or 832 459 9775.

New Partner Announced

The firm is pleased to announce that David Booth was named partner in the firm, effective January 1, 2018.  David joined the firm as an Associate in 2011 and named Senior Counsel in 2015.  He concentrates his practice in complex consumer and commercial civil litigation, consumer fraud, insurance subrogation, post-judgment enforcement, and personal injury.

David earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Southwestern Louisiana in 1992 and his Doctor of Jurisprudence in 2001 from South Texas College of Law.

The firm is pleased to have David join as a partner and looks forward to many years of working with him and the service he will continue to provide to our clients.

Sarah Mohkamkar Joins Firm

GH&A welcomes Sarah Mohkamkar as a new associate.  Sarah received a B.A. with honors from The University of Texas at Austin in 2013, and a J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law in 2017.

Sarah will be working primarily in the firm’s Galveston office and her practice will be focused on commercial litigation.

Greer, Herz & Adams, LLP ranked in 2018 "Best Law Firms"

U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers, for the eighth consecutive year, announce the "Best Law Firms" rankings.

Greer, Herz & Adams, LLP has been ranked in the 2018 U.S. News – Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms" list regionally in 3 practice areas

Firms included in the 2018 "Best Law Firms" list are recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. Achieving a tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise.

The 2018 Edition of "Best Law Firms" includes rankings in 74 national practice areas and 122 metropolitan-based practice areas. One "Law Firm of the Year" is named in each of the 74 nationally ranked practice areas.

Ranked firms, presented in tiers, are listed on a national and/or metropolitan scale. Receiving a tier designation reflects the high level of respect a firm has earned among other leading lawyers and clients in the same communities and the same practice areas for their abilities, their professionalism and their integrity.

Greer, Herz & Adams, LLP received the following rankings in the 2018 U.S. News – Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms":

Regional Tier 1

  • Houston
    • Health Care Law

Regional Tier 2

  • Houston
    • Banking and Finance Law Commercial Litigation
3 Greer, Herz & Adams, LLP attorneys named to 2018 Best Lawyers® list

Greer, Herz & Adams, LLP is pleased to announce that 3 lawyers have been included in the 2018 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence.

Best Lawyers has published their list for over three decades, earning the respect of the profession, the media, and the public as the most reliable, unbiased source of legal referrals. Its first international list was published in 2006 and since then has grown to provide lists in over 75 countries.

"For more than a third of the century," says CEO Steven Naifeh, "Best Lawyers has been the gold standard of excellence in the legal profession." President Phil Greer adds, "We are extremely proud of that record and equally proud to acknowledge the accomplishments of these exceptional legal professionals."

Lawyers on The Best Lawyers in America list are divided by geographic region and practice areas. They are reviewed by their peers on the basis of professional expertise, and undergo an authentication process to make sure they are in current practice and in good standing.

Greer, Herz & Adams, LLP would like to congratulate the following attorneys named to 2018 The Best Lawyers in America list:

Meredith M. Bates - Banking and Finance Law
Jon David Epstein - Health Care Law
Andrew J. Mytelka - Commercial Litigation

GH&A on Texas Lawyer's Top 100

July 2017

In the July 2017 issue of the Texas Lawyer (“Midsize Texas Firms Growing in Texas Alongside National Firms”), Greer, Herz & Adams, LLP was included on The Texas Top 100 chart, which lists firms with the most lawyers in Texas. GH&A tied with two other Texas firms ranking #93 of 100, each employing 34 Texas lawyers.  In 2016, the lawyer head count for GH&A was 21 lawyers in the Galveston office and 13 lawyers in the League City office.

The Government’s Golden Rule: America’s Attempts to Control Health Care Payment

by J.D. Epstein

 J.D. Epstein, Of Counsel with the firm, a Professor and practitioner of Health Law for almost fifty years, was asked to author an article in the 50th Anniversary Edition of the American Health Lawyers Association Journal of Health & Life Sciences Law.  In J.D.’s article, “The Government’s Golden Rule: America’s Attempts to Control Health Care Payment”, he discusses 50 years of struggles to control health care costs against the system’s growth, fueled by the Medicare and Medicaid programs and the resulting demands of both patients and providers.  Click here to read the full article.

Texas Shipyard Dismissed from Louisiana Litigation

June 2017

New GH&A counsel Bob Davee secured the dismissal of a Texas shipyard from litigation filed in the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. That multi-party maritime law case involves claimed damages in excess of $2,000,000 stemming from alleged contamination of a cargo of crude oil which was loaded aboard one of two barges under tow from Texas to Mississippi. In a detailed opinion, Chief Judge Englehardt adopted the arguments advanced on behalf of the shipyard that it lacked sufficient contacts with Louisiana to be subject to the jurisdiction of the Federal District Court in that State.

Bob Davee Joins Firm

June 2017

GH&A welcomes Bob Davee to the firm as Of Counsel.  Bob brings to Greer, Herz & Adams over 30 years of experience handling major litigation and significant arbitrations involving millions of dollars in property damage and serious personal injury and wrongful death claims, as well as major insurance claims and business disputes arising from the maritime, petrochemical, electric utility and general construction trades. He has tried cases to verdict in both Federal and State Courts, representing both Defendants and Plaintiffs, and regularly works with select clients in the review and preparation of major contracts.

Bob received a B.A. from Texas Tech University in 1982 and a J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law in 1985.  He will be working primarily in the firm’s Bay Area Houston office and his practice will be focused on maritime casualty, personal injury, insurance and contract litigation; general personal injury and wrongful death litigation; general commercial litigation; and insurance and ad valorem tax litigation.

Cavanah named Outstanding Young Lawyer

Greer, Herz & Adams, LLP would like to congratulate Joe Cavanah for being named Outstanding Young Lawyer of Galveston County at the Galveston County Bar Association’s 2017 Annual Law Day Luncheon.  He has been a member of the GCBA since November of 2013.  Joe has been with the firm since August of 2013 working in Maritime Law, Securities Litigation, and Wills and Estates. 

GH&A’s Real Estate and Lending 2016 Report

In 2016, the firm's real estate and lending attorneys represented lenders in closing USD 2,302,888,427.52 of mortgage loans and other credit facilities involving a variety of types of properties including office buildings, shopping centers, parking garages, retail stores, hotels , multi-family residential and mixed use projects, development land,  and single family residential properties in Texas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin and Washington.  These closings include purchase money loans, development loans, permanent financing, construction loans and participating mortgages.  In addition, in 2016, firm attorneys closed commercial sales and acquisitions valued at USD 19,847,444 and clients’ participating loans and equity investments in limited liability companies and limited partnerships in transactions involving USD 153,674,567.

Members of the firm participating in these closings include Steve Schulz, Debra James, Darryl Levy, Tara Annweiler and Meredith Bates.

Judy Aronson joins firm as Senior Counsel

GH&A welcomes Judith Aronson as Senior Counsel to the firm. She received an A.B. from Cornell University, cum laude, in 1981, and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, cum laude, in 1984.  She is licensed to practice law in Texas and New York.  Judy also received an A.A.S. in nursing, with high honors, from The Belanger School of Nursing in 2015.  She focuses her practice on insurance regulatory, claims and operations matters. Judy will work in Albany, New York.

GH&A secures appellate win for Regent Care Center of the Woodlands, LP

GH&A attorney Angie Olalde successfully represented Regent Care Center of the Woodlands, LP in an appeal following a judgment and jury verdict in Regent Care’s favor. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided the trial court did not improperly exclude evidence at trial, and in its opinion, the appellate court gave a detailed discussion on relevancy and error preservation, including the requirements for laying the proper predicate when offering evidence at trial. Angie is board certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Civil Appellate Law.

Ugly Christmas Sweaters

From Chevy Chase to Jimmy Fallon, Ugly Christmas Sweaters have that vintage Christmas appeal!  Ridiculous designs break every known law of fashion – and that’s the point.  Firm employees recently held a friendly competition to see who could design the ugliest Christmas sweater.  The top three ugliest outfits were chosen by a vote of their co-workers and the winners were awarded prizes.  Plans for next year’s competition have already begun.

Greer, Herz & Adams, LLP ranked in 2017 "Best Law Firms"
November 1, 2016

U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers, for the seventh consecutive year, announce the "Best Law Firms" rankings.

Greer, Herz & Adams, LLP has been ranked in the 2017 U.S. News - Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms" list regionally in 3 practice areas.

Firms included in the 2017 "Best Law Firms" list are recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. Achieving a tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise. Ranked firms, presented in tiers, are listed on a national and/or metropolitan scale. Receiving a tier designation reflects the high level of respect a firm has earned among other leading lawyers and clients in the same communities and the same practice areas for their abilities, their professionalism and their integrity.

Greer, Herz & Adams, LLP received the following rankings in the 2017 U.S. News “Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms":

Metropolitan Tier 1 Houston

  • Health Care Law

Metropolitan Tier 2 Houston

  • Banking and Finance Law
  • Commercial Litigation
Kristin Barry joins firm
September 2016

GH&A welcomes Kristin Barry as a new associate. Kristin received a B.S. from the University of Central Florida in 2007, and a J.D. from South Texas College of Law, summa cum laude, in 2014. Kristin focuses her practice on corporate, insurance, securities, and regulatory services law.  She will be working primarily in the firm’s Galveston office.

AV Preeminent® 25th Anniversary for J.D. Epstein

Greer, Herz & Adams, LLP would like to congratulate J.D. Epstein for being rated AV Preeminent® for 25 years with Martindale-Hubbell, the highest possible peer review rating in legal ability and ethical standards.  The AV Preeminent® rating is the pinnacle of professional excellence earned through a strenuous Peer Review Rating process that is managed and maintained by one of the world’s most trusted legal resources.

Three Greer, Herz & Adams, LLP Attorneys Named to 2017 Best Lawyers® List

Greer, Herz & Adams, LLP is pleased to announce that three lawyers have been named to the 2017 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America, the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession.

Best Lawyers has published their list for over three decades, earning the respect of the profession, the media, and the public as the most reliable, unbiased source of legal referrals. Its first international list was published in 2006 and since then has grown to provide lists in over 65 countries.

"For more than a third of a century," says CEO Steven Naifeh, "Best Lawyers has been the gold standard of excellence in the legal profession." President Phil Greer adds, "We are extremely proud of that record and equally proud to acknowledge the accomplishments of these exceptional legal professionals."

Lawyers on The Best Lawyers in America list are divided by geographic region and practice areas. They are reviewed by their peers on the basis of professional expertise, and undergo an authentication process to make sure they are in current practice and in good standing. 

Greer, Herz & Adams, LLP would like to congratulate the following attorneys named to 2017 The Best Lawyers in America list:

Meredith M. Bates, Banking and Finance Law
Jon David Epstein, Health Care Law
Andrew J. Mytelka, Commercial Litigation

GH&A Receives a $3.6 Million FINRA Arbitration Award

Andrew Mytelka won a recent securities litigation lawsuit against Morgan Stanley.  Mytelka successfully received a 3.6 Million Dollar FINRA Arbitration Award against Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, LLC and advisor Kim Dee Isaacson on behalf of their client, H. Keith Melton.

A panel of three arbitrators found that adviser Kim Dee Isaacson had lied to his client, H. Keith Melton, about the investments and account balances in Melton's portfolio, according to a copy of the award.  The arbitrators ruled that Morgan Stanley was liable for failing to proper

GH&A Secures Victory for Somervell Central Appraisal District by upholding $2.3 Billion Appraisal of Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant

GH&A attorneys, Andrew Mytelka and Scott Andrews recently secured a victory for their client, Somervell Central Appraisal District (“Somervell”), by defending Somervell in an ad valorem tax dispute concerning the 2015 market value of the Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant (“CPNPP”). The trial court found that Somervell’s appraisal of CPNPP was not excessive and affirmed Somervell’s appraisal of CPNPP and its corresponding nuclear fuel at $2.3 billion. 

GH&A’s Real Estate and Lending 2015 Report

In 2015, the firm's real estate and lending attorneys represented lenders in closing USD 1,443,154,965.93 of mortgage loans and other credit facilities involving a variety of types of properties including office buildings, shopping centers, hotels , multi-family residential and mixed use projects, development land,  and single family residential properties in Texas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana,  Iowa,  Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland , Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah and Washington.  These closings include purchase money loans, development loans, permanent financing, construction loans and participating mortgages.  In addition, in 2015, firm attorneys closed commercial and residential sales and acquisitions valued at USD 206,389,418 and client's equity investments in limited liability companies and limited partnerships in transactions involving USD 99,943,144.

Members of the firm participating in these closings include Steve Schulz, Debbie James, Darryl Levy, Tara Annweiler, Meredith Bates, and Jeff Nielson.

New Partner Announced

The firm is pleased to announce that Angie Olalde was named partner in the firm, effective January 1, 2016.  Angie joined the firm as an Associate in 2006 and concentrates her practice in civil litigation and appellate law.

Angie is Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.  She earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of St. Thomas in 2000, magna cum laude, and her Doctor of Jurisprudence in 2005 from South Texas College of Law, magna cum laude.

The firm is pleased to have Angie join as a partner and looks forward to many years of working with her and the service she will continue to provide to our clients.

Marc Young Joins Firm

GH&A welcomes Marc D. Young as an associate attorney working primarily in the Galveston office. Marc’s practice will  be chiefly focused on commercial , ad valorem tax, and insurance litigation.

Prior to becoming a lawyer, Marc spent many years in public service. He has served as an Assistant Insurance Commissioner for the state of Oklahoma and worked on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. handling, among others, such issues as national security, trade, small business, veterans’ affairs, and sportsmen’s issues  for a United States Congressman.

Marc is an officer and active member of the Army National Guard. His service includes three mobilizations since 9/11, including two deployments to the Middle East in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and  Enduring Freedom.

Marc received a  B.A. from the University of Oklahoma and his J.D. from The University of Texas at Austin School of Law.

Greer, Herz & Adams, L.L.P. ranked in 2016 "Best Law Firms"

Galveston, TX, United States -- U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers, for the sixth consecutive year, announce the "Best Law Firms" rankings. This is the 5th year in a row that Greer, Herz & Adams, L.L.P. has received a “Best Law Firms” ranking. 

Greer, Herz & Adams, L.L.P. has been ranked in the 2016 U.S. News - Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms" list regionally in 2 practice areas.

Firms included in the 2016 "Best Law Firms” list are recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. Achieving a tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise.

The 2016 Edition of "Best Law Firms” includes rankings in 74 national practice areas and 122 metropolitan-based practice areas. One "Law Firm of the Year" is named in each of the 74 nationally ranked practice areas.

Ranked firms, presented in tiers, are listed on a national and/or metropolitan scale. Receiving a tier designation reflects the high level of respect a firm has earned among other leading lawyers and clients in the same communities and the same practice areas for their abilities, their professionalism and their integrity.

Greer, Herz & Adams, L.L.P. received the following rankings in the 2016 U.S. News – Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms":

  • Metropolitan Tier 1
    • Houston
      • Health Care Law
  • Metropolitan Tier 2
    • Houston
      • Commercial Litigation
Settlement Reached with Ernst & Young

Firm attorneys, Andrew Mytelka andDavid Le Blanc, represented American National Insurance Company and affiliates , and The Moody Foundation, in reaching a confidential settlement with Ernst & Young.  The Company and Foundation lost over $20 million due to Ernst & Young aiding Lehman Brothers in concealing material amounts of debt through the use of Repo 105 in the years leading up to what is considered the largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history.

Three Greer, Herz & Adams, L.L.P. Attorneys Named to 2016 Best Lawyers® in America List

Greer, Herz & Adams, L.L.P. is pleased to announce that three lawyers have been named to the 2016 Edition of Best Lawyers, the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession.

Best Lawyers has published their list for over three decades, earning the respect of the profession, the media, and the public as the most reliable, unbiased source of legal referrals. Its first international list was published in 2006 and since then has grown to provide lists in over 65 countries.

"Best Lawyers is the most effective tool in identifying critical legal expertise," said CEO Steven Naifeh. "Inclusion on this list shows that an attorney is respected by his or her peers for professional success."

Lawyers on the Best Lawyers in America list are divided by geographic region and practice areas. They are reviewed by their peers on the basis of professional expertise, and undergo an authentication process to make sure they are in current practice and in good standing.

Greer, Herz & Adams, L.L.P. would like to congratulate the following attorneys named to the 2016 Best Lawyers in America list:

  • Andrew J. Mytelka, Commercial Litigation
  • Meredith M. Bates, Banking and Finance Law
  • Jon David Epstein, Health Care Law
Appellate Success

Firm attorneys  John Buckley, Angie Olalde, and Scott Andrews achieved another appellate success when the Fourth Court of Appeals of Texas summarily denied a petition for writ of mandamus on May 26, 2015.  The appellate court’s order was entered in cause number 04-15-00198-CV, In re David B.T. Myrick, Jr. The mandamus petition challenged a trial court order to transfer venue; the trial court order was obtained by GH&A’s trial attorneys, John Buckley and Scott Andrews.

GH&A’s Real Estate and Lending 2014 Report

In 2014, the firm's real estate and lending attorneys represented lenders in closing USD 1,166,347,279 of mortgage loans and other credit facilities involving a variety of types of properties including development land, single family residential properties, office buildings, shopping centers and multi-family residential and mixed use projects in Texas, Arizona, California, Colorado, The District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia.  These closings include purchase money loans, development loans, permanent financing, construction loans and participating mortgages.  In addition, in 2014, firm attorneys closed commercial and residential sales and acquisitions valued at USD 92,661,186 and client's equity investments in limited liability companies and limited partnerships in transactions involving USD 251,508,863.

Members of the firm participating in these closings include Steve Schulz, Debbie James, Darry Levy, Tara Annweiler, and Meredith Bates.

Booth named Senior Counsel

January 2015

The firm would like to congratulate David Booth on being named as Senior Counsel to the firm.

David has been with the firm since 2011 and concentrates his practice on complex consumer and commercial litigation, including securities investor fraud, consumer fraud, and commercial loan and contract disputes.  He works primarily in the Bay Area Houston office.

Olalde becomes Board Certified in Appellate law

January 2015

The firm congratulates Angie Olalde on becoming Board Certified in Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.  Angie has been employed by the firm since 2006 and works in the firm’s Bay Area Houston office. Click here to read the press release.

Greer, Herz & Adams, L.L.P. ranked in 2015 "Best Law Firms"

Greer, Herz & Adams, L.L.P. has been ranked in the 2015 "Best Law Firms" list by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers® in the following areas:

Metropolitan Awards

  • Tier 1, Houston, Health Care Law
  • Tier 2, Houston, Commercial Litigation

Firms included in the 2015 "Best Law Firms” list are recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. Achieving a ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise.

The 2015 Edition of "Best Law Firms” includes rankings in 74 national practice areas and 120 metropolitan-based practice areas.

The U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” rankings, for the fifth consecutive year, are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in their field, and review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process. Clients and peers were asked to evaluate firms based on the following criteria: responsiveness, understanding of a business and its needs, cost-effectiveness, integrity and civility, as well as whether they would refer a matter to the firm and/or consider the firm a worthy competitor.

Epstein receives Distinguished Service Award for contributions to health law

GH&A congratulates J.D. Epstein on being the first recipient of the Distinguished Service Award at the annual Texas Health Law Conference. Co-sponsored by the Health Law Section of the Texas Bar Association and the Texas Hospital Association, the award honors his contributions to the practice of health law.

J.D. began his health law practice in the late sixties as in-house counsel with the National Blue Cross Association. He continued his practice by co-founding the health law boutique of Wood, Lucksinger and Epstein where he developed a national practice representing thousands of providers of healthcare.  His practice  continues to this date as Of Counsel to Greer, Herz & Adams, L.L.P.  In addition to his private practice, J.D. also taught Health Law at the University of Houston Law Center for over twenty years.

He was recognized by Chambers USA from 2004-2008 as an America’s Leading Business Lawyer in Healthcare Law, and from 1993 to present as a Best Lawyer in America for Healthcare Law.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October 2014

GH&A participated in Breast Cancer Awareness Month by having a “Pink Out” Day.  Employees were encouraged to wear pink to work to show their support.  In addition, employees were allowed to wear blue jeans for making a monetary donation.  GH&A is happy to announce that the employee donations totaled $170.00!  GH&A is matching that amount and sending a donation check in the amount of $340.00 to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.  Way to go, team!

Two Greer, Herz & Adams, L.L.P. Attorneys Named to 2015 Best Lawyers® in America List

August 2014

Greer, Herz & Adams, L.L.P. is pleased to announce that two lawyers have been named to the 2015 Edition of Best Lawyers, the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession.

Best Lawyers has published their list for over three decades, earning the respect of the profession, the media, and the public as the most reliable, unbiased source of legal referrals. Its first international list was published in 2006 and since then has grown to provide lists in over 65 countries.

Best Lawyers is the most effective tool in identifying critical legal expertise,” said President and Co-Founder Steven Naifeh. “Inclusion on this list shows that an attorney is respected by his or her peers for professional success.”

Lawyers on the Best Lawyers in America list are divided by geographic region and practice areas. They are reviewed by their peers on the basis of professional expertise, and undergo an authentication process to make sure they are in current practice and in good standing.

Greer, Herz & Adams, L.L.P. would like to congratulate the following attorneys named to the 2015 Best Lawyers in America list:

  • Andrew J. Mytelka, Commercial Litigation
  • Jon David Epstein, Health Care Law
$28 Million Refinance in Four States

May 2014

Partners Stephen G. Schulz and Tara B. Annweiler recently represented National Western Life Insurance Company in a $28 million refinance of 32 convenience store properties in four states – Texas, California, Georgia and Tennessee – owned by Ashita, LLC. Sammy Virani, a well-known nationwide owner of convenience store properties is the principal of Ashita, LLC. Charles D. (Sonny) Milos, Senior Vice President of National Western Life Insurance Company, was the lending officer in charge of the loan transaction on behalf of the lender.

Galveston County Food Back Food and Fund Drive Challenge

Galveston County Food Bank held a Food and Fund Drive Challenge during the month of May.  Members of the legal industry around Galveston County competed to raise the most money, food, and volunteer the most hours for the Galveston County Food Bank.  Greer, Herz and Adams rallied together to receive the highest overall combined total points and were presented with the Overall Platinum Award.  They were also presented the Cha-Ching Award for raising the largest amount of monetary donations and the Helping Hands Award for having the highest percentage of volunteer hours.  The firm is proud to support the Galveston County Food Bank’s mission to fight hunger throughout our community. 

Jennifer Nobley joins firm

April 2014

GH&A welcomes Jennifer Nobley as a new associate. Jennifer focuses her practice on commercial litigation.

Jennifer received a B.A. in History from the University of Houston, summa cum laude, in 2003, and a J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center in 2006.

Jennifer will be working primarily in the firm’s Galveston office.

Le Blanc rides for BP MS 150

April 2014

Congratulations to David Le Blanc for his participation in the 30th Annual BP MS 150. For 23 consecutive years, David has made the ride from Houston to Austin to help raise funds and awareness for multiple sclerosis. The MS 150 helps support MS research and provide programs and services that have a direct impact on the quality of life for those living with the disease.

March Military Madness

March 2014

During the month of March, employees in the firm’s Galveston office were encouraged to bring in personal and food items to send to military troops. Employees donated enough items to fill two large boxes that will be mailed overseas. The firm is thankful for all of our military troops who have served and are currently serving our country.

Cobb – Texas Rising Stars®

Meredith Cobb has been selected for inclusion in Texas Rising Stars® 2014 by Thomson Reuters, in the real estate practice area. The list will be published in the April 2014 issue of Texas Monthly. The Texas Rising Stars® represents the top 2.5 percent of Texas attorneys who are 40 years old or younger or those attorneys who have been practicing for 10 years or less. This is the seventh year Ms. Cobb has been selected for this honor. Ms. Cobb is a partner in the firm’s Bay Area Houston office.

GH&A’s Real Estate and Lending 2013 Report

January 2014

In 2013, the firm’s real estate and lending attorneys represented lenders in closing $1,291,131,502 of mortgage loans and other credit facilities involving a variety of types of properties including development land, single family residential properties, office buildings, shopping centers and multi-family residential and mixed use projects in Texas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia. These closings include purchase money loans, development loans, permanent financing, construction loans and participating mortgages. In addition, in 2013 firm attorneys closed commercial and residential sales and acquisitions valued at $151,338,598 and client’s equity investments in limited liability companies and limited partnerships in transactions involving $159,589,984.

Members of the firm participating in these closings include Stephen G. Schulz, Debra G. James, Darryl Levy, Tara Annweiler and Meredith Cobb.

Victory in Breach of Contract and Breach of Warranty Lawsuit

January 2014

GH&A recently obtained a victory for its client, South Shore Harbour Development, Ltd. (“SSHD”), by securing a final judgment against Atlantic-Meeco, Inc. (“Atlantic-Meeco”) in the amount of $1,448,115 together with attorneys’ fees and expenses totaling an additional $148,700. This lawsuit involved claims by SSHD against Atlantic-Meeco for breach of contract and breach of warranty arising out of the defendant’s failure to use materials specified under contract in the construction of the pier system in the South Shore Harbour Marina. In granting SSHD’s motion for summary judgment, the court awarded SSHD all damages incurred as a result of Atlantic-Meeco’s breach of contract in construction of the pier system.

The GH&A team that secured this victory for SSHD included Joe A.C. Fulcher, David Le Blanc and Angie Olalde.