Hired just three weeks before oral argument, Jeff Levinger convinced the Dallas Court of Appeals to affirm an arbitration award in favor of the law firm of Fitzpatrick Hagood Smith and Uhl—even though the firm had not previously filed an appellees’ brief. Based on Levinger’s oral argument, the appellate court held that the firm’s former client, who was trying to avoid a $770,000 arbitration award, did not timely challenge the award and was not entitled to invoke the doctrines of equitable tolling or estoppel to excuse the untimely challenge. The court also accepted Levinger’s stipulation that the former client was entitled to a credit for the amount of a settlement the firm had previously received from a guarantor of the fee charged to the client, thus avoiding a remand and further litigation. As a side note, Levinger had assisted the law firm in the early stages of the arbitration by briefing and successfully arguing a response to the former client’s summary-judgment motion. Fisher v. Daniel K. Hagood P.C. and Fitzpatrick Hagood Smith and Uhl, Inc., No. 05-19-00106-CV, 2019 WL 6711675 (Tex. App.—Dallas Dec. 10, 2019, no pet.).
Court of Appeals Affirms Arbitration Award in Favor of Law Firm Despite Absence of Appellee’s Brief