UH Law Center's Krost Hall turns courtroom Sept. 21 when appeals court sits for oral arguments 

Sept. 18, 2018 — A three-judge panel of the Texas 14th Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments on both a civil and criminal case when it convenes Sept. 21 at the University of Houston Law Center.

Justices Marc Brown, Brett Busby and Kevin Jewell will hear arguments in the Law Center's Krost Hall, and then answer questions from students. Brown '87 and Jewell '93 are Law Center alumni.

"We are delighted that the 14th Court of Appeals will be in residence at the Law Center and hold oral arguments," said Dean Leonard M. Baynes. "During the past four years, the Law Center has developed stronger relationships with the bench and bar. The Texas Supreme Court held oral arguments, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor visited and lectured, and several other prominent jurists from across the country visited and lectured through the Justice Ruby Kless Sondock Jurist-in-Residence program.

"These visits inspire our students to seek out careers as law clerks and ultimately in the judiciary. It also allows our students to witness excellent appellate lawyering."

The civil matter to be heard by the court concerns two related appeals of a summary judgment and jury verdict involving settlement of a mass-tort lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company.  In both cases, the plaintiffs are former clients of a lawyer and his law firm.  Plaintiffs in the first case claim the firm improperly deducted certain expenses from the amount of their settlement. The trial court granted summary judgment in the firm's favor.  In the related case, six of those plaintiffs claimed breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract. A jury found in favor of the law firm.

The criminal appeal involves the legality of a search warrant used to determine the blood-alcohol level of a driver involved in a fatal accident. The man pleaded guilty to a felony charge of intoxication manslaughter, but later appealed. He contends the affidavit used by police to show probable cause and obtain the warrant was misleading because it failed to inform the magistrate that blood was drawn twice previously at a hospital without a warrant. The state contends there was no attempt to mislead the magistrate because the previous drawing of blood was irrelevant to establishing probable cause for the warrant.

The court proceedings are open to the public. No large bags or backpacks will be allowed into Krost Hall.

Doors open at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 21. Oral arguments on the civil appeals are scheduled from 10:00 to 10:30 a.m. followed by arguments on the criminal case from 10:45 to 11:15 a.m. The Q&A session with the justices is scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Visit here for further information about the 14th Court of Appeals and to reserve a seat.

Media contacts: Carrie Anna Criado, UH Law Center Assistant Dean of Communications and Marketing, 713-743-2184, cacriado@central.uh.edu; Elena Hawthorne, Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing, 713-743-1125, ehawthor@central.uh.edu; John T. Kling, Communications Manager, 713-743-8298, jtkling@central.uh.edu; John Brannen, Senior Writer, 713-743-3055, jtbranne@central.uh.edu; and Lisa Lane, Program Manager II, 713-743-2259, lmlane@central.uh.edu

About the University of Houston

The University of Houston is a Carnegie-designated Tier One public research university recognized by The Princeton Review as one of the nation's best colleges for undergraduate education. UH serves the globally competitive Houston and Gulf Coast Region by providing world-class faculty, experiential learning and strategic industry partnerships. Located in the nation's fourth-largest city, UH serves more than 45,000 students in the most ethnically and culturally diverse region in the country.

About the University of Houston Law Center

The University of Houston Law Center (UHLC) is a dynamic, top tier law school located in the nation's 4th largest city. UHLC's Health Law, Intellectual Property Law, and Part-time programs rank in the U.S. News Top 10. It awards Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) and Master of Laws (LL.M.) degrees, through its academic branch, the College of Law. The Law Center is more than just a law school. It is a powerful hub of intellectual activity with more than 11 centers and institutes which fuel its educational mission and national reputation. UHLC is fully accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools.

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