Opinions by Other Justices of the First
Court of Appeals,  sitting in Houston,
Chief Justice Sherry Radack
Justice Tim Taft
Justice Sam Nuchia
Justice Terry Jennings
Justice Evelyn Keyes
Justice Elsa Alcala  
Justice George C. Hanks, Jr.
Justice Laura C. Higley
Justice Jane Bland
Houston Courts of Appeals
Houston Civil Trial Courts and Judges

2007 Opinions in Civil Appeals Authored by Justice Laura Higley

Green v. Fort Bend ISD (Tex.App. - Houston [1st Dist.] Dec. 20, 2007)(Higley)(employment law,
workers comp appeal, judicial review suit)
AFFIRM TC JUDGMENT: Opinion by Justice Higley
Before Justices Taft, Hanks and Higley
01-06-01157-CV Robert F. Green v. Fort Bend Independent School District
Appeal from 240th District Court of Fort Bend County (Judge Thomas R. Culver, III)

Schott v. Knight (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Dec. 20, 2007)(Higley)(PI-auto, zero mental anguish
damages
AFFIRM TC JUDGMENT: Opinion by Justice Higley
Before Justices Taft, Hanks and Higley
01-06-00727-CV Kasey Schott v. Hubert Knight, G-P Development, Ltd. d/b/a Service Park, Central
Parking Corporation, and Allright Parking System, Inc. a/k/a Central Parking System of Texas, Inc.
Appeal from 270th District Court of Harris County (
Judge Brent Gamble)

Bibai v. Nguyen (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Nov. 15, 2007)(Higley)(PI auto, evidence, proof of
negligence, damages)
AFFIRM TC JUDGMENT: Opinion by Justice Higley
Before Justices Taft, Hanks and Higley
01-07-00138-CV Charlotte Ngo Bibai and Imaobong Nda v. Dom Kim Nguyen
Appeal from Co Civil Ct at Law No 4 of Harris County  (
Hon. Roberta Lloyd)

Dixon Financial Services, Ltd. v. Greenberg, Peden Sigmyer & Oshman, PC (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.]
Nov. 15, 2007)(Higley)(arbitration award, severance)
AFFIRM TC JUDGMENT: Opinion by Justice Higley
Before Justices Taft, Hanks and Higley
01-06-00696-CV Dixon Financial Services Ltd., and Hyperdynamics Corporation v. Greenberg, Peden,
Siegmyer & Oshman, P.C., Gerald Siegmyer, Ron Bearden, and R. F. Bearden Associates, Inc.
Appeal from 215th District Court of Harris County (
Hon. Levi J. Benton)

Acosta v. Hemlata Chheda, DDS (Tex.App. - Houston [1st Dist.] Nov. 1, 2007)(Higley)(HCLC, medical
malpractice, expert report)
AFFIRM TC JUDGMENT: Opinion by Justice Higley
Before Justices Taft, Hanks and Higley
01-07-00398-CV Mary C. Acosta v. Hemlata Chheda, D.D.S.
Appeal from 129th District Court of Harris County (
Hon. Grant Dorfman)

Milkowski v. DFPS (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Oct. 18, 2007)(Higley)(termination of parental rights
affirmed, drugs, domestic violence, jury trial, ineffective assistance of counsel claim rejected)
AFFIRM TC JUDGMENT: Opinion by Justice Higley
Before Justices Taft, Hanks and Higley
01-07-00011-CV Ian Mikowski and Toni English v. Department of Family and Protective Services
Appeal from 306th District Court of Galveston County (Hon. Janis L. Yarbrough)

Fellows v. Adams (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Oct. 18, 2007)(Higley)(default judgments, sufficiency of
service, insufficient proof of unliquidated damages)
AFFIRM TC JUDGMENT IN PART, REVERSE TC JUDGMENT IN PART, AND REMAND CASE TO TC FOR
FURTHER PROCEEDINGS: Opinion by Justice Higley
Before Justices Taft, Hanks and Higley
01-06-00924-CV Kerry G. Fellows v. Rasheed Adams
Appeal from 127th District Court of Harris County (
Hon. Sharolyn Wood)

City of Houston v. Allco, Inc. (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Oct. 18, 2007)(Higley)(post-remand from Texas
Supreme Court, see
City of Houston v. Allco, Inc., 206 S.W.3d 113, 114 (Tex. 2006)(immunity to breach of
contract claim waived)
AFFIRM TC JUDGMENT: Opinion by Justice Higley
Before Justices Taft, Hanks and Higley
01-02-00812-CV City of Houston v. Allco, Inc
Appeal from 80th District Court of Harris County (
Hon. Kent C. Sullivan)
We conclude that the damages sought and awarded by the trial court were permitted by Local
Government Code section 271.153(a)(1). We hold that the City's immunity from suit is statutorily waived
with respect to Allco's breach of contract claim.

In re E.B.R. (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Oct. 4, 2007))(Higley)(juvenile case)
AFFIRM TC JUDGMENT: Opinion by Justice Higley
Before Justices Taft, Hanks and Higley
01-06-00955-CV In The Matter of E.B.R v. The State of Texas
Appeal from Co Ct at Law No 3 & Probate Ct of Brazoria County The Honorable James A. Blac..)

Moore v. Aqrawi (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Sep. 20, 2007)(Higley)(assault, damages)
REVERSE TC JUDGMENT AND REMAND CASE TO TC FOR FURTHER PROCEEDINGS: Opinion by
Justice Higley
Before Justices Taft, Keyes and Hanks
01-03-00917-CV Peggy Lee Moore v. Cooper Aqrawi, Ind., and Farouq Aqrawi d/b/a Manhattan
Limousines of Houston, L.L.C.--Appeal from 270th District Court of Harris County (
Honorable Brent
Gamble)

Ibarra v. Nicholes (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist. Aug. 2, 2007)(Higley)(construction subcontractor)
AFFIRM TC JUDGMENT: Opinion by Justice Higley
(Before Justices Nuchia, Keyes and Higley)
01-06-00762-CV        Jesus Ibarra v. Peggy Nicholes, Lesa Nicholes and Salon N.V. And Day Spa, Inc.
Appeal from 113th District Court of Harris County (
Hon. Patricia Hancock)

HISD v. Old Farms Owners Ass'n (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Jul. 26, 2007)(Higley)(tax suit, penalties
and interest)
REVERSE TC JUDGMENT AND REMAND CASE TO TC FOR FURTHER PROCEEDINGS: Opinion by
Justice Higley
(Before Chief Justice Radack, Justices Keyes and Higley)
01-04-00538-CV Houston Independent School District, et al., v. Old Farms Owners Association, Inc., et al.,
Appeal from 270th District Court of Harris County (
Hon. Brent Gamble)
Dissenting Opinion by Justice Keyes in HISD v. Old Farms Owners Association (Tex.App.- Houston [1st
Dist.] Jul. 26, 2007)

McAlester Fuel Co. v. Smith International Inc. (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Jul. 26, 2007)(commercial
dispute, breach of contract,
DTPA, release, jury instruction)
AFFIRM TC JUDGMENT: Opinion by Justice Higley
(Before Justices Nuchia, Jennings and Higley)
01-05-00468-CV McAlester Fuel Company v. Smith International, Inc., d/b/a Smith Services
Appeal from 11th District Court of Harris County (
Hon. Mark Davidson)
Jennings Dissent in McAlester Fuel Co. v. Smith International Inc. (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Jul. 26,
2007)

In re Louis Charles Munks (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist] Jun. 28, 2007)(Higley)(mandamus)(child support
contempt)
GRANT PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDAMUS: Opinion by Justice Higley
(Before Chief Justice Radack, Justices Keyes and Higley)
01-07-00094-CV In re Louis Charles Munks, Jr.
Appeal from 247th District Court of Harris County (Trial court judge:
Hon. Bonnie Hellums)

Frank's International, Inc. v. Smith International, Inc. (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist] Jun. 28,
2007)(Higley)(breach of contract, conversion)
REVERSE TC JUDGMENT AND REMAND CASE TO TC FOR FURTHER PROCEEDINGS: Opinion by
Justice Higley
(Before Justices Nuchia, Keyes and Higley)
01-06-00366-CV Frank's International, Inc. v. Smith International, Inc.
Appeal from 61st District Court of Harris County (
Trial court judge: Hon. John Donovan)

Potcinske v. McDonald Property Investments, Ltd (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Jun 15, 2007)(Higley)
(real estate, breach of contract,
real estate case law, contract for sale of real property, breach of contract,
breach of contract, specific performance]
AFFIRM TC JUDGMENT: Opinion by Justice Higley
Before Judge Wilson, Justices Keyes and Higley
01-06-00718-CV        Jon A. Potcinske v. McDonald Property Investments, LTD
Appeal from 334th District Court of Harris County (
Hon Sharon McCally)

Insurer Prevails in Coverage Denial Suit Following Suspicious Fire
Routis v. Clarendon America Ins. Co. (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] May 10, 2007)(Higley)
(
insurance coverage denial, fire loss, arson)
AFFIRM TC JUDGMENT: Opinion by Justice Higley
Before Justices Nuchia, Keyes and Higley
01-06-00459-CV Konstantinos Routis, Duluth Restaurants, Inc., and/or KRMG Enterprises, Inc. as the
Attorney in Fact of Duluth Restaurants, Inc. v. Clarendon America Insurance Company
Appeal from 280th District Court of Harris County  (
Judge Tony Lindsay)
Konstantinos Routis ("Routis"), Duluth Restaurants, Inc., (1) and/or KRMG Enterprises Inc., as attorney in fact of Duluth
Restaurants, Inc. ("KRMG"), sued appellee, Clarendon America Insurance Company, Inc., for breach of contract after
appellants' building was destroyed by fire and appellee denied coverage. The trial court rendered a take-nothing judgment
against appellants.In two issues, appellants (1) challenge the legal and factual sufficiency of the evidence supporting the
trial court's judgment and (2) contend that the trial court applied an incorrect standard of proof.
We conclude that the combined evidence falls within the zone of reasonable disagreement and supports the trial court's
implied finding that Routis and/or Sachtouris set the building on fire and that therefore appellee's proffered exclusion from
coverage applies. See Wilson, 168 S.W.3d at 827; Vandiver, 970 S.W.2d at 737. We hold that the evidence is legally
sufficient because the evidence would enable reasonable and fair-minded people to reach the verdict under review. See
Wilson, 168 S.W.3d at 827. In addition, we hold that the evidence is factually sufficient because, after considering all the
evidence in the record, the verdict is not so contrary to the overwhelming weight and preponderance of the evidence that it is
clearly wrong and manifestly unjust. See Plas-Tex Inc., 772 S.W.2d at 445; Cain, 709 S.W.2d at 176. We further hold that the
trial court applied the proper standard of proof when it concluded by a preponderance of the evidence that appellee met its
burden to show that an exclusion to coverage applied in this case. See Murphy, 996 S.W.2d at 879.

Bowlder v. Metro (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] May 3, 2007)(Higley)
[
Auto-PI, subrogation, workers comp, no answer default judgment]
AFFIRM TC JUDGMENT: Opinion by Justice Higley
Before Justices Nuchia, Keyes and Higley
01-06-00553-CV Michael David Bowler v. Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas
Appeal from 127th District Court of Harris County (
Judge Sharolyn P. Wood)

Winchek v. American Travel Related Services (AMEX) (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Apr. 19, 2007)(Higley)
[
credit card debt suit]
AFFIRM TC JUDGMENT: Opinion by Justice Higley
Before Justices Nuchia, Keyes and Higley
01-06-00392-CV Mary Winchek v. American Travel Related Services
Appeal from
County Civil Court at Law No 3 of Harris County (Judge Lynn Bradshaw-Hull)

Davis v. Smith (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Apr. 5, 2007)(Higley)
[
bill of review denied, not diligent]

Justice Jennings writes separately in death penalty sanctions case; criticizes fellow justices for
not explaining decisions in a precedent setting published opinion
In re Satish Gupta (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Mar. 29, 2007)(Higley)(death penalty sanctions)
Justice
Jennings wrote separately in In re Satish Gupta (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Mar. 29,
2007)(Concurrence by Jennings)

In re Satish Gupta (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Mar. 29, 2007)(Higley)(death penalty sanctions)
Justice
Jennings wrote separately in In re Satish Gupta (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Mar. 29,
2007)(Concurrence by Jennings)

In re Meena Matthews (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Mar. 29, 2007)(Higley)(arbitration)

Mathews v. USA Employment LLC (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Mar. 29, 2007)(Higley)(employment,
arbitration)

Clark v. Tex. Inst. For Rehab and Research (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Mar 15, 2007)(Higley)

Earvin v. Department for Family and Protective Services (DFPS) (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Mar 15,
2007)(Higley)(termination of parental rights, drug use)
Concurring Opinion by Justice Jennings in Earvin v. Department for Family and Protective Services
(DFPS) (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Mar 15, 2007)(concurrence by Jennings)

TDPS v. Styron (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Jan. 25, 2007)(Higley)(DWI licenses suspension)
[jurisdiction of criminal court, administrative suspension of driver's license]
DISMISS APPEAL: Opinion by Justice Higley
(Before Justices Nuchia, Jennings and Higley)
01-06-00178-CV        Texas Department of Public Safety v. Rhonda Styron
Appeal from Co Crim Ct at Law No 3 of Harris County (Hon. Donald W. Jackson)

McKnight v. Brown, Jr. (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Jan. 11, 2007)(Justice Laura Carter Higley)
Bland Concurrence in McKnight v. Brown, Jr. (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Jan. 11, 2007)(concurring
opinion by Justice Bland)

McKowen, M.D. v. Ragston (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Jan. 11, 2007)(Justice Laura Carter Higley)

2007 Separate Opinions by Justice Higley

2007 Civil and Criminal Case Disposition with Opinion Written by Justice Higley

Davis v. Smith (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Aprl. 5, 2007)(Higley)
AFFIRM TC JUDGMENT: Opinion by Justice Higley
(Before Justices Nuchia, Keyes and Higley)
01-06-00799-CV Daisy Mae Davis v. Jim R. Smith and Cost Plus of Texas, Inc.--Appeal from Co Civil Ct at
Law No 1 of Harris County

In re Satish Gupta (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Mar. 29, 2007)(Higley)
[death penality sanctions case]
DENY PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDAMUS: Opinion by Justice Higley
(Before Justices Nuchia, Jennings and Higley)
01-06-00678-CV In re Satish Gupta, SB International, Inc., Trinity Recycling, Inc., and Manish Gupta
Appeal from 344th District Court of Chambers County (Hon. Carroll E. Wilborn, Jr.)

In re Satish Gupta (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Mar. 29, 2007)(Concurrence by Jennings)
[Dissent opinions that denial of mandamus in this extraordinary case merits explanation in precedent
setting opinion]
OPINION CONCURRING WITH THIS COURT'S JUDGMENT: Concurring Opinion by Justice Jennings
(Before Justices Nuchia, Jennings and Higley)
01-06-00678-CV In re Satish Gupta, SB International, Inc., Trinity Recycling, Inc., and Manish
GuptaAppeal from 344th District Court of Chambers County (Hon. Carroll E. Wilborn, Jr.)

In re Meena Matthews (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Mar. 29, 2007)(Higley)
[arbitration, foreign teacher recruitment contract]
GRANT PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDAMUS: Opinion by Justice Higley
(Before Justices Nuchia, Keyes and Higley)
01-07-00001-CV In re Meena Matthews, Shubhra Brown, Bharati Dhyani, Sunny Joseph, Ruchi Joshi,
Bobby Khanna, Anita Pande, Anurag Pathak, Vandana Shokeen, Preetika Randive, Garima Malhotra and
Nallani Sriram.--Appeal from Co Civil Ct at Law No 4 of Harris County (
Hon. Roberta A. Lloyd)

Mathews v. USA Employment LLC (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Mar. 29, 2007)(Higley)
[arbitration, foreign teacher recruitment] see related mandamus proceeding No. 01-07-00001-CV
DISMISS APPEAL: Opinion by Justice Higley
(Before Justices Nuchia, Keyes and Higley)
01-06-01016-CV Meena Mathews, Shubhra Brown, Bharati Dhyani, Sunny Joseph, Ruchi Joshi, Bobby
Khanna, Anita Pande, Anurag Pathak, Vandana Shokeen, Preetika Randive, Garima Malhotra, Nallani
Sriram v. USA Employment, L.L.C.--\
Appellants' Attorney: Gregory Raman Johnson, Philip Durst; Appellee's counsel: Stanford Scott Boyd
Appeal from Co Civil Ct at Law No 4 of Harris County (
Judge Roberta Lloyd)

Brooks v. The State of Texas (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Feb. 15, 2007)(Higley)
AFFIRM TC JUDGMENT: Opinion by Justice Higley
(Before Justices Nuchia, Keyes and Higley)
01-06-00312-CR        Curtis A. Brooks v. The State of Texas--Appeal from Co Crim Ct at Law No 11 of
Harris County

Brooks v. The State of Texas (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Feb. 15, 2007)(Higley)
AFFIRM TC JUDGMENT: Opinion by Justice Higley
(Before Justices Nuchia, Keyes and Higley)
01-06-00398-CR        Ricardo Deleon v. The State of Texas--Appeal from 338th District Court of Harris
County

Braxton v. The State of Texas (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Feb. 8, 2007)(Higley)
AFFIRM TC JUDGMENT: Opinion by Justice Higley
(Before Justices Nuchia, Keyes and Higley)
01-06-00360-CR        Monique Renee Braxton v. The State of Texas--Appeal from 262nd District Court of
Harris County

Melgar v. The State of Texas (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Feb. 8, 2007)(Higley)
AFFIRM TC JUDGMENT: Opinion by Justice Higley
(Before Justices Nuchia, Keyes and Higley)
01-06-00430-CR        Maynor Giovanni Melgar v. The State of Texas--Appeal from 262nd District Court of
Harris County

Melgar v. The State of Texas (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Feb. 8, 2007)(Higley)
AFFIRM TC JUDGMENT: Opinion by Justice Higley
(Before Justices Nuchia, Keyes and Higley)
01-06-00431-CR        Maynor Giovanni Melgar v. The State of Texas--Appeal from 262nd District Court of
Harris County

Milton v. The State of Texas (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Feb. 1, 2007)(Higley)
AFFIRM TC JUDGMENT: Opinion by Justice Higley
(Before Justices Nuchia, Keyes and Higley)
01-05-01013-CR        Charles Matthew Milton v. The State of Texas--Appeal from 208th District Court of
Harris County

TDPS v. Styron (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Jan. 25, 2007)(Higley)
DISMISS APPEAL: Opinion by Justice Higley
(Before Justices Nuchia, Jennings and Higley)
01-06-00178-CV        Texas Department of Public Safety v. Rhonda Styron--Appeal from Co Crim Ct at
Law No 3 of Harris County

McKnight v. Brown, Jr. (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Jan. 11, 2007)(Higley)
DISMISS APPEAL: Opinion by Justice Higley
(Before Justices Taft, Higley and Bland)
01-05-00689-CV        John Frank McKnight v. Marshall Davis Brown, Jr.--Appeal from 133rd District Court
of Harris County

McKowen, MD v. Ragston (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Jan. 11, 2007)(Higley)
AFFIRM TC JUDGMENT: Opinion by Justice Higley
(Before Justices Nuchia, Jennings and Higley)
01-06-00665-CV        Robert L. McKowen, M.D. v. Mitchell Ragston, Sr. and Mitchell Ragston, Jr.,
Individually And As Personal Representatives For The Estate of Golden Ragston, Deceased--Appeal from
80th District Court of Harris County

Wooley v. The State of Texas (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Jan. 11, 2007)(Higley)
AFFIRM TC JUDGMENT: Opinion by Justice Higley
(Before Justices Nuchia, Jennings and Higley)
01-05-01145-CR        Fredrick Lee Wooley v. The State of Texas--Appeal from 184th District Court of
Harris County
Opinions by Houston Appeals Court Justice
Laura Carter Higley
HOUSTON JUSTICES
1st and 14th Court of Appeals

Justice Alcala, Elsa
Justice Anderson, John
Justice Bland, Jane
Justice Brown, Jeff
Justice Boyce, William (Bill)  
Justice Edelman, Richard
Justice Fowler, Wanda (resigned)
Justice Frost, Kem Thompson
Justice Guzman, Eva
Justice Hanks, George C., Jr.
Chief Justice Hedges, Adele
Justice Higley, Laura Carter
Justice Hudson, Harvey J.
Justice Jennings, Terry
Justice Keyes, Evelyn
Justice Nuchia, Sam
Chief Justice Radack, Sherry
Justice Seymore, Charles
Justice Taft, Timothy (Tim)
Justice Yates, Leslie Brock

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