Mailing address:

P.O. Box 224626
Dallas, Texas 75222

Physical address:
2223 W. Jefferson Blvd.
Dallas, Texas 75208

214.946.8000 phone
214.946.8433 fax

mmcpheeters@texasappeals.com

V-card

Morgan A. McPheeters, Associate

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Publications & Presentations

Car Wreck Case Law Update: Seatbelts, Tow Trucks, & Cows in the Road

TTLA Car Wrecks Seminar, Houston, Texas (March 3, 2016)

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Significant Cases

State of Texas v. T.S.N., — S.W.3d —, No. 17-0323, 2018 WL 2169785 (Tex. May 11, 2018)

In a case of first impression, the Texas Supreme Court affirmed the right of a person who is wrongfully accused and later acquitted of a crime to have the records related to that arrest expunged—even though the person was also arrested on an unrelated offense, to which she pled guilty. In affirming the opinion of the Dallas Court of Appeals, the Texas Supreme Court rejected the State’s “arrest based” interpretation, expressly disagreeing with numerous courts of appeals that had adopted this same interpretation. Instead, the Texas Supreme Court concluded that the statute’s plain language is not arrest-based and therefore does not prohibit the expunction of records related to an acquitted offense, even where the arrest includes another, unrelated offense.

State v. T.S.N., 523 S.W.3d 171 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2017, pet. granted)

In a case of first impression, the court of appeals affirmed an order granting the expunction of records relating to an arrest for felony aggravated assault for which T.S.N. was subsequently acquitted.  The State, claiming that the entire expunction statute is “arrest based,” argued that the records could not be expunged because, when T.S.N. was arrested, she was also arrested on a totally unrelated misdemeanor theft charge to which she ultimately pled guilty.  The court of appeals rejected this “arrest-based” interpretation, concluding that, based on the plain language of article 55.01(a)(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, a guilty plea to a wholly unrelated offense does not prohibit the expunction of records related to the acquitted offense, even where the arrest arises out of both.

In the interest of P.M.K., No. 05-15-01181-CV, 2017 WL 462343 (Tex. App.—Dallas Jan. 30, 2017, no pet.)(mem. op.)

Successfully defended Texas and Louisiana courts’ determination that, while Texas court had jurisdiction as the child’s “home state” under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, Louisiana court was the more convenient forum and therefore could exercise jurisdiction over child custody determination.

City of Houston v. Roman, No. 01-15-01042-CV, 2016 WL 3748851 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] July 12, 2016, no pet.) (mem. op.)

Affirming trial court’s denial of City’s plea to the jurisdiction arising out of injuries suffered when a City of Houston police dog attacked and injured a minor.  The court of appeals held that use of the police dog was not an intentional tort, but the negligent use of tangible personal property for which the Texas Tort Claims Act waived immunity.

Poledore v. Poledore, No. 05-15-00619-CV, 2016 WL 2620648 (Tex. App.—Dallas May 6, 2016, pet. denied) (mem. op.)

Upholding a post-answer default judgment in a divorce proceeding, where the appellant attempted to challenge the judgment on due process grounds, but failed to file a motion for new trial or introduce evidence satisfying the Craddock factors.

Harlingen Med. Ctr. Ltd. P’ship v. Andrade, No. 13-14-0700-CV, No. 13-15-0119-CV, 2016 WL 1613297 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi April 21, 2016, pet. dismissed)

Affirming trial court’s ruling refusing to dismiss medical malpractice case based on the defendants’ challenge to the Chapter 74 expert reports.

Okon v. Boldon, No. 02-14-00334-CV, 2015 WL 4652775 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth Aug. 6, 2015, no pet.) (mem. op.)

Upholding a default judgment in favor of a personal injury plaintiff, where the defendant attempted to challenge the judgment through a bill of review more than four years after the judgment was entered, claiming extrinsic fraud in the manner in which substituted service was executed.