James Morris is a shareholder in the firm and provides legal services to businesses, municipal corporations and other entities throughout the State of Texas. Mr. Morris is engaged primarily in a commercial litigation practice in Federal and State Courts with significant experience in litigating matters relating to business disputes, municipal issues and corporate governance issues.
For 30 years, Mr. Morris has represented clients engaged in a wide variety of industries, including municipal corporations, companies engaged in the financial services, architectural services, construction, medical services and equine industries. He has also worked extensively with Terry Morgan on complex cases involving land use, annexation, zoning, housing and governance matters. His experience includes numerous state and federal appeals, appearances before the Texas Supreme Court, jury and bench trials, arbitrations and temporary and permanent injunction hearings. Mr. Morris also serves in a general counsel capacity to a large non-profit organization, and provides extensive assistance to that Association in matters relating to corporate governance, internal disciplinary procedures, compliance issues and related litigation.
- Texas Bar, 1985
- Connecticut Bar, 1988
- US Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit
- US District Courts for Northern, Eastern and Southern Districts
- American Bar Association
- State Bar of Texas
- State Bar of Connecticut
Emory University School of Law, Atlanta, Georgia
Juris Doctor degree, 1985
Memberships: Emory Moot Court Society
Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts
Bachelor of Science, Cum Laude, 1981
Case Summaries & publications
Representative Texas Supreme Court Cases
Texas Student Housing Authority v. Brazos County Appraisal District and Appraisal Review Board for Brazos County Appraisal District.
Obtained judgment confirming the tax exempt status of the real and personal property owned by a student housing authority.
City of Rockwall, Texas v. Vester T. Hughes, as sole Independent Executor of the Estate of W. W. Caruth, Jr. Deceased. 246 SW 3d. 621 (Tex. 2008, rehearing denied)
Obtained favorable judgment allowing City to proceed with annexation without first resorting to arbitration with property owner.
Scott Bradley v. State ex rel Dale White. 990 SW 2d. 245 (Tex. 1999)
Obtained judgment reinstating mayor who had been removed from office by alderman under statute allowing for removal of municipal officers. Resulted in amendment of statute by Texas Legislature to provide for due process protection in such proceedings.
Representative Appellate Cases
Emergicare Systems Corp. v. Bourdon, 942 S.W.2d 201 (Tex. App.-Eastland 1997, no writ)
Obtained judgment declaring a non-compete agreement unenforceable.
City of Roanoke v. City of Westlake, 111 S.W.3d 617 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth 2003, pet. den’d)
Obtained favorable judgment concerning municipal boundaries and annexation issues.
JNC Partners Denton, LLC v. City of Denton, 190 S.W.3d 790 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth 2006, writ den’d)
Obtained judgment affirming municipal annexations and clarifying statutory arbitration issues.
Lainie Whitmire v. National Cutting Horse Association, 2009 WL219126 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth 2009, pet. den’d)
Successfully defended case involving membership issues and related tort claims.
Paula Gaughan and Dean Sanders v. National Cutting Horse Association, 351 S.W.3d, 408 (Tex. App, - Fort Worth 2011, petition den’d.)
Obtained judgment affirming confidentiality of certain records of non-profit association.
Texas Central Business Lines Corp. v. City of Midlothian, 669 F3d 525 (5th Cir. 2012)
Case involving municipalities’ authority to regulate business operations and related federal exemption issues.
Representative Texas State Court and Federal Trial Court Cases
R. Carter Pate v. Town of Westlake, Texas
Successfully defended Town in state court jury trial against claims for unconstitutional zoning.
Emergicare Systems v. Lynn Bourdon, et al.
Obtained verdict in state court trial in favor of physician and professional association against claims for violation of non-competition agreement and for unfair trade practices.
Western Waterproofing Company v. Joe Dempsey, et al.
Obtained judgment in state court jury trial against ex-employee and competitor for unfair trade practices and violation of fiduciary duties in connection with award of major commercial renovation project.
City of Roanoke v. Town of Westlake
Obtained favorable verdict in favor of Town against neighboring city in annexation battle involving multiple municipal annexation laws.
Cattle Pros LLC v. National Cutting Horse Association
Successfully defended Association in state court jury trial against multi-million dollar breach of contract claims. Obtained take-nothing judgment and award of attorneys’ fees in favor of Association.
Kinder v. Guaranty Bond Bank
Successfully defended Bank in federal court jury trial against claims brought under the Family Medical Leave Act and Texas workers compensation laws.
Vulcan Materials Co. v. Town of Sunnyvale
Successfully defended Town in federal case against claims for federal preemption of municipal laws.
Lainie Whitmire v. National Cutting Horse Association
Successfully defended Association in state court case against claims stemming from members loss of membership rights.
Paula Gaughan and Dean Sanders v. National Cutting Horse Association
Successfully defended Association in state court case against demands to produce confidential business information.