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Laurie Ratliff

Laurie Ratliff, Shareholder
512 472 4601 | Email »

Laurie Ratliff is a board certified civil appellate lawyer who represents clients in appellate matters and partners with trial counsel both within and outside the firm for presenting legal issues in motion practice, discovery disputes, summary judgments and other trial court matters.

Drawing on her experience working for two courts of appeals, first as a briefing attorney with the Amarillo Court of Appeals, and later as a staff attorney with the Austin Court of Appeals, and serving as lead counsel in a variety of complex appeals, she provides clients with a unique and valuable perspective. Ms. Ratliff counsels clients from the decision to file an appeal, including the practical implications involved, through the development and implementation of sound appellate strategy in all aspects of the appeal.

In addition to her appellate work, Ms. Ratliff represents property owners in property tax matters in administrative proceedings, trials, and appeals.

A frequent speaker on court of appeals practice and trial procedure, Ms. Ratliff has written a monthly column for the Austin Lawyer magazine for more than ten years, which comments on recent Austin Court of Appeals' opinions. She also has co-authored an annual article for more than ten years, "Texas Supreme Court Update," for The Appellate Advocate, a quarterly magazine published by the State Bar Appellate Section.

Ms. Ratliff has been selected as a Super Lawyer, sponsored by Thomson Reuters, every year since 2005. She is a shareholder with Ikard Golden Jones, P.C.

Board Certification:

Civil Appellate Law - Texas Board of Legal Specialization

Judicial Clerkships:

  • Briefing Attorney - Seventh Court of Appeals, Amarillo (Justice John T. Boyd) (1992-1993)
  • Staff Attorney - Third Court of Appeals, Austin (1998-2001)

Education:

  • Texas Tech University School of Law, J.D., 1992, Research Editor, Texas Tech Law Review
  • University of Texas at Austin, B.B.A., 1989

Areas of Experience:

  • Appellate and original proceedings
    Ms. Ratliff represents individuals and companies in appellate matters in a variety of substantive law areas, including fiduciary litigation, trust, probate and guardianship, and family law. Ms. Ratliff handles all aspects of an appeal or an original proceeding. In addition, she also assists other counsel with appellate procedural issues, brief writing, and oral argument preparation. Ms. Ratliff also represents clients by filing amicus curiae briefs.
    • In a case of first impression on the constitutionality of a tax exemption statute, submitted an amicus curiae brief on behalf of a statewide trade association. The court of appeals upheld the constitutionality of the statute and cited to and quoted from the amicus curiae brief in its analysis. Brazos County Appraisal Dist. v. Bryan-College Station regional Assoc. of Realtors, Inc., 419 S.W.3d 462 (Tex. App.—Waco 2013, pet. denied).
  • Trial court support
    In the trial court, Ms. Ratliff partners with trial counsel for the presentation of legal issues in motion practice, summary judgments, discovery disputes, evidentiary issues, and other legal questions.
  • Property Tax
    Ms. Ratliff represents property owners in property tax matters in administrative proceedings, trials, and appeals. She has represented owners of a variety of different properties, including oil and gas interests, business aircraft, airport cargo facilities, and special use properties with an emphasis on legal issues. Some of her recent representations include:
    • In the leading case on taxability of crude oil, persuaded the court of appeals to construe the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution to hold that oil moving through a tank farm remains in interstate commerce and therefore is not subject to ad valorem taxation. This appellate decision controlled the outcome in numerous pending cases in which an appraisal districts sought to tax oil in transit through a pipeline system. Successfully persuaded the Texas Supreme Court and the U.S.
      Supreme Court to decline review of the appellate court. The decision solidifies the law in Texas that property moving in transit is not taxable. Midland Cent. Appraisal Dist. v. BP America Prod. Co., 282 S.W.3d 215 (Tex. App.–Eastland 2009, pet. denied), cert. denied, 131 S.Ct. 2097 (April 18, 2011).
    • Persuaded the Texas Supreme Court to transfer 19 appeals pending in two courts of appeals to a third court of appeals. After transfer, successfully upheld the dismissal of 19 ad valorem taxing unit suits against numerous oil companies for failure to exhaust administrative remedies. Jim Wells County v. El Paso Production Oil and Gas Co., 189 S.W.3d 861 (Tex. App.–Houston [1st Dist.] 2006, pet. denied).
    • In a case of first impression, argued and obtained a writ of mandamus directing a trial court to dismiss on jurisdictional grounds a case brought by governmental entities for allegations of fraud and negligent misrepresentation. Persuaded the court of appeals that the Texas Tax Code provides the definitive remedies for such allegations, that the governmental entities failed to exhaust their administrative remedies and that the Tax Code is a pervasive regulatory scheme. In re ExxonMobil Corp., 153 S.W.3d 605 (Tex. App.–Amarillo 2004) (orig. proceeding).

Professional Activities, Community Involvement and Honors:

  • AV Peer Review Rating by LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell
  • Selected as a Super Lawyer, sponsored by Thomson Reuters, (2005-2014)
  • Super Lawyers, Corporate Counsel Edition, Appellate, sponsored by Thomson Reuters, (2009)
  • Super Lawyers, Business Edition, Appellate, sponsored by Thomson Reuters, (2011)
  • Board of Directors (legal advisor) – The Settlement Club, a non-profit organization that supports a residential care facility for abused children
  • Third Court of Appeals Pro Bono Committee member (2008- 2014)
  • Appellate Section member, State Bar of Texas
  • Life Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation
    • Past Chair, Travis County Bar Association Civil Appellate Section
    • Past Chair, Heritage/History Committee, Appellate Section, State Bar of Texas

Articles and Presentations:

Licenses/Admissions:

  • State Bar of Texas 1992
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • United States District Court Northern District of Texas