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Brian C. Miller

Partner

Profile

Brian Miller is Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and he has been selected for inclusion in the Texas Edition of Super Lawyers magazine for each year since 2014. Before that, he was included in the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Texas Rising Stars Editions of that publication.

Mr. Miller’s practice is focused on prosecuting and defending appeals, preparing legal strategies for trial-court litigation, and preparing and arguing key motions in state and federal trial courts. His experience spans a wide variety of civil litigation, including suits involving commercial and employment disputes, industrial and oilfield accidents, civil rights, administrative law, and maritime law. He has participated in over 100 appeals, several of which have resulted in important clarifications of Texas and federal law.

Mr. Miller is currently serving a two-year term on the executive board of the University of Texas Law School Alumni Association, and he recently completed a three-year term on the State Bar of Texas board of directors.

Mr. Miller has also dedicated much of his time to improving Texas legal procedure. He serves on the State Bar’s Pattern Jury Charge Oversight Committee, which coordinates, considers, and approves standard jury instructions that six subject-matter committees propose for use in trials in Texas courts. From 2011 to 2014, he was a member of the State Bar’s Court Rules Committee, which is charged with identifying and proposing improvements to procedural rules affecting litigation.

Mr. Miller serves on the Executive Board of the ABA Judicial Division’s Council of Appellate Lawyers, and he also serves on the Division’s Amicus Curiae Briefs Committee. From 2013 to 2014, Mr. Miller was chair of the approximately 400-member Appellate Advocacy Committee of the American Bar Association’s Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section. 

Mr. Miller served, from 2009 to 2011, as a delegate in the ABA House of Delegates, the policy-setting body of the ABA. From 2010 to 2011, Mr. Miller further served the House as a member of its Committee on Issues of Concern to the Profession.

Mr. Miller created and led the implementation of the Kids Law Library at Los Encinos Elementary School. The Kids Law Library was selected over numerous state and local submissions to receive the American Bar Endowment Outstanding Public Service Project Award at the 2007 ABA Annual Meeting.

In recognition of his professional and public service efforts, Mr. Miller has been inducted as a fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation and as a fellow of the American Bar Foundation. Mr. Miller was selected as the 2009 Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Corpus Christi Young Lawyers Association.

Mr. Miller joined Royston Rayzor in July 2008.

Experience

Commercial and insurance

  • Successfully defended appeal of take-nothing judgment in construction-indemnity case involving a Houston hospital, even though opponent general contractor had benefit of broadly worded indemnity clause in its subcontract with client.
  • Obtained mandamus relief from Court of Appeals to compel trial court to sever and stay proceedings on bad-faith claims against insurer until after judgment on underlying coverage dispute.
  • Obtained reversal of trial court’s refusal to enforce forum-selection clause in international business dispute.
  • Obtained reversal of judgment against client in investors’ dispute, with Fifth Circuit agreeing that dispute fell outside admiralty jurisdiction and ordering dismissal of suit.
  • Obtained, and successfully defended on appeal, summary judgment awarding indemnity to retailer in wrongful-death suit, despite manufacturer’s efforts to structure settlement to prejudice retailer’s indemnity right.
  • Obtained reversal of take-nothing judgment on jury verdict in suit based on subcontractor's failure to acquire insurance-policy endorsement naming general contractor as an additional insured.
  • Obtained reversal of trial court’s temporary injunction against client in international business dispute.
  • Obtained reversal of trial court’s order denying client’s motion to compel arbitration in construction dispute.
  • Obtained affirmance of summary judgment for client in building contractor’s suit alleging breach of contracts for repair of hurricane damage.

Employment

  • Obtained affirmance of take-nothing summary judgment in employment dispute involving temporary worker’s Family and Medical Leave Act claims, with Fifth Circuit agreeing with our interpretation of statute and regulations and rejecting contentions of several amici curiae friendly to plaintiff.
  • Successfully defended removal of employment-discrimination and breach-of-contract case to federal court by showing that client, although a limited liability company formed and managed in Texas, took the out-of-state citizenship of its corporate owner for purposes of federal diversity jurisdiction.
  • Obtained, and sustained on appeal, summary judgment for local county in suit by former employees who claimed retaliatory discharge in violation of their free-speech rights.
  • Obtained dismissal, before any depositions, of politically charged suit against local county and its sheriff by showing that state court’s affirmance of civil-service ruling had preclusive effect on plaintiffs’ federal suit for retaliatory discharge in alleged violation of First Amendment rights.

Personal injury and civil rights

  • Successfully overcame, in Court of Appeals and Texas Supreme Court, trade organization’s arguments that First Amendment and state law prohibited disclosure of source of defamatory information published in safety alert on organization’s website.
  • Obtained affirmance of judgment dismissing wrongful-death suit, with Court of Appeals agreeing that oilfield-industry users of county road did not owe duty to repair road or warn other users of possible dust clouds generated by oilfield traffic.
  • Successfully defended appeal of take-nothing judgment in wrongful-death case, where opponent argued that jury received incorrect instructions concerning employer’s liability for the on-premises, but off-duty, conduct of employee.
  • Successfully defended take-nothing judgment in favor of client in personal-injury suit despite co-defendant’s contentions that client’s trial counsel engaged in improper jury argument.
  • Obtained appellate ruling dismissing personal-injury suit against county, where suspect’s vehicle collided with plaintiff’s vehicle as suspect attempted to flee arrest.

Other

  • Obtained affirmance of summary judgment, establishing board member’s statutory-immunity defense, in suit against homeowners association and its management.
  • Acting as special appellate counsel for local prosecutor’s office, obtained affirmance by state Court of Appeals of assault conviction and vindication of trial counsel over claim of prosecutorial wrongdoing.

Publications & Speeches

Publications

Practices

  • J.D., 1997, University of Texas School of Law, with honors.
  • B.S. Chemical Engineering, B.A. Economics, 1994, Rice University, magna cum laude.

State of Texas U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit Registered patent attorney, United States Patent and Trademark Office

American Bar Association: House of Delegates, 2009-2011. Member, House of Delegates Committee on Issues of Concern to the Profession, 2010-2011. Member, Council of Appellate Lawyers (executive board, 2017-present, and member, Appellate Judges Education Institute Planning Committee, 2010-2011, 2013-2014, 2016-present). Member, Joint Amicus Curiae Briefs Committee of the Judicial Division’s Lawyers Conference and Council of Appellate Lawyers, 2013-present. Chair, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section Appellate Advocacy Committee, 2013-2014 (chair-elect, 2012-2013, vice-chair, 2009-2012). Vice chair, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section Employment Law Committee, 2016-present. Selected and inducted as a fellow of the American Bar Foundation, 2014.

State Bar of Texas: Member, Board of Directors, 2014-2017. Member, Court Rules Committee, 2011-2014, Pattern Jury Charge Oversight Committee, 2017-present. Member, College of the State Bar of Texas, 2007-present. Member, Pro Bono College, 2002-2003, 2010. Selected and inducted as a fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation, 2007. Member, Appellate Section.

Texas Young Lawyers Association: Member, Board of Directors, 2006-2008.

Corpus Christi Bar Association

Corpus Christi Young Lawyers Association: Member, Board of Directors, 1999-2000, 2003-2009. Secretary, 1999-2000, 2004-2005. Vice-president, 2005-2006, 2008-2009.

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