Meet Judge David Hittner, S.D. Tex. (Houston)

HITTNER, DAVID

Judge Hittner’s Court

TO COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF or DEFENDANT REMOVING CASE:

THE ATTACHED ORDERS MUST BE SERVED ON ALL PARTIES

Your attention is directed to the Court orders included in this packet which is distributed in all cases assigned to Judge Hittner. Plaintiffs must serve copies of the orders on Defendants with the summons and complaint. Defendants removing cases from state court must serve copies of the orders on all other counsel and file a Certificate of Service with the Clerk of this Court.

The procedures included in this packet are to be utilized throughout the pendency of this action.

Judge Hittner’s orders contained herein will not apply and may be disregarded if you have filed the following type of case:

  1. Prisoner Civil Rights
  2. Habeas Corpus
  3. Administrative Agency Appeals
  4. Miscellaneous Government cases (Subpoena enforcement, forfeiture, etc.)
  5. Miscellaneous matters (Motions to quash, )

DAVID BRADLEY, CLERK

BY:                                  

Ellen Alexander, Case Manager for Judge David Hittner

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS HOUSTON DIVISION

CIVIL ACTION NO.  H-

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE IN REMOVED ACTION

I certify compliance with the Court’s Order entered upon filing of the petition for removal of this case.

On                                         , I served by certified mail counsel of record and unrepresented parties copies of the Court’s Order, Docket Control Order and Court Procedures.

 

DATE                            Attorney for Defendant(s)

CIVIL PROCEDURES MANUAL

IN ORDER TO INSURE AN EXPEDITIOUS DISPOSITION OF YOUR CASE BEFORE JUDGE DAVID HITTNER IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS, THIS PROCEDURES MANUAL IS PROVIDED IN THE INTEREST OF BOTH THE ATTORNEYS AND THE COURT.

THE MANUAL IS DESIGNED TO PROVIDE ANSWERS TO THOSE QUESTIONS MOST OFTEN ASKED BY COUNSEL NOT FAMILIAR WITH THE PRACTICES OF THE INDIVIDUAL JUDGES. THIS IS NOT A REITERATION OF THE LOCAL RULES, BUT SHALL BE USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH THOSE RULES. BEFORE TELEPHONING THE CASE MANAGER ASSIGNED TO JUDGE DAVID HITTNER, PLEASE REVIEW THE COURT’S PROCEDURES CONTAINED HEREIN.

USE OF THIS MANUAL AND FAMILIARITY WITH THE  LOCAL RULES FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS WILL EQUIP YOU TO PROCEED MOST EFFECTIVELY BEFORE THIS COURT.

NOTICE OF THE RIGHT TO CONSENT TO THE DISPOSITION OF A CIVIL CASE BY A MAGISTRATE JUDGE

Upon the consent of all the parties, the United States Magistrate Judges of this court may conduct all proceedings in a civil case, including a jury trial and entry of a final judgment. Consent forms are available from the clerk.

Your decision to consent to your case’s being referred to a United States Magistrate Judge is entirely voluntary and should be communicated solely to the clerk. Only if all the parties consent will either the district judge of magistrate judge be informed of your decision.

The district judge to whom your case is assigned must approve the reference of the case to a magistrate judge.

David Bradley, Clerk
United States District Clerk Southern District of Texas

 

JUDGE DAVID HITTNER UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS

Courtroom No. BA, 8th Floor
United States Courthouse
515 Rusk Avenue, Room 8509 Houston, Texas 77002
(713) 250-5711

Ellen Alexander, Case Manager United States District Clerk
Post Office Box 61010 Houston, Texas 77208 (713) 250-5511

PROCEDURES

APPEARANCES AT SETTINGS 7

SCHEDULING ORDERS 7

TRIAL CALENDAR 8

PRETRIAL PROCEDURES  9

DISCOVERY (EXTENSION/MOTIONS)  9

MOTION  PRACTICE  9

CONTACT WITH THE JUDGE, LAW CLERK, CASE MANAGER 10

COURTROOM PROCEDURES 11

SANCTIONS  14

SETTLEMENT   15

CONSENT TO TRIAL BEFORE A MAGISTRATE JUDGE  15

ATTORNEY CONDUCT  15

ELECTRONIC CASE FILING  16

 

EFFECTIVE June 15, 2005

CIVIL PROCEDURES MANUAL

IN ORDER TO INSURE AN EXPEDITIOUS DISPOSITION OF YOUR CASE BEFORE JUDGE DAVID HITTNER IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS, THIS PROCEDURES MANUAL IS PROVIDED IN THE INTERESTS OF BOTH THE ATTORNEYS AND THE COURT.

THE MANUAL IS DESIGNED TO PROVIDE ANSWERS TO THOSE QUESTIONS MOST OFTEN ASKED

 

BY COUNSEL NOT FAMILIAR WITH THE PRACTICES OF THE INDIVIDUAL JUDGES. THIS IS NOT A REITERATION OF THE LOCAL RULES, BUT SHALL BE USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH THOSE RULES. BEFORE TELEPHONING THE CASE MANAGER ASSIGNED TO JUDGE DAVID HITTNER, PLEASE REVIEW THE COURT’S PROCEDURES CONTAINED HEREIN.

USE OF THIS MANUAL AND FAMILIARITY WITH THE LOCAL RULES FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS WILL EQUIP YOU TO PROCEED MOST EFFECTIVELY BEFORE THIS COURT.

  1. 1.  APPEARANCES AT SETTINGS

The attorney designated on the pleadings as “in charge” must attend all settings before the Court, or send an attorney familiar with the case who has authority to make decisions binding on the party represented.

The Court requires that counsel be on time for all settings.

Failure to appear when notified of a setting will subject that attorney and/or his or her client to sanctions, including dismissal for want of prosecution and/or appropriate judgment.

Out-of-town counsel may appear for some conferences by telephone provided that arrangements are made through the Case Manager well in advance.

  1. 2.  SCHEDULING ORDERS

If a party or counsel for a party fails to meet the deadlines in the Scheduling Order or, if a party or counsel for a party fails to appear, or appears substantially unprepared, or participates in bad faith at the scheduling conference, this Court may impose sanctions as provided in Rule 37(b)(2) and Rule 16(£) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

The Scheduling Order will include the cutoff dates for:

  • the joinder of new parties;
  • the designation of expert witnesses: at the completion of discovery;
  • the submission of all motions; and
  • the submission of a Joint Pretrial

The Scheduling Order shall control the subsequent course of the case and shall not be modified except by leave of this Court upon a showing of good cause.

If new parties are joined subsequent to the mailing of the order, the party causing such joinder shall provide copies of all orders previously entered in the case, along with the Scheduling Order and the Court’s Procedures Manual to the new parties.

  1. 3.  TRIAL CALENDAR

Cases will be set for a trial term at a scheduling conference held before the u.s.Magistrate Judge.

Trial Term. Judge Hittner conducts a two-month trial term. The cases will be placed on a trailing docket for the scheduled term and will be reached as soon as possible. Your trial date will be set at a docket call held prior to the trial term or by order of the court.

The case manager will keep in close touch with counsel and every effort will be made to give maximum notice concerning the trial setting.

Continuances. Judge Hittner maintains a restrictive policy on trial continuances. A continuance will be granted only on the basis of exceptional circumstances.

Joint or agreed motions for continuance are not binding on the Court and will not be granted as a routine matter.

A trial will not be continued because of unavailability of a fact witness or an expert witness, including a medical witness. Counsel are expected to anticipate such possibility and be prepared to present testimony by written deposition, by videotaped deposition, or by stipulation, in accordance with applicable rules.

Settlement. If a case is settled, prompt notice (written or verbal) shall be given to the Case Manager. If timely notice is given, counsel need not appear for trial.

Upon the announcement of settlement, the Court will enter an Order of Dismissal, without prejudice to the right of any party to move for reinstatement within ninety {90) days upon presentation of adequate proof that final approval of the settlement could not be obtained from the respective principals for whom counsel act.

Counsel shall submit promptly the agreed final judgment for approval and entry on or before the expiration of the 90-day period.

4. PRETRIAL PROCEDURES

Pretrial Order. Counsel for the Plaintiff is responsible for ensuring that the Joint Pretrial Order is filed timely. If, for some reason, Plaintiff fails to file the Joint Pretrial Order, then Defendant( s) is responsible for filing Defendant’s Proposed Pretrial Order. All parties are responsible for complying with all requirements of the Joint Pretrial Order.

The required attachments-proposed Findings of Fact & Conclusions of Law or proposed JOINT Jury Instructions and Interrogatories (see below); Memorandum of Law or Pretrial Brief; Motions in Limine; proposed Voir Dire Questions (even though counsel will often conduct voir dire); Witness Lists; Expert Witness Qualifications; and Exhibit Lists-are a part of the Joint Pretrial Order and ffiY.§.t be submitted for filing with such Order. All counsel must sign the Joint Pretrial Order.

Failure to appear and/or timely file the Joint Pretrial Order will subject counsel and his or her client to sanctions, including dismissal for want of prosecution and/or appropriate judgment.

JOINT JURY INSTRUCTIONS AND INTERROGATORIES

A single set of proposed jury instructions that have been agreed to by all counsel shall be submitted to the Court. These instructions should be in the most final form possible.

If the inclusion of any particular instruction is contingent upon events that may occur during the trial (for example, an instruction to disregard testimony that has been ordered stricken from the record), the instruction should be clearly indicated as contingent and set out in brackets.

If the parties, in good faith, cannot agree on all instructions, the parties will nonetheless submit a single proposed charge. Each disputed addition, deletion, or revision should be clearly indicated and set out in bold type, italics, or different colors. Label disputed language to show which party requests the language and include supporting authority.

5. DISCOVERY (EXTENSION/MOTIONS)

Upon the Court’s discretion, discovery motions may be referred to the Magistrate Judge assigned to Judge Hittner.

Motions for extension of discovery must be filed in advance of the deadline.

  1. 6. MOTION PRACTICE

Judge Hittner follows the written motion practice as outlined in Local Rule 7. Motions will be submitted in accordance with Local Rule 7 and are deemed unopposed, if no response is on file.

Requests for oral argument are not necessary. The Case Manager will notify counsel should the Court determine that oral argument would be beneficial. Motion conferences will be held in open court. If counsel anticipates the need to offer evidence and testimony, leave to do so must be obtained from the Court in advance.

Each memorandum or brief filed in this Court shall be limited to 20 pages. Any memorandum that is more than 15 pages must be accompanied by a concise summary, no longer than 3 pages, narrowing the points in the brief.

Excessive filing of a large number of motions or filing voluminous paperwork may result in sanctions.

All exhibits (contract, leases, affidavits, etc.) referred to in briefs must be attached to the brief. Copies of all unpublished cases (not available on West law or Lexis) and all state cases (not available on West law or Lexis) other than Texas cases cited shall also be attached to the pleading.

substantive issues of law shall not be addressed in letter form to the Court. They should be filed in the form of a pleading with the Clerk.

Counsel must notify the case Manager immediately if any matter is resolved prior to the setting.

ALL PLEADINGS (SUBSEQUENT TO THE ORIGINAL COMPLAINT) FILED IN THIS COURT MUST BE:

DOUBLE SPACED, NOT LESS THAN ONE INCH MARGINS AND 14 POINT FONT.

If a Motion Hearing is scheduled and a pleading is filed within 5 days of the scheduled hearing, counsel shall deliver a courtesy copy to chambers.

  1. 7. CONTACT WITH THE JUDGE, LAW CLERK, CASE MANAGER

Counsel shall contact the Case Manager when requesting immediate action by the Court on emergency matters. Inquiries regarding settings and procedures should also be directed to the Case Manager.

Counsel are not permitted to discuss cases or procedures with either of the Court’s law clerks. (Local Rules, Appendix C)

Information about filing documents, entry of orders, or docket entries may be obtained from the docket clerk.

Copies of urgent documents (including letters) may be sent to chambers.

  1. 8. COURTROOM PROCEDURES

Conduct of counsel during the presentation of a case will be governed by Local Rule 83.8 regarding Courtroom Procedures and will be strictly enforced. Enter and leave the courtroom by the front doors.

Hours

Court will generally convene for trial at 10:00 a.m. and adjourn at 6:00 pm. The lunch break is generally from 1:00 to 2:15 p.m. There will be a 15-minute recess during the morning and 15-minute recesses during the afternoon as appropriate. Hearings and bench trials may have variable hours.

All counsel and parties are expected to be seated at the counsel tables and ready to proceed when the Court is called into session. Counsel may drink water in the courtroom (provided at the counsel table), but no other eating or drinking is permitted. There is no smoking anywhere in the courthouse.

Telephone Calls

The Judge’s staff will not take messages for counsel.  Please do not request the use of telephones in chambers; public phones are available outside the courtroom.

Filing of Pleadings

Pleadings submitted by  counsel during the course of a trial should be presented in duplicate (original for filing; copy for the Court) to the Case Manager.

Interrogation by Counsel

counsel may question witnesses either while standing at the lectern or seated at the counsel table, whichever is preferred.

Address by Counsel

Counsel shall conduct opening statements and closing arguments either from the lectern, standing before the jury (in jury trials) or facing the Court (in bench trials)..

Expert Witnesses

Counsel shall submit, as part of the Final Joint Pretrial Order, a written summary of the qualifications of each expert witness. The Court expects the attorneys to prove their witnesses expertise through examination.

Witnesses

Counsel shall submit as part of the Final Joint Pretrial Order two (2) copies of the witness list, listing such witnesses in the order in which they will be called. In a lengthy trial involving numerous witnesses, a special scheduling order may be issued in which time limits and subject matter for each witness will be required to be set forth.

Counsel are responsible for summoning witnesses into the courtroom and instructing them on courtroom decorum.

Counsel shall keep in mind the Court’s hours and schedule witnesses accordingly.

Equipment

counsel are responsible for providing sound or video equipment. Prior permission must be obtained from the Case Manager so arrangements for bringing equipment into the building can be made with building security.

Easels with writing pads are available for use in the courtroom.

Use of Depositions

A witnesses’ testimony (jury or non-jury trial) may not be offered by deposition at any trial before the Court unless the witness is found by the Court to be unavailable pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 32(a)(3).

With respect to all deposition testimony to be offered in evidence, counsel shall review the deposition and agree to excise all irrelevant and repetitive testimony and all colloquy between counsel. Counsel shall exchange their designated

testimony and attempt to resolve all objections prior to trial. Objections to any portion of the deposition shall be filed in advance of trial, and the Court will rule on the objections before the deposition is read.

In a Non-Jury Trial, counsel shall read only the most relevant deposition testimony into the record. In addition, counsel shall attach to the front of the deposition exhibit a summary of what each party intends to prove by such testimony. If portions of the deposition are to be offered, counsel shall attach to the front of the deposition exhibit the designated portions, citing line and page number inclusively, of such testimony to be read by the Court.

Exhibits

counsel for each of the parties shall assemble all documents, photographs, or other materials expected to be used at trial. Such documents or copies thereof shall be made available to opposing counsel prior to trial. Each counsel shall attach to the Final Joint Pretrial Order two ( 2) copies of the list of all exhibits to be offered.

A final revised list of exhibits to be offered, and a final witness list shall be submitted to the case manager at time of trial.

The Court considers all exhibits listed in the Final Joint Pretrial Order in evidence unless opposing counsel makes his or her objections known as provided by the applicable rules. Local Rule 46

All exhibits will be offered and received in evidence as the first order of business at the trial.

Preparation of Exhibits

The offering party shall mark its exhibits with the party’s name, case number, and exhibit number. Any courtesy copies of the exhibits shall be assembled in loose­ leaf notebooks with a numbered sticker on each document. Such number shall also appear on a tab extending beyond the right side of the notebook. Each notebook shall be labeled on the outside cover with the name of the offering party, the case style, and the case number. Each notebook shall not exceed three (3) inches in depth.

The offering party shall provide two courtesy copies of this notebook for use by

the Court, at the time of trial.

Exhibits of unmanageable size (such as charts, diagrams, posters, etc.) shall be withdrawn immediately upon completion of trial and reduced reproductions or photographs substituted pursuant to Local Rule 79.2.

Non-Jury Trial

counsel shall submit, as part of the Final Joint Pretrial Order, proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law in duplicate, and Memorandum of Law or Pretrial Brief.

Counsel shall limit Posttrial Briefs to specific questions assigned by the Court during or after trial.

Jury Trial

Counsel shall submit, as part of the Final Joint Pretrial Order, proposed Vair Dire Questions, proposed Jury Instructions (with citation of authority on a separate page), and proposed Interrogatories to the Jury. Jury instructions and jury interrogatories must be short, simple, and concise.

Although voir dire questions are to be submitted, in most cases the Court will permit counsel to conduct their own voir dire examination in jury trials. Prior to the commencement of the voir dire, counsel for each party will receive a copy of a questionnaire on each prospective juror. This questionnaire will provide a comprehensive composite of each juror’s background to aid the attorneys in narrowing the questioning and shortening the voir dire.

Counsel are to remain near the courtroom during jury deliberations to be immediately available for jury notes or a verdict, unless given permission to leave by the Court.

After the jury and counsel are excused, counsel may not contact jurors unless otherwise permitted by the Court.

9. SANCTIONS

It is expected that counsel comply with this Procedures Manual, the Local Rules for the Southern District of Texas, and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

The Court will not be sympathetic toward those who seek to practice in this Court without regard to their obligations.

Failure of counsel to abide by these rules and procedures may result in the imposition by this Court of sanctions in accordance with Rules 11, 16, 26, and 37 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, as well as 28 u.s.c. S 1927.

10. SETTLEMENT

The parties in every civil action must make a good-faith effort to settle; and settlement negotiations shall be entered into at the earliest possible time, well in advance of any pretrial conference.

The Court will be available for settlement discussions. In nonjury cases, the Court will not discuss settlement figures except upon request and approval of all concerned parties.

Counsel should notify the case Manager immediately if any matter is settled.

  1. 11. CONSENT TO TRIAL BEFORE THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE

Upon written consent of all parties, civil jury/non-jury trials may be held before United States Magistrate Judge Stephen Wm. Smith.

  1. 12. ATTORNEY CONDUCT

The Court assumes that attorneys will conduct themselves in a professional manner and be courteous and civil at all times. Conduct including, but not limited to, discourtesy, personal antagonism, stalling tactics, and harassment of attorneys, clients, witnesses, or the Court staff will not be tolerated. Attorneys are directed to bring such conduct to the district judge’s attention forthwith.

SPECIAL AMENDMENT TO JUDGE HITTNER’S PROCEDURES

In connection with the Court’s move to Electronic Case Filing (ECF), Judge Hittner now requires that all parties submit the following paper courtesy copies directly to chambers:

  1. all motions for summary judgment, as well as all responses and replies thereto; and-
  2. all motions and briefs that, including any attachment, are greater than 20 pages in

The parties must include the attachments to these motions with the paper courtesy copies submitted directly to chambers. The paper courtesy copy should be sent to chambers the same day that the motions are filed electronically.

OFFICE OF THE CLERK

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS HOUSTON DIVISION

 

FOR INFORMATION REGARDING THE FOLLOWING:     CALL
ADMISSION OF ATTORNEYS 713-250-5500
APPEALS 713-250-5500
BAIL BONDS, DISBURSEMENT 713-250-5546
BILL  OF  COSTS 713-250-5550
CIVIL DOCKET COORDINATION CENTER 713-250-5500
CLERICAL ASSISTANTS TO U. S. MAGISTRATES JUDGES:
Magistrate Judge Nancy K. Johnson 713-250-5703
Magistrate Judge Mary Milloy 713-250-5158
Magistrate Judge Stephen Wm. Smith 713-250-5129
Magistrate Judge Frances H. Stacy 713-250-5565
COPY REQUESTS 713-250-5500
COURT REPORTERS 713-250-5522
COURTROOM DEPUTIES TO DISTRICT JUDGES:
Lynn  N. Hughes 713-250-5516
David Hittner 713-250-5511
Kenneth Hoyt 713-250-5884
Sim Lake 713-250-5514
Melinda Harmon 713-250-5518
Ewing Werlein, Jr. 713-250-5533
Lee H.   Rosenthal 713-250-5517
Vanessa Gilmore  713-250-5512
Nancy F. Atlas  713-250-5407
Keith P. Ellison  713-250-5181
Gray Miller  713-250-5129
Alfred H. Bennett  713-250-5850

 

CRIMINAL CASES (Open &  Closed) 713-250-5500
EXHIBIT RETRIEVAL 713-250-5500
FILE ROOM 713-250-5500
FINANCIAL SECTION 713-250-5875
INTERPRETERS 713-250-5667
JURY 713-250-2155
LOCAL  RULES 713-250-5500
MAGISTRATE JUDGES (See Clerical Assistants)
MONITION 713-250-5500
NATURALIZATION 281-847-7900
PRISONER RELATED CASES 713-250-5402
REGISTRY FUNDS 713-250-5875
SERVICE  OF  PAPERS 713-250-5500
STATISTICAL INFORMATION 713-250-5500
SUMMONS 713-250-5500
TRANSCRIPTS 713-250-5522
WARRANT OF SEIZURE 713-250-5500
XEROX COPIES 713-250-5500

Hittner’s Law Articles (Published)

Lynne Liberato

S.D. Tex Court Page

Lynne Liberato, Haynes & Boone

Lynne Liberato has lead appellate teams in some of the most significant trials and appeals in Texas and has argued to the U.S. Supreme Court.  A member of the executive committee of her law firm, she was the first woman president of the Houston Bar and also served as president of the State Bar of Texas.  As a partner in Haynes and Boone’s Appellate Section, she is one of 18 full-time appellate lawyers in one of the largest appellate practices in the Southwest.  She co-authored with Federal District Court Judge David Hittner, “Summary Judgments in Texas,” often called the “bible” of summary judgments.  In addition to her legal work, she currently is the chair of the United Way Hurricane Harvey Recovery Taskforce.

Session

10:45am – 11:45am – Civil — You’ve Won the Battle; Don’t Lose the War: Avoiding Malpractice by Preserving Error and Protecting the Record

Judge David Hittner, Lynne Liberato Publish Updated Summary Judgment Guide in South Texas Law Review

Haynes and Boone, LLP and South Texas College of Law Houston are pleased to announce the release of the eighth edition of “Summary Judgments in Texas: State and Federal Practice” by Senior U.S. District Judge David Hittner and Haynes and Boone Partner Lynne Liberato.

Published by South Texas Law Review, the latest edition of the popular, influential article covers Texas summary judgment practice in federal and state court by examining Texas, U.S. Supreme Court, and Fifth U.S. Circuit Court precedent in light of practice trends and changes in the law.

Since they first co-authored the guide in 1989, Hittner and Liberato have sought to provide a practical reference for trial and appellate lawyers about the procedural and substantive aspects of obtaining, opposing and appealing summary judgments.

The guide often is called the “bible” on summary judgment practice and has been recognized as one of the 10 most-cited law review articles by appellate courts nationwide. In 2007, South Texas Law Review published “Summary Judgments in Texas,” which was honored by the Texas Bar Foundation as the “Outstanding Law Review Article” of the year.

“Every Texas litigator who files summary judgments uses ‘Summary Judgments in Texas’ as a practitioner’s guide,” said Matthew Fiorillo, editor-in-chief of South Texas Law Review. “For Judge Hittner and Lynne Liberato to choose South Texas Law Reviewto publish such an important article is a high honor. Working with Judge Hittner and Lynne Liberato helped everyone associated with Law Review improve our legal writing skills and knowledge of an incredibly important aspect of practicing law in Texas.”

The article, which appears in the 60thvolume of South Texas Law Review, can be read in its entirety here. The authors update the guide every three to four years.

David Hittner

Hittner has served as U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Texas since 1986. Following law school, he entered the U.S. Army, where he served for two years as an infantry captain and paratrooper. Following military service, he practiced as a trial attorney in Houston for 13 years and served as judge of the 133rd District Court from 1978 to 1986.

Among the many honors he has received, Hittner received the Samuel E. Gates Award of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the college’s highest national recognition for the improvement of the litigation process in the U.S., and the Presidents’ Award of the State Bar of Texas, which recognizes exceptional services to the public and the legal profession.

In 2015, the Texas Bar Foundation selected Hittner for its Outstanding 50 Year Lawyer Award. He has published over 90 legal articles, including 14 law review articles.  Hittner is a graduate of New York University and New York University School of Law and is a member of the Texas and New York bars.

Lynne Liberato

A partner in Haynes and Boone’s Appellate Practice, Liberato has led teams in some of the most significant appeals and trials in Texas. The Texas Bar Foundation selected Liberato as the 2019 winner of the Gregory S. Coleman Outstanding Appellate Lawyer Award, which celebrates one distinguished appellate lawyer each year who also demonstrates a commitment to providing legal service to the underserved.

She has argued to the U.S. Supreme Court, served as the first woman president of the Houston Bar Association and served as president of the State Bar of Texas.

In 2018, the Women and the Law Section of the State Bar of Texas named Liberato the winner of the Louise B. Raggio Award, which recognizes an attorney who has actively addressed the needs and issues of women in the legal profession and the community.

A graduate of South Texas College of Law Houston, Liberato previously served on the school’s board of directors.


Hittner had already authored the article but asked Liberato to join him as co-author when he left the state district court bench following his confirmation as a federal judge. Liberato has described Hittner’s 1986 invitation to co-author the article as a “dream chance” for a young lawyer and said that co-authoring the article has been pivotal to her success as an appellate lawyer.

Both Hittner and Liberato expressed their appreciation to Bracewell LLP Associate Jeremy Dunbar, Hittner’s former law clerk and a former editor of South Texas Law Review, for his considerable assistance in preparing the article.

Meet the Hittner Family

George Jacob Hittner & Erica Leigh Hittner

Major, Lindsey & Africa (Recruitment)

George Hittner
Managing Director
George Hittner – Legal Recruiting & Staffing Houston
ghittner@mlaglobal.com
office: +1.713.425.1622
locations: Houston

George Hittner is a Managing Director in our Texas Partner Practice Group. In this role, George is focused on partner and practice group placement as well as Texas office openings for established law firms.

George and his wife, Erica, and two children, Henry and Hazel, live in Houston and Austin (with their myriad pets).  In their free time, George and his family enjoy escaping the hustle and bustle of the city to be at their ranch near La Grange.

Prior to joining Major, Lindsey & Africa, George spent seven years as general counsel, corporate secretary and senior vice president of Government Relations at American Traffic Solutions (ATS), a North American market leader in traffic safety solutions. At ATS, George managed the company’s full spectrum of legal and legislative affairs, including building the company’s in-house legal and legislative teams.  While at ATS, he was named “Litigator of the Year 2013” by the Arizona Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel and Az Business Magazine based on his legal work in the road safety photo enforcement industry.

A Texas native, George previously served as the statewide campaign manager for the successful re-election campaign of the former Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice.

He also worked for then-Governor George W. Bush’s successful re-election campaign and in the Texas State Legislature for a State Senator, and he served as a White House appointee at the United States Department of Labor.

George began his legal career in the Business Litigation and Labor and Employment sections of the Houston office of Haynes and Boone, L.L.P.

George actively consults on various civic, political and community affairs on the local, state and federal levels. He served as a member of the initial onboarding “beachhead team” at the United States Department of Transportation for Secretary Elaine Chao.

The University of Texas School of Law: J.D.
University of Virginia, Darden Graduate School of Business: M.B.A.
The University of Texas, LBJ School of Public Affairs: Master of Public Affairs
Texas A&M University: B.S., Political Science
Wentworth Military Academy: A.A.

Sold; Nov. 2019, appx $2.9m by G & E Hittner

A mini-milestone (2013)

No one escapes the big 3-0 without a suitable celebration. Just ask Erica Hittner, who was completely surprised when hubby George Hittner threw a casual birthday bash at Escalante in Meyerland to celebrate her three decades.

Helping the birthday girl blow out all those candles were Judge David Hittner, Karen and Byron Hood, Divya and Chris Brown, Jessica and George Huntoon III, Jessica and Miguel Colon, Susan Hittner and Leslie and Richard Zientek.

Alas, Erica’s parents could not be there as they are in Thailand with dad on assignment with ExxonMobil. George’s mom, Dr. Helen Mintz-Hittner, was in India giving a speech (she’s a world-renowned expert in pediatric ophthalmology).

David D. Hittner

David Hittner, 9 Rutger Pl.

Helen Mintz-Hittner, MD

Susan Hittner

Miriam Hittner Tondera

Albany, GA

Laws In Texas is a blog about the Financial Crisis and how the banks and government are colluding against the citizens and homeowners of the State of Texas and relying on a system of #FakeDocs and post-crisis legal precedents, specially created by the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to foreclose on homeowners around this great State. We are not lawyers. We do not offer legal advice. We are citizens of the State of Texas who have spent a decade in the court system in Texas and have been party to during this period to the good, the bad and the very ugly.

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