Bryan G. Rutherford
Direct Phone: 214.651.3305
Direct Fax: 214.447.0942
AREAS OF PRACTICE
Architects and Engineers
Overview Bryan Rutherford is an experienced litigator who is in his element in a courtroom, whether standing before a jury at the trial level or in front of a panel of justices in appellate court. Representing clients in state and federal courts across Texas, Bryan’s practice is focused on matters arising from commercial disputes, first-party insurance litigation, construction litigation, oil and gas litigation, and nursing home litigation.
A talented and compelling writer, Bryan has briefed appeals on a wide variety of issues to the Texas Supreme Court, the intermediate Texas appellate courts, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Bryan also aids other litigators in drafting jury charges, substantive trial briefing, and preserving appellate error.
In addition to his vast civil litigation experience, Bryan served as a Dallas County Assistant District Attorney where he was lead counsel in over seventy-five criminal appeals and regularly represented the State of Texas in oral argument before the Dallas Court of Appeals. Additionally, Bryan responded to requests for post-conviction DNA testing in noncapital cases, appearing as first chair prosecutor in Dallas County’s felony courts.
Bryan has been honored on multiple occasions with inclusion on the Texas Rising Star and Texas Super Lawyers lists. He is active in his profession and his community, and has the distinction of being an Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America.
Bryan is a graduate of Southern Methodist University and went on to earn his law degree from South Texas College of Law. He is admitted to practice in all state and federal courts in Texas as well as the U.S. Supreme Court.
Provided appellate support during a two-week wrongful death trial in Bowie County, Texas against Macdonald Devin’s commercial trucking clients; the jury rendered a unanimous verdict in favor of Macdonald Devin’s clients. 2017.
As first-chair, obtained a unanimous jury verdict for Macdonald Devin’s clients in personal injury case involving a motorcyclist and a commercial motor vehicle in Denton County, Texas. 2016.
Provided appellate support during a three-week trial in Leon County, Texas arising out of the alleged failure of oil country tubular goods and a claim for $23,000,000; the jury rendered a verdict in favor of Macdonald Devin’s clients. 2015.
Provided appellate support during trial of alleged failure to “re-work” a saltwater disposal well in Parker County, Texas, which resulted in a unanimous jury verdict for Macdonald Devin’s drilling operator client. On appeal with oral argument, successfully defended the jury’s verdict. Cresson SWD Servs., L.P. v. Basic Energ,t Servs., L.P.,No.02-13-00141-CV, 2014 Tex. App. LEXIS 12800, * I (Tex. App.-Fort Worth Nov. 26, 2014, pet. denied).
On appeal with oral argument, successfully defended the jury’s verdict that the plaintiff, a surgeon involved in a car accident, had no future impairment, no loss of future earning capacity, no need for future medical care, and no future pain as a result of the accident. Miller v. Churches, 418 S.W.3d 749,751 (Tex. App.-Dallas 2013, no pet.).
Obtained reversal in the Texas Supreme Court in an opinion favorable to design professionals, recognizing dismissal is a sanction that survives a nonsuit. The plaintiff filed suit against Macdonald Devin’s client, a geotechnical engineer, alleging damages arising out of the rendition of professional design services. The trial court denied the engineer’s dismissal motion, made under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Chapter 150. When Macdonald Devin filed a statutorily-authorized interlocutory appeal, the plaintiff nonsuited its claims and re-filed them in another district court, to avoid the potential for reversal. The Second Court of Appeals held it had no jurisdiction to consider the engineer’s appeal, due to the plaintiff s nonsuit; the Texas Supreme Court reversed. This holding reverses three contrary opinions from intermediate courts of appeals. CTL/Thompson Texas, LLC v. Starwood Homeowner ‘s Ass’n,390 S.W.3d 299 (Tex.2013).
Obtained a favorable ruling from the Texas Supreme Court on behalf of a nursing home client in a lawsuit regarding the death of a patient bitten by a brown recluse spider, reversing the holdings of the Court of Appeals and the trial court. The Court remanded the case to the trial court with instructions to dismiss the case and consider the nursing home’s request for attorney’s fees and costs. Omaha Healthcare Center, LLC v. Johnson, 344 S.W.3d 392, No. 08-0231 (Tex. July 1, 2011). Click here for the court’s opinion.
Won appeal for dental college and oral surgeon. Plaintiff sued an oral surgeon and dental college under the Texas Tort Claim Act, for alleged injuries sustained during a surgical procedure conducted at the college by the oral surgeon. Trial court found there was no evidence the oral surgeon’s use or misuse of equipment and instruments caused Plaintiff’s alleged injuries. The Tenth Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s orders, dismissing the oral surgeon and granting the dental college’s motion for summary judgment based on sovereign immunity. Miers v. Texas A&M Univ. Sys. Health Science Ctr., 311 S.W.3d 577, No. 10-08-00183-CV (Tex. App.–Waco, December 30, 2009, no pet.). Click here for the opinion.
On appeal with oral argument, secured reversal of a trial court’s refusal to dismiss claims against engineer clients based on Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Chapter 150, the Certificate of Merit statute. Sharp Engineering v. Delgado, 321 S.W.3d 748, No. 14-09-00645-CV, 2010 Tex. App. LEXIS 6445 (Tex. App.–Houston [14th Dist.] August 10, 2010, no pet.).
Successfully defended two clients in a product liability and construction defect in trial involving a roof collapse in which the plaintiffs asked the jury for almost $30 million in damages. After a three and a half week trial, the jury returned a finding of no liability on the design defect claim, and awarded zero damages for the fair market value of the plaintiffs’ businesses. The jury did return a small damage finding in favor of the plaintiffs, but since they found our clients only 9% and 19% responsible, the result was an award far less than the plaintiffs’ pre-trial demands and the settlement offer made after the commencement of trial. 2009
Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a trucking company against the intoxicated driver of a vehicle that collided with a tractor truck, and successfully defended that summary judgment on appeal. See Martinez v. Swift Transp. Co., No. 10-06-00012-CV, 2006 Tex. App. LEXIS 9702 (Tex. App.–Waco, November 8, 2006, no pet.) (memorandum opinion).
From 2000 to 2002, successfully represented the State of Texas on over 70 criminal appeals, including twelve set for oral argument. See, e.g., Davis v. State, No. 05-98-01104-CR, 2001 Tex. App. LEXIS 2966, (Tex. App.–Dallas, May 8, 2001, pet. ref’d) (bribery) ; Brockman v. State, No. 05-01-00064-CR, 2002 Tex. App. LEXIS 139 (Tex. App.–Dallas, January 10, 2002, pet. ref’d) (capital murder).
Dallas Bar Association, Appellate Section
State Bar of Texas, Appellate and Insurance Sections
Texas District and County Attorneys Association
Texas Association of Defense Counsel
Honors and Recognitions
Selected to the Texas Super Lawyers list, published by Texas Monthly Magazine, Appellate, 2014–2018
Selected to the Texas Rising Stars list, published by Texas Monthly Magazine, Appellate, 2007–2010
Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts of America
Educational and Professional Background
South Texas College of Law, Juris Doctor, 1999
Southern Methodist University, Bachelor of Arts, 1994
Civic and Volunteerism
City of Dallas Judicial Nominating Commission, Member
Appointed by Council Member Angela Hunt and the Dallas Bar Association’s Board of Directors, 2007–2009, 2009–2011, and 2011–2013 terms
Appointed by Council Member Philip Kingston, 2013–2015 term
Hollywood/Santa Monica Neighborhood Association, Board Member
Bryan G. Rutherford is licensed to practice law in the following areas:
U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit U.S. Supreme Court