Overview

April is a trial attorney working for defendants and plaintiffs in complex civil litigation. Her litigation experience encompasses matters as diverse as oil and gas, contractual disputes, fraud, trade secrets, construction, leases, property law, mining, employment, collections, probate, trusts and estates, family disputes, and wrongful death and personal injury. She devotes a substantial portion of her practice to representing attorneys defending legal malpractice claims.

April represents clients in various dispute resolution processes before or in place of litigation, as well as throughout the trial, appeal and collection processes. She has used mediation frequently to reach successful resolutions in trust, probate and family dispute cases, as well as in commercial, contract, and other disputes. Where litigation is needed, she has served as first- and second-chair trial attorney in a variety of matters. In addition to trials, April’s work includes preliminary matters such as temporary restraining orders, temporary injunctions and other emergency motions in trial and appellate courts. She has also arbitrated claims to conclusion, collecting on arbitration awards and judgments following trial and appeal.

April is a former briefing attorney for the Third Court of Appeals in Austin, Texas. She handles appeals, including motion practice, mandamus filings, briefing, and argument. She has worked on matters before the Supreme Court of Texas and Court of Appeals across the state and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Geographically, April primarily practices in Austin, Houston and the Dallas area, although much of her work has been in San Antonio, Laredo, the Rio Grande Valley and across South Texas.

April serves as General Counsel and Loss Prevention Partner for McGinnis Lochridge.

Experience

Professional Liability Litigation

April’s experience in this area includes:

  • Representing large Texas firms and individual lawyers in lawsuits in federal, state and bankruptcy courts, defending against allegations of negligence, legal malpractice, fraud, misappropriation of funds, and breaches of duties to parties and court, and family law and property law matters.
  • Representing a large Texas firm regarding time-sensitive questions about ongoing legal advice to a client with immediate employment, contract, trade secret and intellectual property concerns.
  • Defending a large Texas firm and individual attorney in state court against claims of conspiracy and breach of fiduciary duty, in transactional representation and healthcare law work.
  • Defending an attorney and firm in state court against claims regarding breaches of duties of loyalty and care. The claims alleged multiple representations of a business entity and principals in real estate and business matters, and were settled before trial.
  • Representing an attorney defendant in a state court suit involving allegations of legal malpractice in connection with an administrative matter and dealings with a Texas agency.
  • Defending firm and attorneys in dismissing federal suits alleging fraud and civil rights violations.
  • Representing various defendants in removals of legal malpractice or breach of fiduciary duty claims and changes of venue to appropriate courts.
  • Defending attorneys and firms in response to written discovery, depositions, subpoenas, and trial testimony.
  • Work on the successful defenses of individual Texas attorneys in response to grievances filed, including work on preliminary stages, briefing, discovery disputes, and hearings.
  • Defending departing attorney against claims by firm, including addressing temporary restraining order and proceedings in multiple courts, and legal and ethical issues surrounding fee agreements, with successful negotiated resolution.
  • Representing firm in suit against departing attorneys concerning issues of firm property, billing, and fee agreements, and involving temporary restraining order, with successful mediated resolution.
  • Representing partner in law firm dissolution and related suit, with multiple temporary orders, to successful settlement.

Trust, Estate & Probate Litigation

April’s experience in this area includes:

  • Work on family disputes, representing family members, including trustees and beneficiaries, in South Texas disputes involving trusts, family businesses, real estate, mineral interests, partitions and family partnerships.

  • Representing executors in official or personal capacities in state court suits in multiple counties regarding the probate of wills, recovery of estate assets, and claims of impropriety, through settlements, summary judgment proceedings, or final trial.

  • Representing beneficiaries under wills in probate litigation. Many of these matters have been resolved through mediated settlement agreements before trial.

  • Representing beneficiaries of trusts in disputes concerning fiduciary duties.

  • Representing trustees and trust companies in matters involving trusts and defending against beneficiary claims, including matters in Travis, Dallas, and Webb counties.

  • Representing family members working with executor in probate matter concerning dispute involving family limited partnership, trust and real estate issues, mineral interests and cattle business.

  • Resolving litigation with various family settlement agreements, including agreements concerning issues of trusts, termination and distributions. Obtaining a successful family settlement agreement following the probate of a will in a South Texas matter that involved competing claims to a homestead, ranch, real property, equipment, funds and family business.

  • Successfully disposing of allegations against administrator in heirship involving rights of minor heirs through settlement.

  • Successfully obtaining a mediated settlement of dispute over timberland in trust.

  • Representing prospective guardians and family members seeking and opposing guardianship in proceedings in Travis, Webb, and Hays Counties for proposed wards who were mentally incapacitated, underage, or elderly.

  • Will contests concerning claims of lack of testamentary capacity and undue influence.

General Litigation

April’s experience in state and federal court includes:

  • Assisting in the representation of a business to protect and maintain trade secrets, including litigation of matters involving breach of contract, employment and misappropriation of trade secrets. Some matters resolved through settlement, while others involved representation through federal trial and appeal.
  • Representing a Central Texas business in defending against breach of contract claims made by a former independent contractor. The lawsuit resolved successfully by settlement before trial.
  • Representing individuals, families, and a foundation in various real estate, partition, transfer, and ownership disputes, including work on advising clients, lis pendens filings, discovery, trial, and appeal.
  • Defending landowners against claims made by a mining company regarding contractual interpretation, delay rentals and termination issues. Assisted with temporary restraining order and temporary injunctions proceedings and successfully litigated the matter through trial and appeal.
  • Representing a plaintiff in a breach of contract and fraud lawsuit followed by arbitration, settlement, and collection through defendant's bankruptcy proceedings.
  • Representing a plaintiff investor in arbitration before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), asserting claims for fraud and unsuitable investment advice. The arbitration resulted in an award for her client of the full investment amount.
  • Representing minor plaintiffs against an amusement park and a children's products manufacturer in two personal injury matters that involved permanent physical injuries. The matters were resolved by settlements.
  • Participating in a trial team defending a business against claims of breach of contract for millions of dollars in damages. The matter was related to a joint project regarding internet portal and computer links, and was resolved by settlement before trial.
  • Assisting in the representation of a municipality in litigation against a gas-plant construction company, asserting and defending against construction-law and breach-of-contract claims, including calculation of delay, warranties and fitness of work. The matter was resolved through settlement before trial.
  • Assisting in the defense of a mining company in a labor lawsuit regarding time and hour requirements and compensation claims of employees.
  • Representing a small business as plaintiff in asserting claims of fraud and embezzlement against a departing employee.
  • Advising businesses regarding employee termination, misuse of company property, misappropriation of trade secrets, and disputes among business partners.
  • Representing a commercial lessor in multiple lawsuits involving breach of lease. Obtained recoveries from lessees, through settlement or summary judgment.
  • Defending commercial lessors in disputes regarding fitness or warranty of premises, claims regarding easements, roads and road repair.
  • Counseling business and consumer lenders regarding fair debt collection issues, collections, claims under the Deceptive Trade Practices Act, and related litigation. April has obtained final judgments as well as settlements, sequestrations, and collection of debts for a variety of lenders, in matters such as Small Business Administration loans, secured loans for equipment, vehicles, and other purposes to businesses and individuals.
  • Participating in team representation of landowners whose property had been taken by eminent domain, before special commissioners and in litigation to ensure that the clients received fair compensation.

Appellate

April’s significant experience in this area includes:

  • Handling the appeal of a mining dispute after successful trial on the merits, including preparing the appellee brief and presenting the oral argument to state appellate court.
  • Handling the appeal of a business supplier's collection matter, after successfully obtaining summary judgment, including preparing the appellee brief. The client prevailed and recovered 100% of the judgment sought and obtained in the collections process.
  • Briefing for an appellant in an oil and gas matter following summary judgment. Briefing for an appellant in a probate matter following dismissal. Briefing for an appellee in a partition matter following trial on the merits.
  • Preparing an ongoing series of emergency motions at appellate court and obtaining stays and suspension of temporary orders pending trial in the underlying matter, permitting it to be successfully resolved by settlement before trial.
  • Substantive briefing of accelerated appeal related to sovereign immunity, after pursuing appellate motions, including emergency motions and stays permitting parties to obtain lower court’s findings related to notice of entry of appealable interlocutory order and appellate deadlines.
  • Participating in a team briefing in appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in a diversity matter regarding breach of contract and trade secret law. Participating in team briefing in appeal to United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit regarding environmental agency actions.
  • Work on a variety of mandamus proceedings in state and federal courts. Preparing and coordinating submission of amicus briefing for various clients in state appellate courts.

Oil & Gas/Energy Litigation 

April participated in a team representing oil and gas operators in multiple matters. Some matters have involved oil and gas production royalty disputes and a variety of lessor complaints. Other matters involved contract requirements, rights of lessors and lessees, environmental issues and claims, and issues related to continuous development requirements and proration units.

South Texas 

April has assisted South Texas clients with a variety of matters, including a breach-of-contracts matter involving international shipping, various other breach-of-contract claims, fraud, partnership disputes, family disputes, torts and personal injury, wrongful death, appeals and real estate matters. April has appeared in both federal and state courts in the region.

Corporate & Business Transactions 

As a team member and team coordinator, April assisted with preparation for acquisitions or mergers of large business entities. She also has experience assisting in due diligence work and compliance with Department of Justice requirements.

News & Publications

Publications

  • Author, Edit in Hardcopy, Practice Tip, Austin Lawyer, April 2020 edition
    April 2020
  • Speaker, Ethical Considerations in Engagement Agreements, Travis County Women Lawyers Association Half-Day Ethics CLE
    March 6, 2020
  • Speaker, Preventing Legal Malpractice, Mother Attorneys Mentoring Association, Austin
    February 25, 2020
  • Co-Presenter, Avoiding Malpractice and Fee Disputes, presented by April Lucas and Stephen Jon Moss, the Women Lawyer’s Section of the Williamson County Bar Ethics CLE event
    September 19, 2019
  • Panelist, Vocabulary Words Every Lawyer Should Know, Travis County Women Lawyers' Association
    March 5, 2019
  • Speaker, Ethical Issues in Client Communications, CLE conference, Travis County Women Lawyers' Association
    April 5, 2018
  • Speaker, Recent Developments in the Law Governing Trade Secrets and Non-Competes, Labor and Employment Law Section, Austin Bar Association, Austin, Texas
    November 1, 2017
  • October 27, 2017
  • Speaker, Ethical Considerations in Engagement Agreements, Austin Young Lawyers Association CLE Ethics Bus
    October 27, 2017
  • Speaker, Attorneys’ Fees, 40th Annual Course Advanced Civil Trial Course, State Bar of Texas, Houston, Texas
    October 26, 2017
  • Co-Author, Recent Developments in Claims Against Lawyers and Ethics, 40th Annual Course Advanced Civil Trial Course, State Bar of Texas
    October 27, 2017
  • Speaker, Avoiding Legal Malpractice During Your Litigation, 40th Annual Course Advanced Civil Trial Course, State Bar of Texas, Houston, Texas
    October 26, 2017
  • Speaker, Fiduciary Litigation and You Litigation and Ethics CLE Presentation, to McGinnis Lochridge Litigation Section, Austin, Texas
    May 19, 2016
  • Speaker, Topics in Ethics and Avoiding Malpractice Pitfalls, Malpractice and Ethics CLE presentation, to Austin Black Lawyers Association, Austin, Texas
    May 11, 2016
  • Speaker, Ethical Considerations in Engagement Agreements, Travis County Women Lawyers’ Association Half-Day CLE event, Travis County Women Lawyers’ Association, Austin, Texas
    April 29, 2016
  • Speaker, Carlos Soltero and Co-Authors, April E. Lucas and Stephanie Duff-O'Bryan, Fee Agreements and Engagement Letters, Essentials for the General Practitioner Course 2014, State Bar of Texas, San Antonio, Texas
    December 2014
  • Speaker, Ethics Basics: Practical Considerations for Practice in Texas; A Stroll Through the Disciplinary Rules of Texas, Deep in the Heart: Celebrating Texas Support for Military Spouse Attorneys, Military Spouse JD Network CLE
    February 2014
  • Co-Author, Fee Agreements and Engagement Letters, Essentials for the General Practitioner 2014, State Bar of Texas
    November 25, 2014
  • Speaker, Client Intake, CLE Presentation
    July 2014
  • Speaker, Malpractice Update and Other Topics, CLE Presentation
    March 2014
  • Speaker and Co-author, Expert and Opinion Evidence: Current Issues Involving Admissibility, Effective Direct, and Cross Examination, Advanced Evidence and Discovery, University of Houston CLE Seminar
    May 4, 2009
  • Speaker and Co-author, Expert and Opinion Evidence: Qualification, Scope and Form of Examination, Advanced Evidence and Discovery, University of Houston CLE Seminar (2007)
    July 4, 2008
  • Speaker, Wrapping Things Up So They Can Go Up: Motions for New Trial and for Judgment, How To Handle Trial Issues So That You Can Move Safely From Trial To Appeal, McGinnis Lochridge, Appellate Practice Group CLE Seminar
    February 2006

Honors & Recognition

  • Chambers & Partners USA, Texas: Austin & Surrounds Litigation: General Commercial, Band 2 (2020-2021)
  • TCWLA President's Award (2021)
  • Recognized among Top Women Attorneys in Texas 2020 - Super Lawyers
  • Texas Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, In Professional Liability: Defense (2019-2020)
  • Austin Monthly's Top Austin Attorneys - Civil Law Litigation (2020), Professional Malpratice Non-Medical Defense (2019) 
  • Texas Super Lawyers Rising Stars list, a Thomson Reuters service, General Litigation (2013-2018) and Professional Liability: Defense (2015 - 2018)

Community & Professional

  • Austin Bar Association: Litigation Section, Appellate Section
  • Travis County Women Lawyers' Association (Secretary)
  • Texas Supreme Court Historical Society
  • Williamson County Bar Association, Women Lawyers Section

Education

The University of Texas School of Law, J.D., 2004 (Order of the Coif)

Texas A&M University, B.A., 2001 (magna cum laude)

Briefing Attorney: Third Court of Appeals, the Honorable David E. Puryear (2004–05)

Bar admissions

  • Texas

Court admissions

  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • United States District Courts for the Southern and Western Districts of Texas
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