Nelia is a civil litigator and appellate attorney with a diverse representative practice. She is also a lecturer at Texas Law, where she teaches legal writing and appellate advocacy. As a trial attorney, Nelia has represented individuals and entities on both sides of the docket in a variety of civil matters, including business disputes, commercial landlord-tenant and construction matters, and personal injury and product liability actions. Working in both state and federal courts, Nelia has experience in all aspects of the litigation process, from pre-suit and preliminary matters to discovery, mediation, trial, collections, and appeal. Nelia has successfully tried cases in county, state, and federal court and has presented oral argument on appeal.

Nelia is a member of the Firm’s Diversity and Inclusion, Women’s Initiative, and Associate Recruitment committees. She is also actively involved in the community and currently serves on the Board of Directors for The SAFE Alliance, Austin’s resource for survivors of child abuse, sexual assault and exploitation, trafficking, and domestic violence. Nelia has been involved with SAFE—as a volunteer, employee, committee member, or board member—for twenty years.



Nelia has handled a variety of general litigation matters including:

  • Obtaining favorable judgment for individual business lender in breach of contract trial in state court against corporate defendant.  First-chaired trial on the merits.
  • Assisting in obtaining final no evidence summary judgment for hospital administrator defending against defamation claims by medical professional in the Rio Grande Valley.
  • Assisting in prosecution of misappropriation of trade secrets suit in Iowa state court for a software development company against a major competitor and supervising team of attorneys and paralegals working on large document review project.
  • Assisting in obtaining favorable jury verdict in federal court for a software development company against a wireless telecommunications consortium for breach of contract and theft of trade secrets.
  • Representing an individual injured by falling merchandise in an international warehouse club and securing favorable pretrial settlement.
  • Obtaining pre-answer dismissal of a breach of fiduciary duty and professional negligence suit in federal court.
  • Obtaining favorable pre-trial settlement for a hardware developer and manufacturer defending against breach of contract claims.
  • Defending a national campground operating against breach of contract claims in the Rio Grande Valley.
  • Assisting in defense of an animal sanctuary against claims relating to the Dangerous Wild Animals Act.
  • Assisting in representation of individuals injured by pharmaceutical products in product liability suits across the country.
  • Representing and advising a Central Texas school district on a variety of matters relating to the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Serving as local counsel for enforcements of foreign judgments and issuance of subpoenas for third party discovery in Texas for out-of-state matters.


Nelia's experience in this area includes:

  • Representing and advising a medical office leasing company on a variety of matters, including landlord-tenant disputes and suits for eviction and forcible detainer, as well as post-judgment collections.
  • Representing and advising commercial landlord on a variety of matters, including premises liability claims, landlord-tenant disputes, and evictions and forcible detainers.
  • Assisting in prosecution of breach of warranty claims by commercial interiors provider against flooring adhesive manufacturer and successfully defending against defendant’s special appearance.
  • Obtaining dismissal of roofing contractor’s breach of contract claims against school district based on governmental immunity.
  • Assisting in defense of breach of contract claims against architect arising out of design and construction of an office complex and rooftop garden.  
  • Obtaining favorable judgment for construction worker in breach of contract trial in county court.  First-chaired trial on the merits.
  • Advising homeowners on the Residential Construction Liability Act.


Nelia’s significant experience in this area includes:

  • Briefing and presenting oral argument to state appellate court after successful trial on the merits in breach of contract case; judgment was affirmed.
  • Defending denial of special appearance based on personal jurisdiction on appeal in state appellate court; denial was favorably affirmed.
  • Defending on appeal the pre-answer dismissal of a breach of fiduciary and professional negligence suit; judgment was favorably affirmed by the federal appellate court.
  • Assisting in defending a favorable jury verdict in a trade secret misappropriation and breach of contract case on appeal in federal appellate court.
  • Assisting in defending trial court’s final summary judgment in defamation case on appeal in state appellate court. 

News & Publications


  • Moderator, United States Supreme Court Update featuring Dean of Berkeley Law, Erwin Chemerinsky, McGinnis Lochridge Women’s Initiative Committee
    September 25, 2020
  • Speaker, “Guidelines for Training & Promotion of Employees in High-Risk Occupations,” 2008 Human Resources/Benefits Conference, Texas Electric Cooperatives, Austin, Texas
    May 2008

Honors & Recognition

  • Recipient, Austin Bar Foundation Joseph C. Parker Jr. Diversity Award (2020)
  • Texas Super Lawyers Rising Stars list, a Thomson Reuters service, General Litigation (2016-2017)
  • Named Appellate Lawyer of the Week by Texas Lawyer (October 2015)
  • Voted One of Austin's Most Influential Attorneys by the Austin Black Business Journal

Community & Professional

  • State Bar of Texas 
  • Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow 
  • Texas Law Alumni Association – Executive Committee (2016-2020)
  • Travis County Women Lawyer’s Association
  • Austin Bar Association – Diversity Fellowship Program Committee
  • Austin Black Lawyer’s Association
  • The Lloyd Lochridge American Inn of Court
  • The SAFE Alliance – Board of Directors: member (2017 - present); chair (2019-2021)


The University of Texas School of Law, J.D., 2007 (with honors)

Wesleyan University, B.A., 1996 (with honors)

Bar admissions

  • Texas

Court admissions

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