- Areas of Practice
- Significant Victories
- Publications & Presentations
Kirk Pittard is a founding partner and like the rest of his firm, specializes in civil appeals and litigation support in state and federal court. As an instrument rated pilot, Mr. Pittard also practices Aviation Law.
Kirk graduated from Baylor University School of Law in 1999 where he served as the Assistant Managing Editor for the Baylor Law Review and was on Baylor’s mock trial team. During law school, Mr. Pittard worked for Chief Justice John Boyd of the Amarillo Court of Appeals and the late Presiding Justice Michael Sullivan of the Mississippi Supreme Court.
After law school, and prior to establishing this firm, Kirk served as a briefing attorney for Justice Jim Moseley on the Dallas Court of Appeals and then joined Waters & Kraus, LLP, as part of their appellate group. While at Waters & Kraus, Kirk had a trial docket of toxic tort, pharmaceutical, commercial, and class action cases. Kirk managed the federal remand practice in certain pharmaceutical cases.
Kirk is admitted to practice in all Texas State Courts, the United States Supreme Court, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas, and United States District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas. Kirk is also licensed to practice in all New Mexico and Colorado State Courts.
From 2005-2013, Kirk was named a Texas Rising Star in appellate law by Texas Monthly. Kirk has since been named a Super Lawyer in appellate law by Texas Monthly from 2013-2020 and has been named “Top 100” in the Dallas/Fort Worth region for 2019-2020, and “Top 100” in Texas for 2020. Kirk has also been named as one of the “Best Lawyers in Dallas” in appellate law from 2011-2021 by D Magazine. Kirk serves on the Board of Directors for the Dallas Trial Lawyers Association, the Tarrant County Trial Lawyers Association and the Texas Trial Lawyers Association. He is also an active member of the TTLA Amicus Committee. In 2014, Mr. Pittard became a director of the Texas Lyceum.
27th Annual Advanced Medical Torts, State Bar of Texas (March 25-26, 2021)
Tarrant County Trial Lawyers Association, Fort Worth, Texas, February 26, 2020
Texas Trial Lawyers Association, Fort Worth, Texas, November 7, 2019
51 Tex. Tech L. Rev. 731 (Summer 2019)
Houston Trial Lawyers Association, Houston, Texas (August 2018);
San Antonio Trial Lawyers Association, San Antonio, Texas (June 2018);
Tarrant County Trial Lawyers Association, Fort Worth, Texas (February 2018)
The Advocate (State Bar Litigation Section Report-Vol. 77, Winter 2016)
Vol. 40, No. 5, Dallas Bar Association: Headnotes (May 2015)
State Bar of Texas CLE, 22nd Annual Advanced Medical Torts Course, San Antonio (March 12-13, 2015)
State Bar of Texas CLE, Damages in Civil Litigation 2014 (February 6-7, 2014)
Dallas Bar Association Trial Academy, Dallas, Texas (July 26, 2013)
Dallas Bar Association Tort & Insurance Practice Section, Dallas, Texas (July 9, 2013)
State Bar of Texas, 20th Annual Advanced Medical Torts, San Antonio, Texas (March 14, 2013)
University of Texas School of Law, Insurance Law Institute, Austin, Texas (October 18, 2012)
Fort Bend County Bar Association, Sugarland, Texas (August, 30, 2012)
Soaking Up Some CLE, State Bar of Texas CLE (May 17-18, 2012)
Dallas Bar Association, Appellate Section (May 17, 2012)
Denton County Bench Bar Conference, Pottsboro, Texas (May 01, 2012)
Advanced Evidence and Discovery, State Bar of Texas CLE (April 26-27, 2012)
Texas Association of Defense Counsel, Inc., 2012 Spring Meeting, Santa Fe, New Mexico (April 25, 2012)
Permian Basin Trial Lawyers Association, Odessa, Texas (03/15/12)
Justice for All – The Wyatt Wright Show (January 22, 2012)
San Antonio Trial Lawyers Association, San Antonio, Texas (12/15/11)
Dallas Association of Young Lawyers, Dallas, Texas (December 14, 2011)
Texas Trial Lawyers Association, Advanced Personal Injury Seminar, Houston, Texas (December 1, 2011)
Dallas, Texas (October 13, 2011)
Road Rules Dallas: A Crash Course Car Wrecks Seminar, Dallas, Texas (October 6, 2011)
Dallas Bar Association, Tort & Insurance Practice Section, Dallas, Texas (October 4, 2011)
East Texas Trial Lawyers Association, Longview, Texas (September 21, 2011)
State Bar of Texas, Appellate Section, Dallas, Texas (June 17, 2011)
Texas Trial Lawyers Association Annual Meeting, Medical Malpractice Seminar, Austin, Texas (June 2, 2011)
State Bar of Texas, Santa Fe, New Mexico (March 17, 2011)
Mississippi Association for Justice, New Orleans (June 11, 2010)
El Paso Trial Lawyers Association, El Paso, Texas (March 18, 2010)
State Bar of Texas, Santa Fe, New Mexico (March 17, 2010)
Dallas Association of Young Lawyers (March 10, 2010)
Texas Trial Lawyers Association, Las Vegas, Nevada (February 26, 2010)
RFC Dallas Flying Club, Addison, Texas (April 21, 2009)
Patrick E. Higginbotham American Inn of Court, Dallas, Texas (April 15, 2009)
Vol. 33, No. 4 Dallas Bar Association: Headnotes (April 1, 2009)
East Texas Trial Lawyers Association, Jefferson, Texas (March 26, 2009)
The University of Texas School of Law, 2008 The Car Crash Seminar, Austin, Texas (August 15, 2008)
Houston TTLA Advocates (May 28, 2008)
Texas Association of Legal Professional 53rd Annual Board Meeting and Education Conference (May 3, 2008)
Texas Trial Lawyers Association, Car Wrecks Seminar, 2007 Annual Conference, Austin Texas (November 29, 2007)
Dallas Bar Association, Appellate Law Section (October 18, 2007)
San Antonio Trial Lawyers Association, San Antonio, Texas (October 18, 2007)
Tarrant County Trial Lawyers Association, Ft. Worth, Texas (October 10, 2007)
Texas Advanced Paralegal Seminar, Dallas, Texas (October 4, 2007)
Dallas Bar Association, Torts and Insurance Practice Litigation Section (September 27, 2007)
American Association for Justice, Section Connection-Aviation Law, Vol. 15, No. 1 (Fall 2007)
American Association for Justice 2007 Annual Convention (July 18, 2007)
American Association for Justice Annual Convention (June 29, 2007)
El Paso County Trial Lawyers Association (June 28, 2007)
Texas Trial Lawyers Association, Advanced Personal Injury Seminar, Austin, Texas (May 31, 2007)
Collin County Bench Bar Conference (April 20, 2007)
Collin County Bench Bar Conference (April 20, 2007)
Dallas Trial Lawyers Association and the Dallas Women Lawyers Association (January 25, 2007)
Vol. 37 The Advocate, Texas State Bar litigation Section (Winter 2006)
Texas Trial Lawyers Association Car Wrecks Seminar (November 30, 2006)
Tarrant County Trial Lawyers Association (October 25, 2006)
Mesquite Bar Association (October 18, 2006)
Dallas Area Paralegal Association (October 3, 2006)
South Plains Trial Lawyers Association (September 20, 2006)
Capital Area Trial Lawyers Association (July 11, 2006)
Texas Trial Lawyers Association, Advanced Personal Injury Seminar, Houston, Texas (May 11-12, 2006)
Dallas Trial Lawyers Association (March 16, 2006)
Denton Trial Lawyers Association (February 16, 2006)
Harris Martin Benzene 101 Litigation Conference, San Antonio, Texas (February 2-3, 2006)
Dallas Bar Associationâ Trial Skills Section (December 9, 2005)
San Antonio Trial Lawyers Association (November 17, 2005)
Dallas Bar Associationâ Friday Clinic (September 2, 2005)
Capital Area Trial Lawyers Association (May 10, 2005)
Tarrant County Trial Lawyers Association (April 27, 2005)
Solo & Small Firm Section of the Dallas Bar Association (April 6, 2005)
Vol. 1, Issue 4, Dallas Trial Lawyers Association: The Front Line (March 1, 2005)
Texas Trial Lawyers Association Annual Meeting (November 17, 2004)
Vol. 28, No. 7 Dallas Bar Association Headnotes (July 1, 2004)
Vol. 28, No. 2 Dallas Bar Association: Headnotes (February 1, 2004)
Vol. 28, No. 2 Dallas Bar Association: Headnotes (February 1, 2004)
Vol. 27, No. 7 Dallas Bar Association: Headnotes (July 1, 2003)
Vol. 17, No. 9, Texas School Administrators’ Legal Digest (October 1, 2001)
50 Baylor L. Rev. 985 (Fall 1998)
On motion for rehearing en banc, successfully convinced panel to reverse itself and award Plaintiffs the total damages ($1,070,050) awarded by jury, rather than a drastically reduced amount ($200,000) based on the amount originally pled. The court of appeals rejected its original position that the Plaintiffs’ attempt to amend its petition to be consistent with the jury’s verdict was an impermissible attempt to amend the pleadings “post-judgment.” A matter of first impression, the court of appeals adopted “the more reasonable view” that, because Plaintiffs sought leave to amend their petition before the Amended Final Judgment was signed, the amended pleading was timely.
Denial of State Farm’s mandamus petition seeking to avoid discovery in the uninsured/underinsured motorist context. In doing so, the court of appeals discusses at length the distinction between a breach of contract claim against the UM/UIM insurer and common law or statutory claims for breach of duties of good faith and fair dealing. Noting a distinction based on the historical development of the claims and their accrual, the court of appeals found that Brainard does not foreclose such claims. Rather, another line of cases, beginning with the Texas Supreme Court’s opinion in Arnold (and modified later by Murray), which hold that the insurer’s duties of good faith and fair dealing can accrue prior to a judgment that would trigger the insurer’s contractual liability, controls and allows such claims, and supported the trial court’s order compelling discovery related to the insurer’s claims-handling practices.
Successfully dismissed interlocutory appeal for lack of jurisdiction by independent contractor who contracted with a government entity to manage a nursing home. Claiming derivative sovereign immunity, the contractor sought to appeal the trial court’s denial of its plea to the jurisdiction. Without reaching the substance of the derivative sovereign immunity claim, the Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal, holding that contracting with a government entity did not transform the contractor into a “governmental entity” entitled to appeal under the interlocutory appeal statute.
Affirming denial of second Chapter 74 motion to dismiss filed by operators of facilities for young people with mental disabilities filed after unsuccessful appeal of the first Chapter 74 motion to dismiss, finding the law of the case doctrine barred second motion to dismiss based on the same facts.
Denying mandamus relief, finding that trial court did not abuse its discretion in striking responsible third party designation by owner of gas facility of former minority-interest owner and contract-operator. The court of appeals held that the minority owner, who sold its interest in the premises to the majority owner prior to the personal injuries at issue, owed no duty to the injured plaintiff because, under premises-liability principles, any such duty passed to the majority owner when its interest was sold.
After a two-week trial, DP&S partner, Kirk Pittard, along with a trial team that included Steve Laird, Seth McCloskey, Tim Brandenburg, and Pete Kestner, secured a $12.5 million settlement in an 18-wheeler-motorcycle collision case in Rockwall County. The collision occurred when the plaintiff, who was alleged to be going 60 m.p.h. in a 40 m.p.h. zone and attempting to time the green light as he entered the intersection, hit a Mercer 18-wheeler that had run a red light. The plaintiff, who survived the accident, is now blind and paralyzed. It was an all-hands-on-deck effort that led to the settlement just before closing argument.
In matter of first impression, affirming denial of Chapter 74 motions to dismiss filed by newly-added nurses, holding that for purposes of section 74.351(a), an action does not commence as to each defendant until it is first named as a defendant.
Under the Texas Tort Claims Act, the State’s sovereign immunity is waived if a negligent decision is coupled with use of tangible personal property and the use proximately causes injury. Because the Act does not require that the tangible personal property be used in a negligent manner in order to waive sovereign immunity, the Texas Supreme Court held that the hospital’s use of an improper solution during a chemotherapy procedure was sufficient to waive immunity.
Successfully upheld an order denying a motion to transfer venue in a Texas Dram Shop Act case from Dallas County to Tarrant County on the basis that the plaintiffs had properly pleaded a cause of action against an employee of a bar who resided in Dallas County at the time of the incident. In an issue of first impression, the court of appeals unanimously held that the plain language of the Dram Shop Act provides a civil cause of action against not just the bar itself, but also an individual employee who overserves an intoxicated person.
Successfully defending trial court’s denial of an untimely motion to dismiss pursuant to the Texas Citizens’ Participation Act (the anti-SLAPP statute), finding the 60-day deadline to file the motion was not reset by an amended pleading that “d[id] not alter the essential nature” of the trade secret claim, “of which appellants had notice in the original petition.”
Approving sufficiency of expert’s report under Chapter 74, rejecting attack on “believability” of expert’s preliminary report, and holding that a board-certified orthopedic surgeon is qualified to offer an opinion as to the standard of care required of an emergency physician prescribing crutches, even though surgeon was not an emergency physician.
Successfully reversed summary judgment in favor of insured and insurer after defense counsel assigned by insurer agreed to settlement of claims but insured withdrew consent, where insurance policy was a non-consent policy which gave insurer unilateral right to settle case and insured no right to consent or, in this case, withdraw consent.
Holding that a funeral home owes a common law duty to a deceased’s next of kin to not mishandle the deceased’s body and that such a duty need not be based on the existence of a contract.
Successfully defeating hospital’s mandamus petition challenging a trial court order taking judicial notice of administrative rules promulgated by the Texas Medical Board.
Successfully defended medical providers’ appeal, challenging the plaintiff’s Chapter 74 expert reports in a case in which the medical providers’ negligence resulted in the amputation of the plaintiff’s leg.
Reversed and rendered judgment following permissive appeal, holding that section 74.153 of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code, which applies a lower “willful and wanton” standard of care to medical care provided in a hospital emergency room does not apply to medical care provided an expectant mother in an obstetrical unit.
In suit affecting the parent-child relationship (SAPCR) in which grandparents sought managing conservatorship over the child, court of appeals concluded that the grandparents did not have standing to file the SAPCR because they did not have actual care and control over the child for the statutory required six months.
In a breach of contract case arising out of the sale of a helicopter, the Fifth Circuit vacated the District Court’s sua sponte grant of summary judgment against the buyer on a notice of revocation/rejection of acceptance issue never raised by the seller, finding that the District Court abused its discretion by not considering the evidence of rejection or revocation presented by the buyer in its Rule 59(e) motion.
Dismissing interlocutory appeal, originating from claim that collision with cow owned by a former doctor was really a health care liability case that required a Chapter 74 expert report, and sanctioning doctor and his attorney for refusing to dismiss frivolous appeal.
Denying mandamus relief and requiring the production of electronically stored information in native or near native format.
Reversing trial court’s dismissal of a medical malpractice case, concluding that trial court abused its discretion in doing so and that the Chapter 74 expert report sufficiently demonstrated a causal relationship between the physician’s negligence and the death of Mr. Mitchell.
Denial of emergency motion to stay and mandamus relief in a case in which the trial court granted a new trial based on its finding that the jury’s defense verdict was against the great weight and preponderance of the evidence.
Successfully defeated petition for review in a medical malpractice case in Navarro v. Washington, 10-13-00248-CV, 2014 WL 1882763 (Tex. App.—Waco May 8, 2014, pet. denied) (mem. op.), which upheld the sufficiency of the patient’s expert doctors’ reports under Chapter 74.
Denial of petition for mandamus when the defendant challenged the trial court’s new trial order which was based on the jury’s verdict being against the great weight and preponderance of the evidence.
Denial of petition for mandamus when the defendant challenged the trail court’s new trial order entered after the defendant asked the trial court to impose constitutional due process limitations to a punitive damages award.
Dismissal of interlocutory appeal challenging Chapter 74 expert report for want of jurisdiction in a medical malpractice case.
Rejecting the self-critical analysis privilege and requiring the production of relevant reports in a products liability case.
Requiring return of erroneously forfeited attorney’s fees.
Reversing jury verdict in legal malpractice case against law firm where client failed to present medical-expert testimony in support of damage causation
Affirming a judgment for approximately $1 million based on findings of fraud, DTPA violations, and gross negligence, as well as a finding piercing the corporate veil, arising out of a contractor’s failed effort to repair a foundation that ruined a homeowner’s house.
Denial of petition for review in case challenging a Chapter 74 expert report in a medical malpractice case.
Reversing a summary judgment concluding that a law firm failed to prove that attorney’s fees of over $1 million for just over 2 months of work in representing a small business was reasonable and necessary under the Arthur Anderson factors.
Upholding default judgment after death penalty discovery sanctions, actual and punitive damages, and enforceability of a non-compete agreement.
Reversing and remanding for a new trial when trial court refused to include the correct corporate entity on the jury form.
Upholding jury verdict in an automobile design defect case finding circumstantial evidence to support causation and sufficient evidence of an unreasonably dangerous design and of a safer alternative design.
Denying arbitration due to substantial invocation of the judicial process.
Upholding monetary sanctions against a defense attorney who violated a court order by making ex parte contacts with a plaintiff’s treating physicians.
Denying petition for mandamus concerning trial court’s denial of a motion to designate a responsible third party.
Denying petition for mandamus concluding that the parties may agree to alter the statutory deadlines for designating responsible third parties.
In a case involving product liability design defect tried to a favorable jury verdict, settling after oral argument.
Reversing trial court’s forfeiture of a plaintiff’s attorney’s fees.
Issued mandamus requiring a jury trial rejecting argument that a signed arbitration provision constituted a jury waiver.
Reversing a case that had been dismissed for want of prosecution.
Rejecting John Deere’s argument that a discovery order covering multiple makes and models of equipment was overly broad and unduly burdensome and establishing that a defendant bears the burden of proving the bases for objections raised in discovery.
Affirming denial of a doctor and his urology group’s motion to dismiss based on a challenge to an expert report in a medical malpractice case.
Reversing a summary judgment and an $829,816 judgment on counterclaims asserted against a plaintiff in a commercial real estate case.
Reversing a summary judgment granted against a personal injury plaintiff based on the doctrine of judicial estoppel due to an inadvertent omission in a bankruptcy filing.
Upholding an $869,200 judgment for personal injuries sustained when the plaintiff was hit in the back by a pallet jack being driven by a Wal-Mart employee.
Affirming an $8.5 million judgment in favor of a physician who was wrongfully terminated from his practice group.
Reversing a jury verdict in which a jury had awarded managing conservatorship of a child to a non-parent couple instead of to the natural father.
Affirming denial of a motion to dismiss based on a challenge to an expert report in a medical malpractice case.
Affirming denial of motion to dismiss based on challenge to an expert report in a medical malpractice case. Also holding that an expert need not opine as to willful and wanton negligence in a chapter 74 report despite argument that case is governed by the Emergency Room statute.
Reversing and remanding a $1,070,643 judgment based on a counterclaim asserted against the Plaintiff for claims of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, and negligence.
Reversing and rendering a judgment based on legally insufficient evidence in a case involving a challenge to a deed conveying real property.
Granting the Plaintiff’s motion for remand in a toxic tort Benzene exposure case based on a lack of complete federal preemption.
Reversing and remanding the trial court’s granting of a no evidence summary judgment in a negligent hiring case.
Affirming the denial of Dallas County’s Plea to the Jurisdiction.
Affirming claim for workers compensation benefits when carrier does not comply with statutory deadlines for denying a claim.
Appeal of a forcible entry and detainer action.
Affirming a punitive damages award in a Sabine Pilot wrongful termination case.
Involved the reversal of a dismissal of a medical malpractice case concerning the adequacy of a 4590i expert report.
Affirming a punitive damages award in an asbestos case.