Lara Hollingsworth, Partner
Lara joined the firm in November 2023 as a partner in our Houston office. Lara was previously with Rusty Hardin & Associates where she was a lawyer and partner for over 20 years.
A seasoned appellate attorney, Lara Hollingsworth specializes in helping individuals and corporations strategically navigate legal issues from start to stop. From the moment a case comes through the door to trial, and if necessary, on appeal, her skill at advocacy and her mastery of the intricacies of complex legal and procedural issues have consistently produced substantial favorable results.
Lara’s legal career stretches back more than 20 years. She graduated number two in her class from Baylor Law School and was a member of Baylor’s national moot court team while also serving as the editor of the Texas Civil Procedure Symposium for the Baylor Law Review. After law school, she was honored to serve as a law clerk to two of Texas’ finest jurists, the Honorable Samuel D. Johnson on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the Honorable James A. Baker on the Texas Supreme Court.
As a young lawyer, she was further mentored by Chief District Judge Barbara Lynn of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas and by attorney Jeff Levinger, both of whom helped her realize her passion for appellate work. To this day, this remains her practice’s primary focus. In a wide variety of complex commercial and civil litigation matters, clients rely on Lara for strong strategic counsel and her ability to maximize their prospects for success.
A native Houstonian, Lara comes from a family of attorneys. Before Rusty Hardin, she worked with her family’s law firm, Hudgins, Hudgins and Warrick. She and her husband, Derek, also an attorney, have three children. With a daughter playing soccer and two sons playing baseball, football, and basketball, Lara spends much of her time outside the office traveling — sometimes across the country — to games, both as a team mom and a fan.
Lara is admitted to practice in all Texas state courts, the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and the United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas.
For 2024, Lara was named a top 500 Leading Litigator in American by Lawdragon. She has also been named a Best Lawyer in America from 2020-2024. Beginning in 2004, and from 2006-2010, Lara was named a Texas Rising Star by Thompson Reuters and from 2020-2023 she has been named a Texas Super Lawyer by Thompson Reuters.
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Publications & Presentations
Update: TCPA, Rule 91a, and the Defamation Mitigation Act
State Bar of Texas Advance Civil Trial, 2020
Equitable Relief at Trial and on Appeal
University of Texas School of Law 28th Annual Conference on State and Federal Appeals, 2018
When and How to Seek Equitable Relief
State Bar of Texas Litigation Section Report, The Advocate, 2017
Equitable Relief: How To Obtain It Or Defeat It
State Bar of Texas 30th Annual Advanced Civil Appellate Practice, 2016
Settlement on Appeal
University of Texas School of Law 23rd Annual Conference on State and Federal Appeals, 2013
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The Fifth Circuit determined that Brian McNamee was entitled to judicial immunity for statements he made to the Mitchell Commission, which was hired by MLB to investigate steroid use in major league baseball.
Enter. Crude GP LLC v. Sealy Partners, LLC, 614 S.W.3d 283 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2020, no pet.)
The underlying case is an oil and gas dispute. another anti-slapp appeal. The Court of Appeals concluded that the trial court erred in denying Enterprise’s TCPA motion to dismiss as to several causes of action.
The court of appeals affirmed the trial court’s judgment against Ginn, who NCI Building Systems had sued for theft of trade secrets.
The underlying dispute involves over 300 plaintiffs suing Montelongo for fraud based on real estate investment educational seminars he sold to plaintiffs. I was only involved on appeal with regard to the anti-slapp MTD: The Texas Supreme Court concluded that the court of appeals erred in concluding that Montelongo’s TCPA motion to dismiss was untimely. The Court held that if a party amends a petition to add a cause of action, even if the underlying facts remain the same, the time period for filing a TCPA motion to dismiss as to the newly added claims is reset.
The underlying case is an oil and gas dispute. Terra Energy filed a TCPA motion to dismiss, which the trial court denied. The court of appeals affirmed, concluding that the motion to dismiss was untimely. However, the Texas Supreme Court remanded the case in light of the Court’s holding in Montelongo v. Abrea, 622 S.W.3d 290 (Tex. 2021).
Shillinglaw v. Baylor Univ., 05-17-00498-CV, 2018 WL 3062451 (Tex. App.—Dallas June 21, 2018, pet. denied)
The underlying case was a defamation action filed by a fired Baylor coach against several regents. The appeal involved, you guessed it, the anti-slapp MTD the trial court granted. The Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s grant of attorneys’ fees pursuant to Baylor and the Regents’ TCPA motion to dismiss.
The Supreme Court concluded that the court of appeals erred in dismissing for want of jurisdiction Rice University’s appeal. Pursuant to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code section 51.014, Rice University sought interlocutory review of the trial court’s denial of summary judgment based on official immunity.