- Areas of Practice
- Significant Victories
- Publications & Presentations
Prior to joining the firm, Thad D. Spalding was a member of the appellate sections of San Antonio firms Ball & Weed, P.C., and Prichard, Hawkins, McFarland & Young, LLP. Thad and his family moved to Dallas in 2001 where Thad helped start Hermes Sargent Bates, LLP’s appellate section. In 2010, Thad joined The Law Offices of Marc H. Richman, where he continued to handle appeals and litigation support, along with a trial docket of complex personal injury, commercial, and family law cases.
Throughout his career, Thad has served as lead counsel on numerous appeals, has successfully argued cases before many of the intermediate courts of appeals, the Texas Supreme Court, and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and has assisted trial counsel by briefing and arguing complex motions for summary judgment, jurisdictional objections, expert witness challenges, jury charges, and post-trial motions throughout Texas in both state and federal courts.
Thad has been Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 1999, and, since 2002, has been an active member of the State Bar of Texas Committee on Pattern Jury Charges – General Negligence and Intentional Personal Torts. He was recognized by Thomson Reuters in Texas Monthly as a “Texas Rising Star” in 2004 and then a “Super Lawyer” from 2004-2008 and again from 2014-2020, by ALM and Law.com in 2012 as a Texas “Top Rated Lawyer” in the Appellate category, and by D Magazine as a “Best Lawyer in Dallas” in the Appellate category from 2011-2014, 2016, 2018 and again in 2020. Thad is also rated AV Preeminent, the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards, by Martindale-Hubbell.
Thad is licensed to practice law in Texas, New Mexico, and Oregon.
Texas Paralegal Journal, Vol. 26, No. 3 (Winter 2021)
Dallas Trial Lawyers Association, January 14, 2021
Dallas Young Lawyers Association, January 13, 2021
Texas Trial Lawyers Association Midyear-Virtual Conference, May 14, 2020
TTLA Car Wrecks Seminar 2018
State Bar of Texas CLE, Advanced Personal Injury Law Course 2017
TTLA Trial Advocacy College of Texas (April 15, 2016)
TTLA Car Wrecks Seminar 2015
Vol. 40, No. 5, Dallas Bar Association: Headnotes (May 2015)
Dallas Bar Association’s Bench Bar Conference, Horseshoe Bay, Texas (October 23, 2014)
TTLA Car Wrecks CLE (October 9, 2014)
State Bar of Texas CLE, Advanced Personal Injury Law Course 2014, Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston (July-August, 2014)
Vol. 39, No. 2 Dallas Bar Association: Headnotes (February 1, 2014)
Vol. 38, No. 11 Dallas Bar Association: Headnotes (November 1, 2013)
Dallas Association of Young Lawyers (March 10, 2010)
In-House CLE, Hermes Sargent Bates, LLP (January 14, 2009)
In-House CLE, Hermes Sargent Bates, LLP (October 23, 2008)
America First Insurance Company (June 30, 2007)
South Plains Trial Lawyers Association (April 19, 2006)
Denton Trial Lawyers Association (February 16, 2006)
San Antonio Trial Lawyers Association (November 17, 2005)
Hermes Sargent Bates, LLP (Fall 2003)
In-House CLE, Hermes Sargent Bates, LLP (June 25, 2003)
Appellate Section Luncheon Seminar, San Antonio Bar Association (May 1, 2001)
Appellate Law in the New Millennium Seminar, San Antonio Bar Association Appellate Practice Section and St. Mary’s Law Journal (March 1, 1999)
American Bar Association Tort and Insurance Law Journal (1996-1997)
Affirming $216,000 judgment following a jury trial for injuries suffered when plaintiff was struck by a community center van. The court rejected the center’s challenge to the jury’s damage awards for medical expenses and physical impairment, and also rejected center’s claim that all damages were capped by the Texas Tort Claims Act’s $100,000 liability limit that applies to a “unit of local government,” as opposed to the Act’s $250,000 cap applicable to the “state government.”
Reversing plea to the jurisdiction and affirming the denial of an identical plea in another case, filed by GTECH, a private contractor hired to provide instant ticket manufacturing and services to the Texas Lottery Commission. Following its prior opinion in Brown & Gay Eng’g, Inc. v. Olivares, 461 S.W.3d 117 (Tex. 2015), the Court determined that because GTECH had discretion with regard to game design, and the Lottery Commission did not control the manner in which that work was performed, GTECH was not entitled to immunity.
Successfully reversed summary judgment in majority shareholders’ favor and rendered summary judgment in favor of minority owner in a closely -held corporation, holding that Retiring Shareholder provision of Cross Purchase Agreement required remaining shareholders to purchase retiring shareholder’s shares. In doing so, Court of Appeals rejected majority shareholders’ arguments that (1) provision created only an option, but not an obligation, to purchase retiring shareholder’s shares and (2) that minority shareholder was not a “retiring” shareholder because majority shareholders terminated his employment with the closely-held corporation and minority shareholder had taken employment elsewhere.
Successfully defeated appeal by client’s incarcerated ex-husband who complained about the notice given him of a bench trial on his partition suit, and who complained about a motion for continuance of that trial so that the ex-husband could conduct more discovery. The court of appeals determined that the ex-husband was provided adequate notice and opportunity to appear at his trial, and that the ex-husband’s motion did not warrant a continuance of trial.
Reversing summary judgment in electrocution case, finding fact issues regarding property owner’s control of the manner in which plaintiff’s work was performed, and that property owner had actual knowledge of the danger associated with requiring that plaintiff work on energized electrical lines—the two elements necessary to hold a property owner liable under Chapter 95 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code.
Affirmed summary judgment in favor of ex-husband on ex-wife’s assault claims based on prior settlement agreement that includes those same claims as part of parties’ divorce.
Successfully upholding judgment, under a clear and convincing evidence standard, terminating parental rights and imposing permanent injunction against a father convicted of child pornography, and placing the child with her grandparents.
In a case of first impression, the Texas Supreme Court affirmed the right of a person who is wrongfully accused and later acquitted of a crime to have the records related to that arrest expunged—even though the person was also arrested on an unrelated offense, to which she pled guilty. In affirming the opinion of the Dallas Court of Appeals, the Texas Supreme Court rejected the State’s “arrest based” interpretation, expressly disagreeing with numerous courts of appeals that had adopted this same interpretation. Instead, the Texas Supreme Court concluded that the statute’s plain language is not arrest-based and therefore does not prohibit the expunction of records related to an acquitted offense, even where the arrest includes another, unrelated offense.
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.
Successfully challenged trial court’s grant of judgment notwithstanding a verdict following a jury trial in which the jury determined there to be no contract between BoRain and Hashmi. The court of appeals found that the trial court erred in granting judgment notwithstanding the verdict, reversed the trial court’s judgment, and rendered judgment that Hashmi take nothing.
Successfully defended summary judgment in favor of landlord for unpaid rent by commercial tenant who terminated lease early, but failed to pay full amount of rent owed. Tenant argued that landlord did not sufficiently mitigate its damages by giving new tenant first two months free, and therefore was not required to pay rent it owed for those months. The Dallas Court of Appeals rejected this argument.
In a case of first impression, the court of appeals affirmed an order granting the expunction of records relating to an arrest for felony aggravated assault for which T.S.N. was subsequently acquitted. The State, claiming that the entire expunction statute is “arrest based,” argued that the records could not be expunged because, when T.S.N. was arrested, she was also arrested on a totally unrelated misdemeanor theft charge to which she ultimately pled guilty. The court of appeals rejected this “arrest-based” interpretation, concluding that, based on the plain language of article 55.01(a)(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, a guilty plea to a wholly unrelated offense does not prohibit the expunction of records related to the acquitted offense, even where the arrest arises out of both.
Successfully defended Texas and Louisiana courts’ determination that, while Texas court had jurisdiction as the child’s “home state” under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, Louisiana court was the more convenient forum and therefore could exercise jurisdiction over child custody determination.
Dismissing appeal pursuant to vexatious litigant statute, where Hornbuckle repeatedly filed lawsuits contesting the foreclosure on a specific piece of real property in Arlington, Texas, including this case. The court of appeals concluded that the trial court’s dismissal of the underlying lawsuit was proper, and dismissal of Hornbuckle’s appeal was proper pursuant to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Ch. 11.
In a personal injury case arising out of faulty construction of family’s new home, the court of appeals reversed the trial court’s judgment which dismissed the parents’ claims for failing to disclose the claims in bankruptcy. The court of appeals also reversed the trial court’s award of sanctions under the DTPA, finding that the children’s DTPA claims were not groundless.
In common law trademark case, upholding jury’s findings of secondary meaning, trademark infringement, trademark dilution, and unfair competition, and award of lost profits, disgorged profits, and permanent injunctive relief.
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.
Reversing a trial court’s refusal to award clients trial court costs following successful appeal of adverse judgment.
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.
Successfully defended order dismissing claims based on parties’ contractual forum selection clause.
Successfully defended judgment appointing client as sole managing conservator of his children following week-long child custody jury trial.
Reversing a trial court’s award of a homeowner’s property to his neighbor by adverse possession, holding that neighbor’s assumption that homeowner’s property was part of neighbor’s backyard, and neighbor’s use of that property as part of her backyard, was legally insufficient to support the trial court’s award by adverse possession.
Reversing a summary judgment in a case of first impression involving the interpretation of the Texas Condominium Act.
Successfully reversed summary judgment granted in favor of self-insured workers’ compensation carrier on the issue of the claimant’s “follow-on” injury
Reversing a defense verdict in a personal injury case and remanding for a new trial.
Successfully affirmed judgment of expunction by defeating State’s argument that statutory limitation period does not apply to misdemeanor arrests
Upheld judgment against surety on payment bond where surety complained of technical notice given to general contractor
Upheld jury verdict in favor of defendant attorney in legal malpractice case, including award of sanctions in favor of defendant attorney
Upholding admissibility of expert reconstruction testimony of investigating officer