We welcome your email, but please understand that communications via email or through this website do not constitute or create an attorney-client relationship between you and Fanning Harper Martinson Brandt & Kutchin, P.C or any of its attorneys. Unless we reach an agreement with regard to representation, the information you provide will not be treated as confidential or privileged, and any such information may be used adversely to you and for the benefit of current or future clients of the law firm.


On Friday, December 13, 2019, Thomas P. Brandt, Laura O’Leary, and Christopher Brandt obtained a significant victory in the Texas Supreme Court which benefits governmental entities throughout the state.

In Town of Shady Shores v. Swanson, the Texas Supreme Court addressed a question which had divided Texas courts of appeals:  whether a no-evidence motion for summary judgment is a proper procedural vehicle to defeat jurisdiction on the ground of governmental immunity.  Some Texas courts of appeals had been rejecting no-evidence motions for summary judgment which asserted governmental immunity, reasoning that the governmental entity should bear the burden of identifying evidence demonstrating its entitlement to governmental immunity.  In Town of Shady Shores v. Swanson, the Texas Supreme Court corrected these courts’ erroneous reasoning and held that governmental entities can assert governmental immunity by means of a no-evidence motion for summary judgment.  This holding secures an important procedural device which can provide a substantial advantage to governmental entities in litigation.

The Texas Supreme Court also held that the Texas Open Meetings Act (“TOMA”) waives governmental immunity only for claims seeking injunctive or mandamus relief to stop, prevent, or reverse a violation or threatened violation of TOMA, and not for suits seeking declaratory relief.  This holding is also valuable to governmental entities throughout the state, as it demonstrates a continued dedication to the idea that waivers of governmental immunity must be made explicitly and that limited waivers of immunity should be read narrowly.

We would be happy to discuss this important victory with you in greater detail.  Please let us know whether we can be of assistance with your needs.