Partner Amy Emerson has significant trial and appellate experience. From environmental litigation dealing with water and pollution, to general commercial disputes, to extensive governmental immunity cases, her broad-based background has fostered an innovative approach to handling even the most complex construction cases. Ms. Emerson’s achievements include the successful defense of a city’s zoning authority—winning both at trial and on appeal to the Supreme Court of Texas—and assistance in obtaining the first reservoir permit issued by the State of Texas in almost 30 years.
A sought-after speaker on topics ranging from trial practice to owner, contractor, and design professional liability, Ms. Emerson has spoken to a range of professional groups, including the Texas City Attorneys Association and the Construction Law Section of the Austin Bar Association, among others.
Prior to joining Allensworth & Porter, Ms. Emerson was an associate at Lloyd Gosselink, where her practice focused on trial and appellate work for governmental entities. Emerson received her J.D. with honors from The University of Texas at Austin School of Law, and she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, from Southwestern University. Ms. Emerson is an avid trail runner and is currently training for her second ultramarathon, a 50-kilometer race on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. In addition, she aims to visit every state park in Texas. So far, she has visited 35 of the 99 parks, as evidenced by her collection of souvenir patches.
- Supreme Court of Texas (2007)
- Admitted to U.S. Districts Courts for the Western (2005), Eastern (2015), Northern (2008), and Southern (2008) Districts of Texas
- Admitted to the Court of Appeals for the Fifth District of Texas (2009)
Industry Involvement and Memberships
- State Bar of Texas, Construction Law Section | Member (2007); Governing Board Member (2018-2020)
- Austin Bar Association, Construction Law Section | Member (2007)
- Travis County Women Lawyers Association | Member (2016-Present)
- Super Lawyers, Texas Rising Stars | Construction Litigation (2014-2019)
- J.D., The University of Texas at Austin School of Law, with honors (2007)
- B.A., Southwestern University, cum laude (2003)
- Represented a contractor in a $42 million construction defect dispute and a $2 million payment claim through trial court and bankruptcy proceedings. Representation included obtaining a lien to secure a payment claim and resulted in favorable settlement.
- Represented multiple municipally-owned utility and electric cooperatives in a group of related breach-of-contract suits against an electric utility provider. All cases were resolved by an agreement.
- Obtained a favorable settlement for an owner in a construction defect suit arising out of repeated failure of water transmission main.
- Represented a heavy highway contractor in a payment and construction dispute.
- Successfully defended a City’s right to enforce its zoning regulations to a wastewater treatment plant proposed by another governmental entity in an expedited bond validation suit; on direct appeal to the Texas Supreme Court, obtained a decision denying the opposing party jurisdiction.
- Assisted in securing the first reservoir permit issued by the State of Texas in almost thirty years for a reginal water district.
- Represented governmental entities on appeal to intermediate appellate courts and the Texas Supreme Court on a variety of issues including governmental immunity and takings.
- Obtained summary dismissals at the trial level in both state and federal court based on governmental immunity.
- Won summary judgment dismissal of $45,000,000 negligence claim in federal court; on appeal to the Fifth Circuit, obtained decision upholding dismissal.
- Won a directed verdict for defendant in state court nuisance suit where plaintiff claimed $5,000,000 in damages.
- Successfully defended water district in suit seeking to enjoin a significant public works project.
- Collected $120,000 default judgment by garnishing out of state tech company’s PayPal account.
- Assisted in representing cities in Fair Housing Act litigation, including successful defense of federal suit at trial and on appeal to the Fifth Circuit.