Ben L. Mesches

Ben L. Mesches

Partner

Expertise

  • Appellate

WSG Practice Industries

Activity

WSG Leadership

WSG Coronavirus Task Force Group
Member

Haynes and Boone, LLP
Texas, U.S.A.

Profile
Chair of the Firm’s Litigation Department, Ben Mesches successfully leads appellate and litigation teams in high-stakes cases at the crossroads of major public policy questions and emerging legal issues.

Recognized by Chambers USA, Chambers and Partners (2019), as a leading Texas appellate lawyer, clients value Ben’s experience and big-picture perspective, seek his counsel in developing crisis-management strategies in the aftermath of potentially crippling adverse trial court decisions, and praise his ability in “preparing us for” the ranges of issues and outcomes that “come up on appeal and what to expect” as litigation unfolds.

Board certified in civil appellate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Ben has been the architect of winning litigation strategies in the appellate courts. In 2019 alone, he has secured high-profile wins in these cases:

In the Texas Supreme Court in a landmark case upholding the constitutionality of public pension reforms implicating nearly $1 billion in pension assets.
Before the Fifth Circuit in a wind-power dispute worth more than $300 million, reversing—for the second time—a district court decision.
At the Third Circuit in a trademark case in which the court held that a major pharmaceutical company owned intellectual property rights, defeating an $80 million claim.

Ben’s peers recognize his collaborative leadership style both inside the firm and within prestigious legal organizations. In addition to leading the firm’s global litigation practice, he has served as President of the Texas Supreme Court Historical Society, the ABA’s Council of Appellate Lawyers—the only national appellate-bench organization in the country—and Chair of the Dallas Bar Association’s Appellate Section.

And Ben is regularly asked to write and speak on litigation and appellate practice topics, including post-judgment strategy; practice before the Texas Supreme Court; Fifth Circuit trends; bankruptcy appeals; and the selection and preservation of issues for appeal.

Bar Admissions

Texas; U.S. Supreme Court; Texas Supreme Court; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth, Seventh, Ninth, Tenth, and Federal Circuit; U.S. District Court for the Northern, Southern, and Western District of Texas;

Education

J.D., University of Texas at Austin, 2001, with honors; Member, Texas Law Review
B.A., Political Science Trinity University, 1998, cum laude
Professional Career

Significant Accomplishments

Appeals:
In the Texas Supreme Court, won a landmark case upholding the constitutionality of public pension reforms implicating nearly $1 billion in pension assets.
Before the Fifth Circuit, reversed – for the second time – a district court decision in a wind-power dispute worth more than $300 million.
At the Third Circuit, defeating an $80 million claim in a trademark case in which the court held that a major pharmaceutical company owned intellectual property rights.
In the Fifth Circuit, upheld a municipality's zoning scheme related to natural gas production in the face of preemption, commerce clause, and eminent domain challenges. Enforced forum selection clause, in the Dallas Court of Appeals, resulting in the dismissal of franchisor's claims against franchisee. Reversal and rendition of a take-nothing judgment, in the Austin Court of Appeals, on employment-related harassment claims against retailer. Persuaded the Dallas Court of Appeals to reverse and render judgment dismissing claims against officers of a franchisor for lack of personal jurisdiction. Vacatur, in the Fort Worth Court of Appeals, of an award of damages and dismissal of suit because the probate court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction over claims related to a right of first refusal. Obtained reversal, in the San Antonio Court of Appeals, of a temporary injunction freezing more than $150 million of assets held by real estate investors based on the Federal Arbitration Act's automatic-stay provision. In the Fifth Circuit, preserved summary judgment in an oil and gas case involving fraudulent transfer, turnover, and alter ego theories.

Trial Court Experience:
In a $200 million fraud and fiduciary duty case involving a complex energy transaction, procured dismissal of claims for lack of personal jurisdiction in Indiana federal court. In a medical partnership dispute, obtained relief from a multi-million jury verdict with a successful motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict. In a multi-million dollar case under the Texas Securities Act in federal court, secured favorable jury charge and motion for judgment as a matter of law rulings, resulting in the complete dismissal of the plaintiff's claims on the eve of closing argument. In an oil and gas dispute alleging mutual and unilateral mistake in a deed, successfully argued the jury charge as part of a trial team that obtained a complete defense verdict. Through post-trial briefing, implemented a legal strategy that defeated an $80 million software-related copyright suit in federal court.

Bankruptcy Appeals:
In the Fifth Circuit, reversed a fee enhancement award granted to debtor's financial advisor, clarifying legal standards applicable to fee claims under § 328(a) of the Bankruptcy Code; On direct appeal to the Fifth Circuit, preserved a standing defense to a preference action based on a release and novation agreement; Persuaded the Fifth Circuit Court to dismiss - on equitable mootness grounds - the appeal of a $3.6 billion bankruptcy plan of reorganization, challenged by a competing bidder and the company's union; Obtained appellate ruling from a Delaware federal district court striking liquidated damages provision invoked by landlord in post-confirmation litigation about lease assumed by the debtor; In Fifth Circuit appeal addressing the intersection between the Bankruptcy Code's automatic-stay provision, the debtor's power over executory contracts, and the Anti-Assignment Act, blocked the federal government's attempt to terminate a power contractor; Vacated a summary judgment ruling that dismissed an action seeking to revoke a confirmation order.