Representative Reported Court Decisions

Lady JusticeThe facts of each case are different, but certain principles of law apply to a variety of different facts. The courts determine what law applies to the facts of a particular case. Often, the opposing parties present the court with arguments based on competing principles of law. An experienced attorney has knowledge of the law, and presents the court with that law and with his arguments in support, explaining why the court should decide in favor of his client's position. Over time, an experienced attorney can develop a track record of reported court decisions.

I have a track record of reported decisions from federal courts. They include decisions in which the courts ruled in favor of my clients on the merits of their claims. They include decisions on attorney's fees and interest that were awarded to my clients after a successful ruling on the merits. They include decisions on a number of procedural points that can affect the outcome of litigation.

These reported court decisions are publicly available. They can be easily confirmed by the opposing employers, insurers, sellers and their attorneys, who might otherwise believe that they have an advantage in experience. My track record of reported court decisions can negate that perceived advantage, and can discourage them from forcing a dispute into litigation.

If litigation becomes necessary, my record of reported court decisions demonstrates that I am capable of litigating a case to a favorable conclusion.

What is a reported court decision?

Decisions by federal and state appellate courts, and by federal trial courts, can be published and bound into volumes that are compiled in law libraries and law firms. They can be published in electronic form, where they are accessible to courts and attorneys who subscribe to the electronic service. Reported decisions express the courts' opinions on the law, and how that law applies to the facts of a particular case.

Lower courts are generally bound to the rulings of law made by the appellate courts in their jurisdiction. An appellate court is generally bound to the rulings of law made by that court at an earlier time. Even when not bound, trial courts and appellate courts rely on reported decisions for guidance.

Attorneys search for reported decisions, and provide the court with citations to those decisions, so that the court may apply them to the case in question. Courts perform their own research as well.

What are some of James L. Johnson's reported court decisions?

  • Thomason v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 703 Fed. Appx. 247 (5th Cir. 2017)(claim for disability benefits under ERISA; agreeing with district court that benefits were wrongfully withheld, and that summary plan description was ambiguous despite requirements of ERISA regulations)
  • Koehler v. Aetna Health, Inc., 683 F.3d 182 (5th Cir. 2012)(claim for medical benefits under ERISA; holding that summary plan description was misleading in violation of ERISA regulations, and that ambiguity must be construed against Aetna)
  • Alexander v. Hartford Life & Accident Ins. Co., 347 Fed. Appx. 123 (5th Cir. 2009)(claim for disability benefits under ERISA; holding that Hartford wrongfully denied benefits)
  • Bray v. Fort Dearborn Life Ins. Co., 312 Fed. Appx. 714 (5th Cir. 2009)(claim for disability benefits under ERISA; affirming trial court's award of benefits)
  • Thomason v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 165 F. Supp. 3d 512 (N.D. Tex. 2016)(claim for disability benefits under ERISA; concluding that benefits were wrongfully withheld, and that summary plan description was misleading in violation of ERISA regulations)
  • Bruce v. Anthem Ins. Cos., 307 F.R.D. 465 (N.D. Tex. 2015)(claim for medical benefits under ERISA; holding that ERISA claim was not exempt from requirement that Anthem serve initial disclosures)
  • Koehler v. Aetna Health, Inc., 915 F. Supp. 2d 789 (N.D. Tex. 2013)(claim for medical benefits under ERISA; awarding over $93,000 in attorney's fees after successful appeal and benefits paid)
  • Ball v. Life Ins. Co. of N. Am., 2017 WL 6621539 (N.D. Tex. Dec. 28, 2017) (claim for disability benefits under ERISA; ordering LINA to specifically answer allegations in complaint and plead defenses)
  • Bruce v. Anthem Ins. Cos., 2015 WL 1860002 (N.D. Tex. Apr. 23, 2015)(claim for medical benefits under ERISA; ordering Anthem to specifically answer allegations in complaint)
  • Alexander v. Hartford Life & Accident Ins. Co., 2010 WL 3660054 (N.D. Tex. Aug. 30, 2010)(claim for disability benefits under ERISA; recommending award of over $80,000 in attorney's fees and $44,000 in prejudgment interest), approved, 2010 WL 3659999 (N.D. Tex. Sept. 20, 2010)
  • Archer v. United Techs. Corp., 2009 WL 561375 (N.D. Tex. Mar. 3, 2009)(claim for disability benefits under ERISA; granting summary judgment that benefits were wrongfully denied without qualified medical expert)
  • Archer v. United Techs. Corp., 2009 WL 2842773 (N.D. Tex. Sept. 1, 2009)(claim for disability benefits under ERISA; awarding prejudgment interest on delayed benefits)
  • Watson v. Provident Life & Accident Ins. Co., 2009 WL 1971598 (N.D. Tex. Jul. 7, 2009)(claim for disability benefits and for bad faith denial under Texas law; granting motion to compel information concerning Provident's consultant)
  • Bray v. Fort Dearborn Life Ins. Co., 2008 WL 1820594 (N.D. Tex. Apr. 23, 2008)(claim for disability benefits under ERISA; denying Fort Dearborn a stay of judgment pending appeal unless bond filed)