Kurt Kuhn is known across Texas as a leading appellate attorney, and has successfully advocated on behalf of clients in numerous cases before the Texas Supreme Court, the Texas courts of appeals, and the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Kurt is Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, is an elected member of the American Law Institute, and has been selected as a Texas Super Lawyer in Appellate Law.
After ten years at a major Texas law firm during which he was a partner and Chair of the Appellate Practice Group, Kurt founded an appellate law boutique in Austin handling appeals and advanced motions across Texas. Kurt also serves as an adjunct professor of appellate advocacy at the University of Texas School of Law. Previously, he worked as an assistant solicitor general for Texas, representing the state in both civil and criminal appeals all the way from the trial court to the United States Supreme Court. Kurt began his legal career as a law clerk for the late United States District Judge H. Franklin Waters, Chief Judge of the Western District of Arkansas.
Kurt is a graduate of Yale Law School, where he served as an executive editor of the Yale Law & Policy Review. Widely-recognized for his speeches and articles on legal issues, he is frequently quoted as an expert on appeals and the courts by publications such as Texas Lawyer. Kurt is a two-time recipient of the Helen Cassidy Award, given to the presenter who receives the highest evaluations at the state bar’s Advanced Civil Appellate Practice Course.
Lisa Bowlin Hobbs
Lisa Bowlin Hobbs is a board-certified Civil Appellate lawyer and Founding Member of the premier appellate boutique, Kuhn Hobbs PLLC.
Lisa became known across Texas when, at the age of 30, she was picked by the Texas Supreme Court as its first ever General Counsel. In this capacity, she provided legal advice to Texas’ highest civil court on a broad range of matters and held primary responsibility for the Chief Justice’s administrative duties. Prior to serving as General Counsel, she was the Court’s Rules Attorney.
These unique experiences within the Texas judiciary are apparent in Lisa’s work in private practice. She prides herself in her judicial-centered approach to appellate advocacy. And her insight into the judicial process allows for innovative appellate strategy that makes clients return to her for advice again and again.
Lisa is a member of the Texas Supreme Court Advisory Committee and the Texas Access to Justice Commission, Rules and Legislative Committee. She also serves on the editorial board of The Advocate, a quarterly publication of the Litigation Section of the State Bar of Texas. She is a Trustee of the Texas Appellate Hall of Fame and a Board Member of the Austin Bar Association’s Civil Litigation Section. Lisa has taught Texas Civil Procedure at the University of Texas School of Law and Media Law at Houston Baptist University.
In 2015, Lisa was honored on Texas Monthly’s “Top 50” List for Central and West Texas, a list of the highest-ranked “Super Lawyer” attorneys for all practice areas in the region. She has been recognized as a Super Lawyer in Appellate Law by the same publication since 2013, an honor bestowed on less than 5% of all Texas attorneys. Previously, Lisa was named a “Legal Leader on the Rise”—one of the top 25 lawyers in Texas under the age of 40—by Texas Lawyer magazine.
Before founding Kuhn Hobbs PLLC, Lisa practiced in the appellate section at Vinson & Elkins LLP. She is an honors graduate of The University of Texas School of Law and graduated summa cum laude from Houston Baptist University. Lisa began her legal career as a law clerk for the late Texas Supreme Court Justice James A. Baker.
Karlene Poll has extensive experience, not only as an appellate lawyer, but also working at every level of Texas appellate courts. She began her legal career as a law clerk for the late Texas Supreme Court Justice James A. Baker. She then served as a law clerk for the Honorable Harold R. DeMoss Jr. on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit before joining Baker Botts LLP’s appellate section. At Baker Botts, she gained particular expertise in Texas Jury Charge practice, often joining trial teams to write and argue motions, advise on legal strategies and error preservation, and handle the jury-charge conference and post-trial motions. Karlene served as lead appellate counsel and argued cases before the Texas Supreme Court, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Texas courts of appeals. Texas Monthly magazine rated her an appellate practice “Rising Star” her last three years at Baker Botts. Before opening Kuhn Hobbs PLLC’s Houston office, Karlene was a staff attorney for Chief Justice Sherry Radack on the First District Court of Appeals in Houston.
Karlene’s varied experience working for the Texas appellate courts at the state and federal levels imparted her with unique insight into appellate judicial decision-making process. This exposure renders her particularly effective at advising clients and trial counsel about the most effective and persuasive way to present facts and arguments to appellate courts.
Karlene is also active in the legal community. She served as a council member of the Houston Bar Appellate Practice Section for seven years before being elected Chair in 2016. She has written and presented on a wide variety of legal topics at local and statewide conferences.
Karlene graduated salutatorian from South Texas College of Law, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the South Texas Law Review. While there, she won numerous local and national writing awards, including the Scribes Brief-Writing Award from the American Society of Legal Writers (recognizing the best student-authored moot court brief from all competitions in the nation).
Karlene is passionate about pro bono work and the need for accessible legal representation for all. She served on the Pro Bono Committee at Baker Botts and as the liaison for the Fifth Circuit’s pro bono program. She has represented indigent clients in the family courts through the Houston Bar Volunteer Lawyers program, staffed legal clinics for HIV/AIDS patients, and represented military veterans in the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. As lead attorney, she took a criminal pro bono case all the way to the United States Supreme Court, where she obtained a reversal for her client. A major impetus for Karlene’s return to private practice was her desire to devote a portion of her time on ad litem appointments in Child Protective Services cases.
Karlene is a single mom, widowed in 2015. She and her incredibly loved-and-missed husband Geoff have four sons. Karlene spends her free time with her great village of friends, joyfully taking advantage of every moment watching her children and their friends grow up and develop into amazing people.