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Successful Appeal Finds Austin Billboard Restriction Unconstitutional

In August, Reagan National Advertising won an appeal to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and obtained a ruling that the City of Austin’s sign ordinance in effect in 2017 was unconstitutional.

Reagan had asked the City to grant it permit applications to digitize certain existing billboards. When the City refused, Reagan sued to challenge the constitutionality of the City’s sign ordinance. Reagan lost that suit before the district court but won on appeal.

Reagan’s case was based on Reed v. Town of Gilbert, 576 U.S. 155 (2015), which requires content-based distinctions in regulations to be subject to strict scrutiny under the law. Federal appellate courts had reached different conclusions as to what constitutes a “content-based” sign regulation, so Reagan’s case was an important opportunity for the Fifth Circuit to weigh in on this First Amendment issue.

This ruling is likely to cause local governments to modify their sign codes in Texas and elsewhere. The City of Austin is expected to appeal to the United States Supreme Court.

Reagan National Advertising was represented by Russ Horton and Julie Ford before the Fifth Circuit. The full opinion can be found here: Reagan National Advertising of Austin, Inc. v. City of Austin, 972 F.3d. 696 (5th Cir. 2020).


In Memoriam: Nan Hazel

Nanneska-N-HazelOn April 30, 2020, we lost Nan Hazel to leukemia.  Nan retired from the firm a couple of times, mostly recently in November of 2018, but remained a dear friend and advisor to us all of her days.

Nan worked with us for two decades. She worked hard for her clients, often not billing them for the time she actually spent on their cases. She wrote better than probably any one of us. She helped research. She helped us reduce our wordiness. She went with us to hearings when we needed her support. She made sure no one worked alone in the office late at night. And she improved our grammar, even taking emergency calls from us on word issues long after she retired for the final time.

But mostly, she made us laugh.

We loved Nan deeply.

Nan showed us what it means to love others. She loved her church, her choir, her Education for Ministry family, her sons, her daughters-in-law, her grandchildren, and her husband, Pat. We watched her care for him and wear his wedding band on a chain around her neck to her final days. And we know she loved us because we felt it in her friendship both in and out of the office.

Nan was a deeply good person, an invaluable lawyer, and an irreplaceable friend to this firm and to so many others. We love that we had the great privilege of working with her and miss her terribly.


Two George Brothers Kincaid & Horton Attorneys Earn ‘Lawyer of the Year’ honors from The Best Lawyers in America

Four firm lawyers selected for the 2021 Best Lawyers listing 

Two George Brothers Kincaid & Horton LLP lawyers have earned “Lawyer of the Year” honors in the 2021 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. The veteran trial lawyers are among four firm attorneys recognized by Best Lawyers, one of the most prestigious peer-review attorney guides in the nation.  

Name partners D. Douglas Brothers and B. Russell Horton, partner Gary L. Lewis, and Of Counsel Julie A. Ford are honored for their work based on nominations from other lawyers and votes from peers in the same practice areas. 

This year, Mr. Horton earned individual distinction as Austin Lawyer of the Year for Securities Litigation. A Best Lawyers honoree since 2014, Mr. Horton’s practice includes the representation of both plaintiffs and defendants in complex commercial, patent, trade secret, antitrust and securities disputes. He is board-certified in both Civil and Personal Injury Trial Law.   

Ms. Ford, recognized twice this year for her First Amendment work, was also named “Austin Lawyer of the Year” for excellence in First Amendment Litigation. Now in her 14th year as a Best Lawyers honoree, Ms. Ford’s First Amendment practice includes nearly three decades of successfully representing news organizations, television networks, magazines and book publishers.  

In his 13th year as a Best Lawyers honoree, Mr. Brothers has earned recognition in three practice areas: Bet-The-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, and Legal Malpractice. A 2016 “Austin Lawyer of the Year” honoree for Bet-The-Company Litigation, Mr. Brothers has earned an impressive track record of wins for both plaintiffs and defendants in trials, appeals and arbitration proceedings in a variety of business disputes. 

Mr. Lewis is recognized by Best Lawyers for his work in Commercial Litigation. A Best Lawyers honoree since 2019, Mr. Lewis works on a wide range of complex legal issues, from employment disputes, breach of contract and discrimination cases, to shareholder oppression actions, class actions, and product liability claims. 

“We are so happy for Russ and Julie. To have two of our own receive Austin Lawyer of the Year recognitions is an incredible honor, said Mr. Brothers. “Our firm’s focus has always been to use our skills and experience to help our clients reach the best possible outcome, so to be recognized by our peers – those who know exactly what we do every day – is truly wonderful.” 

The Best Lawyers in Americawhich recognizes the top 4 percent of practicing attorneys in the nation, is based on confidential evaluations submitted by clients and other attorneys across the country, as well as extensive editorial research. To learn morehttps://www.bestlawyers.com/america. 


George Brothers Kincaid & Horton Named to National Best Law Firms List for 2019

The Austin-based business and commercial litigation firm George Brothers Kincaid & Horton has been named as one of 2019’s Best Law Firms by U.S. News and World Report. The firm received recognition for its work in several practice areas, including:

  • Commercial Litigation
  • First Amendment Law
  • Litigation – First Amendment
  • Litigation – Securities
  • Legal Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs

read more


Name Partners Recognized by Texas Super Lawyers for Business Litigation

George Brothers Kincaid & Horton’s founding partners are being recognized in the 2018 Texas Super Lawyers legal guide, putting them in the top 5 percent of lawyers in the state.

James George Jr., D. Douglas Brothers and B. Russell Horton each earned a place in the annual listing for their business litigation work. All three have been included multiple years in the Super Lawyers guide, which is published by Thomson Reuters…. read more


Austin-based George Brothers Kincaid & Horton Attorneys Selected to Best Lawyers in America for 2019

Five attorneys honored; Russ Horton earns Lawyer of the Year

AUSTIN, Texas – Five lawyers with Austin-based business litigation boutique George Brothers Kincaid & Horton LLP have earned recognition in the 2019 edition of The Best Lawyers in America, one of the oldest and most respected legal guides.

Name partners R. James George Jr., D. Douglas Brothers, B. Russell Horton, and Gary L. Lewis and Of Counsel Julie A. Ford are being honored based on nominations, votes from their peers in the same practice areas and a review by the publication’s editors. Mr. Horton was selected the Austin Lawyer of the Year for securities litigation…. read more


GBKH Lawyer Julie Ford Helps Win San Antonio Water Rights Case

The San Antonio Water System and Edwards Aquifer Authority won a significant water rights victory from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which denied an appeal by land owners seeking to revive rights to withdraw aquifer water.

Julie A. Ford, commercial litigator with George Brothers Kincaid & Horton LLP, together with Phil Steven Kosub represented the City of the San Antonio acting through the San Antonio Water System…. read more


In Memoriam


From the Family

Mark Lyndon Kincaid, of Austin, Texas, suffered a stroke on December 31st, 2015 and never regained consciousness. He died peacefully with his family by his side on January 19th, 2016.

Mark would want those who knew him to know a few things in the hopes it might bring you comfort. First, he had a great life, and though it was too short, it was a full life,… read more


Russell Horton Shares Civil Trial Tips in National Legal Publication

GBKH Partner B. Russell Horton recently shared his expertise in civil trial law with the national legal publication Law360 in a story about what to avoid when drafting a civil lawsuit, “5 Things to Leave Out of a Complaint,” (subscription required). In the article, Mr. Horton tells lawyers, “Don’t make your job harder than it has to be,” … read more


Russ Horton Interviewed by Law360 about Energy Litigation

GBKH Partner Russ Horton, who handles a variety of complex commercial litigation, recently was interviewed by the national legal news publication Law360 for his insights about the impact of the oil price downturn on lawsuits in the energy sector…. read more


George Brothers Kincaid & Horton LLP

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