Gary Bellair, a graduate of St. John’s University (B.S.) and Texas Tech University (MBA & JD), began practicing law in 1991. Bellair’s first appeal, Avmanco, Inc. v. City of Grand Prairie, 835 S.W.2d 160 (Tex. App.–Fort Worth 1992, pet. dism’d), was, until recently, one of note. The appeal resulted in a victory snatched from the jaws of defeat. Avamanco, 835 S.W.2d at 165 (holding, inter alia, the city had no immunity from suit because its charter provided that the city “may sue and be sued” and section 51.075 of the Local Government Code provided that municipalities may “plead and be impleaded”). But the victory lost some of its luster when a majority of the supreme court jettisoned “established law” without “a compelling reason,” Tooke v. City of Mexia, 197 S.W.3d 325, 356 (Tex. 2006) (O’Neill, J., dissenting), by holding that the words “sue and be sued” and “plead and be impleaded” are, standing alone, neither clear nor unambiguous waivers of a sovereign’s immunity from suit, id. at 342.
Bellair, who principally practices civil trial and appellate law, is board certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in the field of civil appellate law. Bellair also is a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation, a member of the State Bar College, the Lubbock County and American Bar Associations, the State Bar of Texas, and the Municipal Judge for Ransom Canyon, Texas.
Texas Tech University School of Law, Lubbock, TX, J.D. (1991)
Activities: Texas Tech Legal Research Board: Administrative Director (1990-1991), Editor (1989-1990), and Member (1988-1991); and
Texas Tech Board of Barristers: Chairperson of General Programs (1990-1991) and Member (1989-1991)
Honors: Who’s Who Among American Law Students;
Legal Professionalism Award, State Bar of Texas Law Student Division
American Jurisprudence Awards – Legal Analysis, and Will & Trusts
Texas Tech University Graduate School, Lubbock, TX, MBA (1983)
St. John’s University, Collegeville, MN, B.S. (1975)
U.S. Supreme Court, 1996
Texas Supreme Court, 1991
U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit, 1992
U.S. Court of Appeals D.C. Circuit, 2010
U.S. District Court Northern District of Texas, 1992
U.S. District Court Eastern District of Texas, 1998
U.S. District Court Western District of Texas, 2010
U.S. District Court Southern District of Texas, 1998
Better Business Bureau of the South Plains, Inc., Arbitrator (1986 – Present)
Lubbock Big Brothers Big Sisters, President (2004-2005), Director (2000-2005)
Lubbock Big Brothers Big Sister, Member (2000 – Present)
Lubbock Community Theatre, President (1998-2000), Director (1995-2000)
Lubbock Transit Advisory Board, Chair (1991-1995), Member (1986-1995)
Goals for Lubbock, Member (1994-1995)
Catholic Foundation, Chair (2013- Present)
Texas Municipal Courts Association, Regional Director
Texas Municipal Courts Education Center, Region I Director
State Bar of Texas, Member, Appellate Section (1998-Present)
Civil Appellate Law Advisory Commission, Member (1999-2004)
Lubbock Area Bar Association, Member (1991-Present), President (2012-13), President Elect (2011-12), Director (2006-09)
American Bar Association, Member (1991-Present)
- Oscar Renda Contr., Inc. v. City of Lubbock, 463 F.3d 378 (5th Cir. 2006) (affirming, in part, and reversing, in part, an order granting Lubbock’s motion requesting a dismissal of the contractor’s suit for failing to state a claim under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6)), cert. denied, 167 L.Ed.2d 764 (2007).
- Crawford v. GuideOne Mut. Ins. Co., 420 F. Supp. 2d 584 (N.D. Tex. 2006) (declaring GuideOne had no duty to defend the plaintiff, a claimant who had no coverage).
- Smith v. Livingston Hearing Aid Ctr., Inc., Cause 07-06-0204-CV, 2006 Tex. App. LEXIS 8231 (Tex. App.–Amarillo 2006, orig. proceeding) (mem. op.) (holding the trial court did not abuse its discretion in rendering the temporary injunction that prohibited Livingston’s former employee from working for another similar business). http://www.7thcoa.courts.state.tx.us/opinions/HTMLOpinion.asp?OpinionID=11504
- West Tex. Positron, Ltd. v. Cahill, Cause 07-05-0297-CV, 2005 Tex. App. LEXIS 10645 (Tex. App.–Amarillo 2005, orig. proceeding) (mem. op.) (rejecting challenges upon an order that denied the enforcement of an arbitration clause because acts of the partnership, which were inconsistent with its right to arbitration, prejudiced Cahill). http://www.7thcoa.courts.state.tx.us/opinions/HTMLOpinion.asp?OpinionID=11001
- Chi Energy, Inc. v. Urias, 156 S.W.3d 873 (Tex. App.–El Paso 2005, pet. denied) (reversing a 7-figure judgment against Chi for want of the evidence satisfying the requirements of Chapter 95 of the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code). http://www.8thcoa.courts.state.tx.us/opinions/HTMLOpinion.asp?OpinionID=63246
- Bryant v. Roblee, 153 S.W.3d 626 (Tex. App.–Amarillo 2004, no pet.) (affirming the special appearance of First Republic Bank, who successfully negated the jurisdictional bases alleged by the plaintiff).
- Dowdy v. Miller, 122 S.W.3d 816 (Tex. App.–Amarillo 2003, orig. proceeding) (reversing the order that denied the special appearance by an officer of the corporate defendant). http://www.7thcoa.courts.state.tx.us/opinions/HTMLOpinion.asp?OpinionID=9551
- Daniel v. Webb, 110 S.W.3d 708 (Tex. App.–Amarillo 2003, pet. denied) (affirming the take-nothing judgment rendered in favor of Webb, whose relationship with her grandfather did not give rise to a duty to control her grandfather’s driving). http://www.7thcoa.courts.state.tx.us/opinions/HTMLOpinion.asp?OpinionID=9345
- Primrose Operating Co. v. Jones, 102 S.W.3d 188 (Tex. App.–Amarillo 2003, pet. denied) (reversing a 7-figure judgment against Primrose because the plaintiff’s failure to establish the operator’s right of control of the work performed by his employer was fatal to his claim that the operator owed him a duty). http://www.7thcoa.courts.state.tx.us/opinions/HTMLOpinion.asp?OpinionID=9027
- In re L.L., 65 S.W.3d 194 (Tex. App.–Amarillo 2001, pet. dism’d) (reversing the order terminating parent-child relationship between a mother and her four children).
- Robbins v. Payne, 55 S.W.3d 740 (Tex. App.–Amarillo 2001, pet. denied) (affirming the JNOV rendered against a technician who alleged various and sundry theories for recovering an interest in the start-up business financed by Payne). http://www.7thcoa.courts.state.tx.us/opinions/HTMLOpinion.asp?OpinionID=8028
- Labrador Oil Co. v. Norton Drilling Co., 1 S.W.3d 795 (Tex. App.–Amarillo 1999, no pet.) (affirming the judgment rendered on the breach of contract findings favorable to Norton Drilling).
- Carr v. Weiss, 984 S.W.2d 753 (Tex. App.–Amarillo 1999, pet. denied) (affirming the constructive trust imposed in favor of Weiss, who successfully maintained claims based upon an oral agreement to purchase and jointly own an apartment complex)
- Springer v. Spruiell, 866 S.W.2d 592, 593 (Tex. 1993) (reversing the appellate court’s erroneous dismissal of Springer’s appeal).
Community Activities, Honors and Awards
AV® Peer Review Rated*
John Crews Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year, Lubbock County Bar Association (1996)
Arbitrator of the Year, Better Business Bureau of the South Plains (1987)
Life Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation
Life Fellow, American Bar Foundation
Pro Bono Activities
West Texas Legal Services/ PAI – Volunteer (1991-Present)