About Our Firm

Since 1993, Quilling, Selander, Lownds, Winslett and Moser, P.C. has built a highly successful practice providing state of the art and aggressive litigation and bankruptcy services to a broad range of clients that include some of the nation’s largest financial institutions, insurance companies, and construction companies as well as small to mid-size businesses in a wide range of disputes and business planning. All of these clients have the common desire to be represented by top attorneys who can deliver cost-effective results.

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Our approximately 60 attorneys and their support staff never lose sight of the fact that a client’s interests are best served by optimizing the staffing for each case to keep costs manageable while still getting the best result possible. Almost all of our attorneys have previously excelled in large firm environments, but desire the flexibility of a mid-size firm that can immediately respond to the needs of clients. The quality of our attorneys is attested to by the significant number of board certified specialists as well as the high percentage who have been consistently designated as “Super Lawyers” or “Rising Stars” by Texas Monthly or “AV” rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

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Melinda Y. Balli

Melinda Y. Balli

Practice Areas:

  • Business Litigation
  • Construction & Surety
  • Insurance
  • Toxic Torts

Education:

University of Notre Dame
Southern Methodist University(J.D., 1998)
University of Notre Dame(B.A., 1995)

Admitted to Practice:

State Bar of Texas, 1998
All United States District Courts in Texas
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
Second Circuit Court of Appeals

Practice Description

Ms. Balli represents clients in a variety of litigation practice areas including, complex commercial litigation, construction, catastrophic injury, premises liability, products liability, transportation, retail and toxic tort disputes.

Representative Experience

Ms. Balli has developed her litigation and trial practice on both sides of the docket, successfully representing both plaintiffs and defendants in several different litigation practice areas all over Texas and the United States. Ms. Balli defends premises owners, contractors, product manufacturers and suppliers in complex litigation matters. Ms. Balli defends national trucking and transportation companies in severe personal injury cases and has expertise in 18 wheeler, cement truck, and fork lift accidents.  She represents licensed or registered professionals in construction defects cases.  Ms.Balli consults with property management and trucking industries to help establish loss prevention programs. Ms. Balli has the unique experience of working in-house as Senior Counsel for a Fortune 500 retailer. As former Senior Counsel, she managed nationwide commercial litigation and labor and employment cases. She also provided litigation risk analysis to her retailer clients in Sourcing, Product Safety and various product categories impacted by Proposition 65 regulations. Ms. Balli managed the retailer’s Proposition 65 case docket from point of 60 Day Notice Violation through conclusion of litigation. Ms. Balli oversaw Conflict Minerals litigation and advised the retailer on the impact of the Dodd-Frank Act Conflict Minerals Rule on operations. She was also in charge of overseeing responses to all subpoenas issued to the retailer.

Ms. Balli successfully represented a Fortune 500 retailer in claims by a manufacturer for breach of contract, obtaining a dismissal of all claims in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in 2013, and the judgment was affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in 2014. In 2011, she obtained a summary judgment based on judicial estoppel on behalf of a national fuel stop and travel plaza in a premises liability case. In 2010, she obtained two summary judgments on behalf of a national engineering firm in construction defects cases filed by homeowners associations.  In 2008, she served as second-chair and tried to verdict a product liability toxic tort case on behalf of a product manufacturer and obtained a defense verdict.  In 2007, she served as first-chair and tried to verdict a multi-vehicle automobile accident case in Cameron County, Texas, on behalf of one of the nation’s leading diversified construction, energy, and transportation companies. Plaintiffs sought $4 million in damages, and after a two week trial the jury returned an 11-1 defense verdict on liability. Ms. Balli personally managed a construction defects and breach of contracts case on behalf of a school district in South Texas versus various contractors for mold damage. The case settled for approximately $22.5 million in 2001.

She is fluent in Spanish.

Selected Publications, Seminars and Cases:

Julian Orduna Gonzalez, et al. v. Rodrigo Cruz and Transit Mix Concrete & Materials Company, Cause No. 13-07-351-CV, 13th Court of Appeals, Corpus Christi, Texas. (Opinion July 17, 2008)

Strategic Use of New “Offer of Settlement” Procedure Plays Key Role in Texas Trial Victory, Co-author, K&L Gates Commercial Litigation Alert, April 2007

Obesity Litigation Could Be on the Menu in Texas, Co-author, Texas Lawyer, September 12, 2005

Twin Tools Help Defense Attorneys in Medical Device Cases, Co-author, Texas Lawyer, August 22, 2005

A Paralegal’s Role in Assisting Attorneys Using the Texas Rules of Evidence, Legal Assistants of North Texas Association, Dallas, TX, July 8, 2004

Texas Construction Defect and Mold Litigation, National Business Institute, CLE, Dallas, TX, February 17, 2004

The Mold Challenge in Texas, National Business Institute, CLE, Dallas, TX, November 6, 2003

The State of Mold Litigation in Texas, Dallas Bar Association—Construction Law Section, CLE, Dallas, TX, November 6, 2003

Lessons in Plaintiffs’ Litigation: When Mold Attacked an Hidalgo County School, Texas Lawyer, September 1, 2003

Critical Issues in Mass Tort Litigation, Texas Lawyer, CLE, Dallas, TX, April 9, 2003

Professional and Community Involvement

  • Dallas Bar Association and Hispanic Bar Association
  • University of Notre Dame Alumni Association of Dallas and Hispanic Alumni Association
  • Southern Methodist University School of Law Alumni Association and Hispanic Alumni Association
  • Texas Minority Counsel Program, Planning Committee 2011
  • The Family Place Partners
  • Friends of the Katy Trail

Awards & Honors:

Texas Super Lawyers: “Rising Star” 2005, 2008-2012, published by Texas Monthly magazine

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Brief Overview

Practice Areas

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Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy

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The Firm focuses on all aspects of bankruptcy law in Chapters 7, 11 and 13 cases, including the representation of trustees, debtors, creditors, partnerships, individuals and privately-held corporations across a range of industries. Our attorneys routinely handle cases in the Northern and Eastern Districts of Texas and in other courts across the state, relying on a number of legal strategies to protect and enforce the rights of clients involved in all stages of litigation or workout negotiations. These include assisting in planning for insolvency and reorganization, or directing the orderly liquidation of a business outside the context of a bankruptcy court.

Additionally, our attorneys handle all types of adversary proceedings and will aggressively litigate claims by prosecuting or defending objections to discharge, fraudulent transfers, preferences, lease assumptions or rejections, the selling of assets, and bankruptcy tax issues. This diverse practice is supported by the extensive experience of several attorneys who are board certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in both business bankruptcy law and consumer bankruptcy law, or have been appointed by the U.S. Department of Justice to serve as panel trustees in administering insolvency matters.

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Business Litigation

Business Litigation

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The true strength of our firm is business litigation, and many of our attorneys are Board Certified in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Our attorneys have successfully tried many actions in federal and state court as well as before arbitration panels. These litigators are highly experienced at handling business-related disputes involving contracts, fraud claims, deceptive trade practices, trademark infringement, real estate, construction, lender liability and financial institution and securities-related issues.

We pride ourselves on preparation. Our litigation teams conduct detailed research and analysis of each matter and, if appropriate, may use focus groups, mock juries and advanced technology in preparing and presenting the case. Most importantly, we involve the client in every stage of the process. While we will always be ready to effectively represent our clients at trial, we also appreciate that trial is not always the best solution. We are dedicated to working with our clients to cost-effectively achieve the optimum outcome based on the specific needs and circumstances of each case and each client.

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Construction & Surety

Construction & Surety

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The attorneys in our Construction & Surety practice group represent owners, general contractors, subcontractors, major suppliers, and sureties on both private projects and public works. Legal services are provided to construction industry participants in matters such as the negotiation, review and drafting of contract documents, counseling and advising on various performance-related disputes, claims analysis and preparation, insurance coverage matters, and representation in all dispute resolution forums. We routinely handle complex, multi-district litigation, national and international arbitrations, and all other forms of alternative dispute resolution.

Members of our construction practice group are frequent speakers before national, state, and local construction industry groups. Our construction attorneys often work in conjunction with attorneys from our Employment & Labor Group for the development and implementation of employment policies and procedures, our Insurance Group on insurance coverage matters, and our Bankruptcy Group, when project participants encounter financial difficulties.

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Distressed Assets

Distressed Assets

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We regularly advise clients—including commercial mortgage-backed securities trusts, governmental lenders and special servicers—in all phases of the sale and purchase of distressed asset portfolios and individual commercial properties. This regularly involves assisting financial institutions and sellers across the nation in evaluating the critical qualitative risks common to these properties, which may be encumbered by bankruptcies, foreclosures, creditors’ rights litigation, and REO and REMIC issues.

Built upon the foundations of providing attention to detail and client responsiveness in all circumstances, the team is composed of a variety of expertise and disciplines to efficiently and effectively maximize the client’s returns and exceed expectations.  In addition to our legal team, we maintain alliances with experienced professional service firms that can be rapidly mobilized to secure, maintain, and rehabilitate these assets to enhance market value.

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Family Law

Family Law

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The firm maintains a sophisticated Family Law practice. We handle all aspects of divorce, including property division and child custody, possession and support issues. We place heavy emphasis on strategic planning and client communications throughout the case.

We proudly offer an experienced, talented Family Law section dedicated solely to helping those individuals with family law needs. With over eight decades of combined experience, the attorneys have the skills necessary to help attain your goals. This includes collaboration and mediation/negotiation where possible, and trial experience when necessary.

While many family law disputes may be handled by a single lawyer, in others a team approach or consultation with lawyers of other specialities is needed. Divorce is often a time of both personal and financial crisis. In those instances, we are fortunate to have tremendous resources at hand with our bankruptcy, real estate, employment law, and commercial litigation attorneys.

We invite you to schedule a consultation with one of our family law attorneys to help you strategize and make the best decisions for your particular situation. It is our goal to provide the strength and comfort of sound legal counsel as a foundation for our clients to start a new life going forward. Please call us at 214.871.2100 or email familylaw@qslwm.com to speak with a member of our Family Law team.

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Financial Institutions

Financial Institutions

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The Financial Institutions practice is supported by virtually all parts of the firm. Many of our attorneys have spent the better part of their careers representing banks and other financial institutions in lawsuits or workouts. Several have worked for banks as outside and/or in-house counsel. When the time comes to work out a problem credit, we can provide the services necessary for documentation, or restructuring of debt.

Our business trial attorneys have valuable experience in defending lender liability claims, including those disputes arising from commercial and residential real estate loans, business loans and consumer credit. The bankruptcy group can protect a bank’s interests should debtors choose to file for bankruptcy in an attempt to avoid their obligations. We also offer flat fee programs for large scale collection or foreclosure needs, and can also provide web-based tracking systems for clients who have a need for daily or even hourly updates on hundreds of cases.

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Insurance

Insurance

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Our attorneys represent primary and excess carriers, and their clients, in complex coverage disputes in state and federal courts and before arbitration panels. This work often involves the high-exposure defense of large personal injury and property damage claims across a wide range of events, industries, corporate interests and periods of coverage.

Our litigation experience extends to defending insurance providers against claims of bad faith, deceptive trade practices, agent misrepresentation, insurance code violations and negligence. We also represent the interests of numerous excess carriers through litigation and by monitoring and reporting on the activities of primary carriers and their attorneys. Additionally, we are pleased to provide counsel in drafting insurance policies, complying with regulations, formulating coverage opinions, and advising on claims-handling procedures to avoid extra-contractual exposure.

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Labor & Employment

Labor & Employment

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The firm’s labor and employment practice is dedicated to providing companies and individuals with sophisticated counseling and zealous advocacy in the highly regulated area of labor and employment law. A significant part of the practice involves representing clients in governmental administrative proceedings, employment litigation and employment and labor arbitrations. These matters include claims involving wage and hour compliance, alleged discrimination and retaliation, state non-competition laws, and disputes related to collective bargaining agreements. Additionally, our attorneys focus on providing practical and informed advice regarding compliance with changing employment regulations, as well as counsel on the use of training programs to reduce a company’s risk and effectively manage personnel within the confines of applicable labor and employment laws.

Our attorneys are highly experienced in employee benefits, executive compensation and similar ERISA matters. We counsel clients on the design, creation, maintenance and termination of retirement, health and welfare, equity, and executive compensation plans and programs. We also excel in other matters that affect the day-to-day employment relationship, from recruiting through termination. This includes drafting employee handbooks and policies, executive employment contracts, and covenants not-to-compete.

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Real Estate

Real Estate

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Our real estate practice encompasses a broad range of litigation, transactional and regulatory experience throughout the state. This includes working on behalf of major title insurance underwriters and agents in complex claims and coverage disputes, particularly in matters involving the growing number of mortgage fraud claims. In addition, our attorneys routinely represent sellers, purchasers and lenders in litigation involving contractual issues, delinquent taxes and loan payments, and securitization matters for all types of commercial and residential properties. We also offer expertise in the zoning and permitting process for real estate in municipalities across North Texas.

Attorneys of Practice

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Receivership

Receivership

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The firm has had substantial involvement with Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) proceedings. Our attorneys have been appointed as Receivers as well as Receiver’s counsel. As part of that work, it is often necessary to recover money for the estate. We have handled litigation for estates on issues encompassing diverse areas of the law, including fraud, constructive trusts, fraudulent transfers, fidelity bonds, disgorgement orders, and others.

In addition, our attorneys often work closely with forensic accountants to trace funds and recover any ill-gotten gains. We apply these same skills in broker-dealer liquidations, where we have been retained as both Trustee and Trustee’s counsel by the Securities and Investor Protection Corporation (“SIPC”). For a more detailed discussion of the cases where we have been
involved, please visit: http://www.secreceiver.com

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Toxic Torts

Toxic Torts

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The firm has successfully defended numerous employers, manufacturers, contractors and premises owners against claims of personal injuries and other damages due to exposure to alleged toxins, principally asbestos. Our attorneys rely on a wealth of courtroom experience, as well as established case management protocols and a full range of expert resources to challenge the cause and diagnosis of many clinical conditions. Often the result of this rigorous investigation and defense of claims is a successful resolution in advance of trial, or the reversal or reduction of a negative trial outcome through the appellate system.

The reputation and experience of our attorneys has led to service as regional counsel in overseeing the defense and administration of thousands of claims, which involves developing and maintaining litigation and settlement budgets, negotiating large-scale case resolution agreements, and supervising numerous local and trial counsel on specific cases.

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Morris Simmons

Morris Simmons

Firm Administrator
p.
214.871.2100
f.
214.871.2111

Locate Our Offices

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Quilling, Selander, Lownds, Winslett & Moser, P.C.
  • 2001 Bryan Street
  • Suite 1800 Dallas, Texas
Tel..
214.880.1801
Fax
214.871.2111

Quilling, Selander, Lownds, Winslett & Moser, P.C.