Julia F. Pendery

Of Counsel


Julia Pendery is an attorney in the Cowles Thompson Appellate Litigation Law section.  She has represented clients in the Texas appellate courts for 35 years.  She predominantly represents the party appealing an adverse judgment and has successfully appealed business and commercial, personal injury, professional malpractice, real estate, family, and many other types of disputes. She enjoys taking on complex cases and has practiced in most of the appellate courts in Texas and the federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. She is also well-known for setting aside/obtaining relief from default judgments and frequently speaks to other lawyers on that topic.

Julia writes amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs for industry groups, businesses, and individuals who are interested in important Texas Supreme Court cases but are not direct parties to the case. She is an active faculty and planning committee member of the Appellate Practice Institute, sponsored by the American Bar Association’s Judicial Division, where she helps other appellate lawyers develop their skills.  She has served as vice-chair of the ABA Judicial Division’s Council of Appellate Lawyers and the ABA’s Appellate Law Section, as well as President of the Dallas Bar Association Appellate Section.

Julia also represents landowners in eminent domain proceedings. She became involved in this type of law through her family ranch corporation in the 1990s and has represented both urban commercial landowners and rural agricultural landowners in the North Texas.  Her experience as a Special Commissioner appointed by a County Court at Law to assess value in a condemnation proceeding gives her an advantage in representing clients before panels of Special Commissioners. She helps her clients maximize the compensation they receive for their land by providing compassionate and effective legal guidance through a difficult process. She can also negotiate non-monetary concessions and, in some cases, successfully challenge the governmental entity’s right to take private property.

Representative Matters

  • Watson v. Hardman, 497 S.W.3d 601 (Tex. App.–Dallas 2016, no pet.). (Anti-SLAAP suit early dismissal)
  • Khwaja v. Quik-Way Retail Associates II, Ltd., 2015 WL 9482517 (Tex. App.–Dallas 2016, no pet.). (default judgment)
  • Fitness Evolution, L.P. v. Headhunter Fitness, L.L.C., 2015 WL 6750047 (Tex. App.–Dallas 2016, no pet.). (real estate guaranty and tortious interference)
  • Gibbs v. Bureaus Inv. Group Portfolio No. 14, LLC, 441 S.W.3d 764 (Tex. App.–El Paso 2014, no pet.). (business records evidentiary standards)
  • Tagore v. U.S., 735 F.3d 324 (5th Cir. 2013). (amicus brief – Religious Freedom Restoration Act)
  • State v. Central Expressway Sign Associates, 302 S.W.3d 866 (Tex. 2009). (amicus brief – eminent domain, billboard valuation)
  • Lawler v. Digiuseppe, 269 S.W.3d 588 (Tex. 2008). (specific performance of real estate sales contract)


  • “Spoliation of Evidence,” Dallas Bar Association CLE, May 2017, November 2018
  • “Damages in Eminent Domain Cases,” Damages in Civil Litigation, Texas Bar Association, February 2017
  • “Eminent Domain Issues for Engineers,” Legal Issues for Texas Engineers, HalfMoon Education, Inc. seminar, Arlington, TX, February 2016

Recent Publications

  • “Did My Email Saying ‘We Have a Deal’ Form a Binding Contract?,” author, Cowles Thompson Business and Legal Update, author, October 2020
  • “Analysis of the Recent Legislative Changes to Section 18.001 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code,” author, Cowles Thompson Business and Legal Update, May 2020
  • “Taking Depositions Before Filing Suit,” author, Cowles Thompson Business and Legal Update, August 2019
  • “Spoliation of Evidence in Texas – 2019 Update,” author, Cowles Thompson Business and Legal Update, January 2019
  • “Waiver of Arbitration by Litigation Conduct,” author, Cowles Thompson Business and Legal Update, January 2018
  • “I Didn’t Say It, But if I Did, Pay My Attorney’s Fees,” author, Cowles Thompson Business and Legal Update, July 2017


  • J.D., Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, 1978
  • B.A., Biology and English, Texas Christian University, 1975


  • State Bar of Texas, 1978
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas


  • State Bar of Texas and State Bar of Texas Appellate Section
  • ABA Judicial Division’s Counsel of Appellate Lawyers
  • Dallas Bar Association and DBA Appellate Section


  • Board Certified® in Civil Appellate Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization, 1990
  • AV Peer Review (Pre-eminent®), rated by Martindale Hubbell®
  • Best Lawyers in America© — Appellate Practice, Best Lawyers®; selected for inclusion 2024
  • Super Lawyers© by Thomson Reuters Super Lawyers®, selected for inclusion, 2003-2022
  • Named among “DVAP’s Finest” by the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program for her pro bono work, 2019