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Elizabeth (Heidi) G.  Bloch

Elizabeth (Heidi) G. Bloch

Partner
Austin
office: 512.703.5733
fax: 512.479.1101
Overview

As an appellate litigator, Heidi has an unerring ability to zero in on core issues. She then crafts persuasive arguments that provide clear legal paths for courts to reach favorable decisions.

Growing up, Heidi did not envision a law career, but once in practice, she couldn’t imagine doing anything else. She thrives on research and writing, identifying creative solutions to problems, using her powers of persuasion and presenting clients’ stories in compelling ways.

Heidi represents clients before state and federal courts in all aspects of appellate practice. She also prepares amicus curiae briefs on behalf of clients, such as industry trade groups, that are interested in, but not parties to, an appeal. Additionally, Heidi helps trial counsel preserve error through pretrial and post-trial motions, jury charge issues and trial briefing.


Industry

Services

Recognition

  • International Municipal Lawyers Association, Amicus Service Award, 2018
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent
  • Texas Super Lawyers, Appellate law, 2012-2018
  • Travis County Women Lawyers’ Association, Pro Bono Award, 2011
  • Travis County Women Lawyers’ Association, Litigation Award, 2000

Education

  • J.D., University of Texas at Austin School of Law
      • Director, Legal Research Board
  • B.A., University of Texas at Austin
    • with honors
      • Phi Beta Kappa

Admissions

  • Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Austin Bar Association, Appellate Section Council
  • State Bar of Texas, Appellate Section, Former Chair, Litigation Section
  • Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Appellate Exam Committee, 2000-2007; Appellate Exam Committee Chair, 2005-2007

Languages

  • Spanish, conversant
Featured Case Study

Persistence Pays in Contract Claim Against State Agency

Texas limits the availability of recovery against state agencies for contract claims and provides an administrative process to resolve such claims. When a state agency head refused to refer a client’s claim to the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH), Heidi won a mandamus action against the agency head requiring a SOAH hearing. That ruling was upheld on appeal, and Heidi won an award from the resulting SOAH hearing. When the state agency refused to pay the award, Heidi filed a second mandamus action with the same result: The writ of mandamus was issued and upheld on appeal. What should have been a relatively simple administrative claim took several years and multiple lawsuits and appeals to resolve. Heidi’s tenacity and her client’s refusal to be bullied ultimately prevailed.


Additional Experience

Texas Supreme Court Practice

  • Persuaded Texas Supreme Court to reverse three separate cases in her clients' favor in per curiam opinions on the briefs, without oral argument.
  • Filed amicus curiae briefs in cases before the Texas Supreme Court, including one involving a city's decision to extend employee benefits to same-sex spouses, and another dealing with the issue of whether electric cooperative corporations have statutory authority to create and own for-profit subsidiaries.
  • Won an often-cited decision regarding the limits of a court's ability to modify arbitration awards.
  • Represented pipeline company in $400 million lawsuit against producers and a transporter involving contract disputes. Case was settled after two Texas Supreme Court decisions on appeal.

Sovereign Immunity

  • Successfully argued several trial and appellate cases involving sovereign and governmental immunity issues against state agencies and municipalities.
  • Won claim against state agency charged with administering Medicaid for improperly handling disenrollment for low-income Social Security beneficiaries.
  • Successfully pursued mandamus actions against governmental officials who refused to perform their ministerial duties.
Outside the Office

Heidi is a cyclist and plays tennis.

She enjoys getting away to her cabin in the Texas Hill Country, where a typical day may include relaxing on the back porch and cutting down invasive cedar trees. She loves dogs and has two rescue dachshunds.

Community Leadership

Heidi is committed to pro bono service.

More than 30 years ago, she began taking pro bono Social Security disability cases through Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas (VLS), helping disadvantaged individuals collect benefits that are due. Her involvement with VLS has included a seven-year stint on the board of directors. Heidi also works with the National Veterans Legal Services Program to help veterans appeal denials of Veterans Affairs disability benefits.