Our Thanksgiving was marred by some terrible news–leading Texas appellate lawyer and rising star of the SCOTUS bar Gregory S. Coleman has died in a plane crash. How Appealing aggregates a number of reports.

Coleman argued Switzer v. Skinner in October, and in 2009 he handled–and won–what the Legal Times’ Tony Mauro called two of the Court’s most important cases in recent years: Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District No. 1 v. Holder and Ricci v. DeStefano, better known as the New Haven firefighter case. See also SCOTUSBlog (Holder was “one of the most important civil rights cases in years“).

A few years ago, we had the privilege of working with Coleman’s firm on a few cases. They were top-notch lawyers and unbelievably nice guys; gracious and smart, smart, smart. This is really awful news, and we hope that you’ll keep everyone involved in your thoughts and prayers.