Engaged in a diverse complex litigation practice for over 31 years. Represents clients in the full range of business litigation and arbitration, and has significant experience in the areas of fiduciary duty, cyber security, oil and gas, corporate governance, probate, intellectual property, insurance and securities litigation. Calls on extensive appellate experience in advising clients and when trying cases. Last jury trial lasted almost seven weeks (having first appeared in the case a couple of weeks before trial); longest trial lasted eleven weeks. This experience was recently acknowledged when chosen to be an Associate in the American Board of Trial Advocates.
In 2004, briefed and argued to the U.S. Supreme Court a landmark case on ERISA preemption and HMO liability; in 2003 was a finalist for Trial Lawyer of the Year awarded by the Trial Lawyers of Public Justice (one of eight cases nominated nationally), and in numerous years is among "Super Lawyers" selected by Texas Monthly (less than 5 percent of all Texas lawyers), and named one of the "Top Attorneys in Tarrant County" by Fort Worth Magazine and The Fort Worth Business Press. AV® Peer Review Rated Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell® Law Directory.
More recently actively involved in several "minority shareholder oppression" cases representing companies or majority shareholders, often in suits by minority interest owners for perceived wrongs; written and lectured extensively on this topic. Most recent fiduciary duty and board governance trial was an expedited Delaware Section 225 proceeding tried in 2013 to the Delaware Court of Chancery, with the entire proceeding (including extensive discovery) taking seven months, from filing to final decision by the Delaware Supreme Court.
Successfully handled several large oil and gas matters over the last several years, including disputes between royalty, working interest owners and operators, fights involving investors in oil and gas ventures, disputes between producers and surface owners, disputes between pipelines and producers and litigation between pipelines and adjoining landowners.
Board Certified in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, on the Litigation Council of the State Bar of Texas Litigation Section and served as a Co-Course Director for several State Bar of Texas CLE courses, including the 2011 Advanced Civil Trial Course, the 2013 Litigation Update course, as well as the 2014 Litigation Update Course. Previously an adjunct professor at Texas Wesleyan School of Law and a guest lecturer at the University of Texas, SMU and Texas Wesleyan (now Texas A&M) Schools of Law.
- Expedited Delaware §225 proceeding tried in Delaware Court of Chancery involving allegations of breach of fiduciary duty by directors in board meeting ambush of majority shareholder director/CEO.
- Successful prosecution of cyber security damages claim for Fortune 500 subsidiary against vendor.
- Seven-week defense of corporate defendant in "minority shareholder oppression" case.
- Defense of claims arising from failed multi-million real estate deal; eventual settlement was half of amount offered before entry into the case.
- Successful defense of a multi-national chemicals manufacturing corporation in a federal court case where plaintiff sought more than $15 million for alleged fraud in the sale of product.
- Defense of fraud claims arising out of plaintiff's investment of millions in oil and gas interests and in drilling rig. Case settled several months after entered the case for much less than clients had offered before litigation was instituted.
- Prosecution of injunction suit for Fortune 500 company to enforce contract proven by string of emails relating to purchase of "bandwidth" essential to client's business. After obtaining injunction for the client it obtained bandwidth at target price.
- Obtained multi-million dollar tortious interference verdict and settlement for frustrated acquiror of regional telephone company.
- Successfully defended national banks and savings and loans in several large lender liability actions.
- Co-counsel for savings and loan plaintiff in one of the first significant civil RICO matters tried in the Northern District of Texas (trial lasting almost eleven weeks).
- Defended and obtained summary judgment on behalf of major manufacturing client in intellectual property litigation involving claims of patent infringement (successfully handled in the Federal Circuit).
- Successful appellate counsel in a number of Fifth Circuit and State Courts of Appeals.
- Special counsel to Texas Attorney General in matter involving HMO's effort to have Texas' 1997 HMO liability statute declared preempted.
- First attorney to successfully use the 1997 law which prohibits financial incentives that act as an inducement to limit medically necessary care.
- Filed first suit and obtained first verdict and judgment (over $13 million) under Texas' 1997 HMO Liability Act.
- Numerous other successful jury trials.
Selected Recent Publications
- “A Rough Sense of Justice” Meets “Practical Politics”: Causation in the Texas Supreme Court, 64:3 BAYLOR L. REV. 784 (2012) (co-authored with Kelli Walter).
- Co-Course Director, 2014 “Litigation Update Course,” State Bar of Texas.
- Co-Course Director, 2013 “Litigation Update Course,” State Bar of Texas.
- 2011: Co-Course Director, 34th Annual “Advanced Civil Trial Course,” State Bar of Texas.
- July 2011: “Fiduciary Duties and Minority Shareholder Oppression from the Defense Perspective: Differing Approaches in Texas, Delaware, and Nevada,” 34th Annual Advanced Civil Trial Course, State Bar of Texas.
- Jan 2011: “Overview of The Proposed New Texas Ethics Rules,” Tarrant County Bar Association.
- Oct 2010: “Delaware Business Torts,” Business Torts Institute 2010.
- Jul 2010: “A Rough Sense of Justice” or “Practical Politics?” The Texas Supreme Court, Causation, 33rd Annual Advanced Civil Trial Course, State Bar of Texas .
- Jan 2009: “A Rough Sense of Justice” or “Practical Politics?” Recent Texas Supreme Court Opinions on Causation, 25th Litigation Update Institute.
- April 2008: “An Intersection or the End of the Road? The Impact of Chapter 33 on Indemnity in Texas,” Texas College for Judicial Studies.
- Sept 2007: “Indemnity, Immunity and Responsible Parties,” 2007 Judicial Section Annual Conference, Texas Center for the Judiciary.
- Fall 2007: “An Annotated 'Model' Settlement Agreement,” The Advocate, State Bar of Texas Litigation Section.
- Aug 2007: “Chapter 33 and “Indemnity,” 30th Annual Advanced Civil Trial Course, State Bar of Texas.
- April 2007: “Chapter 33: Immunity, Indemnity and Other Emerging Issues,” Texas College for Judicial Studies.
- Feb 2007: “Chapter 33: Proportionate Responsibility and Other Frights,” 23rd Annual Litigation Update, Texas Bar CLE.
- Aug 2006: “Chapter 33: Proportionate Responsibility and Other Frights,” 29th Advanced Civil Trial Course.
- Aug 2005: “Chapter 33: One Need Not Be a Party to be Invited to the Party (A Wake for ‘Joint and Several Liability’ and the Retreat from ‘Broad Form Submission’ in Texas),” State Bar of Texas 28th Annual Advanced Civil Trial Course.
Selected Representative Experience
Argo Data Res. Corp. v. Shagrithaya, 380 S.W.3d 249 (Tex. App.—Dallas Aug. 29, 2012, pet. filed)
Obtained reversal and rendition of take-nothing judgment in favor of corporate client on appeal of alleged shareholder oppression claim in which trial court had ordered that corporation be caused to issue an $85 million dividend.
Data Breach Investigation and Litigation
Internal investigation and remediation of a data security breach at a Fortune 200 transportation company, including coordination with law enforcement and forensic investigators. Achieved favorable settlement of civil claims against entity responsible for the security breach.
McCoy v. Adams, et al., NO. 048-252036-11 (48th Judicial District, Tarrant County, Tex., April 30, 2012)
Won summary judgment in favor individual defendants on ex-CEO’s claims of breach of fiduciary duty, common law and statutory fraud, and negligent misrepresentation with multi-million-dollar damage allegations; the judgment was not appealed.
Thermacor Process, LP v. BASF Corp., 567 F.3d 736 (5th Cir. 2009)
Won summary judgment in a case involving fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and DTPA claims and alleged damages in excess of $10 million, and successfully defended the summary judgment on appeal.
Shagitahya v. Martin and ARGO
Defense of claims of minority shareholder oppression and request for dividend from company to all shareholders.
02/09/2012 - Fiduciary Duties and Minority Shareholder Oppression from the Defense Perspective: Differing Approaches in Texas, Delaware, and Nevada
Suits by minority shareholders in Texas are on the rise and represent an expanding, cutting-edge area of civil litigation in this state and across the country.
10/01/2010 - Delaware Business Torts for Texas Lawyers
Because of the “Internal Affairs Doctrine,” Delaware law can apply to a suit filed in Texas if the corporation or LLC is chartered in Delaware. In addition, Texas courts often look to Delaware law for guidance on business issues, given the specialized nature of Delaware courts considering business disputes.
06/15/2010 - "A Rough Sense of Justice" or "Practical Politics"? The Texas Supreme Court, Causation and Chapter 33
A review of The Texas Supreme Court, Causation and Chapter 33.
05/12/2009 - Fifth Circuit Enforces Disclaimer Provision in Form Agreement to Bar Misrepresentation Claims Against Manufacturer
On May 7, 2009, the Fifth Circuit affirmed a take-nothing summary judgment for Haynes and Boone, LLP client BASF Corporation, rejecting Plaintiff Thermacor Process, L.P.’s negligent misrepresentation, fraudulent inducement, and Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) claims based on a standard disclaimer-of-warranty provision and the absence of any actionable misrepresentation. Thermacor Process, L.P. v. BASF Corp., No. 08-10227 (5th Cir. May 7, 2009). This decision reinforces Texas law that manufacturers can rely on standard disclaimers in their form agreements to defeat claims based on the absence of any misrepresentation, particularly when the parties are sophisticated and the disclaimer is conspicuous.
08/27/2008 - Running an Olympian Gauntlet: The Chapter 33 Decathlon
Presented at the Texas Advanced Civil Trial Courses, Fall, 2008.
08/30/2006 - Chapter 33: Proportionate Responsibility and Other Frights!
Presented at the State Bar of Texas 29th Annual Advanced Civil Trial Course.
08/31/2005 - Chapter 33: One Need Not Be a Party to Be Invited to the Party
(A Wake for "Joint and Several Liability" and the Retreat from "Broad Form Submission" in Texas)