False Claim & OCSLA Actions Against Major Oil Company (S.Dist. Tex. 2014)
Assumed a lead role in securing a final take-nothing summary judgment in a suit seeking $266 billion and an injunction to shut down a major oil company's offshore platform under the False Claims Act and the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, based on purported misrepresentations about the platform designs.
Calhoun County ISD et al. v. Michael Williams, Commissioner of Education, et al. (250th District Court, Travis County, Texas 2014)
Represented 88 school districts in a successful challenge to the constitutionality of the Texas school finance system. Following a 16-week, two-phase trial, our clients prevailed on their claims that (1) they lacked sufficient resources to provide all of their students with a meaningful opportunity to achieve a constitutionally adequate education; and (2) the system had evolved into an unconstitutional state property tax because state laws and mandates strip districts of any meaningful discretion over the setting of their property tax rates.
Anti-Lothian Bankruptcy Fraud Committee v. Lothian Oil, Inc., 531 Fed. App'x 428 (5th Cir. 2013)
Represented a group of Chapter 11 debtors in a post-confirmation challenge to the debtors' plan of reorganization brought in New York state court. Quickly obtained a bankruptcy-court injunction of the state-court litigation, removed the matter to federal court, and obtained a transfer of venue to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Texas. Successfully prosecuted claims for more than $2 million in bankruptcy-court sanctions against plaintiffs and plaintiffs' counsel related to their violation of the bankruptcy-court injunction and obtained a complete reinstatement of the bankruptcy-court injunction and sanctions in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit following a partial reversal by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.
Anti-Lothian Bankruptcy Fraud Committee v. Lothian Oil, Inc., 508 Fed. App'x 352 (5th Cir. 2013)
Represented a group of Chapter 11 debtors in a post-confirmation challenge to the debtors' plan of reorganization and a related claim for disgorgement of fees paid to the debtors' professionals. Successfully defended the plan and professional payments against claims of fraud and professional negligence and obtained complete appellate victories in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
TimeGate Studios, Inc. v. SouthPeak Interactive, LLC, 860 F. Supp. 2d 350 (S.D. Tex. 2012)
Persuaded a federal district court to vacate a more than $9 million arbitration award entered against a video game developer under the Federal Arbitration Act because the award violated the essence of the publishing agreement that was the subject of the parties' dispute.
Kenneth Davey v. First Command Financial Services, Inc., No. 3:11-cv-01510-G (N.D. Tex. 2012)
Persuaded federal district court to vacate all punitive damages awarded by an arbitration panel on the grounds that the arbitrators exceeded their powers.
Grossman v. Lothian Oil Incorporated (In re Lothian Oil, Inc.), 650 F.3d. 539 (5th Cir. 2011)
In a case of first impression, persuaded the Fifth Circuit to reverse the district court's finding that a non-insider creditor's claims could not be recharacterized as equity, and instead affirm the bankruptcy court's recharacterization decision.
Minnis v. Citrin Holdings, No. 2006-78939 (133rd Dist. Ct., Harris County, Tex.)
In a real estate partnership dispute, assisted plaintiff's trial counsel with post-trial briefing and formation of judgment issues in connection with the entry of $54.6 million judgment in favor of our client.
Westergren v. National Property Holdings, L.P., No. 2008-36847 (269th Dist. Ct., Harris County, Tex.)
Argued jury charge and persuaded the trial court, through a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV), to set aside the jury's multi-million dollar verdict and enter a take nothing judgment in a real estate dispute involving claims for breach of contract, fraud and breach of partnership duties.
In the Matter of Asarco L.L.C., 401 Fed. App'x 914 (5th Cir. 2010)
Persuaded the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to dismiss the appeal of a $3.6 billion bankruptcy plan of reorganization, which was challenged by a competing bidder and the company's union.
United States of America v. Hoeffner, No. 4:07-cr-00263 (S.D.-Houston Div. 2010)
Following a 15-count indictment charging him with conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering, we represented a prominent lawyer, who had recovered millions of dollars for his clients in toxic tort lawsuits. The indictment alleged payment of bribes and kickbacks to two employees of an insurance company in connection with the settlements of these lawsuits. After a 6-week trial, the judge declared a mistrial when the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict. The case involved thousands of documents, more than 30 witnesses, and numerous complex motions.
Bell v. American Traffic Solutions, Inc., No. 09-10722, 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 6001 (5th Cir. Mar. 23, 2010)
Defended red-light camera company in federal class action challenging failure to obtain Texas private investigator license, alleging negligence per se, and seeking monetary and injunctive relief. Obtained dismissal of the putative class action claim brought against the installer and operator of red light cameras based on the plaintiffs' lack of standing. Haynes and Boone's appellate team later persuaded the Fifth Circuit to affirm the dismissal.
HMC Hotel Properties II Ltd. Partnership v. Keystone-Texas Property Holding Corp., No.05-CI-14229 (166th Dist. Ct., Bexar County, Tex.)
In a commercial real estate dispute, assisted trial team with strategy, legal briefing, and preparing and arguing the jury charge in a trial that resulted in a favorable judgment of approximately $50 million.
Miga v. Jensen, No. 07-0123 (Tex. 2008)
Submitted amicus curiae brief on behalf of expert on law of remedies, urging Texas Supreme Court to reject petitioner’s position on restitution law.
Whirlpool v. Camacho, 298 S.W.3d 631 (Tex. 2009)
Obtained reversal from the Texas Supreme Court of a $14 million products liability judgment arising out of a fire because the plaintiffs’ expert’s causation testimony was scientifically unreliable. The Court held that both Texas tests for reliability – the “analytical gap” test and the Robinson
-factor test – typically should be used in evaluating expert testimony, and that an expert must offer a convincing explanation for failing to test critical aspects of his theories when such testing is possible.
In re ASARCO, LLC, No. 05-CV-21207 and related adversary proceedings (Bankr. S.D. Tex.) (confirmation Nov. 13, 2009); Nos. 09-CV-177 and 07-CV-00018 (S.D. Tex.)
In a closely watched multi-billion dollar Chapter 11 restructuring of a copper mining company labeled by the district court as "one of the most successful bankruptcy proceedings in recent history," represented the debtor's parent company and worked with bankruptcy, litigation, and labor teams in contested matters, adversary proceedings, and bankruptcy appeals to the district court and Fifth Circuit. These matters included an $11 billion fraudulent transfer, fiduciary duty, conspiracy and aiding and abetting adversary proceeding; litigation of novel issues pertaining to a long-standing labor dispute and the enforceability of a collective bargaining agreement and its successorship clause; disputes regarding proposed acquisition and auction of the debtor's assets; environmental claims and asbestos liability issues; and successful confirmation of the proposed plan of reorganization by both the bankruptcy court and district court.
5436 LLC v. CBS Corp., Civ. A. No. H-08-3097 (S.D. Tex. Feb. 19, 2009)
Persuaded a federal district court to deny a defendant’s motion to dismiss CERCLA claims for lack of subject matter jurisdiction or to compel arbitration.
Kaiser-Francis Oil Co. v. State of Oklahoma ex rel. Commissioners of the Land Office, 294 Fed. Appx. 900 (5th Cir. 2008)
Persuaded Fifth Circuit to affirm bankruptcy court's dismissal of adversary proceeding, in which we successfully established that our client's oil and gas claims had not been discharged through a prior bankruptcy plan.
Citigroup Global Markets, Inc. v. Brown, 261 S.W.3d 394 (Tex. App.–Houston [14th Dist.] 2008, orig. proceeding)
In a consolidated appeal and original proceeding, obtained a writ of mandamus directing the trial court to compel the arbitration of claims against a brokerage firm in the face of plaintiffs’ mental incapacity defense.
H&M Oil & Gas L.L.C. v. Brazos 440 Partners, L.P., 386 B.R. 631 (W.D.Tex. 2008)
Successfully obtained dismissal of a creditor's bankruptcy appeal on standing and mootness grounds.
Neeley v. West Orange-Cove Consolidated Independent School District, 228 S.W.3d 864 (Tex. App. - Austin 2007, pet. denied)
Upheld on appeal a multi-million dollar award of attorneys’ fees in a school finance case, in the face of the State’s Declaratory Judgment Act challenges.
Broesche v. Jacobson, 218 S.W.3d 267 (Tex. App. - Houston [14th Dist.] 2007, pet. denied)
Successfully defended on appeal a summary judgment, sanctions order, and fee award for an interpleading party in a dispute over the interpretation of a divorce decree.
In re Schoelpple, 14-06-01038-CV, 2007 WL 431877 (Tex. App. - Houston [14th Dist.] Feb. 8, 2007, orig. proceeding) (mem. op.)
Successfully defended a challenge by mandamus to an order granting a grandparent access to his four-year old grandchild; in a rare departure from the customary summary denial, the court of appeals issued a five-page memorandum opinion denying the petition and affirming the grandparent’s right of access.
Brooks v. Chevron USA Inc., No. 13-05-00029-CV, 2006 WL 1431227 (Tex. App. - Corpus Christi May 25, 2006, pet. denied) (mem. op.)
Successfully defended a major energy company in a case alleging environmental contamination of a residential neighborhood, and successfully defended the trial court's dismissal order on appeal.
Jones v. Brass, No. 99-01743 (113th Dist. Ct., Harris County, Tex.)
Obtained reinstatement of the plaintiff’s claims following an adverse summary judgment, won summary judgment for the plaintiff dismissing one defendant’s counterclaims, successfully defeated an interlocutory appeal by two out-of-state defendants of the trial court’s denial of their special appearance, and ultimately achieved a very favorable settlement for the plaintiff in a breach of a commercial contract, fraudulent transfer and conspiracy case.
Pintail Production Co. v. Osprey Petroleum Co., Nos. 13-06-069-CV, 13-06-151-CV, 2006 WL 1030150 (Tex. App. - Corpus Christi Apr. 20, 2006, no pet.) (mem. op.)
In an oil and gas dispute, obtained dismissal of an accelerated appeal and a related petition for writs of injunction and mandamus.
Harvest House Publishers v. The Local Church, 190 S.W.3d 204 (Tex. App. - Houston [1st Dist.] 2006, pet. denied)
In an interlocutory appeal following the trial court’s denial of summary judgment, obtained rendition of a take-nothing judgment for a media defendant in a defamation case.
Neeley v. West Orange-Cove Consolidated Independent School District, 176 S.W.3d 746 (Tex. 2005)
Persuaded the Texas Supreme Court to strike down the Texas public school finance system on constitutional grounds; this decision was the culmination of a four- and-a-half year effort, including a previous successful appeal to the Texas Supreme Court and a successful five-week bench trial.
BMG Direct Marketing, Inc. v. Peake, 178 S.W.3d 763 (Tex. 2005)
Won reversal of an order that certified a class of hundreds of thousands of Texas-based music club members who sought recovery of late fees paid on their compact disc purchases.
Trigeant Holdings, Ltd. v. Jones, 183 S.W.3d 717 (Tex. App. - Houston [1st Dist.] 2005, pet. denied)
Successfully defended two out-of-state entities’ interlocutory appeal of the denial of their special appearances by persuading the court of appeals that the entities committed acts in Texas for which they were potentially liable under the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act.
Schott Glas v. Adame, 178 S.W.3d 307 (Tex. App. - Houston [14th Dist.] 2005, pet. denied)
Obtained reversal of an order denying a special appearance resulting in the dismissal of an action brought by thousands of plaintiffs against a major German manufacturer.
National Collegiate Athletic Association v. Yeo, 171 S.W.3d 863 (Tex. 2005)
In a case involving a collegiate athlete’s eligibility to participate in a swimming competition, persuaded the Texas Supreme Court to expressly disapprove of the lower courts’ conclusion that the NCAA had no right to intervene in the litigation; the opinion significantly strengthened the NCAA’s hand in ensuring that its interests and the interests of its member-institutions are protected in athlete eligibility litigation across the country.
Tribble & Stephens Co. v. RGM Constructors, LP, 154 S.W.3d 639 (Tex. App. - Houston [14th Dist.] 2004, pet. denied)
Obtained reversal of a summary judgment in dispute over interpretation of a construction contract.
United States ex rel Graves v. ITT Educational Services, Inc., 111 Fed. Appx. 296 (5th Cir. 2004)
Successfully defended on appeal a district court’s dismissal of a case raising novel issues of law under the False Claims Act.
Rodgers v. Commission for Lawyer Discipline, 151 S.W.3d 602 (Tex. App. - Fort Worth 2004, pet. denied)
Acting as Special Assistant Disciplinary Counsel for the State Bar of Texas, successfully defended on appeal a judgment sanctioning an attorney for a violation of lawyer advertising rules.
Kubala Public Adjusters, Inc. v. Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee for Supreme Court of Texas, 133 S.W.3d 790 (Tex. App. - Texarkana 2004, no pet.)
Acting on behalf of the State Bar of Texas, successfully defended against an appellate challenge to an injunction entered against public insurance adjusters, prohibiting the adjusters from conducting certain business activities found to constitute the unauthorized practice of law.
West Orange-Cove Consolidated Independent School District v. Alanis, 107 S.W.3d 558 (Tex. 2003)
Obtained a ruling reinstating a constitutional challenge to Texas’ public school finance system, following the lower courts’ dismissal of the case on ripeness grounds.
Reversal of Class Certification Order Against Major National Retailer
Won reversal of a class certification order that certified a class of 350,000 employees against major national retailer.
Montgomery v. O’Quinn, No. 99-47502, (189th Dist. Ct., Harris County, Tex.)
In a breach of contract suit seeking $120 million in damages against an attorney and law firm, assisted trial counsel in formulating trial strategy, took responsibility for all law matters, filed and argued numerous pre-trial motions (including summary judgment motions, motions concerning privilege, and other discovery matters), and prepared the jury charge.
United States ex rel. Abbott v. BP P.L.C., BP America, Inc., BP Exploration and Production, Inc.
Representation of BP in United States ex rel. Abbott v. BP P.L.C., BP America, Inc., BP Exploration and Production, Inc.
(S.D. Tex.), a False Claims Act qui tam
suit involving allegations of false certifications of compliance with regulations governing defendants’ offshore oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico.