Thomas Kurth


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Education and Clerkships

J.D., Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, 1973, Southwestern Law Journal

B.A., Creighton University, 1970



Court Admissions

United States Supreme Court

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York


Tom Kurth has 44 years of experience as a trial lawyer. His trial practice has spanned such diverse areas as commercial and transactional litigation, debtor/creditor disputes, disputes in the oil and gas industry, land use disputes, labor-management disputes, products liability litigation, aviation litigation and medical malpractice defense. During his career, Tom has acted as lead counsel in more than 30 trials leading to a verdict, as well as scores of non-jury trials and arbitrations. His trial practice has taken him to numerous federal, state and bankruptcy court venues in Texas and throughout the United States, as well as proceedings in foreign countries.

Tom was a lead member of the trial team that represented ATA in a five-day breach of contract trial in which a federal court jury returned a unanimous $65.9 million breach of contract verdict against Federal Express Corporation. The National Law Journal ranked the verdict number 27 in its Top 100 Verdicts in 2010. Since then, Tom has tried several cases to a successful verdict.

Tom has been a frequent lecturer and panelist for the American Bar Association Litigation Section, the State Bar of Texas and numerous other trade and professional organizations. He has also served for several years as an adjunct professor at the Southern Methodist University School of Law and as an editor for The Advocate, a quarterly publication of the Litigation Section of the State Bar of Texas. In the recent past, Tom has spoken and written on a wide variety of topics including oil and gas disputes, lender liability claims, trial practice areas, and commercial transactions.


Best Lawyers

Haynes and Boone Featured in Best Lawyers in America 2018

Best Lawyers in America, an annual referral guide listing outstanding lawyers throughout the U.S., has recognized 107 Haynes and Boone lawyers across 56 practice areas in its 2018 edition.

Published by Woodward/White, Inc. in August 2017

Selected Client Representations

  • Represented ATA Airlines in a breach of contract case where jury awarded $65.9 million.
  • Represented owner of a large property in the Texas Panhandle against a pipeline company for property damages. Obtained a jury verdict for the property owner.
  • Represented a lender in a dispute with the owner of a gas storage facility. The lender obtained a nine-figure judgment.
  • Representation of lending institutions and lending syndicates in disputes including debt collection, debt restructurings, prosecutions to avoid fraudulent transfers, claims of equitable subordination and the defense of lender-liability claims.
  • Representation of a lending institution in various forums in the United States and the maritime courts of Great Britain and the Channel Islands in prosecutions to avoid fraudulent transfers.
  • Representation of operators and non-operators in disputes over the operation and valuation of oil and gas properties, lease termination disputes, and conversion of leasehold interests.
  • Representation of a wide variety of oil and gas clients involving lease termination disputes, conversion of leasehold interests, operator/service company disputes, disputes over exploration and AMI agreements, JOA disputes, unitization disputes, TTT suits, lien rights in oil and gas properties and equipment, underground gas storage facilities, and disputes over geophysical rights.
  • Representation of a general partner and its affiliates in defense of claims in excess of $1 billion for breach of fiduciary duties and usurpation of partnership opportunities.
  • Representation of a software company in protection of its intellectual property and in defense of anti-trust claims.
  • Representation of a fixed-base operator in defense of aviation wrongful death claims.
  • Representation of health-care providers in defense of medical malpractice claims.
  • Representation of a telecommunications company in a dispute over contract rights.
  • Representation of a regional airline carrier against a major airline carrier over contract rights.
  • Representation of a public utility in defense of class action claims by subordinated debenture holders.
  • Representation of financial institutions in major litigation involving natural gas contracts.
  • Representation of franchisor in litigation involving breach of contract claims.
  • Representation of various types of commercial clients in suits involving claims for fraudulent transfers, fraud, tortious interference, breach of contract, aiding and abetting fraud, and breach of fiduciary duty.

Professional and Community Activities

  • Fellow – Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb)
  • Associate – American Board of Trial Advocates
  • Member – Adams Energy Forum

Professional Recognition

  • Recognized as one of the Best Lawyers in America, Woodward/White, Inc. - Commercial Litigation; Oil and Gas Law, 2008-2018 and Litigation - Banking & Finance, Litigation - Bankruptcy, and Litigation - Real Estate, 2012-2018
  • Recognized in the American Registry as one of "America’s Most Honored Professionals (top one percent)," 2017
  • Recognized by the Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones & Company, as one of the Best Lawyers in Texas, 2017
  • Recognized in Texas Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, - Business Litigation, 2004-2012
  • Recognized in the Global Register Who's Who in Executives and Professionals, Eastern Seaboard Publishing, LLC
  • Martindale Hubbell® Law Directory with a Peer Review Rating of AV® Preeminent™

Selected Publications and Speeches

  • "Understanding Hydraulic Fracturing: Issues, Challenges, and Regulatory Regime," author, Practical Law, May 2016.
  • "Recent Litigation and Court Cases Affecting the Oil and Gas Upstream Business," presentation and paper, North American Petroleum Accounting Conference, May 16, 2013.
  • "Energy Law Update," co-author with William White, 29th Annual Litigation Update Institute Course Book, State Bar of Texas, November 30, 2012.
  • "Understanding Hydraulic Fracturing: Issues, Challenges and Regulatory Regime," co-author with William D. White, Practical Law Company, November 27, 2012.
  • "Shale-Gas Cases Important in State-Level Upstream Litigation," author, Natural Gas & Electricity, April 2012.
  • "State-Level Upstream Gas Litigation," white paper, February 27, 2012.
  • "Shaking Up Established Case Law And Regulation: The Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing," co-author with William D. White, The Advocate, Jan. 5, 2012.
  • "Current Developments in Energy Litigation," presented at the 10th Annual Energy Litigation Conference, co-sponsored by The Institute for Energy Law of The Center for American and International Law, the American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, and the American Bar Association Energy Litigation Committee of the Section of Litigation, November 3, 2011.
  • "Regulatory Developments - Water Access/Wastewater, Severance Taxes, and Drilling Regulations," presented at the Platts Oil & Gas Shale Developer Conference, June 21-22, 2011.
  • "Lender Liability, Historical and Emerging," author and presenter at the Suing, Defending and Negotiating with Financial Institutions Conference, State Bar of Texas, February 10-11, 2011.
  • "American Law and Jurisprudence on Fracing," with Michael Mazzone, Mary Mendoza, and Christopher Kulander, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Journal, Vol. 47, No. 2, 2010. (This paper was updated in 2011 and 2012; the updated white paper, "American Law and Jurisprudence on Fracing - 2012," can be found here.)
  • "An Overview of Selected Issues in Punitive Damages," presented at UT Continuing Education, The Damages Institute, September and October 2004.
  • "Videotape Depositions and Related Technology Tools: Important Considerations Regarding the Taping and Presentation of Video Deposition Testimony and Exhibits," Fall 2004 issue of The Advocate, published quarterly by the Litigation Section, State Bar of Texas.
  • Texas State Bar Litigation Update – Energy Law Update, State Bar of Texas Litigation Section, January, 2013.
  • “Bumper Sticker Prayers Answered – Another Boom in the Oil and Gas Patch, presented at the North American Petroleum Accounting Conference, May 2013.
  • “The Boom in the Oil Patch: Causes and Implications for the Trial Lawyer”, presented at the 2013 State Bar of Texas Advanced Civil Trial CLE.

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