John Turner is a trial lawyer who represents plaintiffs and defendants in civil litigation across the United States. His experience covers a broad spectrum of business and commercial law, ranging from intellectual property cases to contract disputes to antitrust matters to environmental proceedings. John is currently the Co-Chair of the firm’s Trade Secrets Practice Group.
John’s approach to litigation is guided by a few key practices that are crucial to a successful outcome in any lawsuit: effective communication with the client, thorough investigation of the facts, and clear explanation of the law. In the past several years alone, John has led clients in significant trials in Texas and beyond. For example:
In a trial held in two phases from 2012 to 2014, John represented a coalition of 88 Texas school districts in major litigation related to the adequacy of the school finance system in Texas. After trial, District Judge John Dietz ruled in favor of the school district coalitions, finding that the system had evolved into an unconstitutional state property tax and that it failed to provide school districts with funding sufficient to meet constitutional standards. The ruling is currently on appeal to the Texas Supreme Court. To read press accounts of the case and the decision, click here and here. To read the text of John’s closing argument in the case, click here.
Also in 2014, John served as lead counsel to the Halliburton Company in an arbitration involving technology used in hydraulic fracturing. The opposing party, Ecosphere Technologies, claimed that Halliburton had misappropriated alleged Ecosphere trade secrets related to the treatment of water used in fracking operations, and originally sought $300 million in damages. After two-week final hearing in Miami, a three-arbitrator panel issued a unanimous written ruling denying all claims brought by Ecosphere. The arbitrators found that Halliburton did not breach its confidentiality obligations and did not misappropriate any Ecosphere trade secrets.
John represented Halliburton in another trade secrets dispute tried before a Dallas County jury in 2012, involving a former employee and the competing oilfield tools company he founded. In a trial lasting almost two weeks, John convinced the twelve-person jury to return a unanimous verdict in favor of Halliburton on all counts. The jury also voted to award damages to Halliburton in the amount requested.
John most recently represented a coalition which included the City of Granbury and Hood County in opposing a major water permit application filed by the Brazos River Authority. The eight-day hearing before two administrative law judges took place in early 2015 and is currently awaiting decision.
Public interest and governmental entity representation have played a large role in John’s practice. In addition to the school funding matter mentioned above, John was part of a team that represented more than thirty Texas cities, including Dallas and Houston, challenging the proposed construction of a number of new coal-fired power plants across Texas in 2004.
John grew up in Crockett, Texas. He graduated from Harvard College and obtained his law degree from Yale Law School, where he won the Thurman Arnold Prize as the best oral advocate in the school’s moot court competition. Before joining Haynes and Boone in 2008, he was a partner in the firm of Susman Godfrey LLP, where he began his legal career. After law school, he served as a law clerk for the Honorable Lee H. Rosenthal of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.