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. His 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.
John is currently the Co-Chair of the firm’s Trade Secrets Practice Group, and he recently led trial teams in significant litigation in this area. For example, in 2014, he served as lead counsel to the Halliburton Company in an arbitration involving technology used in hydraulic fracturing. The opposing party claimed that Halliburton had misappropriated 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 the plaintiff. The arbitrators found that Halliburton did not breach its confidentiality obligations and did not misappropriate any trade secrets. John also 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.
Public interest and governmental entity representation have played a large role in John’s practice. For example, in a trial held in two phases from 2012 to 2014, John represented a coalition of 88 Texas school districts in 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. While the Texas Supreme Court ultimately reversed the trial court’s judgment, the case was widely discussed and provided an extensive examination into the state of public education in Texas. To read press accounts of the trial court’s decision, click here and here. To read the text of John’s closing argument in the case, click here.
John was also part of a team that represented more than 30 Texas cities, including Dallas and Houston, challenging the proposed construction of a number of new coal-fired power plants across Texas in 2004. Most recently, in 2015 he 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.
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.