Hal Sanders has more than 35 years of experience as a trial lawyer. He has tried cases involving franchising, distribution law, antitrust, employment covenants, trademark infringement, patent infringement, commercial law, and trade secrets, and both state and federal securities law. Hal also has experience handling both domestic and international arbitrations, dealer terminations, administrative litigation, and governmental investigations.
He is a trained mediator and arbitrator and is an approved arbitrator for U.S. District Court Appointment, Western District of Texas. The April 2007 issue of Franchise Times named Hal Sanders as one of 100 Legal Eagles in the franchise bar. Hal is AV® Peer Review Rated Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell® Law Directory.
His recent experience includes:
Commercial and Real Estate Litigation
- Representation of national bank in enforcing guaranties of real estate partnership.
- Defense of licensed automotive dealers in enforcement actions brought by Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.
- Defense of companies in enforcement action brought by the state of Texas, including various agencies and the Attorney General.
- Defense of banks in various commercial and real estate litigation.
- Defense of national financial institutions in connection with mold contamination of large commercial building.
- Defense of national landlords in various premises liability and occupancy disputes with tenants.
- Defense of two cases involving valuation of employee stock options.
- Successfully defended a manufacturer against claims seeking $60 million by a state agency in a 23-day jury trial which resulted in a no liability finding.
- Successfully defended a company sued by a terminated employee for invasion of privacy and wiretapping in a ten-day jury trial.
- Successfully defended an antitrust claim against a product manufacturer in which the plaintiff sought $29 million in a four-week jury trial.
- Defense of construction companies and contractors.
- Defended Lloyds of London, sued by the FDIC for a bankers bond of $30 million in a seven-day jury trial resulting in a no liability verdict.
- Defense of real estate developers, land owners, and consultants in land use litigation in Austin, Texas.
Intellectual Property and Franchising
- Defense of computer game companies in suits over data privacy.
- Defense of hospitality franchisor business in suit over trademark infringement.
- Defense of Internet marketing company in trade secrets case.
- Defense of advertising agencies in various litigation matters.
- Successfully defended a health care company accused of theft of software.
- Defense of construction companies and contractors.
- Obtained dismissal of franchisor in a complex breach of warranty case.
- Defense of national restaurant franchisor in termination of franchisee.
- Prosecuted claim by trademark owner against product counterfeiters.
- Represented a franchisor and new franchisee in a dealer dispute brought by terminated franchisee.
- Represented a Canadian manufacturer in enforcing trademark rights against a Texas company.
- Defense of software companies, computer chip manufacturers and telephone equipment manufacturers in patent litigation in the Austin Division of the Western District of Texas.
- Defense of a number of franchise and dealer terminations in the automotive, hotel and restaurant industries.
Energy and Environmental Litigation
- Obtained injunction for Texas-based oil company against foreign sovereign government to prevent disposition of leaseholds in Albania.
- Obtained favorable settlement in an environmental contamination case pertaining to a major airport.
- Obtained dismissal of a multi-count securities fraud and shareholder derivative action seeking $30 million which was affirmed by the Fifth Circuit in December 2005.
- Representation of oil field services company in dispute over trade secrets and patents for drilling technology.
- Defense of pipeline accused of monopolization of market for natural gas in a 24-day arbitration.
- Defense of oil and gas producers in regulatory and environmental litigation.
- Defense of electric service providers in litigation with ERCOT and Public Utility Commission of Texas.
Sports Law Litigation
- Defense of Major League Baseball in a patent dispute over interactive features of its website.
- Prosecution of trademark infringers in connection with NBA All-Star Game.
- Defense of tennis professional regarding personal services contract.
American Bar Association, Section of Litigation, Antitrust Litigation Committee
American Bar Association Forum on Franchising
Former Chair of the IFA Second Tuesday Program for Central Texas
Austin Intellectual Property Law Association
Franchising Committee of Antitrust Section of the ABA
Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation
Member, Evidentiary Panel, State Bar of Texas Grievance Committee, District 9, 2011-2013
Volunteer counsel for American Association of Woodturners, 2010-2012
Selected Representative Experience
DDB Technologies v. Schlumberger and MLB Advanced Media LLC
Represented Major League Baseball in series of state and federal court suits pertaining to certain game simulation patents owned by a Texas company and assigned to MLBAM by Schlumberger.
DDB Technologies, Inc. v. MLB Advanced Media, L.P. Case No. A 04 CA 352 Western District of Texas, Austin Division
Defense of Major League Baseball in a patent dispute over interactive features of its website. Summary judgment was granted for MLBAM. Plaintiff appealed to Federal Circuit, which reversed and remanded. The case ultimately settled on confidential terms involving transfer of patents.
Kyle Holland v. Gexa Corp., et al Case No. A-03-CV-0904 (05-50902 5th Circuit) Western District of Texas, Austin Division
Successfully argued for a dismissal in a $30 million suit against Gexa Energy and the company's board for alleged nondisclosures that occurred after a minority shareholder had sold his stock at a profit. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal in 2006.
Defense of Lawsuit Filed by ERCOT
Represented Frontera in a suit brought by ERCOT which manages the electric power grid in Texas. Our client generated electricity which was sold through the grid. ERCOT refused to pay the full price for our client and a suit was initiated which resulted in a settlement of a $15 million claim by our client. Six months later, ERCOT unilaterally recalculated the transaction by retroactively charging our client $750,000. We filed suit in U.S. District Court in Austin and recovered a judgment for $750,000 plus attorneys fees, prejudgment interest, and court costs. ERCOT filed notice of appeal and ultimately settled the case.