Recent Publications

Direct Examination: The Art of Communication

There is a common thread that runs through all good trial lawyers - and all successful individuals in general. It is the ability to communicate effectively. >>

You Never Miss the Water 'Til the Well Runs Dry: The Competing Uses for Water in a Shale Play

This paper discusses water law issues in Texas relating to the increase in the state's oil and gas activities. >>



Trace Ryan Blair

Partner

San Antonio


112 East Pecan Street
Suite 1200
San Antonio, Texas 78205
T +1 210.978.7425
F +1 210.554.0425

Areas of Practice

Education

  • J.D., Texas Tech University School of Law, 1997, summa cum laude; Order of the Coif and Order of the Barristers
  • B.S., Texas A&M University, 1993, magna cum laude

Bar Admissions

  • Texas

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas
Trace Ryan Blair

Trace Blair's practice focuses on complex commercial litigation. He has developed a passion for cases involving shareholder and partnership disputes, shareholder oppression, and fiduciary duty litigation. Other focuses of his commercial litigation practice include litigation sparked by the explosion of oil and gas activity in the Eagle Ford Shale, construction defects, construction liens and bonds, and collections. Trace and his team have also developed a thriving practice defending catastrophic injury and fatality claims in a wide variety of industries. He has defended personal injury suits in venues throughout south Texas. Through his handling of more than 50 OSHA investigations in recent years, Trace has developed unique experience in advising clients that are the focus of regulatory agency investigations. Representative clients include drilling contractors, construction companies, manufacturers, major grocery companies and restaurant chains, and companies in various industries dealing with the aftermath of employee fatalities. He has tried cases in Bexar County (San Antonio), Nueces County (Corpus Christi) and Webb County (Laredo) and is currently litigating cases throughout south and central Texas.

Trace's recent accomplishments include:

  • Two successful summary judgments in partnership dispute case where adverse party claimed loss of partnership interest worth $70 million.
  • Trial and favorable verdict in Bexar County, Texas in case involving industrial fatality.
  • Successful summary judgment for mineral buyer relating to $2 million mineral purchase.

Trace serves as Arena Director for the San Antonio Livestock Exposition, is Chairman for the Texas A&M University College of Agricultural Development Council, and serves as Director for the Atascosa County Livestock Show. Trace has been named a Rising Star in Texas Monthly's annual Super Lawyer edition since 2005.

Publications and Articles

  • "OSHA's New Focus on Temporary Workers," co-author with Punam Kaji, Texas Builder, Texas Association of Builders, November/December 2013.
  • "Direct Examination: The Art of Communication," Mastering Powerful Cross Examination, Openings & Closing Statements, October 25, 2012.
  • "You Never Miss the Water 'Til the Well Runs Dry: The Competing Uses for Water in a Shale Play," (South Texas College of Law 25th Annual Energy Law Institute for Attorneys and Landmen, August 29-30, 2012)
  • "Fiduciary Duties and Minority Shareholder Oppression from the Defense Perspective: Differing Approaches in Texas, Delaware, and Nevada," 2011 (34th Annual Advanced Civil Trial Course)
  • "OSHA 2010 and 2011: A review of OSHA's Expanded Enforcement Initiatives in 2010 and the Outlook for 2011," Labor and Employment Alert, February 22, 2011 (online publication)
  • "OSHA is 'Back in the Enforcement Business.' Are you Prepared?" Labor and Employment Alert, September 7, 2010 (online publication)
  • "Oil Pollution Act Liability," 2009 (Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law Section Report)
  • "Running the Gauntlet: Texas Mechanic's Liens for the Materialman and Service Provider," 2007
  • "Anatomy of TRCP chapter 33 - Proportionate Responsibility in Texas," 1998 (TADC)  

Selected Representative Experience


Concrete Company Employee Fatality
Represented storage and logistics company in lawsuit filed in Webb County, Texas involving employee fatality.

Drilling Rig Fatality
Represented drilling contractor in lawsuit filed in Neuces County, Texas pertaining to oilfiled accident resulting in employee fatality.

Oilfield Accident with Employee Fatality
Represented rental services company in lawsuit filed in Maverick County, Texas involving oilfield accident resulting in fatality.

Oilfield Accident with Employee Fatality
Represented oilfield services company in lawsuit filed in Maverick County, Texas pertaining to oilfield accident resulting in employee fatality.

Rental Services Oilfield Accident
Represented rental services company in lawsuit filed in Dewitt County, Texas involving oilfield accident resulting in fatality.

Trucking Company Employee Fatality
Represented trucking company in lawsuit filed in Dimmitt County, Texas involving employee fatality.

Pipeline Fatality
Represented oilfield services company in lawsuit filed in Webb County, Texas pertaining to pipeline accident resulting in employee fatality.

Armored Car Employee Fatality
Represented armored car company in lawsuit filed in Jackson County, Texas involving employee fatality.

Drilling Rig Fatality
Represented drilling company in OSHA proceedings resulting from an accident involving an employee killed during a drilling rig collapse. Also represented the company in the gross negligence lawsuit filed in Webb County, Texas, as a result of the accident through its resolution.

Oilfield Explosion
Represented natural gas pipeline company in OSHA proceedings resulting from an oilfield explosion/flash fire that left one worker dead, and five injured. Also represented the company in the gross negligence, multi-party lawsuit filed in Zavala County, Texas, resulting from the accident.

Mineral Receivership
Represented oil and gas exploration and production company in mineral receivership in LaSalle County, Texas.

Communications Tower Fatality
Represented communications tower company in lawsuit filed in Goliad County, Texas involving employee fatality.

Gas Pipeline Fatality
Represented roustabout company in lawsuit filed in Zavala County, Texas involving oilfield accident resulting in employee fatality.

Agricultural Employee Fatality
Represented agricultural business in lawsuit filed in McCulloch County, Texas involving employee fatality.

Employee Injury and Wrongful Terminiation
Represented oilfield equipment manufacturer in lawsuit filed in Maverick County, Texas involving employee injury and claim of wrongful termination.

Masonry Employee Injury
Represented masonry company in lawsuit filed in Zavala County, Texas invovling employee injury.

Oilfield Accident with Employee Injury
Represented well operator in lawsuit filed in Maverick County, Texas pertaining to oilfield accident resulting in employee injury.

Drilling Rig Incident
Represented drilling company in OSHA proceedings resulting from an accident involving an employee killed while working on a drilling rig. Also represented the company in the gross negligence lawsuit filed in Webb County, Texas, resulting from the accident through its resolution.

K3C, Inc. v. Bank of America, N.A., 204 Fed. Appx. 455 (5th Cir. 2006)
As lead appellate counsel in a dispute arising out of a complex financial transaction and presenting a question of first impression, successfully defended a judgment awarding contract damages and attorneys’ fees and rejecting the plaintiff’s claims for fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of contract.

Declaratory Judgment Action
Represented drilling contractor in declaratory judgment action involving insurance coverage in Webb County, Texas.

Employee Trucking Fatality
Represented trucking company in lawsuit filed in Webb County, Texas involving employee fatality.

Oilfield Services Employee Fatality
Represented oilfield services company in lawsuit filed in Maverick County, Texas involving employee fatality.

Personal Injury Lawsuits
Continuously represented regional grocery company in personal injury suits in Webb County and Maverick County, Texas.

Drilling Rig Incident
Represented drilling company in OSHA proceedings resulting from an accident involving an employee killed while working on a drilling rig. No lawsuit was filed against the company.

Drilling Rig Incident
Represented drilling company in OSHA proceedings resulting from an accident involving an employee killed during rigging up operations. No lawsuit was filed against the company.

Mineral Title Dispute
Represented buyer of oil and gas roylaties company in mineral title dispute in McMullen County, Texas.

Memberships

  • Faculty and Presenter at 2011 State Bar Advanced Civil Trial CLE Course
  • Texas State Bar Co-Director for Agriculture Law Seminar
  • Texas Association of Defense Counsel
  • San Antonio Bar Association
  • William S. Sessions Inn of Court

Online Publications

10/25/2012 - Direct Examination: The Art of Communication
There is a common thread that runs through all good trial lawyers - and all successful individuals in general. It is the ability to communicate effectively.

08/29/2012 - You Never Miss the Water 'Til the Well Runs Dry: The Competing Uses for Water in a Shale Play
This paper discusses water law issues in Texas relating to the increase in the state's oil and gas activities.

02/22/2011 - OSHA 2010 and 2011: A Review of OSHA’s Expanded Enforcement Initiatives in 2010 and the Outlook for 2011
The business community has been placed on notice. OSHA has been actively pursuing its regulatory agenda, while also arming its arsenal to enforce compliance.

02/17/2011 - OSHA Administrative Penalty Information Bulletin
OSHA is implementing several changes to its administrative penalty calculation system.

02/03/2011 - Have You Checked The Records? OSHA Continues to Emphasize Recordkeeping Compliance in 2011
After launching a National Emphasis Program (“NEP”) on recordkeeping in 2009, OSHA has focused increasingly more on recordkeeping compliance when conducting workplace inspections.

09/07/2010 - OSHA is "Back in the Enforcement Business." Are You Prepared?
As Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis informed a convention of safety engineers last year, "Make no mistake about it: The Department of Labor is back in the enforcement business." In 2010, current OSHA enforcement statistics confirm this promise and reveal unprecedented levels of enforcement.

12/03/2009 - OSHA’s Enforcement Crackdown on Employer Recordkeeping
As part of OSHA’s new emphasis on recordkeeping, employers should expect increased inspections and heightened enforcement of recordkeeping regulations.

07/10/2009 - OSHA Targets Texas Construction Sites Amid Overall Enforcement Crackdown
Employers should expect more rigid and more robust involvement from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, as United States Labor Secretary Hilda Solis has signaled that under her leadership, “the U.S. Department of Labor is back in the enforcement business.”