Patrick Keating has more than 17 years of experience as a trial lawyer representing businesses, business owners and trustees in litigation across the United States. Over that time, Patrick successfully represented plaintiffs and defendants in cases involving claims of breach of fiduciary duty asserted against members of partnerships, corporate officers, corporate directors, trustees, and executors of estates; claims of minority shareholder oppression asserted between co-owners of businesses; claims of breach of contract related to complex technologies and industries; claims of fraudulent transfer challenging the propriety of transfers ranging from tens of millions to multiple billions of dollars; claims of fraud and negligent misrepresentation in connection with business transactions; and claims of theft of trade secrets.
Patrick has demonstrated the ability to achieve results for clients regardless of the industry at issue. By way of example, Patrick has represented both privately and publicly owned businesses, including Fortune 500 companies, in enterprises as varied as chemical production, development of power plants, distribution of business jet aircraft, oil and gas production, liquefied natural gas production, production of semiconductors, real estate investment and development, insurance brokerage services, charitable and private trust administration and estate administration.
In addition to his substantial litigation work, Patrick advises clients in connection with negotiating new business agreements and clients' efforts to resolve disputes over existing contracts without resorting to litigation.
Patrick has previously been recognized as a "Super Lawyer" and "Rising Star" by Law & Politics and the publishers of Texas Monthly.
Examples of cases that Patrick has been involved in include:
- After a three-week jury trial in state court, Patrick secured a judgment in excess of $3.9 million for the plaintiff, Celanese, Ltd., against engineering and construction company KBR, Inc. Celanese prevailed on its breach of contract claim arising out of a contract under which KBR undertook the responsibility to design, build and run experiments in a chemical industry pilot plant. Celanese also prevailed on all of KBR's counterclaims.
- Currently serving as trial counsel for a litigation trust seeking to recover more than $11 billion in damages from Verizon Communications, Inc. and its affiliates in a lawsuit pending in federal court.
- Representation of a plaintiff seeking to recover more than $10 million from the defendants in a state court lawsuit arising out of a commercial lease contract. The plaintiff asserted claims including breach of contract, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and fraudulent transfer.
- Obtained a state court judgment in excess of $6 million in favor of a plaintiff asserting that the defendants breached a written partnership agreement.
- Obtained a judgment in excess of $760,000 in favor of a plaintiff asserting that the defendants failed to repay a loan made in connection with a real estate development project.
- Representation of a plaintiff in a state court lawsuit against the plaintiff's partner in a real estate investment joint venture. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant breached the contract governing the joint venture by seizing the plaintiff's partnership interest. Patrick obtained a temporary restraining order against the defendant that prohibited the defendant from disposing of the joint venture's assets, then obtained a summary judgment order declaring that the plaintiff remained a partner in the joint venture.
- Representation of the trustee of a charitable trust established to provide medical services to the indigent. The case involved defense of breach of fiduciary duty and declaratory judgment causes of action. Patrick achieved a favorable, pre-trial settlement of the dispute that included a release of claims against the trustee, confirmed the trustee would remain the trustee of the charitable trust, and confirmed that the trustee would continue to make payments consistent with the trust's mission of assisting in the provision of healthcare to the indigent.
- Representation of plaintiffs who invested approximately $4.9 million with defendants whom the plaintiffs allege were operating a Ponzi scheme. Patrick obtained a prompt pre-trial restraining order freezing assets under control of the defendants. The case was then abated in deference to a federal court lawsuit that the Securities and Exchange Commission filed against the defendants.
- Co-counsel representing a semiconductor manufacturer seeking to recover more than $900 million from the defendant in a federal court lawsuit involving claims of theft of trade secrets and breach of contract.
Representative cases resolved by confidential settlements include:
- Obtained a settlement for a trust beneficiary after issuing a demand letter to the trustees, but before filing a lawsuit. The beneficiary asserted that the trustees had failed to properly administer two trusts and that the beneficiary had suffered millions of dollars in damages as a result.
- Representation of a limited partnership that owned a liquefied natural gas production plant, the general partner and limited partners in defense of a lawsuit filed by the general partner of a predecessor entity. The former general partner asserted claims including breach of fiduciary duty, breach of the limited partnership agreement that governed the predecessor entity, and fraudulent transfer.
- Representation of two oil production corporations in defense of a state court lawsuit filed by shareholders asserting minority shareholder oppression and breach of fiduciary duty causes of action.
- Representation of eight business jet aircraft distributors in state court and arbitration cases in which the distributors asserted claims that the aircraft manufacturer breached distribution contracts and aircraft purchase contracts.
- "Minimizing the Risks of Litigation by Contract," ABA Section of Litigation Committee on Corporate Counsel CLE Seminar, February 12-15, 2009
- "Partial Safe Harbors for Interested Officers and Director Transactions," American Bar Association Business Torts Journal, Summer 2007
- "Anatomy of a Business Decision, Case Study - The Experts Weigh In," Inc. Magazine, October 2006
Selected Representative Experience
Represented Litigation Trust Formed in the Bankruptcy of National Telephone Directory Publisher in Lawsuit Against Publisher’s Former Parent Company
Assisted with discovery and trial preparation on behalf of a litigation trust formed for a national telephone directory publisher in a lawsuit seeking to recover multiple billions of dollars in damages arising from the spin-off of the publisher from its former parent company, a national broadband and telecommunications company.
Centex Homes v TCI Park West I, Inc.
Assisted in obtaining a settlement in a multi-million dollar commercial lease dispute on behalf of a major residential homebuilder.
Fraudulent Transfer and Promoter Fraud Case
Assisted with post-trial briefing in fraudulent transfer and promoter fraud case.
Vikon International, Inc. v. Sensorlogic, Inc.
Defended lawsuit asserting claims for copyright infringement, declaratory judgment, breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation, tortious interference, misappropriation, business disparagement, and unjust enrichment regarding ownership of source code related to remote access road sign messaging system and obtained dismissal of copyright infringement and related claims.
Multi-Million Dollar Recovery - Major Texas Energy Producer
Represented a developer of power plants seeking to recover more than $200 million in damages from defendants the developer claimed committed breaches of fiduciary duty and contract, fraud and other harmful acts in connection with a partnership to develop and manage power plants.
Semiconductor Trade Secret Litigation
Represents a major international semiconductor-manufacturing company—Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (“TSMC”)—in a trade-secret case pending in California state court. TSMC alleges that a Chinese competitor stole semiconductor-fabrication technology that it then unlawfully deployed in its business.
Rockwall Commons Assocs., Ltd. v. MRC Mortgage Grantor Trust I, 331 S.W.3d 500 (Tex. App.-El Paso 2011)
Persuaded the El Paso Court of Appeals to affirm a multi-million dollar judgment in a commercial dispute involving the refinance of a $22 million construction loan.
02/12/2009 - Minimizing the Risks of Litigation by Contract
The old adage that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” applies to the legal profession just as it does to the rest of life. In the context of preparing a contract, a relatively minor investment in attorney time to address certain issues during the drafting stage may protect the client from large amounts of damages and attorney’s fees if litigation should later erupt out of the agreement.
This paper addresses some of the more important contract clauses that parties may utilize to limit their future exposure to litigation expenses and damages.
07/01/2007 - Partial Safe Harbors for Interested Officers and Director Transactions