Main Practice Contacts

Lynne Liberato
+1 713.547.2017

Nina Cortell
+1 214.651.5579

Karen S. Precella
+1 817.347.6620

Related Services

Representative Experience

Aguilar v. Heckmann Water Resources, No. 12-06-11697-DCVCLM (293rd Judicial Dist., Dimmit County)
Obtained a remittitur of $105 million and ultimately a full settlement after being hired post-verdict following the largest jury verdict in Texas in 2013. The underlying personal injury lawsuit arose from a vehicle and truck accident and lead to an initial $281 million jury verdict. The case involved intense negotiations with the carrier, a parallel declaratory judgment action, supersedeas bond disputes and post-trial discovery.

Brooks v. Chevron USA Inc., No. 13-05-00029-CV, 2006 WL 1431227 (Tex. App. - Corpus Christi May 25, 2006, pet. denied) (mem. op.)
Successfully defended a major energy company in a case alleging environmental contamination of a residential neighborhood, and successfully defended the trial court's dismissal order on appeal.

Burnett Ranches, Ltd. v. Cano Petroleum, Inc., No. 9840 (100th Dist. Ct., Carson County, Tex.)
Prevailed on summary judgment through appeal on a million-dollar lease termination claim.

Class Action Against Major Refiner (S. Dist. Tex. 2013)
Defeated class certification in lawsuit alleging that owners' property values were diminished by alleged emissions from a refinery and seeking $10 billion in damages.

El Paso Natural Gas Co. v. Minco Oil & Gas, Inc., 8 S.W.3d 309 (Tex. 1999)
In an appeal of a multi-million dollar award in an oil and gas case, won reversal and rendition of a take-nothing judgment by persuading the Texas Supreme Court to hold that Texas law does not recognize a duty of good faith under Article Two of the Uniform Commercial Code.

Ensley v. Cody Resources, Inc., 171 F.3d 315 (5th Cir. 1999)
In a dispute involving a business acquisition and stock distribution, successfully defended an appellate challenge to a judgment in favor of a broker and consultant for petroleum-related businesses.

Exxon Corp. v. Breezevale Ltd., 82 S.W.3d 429 (Tex. App. - Dallas 2002, pet. denied)
Obtained reversal of a $34.3 million judgment based on a jury verdict against an oil company in a suit involving a claimed oral agreement that was held to be barred by the statute of frauds.

Exxon Corp. v. Lloyds of London, No. 93-40252, (189th Dist. Ct., Harris County, Tex.)
Acted as counsel in charge of legal proceedings (including summary judgments, privilege disputes, removal and remand, and the jury charge) for Exxon Corporation in its suit against Lloyds of London for failure to provide insurance coverage for the grounding of the Valdez; the trial resulted in a judgment for $420 million.

Frias v. Atlantic Richfield Co., 104 S.W.3d 925 (Tex. App. - Houston [14th Dist.] 2003, no pet.)
In an appeal in which the key issue was the reliability of an expert's testimony, successfully defended a no-evidence summary judgment against an employee of a petrochemical refinery.

Greenpeace, Inc. v. Exxon Mobil Corp., 133 S.W.3d 804 (Tex. App. —Dallas 2004, pet. denied)
Upheld a nationwide temporary injunction preventing illegal and tortious conduct by Greenpeace against ExxonMobil facilities following an unlawful entry by Greenpeace activists at ExxonMobil headquarters.

H&M Oil & Gas L.L.C. v. Brazos 440 Partners, L.P., 386 B.R. 631 (W.D.Tex. 2008)
Successfully obtained dismissal of a creditor's bankruptcy appeal on standing and mootness grounds.

Heckmann Water Resources v. Aguilar, No. 04-14-240-CV (Tex. App.—San Antonio, August 13, 2014)(mem. op. setting aside and remanding judgment)
Handled the post-trial and appellate matters arising from the largest verdict in Texas in 2013. Following intense post-trial proceedings and negotiations, the company fully settled all claims arising from this personal injury lawsuit relating to a vehicle and truck accident in the Eagle Ford Shale. The jury initially awarded $281 million in damages, which were later reduced as a result of post-trial motions, including a remittitur of $105 million.

Heritage Resources, Inc. v. Hill, 104 S.W.3d 612 (Tex. App. - El Paso 2003, no pet.)
In a case involving a dispute over oil and gas leases successfully defended on appeal a trial court’s order reducing a $21 million attorneys’ fees award to $25,000.

IP Petroleum Co., Inc. v. Wevanco Energy, L.L.C., 116 S.W.3d 888 (Tex. App. - Houston [1st Dist.] 2003, pet denied)
Won reversal of a judgment in excess of $5 million against an oil and gas company for the alleged breach of a joint operating agreement, resulting in rendition of a take-nothing judgment.

Jesco Operating, L.P. v. Hess Corporation, 402 S.W.3d 320 (Tex. App.--Houston [14th Dist.] 2013, no pet.)
Successfully defended a take-nothing judgment following a jury trial that defeated a multi-million dollar claim for breach of contract arising out of a pipeline construction dispute.

Jesco v. Hess, No. 2009-45089 (165th Dist. Ct., Harris County, Tex.) (May 2011)
Assisted trial team in preparing and arguing a jury charge, directed verdict motion, and all post-verdict briefing in the trial of a pipeline construction dispute that resulted in a favorable defense verdict on all claims.

Jim Wells County v. El Paso Production Oil & Gas Co., 189 S.W.3d 861 (Tex. App. - Houston [1st Dist.] 2006, pet. denied)
Persuaded the Texas Supreme Court to transfer 19 appeals pending in two courts of appeals to a third court of appeals, and successfully defended the trial court’s dismissal of 19 ad valorem taxing suits alleging fraud and negligent misrepresentation against scores of oil companies, where the taxing units filed the suits in district court in an attempt to circumvent the Tax Code administrative process and without exhausting their administrative remedies.

Kaiser-Francis Oil Co. v. State of Oklahoma ex rel. Commissioners of the Land Office, 294 Fed. Appx. 900 (5th Cir. 2008)
Persuaded Fifth Circuit to affirm bankruptcy court's dismissal of adversary proceeding, in which we successfully established that our client's oil and gas claims had not been discharged through a prior bankruptcy plan.

Midland Cent. Appraisal Dist. v. BP America Production Co., 282 S.W.3d 215 (Tex. App.-Eastland 2009, pet. denied), cert. denied, 2011 U.S. LEXIS 3129 (Apr. 18, 2011)
In the leading case on taxability of crude oil, persuaded the court to construe the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution to hold that oil moving through a tank farm remains in interstate commerce and therefore is not subject to ad valorem taxation. This appellate decision controls the outcome in numerous pending cases in which an appraisal district seeks to tax oil in transit through a pipeline system.

Moni Pulo Ltd. v. Trutec Oil & Gas, Inc., 130 S.W.3d 170 (Tex. App. - Houston [14th Dist.] 2003, pet. denied)
Won reversal of an order denying a special appearance, resulting in dismissal of a suit that sought more than $100 million in contract damages against an oil company. This complex case involved a dispute over title to an oil field off the coast of Nigeria, with two separate parallel proceedings in the trial and appellate courts of Nigeria, and another in the International Court of Justice at the Hague.

National Bank Litigation (2008)
Secured $411 million summary judgment in favor of the bank for a gas company’s conversion of 55 Bcf of natural gas in which the bank held a security interest. The judgment was based on claims of breach of a bailment agreement, conversion, trover, detinue, return of property and replevin and rejected misrepresentation counterclaims. The 2008 judgment, which was affirmed on appeal, was the culmination of litigation that began in Texas in 2002 and wound its way through several courts in Texas and New York. A favorable settlement was achieved.

Navasota Resources, L.P. v. First Source Texas, Inc., 249 S.W.3d 526 (Tex. App.-Waco 2008, pet. denied)
On behalf of an oil and gas exploration company, obtained reversal of an adverse trial court ruling and rendition of an appellate judgment enforcing a preferential right to purchase oil and gas leasehold interests.

Panda Energy Corp. v. Allstate Insurance Co., 91 S.W.3d 29 (Tex. App. - Dallas 2002, pet. dism’d by agr.)
In an opinion that created new law with respect to anti-suit injunctions, obtained reversal of an anti-suit injunction that prevented an energy company from enforcing a $450 million judgment it won in another Texas court.

Pintail Production Co. v. Osprey Petroleum Co., Nos. 13-06-069-CV, 13-06-151-CV, 2006 WL 1030150 (Tex. App. - Corpus Christi Apr. 20, 2006, no pet.) (mem. op.)
In an oil and gas dispute, obtained dismissal of an accelerated appeal and a related petition for writs of injunction and mandamus.

Texas Rice Land Partners, Ltd. v. Denbury Green Pipeline-Texas, LLC, 363 S.W.3d 192 (Tex. 2012)
Represented carbon dioxide pipeline in the Texas Supreme Court in eminent domain case that drew state and national attention for its pronouncements on the requirements for a pipeline to become a common carrier.

Transocean Offshore Deepwater Drilling, Inc. v. Maersk Drilling USA, Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2013)
Submitted amicus curiae brief in Federal Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of a leading offshore deepwater drilling company seeking clarification of the scope of infringement liability under Section 271(a) of the Patent Act.

Trigeant Holdings, Ltd. v. Jones, 183 S.W.3d 717 (Tex. App. - Houston [1st Dist.] 2005, pet. denied)
Successfully defended two out-of-state entities’ interlocutory appeal of the denial of their special appearances by persuading the court of appeals that the entities committed acts in Texas for which they were potentially liable under the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act.