While we’re perhaps best known for our defense work in several high-profile criminal matters, commercial litigation is our bread-and-butter. We’re courtroom lawyers who try cases, and we have a strong faith in juries and our ability to anticipate their collective questions, needs, and concerns.
We think our record speaks for itself, and we’re fortunate to be able to take on a wide variety of challenges that are truly important in the lives of companies and individuals, both as plaintiffs and defendants. Our experience covers a range of industries and professional services, such as real estate, energy, health care, manufacturing, accounting, and financial services. We’re particularly sensitive to the scrutiny and regulations faced by publicly-traded companies in litigation, as well as the personalities and politics that often affect the operations of privately-held businesses.
In preparing and trying these cases, we focus on the individual objectives of our clients, efficiently managing investigations and discovery and effectively working with any co-counsel. While each member of our team is comfortable in dealing with the capabilities and demands of technology in preparing for trial, we know that the fundamental task occurs in the courtroom: persuading a jury to believe in the point of view of our client.
For almost five years, we represented the accounting firm of Arthur Andersen in various civil lawsuits and federal prosecutions arising from the financial collapse of Enron Corp. Our representation included serving as Arthur Andersen’s legal counsel in a complex obstruction of justice case, in securities class actions, and in dozens of other lawsuits that were transferred to Houston by the federal multidistrict litigation panel. We also represented the firm in many state court matters around Texas.
We were hired to defend a Swedish corporation in a contract dispute that involved, among other things, point of sale technology used world-wide in the hospitality industry. Our client was sued in Tarrant County, Texas. The matter was resolved to our client’s satisfaction at mediation.
Prior to our representation, this case resulted in the largest libel verdict in history. We were hired to help conduct post-judgment discovery concerning alleged misconduct, evidence tampering, and perjury by the plaintiffs in the case. Based on our investigation, we successfully argued for a new trial before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. After the case was sent back to the trial court, the plaintiffs dismissed all claims and took nothing.
We represented Nan Ya Plastics Corporation, a publicly-traded company that is a part of the largest commercial concern in Taiwan, in a theft of trade secrets case filed in Texas. After aggressively challenging the plaintiff’s claims for more than $400 million in damages, we negotiated a settlement that was significantly less than Nan Ya’s remaining defense costs. The terms were so favorable that the remaining defendant, Formosa Plastics Corporation, asked us to step in as co-counsel to represent them at trial.
We represented NCI, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of metal construction components, in a fraud claim. The company’s former executive vice president had started a competing business in violation of his retirement agreement, and we discovered that he took more than 370,000 of NCI’s internal company documents without permission. After three weeks of complicated testimony, a jury found the former executive committed fraud, and the trial court awarded NCI a $2.2 million judgment.
We represented Osprey Petroleum Company in a lawsuit in which Osprey has asserted breach of contract and fraud claims against Unocal. The lawsuit arose out of a joint venture between Osprey and Unocal for drilling and completion work for several oil and gas wells.
Ponderosa purchased a parcel of land and entered into a lease with a national financial institution as a tenant. Unfortunately, the title insurance company in the transaction failed to note a restrictive covenant prohibiting placement of a bank on the property. After filing litigation against the title insurer, which offered pennies on the dollar to settle the claim, we represented Ponderosa in a Harris County jury trial that resulted in a verdict well in excess of the policy limits.
We represented Stealth, LP, a physician partnership that opened Houston Town & Country Hospital in late 2005. The hospital was forced to close because it was unable to obtain contracts with the major health care insurance plans. We sued Memorial Hermann, the largest non-profit hospital system in Houston, for orchestrating an illegal boycott among the insurance providers to deny contracts with our client’s facility. We reached a favorable, confidential settlement with Memorial Hermann on the eve of trial in 2010, and we later settled with five insurance companies that participated in the alleged boycott.
We represented Trigeant, Ltd., the owner of an asphalt refinery in Corpus Christi, Texas, against allegations that the company acquired the refinery through a fraudulent transfer. Although the case had been on file for more than six years, we became involved just three months before trial when Trigeant replaced its lead trial counsel. For business reasons, Trigeant sought — and we obtained — a quick mediation on very satisfying terms.
We represented Las Vegas Sands Corp., the owner of the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas, in a number of contract disputes involving the establishment of the company’s resort operations in Macao, a special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China. Business disputes are the primary driver of litigation, so it’s not surprising that some of our most important and gratifying work comes from representing corporate clients. We are sensitive to both the public scrutiny and regulations that come into play when lawsuits involve publicly-traded companies as well as the personalities and politics that can affect the operation of privately-held businesses.