100 Energy Way
Fort Worth, TX 76102
817-288-7141 (Direct Dial)
- B.A., Business Administration with Finance Concentration, University of New Mexico, May 1990
- J.D., Baylor University School of Law, August 1998
HONORS AND AFFILIATIONS
Cotten Schmidt & Abbott, L.L.P.:
- Chairman, Management Committee (October 2009 to October 2011)
- Member, Finance Committee (December 2007 to September 2009)
Baylor University School of Law:
- 1997: Strasburger & Price Moot Court Competition Winner:
Strasburger & Price Moot Court Award – First Place Team
Fulbright & Jaworski Advocacy Award – First Place Team
Dawson & Sodd Moot Court Award – First Place Team
Baylor Law School – Best Student Team
Baylor Law School – Third Place, Best Individual Speaker
- Member, Harvey M. Richey Moot Court Society
- Member, Order of Barristers
University of New Mexico:
- 1988-1990: Golden Key National Honor Society
- 1986-1990: Sterling Academic Scholarship (awarding full tuition)
State Bar of Texas
Tarrant County Bar Association
American Association for Justice (formerly Association of Trial Lawyers of America)
Bar Association of the Fifth Federal Circuit
YEAR BEGAN PRACTICING LAW
- 1998: State Bar of Texas
- 1998: United States District Court, Northern District of Texas
- 2001: United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Federal Circuit
- 2003: United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas
- 2005: United States District Court, Southern District of Texas
Professional Profile: Litigation and Business Attorney, General Counsel, and Former Chairman of Firm’s Management Committee.
- Over 14 years of experience in private practice working on business organization, governance, real estate, oil and gas, and transactional matters, and on significant litigation representing both claimants and defendants in a business, commercial, and personal injury disputes.
- Served for two years as Chairman of the Firm’s first Management Committee, managing all aspects of the Firm’s operations, overseeing financial, operational, and personnel matters, and developing and implementing firm-wide strategies for increasing revenue, cutting costs, and achieving long-term growth objectives.
- Currently serving as general counsel to a variety of business organizations operating throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
- A persuasive and skilled counselor with a unique blend of expertise (1) representing claimants and defendants alike in a broad array of complex business and commercial transactions and disputes, (2) advising a diverse foundation of clients in significant business organization, corporate governance, intellectual property, oil and gas, real estate, employment, and transactional matters, and (3) managing and facilitating efficient and trouble-free operations for a 26 attorney law firm with offices in Texas and Louisiana.
- A seasoned attorney with a demonstrated commitment to preventative and creative lawyering, sharpened by over 14 years of experience negotiating with and arguing against skilled adversaries.
- An aggressive and tenacious advocate with a steadfast focus on achieving winning results at a reasonable cost.
- Adept at translating client goals and budgetary constraints into focused, efficient, and effective legal strategies.
- An equally experienced and highly effective negotiator with a strong record of obtaining favorable, timely, and cost-effective resolutions in complex business transactions and legal disputes, both before and after the commencement of litigation.
Core Litigation Strengths:
- Oil and gas
- Breach of contract / contract interpretation
- Intellectual property
- Non-competition / non-solicitation agreements
- Employment discrimination
- Injunctions and temporary restraining orders
- Fiduciary duty / breach of trust
- Fraud, misrepresentation, and deceptive practices
- Premises and products liability
- Toxic torts (asbestos, benzene, and chromium)
- Personal injury
- Real estate / environmental actions
Litigation Experience. Represented a broad spectrum of clients, including business entities and individuals alike, in a wide range of complex legal disputes at all levels of the state and federal court systems, including claims involving:
- Breaches of warranties and representations
- Deceptive trade practices
- Statutory and common law fraud
- Breach of fiduciary and trust duties
- Tortious interference with existing and prospective contracts and business relationships
- Breach of contract (including contract construction and interpretation)
- Real estate, trespass, and boundary disputes
- Property tax contests
- Personal injuries
- Toxic torts
- Premises liability
- Medical negligence / malpractice (defending hospitals, physicians, and nurses)
- Defective products / products liability
- Medicare coverage and cost reimbursement disputes
- Civil rights
- Defamation, libel, and slander
- Intellectual property (including infringements on and misappropriations of patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets / trade dress, client and customer lists, pricing information, and similar confidential and proprietary business information)
- Non-competition, non-solicitation, non-disparagement, and confidentiality agreements
- Employment discrimination
- Injunctions and temporary restraining orders
- Energy disputes (representing land owners as well as various businesses operating in the oil and gas and electricity industries)
Core Business, Transactional, and General Counsel Strengths:
- Major contracts, leases, and business transactions
- Corporate governance
- Acquisition and licensing of intellectual property
- Forming, operating, and liquidating business entities
- Stock and asset purchase agreements
- Employment and non-competition agreements
- Service contracts and licensing agreements
- Subscription, buy-sell, and shareholder agreements
- Indemnity agreements
- Promissory notes, bills of sale, and deeds of trust
- Easements and right of way agreements
- Restrictive covenants
- Risk evaluation and mitigation strategies
Real Estate and Transactional Experience. Well-versed in a broad spectrum of real estate transactions, representing businesses and individuals in negotiating, acquiring and selling, financing, developing, licensing, and managing commercial and residential properties. Represented developers, landowners, and neighborhood associations in diverse oil and gas matters, including negotiating and drafting leases, easements, and right of way agreements. Drafted, reviewed, and negotiated an extensive variety of commercial and residential real estate documents, including leases (on behalf of lessors and lessees), deeds, promissory notes, bills of sale, deeds of trust, indemnity agreements, and restrictive covenant agreements. Represented owners of intellectual property, including books, television programs, music, and movies, in acquiring, selling, and licensing same.
Business Organization and General Counsel Experience. Formed, reorganized, converted, and liquidated numerous business entities operating across various industries in Texas, Nevada, and Delaware. Drafted, reviewed, and negotiated a wide array of corporate governance documents and related agreements, including sales contracts, employment and non-competition agreements, stock and asset purchase agreements, subscription agreements, buy-sell agreements, shareholder agreements, service contracts, and licensing agreements. Served as general counsel to a variety of business organizations operating throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Represented businesses and individuals alike in administrative proceedings relating to sales, franchise, and property tax disputes. Formed and served as legal counsel to multiple oil and gas companies conducting drilling operations and well stimulation and fracturing services throughout Texas and New Mexico.
- Secured summary dismissal of all claims in federal lawsuit filed against well-known sporting goods manufacturer and golf club designer, where claimant sought to recover in excess of $350 million in damages for alleged misappropriations of various trade secrets and patents.
- Prevailed in oral argument before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Federal Circuit, successfully challenging federal trial court’s jurisdiction and findings of fact, ultimately invalidating $1.2 million judgment entered against client in breach of contract and constructive trust case arising out of sale of psychiatric hospital.
- Convinced adverse parties during mediation to abandon, and thereafter obtained complete release and dismissal – with no payment from clients – of $12 million lawsuit brought against oil and gas exploration and production company and its individual directors for alleged misappropriations of confidential information and trade secrets, fraud, liability under the Texas Theft Liability Act, tortious interference with existing and prospective contracts and business relationships, breaches of fiduciary duties, and civil conspiracy.
- In state court lawsuit filed on behalf of three physician clients against medical practice group based on numerous breaches of clients’ employment agreements, recovered as part of a mediated settlement agreement $275,000 in damages as compensation owed for medical services rendered by clients, and obtained full releases of clients’ remaining obligations under practice group’s non-competition and non-solicitation agreements.
- Recovered $150,000 in settlement funds for healthcare provider client just four months after lawsuit was filed against health insurance company that wrongfully refused to reimburse client for over $137,000 in covered medical services rendered to eligible patients.
- Achieved complete and unconditional dismissal of $45,000 claim for unpaid wages filed with Texas Workforce Commission by former employee against construction company client.
- Negotiated 75% reduction of $46,000 default judgment entered by state court in favor of retail energy supplier against tenant client, ultimately settling dispute and obtaining dismissal of underlying lawsuit in exchange for $10,000 lump sum payment from client.
- Obtained agreed dismissal with prejudice of invitee claimant’s personal injury and premises liability lawsuit filed against property owner client on eve of hearing on client’s motion for summary judgment.
- Victorious in bench trial brought by claimant against motorcycle dealership client for allegedly defective motorcycle repairs, obtaining dismissal of all claims and award of attorney’s fees as sanction against claimant for bringing frivolous and unfounded lawsuit.
- Successfully managed substantial dockets of toxic tort cases filed throughout Texas, Louisiana, and nationally – comprised of thousands of individual personal injury and wrongful death claimants alleging exposure to asbestos, benzene, and chromium – from inception of suit through trial.
- Represented seller of wholly owned gas well stimulation subsidiary in successfully closing $68 million sale of subsidiary’s stock to international oil and gas conglomerate.
- Represented consortium of eight individual investors in negotiating asset purchase agreement and thereafter evaluating contemplated $27.5 million acquisition of substantially all assets of media conglomerate used to publish and distribute second largest newspaper in geographical area, including all associated non-daily publications and digital properties, ultimately electing to terminate purchase agreement based on significant financial and reporting irregularities uncovered during due diligence review.