Celebrating 125 Years
 

Bill Cobb

Concentration

Class Action Litigation and Regulated Industries Litigation

Biography

Class Action Litigation

Bill Cobb has an active class action practice. He represents industry leading companies in state and federal courts throughout Texas, the Southwest, and across the nation. Mr. Cobb has experience with every stage of class action litigation: He has defeated class claims through summary judgment and the denial of class certification, negotiated favorable settlements both before and after certification, and tried a class action to a jury verdict. Understanding that class action lawsuits are not conducted or resolved in a vacuum, Mr. Cobb learns his clients' business needs in order to manage and resolve disputes in a way that secures vital interests, navigates regulatory obstacles, and avoids future litigation.

View representative Class Action matters.

Regulated Industries Litigation

Mr. Cobb has challenged and enforced government regulations throughout his legal career. Having served as Senior Regulatory Counsel for a broadband internet access company and Texas Deputy Attorney General for Civil Litigation, Mr. Cobb has first-hand experience representing both the regulator and the regulated. Chambers USA2013 noted Mr. Cobb's "unique perspective on state regulation, which is respected by all regulating entities in Texas." Mr. Cobb has significant experience litigating environmental, insurance, and tax cases, both at the trial and appellate levels. Mr. Cobb also regularly represents clients being investigated by Texas Administrative Agencies and the Texas Attorney General's Office, or otherwise involved with litigation with the State of Texas.

View representative Regulated Industries Litigation matters.

View representative Environmental Litigation matters.

View representative Insurance Litigation matters.

View representative State Tax Litigation matters.

View representative Texas Administrative Agencies/Texas Attorney General's Office: Investigations and Litigation matters.

Litigation Philosophy

Although he previously managed 300 Assistant Attorneys General in 10 Litigation Divisions, in his current practice Mr. Cobb embraces the motto of "one riot, one ranger," trying cases on his own whenever possible, relying upon a single associate when not, and only managing teams when absolutely necessary.

Spending several formative years as in-house counsel for a cash-strapped Internet-access company, Mr. Cobb is ever-mindful of the need to prioritize threats and efficiently allocate scarce resources. Frustrated himself by poor communication, litigation "surprises," and busted budgets, as outside counsel Mr. Cobb strives to partner closely with his clients when resolving their disputes.


More about Bill Cobb : Experience | Involvement | Recognition | Speeches / Publications | News

Representative Matters

  • Class Action Litigation

  • Represented a geopolitical intelligence firm against class claims for failing to protect consumer privacy and credit card numbers disclosed in a data breach resulting from an anonymous cyberattack (Eastern District of New York)

  • Represented a homeowners insurer against class claims for allegedly underpaying claims for repairs involving multiple trades (Comanche County, Oklahoma)

  • Represented a crop protection and production input distributor against class claims for allegedly usurious financing terms (Wharton County, Texas)

  • Represented an auto insurer against class claims for allegedly underpaying first party claims for medical benefits (Eastern District of Texas)

  • Representing a homeowners insurer against class claims for allegedly failing to offer sinkhole coverage and pay claims for sinkhole damage (Davidson County, Tennessee)

  • Representing an employee pension plan against Creditor Committee claims in a reverse class action alleging the Debtor fraudulently transferred cash to its shareholders in connection with a leveraged buyout (Southern District of New York)

  • Represented a major accounting firm against class claims for allegedly providing a tax opinion regarding IRA investments in foreign exchange currency trading funds (Travis County, Texas)

  • Representing an auto insurer against class claims for allegedly misstating statutorily mandated insurance coverage in its policy forms (Gregg County, Texas)

  • Represented a homeowners insurer against class claims for allegedly underpaying claims for repairs involving multiple trades (Miller County, Arkansas)

  • Represented an auto insurer against class claims for recouping the Auto Theft Prevention Act fee from its policyholders without including the fee in its Article 5.101 rate-filing (Henderson County, Texas)

  • Represented a homeowners insurer against class claims for allegedly depreciating labor costs and underpaying claims involving multiple trades (Jefferson County, Texas)

  • Back to Biography

  • Regulated Industries Litigation

  • Environmental Litigation

  • Represented coal- and oil-fired electric utilities challenging EPA's Mercury Air Toxics Standards Rule at oral argument before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals

  • Representing coal mining and operating companies defending a wastewater permit issued by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, a mining permit issued by the Texas Railroad Commission, and seeking a county-issued floodplain permit

  • Representing natural gas-fired electric utilities challenging the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's negative use determination in connection with pollution control property

  • Represented the State of Texas challenging EPA's rejection of Texas' Flexible (air) Permit program at oral argument before the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals

  • Represented the State of Texas challenging EPA's greenhouse gas regulations and imposition of a Federal Implementation Plan for greenhouse gas permitting in Texas

  • Represented the State of Texas enforcing Texas' Clean Air Act against an oil refiner for numerous unlawful air emission events; obtained $50 million settlement

  • Represented the State of Texas protecting natural resource, economic, and drilling rights in connection with the Gulf oil spill in litigation against the well operator and the U.S. Department of Interior

  • Insurance Litigation

  • Represented a homeowners insurer challenging the constitutionality of Texas Insurance Code Article 5.26--1, the homeowners rate reduction statute

  • Represented a personal lines insurer against alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act for allegedly obtaining insured's credit reports without making firm offers of insurance

  • Representing an auto insurer investigating medical and legal provider fraud

  • Represented an auto insurer against statutory and common law claims for collecting finance charges that were not included in its rate filing with the Texas Department of Insurance

  • Represented the State of Texas in connection with Civil Medicaid Fraud claims against numerous pharmaceutical manufacturers for fraudulent price reporting; managed trial teams obtaining a $170 million jury verdict and over $300 million in settlements

  • Represented homeowner's insurer against statutory and common law claims for allegedly over-insuring property

  • Represented a life insurer against statutory and common law claims for its agent's alleged fraud and conversion in connection with the partial surrender of a life insurance policy

  • Represented the State of Texas as lead trial counsel in the 26-state constitutional challenge to the Affordable Care Act

  • State Tax Litigation

  • Representing a manufacturer and distributor of tobacco products in connection with a challenge to a Texas tax statute

  • Represented an engineering and construction consulting services firm in connection with a challenge to franchise tax assessments issued by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

  • Representing electric utilities challenging a negative use determination for pollution control property required for local property tax exemptions

  • Represented an intergovernmental risk pool challenging the constitutionality of the Worker's Compensation System Subsequent Injury Fund as a statewide ad valorem tax

  • Texas Administrative Agencies / Texas Attorney General's Office: Investigations and Litigation

  • Representing text-message service providers against statutory claims for deceptive trade practices arising out of an investigation by the Texas Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division

  • Representing a financial advisor in connection with an investigation by the Texas State Securities Board

  • Represented a dietary supplement manufacturer and distributer challenging the detention and embargo of certain products by the Texas Department of State Health Services

  • Represented a homeowners insurer in connection with an investigation of its claims handling and payment practices conducted by the Texas Department of Insurance

  • Represented an assisted living facility provider in connection with a Medicaid fraud investigation conducted by the Office of the Inspector General of the Texas Department of Health and Human Services

  • Represented a motor vehicle dealer in connection with the denial of a franchise transfer application by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles

  • Representing a financial advisory services firm in connection with an investigation conducted by the Texas Attorney General's Antitrust Section

  • Represented a property management company contesting an Open Records Request in connection with a request for proposal submitted to the Texas Facilities Commission

  • Back to Biography


More about Bill Cobb : Biography | Involvement | Recognition | Speeches / Publications | News

Organization Membership

Mr. Cobb is on the Board of Directors of the Austin Bar Association—Civil Litigation Section.


More about Bill Cobb : Biography | Experience | Recognition | Speeches / Publications | News

Peer Recognition

Mr. Cobb is included in the 2013 edition of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business under Environment (Texas). He was also named "Appellate Lawyer of the Week" by Texas Lawyer in 2012.


More about Bill Cobb : Biography | Experience | Involvement | Speeches / Publications | News

Speeches / Publications

"Compliance and Planning for Utility Regulation: The Legal & Regulatory Perspective," Air & Waste Management Association, 105th Annual Conference, 2012

"Turf Wars: Interagency Conflict Between TCEQ & EPA: Air Quality," University of Texas School of Law Environmental Law Symposium, 2012

"Debrief of the DC Circuit's Oral Arguments on EPA's GHG Rulemakings," Environmental Law Institute, 2012

"Statewide Regulatory Update," Texas Manufacturers Summit, 2012

"Cooperative Federalism," Texas State Bar Environmental Section, 23rd Environmental SuperConference, 2011

"The Role of the Attorney General," ABA Administrative Law Section, The Nuts & Bolts of Administrative Law, 2011

"Effectively Challenging Federal Government Regulatory Action," Association of Corporate Counsel, Annual Meeting, 2010

Mr. Cobb is a former Adjunct Professor at the St. Edwards University Graduate School of Management, where he taught Business Negotiations and Dispute Resolution.

Links to Publications


More about Bill Cobb : Biography | Experience | Involvement | Recognition | News

  • Bill Cobb
Partner
Austin Office
T: 512.236.2326
F: 512.691.4446

bcobb@jw.com
Practice Areas
Education

B.A., University of Pennsylvania

J.D., Northwestern University School of Law
  • Articles Editor, Northwestern University Law Review
Bar Admissions

  • 1996, Texas
Court Admissions

  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • United States District Courts for the Western, Eastern, Northern, and Southern Districts of Texas
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida
 
 
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