Celebrating 125 Years

C. Elaine  Howard


C. Elaine Howard is a trial attorney focusing on commercial litigation, real estate disputes, and employment law. Ms. Howard distinguishes herself by partnering with clients to determine their goals for litigation up front, to re-evaluate those goals as the litigation progresses, and to advise, inform, and counsel clients to obtain those goals. Ms. Howard frequently becomes involved in disputes at the pre-litigation stage, advising clients on economical workout strategies to resolve the issue, as well as reduce time and expense.

In commercial litigation, she has handled for both plaintiffs and defendants numerous cases involving banking practices, disputes over multi-million dollar notes, workouts, contract disputes, securities fraud, and insurance regulation. She has also handled several significant legal malpractice and breach of fiduciary duties cases where the underlying matters involved patents, foreclosures, oil and gas properties, and a personal injury case involving a $24 million jury verdict.

In the real estate context, she has handled hundreds of landlord/tenant disputes primarily but not exclusively on the landlord's side. She has one of the few reported cases on the landlord's duty to mitigate damages, and has successfully first chaired two jury trials involving landlord/tenant issues. Ms. Howard advises individuals seeking to acquire property about their possible liabilities and consults on the closing documents and indemnification agreements. She has also handled evictions, lockouts, title and lien priority disputes, foreclosure on real and personal property, adverse possession, Fair Housing Act violations, construction litigation, enforcement of deed restrictions, discrimination by homeowners' associations, ad valorem taxes, easements, liens, and disputes arising out of the acquisition of real property.

In the employment context, she has handled claims involving racial discrimination, racial harassment, sexual harassment, gender discrimination, defamation, disability discrimination, age discrimination, defamation, workers compensation retaliation, and Sabine Pilot. She has been involved in numerous cases seeking to enforce a covenant not to compete or contesting its enforcement, solicitation of employees and theft of trade secrets. She has handled a number of matters involving alleged breaches of employment contracts. Ms. Howard advises clients in risk avoidance, by reviewing and preparing employment policies, and advising on personnel decisions, such as employee leave, discipline, and termination. She conducts work place investigations and conducts employee training in anti-discrimination, sensitivity, and diversity. She has served as the editor of Jackson Walker Employer's Newsletter.

More about C. Elaine Howard: Involvement | Recognition | Speeches / Publications | News

Organization Membership

    • Immediate past Chair for the HBA's Labor and Employment Section; previously served as Chair, Chair-Elect, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and Membership Chair


    • Previously served as Treasurer, Programs Co-Chair, and Memberships Co-Chair for Commercial Real Estate Women - Houston


    • Fellow of the Houston Bar Foundation


    • Previously served as Past Chair, Chair, Chair Elect, Vice Chair, and Secretary of the Litigation Section of the Houston Bar Association


    • Previously served as President of the Board of the Women's Finance Exchange (2006-2008)


    • Previously served as Co-Chair of the Houston Bar Association's Professionalism Committee (2006-2008)


  • Previous Memberships: Garland R. Walker Inns of Court; Administration of Justice Committee for the HBA; Ethics and Professionalism Committee for the Texas Young Lawyers Association; Animal Welfare Committee and Arts and Entertainment Committee for the Houston Young Lawyers Association

Community Involvement

Ms. Howard is active in Rice University alumni activities and has served as the President of the Rice University Business and Professional Women's Group and as Chair of the Rice Young Alumni Committee. She is actively involved in fundraising for Rice, and Co-Chairs her Reunion Year Annual Fund Committee.

More about C. Elaine Howard: Biography | Recognition | Speeches / Publications | News

Peer Recognition

Ms. Howard was named a 2006 "Rising Star" by Thomson Reuters and was named one of "Houston's Professionals on the Fast Track" in H Magazine for 2005.

More about C. Elaine Howard: Biography | Involvement | Speeches / Publications | News

Speeches / Publications

    • "The Most Heavily Litigated Deal Provisions: Trial Lawyer's Perspective," Advanced Real Estate Law Course, July 2014


    • "Collections Jeopardy," 29th Annual Real Estate Conference, South Texas College of Law, June 2014


    • "Those Paragraphs at the Bottom You Don't Really Read: Trial Attorneys Discuss the Boilerplate," 28th Annual Real Estate Conference, South Texas College of Law, June 2013


    • "Problems with Foreclosures: A Legal Analysis of Current Events," Advanced Real Estate Seminar, State Bar of Texas, July 2012


    • "The Benefit of Hindsight: A Trial Attorney's Tips to Transactional Attorneys on the Election of Lease Remedies," 27th Annual Real Estate Conference, South Texas College of Law, June 2012


    • "Economic and Mental Anguish Damages in Employment Cases: Tip from the Experts," Moderator, HBA Labor & Employment Seminar, March 2012
    • "Landlord and Tenant Drama and Trauma," speech given at the 44th Annual William W. Gibson, Jr. Mortgage Lending Institute, September 2010


    • "Preventing Workplace Violence," JW Seminar, October 2009


    • "FMLA Update," JW Seminar, May 2008


    • "Allocating risk: Make sure buck stops in the least damaging place," 38 Houston Business Journal (August 10, 2007)


    • "What is the latest law governing covenants not to compete?," 37 Houston Business Journal (December 4, 2006)


    • "Why People Hate Lawyers (and What We Can Do About It)," presentation to the HBA Family Law Section, September 2006


    • "Zealous (but Ethical) Representation in the Modern World," HBA Seminar, April 2007; Litigation Section, May 2007


    • "Take a Hard Look at Lease Terms to Avoid a Lawsuit Down the Line," 36 Houston Business Journal (March 24, 2006)


    • "What Should Tenant or Landlord Do When Tenant Closes Business," 34 Houston Business Journal (January 23, 2004)


    • "Waiver Warning: Don't Sit Back When Leasing Issues are at Stake," 34 Houston Business Journal (Jun 20, 2003)


    • 2005 State Bar of Texas Collections and Creditor's Rights Seminar on "Landlord's Remedies in Commercial Leases"


    • 2004 Real Estate Law Conference on "Eviction Procedures"


    • "Pitfalls to Avoid during Job Interviews" at 2004 JW Employment Law Conference


  • Moderator of the following panels: "Putting out the Fires: Injunction Practice in State and Federal Courts;" "The Do's and Don'ts of Dealing with Corporate Counsel;" and "Tips on Effective Mediation"

Ms. Howard wrote the following articles, which are available by clicking below:

Links to Publications

More about C. Elaine Howard: Biography | Involvement | Recognition | News

  • C. Elaine Howard
Houston Office
T: 713.752.4260
F: 713.308.4132

Practice Areas

B.A. Economics, Political Science and Managerial Studies, Rice University (TX)

J.D., magna cum laude, University of Houston Law Center
  • Articles Editor, Houston Law Review
Bar Admissions

  • 1994, Texas
Court Admissions

  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Texas
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
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