Gordon M. Shapiro
Gordon M. Shapiro uses his more than thirty-eight years of experience as lead counsel in jury trials, bench trials, and arbitration actions for our financial institution, pipeline, business, and real estate clients. Gordon has been recognized by The National Law Journal as the lead counsel handling a case called a “top defense win” nationally and is honored to have been recognized by his peers in The Best Lawyers in America for Commercial Litigation for the past thirteen years and in the Banking & Finance, Securities, and Environmental Litigation areas for the past seven years.
Gordon has significant experience representing banks in high–profile cases, including high dollar disputes and class actions. Gordon’s depth of experience stretches back to the 1980s, when he coordinated the firm’s bank litigation practice during a time of great turmoil in Texas banking. Gordon and the firm successfully handled hundreds of cases for acquirers of assets from failed banks, or as a result of asset transfers, against defaulting borrowers and guarantors who alleged a wide variety of lender liability–type defenses. Today, Gordon represents national, regional, and local financial institutions in class action defense, lender liability, defensive actions, operations, credit card litigation, letter of credit, contract disputes, and in the prosecution of collection matters.
Gordon is co–chair of the firm’s Special Investigations practice. He has been a lead special independent investigator multiple times on Sarbanes-Oxley investigations involving corporate and accounting issues, including Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, revenue recognition, inventory and expense accounting, booking of reserves, revenue “management,” internal controls, “tone at the top” issues, and deferred revenue. Gordon has worked closely with chief legal officers and audit committees to scope and complete the investigations. A hallmark of his special investigations is close and regular communication with the client, client’s counsel, and their outside accounting firm. Gordon has produced voluminous detailed reports or summary presentations of findings, as required by the circumstances.
B.A., with honors, University of Texas at Austin
J.D., SMU Dedman School of Law
United States Supreme Court
United States Court of Federal Claims
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
United States District Court for the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of Texas
- As lead counsel, successfully represented his client, JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., in a putative class action case involving home equity loan modifications. The suit sought to invalidate “at least thousands” of class members’ home equity loans, on the alleged grounds that the modifications violated various provisions in the Texas Constitution. United States District Judge Sam Sparks dismissed the class action complaint and held that the home equity loan modifications did not violate the Texas Constitution. Hawkins v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., No. 13-50086, 2015 WL 3505353, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9442 (5th Cir. Tex. June 4, 2015)(unpublished)(affirming dismissal of putative class action challenging restructurings of home equity loans that allegedly capitalized past-due interest, fees, taxes, and escrow as violating the Texas Constitution, but remanding to district court as to one claim to determine if a single restructured loan with an alleged balloon payment involved an increase in the obligations created by the original note; dismissed by plaintiff on remand).
- Successfully represented his client, Chase Bank USA, N.A. in a putative class action seeking to establish a duty of good faith and fair dealing under Delaware law in connection with certain business credit card transactions. Plaintiff contended that the bank’s allocation of payments between a promotional offer balance and the credit card balance breached an implied duty in the account agreement. The action was dismissed for failure to state a claim in the district court. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the decision.
- Represented senior lender in litigation filed by multiple junior lenders and holders of mezzanine debt over a $7 billion collateralized mortgage backed obligation. Senior lenders were sued in multiple jurisdictions, including Texas, during an attempted restructure of the obligations with the borrower. Junior lenders sought to enjoin the restructuring agreement.
- Represented as lead counsel a national bank in a class action brought under the Fair Credit Reporting Act for alleged violations of the Act that are claimed to have caused injury to a nationwide class of persons.
- Represented as lead counsel a national bank in temporary injunction hearing involving foreclosure on oil and gas assets and proceeds where temporary injunction denied. Later in bankruptcy court, successfully defended the bank in a defense of numerous lender liability claims asserted in a bankruptcy filed to avert foreclosure and obtained resolution during an adversary action before the court involving repayment to the bank of the subject loan.
- An analysis of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act accounting and control issues for a global acquirer and manager of financial assets and portfolio pools. This engagement also involved review of the valuation calculations under GAAP for portfolio of acquired assets.
- An extensive investigation of a wide variety of accounting issues in a subsidiary of a major multinational international corporation.
- An investigation of certain GAAP accounting and control issues at a national telecommunications company.
- An investigation of accounting issues at an affiliate of a non-public industry standards corporation.
Other High-Profile Litigation
- Lead trial counsel in a breach of contract case for his clients, who purchased a 1961 Mark Rothko painting for $17.6 million that sold three years later at a Sotheby’s auction for $31.4 million. Plaintiff alleged that auctioning the Rothko violated the confidentiality provision in a one-page letter agreement which the parties agreed would “make maximum effort to keep all aspects of this transaction confidential indefinitely” and sought $22-40 million in damages. After trying the case to a jury in Dallas federal court, complete victory was secured when Chief Judge Sidney Fitzwater signed a take-nothing amended judgment and assessed costs against the plaintiff. The judgment for our clients was affirmed by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals which also vacated the district court’s judgment of some damages against a co-defendant. Click for additional information.
- Served as lead trial counsel in an international business dispute, tried to a jury in United States District Court. In this case, Gordon represented a Japanese public company sued for $90 million by a Texas company for alleged fraud, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and deceptive trade practices. The case arose from an athletic shoe distributorship agreement covering Japan. After a ten–week trial, the jury returned a take–nothing verdict in favor of his client and the Court entered a take–nothing judgment. Gordon and the trial team received national recognition when the case was named a “Top Defense Win” by the National Law Journal. The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals later affirmed the judgment.
- Lead trial counsel for the interstate pipeline defendant in multiple cases arising out of a gasoline pipeline spill. The spill was alleged to be one of the largest spills impacting land and surface water in the United States. The cases involved allegations of MtBE contamination in municipal water supplies and upon land. Suits were filed in state and federal court by the City of Dallas and by numerous private land owners. Multiple suits sought class action status. All but one of the cases were resolved by summary judgment in the pipeline’s favor or by settlement. Notably, two putative class actions filed under the Oil Pollution Act and a multi-plaintiff group case were dismissed by summary judgment in favor of the pipeline with costs awarded in the pipeline’s favor, an extremely rare and favorable result in such actions. The City of Dallas action was settled two weeks into a jury trial for an amount more than $10 million less than pretrial settlement demands. As an outgrowth of the spill, litigation was filed by Gordon and co-counsel against the pipe manufacturer, who later settled the case. The defendants requested confidentiality of the terms.
- The Best Lawyers in America (Woodward/White Inc.)
- Commercial Litigation, 2006-2020
- Litigation – Banking & Finance, 2012-2020
- Litigation – Environmental, 2012-2020
- Litigation – Securities, 2012-2020
- Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2003-2008, 2010-2015
- Super Lawyer in Business Litigation, Super Lawyers, Corporate Counsel Edition
- AV Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
- Best Lawyers in Dallas, D Magazine, 2013
- International Association of Defense Counsel
- Texas Bar Foundation, Life Fellow
- Dallas Bar Foundation, Life Fellow
- Dallas Inn of Court, Former Barrister
- Fee Disputes Committee for the Dallas Bar Association, Former Subcommittee Chair
- National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA) Southern Deposition Program, Outside Faculty
- Expert witness training, Outside Faculty
Practice chair. Represents national, regional, and local banks in class action defense, lender liability, defensive actions, operations, credit card litigation, letter of credit, contract disputes, and in the prosecution of collection matters.
Practice co-chair. Lead special independent investigator in Sarbanes-Oxley investigations involving corporate and accounting issues, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, revenue recognition, inventory and expense accounting, booking of reserves, revenue “management,” internal controls, “tone at the top” issues, and deferred revenue.
Lead trial counsel for a major interstate pipeline company for over three decades in its major environmental disputes, easement, right-of-way, third-party hit, eminent domain, indemnity, subrogation, and contract litigation.
Handled business disputes in healthcare, oil and gas, cable, robotics, art, and title insurance industries. Litigated issues involving international distributorships, securities, antitrust, indemnity disputes, purchase agreements, confidentiality agreements, post-closing disputes, contract, and business torts.
Local lead trial counsel
Served as local counsel for out-of-state law firms looking to associate Texas trial counsel in business litigation.