James H. Nye
Jim Nye focuses on complex commercial and personal injury lawsuits, leveraging his extensive experience and his background as a project manager in the petrochemical sector. Jim brings valuable insight to clients in energy, engineering/EPC, and oilfield services industries, as well as on corporate and financial matters.
Jim helps clients navigate intricate commercial and personal injury disputes across federal and state courts and in trial proceedings, appeals, and high-value arbitrations. Jim helps clients navigate both short-term and long-term consequences. He’s skilled at proactive client advice even before disputes emerge, and he’s adept at seeking alternatives to litigation whenever feasible.
Before transitioning to law, Jim had 14 years of hands-on experience in the petrochemical industry. This background grants him a profound understanding of his clients’ operational landscapes, enhancing his ability to advocate effectively on their behalf.
B.B.A., University of Texas at Austin
J.D., magna cum laude, University of Houston Law Center
- Editor, Houston Journal of International Law
- Only student in his class to be inducted into the Order of the Coif, Order of the Barristers, and Order of the Barons
- After a month-long jury trial, obtained a verdict and final judgment awarding over $74 million in damages to an independent oil and gas exploration and production company. As the non-operating working interest owner, the client brought claims against the operator based on various breaches of the parties’ operating agreements relating to the construction of a gas processing facility and the drilling of an oil and gas well. The operator had also alleged approximately $18 million in offset claims against the client. The jury did not award any damages relating to the operator’s claims.
- Obtained an unanimous jury trial verdict in favor of the client. Plaintiff had requested a multiple million dollar judgment. The jury deliberations were complete in less than twenty minutes, despite the client’s admission it was at fault, but argued it was not negligent.
- Acted as lead counsel and appellate counsel for petrochemical equipment manufacturer relating to the provision of above-ground storage tank seals. Following a successful appeal, the case settled favorably for the client.
- Successfully represented an oil and gas exploration and production company in a three-week trial in which an injured oilfield service employee sued over injuries received when he was hit in the head with a crane. The jury found that the defendant was not negligent and that the plaintiff was responsible for his injuries. The plaintiff sought $18.6 million in damages, but was awarded no damages against the client.
- Represented an independent oil and gas exploration and production company in an oil well trespass case. Another operator erroneously drilled the horizontal leg of the well on lands that were under lease to the client. After several years of litigation, including over 70 depositions, the case was favorably resolved for the client.
- Represented an independent oil and gas exploration and production company in a product liability case against a tubular goods manufacturer. After a three-week jury trial, the jury awarded almost all damages sought by the client. The manufacturer appealed the case, and the client prevailed at all stages of the appeal.
- Successfully defended a lawsuit against an international engineering firm for over $33 million in damages over the design and engineering of a petrochemical plant. The case was dismissed with no payment by his client after a year of investigations and litigation.
- Lead counsel for a client in an engineering case before a three-member-panel AAA arbitration trial related to a gas-fired turbine control system in Equatorial Guinea. The client sued for recovery of damages from a breach of contract and the defendant counter-sued for delay damages. The panel ruled in favor of the client and dismissed all counterclaims.
- Lead counsel for a publicly traded energy company before a three-member-panel AAA arbitration trial. The former owner of an acquired engineering company who remained an executive with the publicly traded company after the acquisition brought claims related to the terms of his employment contract. The panel delivered a complete verdict for the publicly traded company after a week-long trial.
- Counsel for an international engineering company in an AAA arbitration trial regarding the construction of an ethylene plant. The case related to errors during design and construction of an ethylene plant. During the trial, the case settled favorably for the client.
- Defended an engineering client in a suit relating to a high-pressure steam meter. A rupture of the meter in a petrochemical plant allegedly caused the plant to stop working and resulted in $30 million in damages. The case resolved favorably for the client.
- Represented a technology licensing company in multiple state-court suits and an AAA arbitration related to the application of a licensed process used in the petrochemical industry. The case resolved favorably for the client.
- Defended an industrial equipment manufacturer against allegations of injuries due to benzene exposure. The case resolved favorably for the client resulting in the dismissal of all claims.
- Represented a medical device manufacturer in claims against a competitor for using confidential information acquired during negotiations. After discovery was completed on an expedited basis, a federal court issued an order prohibiting the use of the confidential information and ordering royalty payments, leading to a highly favorable settlement for the client.
Some of the experience represented above may have been handled at a previous firm.
- The Best Lawyers in America (Woodward/White Inc.)
- Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants, 2024
- The Legal 500 US, “Key Lawyer” for Energy Litigation: Oil and Gas, 2021-2022
- Texas Rising Star, Super Lawyers – Rising Stars by Thomson Reuters, 2010-2016
- Lawdragon 500 Leading Environmental & Energy Lawyers, 2023
- “Litigation and Trial Tactics,” University of Houston CLE, Dallas, December 2008
- “Alliances and Tactics Involving Multiple-Parties: From No-Deal Deals to Dismissals with Side Agreements,” University of Houston CLE Litigation and Trial Tactics Conference, April and May 2007
- American Bar Association
- City of Friendswood Planning and Zoning Commission
- City of Friendswood Charter Review Commission
- Houston Bar Association
- Texas State Bar Association
- Gus Schill, Jr. Scholarship Committee – University of Houston Law Center – Board Member
September 7, 2023Attorney News
Jackson Walker is pleased to announce the arrival of litigation partners Hugh E. Tanner and James H. Nye to our Houston office. Hugh and Jim are highly regarded trial attorneys focused on complex commercial litigation, primarily within the oil and gas sector.