Joseph A. Fischer, III
Joseph “Tré” August Fischer, III gets things done and achieves goals. Known for his strategic understanding of complex situations, creativity, knowledge, strong attention to detail, ability to manage multiple priorities, prescience of his opponents’ strategies, understanding of other perspectives and motivations, skilled negotiation, and demonstrated litigation successes in challenging situations, Tré has been recognized as one of the top litigators in America and Texas by Chambers & Partners, Super Lawyers, and Best Lawyers in America, and Lawdragon selected him in its inaugural class as one of its 500 Leading Litigators in America.
Tré is a litigator who handles the most significant challenges his clients face involving hundreds of millions of dollars, while often also being called to deploy his expertise and experience to successful transactions and difficult environmental situations. He has broad experience representing companies in the natural gas transportation and processing, commodity trading, electric generation, metals and chemical manufacturing, and real estate industries in complex litigation, in a wide range of transactional matters, before administrative and regulatory bodies, and concerning compliance and liability issues; with litigation of all kinds for corporate, individual, and insurance clients on both sides of the docket; and with the management, litigation, and resolution of environmental issues and natural resource damages claims.
Tré has a strong work ethic – he is relentless – and an uncommon ability to assess the strategic landscape early, develop legal and practical strategies to achieve his client’s goals, and successfully execute to achieve those goals, whether they be an early negotiated resolution or a bet the company trial. Tré has a particular ability to build and motivate high-achieving teams and is equally successful solo. Tré understands risk and has successfully achieved his clients’ goals in multiple high risk, high dollar, high profile situations. He is particularly proud of the times he has been retained midstream to provide strategic redirection to legal teams from other firms, underscoring his particular understanding and skill as well as his ability to both manage and serve on teams. One of the things Tré most enjoys about his work are the opportunities each case presents to learn, and he is particularly adept at quickly understanding, applying, and communicating complex technical and financial matters to judges and juries and as well as cross-examining experts.
In addition to many years in private practice, Tré served as Vice President & Deputy General Counsel for TRC Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRR) and Assistant General Counsel for Kaiser Aluminum Corp. (Nasdaq: KALU). His in-house experience provided Tré an unusual breadth of experience managing and resolving a myriad of complex and significant matters and issues and provides him exceptional insight in serving the needs of and proactively representing the interests of his corporate and individual clients. As former in-house counsel, he has a keen insight in and appreciation for the challenges facing in-house counsel in today’s legal environment. As one of Tré’s clients explained to Chambers & Partners, “He has been in-house himself so has a good understanding of what clients need and he is responsive in getting that to them.”
Tré also served as an adjunct professor at the University of Houston Law Center, teaching civil procedure, legal analysis, and legal research and writing. While attending law school, he worked as a tax accountant at Price Waterhouse.
With a primary focus on complex energy, real estate, and business litigation matters, Tré’s thirty years of litigation experience includes both commercial disputes and significant personal injury matters. Tré has litigated complicated energy contracts, mass actions with tens of thousands of claimants, and multiple class actions, and he has significant experience with multidistrict litigation (MDL) in both state and federal court. Tré also has handled the investigation and litigation resulting from catastrophic explosions, releases, spills, and other industrial incidents. Tré has represented both plaintiffs and defendants and has trial and appellate experience in both state and federal courts. He regularly practices before both, as well as before regulatory agencies and arbitration panels. He has broad experience in the energy industry, representing public and private natural gas pipeline companies, natural gas processing companies, natural gas traders, electric power generators, and oil and gas producers in federal and state courts and before arbitration panels throughout the country. He also has significant experience representing real estate developers and commercial real estate owners in important litigation, including in material mass actions.
Tré has litigated gas purchase, gas gathering, and gas processing agreements; Edison Electric Institute (EEI) master power purchase and sale agreements and other power purchase agreements; International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) master agreements and North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB) standard agreements; and numerous commercial contracts in the energy, real estate, and manufacturing industries. Often litigating outside of Texas, Tré has handled litigation in Louisiana, Colorado, California, Florida, Kansas, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Washington, and Wisconsin and has served as national coordinating counsel for defendants facing litigation in multiple jurisdictions. Tré is particularly skilled at substantial litigation calling for the leadership and management of large litigation teams, often of more than a dozen lawyers, whether solely within Jackson Walker or spanning multiple co-counsel firms.
Transactional Structuring, Negotiation, and Documentation
Recognizing his skill and experience handling complex, high-stakes legal matters in many contexts, Tré’s clients often call upon him outside of litigation. Tré has considerable experience in transaction structuring, negotiation, and documentation in the energy, manufacturing, and real estate industries across a broad range of asset, stock, and real estate transactions in several states and internationally. He has particular experience with transactions involving natural gas assets, gathering agreements, and processing agreements in the midstream segment and with transactions involving contaminated properties, environmental risk transfer, Brownfield redevelopment, distressed assets, and other complex legal and risk management issues. He also has developed, implemented, and managed environmental, health, and safety audit and compliance programs.
Environmental Compliance, Remediation & Litigation
Tré’s experience with respect to environmental matters is extensive, having been a consistent facet of his practice throughout his career. He has represented sellers, buyers, owners, developers, responsible parties, and regulatory agencies at more than 100 Superfund sites in all 10 US EPA regions and at numerous state-lead sites and concerning dozens of transactions involving sites throughout the United States. Tré has developed several customized combinations of legal, regulatory and financial tools to ensure the appropriate allocation of liability and risk. His experience includes prosecution and defense of governmental enforcement actions and claims involving natural resource damage, personal injury and property damage, and cost-recovery and indemnification. He also has unique experience with the resolution of environmental obligations and claims in the context of bankruptcy proceedings. Through years of experience working with clients, technical consultants, and engineers to effect the cost-effective remediation of environmental sites and ensure compliance with legal obligations, he is adept at understanding and balancing competing commercial and legal issues without sacrificing either.
B.A., Rice University
J.D., magna cum laude, University of Houston Law Center
District of Columbia
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth, Seventh, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits
United States District Court for the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of Texas
United States District Court for the Middle, Eastern and Western Districts of Louisiana
United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin
United States District Court for the District of Colorado