Scott A. Wheatley
With over 23 years of experience, Scott has distinguished himself as an expert in the Texas land title insurance industry and as his clients’ “go-to” lawyer for the high stakes title and real estate disputes that require his steady hand and determination. As a trial lawyer and dedicated leader, Scott Wheatley has distinguished himself as both an advocate and trusted counselor for his clients. In the courtroom and the boardroom, he works tirelessly to advance and protect his clients’ interests and to find pragmatic solutions to the most vexing problems facing them today. Clients often turn to him as outside general counsel, seeking his advice on a wide range of business issues, contract negotiations, and sensible approaches for managing risk and avoiding litigation. Clients report Scott is both a good listener and counselor. Most of all, clients rely on him for his steady leadership, judgment, and experience to make and implement mission-critical decisions in litigation and corporate strategy.
As an accomplished courtroom advocate, Scott is quick on his feet and composed, having served as lead counsel in jury trials and bench trials in federal and state courts across Texas. Clients are assured by his particular skill for rapidly adapting to fluid environments with the resolve necessary to achieve the client’s objectives. For Scott, this begins with the ethos of hard work, preparation, determination, and the willingness to think critically.
In high stakes land title, title insurance, real estate, private equity fund, corporate, and financial institution litigation, Scott is a go-to trial lawyer in Texas for Fortune 500 companies and individuals alike. He has tried and won significant jury trials involving land title disputes, real estate and bank fraud, partnership disputes, corporate control, joint ventures, and consumer claims. Scott has developed particular experience in real property and land title litigation as lead counsel in dozens of lawsuits for banks, property owners, and underwriters. Scott is no stranger in federal court, where he has successfully defended financial services institutions and companies in actions arising under federal law and in nationwide consumer class actions.
Scott has cultivated key relationships in the Fort Worth community and has personally invested time, dedication, and hard work counseling, serving, and leading mission-driven clients, institutions and not-for-profit organizations. Scott is recognized as a Master in the Eldon B. Mahon Inn of Court, where he mentors young lawyers striving to uphold the highest ideals and ethics in the legal profession. As a former Chair of the Board and as Chair of the Personnel Committee of University Christian Church in Fort Worth, Scott worked tirelessly as a key leader to shape and implement sweeping change in the venerable institution’s structure, staffing, strategic plan, and vision while managing divergent stakeholder demands, operational realities, and conflict. As Chair of the Board of the Arts Council of Fort Worth, Scott has worked alongside the executive committee to guide the organization through a wholesale realignment in executive leadership and shifting political and governmental landscapes. In that role, he also has worked to develop and implement a long-range strategic plan for the Fort Worth Community Arts Center and a broad-based cultural plan for the arts in Fort Worth. In challenging circumstances, these institutions and the people they serve continue to count on Scott for his counsel, steady hand, and grit.
B.A., summa cum laude, Texas Christian University
- Phi Beta Kappa
- TCU Student Body President
J.D., with honors, The University of Texas at Austin School of Law
- International and Comparative Law Study, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella School of Law, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1998
Immersive Language Studies:
- Spanish in Cuernavaca, Mexico, 1997, and Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1998
- German in Prien-am-Chiemsee, Germany, 1995
- Danish in Søndersø, Denmark, 1990-1991
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
United States District Court for the Eastern, Northern, Southern, and Western Districts of Texas
Representative matters Scott has handled as lead counsel include:
- Led legal team for Fortune 500 client pursuing recovery of assets in real estate and title fraud scheme involving more than $20 million in stolen proceeds.
- Successfully led legal team for Fortune 500 client in intricately webbed $30 million land title dispute for control and ownership of one of the largest residential property complexes in Dallas, Texas.
- Led $40 million land title litigation spanning multiple jurisdictions challenging the post-judgment judicial sale orders of an out-of-state receiver, resulting in a take-nothing judgment in the client’s favor.
- Lead negotiator of $12 million settlement of complex, hotly contested claims between developers regarding the ownership of commercial real estate in downtown Houston.
- Won summary judgment on behalf of landowners ending decade-long dispute over title to 6000 acres of storied Texas ranch land and at trial obtained significant award for attorney’s fees.
- Won a take-nothing summary judgment on behalf of title underwriter and title agent on claims alleging breach of contract and negligence in a real estate closing.
- Led legal team for private equity fund client, won injunction establishing corporate control, and won summary judgment on multi-million contract dispute with a joint venture partner regarding ownership, control, and the future development of an oil and gas “land farm.”
- Won a significant trial victory for client embroiled in a multi-jurisdiction battle with his business partner for corporate control of the energy company they co-founded. Court found that former business partner committed fraud, stole company assets, usurped corporate opportunities, committed perjury under cross-examination, violated the automatic stay in bankruptcy, and in general manipulated the bankruptcy system for his benefit and to the detriment of others.
- Lead negotiator for release of conservation easement with addition of environmentally sensitive greenspace in the City of San Antonio with multiple political, governmental, private, and non-profit stakeholders.
- Won a take-nothing defense verdict on behalf of a leading manufacturer of doors and windows in a jury trial on a complex $4 million commercial contract claim involving termination of a sales agency agreement and misappropriation of trade secrets.
- Won a take-nothing defense verdict in a federal jury trial on behalf of a financial services client on claims alleging violations of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
- Selected, led and managed team of lawyers in successful defense of Fortune 500 national financial services firm in a nationwide federal class action lawsuit brought under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
- As outside General Counsel to nonprofit Possum Kingdom Lake Association, advised board with respect to selection of legal team and oversaw legal work involving contract negotiations with Brazos River Authority to obtain TCEQ regulatory compliance and implement new water management plan for the entire Brazos River Basin following historic drought of record.
- Lead negotiator for and legal advisor to the Arts Council of Fort Worth on all government contracts with City of Fort Worth for management of the Fort Worth Community Arts Center and the Arts Council grants program.
- As outside General Counsel to mission-driven clients University Christian Church and the Arts Council of Fort Worth, oversees selection of legal teams as needed and necessary legal work to effectuate business, real estate, and employment needs.
- Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow (top 1/3 of 1% of all attorneys in Texas)
- “Top Attorneys” List, Civil Law Litigation, Fort Worth Magazine, 2017
- “Best Lawyers Under 40” List, D Magazine, 2006
- Rising Star, Super Lawyers – Rising Stars by Thomson Reuters, 2007-2011
Co-Authored “Clients in Crisis in the Multiparty Context: The Common Interest Privilege,” presented on August 2, 2002, in San Antonio, Texas in connection with the 2002 Texas Bar CLE conference Clients in Crisis: Strategic Planning, Aftermath Management, and Litigation Scenarios
- Texas Land Title Association, Legislative Committee, 2012-Present
- Master of the Eldon B. Mahon Inn of Court, 2016-2021
- University Christian Church, Fort Worth, Texas
- Chair of the Board, 2013-14
- Vice Chair of the Board, 2012
- Chair, Personnel Committee, 2016-2018
- Arts Council of Fort Worth
- Chair, 2019
- Vice Chair, 2015-2018
- Executive Committee, 2012-2021
- Texas Christian University
- AddRan College of Liberal Arts Board of Visitors, Director, 2009-2017
- National Alumni Board, Director, 2004-2005
- Addison & Randolph Clark Society Board, Director, 1998-2004
- Class of 1996 Gift Campaign, Co-Chair, 2001, 2006
- Possum Kingdom Lake Association, Director, 2006-2015
- Park Royal Neighborhood Association, President, 2004-2008
- Dad’s Club Volunteer at Lily B. Clayton Elementary School
- State Bar of Texas
- Tarrant County Bar Association