From shareholder derivative suits to breach of contract actions to subprime mortgage litigation, our Business Litigation practice is as diverse and vital as the commercial marketplace itself. Every day in cases filed in courthouses and arbitration forums throughout Texas and across the country, our trial attorneys help clients resolve business disputes of all sizes and varieties.
We handle litigation and trials for national and regional banks, securities issuers, underwriters and broker-dealers, real estate developers and investors, private equity firms, hedge funds and investors, energy companies and royalty owners, tech giants and start-ups, and a myriad of firms engaged in today’s ever-evolving and increasingly complex business and commercial marketplace. Our trial lawyers prosecute and defend contract, securities, finance, employment, IP, media, insurance, class actions, antitrust, defamation, unfair competition, and a variety of other types of commercial litigation.
Recently, our business litigators were tapped in a nationwide class action involving alleged underpayment of policy benefits by insurers; complex securities claims against directors of a failed multi-billion dollar subprime mortgage lender; a federal court jury trial of a dispute over an option to purchase a network affiliated television station; breach of fiduciary duty and tortious interference claims arising from an unsuccessful corporate merger; misrepresentation claims at a start-up technology firm; an antitrust action against a national poultry processor; disputes involving Texas oil & gas rights owners; and a host of other commercial and business matters.
The practice group includes six members of the American College of Trial Lawyers and dozens of attorneys ranked in national or statewide top-lawyer directories. Partners in the section have an average of 25 years of courtroom experience, as well as diverse backgrounds in industries ranging from accounting, aviation, oil and gas, journalism and academia.
- In re: the W. T. Waggoner Estate. 46th District Court, Wilbarger County (2016). Represented the court appointed receiver in the sale of the Waggoner Ranch and successfully devised a strategy to end the litigation.
- United States ex rel. Parikh, M.D. v. Citizens Med. Ctr. 5th (2014). Successfully represented the relators in a qui tam lawsuit brought under the False Claims Act against a South Texas hospital. The parties agreed to settle claims brought under the Act for a total of $23,550,000. The district court denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court’s ruling. The defendants sought panel rehearing and later en banc rehearing; however, the Fifth Circuit rejected both motions for rehearing. The case was settled on May 7, 2015.
- Hoffman v. Martinez, et al., D. Tex (2014). Secured a complete victory for its clients when the judge dismissed with prejudice all claims against David Martinez and Studio Capital Inc. The judge later signed a take-nothing amended judgment and assessed costs against the plaintiff in a high-profile case involving the sale of a Mark Rothko painting from a major benefactor of the Dallas Museum of Art. The judge’s ruling was the latest development in the case, which was tried before a jury in December 2013. Jackson Walker served as lead trial counsel and local counsel during the jury trial, which also resulted in a favorable verdict for the client. Case dismissed September 2014; currently on appeal to the Fifth Circuit.
- BSAG, Inc. and Bob Stallings Nissan of Baytown v. Nissan North America, Inc., 127th District Court, Harris County (2014). Representing the plaintiffs, won a jury verdict for over $9.5 million against Nissan North America, Inc. for breach of a settlement agreement. The jury found that Nissan breached an agreement to settle the underlying lawsuit, which involved claims of fraud, tortious interference, and breach of an asset purchase agreement for the sale of a Baytown Nissan dealership to plaintiffs. Only days later, before a jury trial of the underlying claims, Nissan and Jackson Walker’s clients reached a confidential settlement.
- New Process Steel, L.P. v. Jimmy C. Kollaja, 164th District Court, Harris County (2014). Representing client New Process Steel as Plaintiff, prevailed after a three-week jury trial on theft and breach of fiduciary duty claims against New Process Steel’s former Senior Vice President of Finance.
- Hawkins v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., D. Tex. (2013). As lead counsel, Jackson Walker successfully represented 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. The court dismissed the class action complaint and held that the home equity loan modifications did not violate the Texas Constitution. Plaintiffs appealed the decision; in 2015 the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal, 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. Dismissal of putative class action affirmed by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, but remanded 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. On remand, plaintiff voluntarily dismissed her claims.
- Tejas Casing, Inc. v. IPSCO Tubulars, Inc.,D. Tex (2013). Successfully represented IPSCO Tubulars Inc. in a breach of contract case brought by Tejas Casing Ltd. At the conclusion of a two-week jury trial, the Jackson Walker trial team secured a judgment in favor of IPSCO, denying any recovery to Tejas on its multimillion-dollar claim and awarding thousands of dollars to IPSCO on its counterclaim. Plaintiff sued IPSCO Tubulars for breach and repudiation of a two-year contract, alleging that IPSCO failed to supply minimum quantities and an alleged premature and unfounded notice of termination cause.
- Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan Dallas, Inc. v. BHD FW, Inc. 5th (2013) won victory for client, the Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan Dallas, Inc., when the Court of Appeals for the Fifth District of Texas in Dallas reversed the trial court’s order denying BBB Dallas’ motion to dismiss pursuant to the Texas Citizens Participation Act (TCPA), the state’s anti-SLAPP statute. On appeal, the court cited one previous cases involving the TCPA that were successfully argued by Jackson Walker on behalf of the BBB. Jackson Walker previously obtained the first court victory under the TCPA just two months after the new law went into effect.
- Southern Chemical Corporation v. Celanese, Ltd., 190th District Court, Harris County (2012). Won a significant victory for its client in a lawsuit over a methanol supply contract important to Celanese’s operations in the United States and Mexico. The plaintiff sued over the contract, alleging fraudulent inducement, tortious interference with contract, unjust enrichment, and breach of contract, and they also sought early termination of the parties’ 10-year agreement. At the conclusion of a four-week trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Celanese, finding that they did not violate the terms of the contract and that the agreement should continue until its expiration. The jury also awarded Celanese $558,198 on its counterclaim for breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing.
- Republic First Bank vs. Jemal, D. Penn. (2012). Defended Southwest Securities and its broker in a multi-million dollar fraud case brought by Republic First Bank of Philadelphia. Plaintiff claimed that Jackson Walker’s clients misrepresented the value of a customer’s assets, allowing the customer to obtain millions of dollars in loans from the bank. The plaintiff sought over $33 million in RICO damages, in addition to claims for fraud, conspiracy and concerted tortious conduct. The jury returned a take-nothing verdict in favor of both Southwest Securities and its broker after a two-week trial.
- Esperanza Properties, L.P. & Louis Scott Felder v. Serengeti Resort, LLC and Lori Hagee, 216th District Court, Kendall County (2012). Secured a take-nothing verdict for its client in a highly contested dispute between two limited partners arising from the management and sale of millions of dollars in partnership property. The weeklong jury trial focused on numerous allegations of breach of fiduciary duty brought by a limited partner against Jackson Walker’s client, who was also a limited partner and sole director of the general partnership at issue. The principal focus was on whether the general partner had the authority to enter certain transactions and whether those transactions resulted in a breach of fiduciary duty. The plaintiff sought millions of dollars in damages, punitive damages, and attorneys’ fees.
- Texas Beef Group, et al. v. Oprah Winfrey,D. Tex. (2000). Obtained a jury verdict for clients, Oprah Winfrey and Harpo Productions, after a six-week jury trial over claims she had engaged in unlawful agricultural product disparagement and defamation. The verdict was affirmed on appeal. 201 F.3d 680, 5th Cir.
- In re: Simmons Family Trust Litigation, St. Ct. (1998). Represented one of the plaintiffs in a trust litigation related to substantial asset amassed by corporate raider and executive. After an eight-week trial ended with a hung jury, the parties entered into a settlement that totaled approximately $100 million. The case was covered in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.
- Kaepa, Inc. v. Achilles Corporation,D. Tex (1998). Won a take nothing judgment after a ten-week jury trial in a case filed by San Antonio based Kaepa, Inc. against Tokyo based Achilles Corporation, a Japanese corporation which is a leading manufacturer and distributor of shoes in Japan, and a maker of many industrial products. Kaepa sought $90 million in damages for breach of contract and fraud in connection with the distribution of Kaepa athletic shoes in Japan.