Overview

For more than 27 years, Don has been litigating complex business and intellectual property matters. He has successfully handled disputes over contracts, royalties, damaged wells, lease terminations, joint operating agreements, product liability, eminent domain, trade secrets, trademarks, and patents. Don’s five years of pre-law experience as an engineer enables him to cut directly to the heart of any case involving technology issues, as exemplified by these representative matters:

  • Lead counsel for an oil and gas operator and obtained involuntary dismissal of a non-operator’s claims for alleged breaches of a JOA
  • Lead counsel for an equipment manufacturer and obtained voluntary dismissal of a pumper’s personal injury claims after proving the client’s equipment did not cause an oilfield explosion
  • Co-counsel for an oilfield service company sued by an operator after a well collapse and successfully prosecuted the client’s non-payment claims against the operator
  • Co-counsel for an international oilfield service company in trade secret litigation and defeated a temporary injunction request, leading to a favorable settlement with a rival oilfield service company
  • Lead counsel for a major Eagle Ford Shale operator sued for underground trespass and obtained a take nothing summary judgment after successfully striking the opponent’s engineering expert
  • Lead counsel for a South Texas oilfield operator suing for underground trespass and obtained a favorable settlements with the offset operator of a hazardous waste disposal well
  • Lead counsel for a supermajor offshore operator and obtained a multi-million dollar recovery against a lifeboat manufacturer for breach of warranty
  • Co-counsel for a catalyst manufacturer against a former executive who misappropriated a trade secret formula  and obtained a permanent injunction and damages after a federal court jury trial
  • Lead counsel for a world scale fertilizer manufacturer, obtained involuntary dismissal of a transporter’s claims for breach of contract and tortious interference
  • Lead counsel for  an oilfield operator and obtained substantial settlements from a manufacturer of defective well casing and an inspection company
  • Lead counsel for a supermajor’s pipeline affiliate and obtained a $4.3 million arbitration award and full recovery from a manufacturer of defective valves
  • Lead counsel for an oilfield service company in a trade secret/fiduciary duty dispute and achieved a walkaway after filing counterclaims against a rival oilfield service company
  • Lead counsel for a major oilfield operator in trademark infringement litigation and obtained a permanent injunction against a start-up service company
  • Co-counsel for a world scale semiconductor manufacturer in a trade secret trial that  resulted in a $200 million settlement for the client
  • Lead counsel for an oilfield operator in multiple lease termination disputes and negotiated lease extensions
  • Lead counsel for a working interest owner and successfully removed the operator for misappropriating joint interest funds.
  • Represented the leading energy drink supplier in a test case for a nationwide trademark infringement campaign and obtained a permanent injunction and damages against a leading Houston bar and restaurant
  • Defended a major chemical company in patent infringement litigation and obtained a favorable settlement
  • Co-counsel for a supermajor’s gas marketing affiliate accused of conspiring to defraud a former counterparty and obtained a favorable settlement after a month-long jury trial
  • Lead counsel for a nationwide funeral service company in trademark litigation against a competitor and obtained a permanent injunction and damages
  • Represented a supermajor’s pipeline affiliate in numerous eminent domain cases and obtained rights-of-way for a new pipeline.
  • Lead counsel at trial and on appeal for the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee of the Texas Supreme Court and obtained affirmance of a permanent injunction.
  • Texas Bar Foundation - Life Fellow

News & Publications

Publications

Honors & Recognition

  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© for his work in Product Liability Litigation, 2012-2021
  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© for his work in Commercial Litigation, 2020-2021
  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© for his work in Oil and Gas Law, 2021
  • Selected for inclusion in Texas Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, in Energy & Natural Resources, Business Litigation, and Intellectual Property Litigation, 2013-2020
  • Peer rating of AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5 by Martindale Hubbell

Community & Professional

  • State Bar of Texas
  • Registered to practice before U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
  • Houston Bar Association, Oil, Gas & Mineral Law Section (Chair, 2010-2011)
  • Houston Intellectual Property Law Association
  • Houston Bar Foundation, Fellow

Education

The University of Texas School of Law, J.D. with honors 1993; Order of the Coif; Articles and Notes Editor, Texas International Law Journal

The University of Houston, M.S.in Chemical Engineering 1984

Southern Methodist University, B.S. in Chemistry, 1981 (magna cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa)

Bar admissions

  • Texas
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Court admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas

Languages

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