Jude K.A. des Bordes

Biography

Jude des Bordes is an attorney in the Houston office of Cokinos | Young.  His practice focuses primarily on personal injury, wrongful death, and commercial litigation.  Jude received his J.D. with honors from South Texas College of Law Houston where he was selected for the varsity moot court team, competing in the National Energy & Sustainability and National Civil Rights and Liberties Moot Court competitions in 2018.  He was an active member of campus organizations including the Black Law Student Association and the Oil & Gas Law Society for which he served as the Student Outreach Coordinator.  While in school, Jude served as intern for the Honorable Reed O’Connor of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

Education

  • South Texas College of Law Houston – J.D., cum laude, 2019
    – Presidential Fellow
    – Dean’s List
  • University of Houston – B.S. Biology, 2016

Recognitions & Distinctions

  • CALI Award for Academic Excellence in Legal Research & Writing, Professional Responsibility, and Family Law

Publications

  • Jude des Bordes, Lightning Oil: The Erosion of Mineral Estate Rights, 2 Harry L. Reed Inst. of Oil & Gas Energy Newsletter 3 (2018)

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Houston Young Lawyers Association

Admissions

  • State Bar of Texas
  • United States District Court: Southern & Western Districts of Texas

Randall L. Brim

Biography

Randy grew up in Los Angeles, Dallas and Tyler, but has lived in Houston since 1984 after moving here to attend law school. During his first 15 years of practice, Randy worked principally as a litigator and as an appellate lawyer, handling both federal and state court appeals, including arguments before the Supreme Court of Texas and briefing to the Supreme Court of the United States. Since then, he has transitioned to focus primarily on corporate, transactional and real estate work, although he remains actively involved in litigation, appellate law, construction law, employment law and other matters.

Randy has two children, Connor and Kendall. He has spent many years working with several lacrosse-related organizations and coaching girls high school lacrosse. Randy is also past Captain with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

Education

  • South Texas College of Law – J.D., 1987
    – South Texas Law Review
  • Texas Christian University – B.B.A., 1982

Speaking Engagements & Presentations

  • Speaker, Insurance Bad Faith Claims Handling Seminars

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Houston Bar Association, Member

Admissions

  • State Bar of Texas (1987)
  • United States District Court: Southern District of Texas

Community Involvement

  • S. Lacrosse (Houston Chapter), Executive Committee
  • C.U. National Alumni Association, Past Director
  • C.U. Young Alumni Association (Houston Chapter), Past President
  • The Woodlands Girls Lacrosse Association, Past President
  • Division Coordinator, Coach, FFPS Soccer, Past Commissioner
  • Boy Scouts of America, Troop 1772, Eagle Scout Advisor, Past Scoutmaster, Past Troop Committee Chairman

David A. Brooks

Biography

David is a native Houstonian and graduate of Bellaire High School. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Houston and his law degree from South Texas College of Law. David works as a transactional real estate attorney with a focus on the telecommunications industry, including the acquisition of easements and leases, title review, and risk assessment related to telecommunications tower sites. David also has significant experience representing clients in connection with the acquisition, development, and disposition of property as well as the negotiation of commercial and retail leases.

Education

  • South Texas College of Law – J.D., magna cum laude, 2014
    – Recipient of the Dean Elizabeth Dennis Award for Distinguished Service
    – Recipient of CALI Excellence for the Future Awards in Contracts I; Torts II; and Wills, Trusts & Estates
    – Recipient of Dean’s Merit Scholarship
    – South Texas Law Review, Member
  • The University of Houston – B.A., 2010

Representative Experience

  • Extensive representation of a telecommunications client in connection with the acquisition and extension of property interests in cell tower sites
  • Represented clients in negotiations for the purchase and sale of improved and unimproved commercial properties
  • Represented landowner clients in the negotiation of leases for solar farms and wind farms for the generation of clean energy
  • Represented a client in acquiring and redeveloping city-designated historic property
  • Assisted with the development of multi-family and single-family residential projects
  • Represents commercial landlords and tenants in the negotiation of commercial office leases and retail leases
  • Preparation of covenants, conditions, and restrictions for retail centers and lease forms for office and retail leases
  • Miscellaneous work related to real estate transactions of all kinds, including the formation of entities and negotiation of financing

Publications

  • Depository Trust Company and the Omnibus Proxy: Shareholder Voting in the Era of Share Immobilization, 56 S. Tex. L. Rev. 205 (2014)

Memberships and Affiliations

  • State Bar of Texas, Member
  • Houston Bar Association, Member
  • Young Lawyers Association, Member

Admissions

  • State Bar of Texas (2014)

Serena A. Kramer

Biography

Serena was born in Memphis but has lived in Houston most of her life.  She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Houston and her law degree from South Texas College of Law.  She has two boys with her husband, Evan, a Plainview native.  Serena joined Singleton Cooksey in 1992, working principally as a litigator and appellate lawyer.  After leaving in 2001 to become a full-time stay-at-home mom, she returned to the firm in 2007, as a transactional real estate attorney with an emphasis on title and survey review, title curative work, buyer and seller due diligence, including for multifamily purchase and sale transactions.  Serena’s practice has also included risk assessments, communications tower-related easements and leases, acquisitions of communications towers, individually and as part of a portfolio, and commercial leasing.   In addition to her legal practice, Serena served as a volunteer in various capacities at her children’s elementary, middle and high schools over the years, at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and with BSA Troop 30, and she is actively involved as a volunteer with the West Point Parents’ Club of Greater Houston, serving as the co-chair of the Texas Tamale Tailgate at West Point in 2021.

Education

  • South Texas College of Law – J.D., cum laude, 1990
    – South Texas Law Review, Asst. Editor
    – Order of the Lytae
    – Texas Trial Lawyers Association Law Review Writing Award (1988)
    – Corpus Juris Secundum Award (Scholastic Excellence in Constitutional Law, Federal Procedure, and Texas Post-Trial and Appellate Procedure)
  • The University of Houston – B.S., 1987

Publications

  • Author, The Eleventh Amendment Should Not Protect States from Liability Suits in Federal Court Under CERCLA and SARA, 20 State Bar of Texas Environmental Law Section Law Journal 74 (1990)

Memberships and Affiliations

  • State Bar of Texas, Member

Admissions

  • State Bar of Texas (1990)
  • United States District Court: Southern District of Texas
  • United States Courts of Appeals, Fifth & Federal Circuit

Community Involvement

  • West Point Parents’ Club of Greater Houston (Volunteer and 2021 Co-Chair of the Texas Tamale Tailgate at West Point)

Taylor V. Cooksey

Biography

Taylor Cooksey is a Principal in the Houston office of Cokinos | Young, where he leads the firm’s Real Estate Transactions practice group and is also a member of its Corporate practice group.

Taylor has over 43 years of experience as a real estate and corporate transactions attorney.  Listed below under Representative Experience are some of the general categories and examples of Taylor’s experience.  Specific transactions within those categories vary in the amount of money involved.  Although typical transactions may range from $5M to $100M, some may be less, and others in the past have involved more than $1B, including up to $16B.

Prior to its attorneys joining Cokinos | Young, Taylor was the managing member of Singleton Cooksey, a notable boutique firm with as many as 12 attorneys practicing in Houston for more than 40 years in the areas of real estate and corporate transactions, and commercial litigation.

Taylor has a history of active involvement in the community, including in youth sports and urban redevelopment projects.  He and his wife, Nancy enjoy spending time at their second home in the North Carolina mountains.

Education

  • South Texas College of Law – J.D., 1978
  • University of Texas at Austin – B.A., 1973
    (also attended Washington & Lee University)

Recognitions & Distinctions

  • AV rated by Martindale Hubbell Peer Review rating; the highest rating possible
  • Houston Bar Foundation, Fellow

Representative Experience

  • Development of multi-family projects (multiple cities and states), single-family residential projects (including master-planned communities and coastal and lake developments), office buildings, retail, condominiums, museums, banks, schools and youth sports facilities
  • Miscellaneous work related to the foregoing and other transactions, including financing, ground leasing, formation of entities, tax-free exchanges, legal opinions
  • Urban redevelopment (including public/private partnership, tax abatement, street abandonments)
  • Purchase and sale of raw land, income-producing commercial properties, and residential properties
  • Landlord/Tenant leasing
  • Multi-state acquisitions of portfolios of thousands of cell towers, and extensions of site rights through ground lease extensions and fee and easement acquisitions

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Houston Bar Association, Member
  • American Bar Association, Member
  • Stella Link Redevelopment Association, Past President
  • Past Director of Two National Banks

Admissions

  • State Bar of Texas (1978)

Community Involvement

  • West University Little League, Past President
  • West University Softball Association, Past Director

Beau E. LeBlanc

Biography

Beau E. LeBlanc is a member of the firm with a practice focusing on complex commercial litigation, construction-related dispute resolution and advice, general contract advice, as well as admiralty and insurance litigation. Among the clients Beau serves are onshore and offshore energy and marine general and EPC contractors, shipyards, marine and rig fabrication companies, land-based contractors and vendors, design and engineering firms, marine transportation and offshore service companies, marine and energy power manufacturers/service providers, and heavy equipment manufacturers.

Beau has significant experience in prosecuting and defending against claims in complex commercial, construction, maritime and insurance matters, in state and federal courts – on the district court and appellate levels – in Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi, as well as in domestic and international arbitrations administered by the American Arbitration Association and the London Court of International Arbitration.

Beau’s litigation and arbitration experience has included the preparation, litigation and/or trial of claims addressing: commercial contract breaches, delay, disruption and acceleration, cumulative impacts, disputed changes orders, warranty or guarantee obligations, force majeure, contractual liquidated damages, non-competition agreements, breach of fiduciary duties, fraudulent transfers, builder’s risk and other insurance coverage issues, bonds/letters of credit, exoneration from and/or limitation of liability and personal injury/death.

Beau has negotiated, drafted or advised upon a wide range of commercial and construction-related contracts, including EPC contracts, new construction and repair contracts, master service agreements, design and engineering contracts, purchase orders, professional service agreements, joint venture/teaming agreements, bonds and letters of credit, non-competition agreements, as well as charter party and other agreements in the admiralty context.

Prior to undertaking his private practice, Beau served as a full-time law clerk from 1998-1999 to the Honorable G. Thomas Porteous, Jr., District Court Judge, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana.

Education

  • University of Virginia School of Law – J.D., 1998
  • Georgetown University – B.A., with honors, 1995

Recognitions & Distinctions

  • Named to the Louisiana Rising Stars list as one of the top up-and-coming attorneys in Louisiana for 2012
  • Best Lawyer in America 2023: Admiralty and Maritime Law

Representative Experience

  • Represented international contractor in an arbitration administered by the International Centre for Dispute Resolution under UNCITRAL rules against major energy company (owner) related to engineering, production, and construction of a deep water production facility hull, topsides and mooring system. Prosecuted over $110 million in claims by contractor for cumulative engineering and fabrication productivity impacts, acceleration, and individual change orders. Defended owner’s counterclaims of over $130 million for consequential damages, clawbacks of settled change orders and defective engineering and fabrication. This matter involved a multi-week hearing in Houston, Texas before a three member tribunal.
  • Represented U.S. contractor in an arbitration administered by the London Court of International Arbitration (“LCIA”) against the owner, an independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company (owner was purchased during the dispute by a major energy company), to resolve disputes arising out of a contract for the manufacture, fabrication, assembly, supply, testing and delivery of a fixed production platform for processing natural gas in a large field off the coast of Israel. Prosecuted approximately $70 million in claims by contractor for disputed change orders for additional / revised work, loss of productivity, disruption and acceleration. Defended owner’s counterclaims of approximately $12 million for liquidated and general damages, lost and damaged material and incomplete / carryover work. This matter involved a three week hearing in London before a three member tribunal.
  • Represented a US shipbuilder in an AAA arbitration against owner — a provider of marine transportation services to exploration and production, oilfield service and offshore construction – on a shipbuilding contract dispute related to design, construction and warranty defects on a series of ten (10) offshore supply vessels. Defended contractor against $50 million in claims by owner. Took lead on largest owner claim relating to Electrical and Instrumentation issues. Prosecuted $3 million in claims by contractor relating to unpaid baseline adjustments, extra work and excessive LDs charged. This matter involved several multi-week hearings before a three member tribunal in New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • Represented international contractor in AAA arbitration arising from transportation and installation of completed and assembled deepwater production facility, including over $38 million in disputed change orders and project delays. Defended claims for installation delay and for alleged defective work.
  • Represented U.S. contractor in an arbitration administered by the London Court of International Arbitration (“LCIA”) under UNCITRAL Rules against an international shipbuilder. The matter involved a multi-week hearing in London before a three member tribunal. The EPC contract was for the detail design, procurement, fabrication, loadout and seafastening of two tower sections for a fixed, deepwater offshore platform for oil and gas production off the coast of Africa. As a result of design delays, work growth and subsequent acceleration of the schedule, the contractor claimed entitlement to additional costs approximating $18 million.
  • Represented US fabricator in $18 million dispute in federal district court in Texas with drilling contractor related to the construction and integration of two deepwater, state-of-the art drillships. Pursued claims resulting from contract breaches, extra-contractual work and project impacts arising from late and defective design, increased work scope, compensable schedule delays and impacts.
  • Represented contractor in a Society of Maritime Arbitrators arbitration with the owner regarding the design and construction of a first-in-kind dual mode ATB trailing suction hopper dredge. The matter involved competing breach of contract claims of over $45 million relating to contract default, termination, claims for additional compensation for changes, delay, disruption and costs to complete with another company
  • Represented U.S. industrial construction contractor in a dispute with an oil and gas producer regarding an EPC contract for the construction of a gas ‐ treating and sulphur recovery plant in Canada. The contractor claimed damages resulting from an incomplete design and specifications. Contractor’s claims included incorporating new owner requirements, correcting the specifications, changes and growth to the work and resulting impacts. The total amount in dispute was approximately $100 million.
  • Represented owner / charterer of inland and offshore towing vessels, barges and crewboats against purchasers of two tugboats in Eastern District of Louisiana dispute relating to breach of a non-compete provision relating to charters in a vessel sales agreement. Prevailed against purchasers with $6.75 million judgment, which was successfully defended on appeal to the U.S. Fifth Circuit. Prosecuted further claims against global mergers, acquisitions, and operations company (parent) for fraudulent transfers and piercing of corporate veil.
  • Represented owner of two barges in successful limitation of liability action in the U.S. Southern District of Mississippi with respect to claims by the MDOT relating to the allision of those two barges into the I-10 bridge near Pascagoula, Mississippi, causing over $6 million in damages, as a result of Hurricane Katrina.

Memberships & Affiliations

  • American Bar Association (Member, ABA Forum on Construction Law and ABA Litigation Section)
  • Louisiana State Bar Association (Member, Fidelity, Surety & Construction Law Section; Civil Law & Litigation Section; and Alternative Dispute Resolution Section)
  • State Bar of Texas (Member, Construction Law Section)
  • New Orleans Bar Association
  • Houston Bar Association (Member, Construction Law Section)
  • Partner Member of the Shipbuilders Council of America

Admissions

  • State Bar of Texas
  • State Bar of Louisiana
  • United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • United States District Court: Eastern, Western & Middle Districts of Louisiana
  • United States District Court: Northern, Eastern & Southern Districts of Texas
  • United States District Court: Southern District of Mississippi
  • United States Bankruptcy Court: Southern District of Mississippi
  • United States District Court: Southern District of Alabama

Cory M. Curtis

Biography

Cory Curtis focuses his litigation practice on complex business disputes and injury cases. In handling all aspects of commercial cases, Cory helps his clients achieve both their legal and business objectives.

Cory’s experience extends to a variety of litigation matters, including contract and partnership disputes, collection matters, business torts, construction, distribution and franchise, and trade secret disputes. Cory devotes a substantial amount of his practice to defending equipment manufacturers in product liability cases in state and federal courts throughout the country. He also represents energy companies in catastrophic injury and wrongful death claims.

Education

  • University of Denver Sturm College of Law – J.D., 2003
  • Hope College – B.A., 1999

Representation Experience

  • Prevailed in seven-day administrative law trial before Texas State Office of Administrative Hearings for Class 8 truck manufacturer by showing manufacturer’s good cause to reduce dealer’s area of responsibility because of dealer’s poor sales and service performance and successfully defended case on appeal.
  • Secured jury verdict and awarded attorney’s fees and costs for drilling company client in case involving breach of the International Association of Drilling Contractor’s form contract in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. Prosecuted the drilling company’s breach of contract case and defended against operator’s counterclaims for breach of contract.
  • Prevailed in appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in a dealership termination dispute between an equipment manufacturer and an equipment dealer. The Sixth Circuit ruled in favor of the client that the dealer was not permitted to shield the federal case record from public access on concerns that publicity would harm the dealership. Rudd Equip. Co., Inc. v. John Deere Constr. & Forestry Co., 834 F.3d 589 (6th Cir. 2016).
  • Secured jury verdict for publicly traded engineering and manufacturing company in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado by arguing that the client’s carbon steel boat steering cable design was not defective, and the jury should decide that issue using the risk-benefit test, not the consumer expectation test. Defended verdict on appeal. Kokins, et al. v. Teleflex Inc., 621 F.3d 1290 (10th Cir. 2010).
  • Awarded summary judgment for component part supplier in a California federal court strict product liability and fraud case involving a failed microtunnel boring machine. Nada Pacific Corp. v. Power Engineering & Mfg., Ltd., 73 F. Supp. 3d 1206 (N.D. Cal. 2014).
  • Awarded summary judgment in favor of an engineering client in case involving alleged storage silo failures by arguing the parties’ contracts defeated claims for third-party beneficiary status and implied warranty in a Pennsylvania federal court. Lone Star Industries, Inc. v. Besser Company, Civ. Action No. 11-1481, 2013 WL (April 17, 2013, E.D. Pa.).
  • After nearly a decade of litigation in New York state court, secured agreement to transfer venue to arbitration and later won defense award for manufacturer facing claims by former partner over a failed joint venture to sell equipment to factories in Greece.
  • Awarded summary judgment for publicly traded engineering and manufacturing firm in catastrophic injury and quadriplegia products liability case in Maricopa County, Arizona, by defeating plaintiffs’ causation theory where plaintiffs sought more than $30 million in damages.
  • Awarded summary judgment for equipment seller in a warranty case in New York County, New York, by arguing the buyers’ claims were barred by the statute of limitations. The buyers were required to pay for the goods and the installation services the client provided in China.

Speaking Engagements & Presentations

  • Collignon and Curtis Speak on “Interviewing for Diversity Scholarships” at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law (11/1/2013)

Memberships & Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • Colorado Bar Association
  • Texas Bar Association

Admissions

  • State Bar of Texas
  • State Bar of Colorado
  • United States District Court: District of Nebraska
  • United States District Court: Eastern District of Michigan
  • United States District Court: District of Colorado
  • United States District Court: Northern, Eastern & Southern District of Texas
  • United States Courts of Appeals, Sixth & Tenth Circuit

Community Involvement

  • Board Member, Alumni Council, University of Denver Sturm College of Law (2016-present)
  • Chairman, Businesses of Thornton Advisory Commission (2012-2014)

Graham P. Quinn

Biography

Graham Quinn is an attorney in the Houston office of Cokinos | Young. His practice primarily focuses on construction law and commercial litigation, representing residential, commercial, and industrial construction clients. Graham received his J.D. from South Texas College of Law Houston in May of 2021. While in law school, Graham served as a judicial intern for the Honorable Richard Hightower, Justice, of the First Court of Appeals of Texas. Graham received his B.B.A. in Management from Texas Tech University in May of 2018.

Education

  • South Texas College of Law Houston – J.D., 2021
  • Texas Tech University – B.B.A., 2018

Judicial Experience

  • Judicial Intern for the Honorable Richard Hightower, Justice, First Court of Appeals of Texas

Publications

  • For the Good of the Game: The Role and Authority of the Commissioner of Baseball During the Sport’s Biggest Scandal, 24 U. Denv. Sports & Ent. L.J. 109 (Spring 2021).

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Texas Bar Association: Construction Law Section

Admissions

  • State Bar of Texas

Katie D. Nash

Biography

Katie Nash is an associate in the Houston office of Cokinos | Young, where she is a member of the Corporate & Real Estate Transactions practice group.  Katie’s practice primarily focuses on corporate governance, private equity matters, mergers and acquisitions, and the ongoing general representation to clients regarding businesses of all types, where she advises on all aspects of the corporate life cycle from formation to growth, reorganization, restructuring, and finally to winding up.  Katie also represents clients in commercial and residential real estate transactions, debt and equity financing, employment issues, complex business contract negotiations and related transactional matters.

Education

  • St. Mary’s University School of Law – J.D., 2013
    – Editorial Board, Mary’s Law Journal, Volume 44
  • University of Texas at Austin – B.A. English, 2009

Representative Experience

  • Represented various clients in the formation of limited liability corporations, nonprofit corporations, and other corporate entities.
  • Represented various clients in asset and equity acquisitions and sales
  • Represented client as seller of company assets for $4.5 million
  • Represented client as purchaser in a joint venture buyout for $15 million
  • Represented various in preparation of financing documents
  • Prepared and revised proprietary forms for clients for the leasing and acquisition of real property
  • Represented both landlords and tenants in drafting and negotiation various lease spaces

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Houston Bar Association
  • Texas Young Lawyers Association
  • Texas Exes

Admissions

  • State Bar of Texas

Allegra S. Lezak (Melton)

Biography

Allegra Melton Lezak is an attorney in the Houston office of Cokinos | Young. Allegra received her J.D. from The University of Houston Law Center, where she served as Senior Articles Editor for the Houston Journal of International Law. While in law school, she also represented clients in the civil litigation clinic and was a competitive member of the mock trial team.

Allegra’s practice primarily focuses on construction law and commercial litigation. She has experience representing residential and commercial construction clients throughout the litigation and arbitration processes. Allegra’s experience covers a variety of areas including contract and payment disputes, delay disputes, mechanic’s and materialman’s liens, construction defect cases, premises and products liability, negligence, and other residential and commercial construction issues.

Education

  • University of Houston Law Center – J.D., 2018
  • Texas A&M University – B.S., cum laude, 2015

Recognitions & Distinctions

  • Best Lawyers – Ones to Watch 2023: Litigation – Construction

Publications

  • The Independent Injury Claim Against Subcontractors and the Law of Unintended Consequences, The State Bar of Texas Construction Law Journal (Winter 2020)

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Texas Aggie Bar Association
  • Texas Bar Association: Construction Law Section
  • Texas Bar Association: Women and the Law Section
  • Texas Bar Association: Litigation Section

Admissions

  • State Bar of Texas
  • United States District Court: Eastern & Southern District of Texas