Blake E. Jones

Biography

Blake Jones is an attorney in Cokinos | Young’s Houston Office. Blake’s practice is primarily focused on construction law and commercial litigation, and his experience covers a variety of disputes involving breach of contract, differing site conditions, mechanic’s and materialman’s liens, and construction defects.

Blake received his J.D. from Baylor Law School, where he competed as an advocate in the Emory Civil Rights and Liberties moot court competition and won an award for the Top 3 Appellate Briefs. Blake additionally served as Baylor Law Student Ambassador, a member of the Baylor Business Law Society, and a Barrister in Baylor Law’s intra-school moot court competitions. As an undergraduate at The University of Texas at Austin, Blake majored in Energy Finance and earned a Certificate of Energy Management from the McCombs School of Business.

Education

  • Baylor Law School – J.D., 2020
  • University of Texas at Austin – B.A. Energy Finance, 2017

Admissions

  • State Bar of Texas

James S. Richards

Biography

James Richards is a problem solver who serves as a trusted and experienced advocate and advisor for his clients with a focus on construction law and commercial litigation. James is Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Construction Law and is a go-to lawyer for large complex disputes.

James has represented individuals and corporations in a variety of matters ranging from defective construction, to business disputes, to real estate, to director and officer liability. His trial experience includes both jury and bench trials. Additionally, James has significant experience representing property owners associations, contractors, developers, energy companies, and business owners throughout the State of Texas. James has been selected to the Texas Rising Stars list each year from 2018 through 2022 and was named to the Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch list for 2021 and 2022. James is also a Member in the State Bar College and serves as a Texas Bar Foundation Fellow.

James received his B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin with highest honors (summa cum laude) and his J.D. from SMU Dedman School of Law, cum laude. While in law school, he was nominated for the Judge John Kennedy Scholarship for Outstanding Contribution to the Law School, received several moot court awards, served as Articles Editor for SMU’s International Law Review, earned Dean’s List recognition, and was an active participant in the Legal Clinic Program. Through his work in the clinic program, James tried a case in Dallas County Court at Law to a jury verdict while still in law school.

Education

  • Southern Methodist University, Dedman School of Law – J.D., cum laude, 2011
  • University of Texas at Austin – B.A., Highest Honors (summa cum laude), 2008

Recognitions & Distinctions

  • Super Lawyers Texas Rising Stars 2018 – 2021
  • Best Lawyers – Ones to Watch 2021 – 2022: Commercial Litigation, Construction Law & Construction Litigation
  • Houstonia: Houston’s Top Lawyers, 2021-2022
  • Board Certified in Construction Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization

Representative Experience

Litigation

  • Significant experience handling complex commercial and industrial construction matters including productivity claims, delay claims, defective work claims, and payment disputes
  • Represented high-rise condominium community and obtained successful settlement in dispute regarding construction defects resulting in water intrusion via the stucco, windows, and balconies
  • Trial on fraudulent conveyance of real estate resulting in successful verdict for client including the award of attorney’s fees
  • Represented clients in international and domestic arbitrations including under the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
  • Obtained summary judgment finding for client in large multi-party dispute regarding roofing products, warranty claims, installation, and oversight
  • Represented independent energy company in dispute regarding rights pursuant to master services contract
  • Obtained summary judgment finding for communications company in matter regarding the installation of network cabling infrastructure on a government project
  • Advised large hotel in dispute regarding services due under master maintenance agreement
  • Successful resolution via out of court settlement to fraudulent lien matter
  • Represented large multi-state contractor in construction arbitration with subcontractor regarding a delay claim and change order dispute
  • Successfully secured recovery for a client on a prior judgment through garnishment process
  • Obtained summary judgment for client in DTPA and breach of fiduciary duty matter
  • Successfully handled numerous matters for design professionals (architects and engineers)
  • Secured temporary restraining order(s), temporary injunction(s), and permanent injunction(s) for multiple clients
  • Prepared and successfully argued numerous trial and pre-trial motions on behalf of clients and seen numerous cases through resolution, including both via trial, arbitration, and alternate dispute resolution methods

Contractual Agreements/Insurance

  • Negotiated and revised AIA agreements for services on numerous projects
  • Drafted Professional Services Agreement on behalf of engineering and surveying firm including schedule of fees and entitlement to lump sum, scope of services, and all related exhibits
  • Negotiated and incorporated performance bond, indemnity, and liquidated damage obligations into construction contracts
  • Drafted and prepared contracts for the construction of large multi-family apartment complexes including applicable provisions on schedule, progress payments, insurance, indemnification, and warranties
  • Drafted numerous contractual provisions on requisite insurance coverage requirements including as to additional insured status and limitations of coverage
  • Advised clients on coverage positions including under depleting policies, claims made policies, professional liability policies, and as to applicable exclusions

Additional Construction & Real Estate

  • Prepared and advised clients on variety of lien related issues including statutory requirements
  • Handled numerous change order related issues to insure compliance with contractual procedures
  • Handled numerous matters involving bond requirements and surety obligations
  • Handled numerous matters involving bids on government projects and the statutory requirements for such bids including as to competitive bidding as governed by Chapter 2269 of the Texas Government Code
  • Advised client on rights to rescind temporary access to intellectual property (for the concept, design, and renderings) in matter regarding the refurbishment of professional sports stadium

Publications

  • “Top Cases Every Construction Lawyer Should Know.” Presented at Texas Construction Law Conference Basic Course (12/10/21)
  • “Know Your Rights: Limitations and the Discovery Rule.” Construction News, The Industry’s Newspaper (January 2021)
  • “The Texas Two Step: Protecting the Ability to Collect a Judgment.” TX Construction Law Blog (10/2/2018)
  • “The 2017 Changes to the AIA A201 and Implementation of the New Insurance Exhibit: One Year Later.” Construction Law Journal, Volume 14, Number 2 (Summer 2018)
  • “Limitations and the Discovery Rule: Revisiting Bayou Bend Towers Council of Co-Owners” TX Construction Law Blog (05/31/18)
  • Construction Issues: Be Wary of Patch Jobs, FACETS The Journal of Community Associations Institute (VOL XXXVIII, 2014)
  • Standards of Care in Community Associations: A Survey of State Standards – co-author, CAI PRESS (2013)

Memberships & Affiliations

  • American Bar Association, Member
  • Houston Bar Association, Member
  • Construction Law Section of the State Bar of Texas, Member
  • Community Association Institute (CAI), Contributing Author
  • Houston Building Owners & Managers Association (BOMA), Member
  • Phi Beta Kappa, Contributing Member
  • Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • State Bar College, Member

Admissions

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

Roger D. Townsend

Biography

Roger Townsend is recognized as one of the founders of the practice of civil appellate law in Texas. He has subsequently earned a national reputation, culminating in his election as president of the by-invitation-only American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. Due to the depth and breadth of his experience, Roger is frequently asked to moderate panels of appellate judges at national seminars.

Roger’s diverse, national practice includes virtually every type of civil appeal, ranging from antitrust to zoning and all subjects in between. He is a noted expert in energy, oil and gas, contracts, fraud, and business torts. His experience on the Pennzoil v. Texaco, Exxon Valdez, and South Texas Nuclear Project cases taught him how to handle the “monster” appeal. His four decades of experience have included managing complex litigation and presenting complex legal issues to trial courts. Roger has taught appellate advocacy at law schools, as well as taught legal writing at law firms, and demonstrated oral arguments for the State Bar of Texas as a recognized “Master.” He has written numerous of articles, papers, and book chapters, as well as edited two books on appellate practice and advocacy.

Having begun his practice as a trial lawyer with 30 jury verdicts, Roger not only knows his way around the courtroom but also brings his tenacious advocacy to his appellate work. Many of those trials involved construction litigation and architect/engineer malpractice.

Education

  • Harvard Law School – J.D. 1979
  • University of Texas at Arlington – B.A., with highest honors, 1976

Recognition & Distinctions

  • Past President and Fellow, American Academy of Appellate Lawyers
  • Past Chair, Appellate Practice Section, State Bar of Texas 1989-90
  • Past Vice Chair, Appellate Advocacy Committee, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, American Bar Association 1993-95, 2005-06
  • Leading Individual, Appellate Law, Chambers Guide
  • Named Best Lawyers in America Appellate Lawyer of the Year in 2012 and 2017
  • Best Lawyers in America 2006 – 2023: Appellate Practice
  • Texas Super Lawyers since its inception; listed as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Houston, 2019
  • Awarded Certificate of Merit by the State Bar of Texas in 1993 for “his truly outstanding service to the legal profession of Texas”
  • Board certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since its inception in 1987
  • Charter Member, Bar Association of the Fifth Federal Circuit 1987-present
  • Life Fellow, American, Texas, and Houston Bar Associations

Publications

  • Editor-in-Chief, Texas Appellate Practice Manual (State Bar of Texas 1993).
  • National Editor, Superseding and Staying Judgments: A National Compendium (ABA TIPS 2007)
  • Author, A Defense Lawyer’s Guide to Appellate Practice (DRI 2004)
  • Author, Appellate Practice in Federal and State Courts (Law Journal Press 2011)
  • Author, Texas Practitioner’s Guide to Civil Appeals (ALM 2014).

Memberships & Affiliations

  • American Academy of Appellate Lawyers
    – Past President 2013
    – Fellow since 1997
  • Texas State Bar
    – Appellate Practice Section, Chair (1989-90)
  • Houston Bar Association
    – Appellate Practice Section
  • Bar Association of the Fifth Federal Circuit

Admissions

  • State Bar of Texas
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Courts of Appeals: Second, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth & Eleventh Circuits
  • United States District Court: Eastern & Southern Districts of Texas

J. Shannon Gatlin

Biography

Mr. Gatlin is Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, after starting his legal career as a Briefing Attorney to Justice William J. Boyce of the Texas Fourteenth Court of Appeals in Houston. Mr. Gatlin has extensive experience briefing cases before state and federal courts at both the trial and appellate levels, including the United States Supreme Court. In addition, Mr. Gatlin has served as a leader of legal writing and motions practice, while also mentoring young attorneys and law clerks.

Mr. Gatlin has built upon his passions for employment law and mentoring attorneys by developing a novel practical skills course focused on drafting and negotiating employment agreements that he teaches as an Adjunct Professor at South Texas College of Law in Houston. Mr. Gatlin has also written and presented regularly on a wide variety of employment law topics, ranging from best practices in hiring and promotions to dealing with employment issues related to COVID-19 to the intricacies of requests for medical leave and accommodations. Mr. Gatlin has considerable experience speaking to clients’ workforces, employer groups, and trade associations nationwide at events and conventions, providing them with practical tips related to employment law issues within their respective industries. Mr. Gatlin also recently was named a member of the American Arbitration Association’s Panel of Employment Arbitrators, where he has the opportunity to sit as a neutral party and decide employment law disputes between opposing parties who have chosen to arbitrate claims rather than go to court.

Mr. Gatlin represents clients with labor and employment issues in both government agency actions and in litigation in state and federal courts nationwide. Mr. Gatlin also plays a significant role in clients’ efforts to prevent lawsuits and to comply with state and federal employment laws. Prior to law school, Mr. Gatlin spent seven years in the television news industry, working in the capacities of reporter, anchor, and director over the course of his broadcasting career. Mr. Gatlin is happily married with two young children and lives in Fulshear, Texas.

Education

  • Wake Forest University School of Law – J.D., 2008
  • Duke University – B.A., 1998

Recognitions & Distinctions

  • Best Lawyers – Ones to Watch 2022 – 2023: Labor and Employment Law – Management & Litigation – Labor and Employment

Certifications

  • Board Certified, Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Labor & Employment Law

Speaking Engagements & Presentations

  • “How Much Leave is Too Much Leave, Legally Speaking?”, 2021 AGC Construction HR & Training Professionals Conference (St. Louis, MO Oct. 14, 2021)
  • Adjunct Professor for LAW 569 – Employment Agreements: Basics, Drafting, & Negotiation; South Texas College of Law, Fall 2020 (Houston, TX).
  • “Employment Law Refresher,” AGC Houston webinar, Aug. 5, 2021
  • “How Much Leave is Too Much Leave, Legally Speaking?”, 2021 Gulf Coast Symposium on HR Issues (Houston, TX Aug. 4, 2021)
  • Adjunct Professor for LAW 569 – Employment Agreements: Basics, Drafting, & Negotiation; South Texas College of Law, Fall 2020 & Fall 2021 (Houston, TX)
  • “COVID-19 Legal Issues in the Construction Industry” (panel presentation); Second Annual AGC Houston Employment Practices & Safety Committees Joint Conference; Dec. 3, 2020 (Houston, TX).
  • “Back to School & FFCRA Paid Leave,” webinar (co-hosted with M. Wilson Stoker); Aug. 21, 2020.
  • “Drug Testing in the Age of Marijuana & Opioids,” Inaugural AGC Houston Employment Practices & Safety Committees Joint Conference; Oct. 25, 2019 (Houston, TX).
  • “When Should HR Get Legal Involved?”; 2019 Gulf Coast Symposium on HR Issues; May 16, 2019 (Houston, TX).
  • “A Fleet Safety Manager’s Guide to Surviving Fleet Safety-Related Lawsuits,” 2016 Fleet Safety Conference; July 19, 2016 (Schaumberg, IL).
  • “Wage & Overtime Changes You Need to Know: Taking Care of Business and Working Overtime,” Fulshear Area Chamber of Commerce; July 13, 2016 (Fulshear, TX).
  • “Employers’ Law 101: Which Employment Laws Apply to Me?” Cross Creek Ranch Resident Speaker Series; Mar 28, 2015 (Fulshear, TX).
  • “Case Update: Glatt v. Fox Searchlight Pictures, Inc. (S.D.N.Y. June 11, 2013),” Houston Bar Association Labor & Employment Law Section Luncheon; July 8, 2013 (Houston, TX).

Publications

  • “How Law Firms Can Make ‘Telework’ Work,” The Advocate (Vol. 93)
  • “Rebooting Employment Law Compliance Efforts in a COVID-19 World” (co-authored with M. Wilson Stoker), Construction News (June 2020)
  • “Getting Your I-9 House in Order,” Construction News (Oct. 2018)
  • Quoted extensively in Andy Lundin, “How Fleets Should Handle Liability Exposure,” Fleet Financials (Jan.-Feb. 2017)
  • “Even Judges Make Mistakes: What Recent STAA Whistleblower Cases Can Teach Us,” Employment Law 360 (August 8, 2012)

Memberships & Affiliations

  • American Arbitration Association, Panel of Employment Arbitrators
  • State Bar of Texas, Labor & Employment Law Section
  • Adjunct Faculty, South Texas College of Law
  • Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • ABC Houston Talent Practices Committee
  • AGC Houston Employment Practices Committee
  • Houston Bar Association Diversity & Inclusion Committee

Admissions

  • State Bar of Texas
  • United States District Court: Northern, Eastern & Southern Districts of Texas
  • United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

Mitchell R. Powell

Biography

Mitchell Powell is an attorney in the Houston office of Cokinos | Young. Mitchell’s practice focuses primarily on complex commercial litigation matters and catastrophic claims for a wide range of clients in the construction, oil and gas, electrical, utility, manufacturing, and trucking industries. He develops close working relationships with clients and acquires an in-depth understanding of their business in order to be in the best possible position to protect their interests through implementation of effective legal strategies.

Mitchell is an Associate Editor of The Change Order, a monthly publication reporting on significant cases affecting Construction Law, which is distributed in connection with the State Bar of Texas Construction Law Section.

Mitchell received his J.D., cum laude, from South Texas College of Law Houston, where he served as an Articles Editor for the South Texas Law Review. While in law school, he also served as a judicial intern for the Honorable David R. Jones, Chief Judge, of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, and the Honorable David Hittner of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

Education

  • South Texas College of Law Houston – J.D., cum laude, 2017
  • University of Texas at Austin – B.A. Economics, 2012

Recognitions & Distinctions

  • Best Lawyers – Ones to Watch 2022 – 2023: Construction Law, Litigation – Construction & Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants
  • Best Litigation Article Award – South Texas Law Review

Representative Experience

  • Obtained summary judgment on personal injury and emotional distress claims made against a manufacturer whose product was alleged to have caused a fire, followed by another summary judgment on the Plaintiffs’ remaining damage claims. The summary judgments were affirmed on appeal by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Memberships & Affiliations

  • State Bar of Texas – Construction Law Section

Admissions

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

T. Marshall Holmes

Biography

Marshall Holmes is a litigation attorney in the Houston office of Cokinos | Young whose practice focuses on complex matters including premises liability matters, contract disputes, personal injury and wrongful death claims, and construction defect claims.  While he primarily defends businesses in these issues, he has represented employers and employees alike in liability matters and other course and scope issues related to potential employee negligence.  Clients value Marshall’s confidence and competitive nature.  His innate tenacity and purposeful advocacy leads to effective resolutions for his clients, whether that means going to trial or procuring an agreeable settlement.

After graduating cum laude from Texas Christian University, Marshall attended the South Texas College of Law to pursue his passion for “being right” by becoming an attorney.  While there, Marshall was a member of the school’s nationally-recognized advocacy program.  He served on the championship teams in the National Entertainment Moot Law Court Competition and the William B. Spong Moot Court Competition, where he was individually recognized as Best Oral Advocate.  He has also been honored with the South Texas Dean’s Outstanding Advocate Award and is admitted to the National Order of Barristers.

Education

  • South Texas College of Law – J.D., 2013
  • Texas Christin University – B.A. Finance & Real Estate, cum laude, 2010

Recognitions & Distinctions

  • Best Oral Advocate, William B. Spong Moot Court Competition (South Texas College of Law)
  • Dean’s Outstanding Advocate Award (South Texas College of Law)

Representative Experience

  • Represented highway contractor in a four day personal injury jury trial with no pre-trial demand and ultimately secured a defense verdict.
  • Successfully defended a Mississippi based construction company in a five day jury trial against a multi-million dollar personal injury suit, ultimately securing a defense verdict.
  • Lead counsel in securing a directed verdict for a crematorium in a suit for breach of contract
  • Represented nationwide furniture manufacturer on a products liability suit resulting in favorable settlement for client.
  • Secured successful dismissal on behalf of a Louisiana transmission construction company for all direct causes of action in a personal injury suit.

Memberships and Affiliations

  • National Order of the Barristers

Admissions

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

Community Involvement

  • Family Legacy Child Sponsorship Program
  • K9 Angels Rescue
  • Nick Finnegan Counseling Center

Joshua J. Woods

Biography

Joshua Woods is a litigation attorney in the Houston office of Cokinos | Young, focusing primarily on complex commercial and industrial construction disputes. Joshua has handled construction disputes involving petrochemical plants, pipelines and compressor stations, multi-family residential construction, high-rise apartments and condominiums, large-scale network infrastructure, utility locating services, and healthcare facilities. Joshua has substantial experience and expertise at managing client’s electronic discovery needs as part of the litigation process.

Joshua graduate cum laude from South Texas College of Law, where he served as the Managing Editor of Currents, the Journal of International Economic Law. Joshua was also a member of the school’s nationally recognized advocacy program. Additionally, he represented South Texas College of Law in Vienna, Austria, and Warsaw, Poland, as part of the international arbitration advocacy program. He was honored for best brief at multiple advocacy tournaments.

Education

  • South Texas College of Law – J.D., cum laude, 2013
  • Texas State University – Master of Arts – Legal Studies, 2010
  • Texas State University – B.P.A., 2007

Recognitions & Distinctions

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

Judicial Experience

  • Clerked for Chief Justice Kem Thomson Frost and Justice Tracy Christopher for the 14th Court of Appeals in Houston, Texas.

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Texas Bar Association
  • State Bar of Texas: Construction Section

Admissions

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

John C. Warren

Biography

John Warren is a principal in the Houston office of Cokinos | Young. John is Board Certified by The Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Construction Law and focuses his practice on all types of major industrial, commercial, and residential construction, development, and real estate. Although he often helps clients avoid litigation through early involvement in the project’s lifecycle, John is frequently asked to handle disputes relating to design and construction defects, delays, loss of productivity, differing site conditions, mechanic’s and materialman’s liens, and performance and payment bond issues in the public and private sectors. John has counseled clients with respect to projects involving large petroleum processing facilities, tank farms, marine terminals, pipelines, dredging operations, convention centers, airports, schools, hospitals, hotels, federal government buildings, multi-level office buildings, condominiums, fire stations, commercial/retail buildings, strip malls, roads, bridges, master-planned developments, raw land, and residences.

In addition to his litigation practice, John also regularly drafts, reviews, and negotiates all types of construction (including EPC), real estate, and development contracts, as well as commercial leases and commercial lending packages.

Prior to his career as an attorney, John earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Architectural Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and worked for several years as a Project Manager for a high-end general contractor. As a Project Manager, John acted as the liaison between owners, architects, engineers and subcontractors on a variety of different construction projects, gaining valuable experience and insight into the construction industry.

John is a frequent speaker and author concerning various legal issues affecting the construction industry. John is a council member of the Construction Law Section of the State Bar of Texas, is the current Immediate Past Chair of the Houston Bar Association’s Construction Law Section, and is the founding Editor of The Change Order, a monthly publication reporting on significant cases affecting Construction Law, which is distributed in connection with the State Bar of Texas Construction Law Section. John is also an active member of several industry organizations.

Education

  • St. Mary’s University School of Law – J.D., 2008: Comment Editor, St. Mary’s Law Journal, Phi Delta Phi Legal Honors Fraternity, External Advocacy Program – Mock Trial
  • University of Texas at Austin – B.S. Architectural Engineering, 2002

Recognitions & Distinctions

  • Best Lawyers in America 2019 – 2023: Construction Law & Litigation – Construction
  • Named a Texas Super Lawyer by Thomson Reuters for 2021-2022
  • Named to the Super Lawyers “Top List” for “Up-and-Coming 100: 2019 Texas Rising Stars”
  • Named to the Super Lawyers “Top List” for “Up-and-Coming 100: 2020 Texas Rising Stars”
  • Named a 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 Texas Rising Star in Construction Litigation by Thomson Reuters. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of lawyers in the state are selected to receive this honor.
  • AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell peer review ratings; the highest rating possible
  • Life Fellow – Texas Bar Foundation

Representative Experience

  • Obtained eight-figure settlement on behalf of dredging contractor against public port authority related to over 3,000 instances of differing site-conditions and resulting damages.
  • Obtained favorable settlement on behalf of public entity in defense of claims from civil contractor related to alleged design deficiencies on urban road and drainage project.
  • Obtained favorable settlement on behalf of pipeline contractor in defense of claim for eight-figure damages asserted by major pipeline operator involving alleged workmanship issues associated with premature corrosion on complex pipeline system.  Case settled after over forty depositions were completed and shortly after Court granted motion to strike thirteen of Plaintiff’s experts.
  • Represented owner of large petroleum processing facility, tank farm, and marine terminal in dispute with engineering firm involving over thirty engineering design errors, omissions, and other deficiencies which resulted in substantial damages and delays to construction of project.
  • Obtained favorable defense award, including award of all attorneys’ fees, after a sixteen-day arbitration hearing on behalf of general contractor against subcontractor on over twenty separate claims involving alleged change directives, differing site conditions, delays, and losses of productivity related to federal government project. Cross-examined Plaintiff’s main fact and damages witness for over four days.
  • Obtained unanimous jury verdict for all damages and attorney’s fees on counterclaim after weeklong trial for a landscape design and construction company in a commercial lease dispute case. Affirmed by the 14th Court of Appeals: Ford v. Premier Installations and Design Group Inc.
  • Obtained favorable settlement for pipeline contractor in defense of differing site conditions claims brought by horizontal directional drilling subcontractor on project in North Carolina.
  • Obtained summary judgment and recovered defense costs after first week of three week arbitration hearing on behalf of a concrete subcontractor against owner in multi-party construction defect arbitration involving foundation issues on a major school project.
  • Represented national general contractor against governmental entity and architect in breach of contract case related to over 2,800 design deficiencies and associated delays/constructive acceleration in connection with expansion of a major city convention center project.
  • Obtained summary judgment and defense costs on behalf of general contractor in district court case involving breach of contract and fraud claims brought by subcontractor related to a commercial build-out project.
  • Obtained favorable arbitration award and attorney’s fees after two-week hearing on behalf of custom homebuilder for construction defect case against multiple subcontractors.
  • Represented national general contractor in multi-party construction defect and delay case involving international material suppliers on a 10-story office building project.

Speaking Engagements & Presentations

  • Speaker, So You Want to be a Construction Lawyer? Top Ten Tips for the Under-A-Decade Lawyer, Construction Law Webinar Co-Sponsored by the Construction Law Foundation of Texas and the Construction Law Section of the State Bar of Texas, May 19, 2022
  • Speaker, Show Me the Money: Payment Security and Getting Paid, Houston Contactor’s Association, Educational Breakfast Seminar, September 3, 2020
  • Speaker, Change Orders: Everything’s the Same Until it’s Different, Houston Contactor’s Association Educational Breakfast Seminar, February 25, 2020
  • Speaker, Contracts from the General Contractor’s Perspective, The Basics Course in Texas Construction Law, Houston, Texas, December 5-6, 2019
  • Guest Lecturer, The University of Texas at Austin, Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering, October 23, 2019
  • Speaker, Recent Legislation Affecting the Construction Industry, Houston Contractors Association Management Trip, Chicago, Illinois, September 21, 2019
  • Speaker, Mind If I Pass-Through? Pass-Through Claims and Liquidating Agreements, 32ndAnnual Construction Law Conference, San Antonio, Texas, February 28, 2019
  • Speaker, Show Me the Money: Payment Security and Getting Paid, Associated Builders and Contractor’s Houston Contractor Educational Series, Houston, Texas, February 21, 2019
  • Speaker, Contracts from the General Contractor’s Perspective, The Basic Course in Texas Construction Law, Austin, Texas, December 13-14, 2018
  • Speaker, 10 Things to Look for Before Signing Your Next Contract, Houston Contractors Association Management Trip, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, October 19, 2018
  • Speaker, Avoiding, Transferring, and Limiting Risk in EPC Contracts, 6thAnnual Contract and Risk Management Conference, Houston, Texas, September 14, 2018
  • Speaker, Contingent Payment (“Pay-If-Paid”) Clauses in Subcontracts, Houston MBDA Business Center Legal Lunchtime Forum, Houston, Texas, May 16, 2018
  • Presiding Officer, The Basic Course in Texas Construction Law, Houston, Texas, December 1-2, 2016
  • Presiding Officer, The Basic Course in Texas Construction Law, Dallas, Texas, November 30 – December 1, 2017
  • Speaker, Causes of Action in Texas Construction Law, The Basic Course in Texas Construction Law, Austin, Texas, November 13, 2015
  • Frequent Guest Lecturer, Construction Law & Ethics Course, Construction Management Department, University of Houston
  • Speaker, A Frustrating Foursome of Contract Terms: Choice of Law, Limitation of Remedies in Arbitration, Liquidated Damages and Labor Shortage, The EPC Contract and Risk Management Seminar, Houston, Texas, January 15, 2015
  • Speaker, Making It Rain Without Getting Soaked: Marketing For New Lawyers, 28th Annual Construction Conference, San Antonio, Texas, March 6, 2015

Publications

  • Editor, The Change Order, State Bar of Texas Construction Law Section, 2018, 2019
  • Author, Forum-Selection and Choice-of-Law Provisions: Are They Enforceable?, Houston Construction News, Vol. 13, No. 12, December 2016
  • Author, Construction Laws and Customs: Texas, Practical Law – Thomson Reuters, November 4, 2015-2019
  • Author, Setting the Limits in Texas Construction Law: A Look at the Surety’s Limitations Under Indemnity Agreements and Equitable Subrogation, 39 St. Mary’s L.J. 423 (2007), reprinted in 24 Legal Handbook for Architects, Engineers and Contractors: Issues in Construction and Technology 2007/2008 (Albert H. Dib ed., West Group 2008).

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Texas Board of Professional Engineers:  Registered Engineer in Training (EIT)
  • Texas Bar Association:  Construction Law Section (Council Member 2020; Editor of The Change Order, a monthly publication reporting on significant cases affecting Construction Law; Chair of 2016 and 2017 Basic Course in Texas Construction Law; 2016 and 2017 Young Construction Lawyer Representative and Young Construction Lawyers Committee Chairperson for Houston)
  • Houston Bar Association:  Construction Law Section, Chair (2019-2020); Chair – Elect (2018-2019); Treasurer (2017-2018); Council Member (2013-2016), Litigation Section
  • American Bar Association
  • Associated Builders and Contractors of America, Greater Houston Chapter, Committee Member
  • Associated General Contractors of America, Houston Chapter Member, Committee Member
  • Houston Contractors Association, Committee Member
  • University of Texas Silver Spurs Alumni Association, former Board Member

Admissions

  • State Bar of Texas (2008)
  • United States District Court: Southern District of Texas
  • Pro Hac Vice Admission – State of Ohio

Christopher C. Wan

Biography

Christopher C. Wan is an attorney in the Houston office of Cokinos | Young. His practice focuses primarily on resolving complex commercial and industrial construction disputes through litigation and arbitration. Chris’s experience covers a variety of disputes involving refineries, chemical plants, pipelines, water treatment plants, high-rise condominiums, and university buildings, among other commercial and industrial projects. Chris graduated from the South Texas College of Law, where he served as the Texas State Bar- Construction Law Journal Student Editor. Prior to his legal career, Chris was an engineer specializing in highway design, with notable projects including State Highway 45 and State Highway 130 in Austin, Texas. Further, he worked alongside developers and contractors to assist with the design and planning phase of the tollways. Chris is fluent in Cantonese.

Education

  • South Texas College of Law – J.D., 2013
  • University of Texas at Austin – B.S. Civil Engineering, 2005

Recognitions & Distinctions

  • Named a Rising Star in Construction Litigation by Thomson Reuters from 2018-2021
  • Lecturer, Construction Contracts & Claims, Collaborative Global Construction Engineering Advanced Training Program, Texas A&M University with Chungbuk National University (Republic of Korea), College Station, Texas, 2018 & 2019
  • Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Texas’ Best Lawyers® – Ones to Watch 2021-2022: Commercial Litigation, Construction Law & Construction Litigation 2021

Representative Experience

  • Obtained a favorable defense verdict after a two-week bench trial for a mid-stream energy company over multiple competing claims for breach of contract (including contractor’s allegations of fraud and negligent misrepresentations) related to the construction of a 713-mile pipeline in Ohio.
  • Obtained a favorable settlement for an energy company against a contractor’s claims for additional compensation involving the construction of a crude oil terminal in Texas.
  • Obtained a favorable settlement for a mid-stream energy company over competing claims for breach of contract (which also involved a dispute of the enforceability of a forum-selection clause within the construction contract) related to the construction of compressor stations in West Virginia and Ohio.
  • Obtained a favorable defense verdict after a two-week arbitration for architecture firm defending against claims for breach of contract and breach of an architect’s standard of care involving a mixed-use commercial and residential high-rise in Houston, Texas.
  • Obtained a favorable jury verdict for industrial contractor after a three-week trial over multiple competing claims for breach of contract (including owner’s allegations of termination for default, defective work, and delay) related to the construction of a chemical facility in Geismar, Louisiana.
  • Obtained favorable settlement for a TIRZ against a general contractor’s claim for move-around costs resulting from alleged defective plans and specifications.
  • Obtained favorable settlement for industrial contractor seeking damages related to owner-directed changes, owner-caused delays, and misrepresentations made before and during the construction of a petrochemical pipeline.
  • Obtained favorable settlement for a real estate developer asserting delay damages and defective work with the construction of two 27-story condominium towers.
  • Represented an international infrastructure contractor in disputes related to public and private procurement and construction.

Publications

  • Author, Construction Laws and Customs: Texas, Practical Law – Thomson Reuters

Memberships & Affiliations

  • State Bar of Texas: Construction Law

Admissions

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

David L. Tolin

Biography

David L. Tolin is an Principal at Cokinos | Young in Houston, Texas. David focuses his practice on the transactional aspects of construction law and routinely assists clients in preparing and negotiating all types of contracts and related project documents. He represents contracting parties across the spectrum of construction projects, from large-scale industrial and EPC projects to commercial and residential construction, and his clients include owners, contractors, subcontractors, and design professionals. David also counsels clients on business and legal issues that arise during construction and helps clients vigorously assert and protect their mechanic’s lien and bond rights. He is a frequent speaker at seminars and presentations across the state of Texas, and his writings concerning contract and lien law have been featured in numerous trade and industry publications.

Education

  • South Texas College of Law – J.D., summa cum laude, 2010
  • Lamar University – B.S. Communication, 2002

Publications

  • Fast Track Arbitrations: Another Alternative for Resolving Disputes – Construction Law Journal, March 2013
  • Watch Your Language: The High Cost of Delays – Modern Contractor Solutions, May 2013
  • Understanding Key Contractual Provisions and Issues – HalfMoon Educational Seminar, October 2013
  • Home Town Advantage: Understanding Venue, Choice of Law & Forum Selection Clauses – Modern Contractor Solutions, November 2013
  • Negotiating Delays and Contract Provisions that Address Time – American Subcontractors Association Presentation, April 2014
  • Let’s Be Clear: The Importance of Clarity in Contract Drafting – Modern Contractor Solutions, October 2014
  • Texas Lien Claims for Subcontractors and Suppliers – 2017 TLPCA Convention and Trade Show, June 2016
  • Texas Lien and Bond Claims – Texas State Bar Basics in Construction Law Course, November 2016
  • Important Changes to 2017 AIA Contract Forms – www.cokinoslaw.com, September 2017
  • Texas Mechanic’s Liens and Bonds – LexisNexis Practice Advisor, November 2017 (to present)
  • Understanding Construction Contract Essentials – HalfMoon Construction Contract Workshop, Morning Session, February 2018
  • Examining Legal Issues and Contract Disputes – HalfMoon Construction Contract Workshop, Afternoon Session, February 2018
  • Texas Construction Claims – Texas A&M Department of Construction Science Training Seminar, July 2018
  • Avoiding, Transferring, & Limiting Risks in EPC Contracts – 6th Annual Contract and Risk Management Conference, September 2018
  • Texas Construction Claims – Texas A&M Department of Construction Science Training Seminar, July 2019
  • Contract and Risk Management Conference for Construction and Capital Projects, September 2019 – Conference Chairperson

Memberships & Affiliations

  • State Bar of Texas, Construction Law Section
  • Houston Bar Association
  • Associated General Contractors of America, Houston Chapter
  • Associated General Contractors of America, Construction Leadership Council
  • American Subcontractors Association, Houston Chapter
  • Houston Contractors Association

Admissions

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

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