C. Matthew Thompson

Biography

Matt Thompson is a litigator licensed in Texas and Louisiana with a focus on construction and commercial disputes. Matt was named Texas Rising Star in Construction Litigation in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 and was elected to serve on the Council for the Construction Law Section for the Houston Bar Association for 2019, 2020, and 2021.

In his construction litigation practice, Matt represents contractors, subcontractors, and owners in all types of construction related disputes, including cases involving construction and EPC contracts, construction defects, personal injury, design issues, delay and loss of productivity claims, property damage, payment disputes, liens, performance and payment bonds, bid contests, insurance coverage, and indemnity, among others. Matt’s construction litigation experience includes private projects involving petroleum processing facilities, pipelines, commercial buildings, hotels, apartments, and condominiums, as well as public projects at the federal, state, and local levels involving dredging, highways, airports, hospitals, wastewater facilities, military bases, universities, and schools. Additionally, Matt has represented clients in matters involving EPC contracts and federal acquisition regulations. Matt also drafts, reviews, and negotiates construction contracts and real estate contracts for his clients.

As a commercial litigator, Matt has represented clients in a wide range of business disputes in the real estate, securities, energy, utilities, and healthcare sectors. He routinely handles complex commercial litigation matters involving commercial contracts, leases, debtor/creditor issues, and other matters integral to business operations. Matt has also represented clients in personal injury matters, multi-party litigation, multijurisdictional disputes, and class actions.

Matt also frequently assists clients in proactively avoiding litigation, often through early involvement in the negotiation and performance of construction and commercial contracts, strategic risk assessment, and alternative dispute resolution. Matt is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and earned his law degree from Louisiana State University, where he served on the Trial Advocacy Board.

Education

  • Louisiana State University – J.D., 2009
    – Trial Advocacy Board
  • University of Texas at Austin – B.A., 2006

Recognitions & Distinctions

  • Recognized as a “Texas Rising Star” in Construction Litigation in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 by Thomson Reuters

Representative Experience

  • Represented a general contractor in an arbitration proceeding involving a defaulted subcontractor and schedule delays. Following a five-day hearing, our client was awarded all supplementation cost incurred in connection with the defaulting subcontractor’s performance, as well as interest and attorney’s fees, and the defaulting subcontractor’s multi-million dollar counterclaim was denied in its entirety.
  • Successfully defended a Houston-based construction company in an arbitration proceeding initiated by a property owner who sought over $2.6 million for alleged construction defects and construction delays. Following a three-day hearing, the owner was awarded nothing, and our client received a sizeable award for wrongfully rejected invoices and change orders.
  • Obtained an eight-figure recovery for a dredging contractor in a matter involving differing site-conditions.
  • Represented a mechanical subcontractor in a hotly contested adversary bankruptcy proceeding involving lien priority and perfection issues for work performed on a $160 million cryogenic gas processing facility, resulting in a multi-million dollar recovery for client.
  • Absolved a heavy marine construction contractor of liability in high stakes litigation involving near-fatal injuries resulting from a pipeline pressure explosion and damages claimed in excess of $35 million.
  • Secured a total defense victory for client following an arbitration hearing where the plaintiffs alleged gross negligence and sought damages of more than $1 million.
  • Successfully defended a commercial property owner at trial against a general contractor’s breach of contract and lien foreclosure claims.
  • Successfully defended a federal court lawsuit that alleged compensatory and exemplary damages in excess of $100 million. Following motion practice, the court dismissed the claims against client in their entirety.

Memberships & Affiliations

  • State Bar of Texas, Construction Law Section
  • Houston Bar Association: Construction Law Section, Council Member (2019-2021)
  • Louisiana Bar Association
  • Texas Bar College

Admissions

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

Russell W. Smith

Biography

Russell W. Smith is a Principal at Cokinos | Young in Houston, Texas. Russell’s practice is primarily focused on resolving complex commercial and industrial construction disputes through litigation and arbitration. Russell has handled construction disputes involving refineries, chemical plants, pipelines and compressor stations, offshore-production and drilling platforms, water-treatment plants, office buildings, healthcare facilities, high-rise apartments and condominiums, retail and warehousing facilities, and military and university buildings, among other commercial and industrial projects. Russell is a frequent contributor to academic, construction-industry, and client-specific education and training programs focused on construction contracts, contract administration, and construction disputes. In addition to his construction practice, Russell has substantial experience representing clients in a variety of complex commercial disputes through all phases of state and federal litigation and arbitration.

Education

  • University of Texas at Austin – J.D., with honors, 2007
  • Texas A&M University – B.B.A., magna cum laude, 2004

Recognitions & Distinctions

  • Honoree, Houston Business Journal 40 Under 40 Class of 2020
  • Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation
  • Named a 2019, 2020 and 2021 Super Lawyer in Construction Litigation by Thomson Reuters
  • Named a 2016 and 2017 Rising Star in Construction Litigation by Thomson Reuters

Representative Experience

  • Represented a Fortune 10 energy company in a wide variety of construction and related commercial disputes.
  • Represented publicly-traded pipeline company in nine-figure fraud and breach-of-contract disputes related to construction of interstate natural gas pipeline, construction of related compressor stations, and environmental remediation of pipeline rights-of-way.
  • Represented commercial real estate developer in dispute seeking damages for delay, defective work, and builder’s risk proceeds arising out of construction of luxury apartment community and associated infrastructure.
  • Obtained favorable jury verdict for industrial contractor after 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 plant.
  • Obtained favorable settlement for pipeline company defending against general contractor’s claims for breach of contract and fraud related to the construction of multiple gas compressor stations.
  • Represented an American subsidiary of a Saudi-owned energy company in the enforcement of an arbitration provision requiring arbitration in the Middle East.
  • Represented an international infrastructure contractor in disputes related to public and private procurement and construction.
  • Obtained favorable settlement for commercial real estate developer seeking damages for delay and defective work associated with the development and construction of two 27-story condominium towers.
  • Obtained favorable jury verdict after one-week trial for telecommunications company defending against claims for breach of contract, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and unjust enrichment.
  • Obtained favorable settlement for general contractor bringing claims that owner breached a contract for the construction and commissioning of an air separation unit and fraudulently induced continued performance with no intention to pay.
  • Represented a foreign power company in dispute regarding ownership of mobile gas turbines and associated infrastructure in Tanzania.
  • Obtained favorable settlement for general contractor seeking damages related to owner-directed changes, owner-caused delay, and misrepresentations made before and during the construction of a petrochemical pipeline.
  • Represented an international engineering, procurement, and construction firm against negligence claims associated with the explosion of a chemical plant.
  • Served as national counsel for major beer manufacturer for franchise litigation and distributor relationship issues.

Speaking Engagements & Presentations

  • Speaker, Forecasting Challenges in Design-Build Construction in light of Texas SB 219 and Material Price Escalation, 2022 Design-Build Institute of America Southwest Regional Conference, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, April 2022
  • Speaker, The Biggest Issues Impacting Your Work, 2021 Houston Contractors Association Management Conference, Key West, Florida, August 2021
  • Speaker, Delay Claims: Force Majeure or Merely a Pandemic?, Associated General Contractors of America, Houston Chapter, Houston, Texas, May 2020
  • Speaker, Recently Enacted Legislation Impacting the Construction Industry, 2019 Houston Contractors Association Management Conference, Chicago, Illinois, September 2019
  • Chair, Contract & Risk Management for Construction & Capital Projects: Enhancing Collaboration and Decision-Making to Mitigate Risk and Liability of All Stakeholders, Houston, Texas, September 2019
  • 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

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Texas Bar Association
  • Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Houston Bar Association: Construction Law, Federal Practice, and Litigation Sections
  • American Bar Association
  • Texas Young Lawyers Association
  • The Society of Construction Law North America
  • Associated General Contractors of America, Houston Chapter, Committee Member
  • Houston Contractors Association
  • Design-Build Institute of America

Admissions

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

Craig E. Power

Biography

Craig Power is the Principal in charge of the Commercial Litigation practice group at Cokinos | Young and concentrates his practice in complex commercial litigation, construction litigation, bankruptcy matters and debtor-creditor rights issues. Craig has represented creditors, creditor committees and bankruptcy trustees in bankruptcy courts across the country. Craig is a frequent author and speaker on bankruptcy topics and collection issues as they affect the lending, credit and construction industries. Craig also serves as the Firm’s General Counsel, responsible for the handling of the Firm’s legal matters.

Education

  • Texas Tech University – J.D., cum laude, 1979
  • Indiana University – B.A., with High Distinction, 1976
    – Phi Kappa Phi

Recognitions & Distinctions

  • Named a Texas Super Lawyer by Thomson Reuters from 2006-2021. Each year, no more than 5 percent of lawyers in the state are selected to receive this honor.
  • Named one of Houston’s Top Lawyers by H Texas: 2008-2010, 2014-2021
  • Named a Lawyer for the People by H Texas: 2009
  • AV-Rated by Martindale Hubbell peer review ratings, the highest rating possible

Representative Experience

  • Represented suppliers and subcontractors in defense of voidable preference actions in the bankruptcy cases of multiple home builders.
  • Represented 2 gas suppliers to a plant. The gas company (plant) filed bankruptcy and failed to pay the suppliers. Asserted administrative reclamation claim giving client priority on repayment. Defended supplier on voidable preference actions.
  • Represented a fabricator of rig components against a major international drilling rig manufacturer.
  • Represent multiple community banks in handling collection matters, complex foreclosures and bankruptcy matters. Also consult and advise the community banks on various legal matters in connection with their interaction with the public.
  • Represented builder of luxury condominiums in successfully asserting priority constitutional lien of more than $2 million after developer filed bankruptcy and lender foreclosed.
  • Represented fabricator/installer of process pipe in asserting constitutional lien against debtor in bankruptcy to establish lien priority.
  • After being brought in as appellate counsel for contractor following unfavorable jury verdict, obtained reversal of judgement foreclosing supplier’s mechanics lien.
  • Represented finance consultant seeking earned fees for locating financing for major hotel in the Valley.
  • Represented general contractor on major hospital construction project in enforcing valid contingent payment clause against unpaid subcontractors and suppliers.
  • Successfully defended bank client from lender liability and economic duress claims of principals of borrower.
  • Represented a Norwegian fish supplier against U.S. retailer for non-payment.
  • Represented owner in obtaining judicial resolution of numerous mechanics liens when general contractor abandoned project, leaving subcontractors and suppliers unpaid.

Publications

Memberships & Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • State Bar of Texas: Former member of District 4-H Grievance Committee
  • Texas Bar Foundation – Sustaining Life Member
  • Houston Bar Association
  • Former Texas Supreme Court Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee, Houston Area Subcommittee, District 4 Chairman
  • Moller-Foltz Inns of Court

Admissions

  • State Bar of Texas
  • United States Claims Court
  • United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • United States District Court: Northern, Eastern, Southern & Western Districts of Texas
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Tax Court

Robert J. Naudin Jr.

Biography

Robert J. Naudin, Jr. is Of Counsel in the Houston office of Cokinos | Young. Rob is trial attorney with over 20 years of litigation experience who focuses his practice on construction litigation matters. For most of this time, Rob has been representing corporations, partnerships, businesses and individuals in a diverse range of complex commercial matters in both federal and state courts, and in arbitration proceedings across the country. Rob has extensive trial experience as lead counsel and has been successful in achieving positive results for his clients. He has handled hundreds of millions of dollars in claims. Rob’s clients include publicly traded energy services and construction firms, national general contractors, commercial and retail development companies, as well as individual businessmen and women. In addition to providing litigation services, Rob regularly provides guidance to his clients to best serve their long-term goals; often resolving claims well before the initiation of suit. Prior to his civil practice, Rob served in the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps. During his Naval service, Rob honed his trial skills while prosecuting and defending felony cases across the globe. He was deployed to the Northern Arabian Gulf in 2003 with the USS TARAWA AMPHIBIOUS GROUP as the admiral’s sole legal counsel, or Staff Judge Advocate. There, he advised wartime admirals and commanders concerning all legal matters, including rules of engagement, law of armed conflict and detainee/prisoner of war issues and policies. Rob has received numerous personal and unit decorations including multiple Navy Commendation Medals, multiple Navy Achievement Medals, the Meritorious Unit Commendation, and the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary medal.

Education

  • University of Houston Law Center – J.D., 1999
    – Phi Delta Phi Legal Honors Society
  • Texas A&M University – B.S. 1996

Recognitions & Distinctions

  • Named a Super Lawyer in Construction Litigation by Thomson Reuters (2019-2020)
  • 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)
  • Awarded the American Trial Lawyers Association Outstanding Advocacy Award

Representative Experience

  • Successfully defended in two-week trial publicly traded energy company against general contractor’s claims breach of contract, fraud and quantum merit concerning alleged multi-million-dollar change orders associated with construction of natural gas pipeline, ultimately recovering on multi-million-dollar counterclaims.
  • Successfully obtained multi-million-dollar settlement for major league sports team in dispute concerning replacement of defective stadium seating and fire safety system.
  • Regularly represents industrial, civil, and commercial general contractors with respect to collection of unpaid change orders, delay claims, loss of productivity claims and inevitable defense against counterclaims.
  • Successfully represented industrial piping contractor to collect unpaid change order work resulting in multi-million-dollar settlement during three-week arbitration proceeding.
  • Obtained favorable jury verdict after three-week jury trial for industrial mechanical and civil contractor against publicly traded chemical manufacturer against various claims including breach of contract.
  • Successfully obtained settlement of 10x more than original demand for general contractor claims against publicly traded energy company to collect for unpaid change orders and sting-along fraud claims associated with construction of large diameter oil pipeline.
  • Successfully represented general contractor against owner’s claims of defective performance relating to foundation damage for specialized waste warehouse arising out of differential movement.
  • Successfully represented electrical subcontractor to collect unpaid change orders against national general contractor relating to remodeling of five bonded public schools resulting in multi-million-dollar settlement.
  • Obtained favorable verdict in two-week jury trial tire distributor against multi-million-dollar warranty claims brought by international phosphate producer.
  • Successfully defended national contractor against breach of contract claims related to construction of natural gas facility.
  • Obtained favorable settlement during one-week jury trial for managing general insurance agency to enforce covenants not to compete against former employees and competing company and defend against counterclaims.
  • Successfully defended electrical services construction company against prominent homeowner’s claims of property damage in Rio Grande Valley.
  • Regularly advises industrial general contractor clients with respect to work-place injuries, fatalities and accident investigations.
  • Successfully tried to jury verdict claims for custom homebuilder and against owner’s claims of breach of contract.

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Texas Bar Association
    – Construction Law Section
    – Litigation Section
  • Associated General Contractors (AGC)
    – Governmental Affairs Committee Member
  • Houston Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association

Admissions

  • State Bar of Texas (2006)
  • State Bar of California (2000)
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
  • United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • Navy-Marine Corps Trial Judiciary
  • United States District Court: Northern, Eastern, Southern & Western Districts of Texas

Laura K. Napoli-Janitens

Biography

Laura Napoli-Janitens is an attorney in the Houston office of Cokinos | Young. Her practice focuses on counseling clients through all phases of dispute resolution involving complex commercial and construction disputes. She has experience representing businesses in a diverse range of commercial matters in state, federal, and appellate courts, including litigation involving real estate disputes,, industrial construction, pipelines, water supply distribution systems, municipal utility districts, developer disputes, and tort defense.

Education

  • University of Houston Law Center – J.D., 2015
  • Florence Design Academy – Master of Interior Design, 2007
  • Loyola University – B.A. English, magna cum laude, 2005

Representative Experience

  • Obtained a favorable settlement for an owner and urgent care operator for construction and design defect claims against the architect, general contractor, and subcontractors related to the construction of a multi-million dollar medical facility.
  • Obtained a favorable judgement for a municipal utility district against a developer related to developer’s claims for reimbursement for a pump station project and developer interest.
  • Obtained a Fifth Circuit judgement for an oil field services company that revived breach of contract and indemnity claims against company’s staffing agency, leading to a favorable settlement.
  • Obtained a favorable jury verdict for landlord against tenant and guarantor for breach of contract related to the multi-million dollar build out of a commercial space.
  • Successfully defended favorable jury verdict before the First Court of Appeals cementing commercial landlord’s trial victory and award of damages and attorneys’ fees.
  • 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.
  • Successfully negotiated the dissolution of a complex family partnership with extensive landholdings resulting in the sale of over $100 million of properties over the course of two years.
  • Successfully defended commercial real estate owner against frivolous ADA claims.

Publications

  • Borrower Beware: The Ramifications of the Court’s Re-Characterization of a Loan Transaction, 15 Hous. Bus. & Tax L. J. 329 (2015).

Admissions

  • State Bar of Texas (2015)
  • United States District Court: Southern District of Texas

John L. Grayson

Biography

No stranger to a construction site, John Grayson worked his way through college as a laborer, equipment operator and pouring concrete in the Houston area.

Immediately upon graduation from Baylor University School of Law, Grayson went to work defending major aircraft manufacturers and industrial equipment suppliers in several high stakes cases involving multiple deaths and serious injuries. For 39 years, John has concentrated on major, complex litigation. The breadth and sophistication of Grayson’s experience are unequaled as evidenced by his recognition by Best Lawyers in America in three categories: Construction Law, Construction Litigation and Personal Injury Litigation – Defendents. Grayson’s work on everything from major pipeline, commercial and residential construction matters to mass tort and securities class and mass actions has taken him from coast to coast and to many foreign countries. His clients include owners, developers, general contractors, energy contractors, ammunition manufacturers, utilities and fiber optic companies in trials and arbitrations. He also represents design professionals, individuals, physicians, physician groups and attorneys. Clients describe John’s style as aggressive, intellectual and practical. In addition to his training as a Mediator, Grayson is a Panelist with the American Arbitration Association (AAA) for Construction Disputes.

A frequent contributor to the Construction Law Journal, John’s work has also been published in the Texas Bar Journal. He has presented at the Center for International Legal Studies in Salzburg, Austria is a regular presenter on EPC Contract and Risk Management and energy-related trade groups.

John has been AV rated for over 30 years, is a member of TX Oil and Gas Association, the FDCC, and maintains membership in the Construction, Litigation, Insurance and Aviation sections of the State Bar of Texas.

Education

  • Baylor University School of Law – J.D., 1983
  • Texas A&M University – B.A. History, cum laude, 1980
  • National Mediation Academy, Dallas, Texas, 2003

Recognitions & Distinctions

  • Best Lawyer in America 2021 – 2023: Construction Law, Litigation – Construction & Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants
  • AV rated for over 30 years by Martindale Hubbell for legal ability and ethics.
  • Named a Texas Super Lawyer by Thomson Reuters from 2011-2021. Each year, no more than 5 percent of lawyers in the state are selected to receive this honor.

Representative Experience

  • Defense Counsel in Claims involving pre-mature corrosion and failure of a complex of energy pipelines and over $40 million in claims. Following extensive discovery and dispositive motions, the case settled favorably for the defense.
  • Defense counsel for horizontal drilling (HDD) contractor related to construction of natural gas pipeline. Matter was favorable resolved.
  • Successfully defended a global architecture firm against $16 million delay and consequential damages in arbitration.
  • Successfully defended fiberoptic communications company in 2 million+ contract case in Utah Federal District Court.
  • Handled contracting issues in construction of $1.4 Billion steel pipe manufacturing facility.
  • Represents energy pipeline contractors in multiple states.
  • Represented a major general contractor in litigation stemming from a multi-story office building project.
  • Represented a consortium of 44 banks seeking recovery of financing provided for construction of a beachfront high-rise condominium that developed serious structural problems which required its demolition.
  • Represented the general contractor in disputes with international suppliers and complex scheduling issues in connection with the expansion of a major city convention center.
  • Represented a national electrical subcontractor in an airport expansion project concerning contract and payment litigation involving prevailing wage rates disputes.
  • AAA Arbitration for a major tank construction contractor involving construction of a LNG storage facility in Louisiana.
  • Represented a major homebuilder in multi-party litigation arising from the alleged pre-existing ground contamination of a residential development.

Speaking Engagements & Presentations

  • CLE Presenter:  “Liquidated Damages Provisions”, The Construction Law Foundation of Texas, Houston, December 5, 2019
  • Center for International Legal Studies (Invited Speaker – Salzburg, Austria November 2004)

Publications

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Texas Oil and Gas Association
  • NACE International
  • American Arbitration Association (AAA): National Roster of Arbitrators, Large Complex Construction Disputes
  • Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel (FDCC)
  • State Bar of Texas: Construction, Litigation, Insurance, Aviation
  • Federal Bar Association

Admissions

  • State Bar of Texas (1983)
  • United States District Courts: Northern, Eastern, Southern & Western Districts of Texas

Community Involvement

  • American Mensa
  • Texas Aggie Bar Association (Board Member 2004-2007)
  • Baylor Law Alumni – Lifetime Member
  • Boy Scouts of America – Assistant Scout Master; father of Eagle Scout
  • Charles L Sommers Alumni Association, Life Member

Anthony T. Golz

Biography

Tony Golz’s practice focuses primarily on commercial litigation and appellate matters for a wide range of clients. He has represented contractors and owners, as well as product designers and distributors in commercial disputes involving construction defect/delay claims, mechanic’s and materialman’s lien claims, product liability claims, breach of contract claims and DTPA/Insurance Code claims. Tony is Board Certified in Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

Tony graduated Cum Laude from the University of Houston Law Center, where he also served as the Head Senior Articles Editor for the Houston Business and Tax Law Journal. After graduation, Tony served as the Briefing Attorney for former Justice Wanda McKee Fowler of the Houston (Fourteenth) Court of Appeals, where he gained valuable appellate experience.

Education

  • University of Houston Law Center – J.D., cum laude, 2007
  • University of Texas at Austin – B.A., High Honors, 2000

Representative Experience

  • Appellate counsel for a Houston-based restaurant chain suing an insurance agent for violating the DTPA and Insurance Code by knowingly misrepresenting the coverage provided by an insurance policy. The trial awarded the restaurant chain actual damages, punitive damages, and attorney’s fees.
  • Appellate counsel for an owner against a general contractor in a matter involving construction delay claims. The owner, a drainage district, successfully defended against the contractor’s claims in the trial court and prevailed on its counterclaims for breach of contract, retaining liquidated damages and recovering its attorney’s fees.
  • Appellate counsel for an owner who successfully defended against a vendor’s mechanic’s and materialman’s lien claims. The trial court declared the vendor’s asserted liens invalid and awarded the owner damages and attorney’s fees.
  • Appellate counsel for a subcontractor in a matter involving an owner’s breach of a public works contract. The owner, a municipality, failed to designate in its bid documents and contract, the correct prevailing wage rates to be paid on an airport project.
  • Appellate counsel for a commercial leasing company in a matter involving allegations that leased construction equipment was defective. The trial court and the court of appeals held that the equipment manufacturer was required to indemnify the leasing company; The Texas Supreme Court dismissed the manufacturer’s petition for review.
  • Represented a pump company in a matter involving breach of contract and fraud claims related to an asset purchase agreement and subsequent settlement agreements.
  • Defended South African, British and American corporations from products liability claims regarding a refractory material used in industrial refining applications.

Memberships & Affiliations

  • State Bar of Texas: Appellate and Construction Law Sections
  • Houston Bar Association: Appellate and Construction Law Sections
  • Texas Young Lawyers Association

Admissions

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

Tracy B. Glenn

Biography

Tracy Glenn is a principal with Cokinos | Young and specializes in complex commercial litigation, insurance defense and coverage disputes as well as various appellate matters. Tracy also serves as comprehensive legal counsel, advising employers on how to effectively and efficiently resolve, mitigate and avoid issues, problems and disputes before litigation becomes necessary. Ms. Glenn routinely advises clients on contract enforcement and interpretation and avoiding drafting pitfalls. Her clients include a variety of large and small businesses, including major insurance carriers and general contractors.

Tracy’s practice also includes defense of corporations and individuals sued for claims involving personal injury and property damage, and she handles a wide variety of claims ranging from construction defects, premises liability, commercial disputes, and professional liability in state and federal courts. Tracy has successfully prosecuted and defended Lanham Act claims, trade dress infringement, and employment disputes, including non-compete, discrimination, and sexual harassment. Tracy served as plaintiffs’ counsel in a reverse discrimination case challenging the constitutionality of the gifted education program in various school districts in Florida. As a result of her representation, Florida amended its statute to limit the use of race in the admission policies of such programs.

Education

  • Boston University Law School – J.D., 1996
  • University of Missouri-St. Louis – B.S., 1993

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Houston Bar Association: Litigation Section and Construction Law Section
  • State Bar of Texas: Construction Law Section
  • The Association of Women Attorneys
  • Bar Association of the Fifth Federal Circuit
  • DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar
  • Greater Southwest Houston Chamber of Commerce
  • Texas Association of Defense Counsel

Admissions

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

Charles W. Getman

Biography

Charles Getman has more than 40 years of litigation experience representing medium and large business clients in Texas and New York, with particular expertise in sophisticated commercial litigation in federal and state courts and arbitration, with an emphasis in major construction failures/disputes, intellectual property, and professional liability. Charles has worked with national, regional, and local property developers, contractors and vendors, professional and amateur sports leagues, teams and players, and businesses in commercial disputes such as multi-party construction design/defect, federal and state securities claims, industrial disputes, trade secrets and other intellectual property, and professional liability.

Education

  • University of Houston – J.D., 1981
  • State University of New York at Buffalo – B.A., 1978

Recognitions & Distinctions

  • AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell peer review ratings, the highest rating possible.
  • Best Lawyers in America 2019 – 2023: Construction Law & Litigation – Construction

Representative Experience

  • Represented a general contractor in arbitration against an NYSE-listed owner to recover unpaid fees on two West Texas mining projects valued at $140 million, plus related state court litigation.
  • Represented a national property developer in a 13-party state court lawsuit involving a $60 million Houston development with successful settlement.
  • Represented in federal court a national manufacturer of medical equipment in claims against a vendor regarding FDA approvals with successful settlement.
  • Represented a general contractor in federal court prosecuting trademark infringement. Trademark enforced.
  • Represented a general contractor and its new employee who allegedly stole prior employer’s confidential material. Claims dismissed.
  • Represented an international industrial pump company prosecuting anti-trust and related claims in federal court against a Fortune 500 industrial pump company.
  • Represented a large institutional client’s multi-party state court prosecution of defective design and construction claims for a 33-story tower following Hurricane Ike and a later rain event.
  • Represented South African, British, and American corporations from plaintiff’s product liability claims regarding refractory material in large industrial applications.
  • Defended and prosecuted counterclaims in federal court for a specialized chemical manufacturing company to enforce trade secrets against its chief competitor.
  • Represented a developer in $20 million-plus construction of dormitory buildings for a state university. Settled claims with government owner, defended claims and prosecuted counterclaim for construction defect and delay with client’s general contractor. Also prosecuted and settled malpractice claims against the client’s architect.
  • Represented a technology purchaser/manufacturer against the original developer of a purchased technology. The developer was threatening to re-sell the technology to the manufacturer’s competitor. Obtained a preliminary injunction prohibiting the sale and thereafter settled the claims.
  • Defended a governmental entity in an $11 million breach of construction contract claim.  Obtained summary judgment dismissing that claim and succeeded on counterclaim to recover all attorneys’ fees incurred, which was affirmed on appeal.
  • Defended a general contractor against claim of alleged defective construction in the breach of an underground high-pressure pipeline. Prosecuted and settled crossclaim against second tier subcontractor.
  • Represented a subcontractor in a jury trial to collect its unpaid contract balance, and defend its allegedly defective work in counterclaim.  Client’s $1.6 million judgment sustained on appeal.
  • Represented an inventor and his company in an attorney malpractice suit for failure to timely file a patent application, resulting in significant settlement. The consumer electronic technology, which was patented by another company, later became an industry standard.
  • Defended a prime subcontractor in arbitration against the general contractor’s claim for allegedly defective work on a NASA construction project. Prosecuted counterclaims for delay and other damages.
  • Participated in representation of the Buffalo Sabres Hockey Club, and represented high-profile professional football and hockey athletes.

Memberships & Affiliations

  • State Bar of Texas: Construction Law Section
  • Houston Bar Association: Construction Law Section
  • State Bar of New York: Commercial Litigation (Former Member)

Admissions

  • State Bar of Texas (1982)
  • State Bar of New York (1988)
  • All Federal District Courts in Texas, three of four Federal District Courts in New York
  • United States Courts of Appeals, Second & Fifth Circuits
  • United States Supreme Court

W. Patrick Garner

Biography

Patrick Garner is a litigator and trial attorney with extensive experience in employment law, construction and commercial litigation representing both Plaintiffs and Defendants.

Patrick acts as a comprehensive legal counsel for a variety of large and small businesses and advises employers on how to resolve, mitigate and avoid issues, problems and disputes before litigation becomes necessary. Despite his outstanding experience as a litigator, Patrick prides himself on protecting the client’s interests while keeping clients out of the courtroom whenever possible.

Clients appreciate the attentive service and zealous representation Patrick Garner brings to matters, both large and small. He often represents contractors, design professionals, owners, design-builders, engineering procurement and construction contractors, lenders and suppliers on a wide variety of construction and employment matters in state and federal courts, as well as in arbitration and mediation. Patrick has experience in infrastructure projects such as highways, government offices and structures, wastewater facilities, power plants, oil refineries and pipelines. He also has experience in projects involving the entertainment, life sciences, health care, hospitality, educational and religious institutions as well as high rise and multi-family dwellings.

Patrick has been involved in matters in state and federal courts across the nation and has significant first chair bench and jury trial experience. He has handled and argued appeals before state and federal courts and has first chair experience in significant arbitrations as well as first chair experience in state and federal administrative hearings.

In construction disputes, Patrick has prepared and defended claims in numerous areas of construction law including contract default claims, payment disputes, bid contests, delays, acceleration and inefficiency claims, re-engineering and design-error claims, insurance coverage claims, OSHA citations, mechanic’s lien and payment bond claims.

On behalf of employers, Patrick has defended a variety of employment litigation and administrative claims including claims asserting breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, unemployment, wage and hour and prevailing wage violations. He has also pursued the efficient resolution of disputes between parties through negotiations, workouts, and litigation, as needed.

Education

  • South Texas College of Law – J.D., 1996
  • Texas Christian University – B.A., 1989

Recognitions & Distinctions

  • AV rated by Martindale Hubbell Peer Review rating, the highest rating possible.
  • Best Lawyers in America 2020 – 2023: Construction Law & Litigation – Construction

Representative Experience

  • Represented private and publicly-traded pipeline companies in multi-million dollar fraud, delay, productivity, and breach-of-contract disputes related to construction of interstate natural gas pipelines, construction of related compressor stations, and remediation of pipeline rights-of-way.
  • Represented a construction company in multiple lawsuits connected with a $150 million development. Lawsuits included geotechnical and structural issues as well as MEP design defects.
  • Represented a hotel on structural and geotechnical design and defect matter.
  • Arbitrated design and construction defect claims against and HVAC designer/contractor and a framing contractor on a multi-million dollar residence.
  • Obtained a no-liability finding after defending a mobile home transport company against a serious, multi-plaintiff highway accident personal injury matter.
  • Represented an individual crane operator against a major contractor on a breach of an employment contract.
  • Resolved a gender discrimination claim against a multi-national employer.
  • Represented a structural concrete contractor on contractual issues, workplace injury matters and the successful negotiation and mitigation of OSHA citations.
  • Represented a private K-8 school against a pregnancy discrimination claim.
  • Represented a catering business/restaurant in multiple discrimination, unemployment and wrongful termination claims.
  • Advised and counseled medical personnel against a hospital in a matter involving wrongful suspension and misapplication of state regulations and guidelines.
  • Counsel to an oil & gas services and equipment supplier on employment matters, employee handbooks, terminations, covenants not to compete and OSHA safety issues.
  • Act as legal counsel for a regional telecommunications company on all employment issues including covenants not to compete, discrimination, workers compensation and unemployment claims.
  • Act as legal counsel to a nationwide chemical manufacturer and distributor providing legal representation on all employment matters.
  • Act as legal counsel throughout Texas for a nationally recognized foundation company. Successfully defended construction defect claims in litigation and arbitration.
  • Act as legal counsel to local churches in construction contracts and personnel policies and procedures.

Memberships & Affiliations

  • State Bar of Texas: Litigation, Construction and Labor & Employment Law Sections
  • Houston Bar Association: Litigation, Construction and Labor & Employment Law Sections
  • College of the State Bar of Texas
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Texas Association of Defense Counsel
  • Associated Builders & Contractors – Committee Member
  • Associated General Contractors of America – Committee Member

Admissions

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

Community Involvement

  • TCU Lettermen Association – Lifetime Member

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