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 – 2024): 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 Court of Appeals for the 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 – 2024): 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.

Speaking Engagements & Presentations

  • Presenter, “Construction PI: Are You the Hammer or the Nail?” — 39th Annual Advanced Personal Injury Law Course 2023

Publications

  • We are Doing Good, But We Can Do Better – The Importance of Safety in Construction, Construction News Magazine, November 2023

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
  • Society of Construction Law North America – Member

Admissions

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

Community Involvement

  • TCU Lettermen Association – Lifetime Member

Todd M. Foss

Biography

Todd is a trusted legal advisor and experienced litigator known for providing practical and cost-effective solutions for clients in all types of business disputes and tort litigation.  He regularly represents businesses in the energy, construction and utility industries.  Todd’s practice is focused primarily on breach of contract and other complex commercial litigation matters, as well as personal injury suits involving wrongful death, premises liability and products liability claims.  Todd also advises clients on employment matters and handles cases involving employment contracts, separation from employment, breach of non-competition agreements, and claims of discrimination and wrongful termination.  Through the establishment of close working relationships with clients as well as acquiring in-depth understanding of their business and industry, Todd is committed to being in the best position possible to protect the client’s name and interests and help clients achieve their goals through implementation of effective legal strategies.

Education

  • University of Houston Law Center – J.D., 2003
  • Rhodes College – B.A., 2000

Representative Experience

  • Represented well operator in high dollar contract dispute with drilling contractor arising out of drilling operations in the Marcellus Shale formation.
  • Represented well service company in wrongful death action arising out of drilling rig fatality.
  • Obtained summary judgment for hospice in lawsuit alleging discrimination, retaliation and violation of the Texas Occupations Code.
  • Represented utility services company in suit alleging breach of a commercial lease agreement.
  • Defended transportation and freight logistics company in tractor-trailer rollover suit.
  • Represented environmental consulting company in suit alleging fraud and deceptive acts.
  • Represented major oil company in several discrimination and retaliation lawsuits.
  • Obtained summary judgment for utility services company in premises liability suit in which the plaintiff was severely injured by a steel rebar cage that collapsed on him at a jobsite.

Memberships & Affiliations

  • State Bar of Texas
  • Houston Bar Association: Litigation Section (Past Chair) and Oil & Gas Section
  • Texas Young Lawyers Association
  • Texas Young Professionals, Houston Chapter
  • Young Professionals in Energy

Admissions

  • State Bar of Texas
  • State Bar of Florida
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • United States District Court: Southern District of Texas

Community Involvement

  • Child Advocates, Inc.

J. Parker Fauntleroy

Biography

Parker Fauntleroy is an experienced litigator and trial counselor whose practice primarily focuses on working with companies involved in catastrophic claims and complex disputes in Commercial Construction, Oil and Gas, Electrical, Communication and Gas Utilities, and Trucking Industries. Parker operates from a philosophy that protecting the client’s brand and business relationships is one of the most critical components of his work. He serves as a trusted advisor to clients; protecting and advancing their interests and bringing peace of mind on critical issues that might otherwise keep business owners up at night. Parker places great emphasis on acquiring an in-depth understanding of the client’s business model, and he develops expertise in the client’s particular business sector in order to marry industry know-how with optimal service. With this knowledge, Parker develops reasonable, practical and often unique solutions to his clients’ problems. Parker is a forward thinker, and he provides proactive assistance to guard against future issues and protect the viability and productivity of the business.

Parker is described by his clients as steadfast, tenacious, conscientious, creative, and committed. He has significant and successful experience resolving matters through skillful negotiations, both pre-suit and during litigation. Parker’s reputation is well known, and he has successfully tried numerous cases to verdict, providing his clients the trial option when required.

Parker is firmly committed to helping shape the legal minds of the future, and he gives back to the community by sharing his wisdom and expertise. He has taught as an Adjunct Professor for Civil Trial Advocacy at South Texas College of Law and he has presented at a multitude of seminars and conferences.

Education

  • South Texas College of Law – J.D., 1994
    – Order of the Barristers
    – Order of Lytae
  • University of Texas at Austin – B.B.A., 1987

Recognitions & Distinctions

  • Best Lawyers in America 2015 – 2024: Personal Injury Litigation – Defendant
  • Texas Super Lawyer, Thomson Reuters 2022-Present
  • AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell peer review ratings, the highest rating possible.

Memberships & Affiliations

  • ABOTA (American Board of Trial Advocates)
  • Houston Bar Association
  • State Bar of Texas

Admissions

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

P. Costa Economides

Biography

Costa Economides’ practice focuses primarily on construction, civil litigation and insurance defense. He has experience handling multi-party personal injury lawsuits, subrogation claims, and construction cases. Costa received his bachelor’s degree in Economics, with a minor in business administration, from Texas A&M University in 2016. He earned his law degree from South Texas College of Law in 2020.

Recognitions & Distinctions

  • Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch 2024- Construction Law

Education

  • South Texas College of Law – J.D., 2020
  • Texas A&M University – B.S. Economics, 2016

Admissions

  • State Bar of Texas (2020)

Community Involvement

  • Active member of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral

Gregory M. Cokinos

Biography

Gregory Cokinos is a founder of Cokinos | Young and he has earned a reputation as one of the preeminent lawyers in his field. Gregory’s practice includes all aspects (trial, dispute, and contract negotiations) of industrial and commercial construction, including pipelines, power plants, processing plants, refineries, highway construction, offshore production and drilling platforms, office buildings, high rise condominiums and schools. Gregory also has extensive experience in real estate transactions and development, having represented owners, developers, landlords and tenants in all areas of commercial real estate acquisition, financing, development, leasing and sale. His project involvement includes central business district office buildings, health care facilities, shopping centers, housing developments and apartments.

Although his practice is concentrated in the area of construction and real estate development issues, Gregory has handled a wide range of litigation matters as well as contract negotiations, including significant cases in securities fraud, patent infringement, employment, banking, franchise agreements and oil and gas. Gregory has also handled serious personal injury cases, including brain damage, permanent paralysis and death.

Gregory devotes considerable time to the advancement of the industry. After serving as editor of the State Bar Construction Law Section Newsletter, he was instrumental in creating and organizing the Construction Law Journal, a joint publication by the Construction Law Section of the State Bar of Texas and The South Texas College of Law. He became the first editor of the journal, a position he held for close to two decades, until 2019. Gregory is a member of the American College of Construction Lawyers and was the first lawyer from Houston inducted into this prestigious organization. Gregory is also an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association, on both the commercial and construction panels, and for the International Center for Dispute Resolution. Gregory is also a Department of Construction Science Lecturer with the College of Architecture, Texas A&M University, teaching COSC 465 – Advanced Topics in Construction Law since 2019.

Education

  • South Texas College of Law – J.D., 1982
  • Texas A&M University – B.B.A., 1979

Recognitions & Distinctions

  • Chambers USA: Ranked Lawyer in Texas Construction Law (2003 – 2024); Chambers USA “Star Individual”
  • Texas State Bar Construction Law Section Chair (2022 – 2023); Chair-Elect (2021 – 2022)
  • Named by Thomson Reuters as one of The Top 100 Super Lawyers in the State of Texas every year since 2007
  • Named 2018 Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers
  • Named Texas Super Lawyer by Thomson Reuters every year since 2005. Each year, no more than 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
  • American College of Construction Lawyers, first Houston attorney selected and inducted into the prestigious, invitation only, association of the top 1% of construction lawyers in North America
  • Best Lawyers in America (2005 – Present): Construction Law, Commercial Litigation & Construction Litigation
  • Distinguished Alumni of Texas A&M (2022)
  • Texas A&M Mays Business School Distinguished Alumni (2017)

Memberships & Affiliations

  • American Arbitration Association: Panelist on Construction and Commercial Panels
  • American Bar Association: Litigation, Construction Law, Business Law, Real Estate, Oil and Gas
  • College of the State Bar of Texas
  • Litigation Council of America Fellow
  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Life Member
  • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Life Member
  • State Bar of Texas: Litigation, Business Law, Real Estate, Entertainment and Sports Law
  • Construction Law Section Newsletter: Editor (1997 – 2003)
  • Construction Law Journal: Editor (2003 – 2020)
  • Appointed as a member of the Construction Law Exam Inaugural Commission (2016) charged with drafting the board certification exam for construction law, and grading the exam for the Texas Bar of Legal Specialization
  • Texas Bar Foundation
  • Texas Trial Lawyers Association
  • Texas Aggie Bar Association
  • Association of General Contractors of America
  • Associated Builders and Contractors of Houston
  • Houston Contractors Association
  • Houston Bar Association: Litigation, Construction Law, Business Law, Real Estate, Oil and Gas
  • Houston Young Lawyers Association: Former Council Member
  • District 4D Grievance Committee, Panel Chair
  • Chair of 12th Man Foundation
  • Board Member of the Association of Former Students (2012 – 2017)

Community Involvement

  • Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral Expansion, Construction Subcommittee Chair (1992 – 1995)
  • Chair of $17.0mm Cathedral expansion of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral (2016 – present)
  • Served on the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral Parish Council (1986 – 1992; 2011 – 2017)

Admissions

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

Craig H. Clendenin

Biography

Craig Clendenin’s practice involves arbitration and litigation in both state and federal trial and appellate courts throughout Texas. As a litigator, Craig has tried well over 150 jury trials to verdict in well over a dozen counties throughout Texas and in all United States Federal Districts in Texas. He represents individuals, corporations and business clients in claims focusing primarily on construction, real estate and finance on behalf of Owners, General Contractors and Subcontractors, but in his 36 years of trying cases, his trial and arbitration experience has involved matters ranging from failed business ventures to securities, personal injury, toxic tort, environmental, trucking, and general contract law.

Education

  • South Texas College of Law – J.D., 1983
  • University of Texas at Austin – B.A., 1980

Recognitions & Distinctions

  • Best Lawyers in America – 2024 Commercial Litigation
  • AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell peer review ratings, the highest rating possible.
  • Board Certified in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 1990.
  • Named a Texas Super Lawyer in Construction Law for 2018 and 2019 by Thomson Reuters. Each year, no more than 5 percent of lawyers in the state are selected to receive this honor.

Representative Experience

  • Successfully defended a general contractor in a jury trial in Jefferson County, Texas in which the Owner of a Beaumont Refinery had asserted a $15,000,000.00 claim for welding defects and delays against the general contractor. The Owner ultimately settled with the general contractor after three weeks of testimony before foregoing its claims and agreeing to pay the general contractor the majority of the general contractor’s $2,500,000.00 counterclaim.
  • Successfully represented a subcontractor who provided materials for a wind farm in Cameron County, Texas against a general contractor. After a five day arbitration, the Panel rejected the general contractor’s claims for delays and defects and awarded COKINOS’ client the totality of its claim against the general contractor in an amount exceeding $2,000,000.00.
  • Successfully represented MK Constructors in an arbitration claim against an Owner for non-payment of dirt work performed in Jefferson County, Texas in anticipation of construction of a residential subdivision. MK refused to perform any additional work until payment was made. In response, the Owner terminated the contract. MK filed a mechanic’s lien against the property in the amount of $978,000 and filed a claim. The Owner counter-sued for breach of contract, fraud, misrepresentation, and attorney’s fees. The Arbitration Panel determined the Owner was responsible for the first material breach of the contract and awarded MK over $1.3mm (including all attorney’s fees) and denied the Owner’s counterclaims in their entirety.
  • Ronquillo / Rubenstein v. Tharpe, 2019 WL 3335480 (Tex. App. – Corpus Christi 2019, pet. dismd)(successfully defended a disparagement claim using Texas Anti-SLAPP statute with recovery of attorney’s fees on behalf of clients).
  • Byrd Bros., Inc. v. Marsh Buggies, Inc., 2013 WL 6095844 (Tex. App. – Houston [14th Dist. 2013], pet. dsmd) (successfully represented a subcontractor on a bond claim against the general contractor and surety on a claim under the McGregor Act).
  • Morrell Masonry Supply, Inc. v. Lupe’s Shenandoah Reserve, LLC, 363 S.W.3d 901 (Tex. App. – Beaumont 2012, no pet. (successfully overturned existing precedent regarding notice under the Texas Property Code, removing lien and recovering attorney’s fees for client).
  • Sanders v. Herold, 217 S.W.3d 11 (Tex. App. – Houston [14th Dist.] 2006, pet den’d) (obtained summary judgment of parents being sued for failure to warn).
  • Bill’s Dollar Store, Inc. v. Bean, 77 S.W.3d 367 (Tex. App. – Houston [14th Dist.] 2002, pet den’d) (obtained reversal and rendering of verdict against store owner in slip-and-fall matter).
  • Sturges v. System Parking, Inc., 834 S.W.2d 472 (Tex. App. – Houston [14th Dist.] 1992, no pet.)(obtained a reversal of summary judgment in favor of parking facility owner, rendering judgment in favor of broker culminating in settlement).

Memberships & Affiliations

  • State Bar of Texas
  • Houston Bar Foundation
  • Houston Bar Association
  • Harris County Bar Association

Admissions

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

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