Admiralty and Maritime Law
With over 60 years of collective experience in Admiralty and Maritime Law, our Firm's attorneys possess extensive experience handling a wide array of maritime matters, including litigation relating to injured maritime workers, collisions, allisions, the Jones Act, the Death on the High Seas Act, the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, the Defense Base Act, the Outer-Continental Shelf Lands Act and the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act.
Our Firm's blue water marine clients include numerous domestic and foreign owners, operators, charterers, and insurers of freighters, tankers, tugs, barges, supply boats, offshore drilling rigs/vessels and offshore platforms. Our Firm also regularly represents shipyards, terminal facilities, harbor pilots and other companies engaged in brown water activities, such as inland towing operations and supply services.
We primarily serve the ports of Beaumont, Port Arthur and Orange, Texas, as well as the surrounding waterways. Our attorneys are available 24 hours a day and can provide our marine clients with an immediate and effective response to any maritime crisis.
Over the past 25 years, our Firm has established and maintained a proven record of success in post-trial and appellate practice before numerous state and federal courts, as well as post-hearing proceedings before various administrative agencies. Our Firm's Appellate Practice includes traditional appeals, interlocutory appeals, accelerated appeals and mandamus proceedings. Our attorneys have argued cases before the Beaumont Court of Appeals, the Texas Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court, and have helped develop and refine various aspects of Texas jurisprudence. For a listing of reported cases in which our attorneys have been involved, please click here.
Our Firm has extensive experience in handling the defense of personal injury and property damage claims arising out of automobile accidents. These accidents range from minor "fender-benders" to incidents with major casualties involving multiple vehicles and severe injuries or death. Because of this wide variance, our attorneys are well-qualified to evaluate any type of automobile casualty and accordingly prepare a defense commensurate with the severity of the case, resulting in the most efficient and cost-effective litigation approach and resolution.
Business and Commercial Litigation
Our Firm handles a wide assortment of business and commercial litigation matters, including breach of contract claims, business torts, collections, warranty disputes and deceptive trade practices. In addition, we regularly assist with drafting various types of contracts and commercial agreements, as well as developing contractual indemnification/hold harmless and insurance procurement provisions.
Our Firm is routinely called upon to assist in the collection of debts relating to goods and services provided by our clients. We implement a collection approach that is tailored to each client's specific needs, and we can perform these collection services on either an hourly-billing approach or on a contingency-type basis.
Environmental and Toxic Tort Litigation
Our Firm has extensive experience effectively handling state-wide environmental and toxic tort litigation involving both land-based and maritime products liability and premises liability claims. These varied cases involve claims of exposure to products allegedly containing asbestos, silica, benzene, coke dust, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide and other types of airborne particulates and fumes. Our Firm's expertise in this area also extends to assisting its clients in responding to marine and shoreside environmental spill and release incidents. The wide range of experience in this complex arena has enabled our Firm to efficiently manage and successfully resolve these claims in a cost-effective manner.
Governmental and Administrative Law
Our Firm's attorneys have over 50 years of collective experience representing governmental entities across Southeast Texas, which include various cities, counties, water districts and utility districts. We handle a wide range of legal matters for our governmental clients arising out of automobile accidents, premises liability, condemnation and eminent domain proceedings, administrative disputes, and state and federal constitutional and statutory claims which include whistleblower actions, retaliation claims, civil rights violation claims including discrimination allegations, disability actions, excessive force claims, wrongful arrest, employment actions, free speech claims, claims involving the denial of medical care, Public Meetings and Open Records Act claims.
Insurance Litigation and Counseling
Our Firm is regularly called upon by both insurers and insureds to interpret insurance contracts and render opinions relating to coverage. We also routinely litigate suits involving questions of insurance coverage and related extra-contractual issues. Our attorneys have experience in dealing with a wide variety of coverage issues and related bad faith claims arising under liability, trucking, maritime and energy-related coverages, as well as a wide variety of insurance policies, including comprehensive general liability, personal and commercial auto, builders risk, homeowners, environmental, professional liability, first party, excess, umbrella, surplus lines policies and reinsurance.
Intellectual Property Litigation
Our Firm has expertise in the litigation of patent infringement cases, trademark, and copyright law suits. In the enforcement and dispute arena, our Firm is adept at representing the clients' best interest when others infringe or accuse our clients of infringement. When required, our Firm provides its clients with experience in understanding the relevant technology; ascertaining the validity and strength of the rights involved in the dispute; litigation; trying cases to conclusion, and preserving errors for appeal, should the need arise.
Labor, Employment and Civil Rights Law
One of our Firm's main practice areas is Labor and Employment Law. Our Firm has handled cases before various arbitration panels, labor and administrative review boards, and courts in the state and federal judicial systems. We regularly defend employment disputes, including breach of employment contract actions and litigation brought under the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act, the Texas Whistleblower's Act, Title VII discrimination claims, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination and Employment Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, and Title 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Additionally, our Firm's Labor and Employment attorneys routinely counsel employers with regard to the drafting of employee handbooks, policy manuals and drug testing protocols, hiring, termination and disciplinary procedures, and the implementation of anti-discriminatory polices and programs so as to minimize exposure to potential litigation arising out of the employer-employee relationship.
Law Enforcement Liability
Our Firm's attorneys have over 50 years of collective experience representing numerous law enforcement officers, police and sheriff's departments, jails, and associated governmental entities in and throughout East Texas. We have been successful at both the trial and appellate levels in our defense of claims arising out of alleged excessive force, deadly force, illegal searches and seizures, false arrest and imprisonment, high speed pursuits, free speech and other claimed civil rights violations.
Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act Litigation
Our Firm's longshore clients include various local shipyards, docks, terminal facilities and insurance carriers, and our attorneys are well-versed in the intricacies of the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act. With over 25 years of collective experience in this area, our attorneys have successfully handled numerous longshore matters, from the inception of the claim through the administrative trial and appellate process. The cases have also included claims arising under the Defense Base Act and the Outer-Continental Shelf Lands Act.
Our Firm's attorneys possess extensive experience representing various municipalities in and throughout the state and federal courts of East Texas. Our Firm's municipal practice is broad, and includes representation involving personal injuries, premises liability, property damage claims, condemnation proceedings, the review of official and administrative actions, the Texas Tort Claims Act, the Texas Open Records Act, the Texas Open Meetings Act, the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act, the Texas Whistleblower's Act, Title VII discrimination claims, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination and Employment Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, and Constitutional torts arising under Title 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983, 1985, 1986 and 1988.
Personal Injury, Products Liability and Premises Liability Defense
Our Firm's primary focus is and always has been litigation grounded in personal injury defense. Our attorneys have over 60 years of collective experience in defending personal injury lawsuits on the state and federal levels. These cases are based on a wide variety of claims, including those sounding in negligence, gross negligence, intentional tort, products liability, premises liability, toxic tort, work place injury, chemical exposure, construction accidents, plant explosions, fires, chemical releases, employment liability, governmental liability, civil rights liability and class actions. The claims can arise both in the land-based context and under the maritime/admiralty law. Our Firm's clients range from individuals to corporations, companies, cities, counties, water and utility districts, shipping companies, offshore drilling and related companies, towing companies, oil refining and exploration companies, pipeline companies, chemical plants, trucking companies, various different types of manufacturing companies and industrial facilities.