John B. Thomas
Partner, Hicks Thomas LLP
EducationWestern Michigan University (B.S., with honors, 1983); University of Michigan (J.D., with honors, 1986); Judicial Clerkship, Honorable Edith H. Jones, Chief Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Practice EmphasisCommercial litigation with extensive experience in energy, natural resources, and environmental law.
Representative Cases/ClientsCity of Modesto v. Dow Chemical Co., et al. Lead counsel for manufacturing defendant in ongoing, industry-wide environmental contamination litigation against dry cleaning chemical and equipment industry.
- Obtained defense verdict after 6-month jury trial on product liability issues.
- Obtained findings of no liability after bench trial on remaining issues.
- As lead counsel in joint defense group, deposed plaintiff's expert, resulting in a ruling excluding the majority of alleged damage evidence as speculative.
Enron Capital v. KN Processing, Inc. Lead counsel for KNPI in dispute involving a propane "swap" agreement. Settled Enron's $33 million damage claim favorably prior to trial with implementation of a revised swap agreement.
Occidental Permian Manager, L.L.C. v. BP America Production Co. Trial counsel for Oxy in this International Arbitration Association proceeding involving a dispute over ownership of oil and gas "call" rights assigned to Oxy in connection with its $3 billion acquisition of the Altura joint venture in the Permian Basin. This week-long arbitration took place in Houston, Texas in front of a three-person international panel.
Shell Oil Co. v. Chase Manhattan Bank. Trial counsel for J.P. Morgan Chase in this International Arbitration Association proceeding involving the banking joint venture to develop the co-branded Shell MasterCard. The dispute centered on the ownership of the accounts portfolio, one of the largest such portfolios in the country. After various jurisdictional disputes in federal courts in New York and Houston, the matter was tried before an arbitration panel in Houston.
R.R. Street & Co. Inc. v. Pilgrim Enter., Inc. As trial counsel, obtained favorable jury verdict for client after ten-week trial in case of first impression under the Texas Solid Waste Disposal Act. Mr. Thomas also presented arguments to the Supreme Court of Texas that resulted in the landmark decision in favor of his client reported at 166 S.W.3d 232 (Tex. 2005).