John J. Deis

Partner

Some cases are complex because of the mountains of evidence at issue; others because of the technical complexity of the industry involved. Either way, John Deis has a knack for distilling his cases down to the core issues and clearly presenting his client’s side to judges and juries.

Mr. Deis once spent four days living aboard an oilrig offshore of Libya in order to understand how various equipment worked and the crew's performance. This was key to disproving his opponent’s contention that the rig’s equipment and crew were not fit for purpose. The resulting expert reports and witness statements that he presented to an arbitration tribunal proved that the rig was fully operational and capable of meeting the requirements of a long-term assignment.

Mr. Deis honed his legal writing skills working as the managing editor for the Houston Law Review. It was his experience as an undergraduate and his enjoyment of business law classes that motivated him to pursue a career as an attorney. His understanding of complex issues and his willingness to get his hands dirty have benefited his clients in cases ranging from catastrophic oil and gas accidents to industrial construction projects, contract disputes and trade secret matters.

He is a former Marine Corps officer who spent four years on active duty and four more in the reserves. He attributes his effectiveness in front of judges and juries to the lessons he learned while serving: quickly assess the situation, develop a plan of action and out execute your opponent, even in the most stressful environments. It’s this ability that allows him to keep calm under pressure and to be a leader, even when going up against some formidable opponents.

Practice Areas:

  • Complex Construction Litigation
  • Oil and Gas Litigation
  • Commercial Litigation

Education

  • University of Houston Law Center (JD, 2000, magna cum laude)
  • Houston Law Review (Managing Editor), Order of the Coif, Order of the Barons, 2000 Blakely Butler Moot Court Champion
  • Texas A&M University (BBA, 1993)

Court Admissions:

  • State Bar of Texas
  • Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • United States District Courts for the Southern, Western and Eastern Districts of Texas
  • Houston Bar Association

Accomplishments/Honors

  • Captain, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve (1993-2001).

Professional Associations

  • State Bar of Texas
  • Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • United States District Courts for the Southern, Western and Eastern Districts of Texas
  • Houston Bar Foundation

Community Involvement:

  • Boy Scouts of America, local Assistant Scoutmaster.
  • Board of Directors for Hope Healing & Hooves, providing horseback riding-based afterschool activity to at risk-youth.
  • Host committee for Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, helping coordinate fundraising for scholarships provided to the children of Marines.

Representative Cases:

Complex Construction Litigation

Represented engineering and construction contractor in litigation over alleged construction cost overruns and design defects in a crude oil refinery project. Damage claims among the parties exceed $40 million.

Advised engineering and construction contractor on impact of force majeure provisions in billion dollar construction project.

Represented electrical contractor in arbitration concerning electrical installation of automated equipment in an automobile factory.

Lead counsel for offshore construction and service provider in multimillion dollar arbitration concerning offshore automated pipe welding services and offshore pipeline construction.

Oil and Gas Litigation

Counsel for major drilling contractor in numerous disputes concerning rig readiness and compliance with contract and regulatory standards. Litigated cases involving offshore rig mooring and wire rope failures, hurricane damage, jack-up rig emplacement and punch-throughs, rig audits and inspections and fitness of well control and drilling equipment.

Counsel for major pipeline company in litigation over transportation and gas purchase agreements and processing and compression facilities.

Environmental Litigation

Defense counsel for a six-month jury trial involving a $160 million environmental contamination claim that led to a defense verdict. He took the lead role in managing engineering and environmental experts to defeat causation claims in the case.

Managed discovery in numerous groundwater contamination cases across the country and has taken hundreds of percipient and expert witness depositions on technical and operational issues.

Represented refinery owner in litigation to recover RCRA response costs under an indemnity agreement with the prior owner.

Regularly consults with clients on litigation risks that are associated with environmental contamination investigations and transactions involving contaminated property.

Commercial Litigation

Represented various clients in shareholder disputes and securities fraud matters.

Represented various clients in trade secret and unfair competition matters, with an emphasis on protection of trade secrets from disclosure by former employees.

Email
(713) 547-9152
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