J. Stephen Barrick


J. Stephen Barrick is a trial lawyer and appellate specialist who began his legal career as the law clerk for a federal judge in Houston, Texas. After a two-year clerkship, Mr. Barrick joined the litigation department of a large, international law firm, where he practiced trial and appellate law for more than nine years. In 2008, Mr. Barrick joined Hicks Thomas, where his practice focuses on business litigation and appeals. Mr. Barrick is Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and has over 20 years of experience litigating complex business disputes.

Practice Emphasis

  • Appellate Practice
  • Business Litigation
  • Domestic and International Arbitration


  • University of Houston Law Center (J.D., magna cum laude, 1996)
    • Order of the Coif
    • Order of the Barons
    • Houston Law Review – (Notes and Comments Editor, 1995-96)
  • University of California at Berkeley (B.A., 1989)
  • Senior Year Abroad at Wadham College, Oxford (1988-89).

Court Admissions:

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fifth, Ninth, Tenth, and Federal Circuits
  • U.S. District Courts for all districts in Texas
  • State Bar of Texas

Honors & Distinctions

  • Named in the 2020 listing of Best Lawyers in America
  • Named to Texas Super Lawyers by Thomson Reuters (2012-2019)
  • Named to Texas Super Lawyers Rising Stars by Thomson Reuters (2004-2007)
  • Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization
  • Section Leadership Council, Houston Bar Association Appellate Practice Section (2014-2017)
  • Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation

Professional Memberships

  • Texas Association of Civil Trial and Appellate Specialists (TACTAS)
  • State Bar of Texas (Litigation and Appellate Sections)
  • Houston Bar Association (Litigation and Appellate Sections)

Representative Cases

  • Lead counsel on appeal of a multi-million dollar judgment in favor of the client in a complex business partnership and intentional tort case.
  • Lead counsel for an international oil and gas exploration company in multi-million dollar joint-interest billing dispute under an offshore joint operating agreement.
  • Lead counsel for a publicly-traded oil and gas exploration company in ad hoc arbitration against joint interest owners over rights in an overseas oil and gas project.
  • Lead counsel for a publicly-traded oil and gas company in contract dispute against a gas processing and marketing company.
  • Counsel for nationwide retailer in trademark and trade dress dispute with a former product supplier.
  • Counsel for a publicly-traded offshore drilling contractor in $160 million contract dispute against two of the largest corporations in the world.

Representative Appeals

  • Windrum v. Kareh, --- S.W.3d ---, 2019 WL 321925 (Tex. 2019). Obtained Supreme Court reversal of a court of appeals decision reversing a multi-million dollar judgment in the client’s favor, resulting in a prompt and favorable settlement.
  • Chu v. Hong, 249 S.W.3d 441 (Tex. 2008). Obtained Supreme Court reversal of a $1.7 million fraud judgment against the client after a court of appeals affirmed the verdict.
  • BP Exploration Libya Ltd. v. ExxonMobil Libya Ltd., 689 F.3d 481 (5th Cir. 2012). Obtained reversal of a district court order imposing an unfair arbitrator selection process, which led to the selection of a favorable arbitration panel and, ultimately, a complete victory in arbitration.
  • MJR Oil & Gas 2001, LLC v. AriesOne, LP, 558 S.W.3d 578 (Tex. App.—Texarkana 2018, no pet.). Obtained reversal of a summary judgment ruling dismissing the client’s claims for breach of a right of first refusal in numerous oil and gas leases.
  • Allen v. Devon Energy Holdings, LLC, 367 S.W.3d 355 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2012, pet. granted, judgm't vacated w.r.m.). Obtained reversal of a summary judgment dismissing the client’s claims for securities fraud, which led to a favorable settlement for the client.
  • In re Pinnacle Eng’g, Inc., 405 S.W.3d 885 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2013, orig. proceeding). Obtained writ of mandamus setting aside an order compelling discovery of the client’s computers.
  • Texas Mut. Ins. Co. v. Ruttiger, 265 S.W.3d 651 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2008), rev’d, 381 S.W.3d 430 (Tex. 2012). Counsel for workers’ compensation insurer on appeal of a final judgment for bad-faith claim handling practices. The appeal ultimately led to the Texas Supreme Court reversing its own precedent and abolishing the bad faith cause of action in the workers’ compensation context.
  • TH Investments, Inc. v. Kirby Inland Marine, L.P., 218 S.W.3d 173 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2007, pet. denied), cert. denied, 555 U.S. 1098 (2009). Successfully defended trial court judgment dismissing aggressive challenge to the client’s real property rights near the Houston Ship Channel.
  • BACM 2001-1 San Felipe Rd. Ltd. P’ship v. Trafalgar Holdings I, Ltd., 218 S.W.3d 137 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2007, pet. denied). Obtained reversal of a $13 million judgment against the client for breach of contract.

(713) 547-9167
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