Bruce Wilkin has tried cases to jury verdicts and to the bench as the first-chair lawyer, argued before Texas courts of appeal, and served as the lead lawyer before the Texas Supreme Court in commercial, energy, environmental, and first party insurance disputes.
Advocate: Handling cases on both sides of the docket, Bruce’s achievements include obtaining a seven-figure judgment on the plaintiff side, and many take-nothing judgments on the defense side. The Texas Supreme Court has quoted Bruce’s cross-examination of an opposing expert, holding that the expert’s trial testimony was legally insufficient, and rendering a take-nothing judgment in favor of Bruce’s client.
Author: Bruce is an author of a major treatise on business and business litigation in federal courts, which was described in the Texas Bar Journal as a “monumental achievement” by “the minds of some of the most well-established thought leaders in today’s legal community” and in the New York Law Journal as: “There is nothing like it. It is the single most useful tool for the federal litigator in existence, except possibly the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.” He is also published in the areas of energy litigation, evidentiary issues at trial, and first-party insurance disputes.
Acknowledgments: Among his peers, Bruce has been voted a Rising Star (Thomson Reuters), in Texas Super Lawyers Magazine, and one of Houston’s Top Lawyers in H Texas.
Advisor: Due to his successes in the courtroom, clients often seek Bruce’s advice outside of it. His practice also includes providing pre-dispute guidance in commercial disputes, coverage analysis and advice for insurers, and general business counseling for oilfield services companies.
Energy & Environmental Litigation
- Trial and co-lead appellate counsel for oilfield pipeline manufacturer in environmental contamination suit, resulting in Texas Supreme Court reversing and rendering judgment in favor of client. Houston Unlimited Inc. Metal Processing v. Mel Acres Ranch, 443 S.W.3d 820 (Tex. 2014)
- Trial counsel for emergency services contractor for Texas Commission on Environmental Quality against third-party claims of landowner in superfund cost recovery action, resulting in take nothing judgment
- Represented major waste services company defending against billion-dollar claims brought by county and state officials in environmental civil penalty action
- Represented major chemical supplier defending against nine-figure claims in complex chemical refinery explosion
- Represented major energy company in a complex refinery construction dispute involving issues of construction processes, engineering issues, and delay damages
- Represented major pipeline company in pipeline explosion dispute in multiparty dispute involving claims of premises liability, negligent entrustment, and products liability
First-Party Insurance Litigation
- Trial counsel and lead appellate counsel for commercial property insurer in jury trial defending against breach of contract, fraud, and bad faith claims related to apartment complex fire, resulting in no liability finding and take nothing judgment on plaintiff’s seven-figure claims. Westview Drive Invs., LLC v. Landmark Am. Ins. Co., 522 S.W.3d 583 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2017, pet. denied)
- Lead trial and appellate counsel in obtaining dismissal of plaintiff’s bad faith and Insurance Code claims after plaintiff was dissatisfied with appraisal outcome. Richardson East Baptist Church v. Phil. Indem. Ins. Co., et al., 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 3267 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2016, pet. denied)
- Lead trial and appellate counsel in obtaining dismissal of plaintiff’s seven-figure claims against independent adjusting firm pursuant to forum selection clause in the policy, despite the adjusting firm not being a signatory to the contract. Chandler Management Corp. v. First Specialty Ins. Corp., et al., 452 S.W.3d 887 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2014, no pet.)
- Trial counsel in arbitration among insurers disputing number of occurrences, obtaining high six-figure judgment awarded to client
- Trial and appellate counsel for commercial property insurer against breach of contract and bad faith claims, obtaining take nothing summary judgment on plaintiff’s mid seven-figure claims
- Trial counsel for commercial battery supplier in multiple injunction proceedings involving misappropriation of trade secrets, obtaining sequestration of competitor’s computers and documents and injunction against use of client’s trade secrets
- Trial counsel for bank in injunction proceedings, preventing international letters of credit from being enjoined
- Appellate counsel for bank in protecting its jury award on claims of conversion, civil theft, and fraud, obtaining affirmed judgment
- Represented minority shareholders and limited partners in claims against over thirty interrelated companies in complex dispute involving claims of minority shareholder oppression, breach of fiduciary duty, and forfeiture
- Represented oilfield services companies in several disputes involving non-compete and trade secret claims, indemnities under master services agreements, and class-action wage misclassification claims