- International Practice
- Securities Regulation
- Climate Change
- Financial Institutions
- Labor and Employment
- Strategic Communications
- Corporate and Securities
- Financial Restructuring
- Educational Institutions
- Private Funds
- Intellectual Property
- Public Finance
- White Collar Defense
- Environmental Strategies
- Internal Investigations
- Real Estate and Projects
Chris L. Dodson
Chris Dodson divides his trial practice between complex commercial litigation and environmental litigation. He maintains an active commercial trial docket and also chairs Bracewell’s environmental litigation practice. In that capacity, Chris works with and helps lead approximately 20 other partners in five different offices in the United States.
Chris has particular experience handling high-stakes, high-profile disputes for clients in oilfield services, offshore drilling, financial services, waste disposal services, commercial real estate, construction, grocery services, technology, telecommunications, software, and manufacturing. He represents both plaintiffs and defendants in state and federal courts across the country. Chris’ clients range from Fortune 500 businesses to high net-worth individuals, including well-known companies such as Waste Management, Inc., Baker Hughes, Concho Resources, Ursa Resources, Vopak North America, and Wortham Insurance.
His recent litigation victories have attracted media attention as well as peer-recognition. He was named the Texas “Litigator of the Week” by the Texas Lawyer (ALM) on October 8, 2015 for his complete defense victory in a $25 million commercial dispute. In 2014, his defense of an environmental enforcement action brought by Harris County was called “one of the greatest defense victories in Texas history” by The Texas Lawbook (November 14, 2014). In 2013, Chris also obtained a complete defense verdict in West Virginia rejecting—for the first time—a causal link between fracking and groundwater contamination and personal injuries. He also recently obtained state court and federal court injunctions on behalf of a worldwide terminal company and an African-based project development company. In recognition of his courtroom achievements, he has been named a Thomson Reuters, Texas Super Lawyers Rising Star for three-years running (2014-2016) and in Legal 500 US (2016) for Energy: Litigation.
A native Houstonian, Chris joined Bracewell after graduating from law school in 2005 and has been with the firm ever since.
Guadalupe County Groundwater Conservation District v. Post Oak Clean Green, Inc., No. 04-15-00433-CV (Tex. App.—San Antonio Apr. 6 2016). As lead Bracewell attorney, obtained complete dismissal of lawsuit brought by local groundwater district against a landfill developer.
Raizen North America, Inc. v. Vopak North America, Inc. As lead attorney, represented Vopak North America in defense of $25 million breach of contract and fraud allegations. After three years of litigation, obtained complete dismissal on eve of trial.
In re San Jacinto River Impoundment Litigation. Led the Bracewell team defending a publicly traded waste disposal company in a multi-billion dollar environmental enforcement action and attendant mass tort lawsuits. The actions were settled favorably during trial in Harris County, Texas.
Hagy v. BJ Services, No. 12-1926 (4th Cir. 2013). Represented BJ Services as lead associate in litigation brought by land owners in West Virginia claiming groundwater contamination and personal injuries from fracking and drilling activities. The district court dismissed all claims against defendants on summary judgment and, in the first federal circuit court decision addressing fracking, the summary judgment dismissal was affirmed for lack of causation.
Vopak North America et al. v. Intercontin'l Terminals Co. and Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc., 354 S.W.3d 887 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2011). Represented Vopak, a worldwide operator of tank storage terminals, as lead associate in high-stakes litigation against a competitor seeking to restrict Vopak's railroad access into and out of its flagship terminal on the Houston Ship Channel. After numerous successful temporary injunction hearings spanning multiple days, more than 35 depositions, and defeating defendants' motions for summary judgment, the case settled favorably on the eve of trial.
MC International Research v. Cameron International. Represented Cameron as lead associate in AAA arbitration proceeding concerning a licensing and development agreement. Case settled favorably after summary judgment hearing before arbitration panel.
Terra Nova Sciences v. JOA Oil and Gas, 738 F. Supp.2d 689 (S.D. Tex. 2010). Defended a Baker Hughes-affiliated company as lead associate in theft of trade secrets case. The case settled favorably following significant pre-answer opinions and deposition of plaintiffs' corporate representatives.
Scancom et al. v. WCW International et al., 2009 WL 958725 (S.D. Tex. 2009). Represented defendants as lead associate in expedited shareholder dispute brought by a large Ghanaian-based telecommunications company. Plaintiffs' request for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction on the basis of the All Writs Act was denied after a multi-day hearing, and then denied by the Fifth Circuit. Plaintiffs then dismissed their case.
Flatrolled Steel v. BAI Automation. Represented steel company as lead associate in breach of contract and fraud litigation in the Central District of California against a software provider. Case settled on the eve of trial following favorable pretrial rulings.
Helzberg Diamonds v. Bailey, Banks & Biddle. Represented Helzberg Diamonds as lead associate in trade secrets litigation against competing jewelry retailer. Case settled favorably after depositions of defendant's executives.
Tall Timbers Apartments v. Bank of New York Mellon. Represented The Bank of New York Mellon as lead associate in litigation concerning a mortgage servicing agreement. Case settled favorably after filing of motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
Acorn Systems v. SAP. Represented Acorn Systems in Houston and Belgium as lead associate in litigation against SAP concerning an alleged breach of a licensing agreement. Case settled favorably after jurisdiction was determined to be appropriate in Houston, Texas.
Chesson et al. v. TJR Partnership et al., 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31782 (S.D. Tex. 2006). As lead trial counsel, represented real estate developers in numerous lawsuits brought by hundreds of property owners in Liberty County, Grimes County, and Montgomery County, Texas alleging construction defects and fraud. While most of the claims were dismissed on summary judgment, the remaining claims were dismissed as a matter of law following a jury trial as lead trial counsel in the Southern District of Texas (Hittner, J.).
VAE Nortrak v. Progress Rail Services, 459 F. Supp. 2d 1142 (N.D. Ala. 2006). Represented Progress Rail, a manufacturer of railroad track components, as associate obtaining summary judgment dismissing patent infringement claims.
In re: Equus Total Return. Represented a publicly traded business development company as lead associate in shareholder litigations. Litigations settled favorably after the filing of dispositive motions.
H-E-B Grocery Company. Represents H-E-B as lead counsel in real estate and construction disputes.
Weingarten Realty. Represented publicly traded real estate investment trust as lead associate and lead counsel in landlord-tenant and other real estate disputes.
John L. Wortham & Son. Represents Wortham in insurance disputes as lead counsel.
J.D., The University of Texas School of Law, 2005
B.A., magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Southern Methodist University, 2002
U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fifth and Federal Circuits
U.S. District Court for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas
Houston Young Lawyers Foundation, Life Fellow
Texas Bar Foundation, Life Fellow
Board Member, Quantum Financial Group
Board Member, SMU Young Alumni Board (2010-2013)
Houston Bar Association, John J. Eikenburg Fun Run Committee Co-Chair, 2006
Houston Young Lawyers Association, Co-Chair, Adopt An Angel, 2006
Houston Bar Association, John J. Eikenburg Fun Run Committee, 2006-2009
Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC, Benchmark Litigation, Under 40 Hot List, 2017
Legalease, The Legal 500 United States, Energy: Litigation, 2016
Thomson Reuters, Texas Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2014-2016