Commercial Trial Lawyers
Reese Marketos is a trial law firm that focuses exclusively on high-stakes commercial litigation. Our clients range from individuals to Fortune 5 companies, and our involvement hinges on the magnitude of the case. The results speak for themselves.
Government Litigation and White Collar Defense
Government Litigation and White Collar Defense
Reese Marketos’s Government Litigation and White Collar Defense group defends businesses, senior executives, and other individuals in high-stakes government inquiries, investigations, litigation, and prosecutions. The White Collar group boasts two veteran, former U.S. federal prosecutors from the Northern and Eastern Districts of Texas, each of whom served in important leadership roles. Our lawyers have recent experience investigating and prosecuting some of the most high-profile cases in the state, including the Forest Park Medical Center fraud, Dallas’s school-bus camera scandal, and other confidential investigations against Fortune 100 companies. The firm also has extensive experience litigating against the Federal Trade Commission – including in some of the most high-profile trials and lawsuits involving the FTC over the last five years. Our lawyers use firsthand knowledge of how government agencies conduct investigations and prosecutions to assist our clients in navigating those potentially hazardous proceedings. We work with clients in virtually every business sector in a wide array of substantive areas, including:
- Computer and intellectual property crimes
- U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
- Healthcare fraud
- Procurement Fraud
- Security, financial institution, and accounting fraud
- Tax offenses
Our areas of service include:
- Representation in grand jury and other agency investigations
- U.S. federal and state trials
- Criminal appeals
- Internal investigations
- Regulatory defense
- Compliance and internal controls reviews and audits
High Profile Cases
High Profile Cases
Reese Marketos LLP routinely handles high-profile, bet-the-company litigation across the country. We were recognized as the Litigation Firm of the Year in 2013 by the Texas Lawyer for boutique firms and received the Business Litigation of the Year award for 2018 from the Association of Corporate Counsel DFW for our trial victory for AT&T. Our verdicts have been featured in the National Law Journal’s “Big Money Wins” (2013) and in VerdictSearch’s “Top Texas Verdicts” (2013, 2014, 2015).
A sample of our high-profile cases includes:
- Exxon “Climate Change” Fraud Investigation: We recently served as lead counsel for the Office of the New York Attorney General in a federal suit in Texas brought by Exxon. Exxon sought to halt the NYAG’s investigation into Exxon’s public representations on climate change. The court granted the NYAG’s request to transfer the case to New York, where it was subsequently dismissed. See https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-29/exxon-dealt-a-blow-as-texas-judge-sends-climate-suit-to-new-york
- FTC’s $4 Billion Deceptive Advertising Suit Against AT&T/DIRECTV: We were co-lead counsel defending AT&T’s DIRECTV in a lawsuit brought by the Federal Trade Commission in the Northern District of California. The FTC alleged that DIRECTV engaged in misleading advertising practices over a 10-year period and sought nearly $4 billion in restitution. On August 16, 2018, Judge Haywood S. Gilliam, Jr. granted, in large part, DIRECTV’s motion to dismiss the case after two weeks of testimony and the close of the FTC’s case-in-chief. See Judge guts FTC’s $4-billion lawsuit against DirecTV and Judge Rejects Large Parts of FTC Suit Against DIRECTV in the LA Times and Wall Street Journal. The FTC then voluntarily dismissed its case with prejudice. See FTC Abandons False Advertising Case Against DIRECTV and FTC Drops $4B False Ad Suit Against DirectTV Midtrial in the Texas Lawbook and Law360.
- Defense of $33 Million “Life Insurance” Fraud Claim Brought by T. Boone Pickens: As lead counsel, we defeated a highly publicized $33 million fraud lawsuit filed by T. Boone Pickens and entities related to Oklahoma State University. Our clients’ summary judgment win was affirmed by the Fifth Circuit in a record eight days after oral argument. The lawsuit and RM’s win were reported in several national publications including in a long article in BusinessWeek entitled, If Only T. Boone Pickens Had Died. See https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2012-10-04/if-only-t-dot-boone-pickens-had-died
- Fraud Verdict Against Mercedes-Benz: We won a fraud verdict for our client, a Mercedes-Benz dealer in the Rio Grande Valley, after MBUSA orchestrated a plan to drive the dealer out of the business through a scheme of misrepresentations and fraudulent conduct. The jury found that MBUSA committed a felony in the process-removing the statutory cap on punitive damages. The 13th Court of Appeals affirmed the $15.3 million judgment for actual damages but reduced the punitive damages award to $600,000. On February 22, 2019, the Texas Supreme Court reversed the verdict and rendered judgment for Mercedes-Benz. The politicization of the current Texas Supreme Court is something our firm is working to change. For more information on the facts of this case, see https://www.law360.com/articles/416482/mercedes-others-must-pay-136m-in-dealership-fraud-suit
- Defense Of Uber Drivers Against City Of Dallas: When Uber Technologies arrived in Dallas, the City began investigating Uber’s operations and conducting undercover “stings” on the drivers, who the City claimed were “unlicensed.” Uber hired Reese Marketos to represent more than 30 limousine drivers who contracted with Uber and were issued citations without merit. After months of relentlessly defending the drivers and obtaining records from the City of Dallas, it became apparent that Yellow Cab was behind the City’s investigation into Uber. After key documents were turned over to the press, the City of Dallas dismissed all the citations against the drivers, the Mayor launched an investigation into Yellow Cab’s improper influence over City officials, and the City manager publicly apologized for his conduct. See https://www.dallasnews.com/news/transportation/2013/09/14/dallas-officials-yellow-cab-worked-together-to-thwart-uber-transportation-app and https://www.dallasnews.com/news/dallas-city-hall/2013/10/21/in-memo-to-mayor-and-council-a-c-gonzalez-apologies-for-how-he-handled-the-uber-matter
- $6 Million Negligence Judgment Against UPS: Shortly before trial, Pete Marketos was asked to joined the trial team in a catastrophic personal injury case. Our client, a 38-year-old husband and father of three, collided with a UPS truck while cycling and became a quadriplegic. With no witnesses except for the UPS driver, UPS offered to settle the case for $300,000. The jury awarded our client $9.3 million in actual damages, which were reduced under the proportionate fault statute. Reese Marketos also represented the client on appeal all the way to the Texas Supreme Court, and the case was affirmed in full. The client received $4,075,321 after payment of $2,037,660 in fees and costs.
At Reese Marketos LLP, we handle sophisticated commercial disputes in a wide range of fields, including finance, oil and gas, technology, real estate, healthcare, and investment banking. In cases involving fraud, breach of contract, fiduciary duties, trade secrets, racketeering (“RICO”), or any other contract or tort-based claim, we devise creative and efficient legal strategies that are specific to each case.
Whatever strategy we employ, however, our attorneys prepare every case with an eye toward winning at trial.
We place tremendous value on courtroom advocacy and the quality of our written work. As a part of our regular practice, we seek and defend against temporary restraining orders and injunctions, argue before judges, juries, and arbitrators across the country, and navigate each case through the legal system with an emphasis on delivering value to our clients. While it is true that “most lawsuits settle”—and in fact, in business disputes, most lawsuits should settle—our trial record allows us to maximize the settlement value of the lawsuits we handle.
A small sample of our trial wins and settlements include:
- A fraud and breach of contract verdict for our clients—two small businesses—against a leading technology company for fraud and breach of contract. The radio giant fraudulently induced our clients to sign an exclusive distribution contract guaranteeing minimum orders even though the defendant had no intent to purchase any product unless it could obtain a large government contract. When the sales didn’t materialize, the company terminated the $15 million supply contract on a pretext. Reese Marketos successfully defended the judgment before the Dallas Court of Appeals.
- A complete jury verdict for TGI Friday’s dissolving a $70 million partnership and a take-nothing verdict on the $13 million counterclaims filed against it. Reese Marketos, as lead trial counsel, represented TGI Friday’s in seeking a judicial dissolution of a partnership that owned the TGI Friday’s restaurants at DFW Airport and breach of fiduciary duty findings against one of the partners. After a six-week trial—and a 55-page jury charge with 46 questions—the jury found in favor of TGI Friday’s on each and every claim and counterclaim. On appeal, the Dallas Court of Appeals affirmed TGI Friday’s requested judicial dissolution and the jury’s findings that the defendant had breached its fiduciary duties to TGI Friday’s.
- A $2.3 million arbitration award on behalf of a trucking company in a private arbitration involving three large highway projects. The case required the parties and the arbitrator to sort through tens of thousands of trucking hauls over a 19-month period. Our client recovered all relief it requested.
- A settlement in a contract dispute between a large, national restaurant chain and its longtime fountain beverage provider. As a result of Reese Marketos’ advice and strategy, the parties were able to resolve the matter quickly, and the restaurant chain was permitted to switch to a competing fountain beverage provider for all of its restaurants across the country.
Theft of Trade Secrets
Theft of Trade Secrets
Reese Marketos LLP has extensive experience in helping companies protect their most valuable trade secrets and confidential information from competitors. Whether representing plaintiffs or defendants, we act quickly to obtain or defend against expedited relief such as TROs and temporary injunctions.
A small sample of our wins and settlements in trade secrets cases includes:
- A temporary injunction in favor of a publicly traded health management company in a suit against its largest competitor. Our client also sought $120 million in damages for the theft of its trade secrets. After obtaining the favorable temporary injunction and a spoliation ruling, the parties settled the case shortly before trial, with the competitor agreeing to refrain from any business in the specific industry for seven years.
- A unanimous take-nothing jury verdict in favor of our client, a start-up internet marketing company, and an $11 million counterclaim verdict for willful antitrust violations. Our client was sued by its competitor, a credit monitoring giant, for allegedly stealing trade secrets and encouraging its employee to breach his non-compete with the plaintiff. The market-dominant competitor sought more than $12 million in damages. At trial, Reese Marketos proved that its client did not steal any trade secrets and that the plaintiff was simply using the litigation as an attempt to stamp out its new competitor. The complete defense win was affirmed on appeal.
- We currently represent a leading provider of property management software solutions against a former employee and his new company. Our client alleges that the defendant sold his company to the client for more than $20 million, then promptly left, misappropriated the source code, and set up a competing business in precisely the same industry. The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas found intentional spoliation of evidence and issued an injunction in August 2017, and the case settled thereafter.
Reese Marketos LLP handles major contract disputes before judges and juries. Our team regularly represents companies on either side of the docket who find themselves in contentious, bet-the-company litigation.
A small sample of our contract dispute victories and settlements includes:
- A favorable settlement for a client who had been sued by Wells Fargo in three separate federal courts in two different states regarding alleged defaults on construction loans totaling $100 million and a related interest-rate swap agreement for which Wells Fargo claimed that our client owed a termination fee of over $20 million. After we successfully transferred and consolidated all three actions–over Wells Fargo’s objection–in the Northern District of Texas and filed counterclaims for fraud, the parties resolved the dispute.
- A summary judgment in favor of our client over the ownership of real property associated with the landmark Adolphus Hotel, culminating in the settlement of a multi-million dollar lease dispute over maintenance of the hotel dating back decades.
- A summary judgment for a publicly traded community bank in a suit against a borrower who sought to avoid a multi-million dollar commercial real estate loan. The court found that the loan was valid and enforceable and also awarded six-figures in attorney’s fees.
- An arbitration award for one of the nation’s leading dining management companies in a complex breach of contract case involving the early termination of a five-year services agreement. Each side asserted claims against the other for breach of contract, accounting irregularities, and wrongful termination. The dispute was tried before a JAMS arbitrator who found in favor of our client, awarding money damages, attorney’s fees, and interest calculated at 18 percent.
Reese Marketos has also won many jury trials that included breach of contract claims as part of the jury’s verdict.
Business and Securities Fraud
Business and Securities Fraud
Reese Marketos LLP has tried—and won—many cases involving business and securities fraud. Our team will relentlessly prosecute or defend every case. In 2013, Reese Marketos won the largest commercial litigation verdict in the country and the largest trial verdict in Texas. In 2015, Reese Marketos won the second largest securities fraud verdict in Texas. Our firm’s nimble thinking, thorough preparation, and preeminent trial advocacy makes it the go-to law firm for complex business fraud cases.
A small sample of our fraud victories includes:
- A renowned fraud verdict for our client, an independent Mercedes-Benz dealer in the Rio Grande Valley, after Mercedes orchestrated a plan to drive the dealer out of business through a scheme of misrepresentations and fraudulent conduct. The jury found that Mercedes committed a felony in the process—removing the statutory cap on punitive damages. The appellate court affirmed the victory but reduced punitive damages. The case is currently on appeal to the Texas Supreme Court.
- A securities fraud verdict on behalf of two real estate investment firms in a securities fraud case against a Dallas-based securities brokerage company. The investors were defrauded out of their investments by a New York real estate developer who, according to the investment firms, were assisted by a Texas-based securities broker. According to the Texas Lawyer, the verdict was the second largest securities fraud verdict in Texas for 2015.
- A take-nothing victory, on summary judgment, of a highly publicized $33 million fraud lawsuit filed by Boone Pickens and entities related to Oklahoma State University.Reese Marketos’ summary judgment win was affirmed by the Fifth Circuit in a record eight days after oral argument. The lawsuit and Reese Marketos’ win were reported in several national publications including in a long article in BusinessWeek titled, If Only T. Boone Pickens Had Died. See https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2012-10-04/if-only-t-dot-boone-pickens-had-died
Breach of Fiduciary Duties
Breach of Fiduciary Duties
Reese Marketos frequently represents partners, directors, officers, members, and corporations in disputes concerning alleged breaches of fiduciary duties. Our team’s deep understanding of the complexities of fiduciary law is unparalleled and our results prove just that.
A small sample of our trial victories in fiduciary cases includes:
- A complete jury verdict for breach of fiduciary duty and the dissolution of a $70 million partnership for partner misconduct after a six-week jury trial. The jury also found that the defendant stole millions in partnership funds for their own use in litigation. The case was affirmed on appeal and is now before the Texas Supreme Court.
- A take-nothing jury verdict in favor of a former employee and a start-up technology company after a suit by its competitor for knowingly participating in the employee’s breach of fiduciary duties to his former company. The plaintiff sought more than $12 million in damages. At trial, the jury found in favor of our client on all claims, and the complete defense win was affirmed on appeal.
From Markman hearings and claims construction to preparing the case to be understood by a jury, Reese Marketos represents both patent holders and defendants in patent infringement trials around the country.
A small sample of our patent cases, victories, and settlements includes:
- After being retained by GeoTag, Inc. to take over and try more than 100 patent cases pending in the Eastern District of Texas (represented by more than 40 different law firms), we successfully re-opened discovery to depose defendants as to why they had failed to produce documents. Once we began taking depositions and streamlined the remaining cases in order to prepare for trial, GeoTag resolved nearly every case through settlements to the client.
- A take-nothing defense verdict on behalf of one of the nation’s leading providers of video surveillance technology in a patent infringement suit in which the plaintiff sought more than $13 million. The case was tried in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in July 2017.
- We represent one of the nation’s leading providers of law enforcement body-worn surveillance systems against a competitor company in a patent infringement suit pending in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas.
- We represent the shareholder and Chief Technology Officer of a software company in a complex dispute involving questions of patent ownership, breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriation of trade secrets, and breach of contract. The case is pending before the American Arbitration Association and is set for trial in New Jersey.
- We represent a leading provider of cell-tower network management software in a licensing and intellectual property dispute with a competitor. Among other issues, the case will determine which company may control a long-term, lucrative contract with one of the nation’s leading cell tower operators. The case is pending in Dallas and is set for jury trial in 2017.
Qui Tam / False Claims Act Litigation
Qui Tam / False Claims Act Litigation
In a qui tam suit, private whistleblowers—known as “relators”—that reveal false claims against the government can bring a lawsuit on behalf of the government and are entitled to a share of the damages and penalties recovered. The primary vehicle for qui tam suits is the federal False Claims Act, also known as the “Lincoln Law,” which allows relators to sue on behalf of the United States and to recover unlawfully obtained taxpayer money. The Department of Justice estimates that more than $64 billion has been recovered through the False Claims Act since 1986. During that time, whistleblowers have received more than $7 billion for their role in exposing illegal conduct. Similar state statutes also allow for individual actions by relators on behalf of state governments.
The world of qui tam litigation is constantly evolving. In the past, when the Department of Justice chose not to intervene in a case, relators would often walk away from litigation. It has become more common in recent years for relators to proceed on their own in these declined cases. In fact, the False Claims Act authorizes private citizens to litigate cases on their own in federal court and to receive up to 30% of the amounts recovered. And the vast majority of modern qui tam cases arise in the complicated world of healthcare law. These claims often involve violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute, the Stark Law, and other Medicare and Medicaid regulations and provider obligations. Although healthcare fraud against the government is rampant and recoveries can be substantial, prosecuting these complex cases against powerful defendants and their expensive legal teams ordinarily requires relator’s counsel equipped with the right experience.
At Reese Marketos LLP, we prepare every case with the intent of winning at trial—not just settling. We employ our battle-tested experience in complex litigation as well as our unique experience in false claims and healthcare fraud cases—including partner Josh Russ’s previous service as the Civil Chief for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas—to advance our clients’ claims. Our qui tam practice focuses on prosecuting plaintiff-side cases for whistleblower clients, applying our experience to root out fraud, expose false claims, deter illegal conduct, and recover ill-gotten taxpayer funds.
Real Estate Litigation
Real Estate Litigation
At Reese Marketos, we understand sophisticated real estate transactions, financing, and structures. We have substantial experience in all facets of real estate litigation.
- Reese Marketos was lead appellate counsel in the 2016 Texas Supreme Court case that redefined the law of nuisance, Crosstex North Texas Pipeline, L.P. v. Gardiner, 505 S.W.3d 580 (Tex. 2016). In a 38-page opinion, the Texas Supreme Court clarified when a party can be liable for nuisances involving real property, an issue that arises frequently in environmental and oil and gas litigation.
- Reese Marketos represented a client who had been sued by a national lender regarding alleged defaults on promissory notes related to a $100-million development in Virginia as well as a related interest rate swap agreement whereby the lender claimed that Reese Marketos’ client owed a termination fee of over $20 million. After Reese Marketos successfully transferred and consolidated all three actions over the lender’s objections in the Northern District of Texas and filed counterclaims for fraud, the parties resolved the dispute.
Since retiring from the Texas Supreme Court, I’ve had the opportunity to work with each of the partners of Reese Marketos—either on the same side or in opposition. Working with these lawyers, who are good to their word, respectful of litigants and each other, but tenacious in factual investigation and research of the law, is invigorating and enjoyable.
- Craig Enoch, Justice (Ret.) Texas Supreme Court
Pete Marketos and Leslie Chaggaris’s ability to anticipate the next move of the opponent and to communicate with and win over the jury was nothing short of remarkable.
- Martin Toha
Joel Reese is an honorable and quality person who as a lawyer does what he says and doesn’t over promise. His creativity and thoughtful approach to legal issues is at an extremely high level. I highly recommend Joel for most types of complicated litigation.
- Craig Hall, Chairman, Hall Financial Group
Adam is a skilled trial attorney who did a fantastic job trying our case to an arbitration victory against an obstinate opponent. Adam had a firm grasp on all facets of our case and effectively managed our witnesses and data to a successful outcome, while steadfastly maintaining a calm and confident demeanor throughout even the most contentious dealings.
- Stephanie Masiello, Vice President of Legal at Unidine Corporation
Pete Marketos is one of the finest trial lawyers to appear in my court.