Jesse Pierce has more than 40 years of litigation experience and has tried many types of cases in state and federal courts of Texas and other states. He specializes in civil trials of cases dealing with complex energy and commercial issues. Mr. Pierce is Board Certified in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and is a Commercial Arbitrator for American Arbitration Association. He is licensed to practice in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Mr. Pierce was named "2011 Houston Oil and Gas Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers and was inducted into the Litigation Counsel of America, a trial lawyer honorary society composed of less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers. Fellows are selected based on effectiveness and accomplishment in litigation, both at the trial and appellate levels, and on the basis of a superior ethical reputation. Fewer than 60 attorneys in Houston are Fellows of the LCA.
Mr. Pierce represents both plaintiffs and defendants, and has represented clients in many types of complex litigation, including oil and gas, environmental, product liability, interpretation and enforcement of contracts, temporary restraining orders, trade secrets, franchising, real estate, ERISA claims, securities and corporate matters, franchising disputes, copyright and entertainment matters, and a variety of fraud, usury, and Deceptive Trade Practices matters, and has extensive experience in class action litigation. Mr. Pierce frequently lectures at continuing legal education seminars and was a drafter of the Texas Pattern Jury Charges for Oil and Gas Cases.
Mr. Pierce has handled a number of appeals to the Texas Supreme Court. During his first year of practice, he had a successful appeal of a contested probate matter in Hall v. White, 525 S.W.2d 860 (Tex. 1975). He also victoriously argued a complex engineering malpractice case involving the design of electronic microprocessor devices in 1993, Texas Instruments, Inc. v. Teletron Energy Mgmt. Inc., 877 S.W.2d 276 (Tex. 1994) (rehearing overruled). He effectively appealed a multi-party lease termination and adverse possession case, Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America, et al. v. Pool, 124 S.W.3d 188 (Tex. 2003).
Among the other appeals he handled during the early years of his practice were:
- City of Pasadena v. Richardson, 523 S.W.2d 506 (Tex. Civ. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 1975) (civil rights)
- Gaal v. BASF Wyandotte Corp., 533 S.W.2d 152 (Tex. Civ. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 1976) (trade secrets)
- Best Steel Buildings, Inc. v. Hardin, 553 S.W.2d 951 (Tex. Civ. App.—Tyler 1978) (wrongful death)
- Pan American Life Insurance Co. v. Youngblood, 569 S.W.2d 951 (Tex. Civ. App.—Tyler 1978) (insurance)
- Claude Regis Vargo Ent., Inc. v. Bacarisse, 578 S.W.2d 524 (Tex. Civ. App.—Houston [14th Dist] 1979) (commercial)
- C&W Manhattan Associates v. Lively, 588 S.W.2d 671 (Tex. Civ. App.—Beaumont 1979) (commercial)
In the late 1970s, Mr. Pierce began to handle complex oil and gas, land and commercial cases. He handled a number of cases for major oil companies involving disputes with royalty owners and disputes between gas producers and pipeline companies for clients such as Chesapeake Energy, Texaco, Shell, Pennzoil-Quaker State, Mobil and Superior Oil Company. Cases he has tried and appealed are:
- Dunn v. Davis, 590 S.W.2d 752 (Tex. Civ. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 1979) (land title)
- First City Nat'l Bank v. Hardy, 620 S.W.2d 732 (Tex. Civ. App.—Corpus Christi 1981) (oil and gas)
- Amoco Oil Co. v. Hardy, 628 S.W.2d 813 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi 1981) (class action)
- Superior Oil Co. v. City of Port Arthur, 628 S.W.2d 94, (Tex. App.—Beaumont 1981) (constitutional challenge to annexation)
- Superior Oil Co. v. City of Port Arthur, 726 F.2d 203 (5th Cir. 1984) (constitutional challenge to annexation)
- Gulf Oil Corp. v. Fuller, 695 S.W.2d 769 (Tex. App.—El Paso 1985) (discovery privilege issues)
- Enterprise Int'l, Inc. v. Corporacion Estatal Petrolera Ecuatoriana,762 F.2d 464 (5th Cir. 1985) (commercial, Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act)
- Wadsworth Bus. Ctr. v. Connell, 775 S.W.2d 663 (Tex. App.—Dallas 1989) (real estate)
- Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Kennedy, (Tex. App.—El Paso 1991) (class action)
- NL Inds., Inc. v. GHR Energy Corp., 940 F.2d 957 (5th Cir. 1991) (commercial)
- Lee v. WalMart Stores, Inc., 943 F2d 554 (5th Cir. 1991) (commercial)
- Parten v. Cannon, 829 S.W.2d 327 ((Tex. App.—Waco 1992) (oil and gas)
- GeoSouthern Energy Corp. v. Chesapeake Operating, Inc., 274 F.3d 1017 (5th Cir. 2001) (dispute among working interest owners)
- GeoSouthern Energy Corp. v. Chesapeake Operating, Inc., 241 F.3d 388 (5th Cir. 2001) (dispute among working interest owners)
- Law v. Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America, 65 S.W.3d 121 (Tex. App.—Amarillo 2001, pet. denied) (lease termination)
- Moore Landrey, LLP v. Hirsch & Westheimer, P.C., 126 S.W.3d 536 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2003, no pet.) (contract)
- C.M. Asfahl Agency v. Tensor, Inc., 135 S.W.3d 768 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2004, no pet.) (contract)and
- DX Terminals, Ltd. v. Bayer Corporation, 214 S.W.3d 586 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2006, pet. denied) (contract).
During the 1980s, Mr. Pierce also represented a number of both debtors and lenders in corporate reorganization cases, In re Charter Oil Co., 63 B.R. 662 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 1986).
Mr. Pierce has extensive experience in the trial of environmental cases. In 1991, he represented Monsanto Corporation in the trial and successful appeal of a Superfund case involving over two hundred homeowners, Barras v. Monsanto Co., 831 S.W.2d 859 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 1992).
In the late 1990s, Mr. Pierce represented Mitchell Energy Corporation in the trial and successful appeal of several water pollution cases involving hundreds of millions of dollars in claims, Mitchell Energy Corp. v. Bartlett, 958 S.W.2d 430 (Tex. App.— Fort Worth 1997).