Geoff Gannaway
  • Attorneys

Geoff Gannaway

Partner

Everything Geoff Gannaway does is geared toward persuading a judge and jury.  He works with each client to develop a strategy for success in the courtroom, and then weaves together every deposition taken, every motion filed, and every jury argument made.  At the onset of a new case, Geoff never loses sight of the end goal: distilling factual details into persuasive themes to present to a jury, ultimately making the most complicated cases understandable and the client’s position clear. 

Geoff honed an attention to detail in Rice University’s engineering program, and now uses an engineer's discipline to serve his clients as a lawyer. One client explained: “From the intense level of preparation, to his collaboration with us to understand the particular complexities of our case, it was clear that Geoff worked to make this a case that a jury would hear and decide in our favor.”

Represented Cameron International Corporation (blowout preventer manufacturer) in the Gulf Oil Spill Multidistrict Litigation. After six weeks of trial, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana found that Cameron was not liable to any claimant related to the Deepwater Horizon incident and entered an order completely dismissing Cameron from the litigation.

Defended oil and gas exploration company against allegations that it agreed to enter into a partnership to manage oil and gas projects in the Fayetteville shale after the plaintiff introduced defendant to a financing source. Joe Redden was lead counsel at trial, with Geoff presenting the opening statement, cross-examining several witnesses, and successfully arguing for directed verdict on some claims. The plaintiff sought millions of dollars in damages, claiming breach of contract, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and quantum meruit. After a six-day jury trial, a unanimous jury returned a defense verdict on all but one cause of action. On the plaintiff’s quantum meruit cause of action, the jury awarded $16,700. In post-judgment motions, Beck Redden argued that the quantum meruit finding should be thrown out. The Court agreed, and entered a take-nothing judgment. On appeal, the Fort Worth Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed the judgment.  The case is styled The Strickland Group, Inc. v. Pathfinder Exploration, LLC, No. 02-12-00187-CV.

Obtained defense verdict for Memorial Hermann Hospital System in a major antitrust lawsuit in Texas state court. David J. Beck was lead counsel at trial, with Geoff cross-examining a number of witnesses over the course of a trial that lasted almost two and a half months. The plaintiffs, who were physician-investors in a now defunct physician-owned hospital in West Houston, claimed that Memorial Hermann was responsible for their hospital's failure and asserted antitrust claims and claims for tortious interference with prospective and existing business relationships. The plaintiffs sought millions in actual damages, plus several millions in attorneys’ fees. The jury entered a complete defense verdict.

Served as lead trial lawyer in securing a favorable verdict for his client, an importer of seasonal decorations, in a breach-of-contract dispute with a major retail chain. After a three-day trial, the jury returned a complete defense verdict for Geoff's client, and, in addition, awarded damages to the client after finding on the counterclaim that the retailer had breached three separate contracts. The retail chain appealed the judgment. Beck Redden partner Connie Pfeiffer served as lead appellate counsel, with Geoff co-authoring the brief. Houston's Fourteenth Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment with a significant holding about liquidated damages provisions under the Uniform Commercial Code. The court held that the liquidated damages provisions in the retail chain’s standard vendor contracts are unenforceable penalties. The case is styled Garden Ridge, L.P. v. Advance International, Inc., No. 14-11-00624-CV. 

Representative Experience

Represented Cameron International Corporation (blowout preventer manufacturer) in the Gulf Oil Spill Multidistrict Litigation. After six weeks of trial, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana found that Cameron was not liable to any claimant related to the Deepwater Horizon incident and entered an order completely dismissing Cameron from the litigation.

Defended oil and gas exploration company against allegations that it agreed to enter into a partnership to manage oil and gas projects in the Fayetteville shale after the plaintiff introduced defendant to a financing source. Joe Redden was lead counsel at trial, with Geoff presenting the opening statement, cross-examining several witnesses, and successfully arguing for directed verdict on some claims. The plaintiff sought millions of dollars in damages, claiming breach of contract, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and quantum meruit. After a six-day jury trial, a unanimous jury returned a defense verdict on all but one cause of action. On the plaintiff’s quantum meruit cause of action, the jury awarded $16,700. In post-judgment motions, Beck Redden argued that the quantum meruit finding should be thrown out. The Court agreed, and entered a take-nothing judgment. On appeal, the Fort Worth Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed the judgment.  The case is styled The Strickland Group, Inc. v. Pathfinder Exploration, LLC, No. 02-12-00187-CV.

Obtained defense verdict for Memorial Hermann Hospital System in a major antitrust lawsuit in Texas state court. David J. Beck was lead counsel at trial, with Geoff cross-examining a number of witnesses over the course of a trial that lasted almost two and a half months. The plaintiffs, who were physician-investors in a now defunct physician-owned hospital in West Houston, claimed that Memorial Hermann was responsible for their hospital's failure and asserted antitrust claims and claims for tortious interference with prospective and existing business relationships. The plaintiffs sought millions in actual damages, plus several millions in attorneys’ fees. The jury entered a complete defense verdict.

Served as lead trial lawyer in securing a favorable verdict for his client, an importer of seasonal decorations, in a breach-of-contract dispute with a major retail chain. After a three-day trial, the jury returned a complete defense verdict for Geoff's client, and, in addition, awarded damages to the client after finding on the counterclaim that the retailer had breached three separate contracts. The retail chain appealed the judgment. Beck Redden partner Connie Pfeiffer served as lead appellate counsel, with Geoff co-authoring the brief. Houston's Fourteenth Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment with a significant holding about liquidated damages provisions under the Uniform Commercial Code. The court held that the liquidated damages provisions in the retail chain’s standard vendor contracts are unenforceable penalties. The case is styled Garden Ridge, L.P. v. Advance International, Inc., No. 14-11-00624-CV. 

Professional Activities and Memberships

Houston Bar Association

-Chair, Continuing Legal Education  Committee, 2017-2018
-Member, Professionalism  Committee, 2017-2018
-Co-Chair, Continuing Legal  Education Institutes Subcommittee,  2015-2016


American Bar Association, Contributing Editor, Section of Litigation’s Litigation News publication, 2017

Council Member, Litigation Section of the State Bar of Texas, 2012-2017


Board Member, Texas Law Review Association


Executive Committee Member, The University of Texas Law School Alumni Association


Fellow, Houston Young Lawyers Association


Board of Directors, Texas Young Lawyers Association, 2008-2012


Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation

Editor-in-Chief, State Bar Litigation Section News for the Bar, quarterly newsletter for the State Bar of Texas, 2007-2010

Awards and Rankings

AV Preeminent Rated by Martindale Hubbell

Named in Thomson Reuters Texas Super Lawyers - Business Litigation, 2015 - 2017

Recognized as a “Rising Star” in business litigation by Thomson Reuters Super Lawyers - Texas, 2008, 2011-2014

Named a “Professional on the Fast Track," H Texas Magazine, 2008

Related News
Publications and Presentations

Author, “New Trigger for Determining Removal Deadline,” American Bar Association Section of Litigation (June 2018)

Civility and Ethics in the Courtroom, The Texas Day of Civility in the Law 2018, Judicial Panel Moderator (April 2018)

Author, “Knowledge of False Label Does Not Flush Standing for Injunction,” American Bar Association Section of Litigation (February 2018)

When Juries Throw You a Curve Ball: Batson, Conflicting Verdicts, Misbehaving Jurors, and More, 34th Annual Litigation Update, State Bar of Texas (January 2018)

Author, “Cloudy with a Chance of Sanctions,” American Bar Association Section of Litigation (November 2017)

Damages on the Fringes-Seldom-Used Theories of Recovery, HBA Litigation Section Westside Luncheon (May 2017)

Damages on the Fringes-Seldom-Used Theories of Recovery, TADC Spring Meeting (April 2017)

Consequential Damages:  Probing the Limits of What Can be Recovered, 9th Annual Damages in Civil Litigation, State Bar of Texas (February 2017)


Anti-SLAPP and Rule 91a Motions Update: Ending The Lawsuit Before it Begins
, 33rd Annual Litigation Update, State Bar of Texas (January 2017)
 

Does Anti-SLAPP Apply to Your Lawsuit?  You Might Be Surprised., Houston Paralegal Association 13th Annual Spring Conference (April 2016)

Does the Texas Anti-SLAPP Statute Apply to Your Lawsuit?  You Might Be Surprised.
, State Bar Litigation Section News for the Bar (Winter 2014)

Communications with Your Client’s Former Employees: Privileged?, State Bar Litigation Section News for the Bar (Spring 2007)

The Vitality of Barcelo After Ten Years: When Can an Attorney Be Sued for Negligence by Someone Other than His Client?, 58 Baylor L. Rev. 371 (Spring 2006)

House Bill 4, Class-Action Certification Requirements, and Res Judicata, 46 S. Tex. L. Rev. 913 (Summer 2005)

Texas Independence: The Lone Star State Serves as an Example to Other Jurisdictions as it Rejects Mixed-Motive Defenses to Batson Challenges, 21 The Rev. of Litigation 375 (Spring 2002)

CLE Presentation on Electronic Discovery to the Harris County Judiciary, 2005

Community Involvement

Director, Rice Engineering Alumni Board of Directors

Member, University of Texas Law Alumni Association, Houston Steering Committee, 2013-2017


Chair, University of Texas Law Alumni Association, Houston Young Alumni Steering Committee, 2014-2015

Associate, Brown College, Rice University

Active Member, First Presbyterian Church

Interviewer, Rice Alumni Volunteers for Admission

Chair, Board of Directors, Cho-Yeh Camp & Conference Center


Education

J.D., The University of Texas School of Law, with highest honors, Grand Chancellor, 2002

B.A., Rice University, Economics & Chemical Engineering, magna cum laude, 1997

Admissions

State Bar of Texas

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of Texas