Bryon Rice
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Bryon A. Rice

Associate

Bryon A. Rice is a Martindale Hubbell  AV® Preeminent Rated trial lawyer who has been named a Rising Star in Texas by Thomson Reuters Super Lawyers magazine for four consecutive years. He has garnered this acclaim by bringing to his clients and their cases an innate attention to detail, sound legal judgment honed during his time as a law clerk to U.S. District Judge David Hittner, an acute business acumen developed over a ten-year business career, and a persistently strong work ethic instilled in him while growing up on the family farm. Bryon knows how businesspeople think and how business decisions are made. And he appreciates the myriad issues businesses must consider, particularly when facing existing or prospective litigation. He also understands how judges and juries perceive issues and has the ability to carefully craft an argument to appeal to the expectations of each. With disciplined focus, Bryon applies these skills to the representation of both plaintiffs and defendants in complex commercial litigation, business disputes, and personal injury matters.

Trial counsel for Exxon Mobil Corporation, ExxonMobil Chemical Company, and ExxonMobil Refining and Supply Company, in Environment Texas Citizens Lobby, Inc., and Sierra Club v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, ExxonMobil Chemical Company and ExxonMobil Refining and Supply Company, Civ. A. No. 4:10-CV-4969 (S.D. Tex.).  As a member of the trial team, Bryon cross-examined Plaintiffs' organizational standing witnesses, conducted direct examination of Defendants’ fact witnesses, and shared responsibility for arguing summation in this three-week, Clean Air Act citizen-suit trial in which Plaintiffs sought $642 million in civil penalties against the ExxonMobil Defendants. In December, 2014, the Court entered a complete defense judgment for Beck Redden’s clients, rejecting all of Plaintiffs’ requested relief and denying Plaintiffs’ request for $642 million in civil penalties. Plaintiffs have appealed and that appeal is currently pending.


Counsel for Valero Energy Corporation, Valero Refining Company—Tennessee, LLC, and The Premcor Refining Group, Inc., in Richard Cuevas, et al. v. Certified Safety Specialists, Inc., et al., Cause No. 2012-21574, In the 129th Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas. 
After significant discovery and motion practice, Bryon assisted in negotiating a favorable settlement at mediation in this personal injury case stemming from a flash fire at Valero’s Memphis Refinery. 


Lead counsel for Melcor Developments Arizona, Inc. in Melcor Developments Arizona, Inc., v. Harbour Glen, Ltd., Cause No. 2013-61962, In the 61st Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas.
 As lead counsel for plaintiff, Bryon successfully negotiated a favorable settlement for his client thirty days before trial in this declaratory judgment action stemming from a failed real estate transaction.


Lead counsel for a national law firm in a federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act case.


Counsel for multiple commercial real estate developers in commercial landlord–tenant disputes.


Counsel for an oilfield equipment and services provider in an action against a former employee for conversion and misappropriation of trade secrets.


Counsel for investment funds in a fraud and negligent misrepresentation case against former directors of bankrupt company.

Representative Experience

Trial counsel for Exxon Mobil Corporation, ExxonMobil Chemical Company, and ExxonMobil Refining and Supply Company, in Environment Texas Citizens Lobby, Inc., and Sierra Club v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, ExxonMobil Chemical Company and ExxonMobil Refining and Supply Company, Civ. A. No. 4:10-CV-4969 (S.D. Tex.).  As a member of the trial team, Bryon cross-examined Plaintiffs' organizational standing witnesses, conducted direct examination of Defendants’ fact witnesses, and shared responsibility for arguing summation in this three-week, Clean Air Act citizen-suit trial in which Plaintiffs sought $642 million in civil penalties against the ExxonMobil Defendants. In December, 2014, the Court entered a complete defense judgment for Beck Redden’s clients, rejecting all of Plaintiffs’ requested relief and denying Plaintiffs’ request for $642 million in civil penalties. Plaintiffs have appealed and that appeal is currently pending.


Counsel for Valero Energy Corporation, Valero Refining Company—Tennessee, LLC, and The Premcor Refining Group, Inc., in Richard Cuevas, et al. v. Certified Safety Specialists, Inc., et al., Cause No. 2012-21574, In the 129th Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas. 
After significant discovery and motion practice, Bryon assisted in negotiating a favorable settlement at mediation in this personal injury case stemming from a flash fire at Valero’s Memphis Refinery. 


Lead counsel for Melcor Developments Arizona, Inc. in Melcor Developments Arizona, Inc., v. Harbour Glen, Ltd., Cause No. 2013-61962, In the 61st Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas.
 As lead counsel for plaintiff, Bryon successfully negotiated a favorable settlement for his client thirty days before trial in this declaratory judgment action stemming from a failed real estate transaction.


Lead counsel for a national law firm in a federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act case.


Counsel for multiple commercial real estate developers in commercial landlord–tenant disputes.


Counsel for an oilfield equipment and services provider in an action against a former employee for conversion and misappropriation of trade secrets.


Counsel for investment funds in a fraud and negligent misrepresentation case against former directors of bankrupt company.

Professional Activities and Memberships

International Association of Defense Counsel

Houston Bar Association, Law Week Committee Member

Federal Bar Association

Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation

Texas Association of Defense Counsel

Defense Research Institute

Awards and Rankings

Recognized as a “Rising Star” in Business Litigation by Thomson Reuters Super Lawyers - Texas, 2014 - 2017

AV Preeminent Rated by Martindale Hubbell

Related News
Publications and Presentations

Co-Author with David J. Beck, Expert Witnesses. In A. DeSimone (Ed.), The Trial Compendium, (pp. 91-125). Chicago, Illinois: DRI (2017).

Timing is Everything: Timing Orders for Trials in Federal Court, SideBAR (Summer 2011).

Quoted by: In re American Express Merchants Litigation, 554 F.3d 300, 303 (2d Cir. 2009).

Enforceable or Not?: Class Action Waivers in Mandatory Arbitration Clauses and the Need for A Judicial Standard, 45 Hous. L. Rev. 215 (2008).


The Battle of Enforceability: Class Action Waivers in Mandatory Arbitration Clauses, 27 Banking & Fin. Servs. Pol'y Rep. 1 (April, 2008).

Community Involvement

President, Board of Directors, ChildBuilders

Education

J.D., University of Houston Law Center
- Editor in Chief, Houston Law Review

M.B.A., The University of Iowa Tippie School of Management

B.S., Kansas State University

A.S., Eastern Oklahoma State College

Admissions

State Bar of Texas

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

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit