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 five 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 has handled a wide array of civil litigation matters and regularly represents plaintiffs and defendants in complex commercial litigation, partnership disputes, and business disputes, and represents primarily defendants in personal injury matters. Bryon has tried bench trials and jury trials, and has tried cases to a jury verdict in both state and federal court.

Trial counsel for Plaintiffs and Third-Party Defendant in Second Street Properties, LLC, et al. v. Freeport Waterfront Properties, LP, et al., Cause No. 2017-07497, in the 189th District Court of Harris County, Texas. As second chair trial lawyer, Bryon cross-examined one of the Counter-Plaintiffs, directed one of Plaintiffs’ two fact witnesses, and directed the examination of Plaintiffs’ expert witness. The Firm’s client brought a declaratory action against its limited partners, seeking a declaration of its rights under a limited partnership agreement in which it was the general partner. Defendants alleged counterclaims asserting twelve causes of action and sought nearly $6 million in actual damages, plus punitive damages, attorneys’ fees, creation of a constructive trust, and disgorgement of four tracts of property owned by the Firm’s client. After a two-week trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the Firm’s client on the declaratory judgment issues, and on the one liability issue on which counter-plaintiffs prevailed, the jury awarded only $1 in damages.

Lead Counsel for Plaintiff Anthonie Dekker in Dekker v. Knobelock, et al., Cause No. 15-DCV-225187, in the 400th Judicial District Court of Fort Bend County, Texas. After two years of vigorous litigation, achieved a favorable confidential settlement ten days before trial.

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.

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 Plaintiffs and Third-Party Defendant in Second Street Properties, LLC, et al. v. Freeport Waterfront Properties, LP, et al., Cause No. 2017-07497, in the 189th District Court of Harris County, Texas. As second chair trial lawyer, Bryon cross-examined one of the Counter-Plaintiffs, directed one of Plaintiffs’ two fact witnesses, and directed the examination of Plaintiffs’ expert witness. The Firm’s client brought a declaratory action against its limited partners, seeking a declaration of its rights under a limited partnership agreement in which it was the general partner. Defendants alleged counterclaims asserting twelve causes of action and sought nearly $6 million in actual damages, plus punitive damages, attorneys’ fees, creation of a constructive trust, and disgorgement of four tracts of property owned by the Firm’s client. After a two-week trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the Firm’s client on the declaratory judgment issues, and on the one liability issue on which counter-plaintiffs prevailed, the jury awarded only $1 in damages.

Lead Counsel for Plaintiff Anthonie Dekker in Dekker v. Knobelock, et al., Cause No. 15-DCV-225187, in the 400th Judicial District Court of Fort Bend County, Texas. After two years of vigorous litigation, achieved a favorable confidential settlement ten days before trial.

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.

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, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018

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