David Beck
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David J. Beck

Partner

David J. Beck is consistently recognized as one of our country’s best trial lawyers. This recognition has grown from the consistent results he has achieved for his clients in his many years of practice. From the smallest disputes to the billion dollar cases, David understands the importance of each case to his client, and he approaches each with the same intensity and integrity that has served him - and his clients - so well for so long.

For David Beck, every case is a story to be told, and very few trial lawyers can match David's ability to convey that story to the jury. And he knows that the story is best told from the highest moral ground. That is ground on which he has stood his entire career. When David tells a jury he will show them evidence to make a point, you can bet that when he stands up in closing argument he will have honored his word. Maybe that is why so many companies call him with their "bet the company" cases.

Texas Supreme Court affirms dismissal of $535 million judgement against Enterprise Products Partners LP. Please see the news article here.

Lead counsel in defense of 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 and entered an order completely dismissing Cameron from the litigation.

Trial victory for Exxon Mobil Corporation ("ExxonMobil") in Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Trade Exploration et al.; pending in the 189th Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas. ExxonMobil was seeking indemnity from an entity and certain individuals who had bought mineral interests from ExxonMobil in Louisiana, and had promised to defend and indemnify ExxonMobil from any future litigation. As a result of the buyers' wrongful refusal to uphold their promises, ExxonMobil had to settle two major environmental lawsuits in Louisiana, including claims for $3.9 billion. After a nearly three-week trial, ExxonMobil won a victory on all jury issues. Judgment was entered, and the case is now pending before the Houston Court of Appeals. Reagan Brown of Norton Rose Fulbright and Joe Thompson of Watt Thompson also had major roles in the trial.

In Camilla Hardy, et al, v. Second Street Properties, et al, several limited partners in a limited partnership removed the general partner, our client, and then unlawfully elected a replacement without his consent. When our client sued to enforce his rights under the Partnership Agreement, the limited partners countersued, claiming he breached his fiduciary and contractual duties by acquiring certain properties years earlier. After trial, the jury found that our client never agreed to majority election of a replacement general partner and that he complied with his contractual and fiduciary duties in two of the three major transactions. Although the jury found our client liable on the transaction through which he acquired the “City and District Tracts”, the jury awarded only $1 in damages. The trial court also required the Partnership to reimburse our client for his acquisition and holding costs. This case is currently on appeal. 

Obtained defense verdict for Memorial Hermann Hospital System in a major antitrust lawsuit in Texas state court as lead counsel. Assisted by Beck Redden partner Geoff Gannaway, the trial 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.

Lead trial counsel for Level 3 Communications, Global Crossing, and Qwest Communications in a patent infringement action tried to a federal court jury in Marshall, Texas. The companies, builders/owners of the cable infrastructure of the internet, were accused of infringing patent claims related to voice-over-internet-telephony (“VOIP”). The case settled favorably after the patent owner presented its evidence to the jury.

Lead trial counsel for ExxonMobil Corporation in a breach of contract lawsuit brought by a former ExxonMobil executive who was seeking millions of dollars. The lawsuit also questioned the validity of the company-wide executive compensation program. The jury returned a complete defense verdict. 

Representative Experience

Texas Supreme Court affirms dismissal of $535 million judgement against Enterprise Products Partners LP. Please see the news article here.

Lead counsel in defense of 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 and entered an order completely dismissing Cameron from the litigation.

Trial victory for Exxon Mobil Corporation ("ExxonMobil") in Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Trade Exploration et al.; pending in the 189th Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas. ExxonMobil was seeking indemnity from an entity and certain individuals who had bought mineral interests from ExxonMobil in Louisiana, and had promised to defend and indemnify ExxonMobil from any future litigation. As a result of the buyers' wrongful refusal to uphold their promises, ExxonMobil had to settle two major environmental lawsuits in Louisiana, including claims for $3.9 billion. After a nearly three-week trial, ExxonMobil won a victory on all jury issues. Judgment was entered, and the case is now pending before the Houston Court of Appeals. Reagan Brown of Norton Rose Fulbright and Joe Thompson of Watt Thompson also had major roles in the trial.

In Camilla Hardy, et al, v. Second Street Properties, et al, several limited partners in a limited partnership removed the general partner, our client, and then unlawfully elected a replacement without his consent. When our client sued to enforce his rights under the Partnership Agreement, the limited partners countersued, claiming he breached his fiduciary and contractual duties by acquiring certain properties years earlier. After trial, the jury found that our client never agreed to majority election of a replacement general partner and that he complied with his contractual and fiduciary duties in two of the three major transactions. Although the jury found our client liable on the transaction through which he acquired the “City and District Tracts”, the jury awarded only $1 in damages. The trial court also required the Partnership to reimburse our client for his acquisition and holding costs. This case is currently on appeal. 

Obtained defense verdict for Memorial Hermann Hospital System in a major antitrust lawsuit in Texas state court as lead counsel. Assisted by Beck Redden partner Geoff Gannaway, the trial 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.

Lead trial counsel for Level 3 Communications, Global Crossing, and Qwest Communications in a patent infringement action tried to a federal court jury in Marshall, Texas. The companies, builders/owners of the cable infrastructure of the internet, were accused of infringing patent claims related to voice-over-internet-telephony (“VOIP”). The case settled favorably after the patent owner presented its evidence to the jury.

Lead trial counsel for ExxonMobil Corporation in a breach of contract lawsuit brought by a former ExxonMobil executive who was seeking millions of dollars. The lawsuit also questioned the validity of the company-wide executive compensation program. The jury returned a complete defense verdict. 

Professional Activities and Memberships

State Bar of Texas (President, 1995-1996)

Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers (President, 2006-2007)

American College of Trial Lawyers Foundation (President, 2013-2017)

Fellow, International Academy of Trial Lawyers

Diplomate, American Board of Trial Advocates

Fellow, Texas Supreme Court Historical Society (Chair, 2012-2020)

International Association of Defense Counsel (President, 1991-1992)

Chair, Board of Trustees of the Center for American and International Law (CAIL) (2010-2014); Board of Trustees and Executive Committee (currently)

Awards and Rankings

Recognized in The Legal 500 United States as a Leading Lawyer, Energy Litigation: Oil and Gas (2018); Hall of Fame, Energy Litigation: Oil and Gas (2019-2020), National Leading Trial Lawyer (2020)

Related News
Publications and Presentations

David J. Beck has won various awards for his legal writing. He has published numerous law journal articles and has appeared as a lecturer on many bar association and law school continuing legal education programs. Published works include:

Co-Author, "Legal Malpractice in Texas", published by the Baylor Law Review, 43 Baylor L. Rev. (1991); Second Edition, 50 Baylor L. Rev. 547 (1998); Third Edition, 70 Baylor L. Rev. 213 (2018)

Co-Author, Chapter 36 ("Jury Selection") Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts, Fourth Edition, American Bar Association Section of Litigation Database updated (2015-2018)

Co-Author, “The Ethical Boundaries of Reviewing Jurors’ Internet Presence:  National Highlights,” The Computer & Internet Lawyer, Vol. 34, No. 6 (June 2017)

Co-Author, “The Ethical Boundaries of Reviewing Jurors’ Internet Presence: The Need for a Rule in Texas,” The Advocate, a publication of the State Bar of Texas Litigation Section, at 51 (Fall 2016)

Co-author, Texas Supreme Court Adopts Judicial Error Rule in Legal Mal Cases, The Texas Lawbook (July 2016)

Co-Author, O'Connor's Annotated Civil Practice and Remedies Code (1999-2018)

"A Civil Justice System With No Trials", Tex. B.J. Vol. 76, No. 11 (Dec. 2013)

Co-Author, Chapter on “Damages,” Texas Business Litigation (2015-2020)

"The Consequences of the Vanishing Jury Trial: Does Anyone Really Care",1 Hous. L. Rev. e29 (2010)

"Judicial Independence: Woe to the Generation that Judges the Judges", 71 Tex. B.J. 572 (2008)

Co-author, "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 (2006)

Perspective: Separation of Powers - Is Our Judiciary Under Serious Attack?", 67 Tex B.J. 974 (2004)

"The Legal Profession at the Crossroads: Who Will Write the Future Rules Governing the Conduct of Lawyers Representing Public Corporations?", 34 St. Mary's L.J. 873 (2003)

Community Involvement

Named by Texas Governor Greg Abbott as a Regent of The University of Texas System in 2015, confirmed by the Texas Senate (2015-2021)

Adjunct Professor, University of Texas Law School (2019- present)

Distinguished Alumnus of The University of Texas at Austin (2010)

Outstanding Alumnus of The University of Texas Law School (2000)

Recipient of The University of Texas Law School Faculty Award (1985)

Member, MD Anderson Board of Visitors (2014-2017)

Life Member, University of Texas Law School Foundation Board of Trustees (President, 2002-2006)

Distinguished Alumnus of Lamar University (1999)

Houston Symphony Board of Trustees (2019-present)

Education

L.L.B., The University of Texas School of Law

B.S., Lamar University

Admissions

State Bar of Texas

United States Supreme Court

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

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