Spring 2022
SHJ Ramps Up Growth With New Hires
We’re excited to welcome several new professionals to the team, all of whom support our goal of providing clients with the highest caliber of legal service.
Robert Rankin and Daniel J. Scime have joined the firm as associates. Robert comes to SHJ from the New York office of Paul Weiss, where he focused on a broad range of civil litigation matters. He clerked for the Colorado Supreme Court and is a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School. Dan, also a University of Chicago Law School graduate, previously practiced general litigation in Skadden’s Chicago office.
Law students Gabriele Josephs and Vivian Wen are members of our inaugural class of diversity fellows. Gabriele is a 1L at the University of Virginia School of Law, where he serves as a legal fellow at the LawTech Center. Vivian is a 1L at UCLA School of Law, where she volunteers at El Centro Reentry Legal Clinic and Incarcerated Persons Correspondence Project.
This year’s summer associate class includes rising 3Ls Wafa Kazmi (Washington University School of Law) and Ben Blefeld (University of Houston Law Center). Wafa is active in her school’s Women of Color Law Society, International Law Society, and South Asian Law Society; previously, she served as a judicial intern to Justice Veronica Rivas Molloy of the Court of Appeals for the First District of Texas. Ben, a member of the Houston Law Review board, returns to SHJ after completing the firm’s summer law internship program in 2021.
Trial Victory in Breach of Contract Case
In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Intertek, a large, multinational consulting firm, attempted to breach its lease with Trical Commercial, an arm of the Los Angeles-based development company Bycor and Trical Construction, over allegations of toxic mold. After Trical Commercial engaged SHJ to file suit for breach of contract, seeking millions in damages, our team—led by partners Logan Johnson and Varant Yegparian—obtained a complete trial victory in Harris County.
SHJ Lawyers Join the Institute for Energy Law
Persis Dean, Adam Dinnell, Brandon Winchester, and Bryan Zubay were invited to join the Institute for Energy Law (IEL)’s Advisory Board. The firm sponsored IEL’s 73rd Annual Energy Law Conference this past February, which brought together legal leaders and other industry professionals to discuss the oil, gas, and renewables sectors of the energy industry.
Exculpation Provisions in LLC Agreements: A Comparison of Delaware and Texas
Case law involving LLCs is rapidly evolving. Disputes regarding breaches of fiduciary duty can often hinge on the scope of any relevant exculpation provisions in the LLC agreement, and the body of law governing the LLC agreement can materially alter outcomes. Partner Andy Hicks and associates Bryan Zubay and James Keefe compare key differences between Delaware and Texas law on LLC exculpation provisions.
Can Litigants Request a Jury Trial in Federal Bankruptcy Court?
Litigants often seek to remove cases to federal bankruptcy court when one of the parties is in or enters bankruptcy. Where the claims at issue are not directly bankruptcy-related, the ultimate destination of the case can hinge on several factors, including whether a party has demanded a jury. What parties may not realize is that a federal bankruptcy court can preside over a jury trial and enter judgment on the verdict as long as it has the consent of the parties. According to partner Andy Hicks and associates Bryan Zubay and James Keefe, it’s an option worth considering.
Clarifying Guidance on Jurisdiction for Climate Change Lawsuits
In February, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit laid down a landmark ruling regarding where climate change lawsuits should be heard. Senior counsel Brandon Winchester outlines the case as well as a recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit offering further guidance for federal courts.
New Website Highlights Firm's Core Values
As SHJ continues to grow, we’re proud to announce the launch of a new recruiting website spotlighting our mission of providing exceptional client service, along with industry-leading benefits such as our generous parental leave policy and hands-on approach to training and mentorship.