Mr. Bates graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center. He has focused his practice on litigation and arbitration of complex disputes for clients in the energy sector (oil and gas companies, pipeline builders/owners, electric and gas utilities, and other energy sector companies) as well as financial entities, medical entities and others. These disputes include a broad range of claims such as business torts, breach of contract, fraud, and similar disputes.
Mr. Bates has first-chaired a number of cases to verdict in jury trial, bench trial and arbitration settings. He holds a Certificate in Advanced Arbitration Skills from the A.A. White Dispute Resolution Center of the University of Houston Law Center. He has been involved in numerous complex commercial disputes, among them including:
• Representation in Nevada state court of a plaintiff mining company in a fraud and breach of contract case against a worldwide engineering firm, resulting in a $137 million jury verdict awarded to the client and $101 million settlement to the client.
• First-chairing a lawsuit by CenterPoint Energy’s pipeline group against two insurance companies, over the insurers’ failure to reimburse CenterPoint for losses incurred during construction of a lengthy underground natural gas pipeline. Trial occurred in February 2011 in federal court in Houston, before a jury. Mr. Bates and his team achieved a unanimous jury verdict for $3.275 million awarded to CenterPoint (the full cost of CenterPoint’s insurance claim after deductible). According to VerdictSearch, this outcome was among the Top 10 contract verdicts in Texas for 2011.
• First-chairing the defense of a Fortune 10 company being sued in a $240 million fraud case involving oilfield tools, resulting in obtaining an indemnity from a co-defendant a month before trial, followed by a non-suit by plaintiff just two weeks from trial and on the same day plaintiff would have had to respond to our pending motion for summary judgment, and then being asked to join the remaining defendant's trial team, which secured a settlement in the fourth week of trial of less than 1% of damages sought.
• Heading the legal team in a $40 million ad hoc arbitration involving a dispute between a national pipeline company and an international compression company, involving allegations of breach of contract and fraud, and achieving a nearly full-value pre-trial settlement, against a team of lawyers from another of Houston’s best-known litigation firms.
• First-chairing prosecution of a $15 million breach of contract claim against a prominent wireless communications company, resulting in a very favorable pretrial settlement.
• First-chairing the defense of a prominent regional pipeline company being sued in an $8 million fraud and theft case. After a bench trial, the judge entered a take-nothing verdict for plaintiff; full award of the counterclaim filed by Mr. Bates’ client, as well as the full attorney fees sought.
• First-chairing defense against claims prosecution of a $6 million lawsuit in which Mr. Bates’ client, a prominent regional pipeline company, sued its subcontractor on declaratory judgment for failure to perform, and achieved full victory on summary judgment in state court.
• First-chairing prosecution of a $3.3 million breach of contract claim for a prominent electric utility against a prominent telecommunications company, resulting in a full-value pretrial settlement.
• First-chairing the defense of a Fortune 10 company being sued in a $2 million breach of warranty and DTPA case involving oilfield tools and achieving very favorable pretrial settlement.
• First-chairing a AAA arbitration on behalf of a national natural gas and electric company in a breach of contract dispute with a major soft drink bottling company over a high-six figure dispute.
• First-chairing a AAA arbitration on behalf of the claimant and obtaining a high-six figure award against the claimant's former investment advisor for professional negligence.
• First-chairing the bench trial of a negligent misrepresentation case in Colorado on behalf of a Canadian citizen seeking lost investment damages against U.S. and Canadian defendants.
Mr. Bates has been named a Texas Rising Star for 2005 and 2006 (a Thomson Reuters service), and one of Houston’s Top Lawyers for 2006-2009 by H Texas Magazine. Mr. Bates has been a United Way Young Leader and a United Way Community Investment Volunteer. He also served on the Board of Directors of Santa Maria Hostel, a Houston-based non-profit organization that provides in-patient treatment for women battling addition and abuse, and their children.
Mr. Bates is a member of the State Bar of Texas, the College of the State Bar of Texas (2004- 2010), Houston Bar Association and Houston Young Lawyers Association. He served as a member of the Legal Advisory Committee for the Paralegal Studies Program at North Harris College (2004-2006). He has served on various HBA committees.
Mr. Bates is admitted to practice before state and federal courts in Texas and the United States Supreme Court. He has been admitted pro hac vice in several other states (Colorado, New York, Oklahoma, Arizona, California) as well as several foreign countries (Australia, New Zealand, Norway).
- Certificate in Advanced Arbitration Skills , A.A. White Dispute Resolution Center of the University of Houston Law Center
- Bar Admissions:
- Texas, 2000
- Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, District of Columbia, 2000
Honors: Magna Cum Laude
Honors: Order of the Coif
Honors: Order of the Barristers (Moot Court Team)
Honors: Research and Writing Fellow
Law Journal: Georgetown Law Journal, Executive Editor
- Loyola College, 1987
Honors: Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society
Honors: Loyola Presidential Scholar
- Honors and Awards:
- Texas Rising Star , 2005 - 2006