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Jack O'Neill

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Business Litigation Attorney in Houston, TX

Pierce & O'Neill, LLP
4203 Montrose Boulevard
Houston, TX 77006
Phone: 713-634-3638
Fax: 713-634-3601
Email: Jack O'Neill
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2003 - 2018
Licensed in Texas Since: 1972
Practice Areas: Business Litigation, Appellate
Attorney Profile

Jack O'Neill has been trying large complex cases for over 45 years. His experience in the courtroom involves many cases that have been widely publicized. Mr. O'Neill was co-trial counsel for UPR, Inc. in its attempted takeover of Pennzoil. He was lead counsel for Mitchell Energy Corporation in the company's effort to overturn a $204 million judgment rendered against the company in a case tried for the company by another law firm. On appeal, argued by Mr. O'Neill, the case was reversed in its entirety and judgment was rendered in favor of Mitchell. He was lead trial counsel for Mitchell Energy in a related case in which plaintiffs sought $750 million for alleged contamination of their properties by natural gas and hydrogen sulfide. After a three-month trial, the jury rendered a unanimous verdict in favor of Mitchell. He was lead trial counsel for plaintiffs in the highly publicized Key 1-11 gas well blowout case in the Texas Panhandle, the largest blowout of a gas well in continental United States history. After a trial lasting over two and a half months, the jury returned one of the largest verdicts in Randall County, Texas history in favor of Mr. O'Neill's clients. He was lead trial counsel for a well-known Houston oil and gas company in a fraud case in which the plaintiff sought damages in excess of $100 million. After a two-month trial, the jury returned a verdict for Mr. O'Neill's client, and a take-nothing judgment was entered by the trial court. Mr. O'Neill has successfully tried many other cases relating to virtually all aspects of the oil and gas industry.

Mr. O'Neill's trial experience is not confined to oil and gas matters. He successfully defended GE in the "Desert Storm" Ramstein Air Base C-5A crash litigation. As co-counsel, he successfully defended GE in the trial court and before the Fifth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court in the U.S.S. Stark litigation, emanating out of the attack on the Stark in the Persian Gulf by an Iraqi fighter jet. He successfully defended Eastman Kodak Company in its mini-lab class action case, involving alleged damages of $3 billion. Mr. O'Neill was lead counsel for plaintiffs in a suit against an American subsidiary of a foreign trading company for employment discrimination against American citizens, which established in the district court and United States Supreme Court that American subsidiaries of foreign companies are not immune from United States fair employment laws. He has obtained a multimillion-dollar jury verdict for an equipment manufacturer in an unfair competition and theft of trade secrets case. As lead trial counsel, he successfully defended McKesson Corporation by obtaining a unanimous jury verdict in a trademark infringement trial in which the plaintiff sought damages in excess of $1 billion. As lead arbitration counsel, he successfully procured a unanimous arbitration opinion in favor of Weatherford International, Inc., granting Weatherford specific performance of a contract to convey computer software, denying in its entirety the defendant's counterclaim of over $100 million, and awarding Weatherford its attorney fees and expenses. He has also successfully defended a toy manufacturer in a trademark infringement trial. He has successfully defended a former United States Senator in litigation filed against a major United States company and its directors.

Mr. O'Neill has won numerous jury verdicts in cases involving allegations of breach of contract, negligence and gross negligence, trademark infringement, unfair competition, fraud, environmental contamination and strict liability. Over the years, his clients have included Exxon Mobil Corporation, UNOCAL, Koch Industries, Stewart & Stevenson Services, The Williams Companies, GE, Eastman Kodak Company, INVISTA, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, The John Wood Group, CNA, Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Corporation, Mitchell Energy & Development Corp., Devon Energy Corporation, McKesson Corporation, Weatherford International and many other Fortune 500 companies.

Mr. O'Neill is a former director of the Litigation Section of the State Bar of Texas. He is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates. He is also a member of the International Association of Defense Counsel.

About Jack O'Neill

First Admitted: 1972, Texas

Professional Webpage: https://www.pierceoneill.com/attorney/jack-oneill/

Honors/Awards

  • Martindale-Hubbell® "AV Preeminent" Rating, the highest peer rating standard. This is given to attorneys who are ranked at the highest level of professional excellence for their legal expertise, communication skills, and ethical standards by their peers, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America in Commercial Litigation, 2014-2022, BL Rankings
  • Ranked Tier 1 nationally in Oil & Gas Law and Tier 2 in Natural Resources Law among the Best Law Firms. Pierce & O’Neill is ranked Tier 1 in Houston in Commercial Litigation, Oil & Gas Law and Natural Resources Law, Best Lawyers and U.S. News & World Report, 2022
  • Selected for inclusion in Texas Super Lawyers, 2003-2015
  • Selected for inclusion in Texas Super Lawyers Business Edition, 2011-2014

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • Author, “Legal Consequences and Ethical Implications of Physical Evidence Spoliation,” Institute for Energy Law of the Center for American and International Law, 9th Annual Energy Litigation Conference, October 12, 2010
  • Co-Author, "Valuation of Oil Royalties:  From the Perspective of the Payor," 47 Institute on Oil & Gas Law, 7 TAX'N 6-1 (Matthew Bender, 1996)
  • Co-Author, "Damages," 14 The Advocate 362 (1995)
  • Co-Author, "Injunctive and Monetary Relief in Class Actions in the Fifth Circuit," State Bar of Texas Antitrust Business Litigation Section Report (April, 2002)

Educational Background

  • University of Pennsylvania, B.A., 1969, cum laude, 1969

Representative Clients

  • Representative clients and references are available upon request to [email protected], 2020

Bar/Professional Activity

  • Appointed by President of Houston Bar Association to Houston Bar Association Continuing Legal Education Committee, 2020
  • Houston Young Lawyers Association, Director, 1978 to 1979
  • Member, American Board of Trial Advocates
  • Texas Bar Foundation
  • International Association of Defense Counsel, Member
  • State Bar of Texas Section of Litigation, Director, 1998 to 2000

Verdicts/Settlements

  • American Arbitration Association Case No. 01-20-0000-2681 - Best Choice Anesthesia & Pain, PLLC v. Aetna Network Services LLC; lead counsel for Plaintiff Best Choice Anesthesia in seeking higher rates of reimbursement for anesthesia services. Amount in controversy: $4,000,000., 2021
  • Burlington Resources Oil & Gas Company vs. Amber Harvest, LLC, et al. vs. West 17th Resources, LLC, et al. Cause No 12-03-00055-CVK, in 81st District Court of Karnes County, Texas. Lead counsel for Amber Harvest, LLC, in dispute over ownership of mineral interests. Amount in controversy: $5,000,000. Case to be set for trial in 2022., 2021
  • Amber Harvest, LLC vs. Marathon Oil Company; lead counsel for Amber Harvest in $20,000,000 dispute involving recoupment of post-production costs by Marathon Oil Company from overriding royalty payments due to Amber Harvest; matter successfully settled for substantial multi-million dollar amount to be paid by Marathon to client Amber Harvest, LLC., 2021
  • Bristol Hospice-Texas, L.L.C. vs. Lumicare Health TX4, LLC d/b/a Lumicare Hospice, et al.; Cause No. 21-09-12069; 457th District Court, Montgomery County, Texas; lead counsel for Defendants in action for breach of contract, unfair competition and misappropriation of trade secrets, seeking unspecified actual damages, exemplary damages and attorneys' fees., 2021
  • Civil Action No. 4:20-CV-3002 - PetroChina International (America), Inc. v. BCI Brasil China Importadora E Distribuidora S.A. - United States District Court, Southern District of Texas, Houston Division; lead counsel for Plaintiff PertroChina in action seeking damages for repudiation by defendant of international shipment of ethanol; amount in controversy $2,500,000., 2021
  • International Centre for Dispute Resolution Case No. 50-117-T-00228-11 and Cause No. 2011-21713, EProduction Solutions, Inc., et al. v. Intelligent Agent Corporation, 129th District Court, Harris County, Texas; lead counsel for Plaintiff in seeking declaration of ownership of technology, specific performance of contract, damages of $1,500,000, recovery of over $1,000,000 in attorneys' fees and expenses, and take-nothing judgment against Defendant on Defendant's counterclaim of $120,000,000; judgment entered granting all relief sought by client, plus entry of take-nothing judgment against Defendant on Defendant's counterclaim., 2012
  • Case No. 04-19-00519-CV, McCombs Energy, Ltd. v. F4 Resources, L.P., et al., Fourth Court of Appeals, San Antonio, Texas, 2020
  • Case No. 50-198-T-00317-13 and Case No. 50-20-1300-0317,  In the Matter of the Arbitration Among Paul James Hudson, et al. v. Weatherford Holdings Mexico, S. de R.L. de C.V., et al., American Arbitration Association, 2016
  • Case No. 18-20189, Miriam Blank v. Jack Nuszen, et al., United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, 2018
  • Civil Action No. 4:17-cv-02376, Miriam Blank v. Jack Nuszen, et al., United States District Court, Southern District of Texas, Houston Division, 2018
  • Case No. 18-0472, In re William H. Forney, Jr., et al., Supreme Court of Texas, 2018
  • Cause No. D150045-C, City of Dallas v. Cary "Mac" Abney, et al. v. Sabine River Authority of Texas, 260th District Court, Orange County, Texas; lead counsel for Plaintiff City of Dallas in action over water rights; amount in controversy $300,000,000+; case successfully settled prior to trial., 2017
  • Case No. 04-18-00075-CV, In re William H. Forney, Jr., et al., Fourth Court of Appeals, San Antonio, Texas, 2018
  • Case No. 13-19-00427-CV, Burlington Resources Oil & Gas Company, LP v. Warwick-Athena, LLC and Texas Crude Energy, LLC, Thirteenth Court of Appeals, Corpus Christi, Texas; lead counsel for Appellee Texas Crude Energy in appeal by Burlington Resources Oil & Gas Company from adverse summary judgment rendered by trial court; appeal voluntarily dismissed by Burlington pending oral argument of appeal, with no compensation, agreement or other benefit paid to or conferred upon Appellant Burlington., 2021
  • Cause No. C2014-0346B, David C. Jones, M.D., P.A., v. McKesson Speciality Health Pharmaceutical 207th District Court, Comal County, Texas, 2017
  • Civil Action No. 4:11-CV-03646, Kevin Brewer v. McKesson Corporation, United States District Court, Southern District of Texas, Houston Division, 2013
  • Case No. 12-20147, Mariner Energy, Incorporated, et al. v. Devon Energy Production Company, L.P., United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, 2013
  • Cause No. 2010-15225, Devon Energy Production Company, L.P. v. KCS Resources, LLC, 129th District Court, Harris County, Texas, 2016
  • Civil Docket No. 71151-A, Devon Energy Production Company, L.P. v. KCS Resources, LLC, 42nd Judicial District Court, DeSoto Parish, Louisnana, 2015
  • Case No. 14-13-00348-CV, Devon Energy Production Company, L.P. v. KCS Resources, LLC, Fourteenth Court of Appeals, Houston, Texas, 2014
  • Case No. 14-11-00712-CV, In re KCS Resources, LLC, Fourteenth Court of Appeals, Houston Texas, 2011
  • Cause No. L-19-0031-CV-B, Warwick-Athena, LLC and Texas Crude Energy, LLC v. Burlington Resources Oil & Gas Company LP, 156th District Court, Live Oak County, Texas; lead counsel for Plaintiff Texas Crude Energy in action seeking (a) removal of oil and gas field Operator, (b) judgment establishing that Operator is required to drill wells in which all working interest owners elected to participate, and (c) damages. Amount in controversy $200,000,000+., 2021
  • Weeks Marine, Inc. v. Maximino Garza, 371 S.W. 3d 157 (Tex. 2012), 2012
  • In re Eckstein Marine Service, L.L.C., 672 F.3d 310 (5th Cir. 2012), 2012
  • Cause No. 2017-CI-05774, McCombs Energy, Ltd. v. F4 Resources, L.P., et al., 224th District Court, Bexar County, Texas; lead counsel for Defendants in action seeking disgorgement damages of approximately $40,000,000 and unspecified damages for alleged breach of fiduciary duties; case settled on eve of trial for dismissal of all claims by Plaintiff and payment by Plaintiff of multi-million dollar amount to Defendants., 2021
  • Cause No. 2017-17018, William H. Forney, Jr., et al. v. McCombs Energy, Ltd., 334th District Court, Harris County, Texas; lead counsel for Plaintiffs, former executives of Defendant, in action seeking payment of unpaid compensation and other benefits in approximate amount of $35,000,000; lead counsel for same Plaintiffs in same action in defending counterclaims for breach of fiduciary duty and seeking damages of approximately $50,000,000; case settled on eve of trial for substantial multi-million dollar payment to clients by Defendant, and no payment by clients to Defendants on Defendants' counterclaims., 2021
  • Millennial Services LLC v. MBM Ventures if IL, LLC, et al., 333rd District Court, Harris County, Texas, 2019
  • Cause No. L-13-0061-CV-B, Texas Crude Energy, LLC, et al. v. Burlington Resources Oil & Gas Company, LP, et al., 156th District Court. Live Oak County, Texas; lead counsel for Plaintiff Texas Crude Energy in action (a) seeking judgment that overriding royalty interests owned by affiliate of Texas Crude could not be extinguished by new or amended oil and gas leases entered into by Burlington, and (b) seeking judgment that elections by Texas Crude to participate in the drilling of new oil and gas wells were timely made under Joint Operating Agreement. Partially settled on eve of trial with Burlington agreeing to relief sought by Texas Crude Energy and payment by Burlington of millions of dollars in attorneys' fees and expenses. Amount in controversy; $500,000,000 - $750,000,000. Remainder of case, concerning post-production costs deducted by Burlington from overriding royalty payments to affiliate of Texas Crude Energy, currently pending and to be set for trial in 2022., 2021
  • Civil Action No. 4:08-cv-02343, The York Group, Inc. v. Wuxi Taihu Tractor Company, et al., United States District Court, Southern District of Texas, Houston Division; lead counsel for Defendants Wuxi Taihu Tractor Company, et al. in action to enforce permanent injunction barring Defendant Wuxi Taihu Tractor Company from manufacture and importation of certain burial caskets into the United States and barring Defendant Wuxi Taihu Tractor Company from other alleged unfair competition practices; amount in controversy $10,000,000+., 2021
  • Case No. 17-0266, Burlington Resources Oil & Gas Company LP v. Texas Crude Energy, LLC, et al, Supreme Court of Texas, 2019
  • Case No. 13-16-00248-CV, Burlington Resources Oil & Gas Company LP v. Texas Crude Energy, LLC, et al., Thirteenth Court of Appeals, Corpus Christi, Texas; lead counsel for Appellee Texas Crude Energy in appeal by Burlington Resources of summary judgment granted against Burlington Resources by trial court in case concerning deductibility by Burlington of post-production costs from overriding royalty payments to Texas Crude Energy; summary judgment upheld on appeal., 2017
  • In re Air Disaster at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on 8/29/90, 81 F.3d 570 (5th Cir.(Tex.) April 29, 1996); lead counsel for Defendant General Electric Company in appeal by Plaintiffs of summary judgment granted against Plaintiffs by trial court in action stemming from crash of Air Force C5A shortly after takeoff from Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany; summary judgment in favor of client General Electric upheld on appeal; amount in controversy $50,000,000.
  • Cause No. 2014-02648, Spitzer Industries, Inc. v. Weatherford U.S., L.P., 80th District Court, Harris County, Texas, 2016
  • Case No. 01-16-00899-CV, Weatherford U.S., L.P. v. Spitzer Industries, Inc., Court of Appeals for First District, Houston, Texas, 2017
  • Apache Corp. v. Moore,891 S.W.2d 671 (Tex.App.-Amarillo July 29, 1994)
  • Tom L. Scott, Inc. v. McIlhany, 798 S.W.2d 556 (Tex. October 24, 1990)
  • Khan v. Trans Chemical Ltd., 178 Fed.Appx. 419 (5th Cir.(Tex.) May 05, 2006)
  • Spiess v. C. Itoh & Co. (America), Inc., 725 F.2d 970 (1984)
  • Swank v. Sverdlin, 121 S.W.3d 785 (Tex.App.-Hous. (1 Dist.) September 04, 2003)
  • Spiess v. C. Itoh & Co. (America) Inc., 654 F.2d 302 (1981)
  • Mitchell Energy Corp. v. Ashworth, 943 S.W.2d 436 (Tex. April 18, 1997)
  • Perez v. Lockheed Corp., 88 F.3d 340 (5th Cir.(Tex.) July 05, 1996)
  • Axelson, Inc. v. McIlhany, 798 S.W.2d 550 (Tex. October 24, 1990)
  • In re Eckstein Marine Service L.L.C., 672 F.3d 310 (5th Cir.(Tex.) February 22, 2012)
  • Axelson, Inc. v. McIlhany, 755 S.W.2d 170 (1988)
  • Nelson v. Williams, 135 S.W.3d 202 (Tex.App.-Waco March 24, 2004)
  • Spiess v. C. Itoh & Co. (America), Inc., 643 F.2d 353 (1981)
  • Apache Corp. v. Moore, 960 S.W.2d 746 (Tex.App.-Amarillo July 31, 1997)
  • Spiess v. C. Itoh & Co. (America), Inc., 469 F.Supp. 1 (1979)
  • Nelon v. Mitchell Energy Corp., 941 F.Supp. 73 (N.D.Tex. August 28, 1996)
  • Bareford v. General Dynamics Corp., 973 F.2d 1138 (5th Cir.(Tex.) September 16, 1992)
  • American Precision Vibrator Co. v. National Air Vibrator Co.,764 S.W.2d 274 (1988)
  • Beverick v. Koch Power, Inc., 186 S.W.3d 145 (Tex.App.-Hous. (1 Dist.) December 29, 2005)
  • Spiess v. C. Itoh & Co. (America), Inc., 687 F.2d 129 (1982)
  • John Wood Group USA, Inc. v. ICO, Inc., 26 S.W.3d 12 (Tex.App.-Hous. (1 Dist.) March 09, 2000)
  • Spiess v. C. Itoh & Co. (America), Inc., 664 F.2d 480 (1981)

Industry Groups

  • Gas
  • Natural Resources
  • Oil
  • Pipeline
  • Transportation
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Office Location for Jack O'Neill

4203 Montrose Boulevard
Houston, TX 77006

Last Updated: 5/15/2022

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