Jesse R. Pierce

Jesse R. Pierce

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Business Litigation Attorney in Houston, TX

Pierce & O'Neill, LLP
 | 4203 Montrose Boulevard, Houston, TX 77006
Phone: 713-634-3636
Fax: 713-634-3601
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2003 - 2018
Licensed Since: 1974
Practice Areas:
  • Business Litigation (50%),
  • Energy & Natural Resources (30%),
  • Environmental Litigation (20%)
Attorney Profile

Jesse Pierce has more than 40 years of litigation experience and has tried many types of cases in state and federal courts of Texas and other states. He specializes in civil trials of cases dealing with complex energy and commercial issues. Mr. Pierce is Board Certified in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and is a Commercial Arbitrator for American Arbitration Association. He is licensed to practice in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Mr. Pierce was named "2011 Houston Oil and Gas Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers and was recently inducted into the Litigation Counsel of America, a trial lawyer honorary society composed of less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers.  Fellows are selected based on effectiveness and accomplishment in litigation, both at the trial and appellate levels, and on the basis of a superior ethical reputation.  Fewer than 60 attorneys in Houston are Fellows of the LCA. 

Mr. Pierce represents both plaintiffs and defendants, and has represented clients in many types of complex litigation, including oil and gas, environmental, product liability, interpretation and enforcement of contracts, temporary restraining orders, trade secrets, franchising, real estate, ERISA claims, securities and corporate matters, franchising disputes, copyright and entertainment matters, and a variety of fraud, usury, and Deceptive Trade Practices matters, and has extensive experience in class action litigation. Mr. Pierce frequently lectures at continuing legal education seminars and was a drafter of the Texas Pattern Jury Charges for Oil and Gas Cases.

Mr. Pierce has handled a number of appeals to the Texas Supreme Court. During his first year of practice, he had a successful appeal of a contested probate matter in Hall v. White, 525 S.W.2d 860 (Tex. 1975). He also victoriously argued a complex engineering malpractice case involving the design of electronic microprocessor devices in 1993, Texas Instruments, Inc. v. Teletron Energy Mgmt. Inc., 877 S.W.2d 276 (Tex. 1994) (rehearing overruled). He effectively appealed a multi-party lease termination and adverse possession case, Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America, et al. v. Pool, 124 S.W.3d 188 (Tex. 2003).

Among the other appeals he handled during the early years of his practice were:

  • City of Pasadena v. Richardson, 523 S.W.2d 506 (Tex. Civ. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 1975) (civil rights)
  • Gaal v. BASF Wyandotte Corp., 533 S.W.2d 152 (Tex. Civ. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 1976) (trade secrets)
  • Best Steel Buildings, Inc. v. Hardin, 553 S.W.2d 951 (Tex. Civ. App.—Tyler 1978) (wrongful death)
  • Pan American Life Insurance Co. v. Youngblood, 569 S.W.2d 951 (Tex. Civ. App.—Tyler 1978) (insurance)
  • Claude Regis Vargo Ent., Inc. v. Bacarisse, 578 S.W.2d 524 (Tex. Civ. App.—Houston [14th Dist] 1979) (commercial)
  • C&W Manhattan Associates v. Lively, 588 S.W.2d 671 (Tex. Civ. App.—Beaumont 1979) (commercial)

In the late 1970s, Mr. Pierce began to handle complex oil and gas, land and commercial cases. He handled a number of cases for major oil companies involving disputes with royalty owners and disputes between gas producers and pipeline companies for clients such as Chesapeake Energy, Texaco, Shell, Pennzoil-Quaker State, Mobil and Superior Oil Company. Cases he has tried and appealed are:

  • Dunn v. Davis, 590 S.W.2d 752 (Tex. Civ. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 1979) (land title)
  • First City Nat'l Bank v. Hardy, 620 S.W.2d 732 (Tex. Civ. App.—Corpus Christi 1981) (oil and gas);
  • Amoco Oil Co. v. Hardy, 628 S.W.2d 813 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi 1981) (class action);
  • Superior Oil Co. v. City of Port Arthur, 628 S.W.2d 94, (Tex. App.—Beaumont 1981)(constitutional challenge to annexation);
  • Superior Oil Co. v. City of Port Arthur, 726 F.2d 203 (5th Cir. 1984) (constitutional challenge to annexation);
  • Gulf Oil Corp. v. Fuller, 695 S.W.2d 769 (Tex. App.—El Paso 1985) (discovery privilege issues);
  • Enterprise Int'l, Inc. v. Corporacion Estatal Petrolera Ecuatoriana,762 F.2d 464 (5th Cir. 1985) (commercial, Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act);
  • Wadsworth Bus. Ctr. v. Connell, 775 S.W.2d 663 (Tex. App.—Dallas 1989) (real estate);
  • Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Kennedy, (Tex. App.—El Paso 1991) (class action);
  • NL Inds., Inc. v. GHR Energy Corp., 940 F.2d 957 (5th Cir. 1991) (commercial);
  • Lee v. WalMart Stores, Inc., 943 F2d 554 (5th Cir. 1991) (commercial);
  • Parten v. Cannon, 829 S.W.2d 327 ((Tex. App.—Waco 1992) (oil and gas);
  • GeoSouthern Energy Corp. v. Chesapeake Operating, Inc., 274 F.3d 1017 (5th Cir. 2001)(dispute among working interest owners);
  • GeoSouthern Energy Corp. v. Chesapeake Operating, Inc., 241 F.3d 388 (5th Cir. 2001) (dispute among working interest owners);
  • Law v. Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America, 65 S.W.3d 121 (Tex. App.—Amarillo 2001, pet. denied) (lease termination);
  • Moore Landrey, LLP v. Hirsch & Westheimer, P.C., 126 S.W.3d 536 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2003, no pet.) (contract);
  • C.M. Asfahl Agency v. Tensor, Inc., 135 S.W.3d 768 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2004, no pet.) (contract);
  • DX Terminals, Ltd. v. Bayer Corporation, 214 S.W.3d 586 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2006, pet. denied) (contract);
  • Ingram v. Glast, Phillips & Murray, 196 Fed.Appx. 232 (5th Cir. 2006) (sanctions);
  • PYR Energy Corporation v. Samson Resources Company, 470 F.Supp.2d 709 (E.D. Tex. 2007) (oil and gas dispute);
  • Union Carbide Corporation v. Loftin, 256 S.W.3d 869 (Tex. App.—Beaumont 2008, pet. dism’d) (toxic tort);
  • Shell Oil Company v. Baran, 258 S.W.3d 719 (Tex. App.—Beaumont 2008, pet. dism’d) (toxic tort);
  • Navasota Resources, L.P. v. First Source Texas, Inc., 249 S.W.3d 526 (Tex. App.—Waco 2008, pet. denied) (oil and gas contract dispute);
  • Cheetah Gas Co., Ltd. v. Chesapeake Louisiana, L.P., 2009 WL 522736 (S.D. Tex. 2009) (oil and gas contract dispute;
  • Coll v. Abaco Operating LLC, 2010 WL 11470128 (E.D. Tex. 2010) (oil and gas contract dispute);
  • Witt v. Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C., 276 F.R.D. 458 (E.D. Tex. 2011) (oil and gas contract dispute);
  • Highland Capital Management, L.P. v. Ryder Scott Co., 402 S.W.3d 719 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2012, no pet.) (oil and gas contract dispute);
  • SM Energy Co. v. Sutton, 376 S.W.3d 787 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2012, pet. denied) (oil and gas contract dispute);
  • Coe v. Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C., 695 F.3d 311 (5th Cir. 2012) (oil and gas contract dispute);
  • Chesapeake Louisiana, L.P. v. Buffco Production, Inc., 2013 WL 12242054 (E.D. Tex. 2013) (oil and gas contract dispute);
  • McCall v. Chesapeake Energy Corporation, 509 Fed.Appx. 62 (2nd Cir. 2013) (oil and gas contract dispute);
  • Preston Exploration Co., L.P. v. G.S.F., LLC, 566 Fed.Appx. 318 (5th Cir. 2014) (oil and gas contract dispute);
  • Davey v. Margarett Jordan Royalties, Inc., 2014 WL 3939669 (Tex. App.—Tyler 2014, no pet.) (oil and gas contract dispute);
  • MDU Barnett Limited Partnership v. Chesapeake Exploration Limited Partnership, 2014 WL 585740 (S.D. Tex. 2014) (oil and gas contract dispute);
  • XH, LLC v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation, 2014 WL 2505541 (Tex. App.—Tyler 2014, no pet.) (oil and gas contract dispute);
  • Burlington Resources Oil & Gas Company, LP v. Petromax Operating Co., Inc., 486 S.W.3d 703 (Tex. App.—Texarkana 2016, no pet.) (oil and gas contract dispute);
  • In re CCI Gulf Coast Upstream, LLC, 2016 WL 6134466 (Tex. App.—Waco, 2016) (oil and gas contract dispute);
  • Cody Texas, L.P. v. BPL Exploration, Ltd., 513 S.W.3d 522 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2016, pet. denied) (oil and gas contract dispute);
  • In re Cody Texas, L.P., 2017 WL 4942852 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2017) (oil and gas contract dispute);
  • Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation v. Samson Lone Star, LLC, 2017 WL 2791188 (Tex. App.—Amarillo 2017) (oil and gas contract dispute);
  • Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation v. Newfield Exploration Mid-Continent, Inc., 2017 WL 2791188 (Tex. App.—Amarillo 2017, no pet.) (oil and gas contract dispute);
  • Freeman v. Harleton Oil & Gas, Inc., 528 S.W.3d 708 (Tex. App.—Texarkana 2017, pet. filed) (oil and gas contract dispute); and
  • Le Norman Operating LLC v. Chalker Energy Partners III, LLC, 2017 WL 91373 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2017) (oil and gas contract dispute).

During the 1980s, Mr. Pierce also represented a number of both debtors and lenders in corporate reorganization cases, In re Charter Oil Co., 63 B.R. 662 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 1986).

Mr. Pierce has extensive experience in the trial of environmental cases. In 1991, he represented Monsanto Corporation in the trial and successful appeal of a Superfund case involving over two hundred homeowners, Barras v. Monsanto Co., 831 S.W.2d 859 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 1992).

In the late 1990s, Mr. Pierce represented Mitchell Energy Corporation in the trial and successful appeal of several water pollution cases involving hundreds of millions of dollars in claims, Mitchell Energy Corp. v. Bartlett, 958 S.W.2d 430 (Tex. App.— Fort Worth 1997).

About Jesse Pierce

Admitted: 1974, Texas

Professional Webpage:


  •  Recognized in Super Lawyers Business Edition, 2011-2018
  • Selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers, 2008-2018
  • Recognized in Chambers USA for Energy & Natural Resources Litigation, 2009-2018
  • Recognized by Super Lawyers Corporate Counsel, 2008-2010
  • Recognized in Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America for Toxic Torts
  • Martindale-Hubbell® "AV Preeminent" Rating
  • Selected Lawyer of the Year, Oil & Gas Law – Houston, Best Lawyers, 2011
  • Order of the Coif, University of Texas Law School

Special Licenses/Certifications:

  • Commercial Arbitrator for American Arbitration Association
  • Board Certified - Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Litigation Counsel of America
  • State Bar of Pennsylvania
  • State Bar of Arkansas
  • State Bar of Oklahoma
  • Houston Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • State Bar of Texas
  • Council of the Oil, Gas & Energy Resources Law Section of the State Bar of Texas
  • The Center for American and International Law - Oil & Gas Practice Committee
  • American Board of Trial Advocates

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

  • "Termination of Oil, Gas & Mineral Leases: Savings Clauses and Defensive Doctrines," State Bar of Texas Advanced Oil Gas & Energy Resources Seminar, 2008
  • "Current Issues in Gas Royalty Litigation," Arkansas State Bar Association Oil, Gas & Energy Law Seminar, 2005
  • "Termination of Oil, Gas & Mineral Leases: The Temporary Cessation of Production & Production in Paying Quantities Doctrines," State Bar of Texas Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law Section Report, Vol. 27, No. 4, 2003
  • "Common Law Claims in Environmental Contamination cases," Advanced Environmental Law Course, State Bar of Texas, 1997
  • "Standards of Appellate Review," Houston Bar Association Appellate Practice Institute, 1996
  • "Current Issues in Controversies Between Royalty Owners and Energy Companies," Section of Natural Resources, Energy, and Environmental Law, American Bar Association, 1993
  • "How to Deal with the Expert Witness," Texas Bar CLE, 2015
  • "The Use and Perils of Sight Drafts in Leasing Transactions," 59th Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute, 2013
  • “Recent Developments in Oil and Gas Law,” 8th Annual Energy Litigation Conference, The Institute for Energy Law, 2009
  • “Protecting Company Secrets and Rights to Compete:  When Employer and Employees Clash in the Oilfield,” 60th Annual Conference on Oil and Gas Law, Institute for Energy Law, 2009
  • Recent Developments in Oil and Gas Law,” 7th Annual Energy Litigation Conference, The Institute for Energy Law, 2008

Representative Clients:

  • Representative clients and references are available upon request.

Industry Groups

  • Business Litigation
  • Oil And Gas
Office Location for Jesse R. Pierce

4203 Montrose Boulevard
Houston, TX 77006


Jesse R. Pierce:

Last Updated: 5/4/2018

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