It’s been a good year for AZA and for our clients. We have a lot to celebrate. Though our team goes to trial more than most, in the last year, the firm has secured arbitration or settlement wins up to $500 million for our happy clients. The firm has also received some wonderful recognition in the legal community — ranging from a statewide best litigation award to earning high national grades for the quality of work our associates get.
AZA Wins Many Multimillion-Dollar Arbitrations and Settlements
AZA is known for going to trial, known for parachuting into trial late and known for winning trials. But that trial-readiness also means we are wildly effective for our clients when it comes to forcing settlements and prevailing in confidential arbitrations. We’ve had a terrific year, especially on behalf of the energy sector. A few of our client successes in the last year (where we can’t really brag about all the details) include:
- A take-nothing decision for the defense in arbitration involving an energy dispute with $150 million at stake.
- A mineral rights case settlement that secured $500 million over the next few years for our client.
- An energy sector patent case in which our client had $50 million in exposure and settled confidentially for nothing.
- An oil exploration arbitration in which our client had $250 million at stake, got a take-nothing decision on those accusations and still won $29 million for the client.
AZA Named Texas Lawyer Litigation Department of the Year, Yet Again
AZA was once again named by Texas Lawyer magazine as the best boutique-sized litigation department in Texas. The firm won Litigation Department of the Year in 2015 and earned a specialty practice award from the magazine in 2017.
The annual honor recognizes the Texas-based litigation groups that have excelled during the previous year based on courtroom results. “With fewer than 50 attorneys and a single office, Houston-based Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing made an outsize impact on the nationwide litigation landscape in 2018,” the magazine wrote in describing why the firm was chosen.
AZA tried 15 cases to conclusion in trial or arbitration. The firm also made some history along the way with precedent-setting cases. AZA did this with a deep bench. Most of its lawyers have been to trial multiple times. Read more here.
Vault Ranks AZA Among Nation’s Top 5 Midsize Firms for Associate Job Satisfaction, Work Quality
AZA is ranked among the nation’s top five midsize law firms for quality of work and job satisfaction, and among the top 10 for compensation and other key qualities by Vault, based on surveys of law firm associates.
Vault, which provides ratings of thousands of employers, just released its 2020 law firm ranking guide to help law students and lawyers identify the best firms to work for in the U.S.
“There are virtually no firm politics at AZA. The culture is all about finding the most practical, cost-efficient way to deliver a win for the client,” one associate told Vault.
AZA ranked sixth in the
nation overall in the category “best midsize firms to work for.” The only other Texas midsize firm in the top 10 nationally was Susman Godfrey LLP.
Nationally, AZA ranked third in job satisfaction; fourth in quality of work; sixth in compensation; ninth in diversity, hours and firm culture; 10th in selectivity of hires; and 11th in career outlook. Read more here.
AZA and Its Lawyers
Win Accolades Galore
It’s been an especially good year for AZA honors — both for the firm and individual lawyers.
Attorneys are always searching for the right word for a brief, argument or lawsuit. Here’s an easy word search. Find the last names of the nine SCOTUS justices. Here are some obscure clues:
1. Played for laughs by Matt Damon on SNL
2. Learned to salsa dance on 50th birthday
3. Phillie Phanatic is this justice’s fave mascot
4. Played for laughs by Kate McKinnon on SNL
5. Uses an RV to camp in Walmart parking lots
6. Married a British aristocrat
7. Played Peppermint Patty in school production
8. Fly-fishing fanatic
9. Rereads Pride & Prejudice every year
Click here for the puzzle.
Promise you’ll send me the next AZA Newsletter.
David E. Warden
AZA’s Likeable &
David E. Warden is AZA’s resident Renaissance man. The AZA Of Counsel speaks passable French and some Chinese and is an engineer, a scuba diver, a Rice University adjunct professor in economics and engineering, a book author, a pilot, a space entrepreneur, and a hell of an IP and trial lawyer.
“Today people overuse the term ‘Renaissance man’ and apply it to someone who can ride a bike and microwave a pizza. But this guy truly is one. It is remarkable the way he excels in completely different arenas,” AZA co-founder John Zavitsanos said. “He is a luminary, and we are incredibly lucky to have him.”
David survived a horrifying helicopter crash out on the ice pack of the Beaufort Sea in the Arctic when he was an engineer for ExxonMobil in the 1970s. Not long after that, he headed in a new direction: He studied law and became a partner at Baker Botts in the 1980s and then started his own firm, Yetter Warden, in the 1990s. He launched his first space-related venture in the 2000s. During the next decade, he wrote the biography of a dying Jesuit priest, so impressive that it earned a five-star Amazon rating. At the same time, he obtained his Ph.D. from Rice. But who isn’t busy, right?
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