Shawn Bates

Of Counsel

Shawn Bates

Of Counsel

  • P: 713-600-4958
  • F: 713-655-0062
  • sbates@azalaw.com
  • vCard

Shawn Bates has more than 22 years of practice in commercial litigation in the energy industry and across numerous other industries.  He is a seasoned first-chair trial lawyer, handling cases worth tens of millions. He has conducted hundreds of depositions and supervised trial teams on matters of varying size.

He focuses 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 construction case and other business disputes.  These disputes include a broad range of claims such as business torts, breach of contract, breach of warranty, fraud, and similar disputes.  Mr. Bates has also been called upon as an expert on attorney fees in a number of lawsuits.

Mr. Bates is a former partner at Yetter Coleman LLP and was formerly Of Counsel at Schwartz, Junell, Greenberg & Oathout, LLP.   He holds a Certificate in Advanced Arbitration Skills from the A.A. White Dispute Resolution Center of the University of Houston Law Center. Before obtaining his law degree magna cum laude at Georgetown University Law Center, Mr. Bates worked for the U.S. Government for 10 years as a Senior Auditor in the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Inspector General, and as a Senior Evaluator in the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

Mr. Bates has been named a Texas Rising Star by Texas Monthly Magazine for 2005 and 2006, and one of Houston’s Top Lawyers for 2006-2009 by H Texas Magazine. He has been a United Way Young Leader and a United Way Community Investment Volunteer. He has 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 addiction 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), and Houston Bar Association. He has served as a member of the Legal Advisory Committee for the Paralegal Studies Program at North Harris College and on various HBA committees.

Shawn Bates has more than 22 years of practice in commercial litigation in the energy industry and across numerous other industries.  He is a seasoned first-chair trial lawyer, handling cases worth tens of millions. He has conducted hundreds of depositions and supervised trial teams on matters of varying size.

He focuses 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 construction case and other business disputes.  These disputes include a broad range of claims such as business torts, breach of contract, breach of warranty, fraud, and similar disputes.  Mr. Bates has also been called upon as an expert on attorney fees in a number of lawsuits.

Mr. Bates is a former partner at Yetter Coleman LLP and was formerly Of Counsel at Schwartz, Junell, Greenberg & Oathout, LLP.   He holds a Certificate in Advanced Arbitration Skills from the A.A. White Dispute Resolution Center of the University of Houston Law Center. Before obtaining his law degree magna cum laude at Georgetown University Law Center, Mr. Bates worked for the U.S. Government for 10 years as a Senior Auditor in the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Inspector General, and as a Senior Evaluator in the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

Mr. Bates has been named a Texas Rising Star by Texas Monthly Magazine for 2005 and 2006, and one of Houston’s Top Lawyers for 2006-2009 by H Texas Magazine. He has been a United Way Young Leader and a United Way Community Investment Volunteer. He has 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 addiction 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), and Houston Bar Association. He has served as a member of the Legal Advisory Committee for the Paralegal Studies Program at North Harris College and on various HBA committees.

REPRESENTATIVE CASES

  • Representing a large international oilfield services company in a confidential arbitration with a large international E&P company in which Mr. Bates’s client faced claims of well over $120 million.  After a three-week arbitration, Mr. Bates’s client was awarded a unanimous judgment in its favor:  zero damages for our opponent.
  • 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 and $101 million settlement (the largest actual damages verdict and settlement in Nevada history).
  • First-chairing a two-week AAA arbitration over alleged construction defects in a $100 million residential masonry high-rise in downtown Houston, and on behalf of the masonry subcontractor, achieving a take-nothing award on general contractor’s claims, a significant recovery on our client’s claims, and attorney fees.
  • First-chairing a lawsuit by CenterPoint Energy’s then-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 (the full cost of CenterPoint’s insurance claim after deductible) and eventual judgment for $4.3 million including attorney fees.  According to VerdictSearch, this outcome was among the Top 10 contract verdicts in Texas for 2011.
  • First-chairing the defense of the Oil & Gas division of a Fortune 10 company, in a suit involving allegations of $33 million of damages due to alleged breach of contract and business torts and involving complex issues of legacy contracts and successor liability.  Settled the case on the eve of trial on extremely favorable terms.
  • First-chairing the defense of the Oil & Gas division 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 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 ($600,000+), as well as the full attorney fees sought ($350,000).
  • 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.

EDUCATION

  • Georgetown University Law Center, Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, 2000; Top 10%; law review and moot court; legal research/writing fellow (teaching first year course in legal writing and research)
  • The George Washington University, Graduate Studies Program, National Security Policy Studies
  • Loyola University Maryland, Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Political Science and Government, 1987

ADMISSIONS

  • State Bar of Texas
  • States of Oklahoma, Colorado, New York, Arizona, and California (admitted pro hac vice)
  • United States District Courts for the Southern, Northern and Eastern Districts of Texas
  • United States Supreme Court
  • Australia, New Zealand, Norway

MEMBERSHIPS

  • State Bar of Texas
  • College of the State Bar of Texas (2004- 2010)
  • Houston Bar Association and various HBA committees
  • Legal Advisory Committee for the Paralegal Studies Program at North Harris College (2004-2006)

IN THE NEWS

REPRESENTATIVE CASES
  • Representing a large international oilfield services company in a confidential arbitration with a large international E&P company in which Mr. Bates’s client faced claims of well over $120 million.  After a three-week arbitration, Mr. Bates’s client was awarded a unanimous judgment in its favor:  zero damages for our opponent.
  • 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 and $101 million settlement (the largest actual damages verdict and settlement in Nevada history).
  • First-chairing a two-week AAA arbitration over alleged construction defects in a $100 million residential masonry high-rise in downtown Houston, and on behalf of the masonry subcontractor, achieving a take-nothing award on general contractor’s claims, a significant recovery on our client’s claims, and attorney fees.
  • First-chairing a lawsuit by CenterPoint Energy’s then-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 (the full cost of CenterPoint’s insurance claim after deductible) and eventual judgment for $4.3 million including attorney fees.  According to VerdictSearch, this outcome was among the Top 10 contract verdicts in Texas for 2011.
  • First-chairing the defense of the Oil & Gas division of a Fortune 10 company, in a suit involving allegations of $33 million of damages due to alleged breach of contract and business torts and involving complex issues of legacy contracts and successor liability.  Settled the case on the eve of trial on extremely favorable terms.
  • First-chairing the defense of the Oil & Gas division 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 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 ($600,000+), as well as the full attorney fees sought ($350,000).
  • 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.
EDUCATION
  • Georgetown University Law Center, Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, 2000; Top 10%; law review and moot court; legal research/writing fellow (teaching first year course in legal writing and research)
  • The George Washington University, Graduate Studies Program, National Security Policy Studies
  • Loyola University Maryland, Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Political Science and Government, 1987
ADMISSIONS
  • State Bar of Texas
  • States of Oklahoma, Colorado, New York, Arizona, and California (admitted pro hac vice)
  • United States District Courts for the Southern, Northern and Eastern Districts of Texas
  • United States Supreme Court
  • Australia, New Zealand, Norway
MEMBERSHIPS
  • State Bar of Texas
  • College of the State Bar of Texas (2004- 2010)
  • Houston Bar Association and various HBA committees
  • Legal Advisory Committee for the Paralegal Studies Program at North Harris College (2004-2006)

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Houston, TX 77010
(713) 655-1101

© 2022 All rights reserved.

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