Michael D. Morfey is co-lead of the firm’s energy litigation practice group, and handles high-stakes cases and trials across the spectrum of commercial litigation with an emphasis on energy, banking, real estate and construction matters.
He has succeeded in cases covering the full range of industries and has particular experience defending clients in high-risk mass plaintiff and class action litigation, including matters involving claims of breach of contract, negligence, fraud, tortious interference, breach of fiduciary duty, trespass, nuisance and other torts.
Whether prosecuting or defending claims, Michael brings an aggressive approach designed to achieve maximum results.
Michael’s courtroom experience separates him from his peers and mirrors his broad-based practice. He has tried cases at every court level in Texas where a civil case can be tried—state justice court, county court, and district court, as well as federal district court, and federal bankruptcy court.
His skill as a courtroom advocate has caused him to be hired shortly before the start of trial to assume the lead counsel role.
Michael has substantial experience both prosecuting and defending proceedings involving requests for extraordinary relief, such as temporary restraining orders and injunctions.
These cases play to his strengths as they are often fast-paced and hinge on the presentation of live evidence to the court.
Michael is equally comfortable representing clients in arbitration when the parties have agreed to resolve disputes outside of the courthouse.
- Lead counsel defending E&P company in federal putative class action cases regarding earthquakes in Oklahoma allegedly related to operation of saltwater injection wells.
- Lead counsel for one of the largest shale gas producers in federal putative class action involving over 20,000 putative class members suing for underpaid oil and gas royalties. Case was won on summary judgment without a class being certified.
- Lead trial counsel for publicly traded company bringing false advertising claims under Lanham Act against manufacturer of competing consumer product. Jury found in favor of client on all claims, awarded damages, and determined the competing company’s false claims were malicious, thereby allowing for recovery of attorney’s fees.
- Lead trial counsel for NASDAQ-traded technology company and its CEO in breach of fiduciary duty case brought by former sales executive. Case settled favorably to clients after jury selection and opening statement.
- Lead counsel for shale gas producer in federal putative class action involving saltwater disposal wells and the alleged migration of injected oilfield waste fluids.
- Lead trial counsel for one of the nation’s largest banks in wrongful foreclosure case involving a fleet of drilling rigs in the Permian Basin. The plaintiffs sought over $30 million in damages and recovered nothing at trial. Successfully defended the appeal of this take-nothing judgment to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Lead counsel representing former owner of offshore oil and gas wells against current owner seeking damages for costs to plug and abandon wells.
- Lead counsel for publicly-traded REIT in construction dispute over multi-story office building.
- Lead counsel for a major shale gas producer in federal putative class action involving thousands of putative class members claiming miscalculation of royalties and underpayment. Defeated class certification and the case settled for a favorable amount soon thereafter.
- Lead counsel for publicly-traded E&P company in litigation against vendor over the fabrication of oilfield equipment, including separators and manifold skids.
- Represented a major shale gas producer in federal putative class action involving alleged groundwater contamination and stray gas caused by hydraulic fracturing.
- Lead counsel for a publicly-traded bank in a mass plaintiff case where bank was accused of participating in a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme. Won case on summary judgment.
- Lead trial counsel for healthcare REIT in case against master-tenant of nine story medical office building. Won judgment for actual damages and attorneys’ fees.
- Lead trial counsel for a top crane manufacturer in a suit brought by crane distributor seeking to recover multimillion-dollar payments made to the manufacturer prior to the distributor filing bankruptcy.
- Lead counsel for publicly-traded retailer in landlord/tenant dispute involving their national headquarters.
- Lead counsel for a publicly-traded bank in lender liability case involving oil and gas assets. Case settled favorably for client after the depositions of plaintiffs.
- Lead trial counsel for the owner of the Galleria Towers in breach of contract case against major architectural firm. Jury found in client’s favor on all counts and awarded attorneys’ fees.
- Lead counsel for hospital building owner in suit against primary tenant. Defeated tenant’s application for temporary injunction aimed at preventing client from pursuing lease remedies, including eviction.
- Lead counsel for publicly-traded REIT in case brought by restaurant chain for breach of contract, fraud and negligent misrepresentation.
- JD, University of Houston Law Center, 1998
- BA, University of Illinois, 1994
- US District Court, Southern District of Texas
- US District Court, Northern District of Texas
- US District Court, Eastern District of Texas
- US District Court, Western District of Texas
- US District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas
- US Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
- US Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
- Board of Directors, The Joy School Endowment Fund
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