W. Ray Whitman is an experienced trial lawyer and trusted counselor who draws on his background as a geophysicist experienced in oil and gas exploration, seismic acquisition, and drilling and production practices. He provides strategic business advice for energy and oil field service companies, representing some of the largest companies in the world.
With his knowledge of both the legal and operational issues of the industry, Ray is able to understand and anticipate client needs in more depth than his peers. Ray is listed in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Businessin the area of energy and natural resources litigation, and has also been named in The Best Lawyers in America since 2009 in the area of natural resources law.
Formerly the co-leader of the national Energy industry team, Ray is chair of BakerHostetler’s national Litigation Group and a member of the Policy Committee, which is the firm’s governing body.
- Successfully represented an oil and gas exploration and production company in a three-week trial in which an injured oilfield service employee sued over injuries received when he was hit in the head with a crane. The jury found that the defendant was not negligent and that plaintiff was responsible for his injuries. The plaintiff sought $18.6 million in damages.
- Represented one of the largest oil field service providers in a two-week arbitration, including providing testimony for 11 straight days to the panel. The contract at issue involved providing wireless communication services to drilling rig locations in North America and was argued by the claimant to be a “take or pay” type of contract. The claimant originally sought damages in excess of $100 million. After the close of evidence, the panel issued a Reasoned Award granting a unanimous defense verdict for the client.
- Has handled numerous lawsuits regarding theft and misappropriation of trade secrets and proprietary and confidential information in venues across the country. He and his team have been successful in obtaining temporary restraining orders and injunctions, which have included pretrial royalties from offending companies and resulted in significant settlements. This type of action requires a rapid response and thorough knowledge of the energy industry, which he is able to provide based on his industry experience and technical training.
- Represented an oil field service company in a patent infringement lawsuit regarding blowout preventers and related products. Was successful in obtaining a stipulation as to the validity of the patent and the payment of reasonable royalties.
- Represents oil field service providers in a variety of catastrophic events such as blowouts, mechanical failures and electrocutions throughout the United States.
- Texas Bar Foundation: Fellow
- Litigation Counsel of America: Fellow
- J.D., South Texas College of Law, 1989
- B.S., Geophysics, Texas Tech University, 1983
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas, 2001
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas, 2001
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas, 1992
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas, 1996
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