Jean Frizzell focuses his practice on complex commercial and business litigation in a wide range of areas, including breach of contract, oil and gas, securities, patent, trade secret, trademark, copyright, environmental, director liability, and partnership disputes. Jean routinely handles matters for both plaintiffs and defendants in state and federal court.
Jean began his law career at Gibbs & Bruns LLP in 1990 and became a partner in 1995. In 2009, Jean left that firm to form Reynolds, Frizzell, Black, Doyle, Allen & Oldham, L.L.P.
University of Texas, J.D., with honors, 1990
Texas Law Review
Rice University, B.A., 1987
Listed in Chambers USA America's Leading Lawyers for Business, 2005-2010
Named a "Leading Individual" in the area of Commercial Litigation
Listed in Best Lawyers in America, 2008-2010
Named in the areas of Commercial Litigation and Securities Law
Listed as Litigation Star in Legal Media's Guide: Benchmark Litigation, 2010
Named a "Texas Super Lawyer" by Law and Politics, 2003-2010
Matthew Minnis and Cullen 130 LLC v. Citrin Holdings LLC and Jacob Citrin, Case No. 2006-78939
Lead Counsel for Plaintiffs in three-week jury trial during the Summer of 2010 in which we obtained a unanimous jury verdict in favor of our clients Matthew Minnis and Cullen 130 L.L.C. against Jacob Citrin and Citrin Holdings L.L.C. in a suit involving the breakup of their partnership to develop and own air and sea cargo facilities across the United States. The jury awarded our clients more than $43 million - $29 million in actual damages and $14 million in punitive damages. The jury found for our clients on all claims, including the existence of the partnership, and found the defendants liable for fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, breach of partnership agreement, conspiracy, aiding and abetting and malice.
Defendants originally sought to avoid trial by filing a parallel suit in Delaware Chancery Court and asking the Delaware Court to prohibit our case from going forward. Personally argued before the Chancery Court and obtained ruling that the Delaware case should be stayed and that our jury suit in Texas should go forward.
Defendants then sought to avoid trial by asserting that there was no personal jurisdiction over the Defendants in Texas. The trial court found jurisdiction and denied the defendants' special appearances. Personally argued the interlocutory appeal of the jurisdictional ruling in August of 2009. The Court of Appeals upheld the trial court's ruling in our favor in December 2009; Citrin Holdings LLC v. Minnis, 305 S.W.3d 269 (Tex. App. - Houston [14th Dist.] 2009, no pet.)
Toby Shor and Seashore Investments v. PBF Investments, Ltd; Paul Black, BNP Holdings, Ltd; BNP Commercial Properties: AAA No. 70 198 Y 00161 19 03
Lead counsel for Defendants/Counterclaimants in a two week arbitration hearing in the Summer of 2010. We obtained an award in favor of our clients Toby Shor and the Seashore Investments Management Trust against PBF Investments, Inc, Paul Black, and a number of related entities, in a dispute involving jointly-owned oil and gas and real estate businesses. A panel of three arbitrators awarded our clients more than $31 million against Mr. Black individually, and more than $26 million against his affiliated entities. The arbitrators ruled in our clients' favor on all claims, including claims for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and fraud. In addition, the arbitrators found that all claims asserted against our clients were without merit. Mr. Black and his entities filed the arbitration and sought more than $64 million in damages from our clients on their claims, but were awarded nothing.
Daniel J. O'Hare et al. v. Vulcan Capital, LLC et al.; No. SA-04-CA-566-H (Consolidated) No. SA-07-CA-297-H; In the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas
Lead counsel for Plaintiffs in San Antonio federal court in February 2010 holding the two defendants personally liable for fraud and statutory fraud for entering into a settlement agreement with no intention of performing. After a three-day trial, the jury returned a verdict for plaintiffs in under 90 minutes. The verdict, which found defendants equally liable for the fraud, included $1,962,000 in actual damages and another $6,000,000 in punitive damages for a total of $7,962,000.
St. James Capital Partners, L.P., et al v. St. James Capital Corporation, et al.
Lead counsel for Corporate Defendants in partnership dispute in which Plaintiffs asserted claims of breach of fiduciary duty for 14 separate transactions. Following six weeks of pretrial and eight weeks of actual trial, the jury found no breach of fiduciary duty on all claims. Jury made a separate finding that each of the transactions was "entirely fair." Plaintiffs sought $47 million in alleged actual damages, approximately $50 million in disgorgement and $60 million in punitive damages. Plaintiffs were poured out on all claims. Defendants also prevailed entirely on their counterclaims and received approximately $11 million. Paul Dobrowski of Dobrowski LLP was lead counsel for the individual co-defendant.
Huntsman Corporation v. Credit Suisse Securities (USA), L.L.C., et al.
Represented Plaintiff Huntsman against Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank in connection with failure to fund a $15 billion merger between Huntsman and Hexion of Columbus, Ohio. Key member of trial team and personally responsible for all cross-examinations of the bankers presented at trial. During trial, Huntsman obtained a $1.7 billion settlement package including $632 million in cash and $1.1 billion on financing through issuance of notes and bonds on favorable terms.
The Interfinancial Corp. v. Simon Jacobson, in his Capacity as Executor of the Estate of Marcel Degraye, Deceased
Lead counsel for defense representing executor of estate in a suit alleging breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and a request for an accounting by a company against its deceased founder. Plaintiff originally demanded cash and securities allegedly in excess of $100 million. By time of trial, plaintiffs had dropped a number of the claims. In December of 2007, Defense received a directed verdict in its favor at the close of Plaintiff's case.
BMC Software, Inc. v. NetIQ Corp.
Lead counsel for NetIQ in defense of an arbitration in which BMC Software claimed that two of NetIQ's major products infringed two patents owned by BMC. BMC sought $150 million in lost profits and royalties before trebling. NetIQ hired us to take over the defense of the case six months before trial, after the proceeding had been pending for more than eighteen months. In those six months, the parties conducted almost all of the fact discovery for the case, and produced all of the expert reports and discovery relating to validity of the patents, the claimed infringement, and damages. The case was resolved on satisfactory terms one week before the arbitration hearing.
Union Oil Company of California v. Osprey Petroleum Company
Co-lead counsel for Plaintiff Union Oil Company of California in suit against working interest owner involving claims for payment of joint interest billings, and in defense of counterclaims for fraud, breach of contract, and breach of fiduciary duties. Responsible for liability portion of case. Client faced potential exposure on the counterclaims in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Personally argued and obtained dismissal of the counterclaims on summary judgment a few weeks before trial, and the case settled very favorably to client soon thereafter.
Corenegry, LLC et al v. Devon Energy Production Company, L.P.
Lead counsel for Plaintiff Corenergy, LLC, a co-owner of an oil & gas prospect, in case against Devon Energy, the other co-owner and operator of the prospect, alleging claims of fraud and breach of contract in connection with the handling of that prospect. Case settled favorably for client a few days before trial.
Greenfield Energy, Inc. et. al v. EOG Resources, Inc. et. al.
Co-lead counsel for international oil and gas dispute over Trinidadian oil and gas field for Canadian company against group of Trinidadian companies and Houston oil and gas major. Case settled favorably for client for a confidential amount.
Majority of the Compensation Committee of a Major International Drilling Company
Lead counsel for the majority of the compensation committee, including the chairman of the audit committee, during an internal investigation into allegations of options backdating at a major international drilling company. Also represented the same directors in the class action filed in federal court in Houston, Texas involving the same allegations. That suit was quickly resolved on very satisfactory terms involving no out of pocket payment from our clients.
NEON Systems, Inc. v. New Era of Networks, Inc.
Co-lead counsel for NEON Systems, Inc. with my partner Chris Reynolds against New Era of Networks, Inc. in a common law trade name infringement action. Jury found malicious infringement and awarded $14,000,000 in actual damages and $25,000,000 in punitive damages. After judgment was entered, the case settled favorably.
Current and Former Directors of Crown Castle Corporation
Lead counsel for all of the current and former officers and directors of Crown Castle Corp in the defense of a derivative suit filed in Houston, Harris County involving allegations of options backdating. We, along with counsel for the Company, were successful in having the trial court rule that the allegations regarding demand futility were insufficient to support a derivative suit. Additionally, the plaintiffs sought to take discovery to find support for their allegations regarding demand futility. The Court of Appeals overturned the trial court's order allowing such discovery, and the Texas Supreme Court declined to take the issue. Case is currently pending as the Court evaluates the amended petition.
Pi Energy v King Ranch Energy
Lead counsel for plaintiffs in suit involving a letter of intent to jointly develop leases in the Red Fish Bay area. After numerous battles in both the trial court and bankruptcy court, case settled favorably for my client for eight figures just before trial.
In Re: World Satellite Network, Inc. and WSNet Holdings, Inc.
Represented Cerberus and a number of individuals in a case brought by the Chapter 11 Trustee for the bankruptcy estate of WSNet Holdings, Inc. alleging claims of breach of fiduciary duty, equitable subordination and seeking in excess of $100 million. We defended the claims on the merits as well as on the grounds that the estate did not own the claims because they were derivative in nature and actually belonged to a subsidiary that was also in bankruptcy. Parties entered into a confidential settlement shortly thereafter.
In re: Affiliated Computer Services, Inc. Derivative Litigation
Represented Cerberus in connection with buy-out claims brought in connection with Cerberus' offer to participate in taking Affiliated Computer Services, Inc. private. Successfully obtained a dismissal for Cerberus from the federal court case on the grounds that the claims were not ripe.
In Re: Paracelsus Healthcare Corporation Securities Litigation
Lead counsel for Dr. Manfred Krukemeyer, formerly Chairman and beneficial sole owner of Paracelsus Healthcare Corporation, in a series of shareholder class actions and derivative suits involving allegations of improper accounting and financial reporting in connection with the merger of Paracelsus Healthcare Corporation and Champion Healthcare Corporation. Subsequent to the merger, Paracelsus Healthcare Corporation, the surviving entity, was forced to restate a number of its financial statements. Lawsuits were filed in various jurisdictions, and the shareholder suits were ultimately consolidated in Federal District Court in Houston, Harris County. The derivative suit was also pending in the same court. After protracted litigation, the firm obtained a favorable settlement for Dr. Krukemeyer, including a buyout of his long-term employment agreement.
William A. Christian, et al. v. ICG Telecom Canada, Inc., et al.
Lead counsel representing ICG Telecom Canada Inc., ICG Telecom Group, Inc., ICG Communications, Inc., Zycom Network Services, Inc. in a combined shareholder class action and derivative suit involving allegations of improper accounting and financial reporting, managed earning, self-dealing, and minority shareholder oppression. Successfully prevented class certification, both at the district court level and through appeal. The suit ultimately settled on favorable terms with insurance proceeds.