Craig Dillard's practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, employment disputes (including trade secret litigation and non-compete claims), IP litigation, catastrophic personal injury and product liability claims, and construction litigation. He heads the highly regarded Oil & Gas practice and is a partner and the Houston Office Chair for the firm's Litigation Department, as well as a member of the Commercial Litigation Practice.
Craig represents a wide range of clients, from high net worth individuals to large corporations, in both federal and state courts as well as in arbitration. He serves his clients with a proactive approach, always seeking to develop creative, practical, and value-driven solutions to complex problems and disputes, before and after litigation has commenced.
Craig has a particular interest in the United Kingdom and Norway, assisting many clients headquartered in these areas with the various legal issues they encounter doing business in the United States and Mexico.
- Obtained a directed verdict in favor of our client following the conclusion of the plaintiff’s case in chief in a multiday jury trial a breach of contract claim in Rockport, Texas.
- Successfully represented a nationwide manufacturing client in a class action lawsuit related to an alleged product defect potentially impacting millions of vehicles across the country.
- Successfully defended a manufacturing client in a multi-fatality alleged product defect claim that resulted in an early case dismissal of our client.
- Obtained an early case settlement for a large midstream company in a product defect lawsuit arising out of a failed pipe fitting, which resulted in recovery of all alleged damages and all attorney’s fees incurred.
- Successfully defended a manufacturing company in a redhibition and breach of warranty trial in Louisiana.
- Successfully represented a plaintiff, a former partner of Houston based engineering company in a dispute related to a written shareholders’ agreement resulting in US$2.6m jury award.
- Successfully defended a nationwide manufacturer in lawsuit brought under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act in Galveston County, Texas in which the jury rendered a unanimous verdict in favor of client in less than 15 minutes in the two day trial.
- Obtained successful jury verdict for the owner of hotel against a large group customer who canceled a series of contracts claiming the hotel’s service had diminished. Although we began the trial as the defendant, we were able to obtain a directed verdict on all of the Plaintiff’s claims and then obtained a unanimous jury verdict on our client’s counterclaims.
- Our client contracted with a construction company to perform “cut and fill” and grading work. The contractor sued for approximately US$4.5m for alleged failure to pay for extra work on delay damages. A summary judgement for our client was awarded when it was shown that the contractor had signed a series of lien waivers and releases, which released their claims for additional compensation as a matter of law. The summary judgement was affirmed by a unanimous Fifth Circuit opinion which created case law in Texas related to the enforceability of releases in construction contracts.
- Successfully represented the owner of a 10,000 acre master planned residential community in Harris County, Texas in obtaining a bill of review vacating a US$187,000 default judgement obtained against our client.
- Successfully defended an owner of a health care company against a former employee who alleged that they were partners in the company based on a written partnership agreement that the owner drafted and offered to the employee.
- Successfully defended the owner of a large oilfield pipe threading company in Harris County, Texas who was alleged to have contributed to the securement of a driver’s load of pipe, which the plaintiffs claimed shifted during a motor vehicle accident causing or contributing to cause the accident and resulting in the death of a mother and child.
- Obtained a summary judgment on behalf of a prominent midstream energy company for US$366,588.59 (plus all attorney’s fees and interest) in a breach of contract dispute related to charges associated with the compression, gathering, treatment, and transportation of natural gas.
- Represented a former minority shareholder against a Texas Utility Company seeking to enforce a non-compete agreement.
- Represented the former president and general manager of a nationwide construction company who brought suit against my client seeking to enforce a series of employment agreements containing noncompetition clauses. We successfully defeated the company’s request for a Temporary Injunction and were later able to obtain a declaratory judgment that there was no enforceable noncompete agreement in place between the parties (including an award of over US$75,000 in attorney’s fees to my client).
- Successfully defended an international oil and gas services company in a lawsuit brought by two former employees who claimed the company had not followed proper company employment procedures in terminating the employees.
- Successfully defended employees in a dispute involving complaints of trade secret, covenant not to compete, and tortuous interference of completion tools for oil and gas wells.
- Successfully defended two employees in the oil and gas industry in a preliminary injunction hearing in Federal Court in the Southern District of Texas when former employer sought to enforce noncompete agreements.
- Obtained a final summary judgement for a litigation support company and one of its employees in a breach of contract and tortuous interference case brought by the employee’s former employer who sought to enforce a noncompete and nonsolicitation agreement against our clients.
Intellectual Property Litigation
- Won a Louisiana Arbitration proceeding against a manufacturing company related to breach of contract and trade dress infringement issues (including recovery of our client’s attorney’s fees).
- Successfully represented a custom lighting manufacturer in a lawsuit seeking to invalidate our client’s trademarks and involving a dispute related to website domains and marketing materials utilizing our client’s intellectual property. The suit was successfully resolved in our client’s favor and our client was given ownership of the disputed website domains containing their trademarks.
- Represented a Louisiana manufacturing company sued for trademark and trade infringement, trademark dilution under the Lanham Act and copyright infringement under the United States Copyright Act. We were able to obtain a dismissal from the case and successfully recovered our attorney’s fees from another defendant in the case.
- Successfully handled securities litigation action against international energy company including deposing the chief executives of the company and obtaining settlement for client recovering 100% of total loss plus US$380,000 attorneys fees.
- Successfully obtained a take nothing arbitration award against plaintiff who brought breach of contract action against our client, a company specializing in investment training for the stock index futures market.
- Presenter, "Contract Interpretation issues for the 43rd Annual Advanced Civil Trial Course" (San Antonio, Dallas & Houston) (July, August, October 2020).
- Presenter, "Trade Secrets Law: Texas Litigation and Legislation Update," TexasBar CLE (November 15, 2019).
- Presenter, "Contract Interpretation issues for the 42nd Annual Advanced Civil Trial Course," (San Antonio, Dallas & Houston) (July, August, October 2019).
- Presenter, "Contract Interpretation issues for the 42nd Annual Advanced Civil Trial Course,” (San Antonio, Dallas & Houston) (July, August, October 2019).
- Presenter, "A Review of the Proposed Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Amendments," Driven’s CLE Networking Luncheon(December, 18 2013).
- Co-presenter, "Navigating your Company through Spoliation Claims and Strategies to Maximize Recovering Attorneys’ Fees," Association of Corporate Counsel (Houston) (July 11, 2013).
- Member, State Bar of Texas
- Member, Louisiana State Bar Association
- Member, American Bar Association
- Member, Houston Bar Association
- Member, Bar Association of the Fifth Circuit
- Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation
- Founder, Houston Attorney Networking
- Member, Greater Houston Partnership
- Recognized, AV® Preeminent™, Martindale-Hubbell® PEER REVIEW RATINGS™
- Recognized, Texas Super Lawyers®, a Thomson Reuters business, as published in Texas Super Lawyers Magazine(2013-2023)
- Business Litigation
- Employment & Labor
- Recognized, Houstonia's Top Lawyers, Houstonia Magazine, A SagaCity Media Publication (2014-2016)
- Recognized, Texas Rising Star by Super Lawyers®, a Thomson Reuters business, as published in Texas Super Lawyers Magazine (2010-2013)
- Business Litigation
- Employment & Labor
- South Texas College of Law (J.D., 2003)
- Indiana State University (B.A., Finance)
- Texas State Courts
- Louisiana State Courts
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern, Northern, Southern and Western Districts of Texas
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Louisiana
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit