Reagan W. Simpson

713.632.8075 | Houston, Texas
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Professional Summary

Reagan’s practice focuses on complex commercial litigation and appeals in the areas of tort, personal injury, and commercial torts.  He is a Fellow of both the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, a distinction that has been obtained by only a small number of practicing lawyers in the United States.  Reagan is also an Advocate-level member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, and a member of the American Law Institute.

Reagan is admitted to practice in all state courts in Texas, all state courts in Illinois, the United States Supreme Court, United States Courts of Appeals for the Fifth and Eleventh Circuits, and the United States District Courts for the Southern, Northern, Western, and Eastern Districts of Texas, Central District of Illinois, and the Northern District of Florida.

Representative Experience
  • JSW v. MM Steel Upheld in the Fifth Circuit a $150 million award of treble damages in a group boycott case under the per se rule of liability. The United States Supreme Court denied certiorari.
  • Confidential Client Represented an electric generation plant in an arbitration involving complex breach of contract and declaratory judgment claims valued at over $90 million brought by a part-owner and purchaser of the plant’s capacity after it raised various challenges to the plant’s administration of the power purchase agreement, calculation of the reservation payment, and pass-through of costs. Following a one-week arbitration hearing, a three-arbitrator panel issued a unanimous decision in our client’s favor on each of the significant claims.
  • ExxonMobil Corp. v. USDOT, PHMSA, Office of Pipeline Safety Successfully challenged violations found by the U.S. Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration after a leak in Exxon’s pipeline in Mayflower, Arkansas. In vacating the violations and million-dollar penalties, the Fifth Circuit held that Exxon did comply with the regulations and had not received fair notice of new agency standards.
  • Regal Entertainment v. iPic-Gold Class Entertainment  Upheld in the Houston First Court of Appeals a temporary injunction barring Regal’s anticompetitive conduct of boycotting any films licensed by major studios to iPic Houston.
  • Valero Refining v. Galveston County Appraisal District Obtained rulings from the Texas Supreme Court favorable to all issues presented to the Court in an ad valorem tax appeal. Specifically, the Supreme Court held that a taxpayer may appeal appraisal of separate accounts established by the taxing authority relating to a single petrochemical facility.
  • In two separate mandamus proceedings, which also arose out of ad valorem tax issues, the Firm succeeded in barring discovery of Valero Refining’s highly sensitive financial information. The Houston and Galveston Appraisal Districts claimed that the financial information was needed in applying the income method of valuing Valero’s refineries. In both proceedings, the First Court of Appeals held that the information constituted a trade secret and that the district courts had committed an abuse of discretion in ordering discovery because two alternative valuation methods were available, neither of which required disclosure of Valero’s financial information.
  • In re Deepwater Horizon Successfully argued on behalf of Transocean, as well as its insurers, to the Texas Supreme Court that BP was not entitled, by virtue of additional insured provisions in the drilling contract and insurance policies, to claim $750 million of Transocean’s insurance coverage for BP’s liability for subsea pollution arising out of the Deepwater Horizon Macondo well explosion and oil spill.
Professional Honors & Affiliations
  • Fellow: American Academy of Appellate Lawyers
  • Fellow: American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Advocate: American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), past President of the Houston ABOTA Chapter, and past Member of Board of the Texas State Chapter of ABOTA
  • Member: American Law Institute
  • Board Certified in Civil Trial Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization, since 1985
  • Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization, since 1988
  • American, Texas, and Houston Bar Foundations
  • The Best Lawyers in America® 2017 Houston Personal Injury Defense Lawyer of the Year; 2016 & 2010 Houston Appellate Lawyer of the Year; 2013 Austin Appellate Lawyer of the Year
  • Best Lawyers in America® in Appellate, Commercial Litigation, Energy Law, and Personal Injury Defense Litigation
  • Chambers USA: America's Leading Business Lawyers in Texas Appellate
  • Texas Super Lawyer," in Appellate Law; Recognized in the Top 100 Lawyers in Texas, Top 100 Lawyers in Houston, and South Texas, and the Top 50 of Central & West Texas Region,  Thomson Reuters
  • Who’s Who in American Law, 1994-1995, 8th Edition (pub. 1993)
Presentations & Publications
  • Special Appearance,” The Advocate, Fall 2015 (co-author)
  • “Effective Amicus Practice,” published by American Bar Association, author of first edition and co-author of the second, third and fourth editions
  • “Modern Civil Discovery,” published by Aspen
  • “Law & Practice of Insurance Coverage Litigation,” published by West Group, first edition co-editor
  • “Considerations in Settling the Underlying Case in Appleman on Insurance Law & Practice,” second edition chapter co-author
  • Articles and papers in numerous journals including the Oklahoma Law Review, St. Mary’s Law Journal, Texas Tech Law Review, the Texas Bar Journal, The Houston Lawyer, and publications of the TIPS Section of the ABA
Education & Professional Background
  • The University of Texas School of Law, J.D., High Honors, 1977
  • The University of Texas, B.A., Highest Honors, 1974
  • Law Clerk to the Hon. Thomas Gibbs Gee, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, 1977-78
  • Admitted to practice: Texas,1977, Illinois, 2014