R. Paul YetterPartner
Paul Yetter is a highly respected trial lawyer, with a broad commercial litigation practice that includes particular prowess in energy disputes. Chambers reports say “Paul is an excellent litigator with a strong understanding of antitrust law.” “He’s an excellent attorney and is knowledgeable.”
Honored with the inaugural Harry M. Reasoner Justice for All Award in recognition of his and the firm’s role in MD v. Abbott, a landmark Texas foster care reform case.
Chambers reports that clients say Paul “is always organized in his thinking, puts evidence and issues into perspective and comes with a wealth of experience.” Paul is also lauded for his excellence in “distilling really complex ideas, issue-spotting, and figuring out the weaknesses of the other side. He has an incredible presence in the courtroom.”
Paul Yetter’s practice covers a range of commercial disputes, focused on antitrust/securities, intellectual property, and contract/business torts. Representing plaintiffs as often as defendants, he has clients in the energy, technology, finance, and aviation industries. He has prosecuted and defended cases and arbitrations as lead counsel across the country – from New York City to Chattanooga, Sacramento to Mobile, Muskogee to Atlanta, Phoenix to Little Rock, Corpus Christi to Wilmington, Miami to rural Ohio and Nevada. He has tried to verdict three class actions in recent years, as well as handled appeals in many federal and state courts. He is fortunate to work often with and against respected litigators from large corporate firms and boutiques alike.
Paul most enjoys building case strategy and leading trials. Whether involved early or brought in late, as clients often ask his firm to do, he works to find winning approaches to tough cases. In recent years, he has led trial teams that have defeated ten 9- or 10-figure damages suits against the firm’s defense clients. He also has directed teams that won six 9-figure verdicts or settlements for our plaintiff clients. His firm’s trademark approach is to simplify complex disputes into powerful trial stories and tailor presentations to best educate the decision-maker, whether a jury, judge, or arbitrator. In an age of fewer trials, his firm is regularly in trial in state and federal courts. This allows his teams to continually perfect their creative, strategic, and seamless approach to trial advocacy.
Outside of court, Paul serves as chair of statewide groups that promote the funding, education, and resources of the state judiciary. He is honored to be a member of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, the International Society of Barristers, and the American Board of Trial Advocates. He and his wife Patti have seven grown sons.Read More
Representative Plaintiff Matters
- Won a unanimous $70 million jury verdict in rural Ohio state court for underground trespass and negligence by a global chemical manufacturer (#52 U.S. verdict of 2022).
- Won a unanimous jury verdict in S.D.N.Y. for monopoly abuse by a global technology firm, in the first post-Amex, single-product, two-sided market trial in U.S.
- Helped federal agency settle mortgage-backed securities claims against major Wall Street banks for $150 million the night before jury selection in W.D. Tex. Secured $29 million in a related case.
- Won a full-liability int’l arbitration award for the leading indoor skydiving company against its Australian licensee, enforcing exclusive-supply contracts and defeating antitrust defenses.
- Won a unanimous $107 million jury verdict in E.D. Cal. for mining families who alleged that the County of Sacramento violated their civil rights by improperly shutting down their gravel mine at the urging of a large competitor (#21 U.S. verdict of 2017). Liability affirmed on appeal by C.A.9 but remanded for excess damages.
- Won a landmark injunction against the nation’s then largest movie theater chain for predatory conduct against our boutique theater client under the Texas antitrust act. Affirmed on appeal.
- Secured a $26.5 million settlement from a private equity firm for a jilted business partner, shortly after jury selection in Texas state court.
- Secured $24 million on the eve of trial for federal agency in a securities suit against a major Wall Street bank (#1 Texas disclosed settlement of 2015).
- Won a unanimous jury verdict and $160 million judgment in S.D. Tex. for a start-up competitor for a concerted group boycott by the nation’s largest steel suppliers and distributors (#12 U.S. verdict of 2014). Affirmed on appeal by C.A.5.
- Obtained $15 million settlement from a major U.S. bank for unpaid overtime by a nationwide class of mortgage loan officers.
- Secured $61 million for small software firm on the eve of trial in Chicago state court from a major financial advisory firm (#1 Illinois trade-secrets settlement).
- Won a unanimous jury verdict in E.D. Tex. for infringement of oilfield patents, validity, willfulness, and full damages (#4 Texas IP verdict of 2013). Affirmed on appeal by Fed. Cir.
- Helped a major airline settle its state/federal antitrust claims in mid-trial for $235 million+ from the top U.S. ticketing technology system which organized a horizontal group boycott to stop the airline from using its own system.
- Won a unanimous $32.5 million jury verdict for our Fortune 50 client in an insurance dispute involving a healthcare facility (#1 Texas non-IP federal verdict of 2010). Settled on appeal.
- Secured major new gas reserves for our coalbed methane client in settlement of antitrust claims in rural Virginia state court against the region’s dominant pipeline company.
- Won a unanimous $136 million jury verdict in rural Nevada state court against a global engineering firm for bad advice on a failed copper mine (#14 U.S. verdict of 2004). Before appeal, we secured a $116 million settlement for our client.
- Headed a special investigation into misconduct by executives of a prominent software company, pursued litigation in California, confirmed on appeal the viability of the state insider-trading laws, and helped recover over $100 million for injured investors.
- Won the first cyber-trespass trial in Texas, securing an injunction from the court that protected our airline client’s online pricing.
Representative Defense Matters
- Won complete dismissal of a global pipeline supplier’s patent claims in S.D. Tex. for supposed ground-breaking oilfield technology, based on its inequitable conduct in the U.S. Patent Office.
- Won a unanimous no-liability jury verdict in E.D. Ark. for a Texas energy client against a class action of 12,000 owners of Arkansas land who sought $300 million for alleged royalty underpayments, in one of the few such cases ever tried. Affirmed on appeal by C.A.8.
- Settled a partnership dispute over control of a leading energy company, securing our client’s right to acquire interests valued at $125 million in a massive LNG plant on the Gulf Coast.
- Won a key summary judgment in E.D. Okla. against patent claims covering smart-meter technology, leading to a no-payment dismissal of our power company client.
- Won a no-liability jury verdict in Texas state court for a top medical center in a physician’s alleged whistleblower retaliation case.
- Won a complete take-nothing judgment after a five-week bench trial in S.D. Tex. for our Fortune 50 client against $59 million warranty claims relating to offshore gas compression technology.
- Helped secure a no-payment complete dismissal of our Fortune 50 client in a $16 billion suit over disputed mainframe software.
- Won a $3 billion expedited bench trial over the alleged right of our client’s partner, the City of San Antonio, to stop funding construction of a new U.S. nuclear plant. Filing of the case by the city to the full trial was six weeks.
- Won a take-nothing judgment for our Fortune 50 client after a jury trial in S.D. Tex., arbitration, and appeal to C.A.5 over a failed $1 billion U.K. power project.
- Won a key summary judgment against patent claims by a major competitor concerning undersea oilfield technology.
- Won a hotly contested arbitration allowing our healthcare client to keep and use over $100 million in charitable funds. Was in the context of an historic split between prominent Texas nonprofits.
- Won a no-payment dismissal of an MDL class action over alleged Internet cramming sales practices by our client.
- Secured a favorable eve-of-trial settlement of an Alabama mass action against our client alleging race discrimination claims.
- Protected our client’s Arizona copper deposits against recovery by the then insolvent seller. Allowed a later sale for $670 million.
Representative Public Interest Matters
- Won an historic judgment in S.D. Tex., after a contested bench trial, finding that Texas violates the civil rights of its 12,000 foster children. Upheld on appeal by C.A.5 on key issues of overloaded caseworkers, poor oversight, and ongoing oversight/monitoring.
- Secured a no-payment dismissal in W.D. Tex. for Habitat for Humanity against an ownership suit by another charitable entity claiming to own the world-renowned “Habitat” name.
Presentations & Publications
- “Jury Selection,” Houston Bar Ass’n Bench/Bar Conf., 2023
- “Business Litig.,” Univ. of Houston, 2014-15, 2017, 2019, 2023
- “Antitrust” chapter, Texas Bus. Litig., ALM Media, 2014-22
- “Initiating Litigation,” State Bar of Tex., 2015, 2017, 2021
- “U.S. v. AT&T & Future of Antitrust Enf.,” State Bar of Tex., 2018
- “Winning at Pretrial,” Univ. of Tex. Civil Litig. Conf., 2018
- “Diversity & Inclusion: Role of Allies,” State Bar of Tex., 2018
- “Royalty Class Action Trial,” Inst. For Energy Law Conf., 2018
- “Dukes and Empl. Class Actions,” State Bar of Tex., 2013