Christian J. Ward

Senior Counsel
713.632.8062 | Houston, Texas
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Professional Summary

Chris’s practice focuses on complex appeals. He has represented major corporations in a variety of industries—including energy, insurance, and financial services—as well as governmental entities and private parties in litigation against governmental entities in federal and state courts throughout the country and in the U.S. Supreme Court. He has briefed numerous successful appeals and orally argued in federal and state appellate courts.

Chris is admitted to practice in Texas, the United States Supreme Court, the United States Courts of Appeals for the Second, Fifth, Ninth, and District of Columbia Circuits, and the United States District Courts of Texas.

Chris was a law clerk for the Honorable Will Garwood of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Before attending law school, he worked as a Latin teacher, for the Republican Party of Texas, and for Texas State Senator Jane Nelson.

Representative Experience
  • Bridges v. Houston Methodist Hospital. Fifth Circuit affirmed dismissal of 119 plaintiffs’ claims against hospital for implementing a COVID-19 vaccine policy
  • JSW v. MM Steel Upheld in the Fifth Circuit a $160 million award of treble damages in a group boycott case under the per se rule of liability. The United States Supreme Court denied certiorari.
  • Venoco v. Plains Pipeline Briefed and argued successful Ninth Circuit appeal to revive oil company’s tort claims against pipeline operator arising from massive 2015 California oil spill.
  • Joseph Hardesty, et al. Helped secure a unanimous federal jury trial win for two mining families in California and upheld liability judgment on appeal in the Ninth Circuit. Sacramento County violated plaintiffs’ procedural and substantive due process rights by improperly shutting down a sand-gravel mine at the urging of a large competitor.
  • Valero Refining v. Galveston County Appraisal District Obtained rulings from the Texas Supreme Court favorable to all issues presented 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.
  • Business Logic Holding Corporation v. Morningstar et al. In a complex case involving financial software in the retirement sector, was part of trial team that secured a $61 million cash settlement that represented 95% maximum claimed damages by our client, Business Logic.
  • TracFone v. Commission on State Emergency Communications Successfully represented a prepaid wireless phone company in the appeal of a state agency’s decision that it owed 911 fees under a statute originally intended to impose the fee on monthly billed wireless service. The firm represented TracFone at all stages of the appeal, and the Texas Supreme Court held, as we argued, that applying the fee to prepaid wireless service was not authorized by statute and would result in illegal double taxation.
  • Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Saudi Basic Industries Corp. Successful appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court clarifying the jurisdictional Rooker-Feldman doctrine.
Professional Honors & Affiliations
Presentations & Publications
Education & Professional Background
  • Harvard Law School, J.D., cum laude, 2001 (Notes Editor 1999-2001, Harvard Law Review, Editorial Staff, Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy)
  • Hampden-Sydney College, B.A. Economics & Classics, cum laude, 1991 (Eta Sigma Phi, Omicron Delta Epsilon)
  • Law Clerk to the Hon. Will Garwood, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit 2001-2002
  • Admitted to Practice: Texas, 2001