Steven C. Messer

713.632.8016 | Houston, Texas
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Professional Summary

Steven is a trial attorney focused on commercial litigation ranging from high-stakes to general disputes for plaintiffs and defendants in federal and state courts around the country. His practice includes deep experience with energy litigation, including upstream and midstream disputes, business torts, breach of contract, fiduciary liability, construction, and environmental claims.

Steven clerked with the Honorable Lee H. Rosenthal, United States District Judge for the Southern District of Texas. Prior to attending law school, he served as a development manager for a local nonprofit. He also worked with the general counsel of a major university while attending University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Steven is recognized as a 2019 "Texas Rising Star" in Business Litigation by Thomson Reuters. He is Chair of Penn Law’s Houston Alumni Chapter. He is active in the Houston community, representing clients before the Fourteenth Court of Appeals of Texas through the Houston Bar Association Appellate Pro Bono Program. He also serves as the Membership Chair of the Young Professionals Council for the Houston Urban Debate League.

Representative Experience
  • Confidential Client. Secured summary judgment in favor an E&P company against an oilfield services subcontractor.  The client hired a contractor to assist it in moving drilling rigs throughout a shale play. A subcontractor of the contractor was not paid by the contractor and asserted breach of contract claims against the client.  The claims raised complex issues of choice of law and federal transportation regulation.  The court ruled entirely in favor of the client, dismissing all claims against it.
  • Sanchez v. Noble Energy. Secured dismissal of a nuisance and personal injury lawsuit brought against Noble Energy in Texas state court involving an alleged accident that occurred in Colorado. After briefing and argument, the court granted our motion to dismiss for forum non conveniens, dismissing the lawsuit with prejudice.
  • Confidential Client. Secured dismissal of a nuisance and personal injury suit against a landowner for injuries caused by a lessee. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the client. Successfully represented the client in the Court of Appeals and ultimately prevailed after convincing the Texas Supreme Court to deny review.
Professional Honors & Affiliations
  • "Texas Rising Star," in Business Litigation by Thomson Reuters' Super Lawyers, 2019
  • Membership Chair: Young Professionals Council, Houston Urban Debate League Membership Committee, 2018
  • Chair: Penn Law Houston Alumni Chapter
  • Member: Asia-Pacific Interest Section, State Bar of Texas
  • Member: Oil, Gas and Mineral Law Section and Litigation Section, Houston Bar Association and State Bar of Texas
  • Advisory Board Member: Institute for Energy Law
Presentations & Publications
  • "Oil and Gas Update,” Presenter, Houston Northeast Bar Association, Fall 2017
  • "Preservation of Electronic Discovery Under the New Federal Rules," Houston Northwest Bar Association, Feb. 15, 2017 (presenter)
  • "Letters of Intent: Avoiding Common Problem Areas," Law360, Feb. 7, 2017 (co-author)
  • "We Doubt That Is So:" Expert Witness Certification After Wal-Mart and Comcast, 17 J. Bus. L. 293, 2014
Education & Professional Background
  • University of Pennsylvania, J.D., cum laude, 2014 (Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Business Law)
  • University of Houston, B.A., Political Science and Economics, summa cum laude, 2010
  • Law Clerk to The Hon. Lee H. Rosenthal, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas, 2015-2016
  • Admitted to Practice: Texas, 2014