Shane Pennington

Senior Counsel
O: 713.632.8081 | M: 832.914.2985 | Houston, Texas
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Professional Summary

Shane’s practice is focused on appeals and regulatory litigation for clients in a diverse array of industries, including energy, shipping, aviation, pharmaceuticals, and healthcare. Recent matters have involved challenges to federal agency action under the Administrative Procedure Act, preemption issues under the Airline Deregulation Act, and EPA rule-making challenges under the Clean Air Act. Drawing upon his experience as a former law clerk to judges on both the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, Shane’s unique insights can also assist clients that may be evaluating potential or pending cases involving complex regulatory issues.

Shane received his J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law with high honors and served as both the Articles Editor for the Texas Law Review and as Managing Editor with Texas Review of Law and Politics. He completed three clerkships, including with the Honorable Royce C. Lamberth, then-Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, the Honorable Jennifer Walker Elrod of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and the Honorable David B. Sentelle, then-Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Shane is recognized as "One to Watch" by Best Lawyers in America® and as a “Texas Rising Star” in Appellate Law by Thomson Reuters’ Super Lawyers. He is a published author on emerging issues in administrative law and founded, a blog where he comments on important happenings in administrative law in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He is also part of Yale Journal on Regulation’s Notice & Comment blog where he provides regular commentary and insight on a wide variety of administrative law issues.

Prior to joining the firm, Shane was an associate with Baker Botts.

Representative Experience
  • Scottsdale Research Institute v. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration. Less than one month after filing a complaint, obtained release of the previously undisclosed June 6, 2018, DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel memorandum entitled “Licensing Marijuana Cultivation in Compliance with the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs” via settlement. We brought a single claim for preliminary and permanent injunctive relief for violations of Section 552(a)(2) of the Freedom of Information Act, without having filed a prior FOIA request. The 25-page OLC memo explains, in detail, how and why DOJ concluded in June 2018 that the DEA could not process applications from Scottsdale Research Institute and more than 30 others to manufacture marijuana for research that DEA solicited back in 2016.
  • In re Scottsdale Research Institute, LLC. Represented Scottsdale Research Institute pro bono in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit requesting a writ of mandamus to order the Drug Enforcement Agency to process its application to grow cannabis for its clinical research after three years of unexplained delay. The D.C. Circuit ordered DEA to respond to our petition. Immediately before DEA’s response was due in the lawsuit, the agency processed our client’s application as well as the applications of 32 other applicants and announced an intent to move forward with the marijuana growers program.
  • Weyerhaeuser Co. v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Certiorari- and merits-stage amicus curiae briefing on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States supporting Petitioner’s challenge to the a critical-habitat designation under the Endangered Species Act.
  • Americans for Clean Energy v. EPA Drafted Obligated Party Petitioners’ briefs before the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in challenge to EPA’s Final Rule announcing annual Renewable Fuel Standards under the Clean Air Act.
  • Baker Botts L.L.P. v. ASARCO, LLC Certiorari- and merits-stage briefing on behalf of Petitioners holding that the Bankruptcy Code does not permit bankruptcy courts to award attorney fees to counsel or other professionals employed by the bankruptcy estate for work performed in defending a fee application in court).
  • Research and Mfrs. of Am. v. FTC Drafted Appellant’s briefs before the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in challenge FTC Final Rule under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.
  • Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc. U.S. Supreme Court merits briefing on behalf of Petitioner resulting in a unanimous opinion in client’s favor holding that securities-fraud defendants must be afforded an opportunity to rebut the presumption of reliance before class certification with evidence of a lack of price impact.
Professional Honors & Affiliations
Presentations & Publications
Education & Professional Background
  • The University of Texas School of Law, J.D., with high honors, 2010 (Order of the Coif, Articles Editor, 2009-2010, Texas Law Review, Managing Editor, 2009-2010, Texas Review of Law & Politics)
  • University of Houston, B.A., summa cum laude, Political Science, 2006 (Founder’s Foundation Scholar, Arete Award Recipient)
  • Law Clerk to the Hon. David B. Sentelle, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, 2012-2013
  • Law Clerk to the Hon. Jennifer Walker Elrod, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, 2011-2012
  • Law Clerk to the Hon. Royce Lamberth, U.S. District Court District of Columbia, 2010-2011
  • Admitted to Practice: Texas, 2012