B.B.A., University of Texas, 1983; J.D., St. Mary’s University of San Antonio, 1986Awards & Honors:
Texas Super Lawyers, 2008 – 2016Admitted:
State Bar of Texas; Supreme Court of Texas; Supreme Court of the United States; United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas as well as District of Colorado and Central District of Illinois; United States Courts of Appeals for the Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Districts.Member:
Houston and American Bar Associations; Texas Bar Foundation; Bar Association of the Fifth Federal Circuit; Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association; Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association; National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Commissioner, Texas Ethics Commission – appointed in February 2017 to a four-year term by Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick.
With over thirty years of experience as both a prosecutor and a defense lawyer, Chris is a highly sought-after defense attorney and legal problem solver, relied on by his clients in a broad spectrum of federal and state actions.
Having tried more than 80 cases to verdict, Chris is a trusted advisor to his clients when the stakes are at their highest. His practice focuses on high-profile white collar criminal defense, sensitive corporate investigations, and complex civil cases. Chris has obtained acquittals and dismissals for numerous clients involved in criminal and civil litigation, both in state and federal court in Texas and across the United States.
His clients have included executives accused of crimes in both the Enron and Stanford Financial scandals; energy traders accused of manipulating the price of natural gas; defendants in the largest-ever internet gambling prosecution; and several prominent Mexican citizens fighting extradition on politically motivated charges.
Chris started his legal career as an intern with the Executive Office for United States Attorneys, United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., during the Reagan administration, and then spent two years as a prosecutor with the Harris County Assistant District Attorney’s Office. He left the DA’s office to work with famed Houston criminal defense attorney Dick DeGuerin, quickly establishing a reputation as a winning trial attorney, trying more than 25 federal jury cases across the United States over the next decade. Since joining his brothers two decades ago he has solidified his status as a top defense and trial attorney in white collar and complex litigation.
Represented natural gas traders from Dynegy, El Paso Energy, Coral Energy, Reliant Energy, and others accused of making false reports to trade publications to affect the price of natural gas. These cases arose from the investigation of Enron’s role in the collapse of natural gas prices in California.
Represented Laura Pendergest-Holt, Stanford’s former Chief Investment Officer, who was charged with mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering.
Defeated extradition attempts by the Mexican government of Juan Jose Domene, CFO of Pemex in the famed “PEMEX-gate” case.
Represented employees of a major international oil company in a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation involving customs agents in Nigeria.
Obtained a full acquittal on behalf of the CFO of a private wastewater company charged with bribery of a public official in New Orleans.
Obtained a dismissal of charges against a prominent personal injury attorney for wire/mail fraud allegations arising out of a $120M inventory settlement with The Hartford. After a hung jury, the United States Attorney’s Office dismissed the charges and Chris successfully recovered a settlement from The Hartford for the allegations.
Achieved a favorable outcome for Gary Kaplan and BetOnSports in St. Louis, Missouri, still the largest internet gambling prosecution in the United States.
Represented a Houston pain-management physician and his clinics in a $143M healthcare fraud indictment.
Avoided filing of any charges against Buddy Trahan, Asset Manager of Transocean’s Deepwater Horizon.
Representing a plaintiff’s attorney being investigated by the FBI for his role in obtaining clients from the oil spill caused by the Deepwater Horizon blowout.
Representing a doctor in a healthcare fraud investigation in the Southern District of Texas.
Won a mistrial and dismissal of charges for his doctor client in a five-month, multi-defendant federal trial known as the “Spring Shadows Glen case.”