James M. KimbellJames Kimbell Clark Hill
James M. Kimbell
James M. Kimbell is a member and trial lawyer in Clark Hill Strasburger's Litigation Section. Jim has 30 years of first-chair experience in complex commercial and tort litigation, including extensive jury trial, appeal and arbitration experience in both federal and state courts and tribunals throughout Texas and in multiple other states. Jim represents both plaintiffs and defendants in matters on behalf of Fortune 500 companies and small privately-held businesses alike, including bet the company litigation. While his clients span multiple industries, Jim's docket typically includes a significant mix of energy, healthcare and technology-related disputes involving diverse matters including breach of contract, injunctive relief, business torts, deceptive trade practices, disputes among business owners, business valuation disputes, fiduciary duties, fraud, shareholder oppression, lender liability, insurance bad faith, tortious interference, covenants not to compete, unfair competition, malicious prosecution, misappropriation of trade secrets and personal injuries/wrongful death. First and foremost, Jim considers himself a trial lawyer.
- Jim was lead trial counsel for client Doctors Hospital as plaintiff in connection with claims arising out of a breach of contract attributable to Defendant's refusal to pay for hurricane-related property damage and business interruption losses. Following a month-long trial in U.S. District Court in Houston, Jim secured a jury verdict which was recognized as one of the "Top 100 Verdicts of 2010" in the United States and as one of the "Top Texas Verdicts of 2010." Specifically, the verdict was recognized by American Lawyer and by Texas Lawyer as:
- The #2 insurance verdict in the U.S. in 2010
- The 15th largest breach of contract verdict in the U.S. in 2010
- The 62nd largest jury verdict in the U.S. in 2010
- The #1 insurance verdict in Texas in 2010
- The 14th largest jury verdict in Texas in 2010
- Jim also represented a firm hospital client as plaintiff in a lender-liability action versus one of the healthcare industry's largest lenders, ultimately resolving the case in a complex settlement that resulted in the Defendant's forgiveness of in excess of $23 million in client debt, as well as the recovery of additional damages.
- Jim and partner Bijan Siahatgar served as lead trial/defense counsel on behalf of the world's leading international pure-play geophysical company in a consolidated case that included 260+ individual homeowners as plaintiffs in connection with claims related to damage allegedly sustained by the homeowners from the client's seismic operations. Prior to the initial trial of a group of 30 of the Plaintiffs, all other Defendants paid the Plaintiffs in excess of $4.5 million dollars to settle their perceived exposure in the case. The client had confidence in its case and in Jim and Bijan to present the facts to a jury.
- Following a nearly month-long trial, a Galveston County jury deliberated for approximately twenty minutes before rendering a complete defense verdict in the client's favor. Thereafter, the trial court granted summary judgment in the client's favor as to the claims of the remaining 230 Plaintiffs.
- Jim served as lead trial and appellate counsel for one of the nation's largest providers of hospital-based clinical outsourcing for emergency medicine in defending two different cases wherein the publicly-traded client's national business model was at stake and challenged via allegations relating to the corporate practice of medicine. Following victories in both cases in the trial courts wherein the claims of all of the Plaintiffs were ultimately dismissed, Jim presented oral argument in both cases to the First Court of Appeals in Houston, where the trial court's favorable rulings of dismissal were upheld. The Plaintiffs in one of the cases likewise pursued the appellate court's rulings to the Texas Supreme Court, where the trial court's dismissal in favor of the client was likewise upheld.
- Jim served as lead trial counsel in defending one of the world's premier providers of logistics and transportation services in a complex commercial case brought by one of the world's top producers of plastic and chemical products (with 36 production facilities around the world). The dispute arose out of a freight forwarding agreement pursuant to which the client facilitated shipments of Plaintiff's products into Canada. The Plaintiff alleged that the client had overcharged them for fees utilized to compensate for the client's payment of goods and services taxes on Plaintiff's behalf at the time of customs clearance at the Canadian border, and for the client bearing the risk of foreign currency fluctuations inherent in paying the taxes in Canadian dollars but being later reimbursed in U.S. dollars. During the course of the parties' relationship, the client facilitated the transportation and customs clearance of thousands of shipments of Plaintiff's products into Canada, and in doing so, the client advanced approximately $40 million dollars in the way of the payment of goods and services taxes on Plaintiff's behalf. A counterclaim was likewise asserted on the client's behalf. The case settled during trial on a confidential basis while Jim was in the midst of his extensive cross-examination of the Plaintiff's key executive witness. The Plaintiff was represented by two partners from a firm recognized by The American Lawyer as Runner-Up for the "Litigation Boutique of the Year" in the U.S.
- Jim and partner Cliff Husted served as lead plaintiffs' counsel in the representation of four Houston-area physicians whose partnership interests in an ambulatory surgery center had been wrongfully terminated. The Defendants included the largest not-for-profit healthcare system in Texas and one of the country's largest owner/operators of surgery centers (147 facilities). In order to fund the construction of the ambulatory surgery center and its operations, the Defendants actively solicited physician investors to become partners in the ASC venture, and made a variety of representations to the clients regarding eligibility requirements, investment benefits, etc. Ultimately, and after the ASC's operations proved very profitable, the ASC board and the Defendants began to selectively force out certain physician-investors for reasons wholly inconsistent with pre-investment representations and in order to make room for other physician-investors that the Defendants believed would make the ASC even more profitable, and therefore benefitting their own equity interests in the ASC venture. The Plaintiffs' claims included fraud, breach of contract, conspiracy, and violations of federal anti-kickback statutes. Despite tremendously well-funded opposition by the Defendants, Jim and Cliff persisted in taking the case to the eve of trial, at which time the Defendants ultimately settled and paid a significant and confidential sum to the clients.
- Jim acted as lead plaintiff's counsel on behalf of a Houston-area ambulatory surgery center in a lawsuit alleging the breach of a partnership agreement versus the largest owner and operator of in-patient rehabilitative hospitals in the U.S. In addition to seeking monetary damages for breach of contract and fraud, the client's claims also contested the validity of the transfer of a partnership interest by and between various of the Defendants as part of Defendant's $900 million dollar sale of various equity interests and assets in surgery centers across the U.S. This fraudulent effort followed on the heels of the principal Defendant having been embroiled in an accounting scandal wherein the Defendant had knowingly deceived its investors and the public in misrepresenting its true financial condition in an effort to exceed Wall Street expectations. Because of the prior fraudulent acts of the principal Defendant, its stock lost 99% of its value, sixteen employees were charged with crimes, and over $500 million was paid to settle the accounting nightmare. Jim's client ultimately settled its case on very favorable terms and the client was able to achieve its ultimate goal of divesting itself of any relationship with the Defendant entities involved in the partnership.
- Jim and other Strasburger lawyers likewise represented another Houston-area surgery center in claims against this same nationwide hospital owner/operator for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duties and fraud that ultimately enabled the client to successfully divest itself from any contractual relationship with the Defendant and operate independently.
- Jim and partners Kathy Garber and Mike Jung represented a publicly-traded oilfield equipment manufacturing company as plaintiff and obtained a summary judgment valued at $13 million in a complex commercial lease dispute including a purchase option held by the client. The trial court also awarded the client a significant attorney's fees recovery. The summary judgment enforcing the purchase option was recently upheld by the First Court of Appeals in Houston.
- Jim recently defended a closely-held corporate client of the Firm in a "bet the company" shareholder dispute. Everything the client had worked toward for the last 40 years was at risk. The Plaintiff claimed ownership of a significant portion of the company pursuant to the disputed terms of a shareholder's agreement. The case was ultimately settled on confidential terms on the eve of trial for approximately 10% of the Plaintiff''s claimed damages, and the Plaintiff relinquished any and all claims of ownership in the company.
- Jim recently represented and successfully defended the leading provider of industrial safety services to the energy and petrochemical industries in the ultimate settlement of a series of cases involving multiple deaths and serious injuries following an explosion at a New Mexico refinery.
- Jim acted as lead plaintiff's counsel on behalf of a publicly-traded oilfield services company in connection with a dispute arising out of services provided to a major refinery outside Cheyenne, Wyoming. A confidential multi-million dollar settlement was reached by the parties.
- Jim also served as lead counsel for an oilfield project management firm as plaintiff in an arbitration arising out of services provided by the client in conjunction with a turnaround for another major refinery in the Western United States. The client's damages model exceeded $7 million dollars. The case was settled for a significant and confidential sum.
- Jim has likewise served as first-chair trial/defense counsel for clients in excess of twenty cases that lead to a jury trial involving personal injuries and wrongful death. In each of those cases, the jury rendered a complete defense verdict in favor of Jim's clients.
- Ethics and Malpractice Prevention
- Cross-Examination of Expert Witnesses
- The Attorney-Client Privilege Under Siege, Strasburger & Price, LLP Corporate Counsel Series (Fall 2005)