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Kelly H. Leonard

Senior Attorney
Office

Houston

909 Fannin Street
Suite 2300
Houston, TX 77010
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Fax: 832.397.3573
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Education
J.D., University of Texas School of Law, Austin, Texas, 2011, The Review of Litigation—Symposium Editor; Society of Oil, Gas and Energy Law
B.A., With high honors, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, 2008, Phi Beta Kappa
State Bar Licenses
Texas
Court Admissions
U.S. District Ct., E.D. of Texas
U.S. District Ct., N.D. of Texas
U.S. District Ct., S.D. of Texas
U.S. District Ct., W.D. of Texas
U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit

Kelly H. Leonard

Senior Attorney

Kelly Leonard practices complex civil litigation and appellate advocacy in all levels of state and federal courts. She is well-versed in every phase of the litigation process from discovery to motions practice to trial and appeal and handles a variety of commercial litigation matters, including:

  • breach of contract claims,
  • trade secret theft,
  • non-competition issues, and
  • corporate disputes.

Kelly regularly represents clients from both the oil and gas and the healthcare industries in a range of courtroom settings, including appellate arguments, injunction hearings, and hearings on dispositive motions. As a trusted advisor, Kelly evaluates the objectives of her clients to formulate the best approach to handling their litigation and strives to craft creative solutions to complex questions of law.

Prior to joining the firm, Kelly served as a law clerk to the Honorable Jane Bland of the First Court of Appeals at Houston, Texas.

EXPERIENCE

EMPLOYMENT

  • Litigation involving misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of covenant not to compete in commodities brokerage context.
  • Represent manufacturer in litigation involving misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of covenant not to compete or solicit and breach of fiduciary duty claims.
  • Litigation involving breach of covenant not to compete claims brought against licensed physician.
  • Secured summary judgment on behalf of health care client concluding covenant not to compete was unenforceable under Texas law.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of member of limited liability company affirming member's right to inspect corporate books and records and to conduct an accounting.
  • Successful prosecution of suit against commercial grout distributor enforcing employment agreement and purchase sale agreement.

ENERGY

  • Defended industrial maintenance contractor in multi-county litigation arising out of fire at gas storage facility.
  • Obtained take-nothing summary judgment for oil and gas operator in Chapter 95 premises liability lawsuit.
  • Litigation on behalf of publicly traded energy company in contract dispute with operator of petcoke cutting facility and terminal.
  • Represented publicly traded energy company in dispute with landowner over surface use in connection with oil and gas exploration and production.
  • Represented publicly traded energy company in suit seeking indemnity for Louisiana legacy litigation.
  • Represented oil and gas meter manufacturer in arbitration dispute against distributor.
  • Litigation on behalf of publicly traded petrochemical and refining company in breach of contract case against facility operator for failure to secure adequate insurance.
  • Defended petroleum shipper in ship or pay dispute.
  • Litigation on behalf of petrochemical and refining company against electrical supplier.

APPELLATE

  • Successfully petitioned for writ of mandamus to the Ninth Court of Appeals in suit addressing theft of trade secrets, resulting in opinion reversing trial court's order consolidating cases for discovery and allowing competitor access to trade-secret information.
  • Petitioned for writ of mandamus to the First Court of Appeals on behalf of facility operator in wrongful death case arising from industrial accident.
  • Defended insurance carrier in coverage dispute in Texas Supreme Court, including drafting petition for review, reply in support of petition, briefing on the merits and reply in support of briefing on the merits.
  • Successfully petitioned for writ of mandamus to the First Court of Appeals in medical malpractice suit, resulting in opinion reversing trial court's order disqualifying counsel.
  • Defended a local county in Voting Rights Act case successfully appealed to Fifth Circuit, resulting in opinion and judgment reversing award of attorneys' fees. Drafted response to petition for writ of certiorari successfully defending the Fifth Circuit's judgment.
  • Successfully appealed adverse jury verdict involving claims of breach of covenants not to compete and misappropriation of trade secrets.
  • Defended final judgment dismissing products liability claims for want of prosecution in First Court of Appeals, resulting in judgment affirming trial court's disposition.
  • Defended final judgment enforcing trademark rights of American casket manufacturer before First Court of Appeals, resulting in an opinion affirming trial court's disposition.
  • Successfully defended against petition for writ of mandamus on behalf of energy company in suit seeking indemnity for Louisiana legacy litigation.
  • Successfully petitioned for review to the Texas Supreme Court from suit addressing the Texas Citizens Participation Act.
  • Secured dismissal of appeal on behalf publicly traded retail chain in suit alleging violations of deceptive trade practices act and fraud, among other claims.
  • Appellate counsel in suit seeking data underlying retirement fund's valuations, studies and reports in connection with actuarial audit.
  • Defended final judgment dismissing allegations against bank for violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and other federal and state laws for failure to state a claim.
  • Successfully appealed district court's dismissal of surgery center's lawsuit as a sanction, resulting in reversal and remand of proceedings.
  • Secured judgment notwithstanding a jury's verdict on behalf of industrial gas supplier in payment dispute with customer and successfully defended the trial court's judgment on appeal.

MANUFACTURING

  • Represented meter manufacturer in breach of contract suit against Latin American distributor.
  • Represented flooring manufacturer in non-competition and trade secret suit against former employees.
  • Defended gas manufacturer in payment dispute with customer over payment for gas cylinders.

Publications

  • Texas Supreme Court: Error to Exclude Video Without Viewing, Strasburger's Trial & Error Blog (March 2018)
  • Forum Selection Clause Covers Extra-Contractual Claims, Strasburger's Trial & Error Blog (June 2017)
  • Texas Supreme Court Clarifies The "Independent Injury Rule", Strasburger's Trial & Error Blog (April 2017)
  • Changes to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, Strasburger's Trial and Error Blog (December 2016)
  • Toward Greater Certainty: No-Evidence Challenges to Expert Opinions, Strasburger's Trial and Error Blog (September 2016)
  • Timely Expert Report for Med Mal Claim Not Needed in Federal Court, Strasburger's Trial and Error Blog (June 2016)
  • Texas Supreme Court: Broadcasting into Forum Insufficient to Support Jurisdiction, Strasburger's Trial and Error Blog (April 2016)
  • New Interview Standards for Former Employees of Adverse Party, Strasburger's Trial and Error Blog (December 2015)
  • Texas Supreme Court Holds BP Not Entitled to Full Coverage under Transocean Policies, Strasburger Energy, Oil, Gas Newsletter (February 2015)
Awards/Achievements
Named among Texas Super Lawyers Rising Stars by Thompson and Reuters (2016-2018)
Recipient of Strasburger's Richard Davis Litigation Associate of the Year Award (2017)
Recipient of Strasburger's Keith Drummond New Associate of the Year Award (2016)
Memberships
State Bar of Texas - Appellate Section, Pro Bono Program
Houston Bar Association – Appellate Section
St. Martin’s Episcopal Church
VICTORY Houston, American Cancer Society