Dylan Russell is a partner in the Hoover Slovacek LLP litigation and appellate practice sections. Now in his fourteenth year of practice after joining the firm as a law clerk in 2002, his focus is in the area of complex litigation and appeals. In his trial practice, he has tried numerous jury and bench trials as first-chair counsel. In his appellate practice, he has presented oral arguments to the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and Second Circuit, the Texas Supreme Court, four times to the Fourteenth Court of Appeals in Houston, twice to the First Court of Appeals, and once each to the Courts of Appeals in Waco and Corpus Christi. He has also briefed many appeals to the Texas Supreme Court and many lower courts of appeals throughout Texas.
Mr. Russell has appeared in district courts in counties throughout Texas, including Harris, Montgomery, Fort Bend, Dallas, Liberty, Bexar, Travis, Brazoria, Williamson, Burnet, Hardin, Lubbock, Brazos, Denton, and El Paso counties, among others. Mr. Russell also has appeared in federal courts and in state courts, pro hac vice, in states such as Florida, Missouri, New York, Connecticut, and Oklahoma.
In addition to addressing disputes before federal and state courts and private arbitrators, Mr. Russell has handled disputes before various judicial and administrative bodies including the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the Public Utility Commission, the State Office of Administrative Hearings, and an administrative review panel of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency.
Subject areas of cases and matters that Mr. Russell has handled include the following, among others:
- Class-actions, including products liability and water allocations cases under the Texas Water Code.
- Insurance defense coverage
- Anti-SLAPP actions
- Real estate
- Boundary line disputes
- Trespass to try title
- Implied reciprocal negative easement claims involving golf courses
- Deed restrictions
- Commercial and residential construction disputes
- Improper inspections
- Faulty concrete and commercial building construction
- Water drainage issues
- Residential construction issues
- Employer-employee relations
- Race, sex, age and disability discrimination
- Covenants not to compete
- Theft of trade secrets
- Unemployment and wage claims
- FLSA overtime claims
- Corporate disputes
- Shareholder oppression
- Ownership of intellectual property rights
- Website domain name disputes
- Commercial landlord-tenant disputes
- Commercial sale of goods disputes involving metal building components and sand plant processing equipment
- Numerous matters against federal and state governmental entities and agencies including:
- Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC)
- Department of Justice
- Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
- Fannie Mae
- Local cities
- Municipal utility districts
- A Metropolitan transit authority
- The governmental entity matters concerned various issues including:
- International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA)
- The Sudanese Sanctions Regulations
- Chapter 125 nuisance claims
- Discriminatory water rates
- Inverse condemnation
- Access easements
- Election contest disputes
- Administrative appeals related to municipal drainage fees
- Wrongful foreclosure
- Breach of contract claims
- Selected to the Super Lawyers®, 2011-2013, Super Lawyers® is a registered trademark of Thompson Reuters
PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS AND MEMBERSHIPS:
- State Bar of Texas
- Litigation, Appellate, Labor & Employment, and Construction Law Sections
- Houston Bar Association
- Litigation, Appellate, Labor & Employment, and Construction Law Sections
- Fort Bend County Bar Association
- Past Golf Committee Member
REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
- Won jury trial as first chair, recovering real estate agent bonus from national home builder.
- Won two district court trials as first chair, one to a jury and the other to the bench, where judgment was in favor of commercial landlord client.
- Successfully argued a certified question to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality where the Commissioners interpreted the Texas Water Code to prevent water districts from arbitrarily contravening the rights of ratepayers to appeal discriminatory water rates.
- Won district court trial as first chair where court found municipal utility district water rates charged to apartment community owner were illegal and arbitrary.
- As lead counsel, settled breach of escrow agreement case against United States agency where client received over $1.9 million of disputed funds.
- As lead counsel, briefed petition for writ of mandamus and brief on the merits where Texas Supreme Court ruled that the trial court abused its discretion by restricting access to and use of ballots related to a disputed amended deed restriction: In re Keenan, 501 S.W.3d 74 (Tex. 2016) (per curiam).
- As lead counsel, successfully briefed and argued interlocutory appeal where the court of appeals ruled that Anti-SLAPP motions to dismiss were actually denied by operation of law, despite written orders granting the motions and awarding approximately $100,000 in attorney’s fees: Inwood Forest Cmty. Improvement Ass’n v. Arce, 485 S.W.3d 65 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2015, pet. denied).
- Briefed petition for review, motion for rehearing, and brief on the merits where Texas Supreme Court ruled the Houston Proposition 1 drainage fee ballot in 2010 was misleading, reversing the trial court and Fourteenth Court of Appeals decisions holding otherwise: Dacus v. Parker, 466 S.W.3d 820 (Tex. 2015).
- Won district court jury trial as first chair where court found purchasers of sand plant processing equipment breached contract with distributor, the judgment for which was upheld on appeal where Mr. Russell also briefed the response and argued before the Fourteenth Court of Appeals: Guniganti v. C&S Components Co. Ltd., 467 S.W.3d 661 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2015, no pet.).
- Briefed petition for writ of mandamus where the court of appeals reversed key parts of trial court’s order granting “death penalty” sanctions: In re RH White Oak, LLC, 442 S.W.3d 492 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2014, orig. proceeding) (per curiam).
- Successfully argued to the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to avoid centralization of multiple federal cases involving manufacturers of spray polyurethane foam: In re Spray Polyurethane Foam Insulation Products Liability Litigation, 949 F. Supp. 2d 1364 (J.P.M.L. 2013).
- Briefed with co-counsel an emergency motion granted by the Texas Supreme Court staying significant parts of a trial court’s temporary injunction order in State of Texas nuisance case: In re Nabilco Inc. and D. Houston, Inc. d/b/a Treasures, Case No. 12-0852.
- Briefed appeal where the court of appeals reversed trial court award of past-due commercial lease rent and rendered for the full amount sought at trial: MCN Spring Shadows, L.P. v. Kearney, L.L.C., 2011 Tex. App. LEXIS 8075 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] Oct. 11, 2011, no pet.).
- Briefed appeal where the court of appeals reversed and remanded the trial court’s granting of a plea to the jurisdiction of a water rate claim: Tara Partners, Ltd. v. City of South Houston, 282 S.W.3d 564 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2009, pet. denied).
- As lead counsel, briefed and argued appeal affirming money judgment for misapplied bank loan funds: Doss v. Homecomings Fin. Network, Inc., 210 S.W.3d 706 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi 2006, pet. denied).
- As lead counsel, briefed and argued appeal reversing default judgment for trespass to try title claim and remanding case to trial court: Henry v. Fest, 2005 Tex. App. LEXIS 2852 (Tex. App.—Waco, Apr. 13, 2005, no pet.).
- Along with co-counsel, advised Houston-based oil equipment manufacturer during five-year long federal investigation resulting in a negotiated settlement with the Department of Justice and OFAC regarding claims of violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations.
PRO BONO AND CIVIC ACTIVITIES:
- Lakes of Brightwater Home Owner’s Association – Board Member, Treasurer.
- United States Running Streak Association, Inc. (http://www.runeveryday.com/)- Premier Member.
- Retired running streak from March 20, 2011 to December 30, 2013; current streak started April 9, 2014, including over 1,000 days of at least a 5K a day.
- Completed five road marathons, five 50K (31 mile) trail races, a 42.2 mile training run, and a 60-mile run (attempt at a 100-miler).
- Fort Bend YMCA Soccer Coach, 2009-2011.
PAST EMPLOYMENT AND PROFESSIONAL POSITIONS:
- Intern for Judge Marcia Crone, U.S. Magistrate Court, Southern District of Texas, 2002.
- Intern for Justices John Anderson, Kem Frost, and Don Wittig, Fourteenth Court of Appeals, 2001.
- Professional Musician and Saxophonist, 1996 – 2000, performing with bands such as Duck Soup, Mr. Fabulous & Casino Royale, The Sharp 5 Jazz Quintet, Rocket 69, and the Elision Saxophone Quartet. While at U.T., performed with the U.T. Jazz Orchestra, U.T. Wind Ensemble, and U.T. Saxophone Choir.