The best times I’ve had in the practice of law also are the times when I had to work the hardest – particularly in high stakes cases involving complex facts and difficult technical issues. In those cases I have to spend long hours studying the science and technology and working with experts – so that I can present the evidence in terms which a jury could understand. I love it.
Lee Butler is an experienced trial lawyer who has tried more than 50 jury and bench trials in state and federal court in Texas, including two trials to award or verdict in the last three years. He represents clients involved in or serving the petrochemical industry – companies involved in oil and gas exploration and production, chemical manufacturers, equipment designers and manufacturers, oilfield service suppliers as well as trucking and logistics companies. He advises on large and complex cases involving breach of contract, royalty disputes, trade secrets, product liability, catastrophic injuries and wrongful death. Lee also addresses disputes through arbitration.
After starting his legal career in the firm’s New Orleans office, Lee founded the Houston office in 1993 and presided over its early growth. He has served in a variety of leadership positions at the firm, including litigation practice group leader, partner in charge of the Houston office, and member and chairman of the firm's executive committee.
“ If you need someone who is going to fight for you, that’s what I like to do. I am not afraid of the competition. ”
- Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center, J.D., 1981
- Louisiana State University, B.A., 1978
Areas of Practice
- AV® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
- Houston's Top Lawyers - (by H Texas Magazine) 2005
- Fellow - Litigation Counsel of America
- Memorial Villages Police Commission, Commissioner
- Texas Super Lawyers® (by Thomson Reuters) Business Litigation, Labor and Employment 2012, 2016-2018
- Best Lawyers® - Product Liability Litigation - Defendants Since 2005
- Benchmark Litigation® – Local Litigation Star (Texas) Since 2010
Professional Affiliations & Memberships
- International Association of Defense Counsel
- Defense Research Institute
- Defended a nationwide trucking company in a wrongful death claim arising from three fatalities in a multi-vehicle accident in Texas that resulted in an explosion, catastrophic burns, and a decapitation. After litigating this case for more than two years, a jury trial was set. Less than a month before trial, the settlement demands totaled $55 million. Our client took a very hard line in negotiations based upon the defenses our team developed, and the case settled a little more than a week before trial for a small fraction of the demands.
- Representation of defendants in a multimillion dollar defamation lawsuit involving well-known public figures (a 13-week trial)
- Representation of industrial pump manufacturer in dispute under the UCC regarding alleged defects in pump design and compliance with contractual requirements
- Representation of oil and gas exploration and production company in dispute over payment of offshore oil well plugging and abandonment expenses
- Representation of equipment manufacturer in lawsuit arising from oilfield flash fire causing multiple in catastrophic burns and fatalities
- Representation of oil and gas company executives in claims asserting breach of fiduciary duties and breach of contracts
- Representation refinery in multi-plaintiff dispute involving catastrophic burns and injuries from explosion
- Representation of an oilfield drilling company in a breach of contract and negligence case arising from blow-out
- Representation of an oilfield service company in a case involving alleged violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act
- Representation of energy companies in breach of contract and royalty disputes.