David Stockel

Shareholder, Litigation Group

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David Stockel joined BoyarMiller’s Litigation Group in March 2013. Throughout his years of practice in the Houston legal community, he has successfully represented individuals and businesses in a wide variety of commercial disputes.

Specialties

  • Commercial litigation
  • Business litigation
  • Maritime & energy litigation
  • Employment litigation

Quick Facts

  • Graduate of the University of Houston Law Center
  • Dean’s Merit Scholar
  • Houston Bar Association

Awards & Recognitions

  • Texas Super Lawyers Rising Star (2014-2017)
  • Houstonia Magazine Top Lawyer in Houston – Commercial Litigation (2016)

David Stockel joined BoyarMiller’s Litigation Group in March 2013. Throughout his years of practice in the Houston legal community, he has successfully represented individuals and businesses in a wide variety of commercial disputes.

David’s primary areas of practice include commercial litigation, employment and intellectual property disputes (including trade secrets, trademark and non-compete claims), products and premises liability, and energy-related matters both onshore and offshore. He also has extensive experience in admiralty and maritime law, including Jones Act/personal injury defense, offshore collisions, pipeline damage and environmental matters.

David’s legal experience over the years has provided him invaluable insight into the needs of clients and the most efficient and effective avenues to formulate creative solutions to their problems. Consistent with BoyarMiller’s Mission and Core Values, he is committed to achieving practical business solutions with the utmost integrity and maintaining open and authentic communication with both clients and colleagues.

Education

  • JD, University of Houston Law Center (Dean’s Scholar)
  • BA, The University of Texas at Austin

Business Litigation

  • Represented a global downhole well intervention company in suit filed by drilling company after drilling tools became stuck in well. Drilling company sought damages for recovery expenses, contractual damages and lost revenue based on the allegation that client’s tool malfunctioned and caused the incident. Obtained a favorable settlement in which plaintiff dismissed its suit and client paid no damages.
  • Successfully defended Houston-based metal building manufacturer against claims for copyright infringement and violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act brought by former customer and property owner.
  • Represented major integrated oil and gas company in federal court suit stemming from damage to client’s pipeline in the Gulf of Mexico. Obtained a favorable settlement on behalf of client.
  • Successfully represented offshore safety compliance company in arbitration stemming from damage to platform sustained in transit from Asia to the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Represented dredging company in suit filed by employee due to injuries sustained while working on a pontoon boat. Obtained dismissal of suit based on forum selection clause in employment contract. Dismissal was then upheld on appeal.
  • Represented major integrated oil and gas company in federal court seeking recovery for extensive damage to offshore oil exploration platform after being struck by a fishing boat in the Gulf of Mexico. Client sought recovery for physical damage to platform and resulting downtime while platform was repaired. Obtained a favorable settlement on behalf of client.
  • Successfully first-chaired a trial in federal court on behalf of international shipping company stemming from crane accident and resulting damage to shipping container at the Port of Houston.
  • Represented a safety and compliance consulting company in high-exposure automobile death case filed by estate of decedent against multiple involved parties. Obtained a dismissal of the client from the lawsuit without payment of any damages.
  • Represented transportation and delivery logistics company in lawsuit filed by independent contractor driver for injuries sustained in automobile accident while delivering products. Obtained a favorable settlement on behalf of client.
  • Represented a manufacturer of frac and mud pumps utilized in the oilfield in breach of contract and fraudulent inducement action against company providing engineering and design support of equipment. Obtained a favorable settlement on behalf of client.
  • Currently represent Indian supplier of global agricultural products in federal court surrounding dispute over payment for guar products supplied to buyers. Client is seeking in excess of $150 million in damages.
  • Defended a Department of Transportation safety and compliance consulting company against claims related to the negligent training of a client's independent contractor driver.
  • Pursued claims on behalf of a real estate developer in the Houston Galleria area. The developer was building a 15-story office building next to an apartment complex. The apartment complex complained the tower crane being used to construct the office building was trespassing on the airspace above the complex. The real estate developer filed suit seeking a declaration that the tower crane was not trespassing on the apartment complex’s airspace. Obtained a dismissal of all claims against the client without payment of any damages.
  • Defended an LTE cellular network provider in a lawsuit by a California-based wireless broadband network component provider in an action for breach of a contract to purchase component parts necessary to build an LTE network in West Texas.

Employment Litigation

  • Represented major integrated oil and gas company in lawsuit filed by employee due to injuries sustained in accident on a rig off the coast of Equatorial Guinea. Obtained a favorable settlement on behalf of client.
  • Represented major oil and gas services provider in lawsuit filed by employee due to serious burn injuries sustained in accident at natural gas processing plant. Obtained a favorable settlement on behalf of client.
  • Successfully represented the former president and general manager of a nationwide construction company who brought suit and sought a temporary injunction to enforce a series of employment contracts containing non-competition clauses purportedly restricting our client from working at any other construction company in Texas.  We were able to defeat the company’s request for a temporary injunction and were later able to obtain a declaratory judgment from Judge Caroline Baker finding there was no enforceable non-compete agreement in place between the parties.  We were also able to obtain an award of over $75,000 in attorneys’ fees on behalf of our client against the construction company.
  • Won a $2.66 million jury verdict for a former partner of a Houston-based engineering company arising out of a dispute related to a written shareholders’ agreement.  The defendants claimed that our client had made misrepresentations related to his educational qualifications which fraudulently induced them into making him an offer to become a shareholder in the company which they otherwise would not have made.  In an 11-1 verdict, the jury found that the defendants breached their contract with their partner and that the conduct of the defendants in their handling of the partnership dispute constituted minority shareholder oppression.
  • Successfully first-chaired a trial in Fort Bend County representing an energy services company against two former employees who brought suit based on breach of contract and libel theories following termination of their employment.  At trial, we argued that the company fully and justifiably adhered to its company policies in terminating the individuals’ employment due to their gross misconduct in disclosing confidential company information and being dishonest to their employer.  The plaintiffs’ pre-trial settlement demand exceeded $525,000.00, while the Court ruled following trial that the plaintiffs shall be entitled to less than 10% of that amount (with one plaintiff being awarded nothing).  We were also able to succeed in proving an affirmative breach of contract claim against that plaintiff, forcing him to pay his former employer in excess of $35,000.00.
  • Won a summary judgment on behalf of the former president of a foundation repair company and his new employer in defending against claims brought by his former employer who sought damages based on alleged breaches of confidentiality, non-competition, and fiduciary duties.  The Harris County district court judge ruled that each of the former employer’s claims shall be dismissed with the plaintiff being awarded no damages.  The Court also denied the plaintiff’s application for injunctive relief, thus permitting our client (the former employee) to freely and legally work for his new employer in the marketplace.
  • Affirmed by the Fourteenth Court of Appeals following a successful judgment at trial on behalf of a former principal of a Houston-based soil stabilization company. Following trial, the Court ruled that our client was not restricted by any valid non-compete agreement and had not breached the terms of his employment agreement in operating a new business. Following briefing on appeal, the Fourteenth Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s judgment, ruling that the trial court did not err in granting the relief in favor of our client at trial.

Real Estate Litigation

  • Won a summary judgment on behalf of a regional shopping mall owner on its breach of contract claims against a delinquent tenant.  We were also able to obtain individual liability via summary judgment against the tenant’s former President who entered into contractual agreements with our client following the secret dissolution of the company.

Contact David

I am consistently appreciative of the invaluable and very comprehensive legal work that David Stockel has done for me and my company. David is a pleasure to communicate with for his clarity of the issues and their solutions. When I need to solve problems that are important to me and my company, I turn to David and BoyarMiller.

Charles H. AndrewsPresidentAndrews Geoscience, Inc.