Chip Brooker is a trial lawyer and creative problem solver who helps his clients resolve complex business disputes through a combination of efficient legal strategies and persuasive advocacy. Chip has represented plaintiffs and defendants as lead counsel in state and federal courts on claims of fraud, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, tortious interference and other business torts, products liability, insurance coverage, and professional malpractice among other claims.
Chip also has broad experience across numerous industries including energy, oil and gas, oil and gas field services, real estate, healthcare, cloud computing, banking and financial services, payment processing, and private equity. He also has experience concerning the use of computer forensics and other electronic evidence in litigation, including the discovery, use, and admissibility of social media and other non-traditional communications.
- Payment Processing: Following a three-week bench trial in federal court, obtained a $13.3 million judgment on behalf of the nation's largest privately-held payment processing company on claims of civil RICO, fraud, and breach of fiduciary duty.
- Professional Sports Acquisition: Dissolved a temporary restraining order to allow an American sports investment company to close a $476 million transaction to acquire a mainline English Premier League football club.
- Private Education: Defended a private coeducational college-preparatory school and its trial counsel in high-profile, post-trial sanctions proceedings and helped settle the case after a jury awarded damages on various tort and personal injury claims.
- Healthcare Litigation: Obtained a dismissal on the morning of trial in state district court on behalf of a physician-owned hospital and its executives defending against a doctor who claimed fraud, tortious interference, negligent misrepresentation, and conspiracy.
- Natural Gas Exploration and Production: Successfully represented a natural gas exploration and production company in a dispute with a lessor of certain mineral interests in the Haynesville Shale.
- Oil and Gas Litigation: Obtained injunctive relief on behalf of an oil and gas operator to thwart an attempted hostile takeover by working interest owners and prosecuted claims against the working interest owners for breach of contract, tortious interference, civil conspiracy, and fraudulent transfers of certain overriding royalty interests.
- Oil and Gas Field Services: Successfully represented an oil and gas field services company specializing in wastewater storage and disposal against a water treatment company in state court on claims involving breach of contract, promissory estoppel, quantum meruit, fraud, and negligence.
- Real Estate Litigation: Obtained a complete summary judgment awarding a full-service commercial real estate firm all damages, attorney's fees, costs, and interest resulting from an unpaid commission owed by the former owner of an office building.
- Real Estate Litigation: Obtained a unanimous plaintiff's verdict in a state county court case concerning claims of statutory fraud in a real estate transaction, deceptive trade practices, and breach of contract.
- Professional Malpractice: Obtained a unanimous plaintiff's verdict in a state district court case concerning claims of professional negligence.
- Insurance Coverage: Expanded an insurer's standard statewide coverage provision in federal litigation concerning claims of breach of contract and bad faith insurance practices.
- Financial Services and Professional Malpractice: Obtained a favorable settlement for the guardian of an estate in federal securities litigation concerning claims of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, churning, unsuitability, and professional negligence.
- Business Disparagement: Exposed an anonymous online poster and pursued claims against his employer for business disparagement, tortious interference, and breach of certain confidentiality agreements.
- Other Trial Experience: Tried six criminal cases to verdict as a Dallas County Assistant District Attorney in conjunction with SMU Dedman School of Law's Criminal Prosecution Clinic.
- Selected for inclusion in the Texas Super Lawyers Rising Stars Edition (2007-2009, 2011-2013)
- Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation
- Sustaining Life Fellow, Dallas Association of Young Lawyers Foundation
Community and Professional Leadership
Chip is a recognized leader of legal and civic organizations. He has previously served as a Director of the Dallas Bar Association, President of the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers, Chair of the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers Foundation, a District Representative for the ABA Young Lawyers Division, and an Ex Officio Director of the Texas Young Lawyers Association.
In the community, Chip is an active member of University Park United Methodist Church, where he teaches Sunday School and serves as Vice-Chair of the Administrative Council and Secretary of the Board of Directors of the UPUMC Weekday School. Chip volunteers with the Speaker's Bureau of the Alzheimer's Association's Greater Dallas Chapter and is also a Director of Soul's Harbor, Inc. - a recovery home for homeless men battling addiction.
Selected Speeches and Presentations
- "RT @Pandora's_Box: Legal Issues in Social Media #HowDoICloseThisThing?" Success Strategies for Young Lawyers Seminar, TexasBarCLE, March 2012.
- "Identifying and Dealing With a Wolf in Sheep's Clothing," Texas Young Lawyers Association, eNews, June 2011.
- Substitute Course Director, "Federal Court Practice Seminar," TexasBarCLE, May 2011.
- "Texas Supreme Court Restricts Access to Computer Hard Drives," Dallas Bar Association, Headnotes, May 2010.
- "Protecting Trade Secrets on the Internet," Webcast for the State Bar of Texas, August 13, 2009.
- "Summary Judgments: Evidence and No-Evidence Motions," Presented at the University of Houston Law Foundation's How to Offer and Exclude Evidence Seminar, July 10, 2009 (Houston); July 17, 2009 (Dallas).
- "Mission Impossible? Protecting Trade Secrets Posted on the Internet," Litigation Section of the State Bar of Texas, The Advocate, Winter 2008.
- "Civil Subpoenas & Electronic Communications," Dallas Bar Association, Headnotes, October 2008.
- "Clarifying Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code § 41.0105 and Its Effect on the Collateral Source Rule," Dallas Association of Young Lawyers, The Dicta, June 2007.
- "Rehearing Frank's Casing: To Reimburse or Not to Reimburse, That is the Question," Texas Young Lawyers Association, eNews, May 2006.
- "Electronic Discovery: Ten Tips for Outside Counsel Representing Corporate Clients," Texas Young Lawyers Association, eNews, January 2006.
Selected Representative Experience
Public Foreclosure Sale Litigation
Representing buyer of property sold at a public foreclosure sale to uphold the buyer's winning bid.
Representation of Oil and Gas Corporation Protecting Business Operations
Represented multinational oil and gas corporation seeking to protect business sensitive operations, including a temporary restraining order and injunction.
TransFirst Holdings, Inc. v. Andrew M. Phillips, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, 2006
Represented TransFirst Holdings, Inc., the largest privately held payment processing company in the U.S., in a federal suit against former officers for RICO violations, breach of fiduciary duties, fraud, and breach of contract. TransFirst discovered officers of a payment processing division were operating a covert enterprise of competing businesses while simultaneously working for TransFirst. Prior to trial, the Court ruled in TransFirst's favor on liability for breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract. TransFirst tried the RICO case on liability and damages to federal district judge Jorge Solis over the course of three weeks. A favorable final opinion from the court was issued on August 30, 2011.
Real Estate Litigation for Deceptive Trade Practices - Texas
Unanimous plaintiff’s verdict in favor of purchasers of residential real estate who discovered that the seller failed to disclose substantial latent defects as required by the Texas Property Code. Plaintiffs alleged claims for statutory fraud in a real estate transaction, deceptive trade practices, and breach of contract. In addition to awarding actual damages, the jury also affirmatively found that the defendants knowingly violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Thomas v. Bernstein;
Cause No. CC-05-09821-A (County Court at Law No. 1; Dallas County, Texas), affirmed on appeal, No. 05-08-00531-CV, 2009 WL 3260887 (Tex. App.—Dallas, Oct. 13, 2009, no pet.).
Bernstein v. Thomas, 298 S.W.3d 817 (Tex. App.—Dallas, Oct. 13, 2009, no pet.).
Successfully defended on appeal a verdict in favor of purchasers of residential real estate who discovered that the seller failed to disclose substantial latent defects as required by the Texas Property Code, in violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
Cushman & Wakefield of Texas, Inc. v. Farmers Branch Group, LLC; No. 07-13362 (116th Dist. Ct., Dallas County, Texas, June 2009)
Obtained a complete summary judgment awarding a full-service commercial real estate firm all damages, attorney’s fees, costs, and interest resulting from an unpaid commission owed by the former owner of an office building.
Fowler v. People’s Benefit Life Ins. Co., 2007 WL 2229053, No. 3:06-CV-1095-L, *1 (N.D. Tex. Aug. 3, 2007)
Expanded an insurer’s standard coverage provision and defeated the insurer’s summary judgment motion as lead counsel in federal litigation concerning claims of breach of contract and bad faith insurance practices.
Alexander v. Rogers, No. 03-07498-F (116th Dist. Ct., Dallas County, Texas); No. 05-00233-CV (Tex. App. --Dallas 2003); No. 05-0381 (Tex. 2005)
Part of team that defeated an attempt to supersede a $4 million judgment with a $1,000 supersedeas bond based on an allegation of negative net worth, and persuaded the court of appeals and Texas Supreme Court not to reduce the bond.
06/01/2011 - Identifying and Dealing With a Wolf in Sheep's Clothing
It’s 10:00 a.m. on Monday morning, and the Defendant just served you with its Original Answer. You’re relieved to see that Harvey Dent is representing the Defendant. You have a long history with Harvey, who was a law school classmate of yours.
05/01/2010 - Texas Supreme Court Restricts Access to Computer Hard Drives
The rising volume of electronic communications and electronic data storage has changed the game in complex commercial litigation. Today, the party that knows the electronic data the best generally wins.
11/01/2008 - Mission Impossible? Protecting Trade Secrets Posted on the Internet
It is 4:00 p.m. on Friday. You are packing up your laptop computer and some files with hopes of beginning the weekend a few minutes early. The voicemail indicator on your office telephone blinks. Hesitating, you decide to check it.
10/01/2008 - Civil Subpoenas & Electronic Communications
Electronic communications often make or break high-stakes civil litigation. For years, civil litigators have focused on e-mails to prove claims ranging from defamation to misappropriation of trade secrets.
06/01/2007 - Clarifying Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code § 41.0105 and Its Effect on the Collateral Source Rule
A collateral source benefit exists when a third party provides a plaintiff any benefit designed to compensate the plaintiff for damages proximately caused by a tortfeasor.
10/01/2006 - Electronic Discovery: Ten Tips for Outside Counsel Representing Corporate Clients
Imagine you are a seasoned trial lawyer at a large, downtown firm. Following a successful “Beauty Contest” at the New York headquarters of Telco Corporation—a FORTUNE 500 telecommunications company—you are given the opportunity to represent Telco in future commercial disputes.
05/02/2006 - Rehearing Frank's Casing: To Reimburse or Not to Reimburse, That is the Question
On February 15, 2006, the Texas Supreme Court heard oral argument in the rehearing of Excess Underwriters at Lloyd’s v. Frank’s Casing Crew & Rental Tools, Inc.
When originally decided, Frank’s Casing altered Texas insurance law by holding that an insurer, who pays to settle uncovered claims, has an implied right to seek reimbursement from an insured without obtaining its consent.