- Fulkerson Lotz L.L.P.
- Partner 2005-present
- Clements, O’Neill, Pierce, Wilson & Fulkerson, L.L.P.
- Partner 1993-2004
- Porter & Clements, L.L.P. 1990-1993
- Partner 1992-1993
- Morris & Campbell 1983-1990
- Shareholder 1987-1990
Tom’s trial, arbitration and appellate practice concentrates in disputes arising in the oil and gas, contract, intellectual property and entertainment law fields. Tom maintains a diverse litigation practice that encompasses oil and gas technology, royalty, joint venture and joint interest disputes, civil fraud, contractual conflicts, partnership disputes, bankruptcy fraud and other areas.
In his entertainment-related practice, Tom has represented both artists and institutional clients, including Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé Knowles, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, and Sony Music Entertainment Inc. In his commercial trial practice, he has represented Exxon Mobil Corporation, Gyrodata, Inc., FMC Technologies, Inc., Huddleston & Co., Tesco Corporation, Duke Energy, EOG Resources, Inc., Celotex Corporation, Total Separation Solutions, LLC, JMB Properties Company and numerous estates in bankruptcy. He has also represented a number of individuals in high profile business and non-business disputes. For a list of representative cases, click here.
Baylor Law School, J.D., Cum Laude, 1983, Waco, Texas
Northwestern University, B.A. in Economics, 1980, Evanston, Illinois
Admissions to Practice
- State of Texas
- United States District Court for the Southern, Northern, Eastern and Western
Districts of Texas
- United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- Supreme Court of the United States
- State Bar of Texas
- Houston Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- Texas Bar Foundation – Life member
- AV® Peer Review Rating in the Martindale-Hubbell rating system
- Texas Super Lawyers®, a Thomson Reuters service (2003-2016)
- Houston’s top lawyers by H Texas magazine (2011-2016)
- Benchmark Publications – “Go to” Counsel Texas Commercial Litigation (2012-2016)
- Driven, eDiscovery Speaker Series, March 30, 2016: “Creating Sustainable Damage Estimates in Litigation involving Oil and Gas Reserves”. read it here.
- Alternative Fee Arrangements in Commercial Litigation, The Houston Lawyer (2015) (co-authored with Ethan Gibson). read it here – pgs. 10-14
- Drafting Shareholders’ Agreements in a Post –Ritchie v. Rupe World, State Bar of Texas – 13th Annual Advanced Business Law Course, (2015) (co-authored with Amy Moss, Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Aughtry) read it here
- A Reply to “Mind the GAAP”: Response to Jamie Yarbrough, Mind the GAAP: Moving Beyond the Accountant-Attorney Treaty, Texas Law Review (2014) (co-authored with Nick Brown). read it here
- How to be Penny Wise Without Being Pound Foolish: Using In-house Experts (2013) read it here
- Handling a Bad Documents Case, State Bar of Texas, (2012) read it here or download the Power-Point presentation
- Temporary Restraining Orders and Temporary Injunctions in Trade Secret Cases: Trends and Common Practices, The Bench Magazine, Texas Center for the Judiciary (2011) (co-authored with Ethan Gibson) read it here
- Preparing a Witness, University of Texas School of Law (UTCLE) (2007) read it here
- Handling Stock Option Claims, Houston Bar Association (2006) read it here
- Pain-Free Witness Preparation (2006) read it here
- I Know It When I see It: Phillips v. AWH Corporation and the Continuing Search for Interpretative Consistency, The Center for American and International Law (2005) read it here
- Taking on the Hard-Core Expert, University of Houston Law Center (2005) read it here
- Dance of the Sumo Wrestlers: Common “Headwaters” Issues in Commercial Cases, Harris County Bench Conference (2004) read it here
- Practical Deposition Techniques, University of Houston Law Center (2003) read it here
Tom was born in Louisville, Kentucky on October 18, 1958 and grew up in central Kentucky. There he led LaRue County High School to a state debate championship. Tom has been married to Gina Vaccaro Fulkerson since their first year of law school in 1980. They have two daughters, Kelly and Kate, and a son, Pierce.
He has served on the board and been president of St. Catherine’s Montessori School, was a YMCA soccer and baseball coach, den leader with Pack 130 of the Sam Houston Area Counsel of the Boy Scouts of America, and a basketball and baseball coach in the Hill Country Recreational Association.
*CV, BV and AV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the Judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell Ratings fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.
Quest Integrity LLC v. Cokebusters USA Inc. (2014-2016). We represent Cokebusters in defense of a patent infringement action brought by Quest.
Pete Altimore, et al vs. USCA Securities, LLC, US Capital Advisors LLC and USCA RIA, LLC (2013-2014). We represented 19 retired Exxon Mobil employees in claims for mismanagement of their retirement savings account by their financial advisor. After a seven day FINRA arbitration hearing, the arbitration panel ruled in favor of the Claimants.
Caseta Sellers v. Telvent (2011-2013). We obtained a $9.2 million arbitration award (net of fees) for our clients in connection with the sale of an electronic tolling business to a Spanish conglomerate. See Award
Gyrodata Inc. v. Atlantic Inertial Systems, et al. (2008-2012). We represented Gyrodata in litigation regarding the development, sale and delivery of gyroscopes used in the oilfield. Following extensive discovery and summary judgment briefing, the claims were settled in an agreement that requires confidentiality as to the result obtained. See Second Amended Complaint
FMC Technologies, Inc. v. Frac Tech Services, Ltd. (2010-2012). We represented FMC Technologies, Inc. in a dispute over well service pumps. We tried the case in March 2011, obtaining a unanimous verdict in favor of FMCTI and against all counterclaims. The matter has since been settled on terms requiring confidentiality as to the amount and terms of settlement. See judgment
Petrello v. Prucka, et al. (2010-2014). We represented Matt and Sheri Prucka in defense of discrimination claims by their neighbor, Anthony Petrello, related to the sale of an $8.3-million residence in the Houston museum district. The federal claims were dismissed in January 2011, and our clients were awarded attorneys’ fees. We obtained judgment affirming the dismissal in September of 2012 and a denial of Certiorari in early 2013. After the claims were re-filed in state court, we obtained summary judgment in favor of the Pruckas and an additional award of fees and costs. See 5th Circuit Opinion. See Court of Appeals Decision.
Gyrodata Inc. v. Gyro Technologies, Inc. (d/b/a Vaughn Energy Services), et al. (2009-2010). We represented Gyrodata Inc. in conjunction with a patent infringement claim and request for preliminary injunctive relief concerning the use of a drop memory gyroscope. After a preliminary injunction hearing and initial decision, the matter was resolved in a settlement agreement that requires confidentiality as to its terms. See Complaint
Byerlotzer v. Key Energy Services, Inc. (2008-2009). We represented Jim Byerlotzer, the retired Chief Operating Officer of Key Energy, in claims for breach of his employment agreement and for causing his stock options to expire during a lengthy restatement by the company. The matter was resolved in a settlement agreement that requires confidentiality as to its terms. See Complaint
Cheetah Gas Co., Ltd. v. Chesapeake Louisiana, L.P., et al. (2008-2009). We represented Cheetah in the prosecution of a claim for breach of agreements to purchase oil and gas leases in the Haynesville Shale. Within eight months of filing suit, we resolved the case in an agreement that requires confidentiality as to the result obtained. See Complaint
Total Separation Solutions, LLC v. Frick, et al. (2007-2009). We represented Total Separation Solutions, LLC in claims for trade secret misappropriation, breach of contract, fraud and breach of fiduciary duty. We obtained a temporary injunction in March 2007 and tried the case in June 2009. The jury returned a verdict in favor of our client. The case settled after trial but before entry of judgment. See Verdict.
Thuesen, et al. v. Gupta, et al. (2007-2009). We represented Mike Lynn, the Chief Information Officer of an internet advertising firm, in defense of a $7-million claim for breach of fiduciary duty and fraud by former co-owners who sold their shares in the company. We resolved the case in a confidential settlement agreement.
Scientific Drilling International, Inc., et al. v. Gyrodata Inc. (2006-2009). We represented Gyrodata, a leader in gyroscopic wellbore surveying, as the defendant and counter-plaintiff in complex, multimillion-dollar patent infringement litigation. We resolved the case after summary judgment briefing in an agreement that requires confidentiality as to the result obtained. See Answer and Counter-Claims
Eustace v. Key Energy Services, Inc. (2005-2007). We represented Joe Eustace, the former Group Vice President of Key Energy, in claims for breach of employment and stock option agreements. The case was tried to a jury in April 2007. The jury found in favor of Mr. Eustace, and we obtained a final judgment awarding severance payments and attorneys’ fees. See Court of Appeals Opinion
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Investigation of El Paso Corporation (2004-2008). We successfully represented Huddleston & Co., Inc., the auditor of the reserve estimates of the El Paso Corporation, in the SEC’s investigation of El Paso’s 41% reserve write-down in February 2004. The matter was resolved with no charges being brought against Huddleston & Co., Inc. and no concessions made by them. See Wells Submission
Transocean Enterprise Inc., et al. v. ABB Vetco Gray Inc. (2005). We defended this $55 million claim by Transocean in connection with a riser separation occurring on the outer continental shelf of the Gulf of Mexico during 2004. The case was successfully resolved in April 2005 in an agreement that required confidentiality as to the result obtained.
Construction Bank of China, et al. v. Wong, et al. (2004-2005). We defended this $38 million claim in which the plaintiffs claimed that Mr. Wong had misappropriated trust funds and engaged in self-dealing. The matter was resolved in a settlement agreement that requires confidentiality as to its terms.
Robinson v. Destiny’s Child, et al. (2004). We obtained a dismissal with prejudice of this $200 million copyright claim relating to the hit song “Survivor” within six months of its filing. See Dismissal Order
Halliburton v. Western Well Tool, Inc. (2003). We represented Western Well Tool, Inc. in a claim by Halliburton that it was entitled to rescind a development contract and retrieve all $13 million expended in connection with the development of a revolutionary wellbore “tractor.” The case was dismissed by agreement after a proposed answer and counterclaim were circulated to Halliburton.
Gyrodata Inc. v. Baker Hughes Inteq (2002). We obtained a confidential settlement on behalf of our client upon a theft of trade secrets claim arising out of the development of a gyroscopic measurement-while-drilling (“GMWD”) system.
EOG Resources v. Southwestern Energy Company (2002). After trial and subsequent judgment on all liability issues in our client’s favor, we obtained a confidential settlement in favor of the client. These funds were received by our client net of our 25% contingency fee.
Estate of Andretta Tillman v. Beyoncé Knowles, et al. (2002). We obtained summary judgment on behalf of the members of the R&B group Destiny’s Child in a claim by the estate of their former manager as well as dismissal of a federal slander action by former members of the group. See Judge Bland’s Order
J.A. Compton, Trustee v. Carthage Energy Services, Inc., et al. (2001). We obtained a confidential settlement on behalf of a bankruptcy estate against the defunct trading affiliate of a major East Coast utility.
EOG Resources v. Unocal (1997). We obtained a full cost buyout of our client’s position in a cost-overrun-ridden gas compression plant within 60 days of filing suit, thereby avoiding $22 million in losses.
Wing v. Bechtel Industries U.S. Inc./ f/k/a CRSS Inc. (1996). We obtained during trial a confidential settlement on behalf of our client in connection with his claim for the repudiation of a consulting agreement under which Mr. Wing created five major cogeneration opportunities for the defendant.
TransAmerican Natural Gas Company v. EOG Resources (1992-1996). We defended a $300 million trade secret claim on behalf of our client EOG Resources. Success in a group of legal disputes at the trial court level forced the plaintiff to accept a settlement less than one-thousandth its demand.
Gyrodata Inc. v. Textron, Inc. (1994). We obtained a confidential settlement on behalf of our client for the defective and fraudulent sale of gyroscopic equipment used in their down-hole wellbore survey technologies.
CXY Energy Inc. v. EOG Resources (1992). We obtained a take-nothing jury verdict in favor of our client on this $223 million claim of breach of contract and fraud claim brought by a group of non-operating working interest owners after a three-week jury trial.
Disclaimer: The cases listed in this website reference actual result histories but are not reflective of results in every case we handle. No attorneys, including our firm, can guarantee any particular outcome from litigation. All of the results reported in this website are of gross recoveries, not net to the client. In cases in which we are retained on a contingent fee basis, recoveries are reduced by the amount of litigation expenses and the contingent fee in connection with these cases (typically from 20 to 40%), depending on the nature of the engagement.