Steve is a partner in the Vorys Houston office and a member of the litigation group.  He has 30 years of experience representing businesses involved in complex commercial disputes.  Steve has successfully tried dozens of cases (both jury and non-jury) in state and federal courts.  He also has extensive experience trying significant disputes in arbitral forums.  Steve’s work focuses mostly on assisting clients in the energy and real estate industries.  Steve also devotes a portion of his practice to real property tax valuation disputes and appeals, including regularly litigating such matters throughout the state of Texas.

Career highlights include:

  • Pursued an engineering, design and construction firm and its insurers through six weeks of arbitration in a case involving a fire in the hydrogen unit of a refinery and resulting property and business interruption damages
  • Obtained defense verdict after a two and a half week jury trial for a refinery in which a major natural gas marketer sought $50 million, claiming an index replacement clause in a natural gas purchase agreement had been triggered
  • Successfully defended five weeks of arbitration in a case involving allegations that a major refinery overcharged its customer tens of million dollars for steam under a shared services agreement
  • Successfully defended a major refinery in an H2S exposure case in which the plaintiff alleged that the exposure at the coker resulted in his being in a permanent vegetative state
  • Represented operator in week long arbitration concerning JOA operating rights over a $1.0+ billion project in the Gulf of Mexico
  • Represented bankruptcy trustee in a week-long jury trial involving theft of trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duty and fraudulent transfer claims. Took and collected a multi­million dollar judgment
  • Obtained a take nothing judgment after a week-long adversary trial involving allegations of self-dealing and breach of fiduciary duty
  • Represented operator in dispute arising from JOA that involved, at the time, was the second largest coal bed methane discovery in the world in a matter involving JIB disputes, development issues and the attempted replacement of the operator
  • Represented working interest owner in dispute involving a unit operating agreement and claims for underpayment of royalties
  • Shepherded integrity management contractor and its employees through class case and federal/state investigation and trial related to the San Bruno Pipeline Explosion
  • In a pro bono matter, filed amicus brief on behalf of the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf in a case involving the refusal to provide appropriate accommodations to a medical student with a profound hearing loss

Steve has authored numerous publications on litigation related matters, including “When to Hire Appellate Counsel and How to Use Them” and "Preservation of Error in the Trial Court."  He has also given numerous presentations on litigation and legal ethics, including a presentation titled “Ethical Considerations in Lawyer-Judicial Relationships.”

Steve is a past chair of the Houston Bar Association’s Litigation Section.  He is also a member of the Texas Bar Foundation, the Texas Supreme Court Historical Society and the International Association of Defense Counsel.

Steve received his J.D. from the Southern Methodist University School of Law, where he was the leading articles editor for International Lawyer.  He received his B.S. cum laude from Louisiana State University in Shreveport.

Honors & Recognitions

The Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation, 2015-2024

Texas Super Lawyers, Business Litigation, 2013-2023

Texas Super Lawyers, Rising Star, 2004-2005

Professional & Community Activities

American Cochlear Implant Alliance, Board Member, 2012-2018

Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Board of Directors, First Vice President, 2005-2008; Children's Rights Coordinator, 2001-2005

Auditory-Verbal International Inc., Secretary and Member of the Board of Directors, 1998-2005; President, 2003-2005

Houston Center for Hearing and Speech, Board of Directors, Member, 1999-2005; Co-Chair of the Annual Gala, 2002

Houston Ear Research Foundation, Board of Directors, Member, 2000 to present

St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, Faith Formation Teacher, 2004-2005; Member of Pastoral Council, 2005-2007

Galveston Houston St. Thomas More Society, Secretary / Treasurer, 2009-2018

News & Insights



Southern Methodist University School of Law, J.D., 1990

International Lawyer, Leading Articles Editor, 1989-1990

Louisiana State University, B.S., cum laude

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Texas
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Admitted to practice law only in the states listed above.
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