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Published by kbetner, 2018-12-19 11:09:16



SKV Persuades Texas Supreme In February 2015, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baton Rouge
Court to Deny Petition for Review and the SEC simultaneously filed a criminal indictment
in Class Action Against Major Non- and a civil lawsuit against Dr. Roberts. Both the criminal
Profit Health Care System and civil cases alleged that in 2012, Roberts, a dentist,
purchased call options in the Shaw Group based on insider
THURSDAY | MARCH 8, 2018 information obtained from his brother-in-law, then a Shaw
executive, in advance of Shaw being acquired by Chicago
SKV attorneys Craig Smyser, Justin Waggoner, and Michelle Bridge & Iron. Roberts made $700,000 on the trades, and
Stratton have secured a third victory in defense of a Texas the government alleged he shared $30,000 of the profit with
hospital system accused by plaintiffs in a class action his brother-in-law in return for the “inside information.”
lawsuit of charging unreasonable rates for emergency care
to uninsured patients. The hospital consistently maintained The criminal case culminated in a nine-day trial in August
that itsemergencycareratesreflectthereasonablevalue of the of 2017. SKV partner Shaun Clarke was lead counsel and
services rendered, and that it routinely discounts or waives tried the case with SKV partner, Dane Ball. They were
healthcare charges for uninsured patients under a generous assisted by SKV associate, Alex Wolf. The defense argued
financial assistance policy—financial assistance for which that Roberts’s trades were based on his own research, that
the plaintiff unjustifiably refused to apply. Following SKV’s the tip from his brother-in-law was a speculative rumor,
plea to the jurisdiction on behalf of the hospital system, a and that information on the merger was already in the
Texas trial court dismissed the suit in 2016 on the grounds public realm when Roberts traded.
that the case was not ripe. SKV then successfully defended
that decision before the First Court of Appeals, which On August 15, 2017, the criminal jury unanimously
unanimously affirmed the trial court’s judgment in 2017. returned a verdict that Dr. Roberts was “Not Guilty” of
On February 16, 2018, the Texas Supreme Court denied the securities fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud.
plaintiffs’ petition for review, ending the nearly four-year Nevertheless, the SEC did not immediately dismiss the civil
litigation. Michelle Stratton wrote the briefs at each stage charges. However, on April 5, 2018, Chief U.S. District
of the litigation and appeal, with invaluable assistance from Judge Maurice Hicks, Jr. ordered the SEC to file a status
Craig Smyser and Justin Waggoner. report by April 26, 2018. Three days in advance of that
deadline, the SEC dismissed the civil charges. Dr. Roberts’s
legal nightmare is finally over.

SEC Insider Trading Charges “Jesse and his family have been through a
Against SKV Client are Finally horrible ordeal,” said lead attorney and former
Dismissed federal prosecutor Clarke. “Jesse had the courage
to fight for his name and his freedom and now
he is finally and completely vindicated.”
The dismissal of these charges completely vindicates Dr.
Roberts and finally concludes his five-year legal ordeal at
the hands of federal criminal and civil prosecutors.

SKV Obtains Multimillion-dollar SKV Obtains Summary Judgment
Attorneys’ Fee Award for Client Win for Nobilis
On Thursday, October 4th, a Texas federal judge ruled that
On June 12, 2018, U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison found Great American Insurance Company wrongfully refused to
that Quantlab’s attorneys fees and costs of over $9.6 million cover Nobilis Health Corp’s costs to defend two shareholder
were reasonable, and allocated 60% of those amounts ($3.22 class action suits, accusing Nobilis of artificially inflating
million each) against the two defendants who elected to try its stock price, finding that the suits involved allegations
the case. similar to those in an earlier action that the insurer had
agreed to cover.
The Court observed that these defendants, along with one
other defendant who settled on the eve of trial for $28.5 U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy K. Johnson entered partial
million, “engaged in litigation behavior so acrimonious, summary judgment in favor of Houston-based Nobilis on
vexatious, and indefensible that their bad faith exceeds any its breach of contract claim against Great American, which
that this judge has seen in his nineteen years on the bench.” had issued the company a directors and officers liability
This latest win by SKV lawyers Lee Kaplan, Ty Doyle, and policy for a period spanning October 2014 through October
Alex Wolf, along with co-counsel Scott McDonald and 2015.Great American had funded Nobilis’s defense of an
Allan Neighbors of Littler Mendelson, followed a $12.2 October 2015 class action complaint filed by disgruntled
million jury verdict that was later affirmed on appeal. shareholders, but declined to cover two subsequent
shareholder suits lodged in January 2016, beyond the
U.S. Supreme Court Holds coverage period.However, the D&O policy provided that
Lost Profits Patent Damages multiple claims involving identical or similar wrongful acts
Recoverable will be treated as one claim. Nobilis argued that all three
suits share the same core allegations and, therefore, the two
FRIDAY | JUNE 22, 2018 later suits should be treated as having been filed at the same
time as the first action for insurance purposes.
SKV is pleased by the U.S. Supreme Court decision in favor
of our client WesternGeco. This decision is the most recent Judge Johnson agreed with Nobilis’ position, rebuffing
win in an almost-decade-long dispute. SKV Partner Lee Great American’s contention that the two later suits were
Kaplan acted as trial co-counsel to Kirkland & Ellis in U.S. markedly different from the first.“At their core, all three
District Court. SKV is proud to represent WesternGeco complaints are allegations that Nobilis inflated its stock
and its parent Schlumberger in protecting their valuable price by making various misstatements to the investing
intellectual property. public,” Judge Johnson wrote. “Thus, at the very least, the
‘wrongful acts’ alleged in the complaints are united by
To see the full decision, click here. common circumstance or situation such that the allegations
are ‘related wrongful acts’ under the policy.”

Nobilis’ troubles began in mid-October 2015, when pleased with the court’s ruling and believes that the court
financial services website Seeking Alpha published an reached the correct decision here.”
anonymous article characterizing Nobilis as an overvalued
company whose stock price was bound to “drastically drop.” Nobilis is represented by Tyler G. Doyle, Crystal Noel
Shortly after the article’s publication, Nobilis’s stock price Robles and Craig Smyser of Smyser Kaplan Veselka LLP.
fell 27 percent, according to court documents.
To see the full story, click here.
The plunge led a putative class of Nobilis shareholders to
sue the company and two top executives in Texas federal
court. In that case, referred to as the “Hall” action in Judge
Johnson’s order, the plaintiffs alleged Nobilis had artificially
inflated its stock price by making a number of false or
misleading statements, including overstating its 2014
revenue by $36 million.

“All three lawsuits contain allegations that Nobilis’
financial statements were misstated, false, misleading and/
or inaccurate,” the judge wrote. “Additionally, all three
complaints discuss the information revealed by the Seeking
Alpha post. The court finds that the Hall, Schott and
Cappelli complaints contained at least some allegations of
the same ‘wrongful acts.’”

Great American had argued that the three cases are not
related because the Schott and Cappelli actions dealt with
the accounting errors that Nobilis disclosed to the SEC,
after the Hall case had already been dismissed.

But Judge Johnson said Nobilis’ January 2016 disclosure
was not itself a wrongful act. All three suits sought damages
based on the same or similar purported misstatements by
Nobilis, the judge found.

“The ‘wrongful acts’ complained of in the three lawsuits
are primarily that Nobilis’ financial statements from 2014
and the first two quarters of 2015 contained misstated
information,” Judge Johnson wrote.

Tyler G. Doyle of Smyser Kaplan Veselka LLP, who
represents Nobilis, told Law360, “Nobilis is extremely

SKV Named Litigation Department of
the Year by Texas Lawyer

T HURSD AY | JULY 12, 2018

Smyser Kaplan & Veselka is thrilled to have been chosen as Texas Lawyer’s Litigation Department of
the Year in the small firm category. We appreciate this recognition, which is earned by our lawyers,
our tremendous victories, and our entire staff who make sure that whatever we do, it is done to the
highest quality. Creativity and moxie mixed with thoroughness and attention to detail -- from top
to bottom -- got us here.

For more information on the award, click here.

SKV Attorneys Named Super
Lawyers, Rising Stars and Top 100:

2018 Houston Super Lawyers


Shaun Clarke
David Isaak
Lee L. Kaplan
Craig Smyser
Larry Veselka
Justin Waggoner

SKV’s own Lee L. Kaplan, Craig RISING STARS
Smyser, Shaun Clarke, and Dane
Ball named in the 25th Edition of Dane Ball
The Best Lawyers in America Hector Chavez

For more information, click here. Ty Doyle
Jarod Stewart
SKV Named a “Top 10 Litigation Razvan Ungureanu
Boutique Firm” in the United States
TOP 100: 2018 HOUSTON
SKV is honored to announce that Benchmark Litigation has SUPER LAWYERS LIST:
ranked Smyser Kaplan & Veselka, LLP. as one of the “Top 10
Litigation Boutiques in the United States” for 2019 and has Lee L. Kaplan
also named us a “Highly Recommended Litigation Firm”
in Texas.

For more information about our rankings and firm,
click here.

SKV Attorneys Named in SKV Named “Top 150 Under 150”
Chambers 2018 Firm by Vault

Dane Ball For more information, click here.
Future Star, 40 & Under Hot List
SKV Partners Jarod Stewart and
Hector Chavez III Dane Ball named in Benchmark
Future Star Litigation’s 2018 “40 and Under
Hot List.”
Shaun Clarke
Local Litigation Star For more information, click here.

Lee Kaplan
Local Litigation Star

Garland Murphy
Local Litigation Star

Craig Smyser
Local Litigation Star

Jarod Stewart
Future Star, 40 & Under Hot List

Larry Veselka
Local Litigation Star

Justin Waggoner
Future Star

For more information, click here.

Hector Chavez


SKV is pleased to announce that Hector Chavez has been named partner, effective
January 1, 2019.

Hector Chavez maintains an active general civil litigation practice representing
defendants and plaintiffs in complex lawsuits, arbitrations, and appeals. His areas of
focus have included patent litigation, trade secrets, commercial disputes, oil and gas disputes, civil rights, and white collar
defense. His background as an engineer enables him to understand and dissect complex issues of technology that many other
lawyers would not readily understand. Mr. Chavez has been chosen as a Rising Star by Thomson Reuters Super Lawyers, 2017
– Present and chosen as a Future Star by Benchmark Litigation, 2015 – Present.

Mr. Chavez received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (Signals Processing Track), cum laude in 2006 from
Columbia University where he received Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honors. He received his J.D. from Harvard Law School in
2011 where he was a Cravath International Fellow and Editor of the Harvard Journal of Law and Technology. Mr. Chavez is
currently involved with the Scholarship and Executive Committees for Hon. Nancy F. Atlas IP Inn of Court. SKV is honored
to add Hector to the partnership.

For more information, click here.

Razvan Ungureanu


SKV is proud to announce that Razvan Ungureanu has joined the Firm’s partnership as
of January 1, 2018.

Razvan joined SKV in 2012. After attending Rice University, Razvan graduated summa
cum laude from the University of Utah College of Law where he was Associate Editor of
the Utah Law Review and a Quinney Research Fellow. Razvan then clerked for Judge Jay Bybee of the Ninth Circuit Court of
Appeals and Judge Lee Rosenthal of the Southern District of Texas.

Razvan is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Houston Law Center, where he has taught Complex Litigation.
At SKV, he devotes his practice to civil litigation and appeals. Razvan also serves on the Board of Trustees and Executive
Committee of the Summer Science Program, one of the oldest alumni-run, non-profit summer programs in the nation, and
has played in the World Chess Open.

For more information, click here.

Jacquelyn Rex


SKV is honored to announce its newest hire, Jacquelyn Rex. Jackie graduated cum laude
from Boston University School of Law before clerking for United States District Judge
Rolando Olvera. While in law school, Jackie served as Editor-in-Chief of the Public
Interest Law Journal, and was a member of the winning team at the Homer Albers Moot
Court Competition where she argued before federal appellate judges from the First, Second and Eleventh Circuits.

“We are thrilled to welcome Jackie to the team at SKV,” said SKV partner, Lee Kaplan. “She is a rising star and will bring
unique and valuable experience that will be of great benefit not only to our team, but to our clients as well.”

Before joining SKV, Jackie was an associate at Bradley in Houston where she worked as a construction litigator and defended
developers, general contractors, and project owners in suits involving large-scale infrastructure projects and multi-unit
residential construction projects. Jackie’s practice at SKV will focus on complex commercial litigation and white collar
defense and investigations.

Jackie is a native Texan, and prior to law school taught elementary special education, grades PK-5, in the Rio Grande Valley
as a Teach for America corps member.

For more information, click here.

Eugene Zilberman


Mr. Zilberman, a graduate of Rutgers University (summa cum laude) and the University
of Virginia Law School, clerked for the Honorable Eric L. Clay on the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Eugene comes to SKV from Sullivan & Cromwell, LLP’s
New York City Office.

While in law school, Mr. Zilberman served on the Editorial Board of the Virginia Journal of Law and Politics and participated
on the Extramural Moot Court team. Mr. Zilberman was awarded the Bracewell and Giuliani Best Oral Argument Award,
which is given to the student who delivers the best oral argument in his section.

“The team at SKV has gained a tremendous asset in Eugene,” said SKV partner, Craig Smyser. “He has a great deal of experience
thus far and has a bright future ahead of him at SKV.”

Mr. Zilberman has worked on a variety of complex civil disputes in both federal and state courts. He also has experience
conducting internal investigations and counseling clients before regulatory agencies. Additionally, Mr. Zilberman serves on
the Criminal Justice Act Panel for the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

For more information, click here.

Austin Kreitz


SKV is proud to announce the addition of another up-and-coming litigation associate
to our team, Austin Kreitz.

Austin Kreitz focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation and white collar
criminal defense and investigations. Before joining Smyser Kaplan & Veselka, Mr.
Kreitz served as the Law Fellow for the Special Counsel Unit at the Texas Attorney General’s Office. While there, he worked
on high-profile matters for the State of Texas concerning complex civil and constitutional issues. Prior to his work at the
Attorney General’s Office, Mr. Kreitz clerked for Judge Reed O’Connor of the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Texas.

Mr. Kreitz received his B.B.A., summa cum laude, from Baylor University in 2013 and his J.D. from Harvard Law School in
2016. While in law school, he served as Articles Editor for the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy and interned with
the United States Attorney’s Office.

For more information, click here.

2019 Marks the
25th Anniversary of SKV

In 1994, three partners at major Houston firms set out to build a different kind of law firm. Their experience
forged their beliefs about what they wanted and didn’t want at SKV. Rather than provide legal counsel for every
conceivable matter, the new firm would focus only on trial work and appeals. SKV would still exhibit the highest
commitment to client services, but that commitment would include working with clients to find alternatives
to the billable hour. In an era when everyone was scrambling to get bigger, SKV would grow slowly, hiring the
most promising young lawyers out of clerkships or early in their careers and then spend time and resources
training them to become outstanding lawyers in their own right. And finally, unlike many firms where intra-office
relationships are often strained and widespread attrition is actually part of the business model, SKV would strive
to create a collegial environment where lawyers enjoyed working together and would measure their tenures in
decades, not months.

It’s safe to say our founders’ vision has paid off. In recent years, the firm has repeatedly been named the best
litigation firm in the state of Texas. Benchmark Litigation named SKV one of the 10 best litigation boutiques in
the United States. And our collection of high-profile victories continues to grow.

Follow us for updates and exiting news to come in 2019.

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