Biography

Chris is a litigator that understands how to get the results carriers desire in complex bad faith cases. Since starting his career by handling hundreds of catastrophe suits, he has tried bad faith cases across the country and developed the knowledge that only time in the trenches can provide.

Chris focuses his practice on defending commercial carriers in first-party bad faith disputes. He knows the issues, players, and venues at a deep level, particularly in Texas. Chris began practicing law shortly after Hurricane Ike, where he immediately started handling his own docket of first-party property disputes, as well as coverage analyses. During that time, he has worked with carriers to analyze complicated claims to avoid suit, or if litigation is necessary, to put the carrier in the best position to defend itself in hostile venues. Once litigation begins, Chris understands the value of creating options for his clients so they can achieve their desired results.

Chris is also a scholar and author that uses his experience to help carriers outside the courtroom through in-house training and speaking engagements. He serves as an Assistant Editor of the Texas Journal of Insurance Law, and on the Council of the State Bar Insurance Section, which helps him provide cutting edge updates to clients about developments with insurance law in the State of Texas.

Representative Experience

  • Obtained summary judgment on multi-million dollar failure to settle suit arising out of underlying construction defect litigation
  • Achieved unanimous jury finding of no-liability in major state court water damage and mold suit
  • Obtained summary judgment on multi-million dollar property damage case involving fourteen story commercial property
  • Achieved successful resolution of inland marine claim in hostile venue involving well-known local insureds
  • Acted in a lead counsel role on hundreds of property damage and hail claims throughout Texas
  • Addressed complex CGL questions and litigation in the Carolinas, Georgia, Kentucky, Alabama, Texas, and New Mexico
  • Member of multiple trial teams on a variety of first-party defense scenarios including property coverage, liability coverage, and commercial liability

Education

  • South Texas College of Law  (J.D., 2009)
    • Order of the Barristers
    • Phi Delta Phi
  • Texas A&M University  (B.A., 2006)
    • Communications
    • Corps of Cadets

Bar Admissions

  • Texas, 2009

Court Admissions

  • United States District Court, Northern, Southern, Western and Eastern Districts of Texas
  • United States Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit

Professional and Community Activities

  • State Bar of Texas
  • Houston Bar Association
  • Fort Bend County Bar Association
  • Texas Young Lawyer’s Association
  • Fort Bend County Museum Association
  • Adjunct Professor of Advocacy - South Texas College of Law

Speeches and Presentations

  • "Good, Bad, and Ugly: How the Texas Supreme Court's Recent Decisions Impact Appraisals in Texas" - State Bar Insurance Section, December 17, 2020
  • "The Life of a Property Claim," - Claims Xchange Webinar, October 22, 2020
  • "Trying to Reason with Hurrican Season," Thompson Coe Webinar, October 2020
  • "Handling COVID-19 Claims and Bad Faith Traps to Avoid," Thompson Coe Webinar, June 15, 2020
  • "COVID-19 Coverage Litigation: Coverage and Claim Investigation in the Gulf Coast and Southwest," Thompson Coe Webinar, June 1, 2020
  • Discovery and Mediation,Texas Insurance Law Section "How to Try an Insurance Coverage Case"Seminar, Houston, March 2019
  • The Wave of the Future - Three Emerging Technologies and Their Impact on Insurance Coverage, CPCU All Industry Day 2017
  • They Did What?  Applying CGL Policies to Strange and Bizarre Scenarios, 13th Annual Texas Bar Advanced Insurance Law Seminar, June 2016
  • A Hunting We Will Go: Coverage Questions Involving One of Texas’s Favorite Pastimes, Journal of Texas Insurance Law, Winter 2015-2016
  • Duties During Litigation, 2015 UT Insurance Law Institute
  • Top Ten Myths, Mishaps, and Misunderstandings in Insurance Litigation, 8th Annual Texas Insurance and Tort Law Update, April 2015
  • Discovery Trends in First-Party Bad Faith Litigation, State Bar of Texas Advanced Insurance Law Seminar, April 2012

Professional Recognition

  • The Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch list
    • Insurance Law, 2022

Publications

  • Ortiz, Barbara Technologies, and What the Future Holds for Appraisals in Texas, Journal of Texas Insurance Law - Spring 2020, Vol. 18, No. 1
  • Wave of the Future: Three Emerging Technologies and Their Impact on Insurance Coverage, Southern Law Journal, Fall 2020
  • An Examination of Insurance Coverage for Hydraulic Fracturing Operations, International Journal of Business and Public Administration
  • Texas Hail Bill is Already Affecting Insurance Litigation, Law 360 – July 12, 2018
  • They Did What? Applying CGL Policies to Strange and Bizarre Scenarios – State Bar of Texas Advanced Insurance Law Court
  • A Hunting We Will Go: Coverage Questions Involving One of Texas’s Favorite Pastimes, Journal of Texas Insurance Law – Fall 2015