Firm News

Thompson Coe Announces Eleven New Partners

September 1, 2017

DALLAS– September 2017 – Thompson, Coe, Cousins & Irons, L.L.P. is pleased to announce the election of eleven new partners – Kenny Brooks, Michael Cedillo, Sara Berkeley Churchin, Christina Culver, Christopher Gordon, Sean Hicks, Andrew Johnson, Adrienne Nelson, Cory Reed, Stephen Richman and Kristine Warnke. The new partners are representative of five of Thompson Coe’s six offices and make up the largest partner class at Thompson Coe to date. A brief overview of each candidate is below:

Kenny Brooks is a member of the Litigation and Professional Liability sections and is based in the Los Angeles office. He focuses his practice on professional liability defense with an emphasis on legal malpractice defense stemming from underlying litigation matters involving real estate, insurance, business disputes, and other complex litigation matters. In addition, Kenny also represents businesses and individuals in complex insurance and real estate litigation. Kenny graduated from University of Southern California Law School.

Michael Cedillo represents individuals and companies in complex litigation in state and federal court.  Michael has a diverse practice representing individuals and companies sued for alleged personal injury claims, property damage and economic losses.  Michael’s clients include a wide range of professionals, such as attorneys, insurance agents and wholesale brokers. Michael has experience in commercial litigation matters as well, including business torts, contract disputes, fraud and deceptive trade practices. Michael is based in the Dallas office and is a member of the Professional Liability and Litigation sections.  He attended law school at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Sara Berkeley Churchin is a member of the Appellate and Litigation sections and is based in the Austin office. Her practice focuses on civil appeals and mandamus proceedings involving a wide range of issues in Texas and federal courts. She also provides civil ligation support to ensure error preservation at trial and to frame and develop potential appellate issues. She graduated from St. Mary’s School of Law, magna cum laude. Before joining Thompson Coe, she was a law clerk to the Honorable Phil Johnson of the Supreme Court of Texas.

Christina Culver focuses her practice on complex, multi-party insurance coverage litigation, including bad faith litigation, and direct action coverage litigation in Louisiana, involving general liability, environmental pollution, commercial property coverage, construction defects, professional liability, errors and omissions coverage, and supplemental accident only coverage. She is Vice Chair Elect for the Animal Law Section of the Houston Bar Association and a member of the ABA’s Insurance Coverage Litigation section. Christina is based in the Houston office and is a member of the Insurance Litigation & Coverage section. She attended law school at South Texas College of Law where she graduated cum laudeand attended The University of Texas for undergrad.

Christopher Gordonis a member of the Casualty Litigation section. He defends companies and individuals in cases involving personal injury, wrongful death, negligence, intentional torts, deceptive trade practices, premises liability, and products liability. Christopher also represents general contractors and subcontractors in construction defect litigation, including HVAC, plumbing, electrical, structural, moisture intrusion, and workplace safety issues. In addition to his casualty experience, Christopher represents various business operations in a broad range of commercial disputes. He is based in the Dallas office and attended law school at St. Mary's University School of Law.

Sean Hicks is a civil litigator and trial lawyer that focuses his practice primarily on defending insurance carriers, insured individuals and other business entities in personal injury, premises liability, construction defect, contract disputes, Texas non-subscriber, products liability, and dram shop liability disputes. He has experience in all aspects of civil litigation, including depositions, complex discovery, mediations, trials, and arbitrations. Sean is based in the Dallas office and is a member of the Litigation and Products Liability & Mass Torts sections.  He graduated from Baylor University School of Law.

Andrew Johnsonis a member of the Appellate and Professional Liability sections and is based in the Houston office.  He is Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and represents individuals and companies in cases involving professional liability, premises liability, casualty, and commercial disputes. His clientele includes attorneys and law firms, insurance brokers, management companies, real-estate agents, and other large and small entities.  He specializes in handling complex motions and appellate matters, including handling special appearances, motions for summary judgment, jury charges, and petitions for writ of mandamus.  He has obtained numerous appellate victories and argued before several Texas Courts of Appeals and the Federal Fifth Circuit.  He graduated with honors from St. Mary's University School of Law.

Adrienne Nelson is a member of the Insurance Litigation & Coverage and Commercial Litigation sections and is based in the Dallas office. She represents numerous insurance carriers, adjusters, and vendors throughout the states of Texas and Florida in a variety of coverage-related litigation, bad faith cases, and carrier-to-carrier disputes. She has been involved in several noteworthy cases involving breach of an insurance contract, claims of bad faith, and interpretation of the terms, conditions, and exclusions contained within an insurance policy. She attended law school at Texas A&M University School of Law.

Cory Reed maintains a diverse professional liability practice, including representing lawyers, doctors, nurses, accountants, architects, real estate appraisal management companies, real estate appraisers, real estate agents, and other practicing professionals and groups. In addition, Cory’s represents employers, managers, and other personnel in employment law matters, including matters involving gender discrimination, age discrimination, racial discrimination, disability discrimination, retaliation, wage and hour disputes and employment torts. Cory is based in the Houston office and is a member of the Professional Liability, Labor & Employment and Litigation sections.  He attended law school at South Texas College of Law where he graduated cum laude.

Stephen Richman focuses his litigation practice on defending negligence and breach of fiduciary duty claims against lawyers, real estate license holders, auditors/accountants, and insurance brokers/agents in state and federal court throughout Texas. Mr. Richman further has substantial experience defending real estate license holders against complaints made to the Texas Real Estate Commission, including complaints filed contemporaneous with litigation. Mr. Richman also advises insurance companies, insurance agencies, real estate brokerages, and group purchasing organizations on a variety of corporate and regulatory matters. Stephen is a member of Thompson Coe’s Dallas office and graduated from Tulane University Law School.

Kristine Warnke is based in the Saint Paul office and is a member of the Discovery and Products Liability & Mass Torts sections.  Her practice primarily focuses on assisting clients with discovery in mass and toxic tort litigation, including written and oral discovery, document collection and review, product investigation, and electronic document productions.  She works closely with the national discovery counsel for a Fortune 100 company, and currently manages a National Discovery Team involved in mass tort litigation concerning hundreds of products and the management of hundreds of cases. She attended law school at Thomas M. Cooley Law School.

Thompson Coe is recognized for its civil litigation capabilities and its expertise in insurance law, and has offices in Dallas, Houston, and Austin, Texas, Los Angeles, California, New Orleans, Louisiana and Saint Paul, Minnesota. Building its practice on a heritage of more than 65 years, the firm provides a full range of services to the insurance industry and offers many other client services in labor and employment, commercial litigation, premises and product liability, professional liability, energy, marine, mass tort, appellate, construction, commercial transactions, real estate and tax, data privacy, administrative law and estate planning.