Firm News

Thompson Coe Elects Fourteen New Partners

September 4, 2018

DALLAS – September 2018 – Thompson, Coe, Cousins & Irons, L.L.P. is pleased to announce the election of fourteen new partners – Christopher Avery, Alexander Blue, Stephen Carter, Cassie Dallas, Christopher Frazier, Michael Hirota, Brandt Johnson, Stephanie Krueger, Chantel Lee, Ashley Mason, Jon Paul Melton, Molly Pela, Leslie Richardson, and Christopher Rigler. The new partners are representative of three 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:

Christopher Avery - Chris Avery is a member of the Insurance Litigation and Coverage Section and is based the Houston office. He focuses his practice on commercial coverage and property matters involving allegations of bad faith. His experience includes successful litigation of complex coverage issues, as well as large property and business interruption claims. He received his law degree from South Texas College of Law.

Alexander Blue - Alex Blue is a trial lawyer whose diverse litigation practice includes the representation of insurance carriers in all aspects of contractual and extra-contractual litigation, as well as the defense of individuals and companies from a wide range of industries in lawsuits involving serious personal injuries, death and catastrophic property damage. As a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, Alex enjoys counseling and representing veterans and veteran-owned businesses. He received his law degree from Baylor University School of Law. He is a member of our Insurance Litigation and Coverage Section and is based in our Dallas office.

Stephen Carter - Steve Carter's practice primarily focuses on defending individuals and local, national and international business entities in civil litigation matters within the following areas: general negligence, premises liability, products liability, construction defects, catastrophic injury/wrongful death, contractual disputes, property damage claims, personal injury claims, and fraud/deceptive trade practices. Steve is based in the Dallas office and is a member of the Litigation and Products Liability & Mass Torts sections. He graduated from St. Mary's University School of Law.

Cassie Dallas - Cassie Dallas is a member of our Appellate section and is based in the Dallas office. Cassie focuses her practice on appeals and mandamus proceedings in Texas state and federal courts. Cassie has considerable experience preparing appellate briefs, original proceedings, motions to dismiss, summary-judgment motions, jury charges, and post-judgement motions. She has argued numerous cases before the Second and Fifth Courts of Appeal. She attended law school at Texas Tech University School of Law where she graduated summa cum laude.

Christopher Frazier - Chris Frazier maintains a diverse casualty litigation practice with an emphasis on defending companies and individuals in personal injury, wrongful death, negligence, deceptive trade practices, premises liability, and products liability matters. Christopher also represents general contractors and property owners in workplace injury litigation. Christopher is based in our Houston office and is a member of the Litigation and Products Liability & Mass Torts sections. He received his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center.

Michael Hirota - Michael is based in our Los Angeles office and is a member of our Professional Liability Section. His practice is focused on defending professional, corporate, and individual clients from errors and omissions claims, labor and employment claims, wage and hour claims, and other litigation matters in both state and federal court. He also has extensive experience defending clients in a variety of non-traditional forums, litigating before the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board, and the California State Bar Court. Michael graduated from the University of California Los Angeles School of Law.

Brandt Johnson - Brandt is a member of our Insurance Litigation and Coverage Section and is based in our Dallas office. He is a seasoned attorney with years of experience in a variety of legal disciplines, including first party insurance law (catastrophic weather, hail and wind litigation), insurance bad faith law, products liability, catastrophic injury, general liability, premises liability, medical malpractice, general business law, business litigation, conflict resolution and risk/exposure analysis and reduction.  Brandt’s experience is unique in that he has not only been involved in private practice, but also served in-house as Senior Vice President of Claims for a regional insurance carrier.  He obtained his undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University and his law degree from South Texas College of Law.

Stephanie Krueger - Stephanie's practice focuses on defending claims for premises liability, commercial automobile accidents, products liability, dram shop, and industrial accidents involving property damage, personal injury, and wrongful death. Stephanie has defended property owners and property management entities on a wide variety of premises liability claims ranging from simple slip and falls to third-party criminal activity. Stephanie is based in our Houston office and is a member of the Litigation and Products Liability & Mass Torts sections. She attended Michigan State University College of Law.

Chantel Lee - Chantel is a member of the Labor & Employment Section and is based in the Dallas office. Her litigation experience includes cases concerning alleged violations of various employment statutes, including the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title VII, and the Texas Labor Code. Chantel also advises clients regarding various human resources issues, including creation and evaluation of employee handbooks, conducting investigations, and responding to employee complaints. She received her J.D. from American University Washington College of Law and her LL.M. from The University of Texas School of Law.

Ashley Mason - Ashley's practice focuses on complex insurance coverage disputes and bad faith claims arising under commercial general liability, professional errors and omissions, property, and excess and umbrella liability coverage. She counsels sophisticated insurers in matters involving contractual rights and obligations, extra-contractual claims, and priority of coverage where numerous carriers are involved. She frequently assists clients with pre-litigation coverage analysis, declaratory judgment actions, alternative dispute resolution, and trial strategy. She is a member of our Insurance Litigation and Coverage Section and is based in our Dallas office. Ashley graduated cum laude from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law.

Jon Paul Melton - Jon Paul is a trial lawyer in the Commercial Litigation and Products Liability & Mass Torts sections. His practice is dedicated to resolving disputes and reaching favorable results for clients who specialize in commercial transportation, construction, product manufacturers, property ownership, and oil field services.  Jon Paul has successfully tried cases to verdict in state and federal court for clients facing claims of negligence, construction defect, bad faith, and breach of contract.  He is based in the Dallas office and attended law school at the South Texas College of Law.

Molly Pela - Molly is based in the Houston office and is a member of the Litigation, Marine & Energy, and Gulf Coast Practice sections. Her diverse practice includes commercial and industrial accident claims, transportation injuries, Dram Shop actions, and premises liability claims of property damages, personal injury and wrongful death. Molly also represents contractors and subcontractors in cases of alleged construction defects for both residential and commercial projects. She represents clients nationwide to defend against allegations ranging from minor property damages to catastrophic injuries. Molly was nominated to the 2017-2018 Texas Super Lawyers® - Rising Stars list. She graduated from St. Mary's University School of Law.

Leslie Richardson - Leslie focuses her practice on litigation and insurance defense, involving personal injury, construction defect, wrongful death, premises liability, and business disputes. Before joining Thompson Coe, Leslie represented a variety of clients, ranging from insurance companies and their insureds to injured workers.  Also, as a former corporate claims analyst, Leslie’s experience includes management of healthcare general and professional liability claims made against physician groups and long-term care facilities. Leslie is a member of the Litigation Section and is based in the Dallas office. She attended law school at Texas Tech University School of Law.

Christopher Rigler - Christopher has over ten years of experience in the areas of professional liability defense (medical, accounting, and legal),  trucking company defense, products liability defense, construction defect defense, and appellate practice.  Over his career, Christopher has successfully defended physicians, nurses, healthcare providers, attorneys, accountants, product manufacturers, insurance companies, trucking companies, general contractors, and businesses in various civil and administrative phases and forums.  Christopher is based in the Dallas office and is a member of the Litigation, Healthcare and Products Liability & Mass Torts sections. Christopher received his law degree from Gonzaga University.

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 products liability, professional liability, energy, marine, mass tort, appellate, construction, commercial transactions, real estate and tax, data privacy, administrative law and estate planning.