Daniel H. Byrne
Dan Byrne co-founded the current firm in 1989, and is a 40 year trial lawyer representing clients involved in both straightforward and complex commercial disputes in federal and state courts, as well as arbitrations. His practice covers in a broad range of areas, including real estate, securities, fiduciary, governmental/constitutional, financial institution, employment, bankruptcy, technology and general business litigation, both at trial and on appeal.
Experience & Accomplishments
- Lead counsel representing several local developers and property managers, as well as commercial landlords and tenants, in wide variety of issues and disputes, including environmental contamination matters, land use/deed restriction disputes.
- Represented several groups of European investors aggrieved by misconduct of local real estate promoter, eventually wresting control and permitting eventual recovery of tens of millions invested despite fierce resistance over several years and in multiple courts.
- Assumed lead counsel role within months of trial in multi-year-old case involving attempt by former partner of client to force disgorgement of millions in profits from twelve large projects. Transformed case from defensive posture to six figure settlement in favor of client weeks before trial by developing counterclaims and eliciting damaging admissions from plaintiff at deposition.
- Substituted into hotly contested lease dispute with well-funded commercial tenant within weeks of trial. Immediately overhauled legal position and developed evidence of compelling counterclaims and defenses, prompting adverse party to replace its counsel and settle for substantial payment to landlord client.
- Established framework for multiple out-of-state clients to eventually settle various disputes, involving properties located throughout Texas encumbered by complex tenancy in common institutional financing structures, some requiring multi-year litigation efforts.
- Handled multiple partition suits for co-owners of real estate, in each case achieving equitable results for client well short of trial.
GENERAL BUSINESS, CONSTRUCTION AND INSURANCE
- Represent numerous individuals and business entities of all sizes in defending adverse claims, as well as advice on strategies for avoiding or minimizing exposure.
- Advise and pursue or defend litigation as necessary and appropriate for business clients, including purchase and sale, buy-sell agreements and similar “business divorce,” control, or mismanagement issues for a wide variety of industries, including legal and medical professionals.
- Extensive experience in successfully litigating disputes arising out of complex documentation in a wide range of fields from medicine to real estate to technology, and involving entity governance, convertible notes, stockholder and partner agreements, and employment/separation agreements, including acting as business litigation support for complex divorce cases.
- Represent both owners, contractors and suppliers in wide variety of commercial and residential construction-related disputes, including warranty and contract breach matters.
- Procured insurance coverage for numerous clients after insurer denial, almost always without filing suit, and advise clients on broad range of insurance coverage issues, including general liability, E&O, and D&O.
- Successfully exonerated individual defendant in seven-figure, eight-year real estate securities fraud suit initially filed in state court and culminating in three week jury trial in federal court.
- Obtained seven figure judgment after week-long federal jury trial for individual victim of securities fraud in scheme implemented by multiple defendants.
- Represented innocent executive targeted in SEC investigation, negotiated resolution of government concerns (and helped avert career-threatening criminal charges).
- Working with counsel for other respondents, successfully vindicated client accused in $30 million securities fraud arbitration involving tens of thousands of documents and month-long trial.
- Prosecuted multiple claims for victims of securities law violations in FINRA arbitrations, as well as representation of national broker-dealer in FINRA arbitration over dispute with institutional client.
FIDUCIARY AND PROBATE DISPUTES
- Extensive experience defending and pursuing fiduciaries and professionals accused of duty breaches, including legal malpractice.
- Represented various trustees and trust beneficiaries in prosecuting and defending disputes over fiduciary duty breaches and complex asset tracing issues.
- Defeated groundless will contest at early stage through aggressive summary judgment strategy.
- Prevailed in week long Zoom jury trial; will contest claiming lack of capacity, undue influence rejected.
GOVERNMENTAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL DISPUTES
- Successfully challenged municipal regulation as preempted by statute through summary judgment, adding millions of dollars to value of client’s property and overcoming immunity claims.
- Served as local counsel in successful challenge to state action in violation of client’s First Amendment Free Speech rights.
- Multiple cases involving Texas SLAPP statute enforcement, including on appeal.
FINANCIAL INSTITUTION LITIGATION
- Aggressively pursued assets concealed by sophisticated judgment creditor in complex scheme over twelve year period, precipitating bankruptcy filing and federal investigation, and substantial recovery for client.
- Lead counsel in obtaining high seven figure judgment after extensive trial before the court on behalf of financial institution victimized by massive fraud in connection with automobile floor plan loan; successfully traced and recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of misappropriated vehicles and coordinated federal prosecution with FBI.
- Representation of multiple factoring companies in connection with fraudulent schemes by account sellers, as well as collection of unpaid accounts.
- Procured appointment of emergency receiver for business borrower to preserve collateral on behalf of secured financial institution lender, quickly facilitating full recovery for client.
- Successfully represented multiple parties, including both employers and individuals, defending and prosecuting non-compete/trade secret misappropriation disputes.
- Representing a senior executive in defending effort by former employer to enforce non-compete clause through early stage summary judgment; reversed only after Texas Supreme Court reversed prior opinion in now-seminal decision.
- Represented Europe-based employer in defeating claim of improper employment of competitor’s terminated employee, and related trade secret misappropriation claims.
- Extensive experience in prosecuting and defending trade secret misappropriation disputes.
- Represented multiple executives in negotiating severance packages on favorable terms and avoiding litigation.
- Successfully and proactively challenged punitive liquidated damage provision incident to employment agreement for professional.
- Defended Fortune 500 technology company in two week jury trial, obtaining jury verdict awarding only nominal damages in heated dispute over misappropriation of trade secrets.
- Partial Summary Judgment enforcing contract liability limitations and damage caps in 25,000-document multi-million dollar software development contract dispute.
- Key member of team representing plaintiff in significant antitrust complaint against prominent technology manufacturers; seven figure settlement obtained.
- Represented numerous clients in defending and protesting rights under software licenses and other technology contracts in arbitration, state and federal courts.
- Successfully represented solvent client in six figure dispute with Chapter 7 trustee over alleged fraudulent transfer arising from direct tax payment to IRS for benefit of shareholder of Sub-S corporation, despite absence of controlling precedent. Following defeat of summary judgment motion, negotiated deeply discounted settlement permitting client to retain bulk of benefits.
- Represented Chapter 7 trustee in successfully pursuing recovery of bulk of loan payments made to bona fide noteholders by debtor’s officers in derogation of duties to company.
- Working with lead bankruptcy counsel, successfully represented client in resolving numerous complex and difficult ancillary disputes in $10 million-plus Chapter 11 real estate reorganization effort.
- State Bar of Texas (1983)
- U.S. District Court, Northern, Southern, and Western Districts of Texas
- U.S. Courts of Appeals Fifth, Seventh, and Eleventh Circuits
- Austin Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- Bar Association of the Fifth Circuit
- American Board of Trial Advocates
- University of Houston (J.D., cum laude, 1983; Houston Law Review)
- University of Wisconsin-Madison (B.B.A., 1979-Finance, Management)
- Rated as Texas Super Lawyer in Business Litigation: 2003-2004 and 2008-2023
- Listed in “Best Lawyers in America” 2012-2023
- A/V Rated: Martindale Hubbell throughout career
- Ballet Austin Board of Directors: 1990-present
- Past President
- Past Chair: Finance Committee, Long Range Planning, Multiple Task Forces
- Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas: Austin Community Board: 2013-present
- Support numerous charitable organizations in both social services and arts arenas
- Politically engaged