Jonathan R. ChildersDownload One Page Bio
Jonathan R. Childers is an experienced trial lawyer helping businesses and executives prosecute and defend complex claims in Texas and throughout the United States. He has a special focus on energy litigation, partnership and business ownership disputes, trade secret litigation, complex financial issues and damages, and high-stakes business torts. Jonathan litigates and tries cases frequently involving breach of contract, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty (often in the finance and oil and gas contexts), theft of trade secrets, tortious interference, and business disparagement.
His clients primarily comprise Texas businesses and executives, as well as businesses based outside of the state with important business interests at risk here. They include:
- Energy-related partnerships, operators, and servicers;
- Finance-related businesses and executives, including private equity and investment management;
- Commercial real estate ventures, developers, and owners; and
- Healthcare businesses and executives.
Jonathan served as a law clerk for the Honorable Sam A. Lindsay, United States District Judge for the Northern District of Texas, 2005 to 2006. He is well-known by members of the local, state, and federal judiciary and bar community in Texas. “Clients and peers know Jonathan as a smart, quick-on-his-feet, strategic thinker,” according to Michael K. Hurst, “who excels at taking a complex, factually jumbled case, making sense out of it, and taking it aggressively towards trial.”
Jonathan is known for providing top-notch, effective client service. Clients choose him when they want a lawyer who thinks strategically, moves swiftly, is unafraid to go to court and try a lawsuit, identifies and exploits the business drivers underlying the dispute, and litigates boldly – having the heart, work ethic, and resourcefulness to win.
Jonathan honed his disciplined, tenacious work ethic as a walk-on varsity swimmer at SMU, traits that he applies today in the courtroom, and as a dedicated masters-level swimmer.
- Obtained joint $93.8 million jury verdict for Fort Worth based energy investment firm for breach of fiduciary duty and fraud (over $28 million for his clients).
- Obtained $7.86 million jury verdict on behalf of medical consulting and services company for breach of contract and tortious interference.
- Successful defense of international private equity firm and two of its executives in four week jury trial over alleged breach of fiduciary duty and contracts.
- Regularly pursues and defends cases involving temporary restraining orders and injunctions in state and federal courts.
- Defends and pursues partnership and business divorce disputes, often under Texas and Delaware law.
- Frequently pursues and defends claims for veil piercing liability and fraudulent transfer.
- Successfully prosecuted a substantial finder's fee dispute concerning the introduction of M&A targets, including the defense of counterclaims for alleged securities violations.
- Favorable defense of an LLC and majority member in dispute involving a major mixed-use development project in North Texas; obtained an order cancelling lis pendens.
- Successfully prosecuted significant commercial real estate fraud litigation involving numerous parties and cross-claims.
- Obtained successful settlement of restrictive covenant dispute for major Dallas real estate developer.
- Favorable defense of national retailer in contract and bailment dispute.
- Handles contract litigation for large Texas-based employment search firm.
- Pursues negotiable instrument litigation for national REIT; obtained numerous judgments on behalf of client.
- Obtained Number 15 Verdict in the Nation in 2015 by The National Law Journal on behalf of Fort Worth based energy investment firm.
- Successful representation of oilfield services company in West Texas blowout dispute.
- Favorable defense of substantial litigation involving alleged fraud in a mineral sale.
- Obtained summary judgment on behalf of national pipeline company accused of alleged ground water contamination on private land in West Texas.
- Handles oil and gas catastrophic matters and environmental contamination cases.
- Represents an international oilfield services company in indemnity disputes.
- Successful defense of offshore operator concerning an ownership and insurance proceeds dispute; involved litigation in three federal forums.
Trade Secret Litigation & Executive Employment Litigation
- Victory for executive accused of stealing trade secrets and allegedly breaching his fiduciary duties; defeated request for TRO.
- Successfully represented employee against affiliated entities of major investment bank, involving Sarbanes-Oxley and Sabine Pilot issues.
- Represented digital graphics industry CEO in litigation over an employment agreement; successfully collected compensation from foreign company.
- Defended international employer against claims of negligent hiring and wrongful death; obtained favorable settlement.
HONORS / AWARDS
- Designated as a "Rising Star" by Texas Monthly and Law and Politics magazines, 2010-2019
- Top 100 Up-and-Coming Texas Rising Stars, 2017-2019
- Listed as a "Best Lawyer" and “Best Lawyer Under 40” by D Magazine, 2017-2018
- Named one of the “Top 20 Lawyers on the Rise” by Texas Lawyer, 2016
- Dallas Bar Association
- Member, Board of Directors, 2016
- Business Litigation Section, Member of Steering Committee and Treasurer, 2016
- Energy Section, Member of Advisory Council
- Trial Skills Section
- Dallas Association of Young Lawyers
- President, 2015
- Director, 2009-Present
- Chair, DAYL Foundation, 2013
- Co-Chair, Judicial Intern Committee, 2005-2011
- Fellow, DAYL Foundation
- Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation, 2013-Present
- American Bar Association
- Litigation Section
- Associate, Patrick E. Higginbotham Inn of Court, 2006-2007
- Barrister, William “Mac” Taylor Inn of Court, 2011-Present
- Southern Methodist University Alumni Board
- Member, Board of Directors, 2013-2016
- Chair, Volunteer Engagement Committee, 2014-2016
- Dedman College Executive Board, 2016-present
- SMU Young Alumni Board
- Chair, 2010-2011
- Member, Board of Directors, 2008-2012
- Downtown Dallas YMCA
- Board of Management, 2013-Present
- Highland Park Presbyterian Church
- Dallas Aquatic Masters Swim Team
- Texas Oil & Gas Litigation Update, DBA Energy Symposium, 08.18.16
- Mission Creep: Anti-SLAPP Issues for the Business Litigator, DBA Business Litigation Section CLE, 11.10.15
- Legal issues and Litigation Concerning Horizontal Drilling and Fracking, DBA Energy Section CLE, 06.17.15
- Legal issues and Litigation Concerning Horizontal Drilling and Fracking, DBA North Dallas Friday Clinic, 05.08.15
- Texas Fracking Ban Litigation and Regulation, Texas A&M University School of Law's 7th Annual Energy Symposium, 04.02.15
- DBA Labor & Employment Section - Trade Secret Claims Under the Texas Uniform Secrets Act ("TUTSA"), 11.17.14
- William 'Mac' Taylor Inn of Court: Trends in Texas Oil & Gas Litigation, 11.11.14
- DBA Energy Section - Trends in Texas Oil & Gas Litigation, 08.15.14
- 14 DBA Business Litigation Section – Pursuing and Defending Trade Secret Claims under the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“TUTSA”), 05.13.14
- State of Texas Legal Market: Oil & Gas Litigation Trends, Law360, 10.29.16
- Trends in Texas Oil & Gas Litigation, 08.15.14
- Effective Depositions of Business Organizations, December 2011 DBA Headnotes, 12.01.11
- Demonstrating Lost Profit Damages with Reasonable Certainty, 08.28.07
- Southern Methodist University School of Law, J.D., 2005
- Southern Methodist University, B.A., English and History, cum laude, 2002
- State Bar of Texas, 2005
- United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern, and Eastern Districts of Texas
- United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals