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Practice-Specific Experience
Education
  • Tulane University Law School, J.D., 2000, magna cum laude; Order of the Coif; Moot Court Board
  • Davidson College, B.A., 1997; ROTC Scholarship; Reserve Officer's Award for Leadership
Bar Admissions
  • Louisiana, 2010
  • Texas, 2000
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 2010
  • 5th Cir., 2010
  • 10th Cir., 2003
  • M.D. La., 2010
  • W.D. La., 2010
  • S.D. Tx., 2005
professionalsBio
Joshua Norris
Partner
Suite 2900
811 Main St
Houston, TX 77002
713.437.1844 tel
713.437.1810 fax

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Energy Practice

Joshua Norris is a partner in the firm's Business & Commercial Litigation Practice Group and is a member of the firm's board of directors. Mr. Norris' practice includes the areas of business litigation, class actions, complex and multi-district litigation, and toxic torts.

Mr. Norris represents clients in a variety of litigation involving commercial disputes, including oil and gas indemnity agreements and the enforcement and prosecution of contractual rights. Mr. Norris has developed a focus in energy condemnation proceedings and project consultation. He also has experience representing large oil and gas industry clients in matters involving industrial accidents, environmental contamination claims, and international terrorist attacks on oil and gas facilities in the Middle East. Mr. Norris has also recently been involved in the defense and successful resolution of on behalf of exploration production companies in gas shale plays, including defeating several major class actions related to one of the country's largest natural gas plays.

Mr. Norris received his juris doctor degree, magna cum laude, from Tulane University Law School in 2000. During law school, he completed a Judicial Externship with the Honorable Stanwood Duval of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

Following graduation from Tulane, Mr. Norris served four years on active duty with the U.S. Army JAG Corps. As both a military prosecutor and as a trial defense counsel, he tried more than 35 cases and received the Meritorious Service Medal for his service. While serving as a trial defense counsel, Mr. Norris obtained successful results in a number of cases involving soldiers accused of felony offenses, including an acquittal of homicide charges in the first Iraqi detainee abuse case that was tried in the United States. In his role as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, he notably argued an appeal on behalf of the United States in front of the U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals and prosecuted a number of civilian cases in federal court.


  • Noteworthy

    • Named a "Rising Star" in the 2014 edition of Texas Super Lawyers in the area of General Litigation (listed annually since 2011)

    Representative Matters

    Commercial Litigation and Disaster Cases

    • As first-chair, recently obtained a successful trial verdict for construction and engineering firm involved in disaster relief efforts on the Texas Gulf Coast.
    • Currently representing exploration and production company in recovering multi-million dollar settlement and defense costs related to alleged environmental damages based on historical oil and gas operations from contractual indemnitors.
    • Successfully handled litigation of claims by pipeline construction company in favor of pipeline and natural gas storage client.
    • Tried numerous pipeline condemnation actions in federal court in support of a major pipeline company's construction of more than 350 miles of interstate pipeline.
    • Represented several major gas operators in the Haynesville Shale natural gas field. The matters resulted in dozens of precedent-setting lease cancellation lawsuits and class action lawsuits.
    • Represented a major oil company in prosecuting contractual indemnity claims in Texas against other oil and gas operators based on potential liability exposures in Louisiana. Formed a team to devise a strategy to defend the underlying substantive Louisiana actions while simultaneously pursuing affirmative commercial litigation in Texas.
    • Prosecuted a case in Houston seeking more than $70 million based on defective steel pipes that were used in the construction of an oil pipeline of more than 450 miles.
    • Assumed primary responsibility for numerous cases involving the prosecution or defense of contractual rights related to the distributorship agreements, gas contracts, and employment-related matters, including a successful arbitration for a major pipeline company in Texas.
    • Represented a major utility and gas transportation and storage company in major, precedent-setting tax litigation in front of the Louisiana Tax Commission.  
    • Worked as part of a trial team that handled fact and expert witnesses in pursuit of a claim of more than $60 million on behalf of a large natural gas company, in one of the nation's largest bankruptcies in the Southern District of New York.
    • Handled primary aspects of an international terrorism case in which Al-Qaida attacked an oil refinery in Saudi Arabia, killing a half-dozen employees and subsequently dragging their bodies through the streets.  
    • Provided on-the-ground legal advice for a refinery client immediately following an explosion that killed 15 people and injured hundreds of others. The explosion was one of the nation's deadliest industrial accidents, and culminated with participation in extensive written discovery, depositions, and expert witness development.     

    Special Assistant U.S. Attorney (SAUSA) and Trial Defense Counsel

    • Served as lead trial attorney in the first Iraqi detainee abuse trial in the United States, which was termed the "Iraqi Bridge Case." In October 2005, this case was featured as the cover story for The New York Times, and was recently published in the book Warrior King by LTC (Ret.) Nathan Sassaman.
    • Tried more than 40 cases in both federal district court and courts-martial, and, at the age of 29, successfully argued appeal of U.S. v. Wooten, 377 F.3d 1134 (10th Cir. 2004) before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Denver, Colorado.

    News

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    Presentations

    • "Preparing for Litigation Arising Out of Unconventional Gas Drilling Operations in Shale Plays", June 23, 2010, Co-Presenter with Dick Watt, Robert Fox, Gregory V, Brown, and Tony Guerino II
    • "The Accommodation Doctrine", March 2008

    Publications

    • "How to Authenticate Social Networking Sites"
      Texas Lawyer, January 31, 2011
    • "The Accommodation Doctrine: What are Texas' Lawyers Doing and Why Should Louisiana Care?"
      55th Mineral Law Institute Paul M. Hebert Law Center, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 2008

    Memberships

    • Houston Bar Association
    • Houston Young Lawyers' Association
    • State Bar of Texas
    • Woodlands Bar Association