Michael W. Mengis

Partner

Houston
T +1.713.646.1330  |  F +1.713.751.1717

Michael Mengis practices commercial litigation, primarily in the oil and gas and healthcare industries. Committed to his clients, Michael uses innovative approaches to achieve practical solutions to their situations.

Select Experience

Energy Litigation
  • Defended a Houston-based operator of oil and gas wells in Louisiana in a $12.5 million litigation matter brought in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana, by working-interest owners in the wells. The case was tried and settled on terms favorable to the client during the plaintiff’s appeal.
  • Represented a Houston-based company in a multimillion-dollar action against a major energy company arising out of its operation of a gas processing plant in West Texas. The case was pending in Texas state court and settled prior to trial on terms favorable to the client.
Healthcare and False Claims Act
  • Represented several hospitals (both in Texas and elsewhere in the U.S.) in False Claims Act (FCA) matters and related government investigations, including U.S. ex rel. Riley v. St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, 196 F.3d 514 (5th Cir. 1999).
  • Represented a Houston-based hospital in a wrongful death claim brought by a Louisiana resident in Louisiana federal court. The case was dismissed by the trial court, and the dismissal was affirmed by the court of appeals.
Commercial Litigation
  • Handled an international arbitration matter for a Houston company involving a contract to market excess wastewater capacity at its plant on the Houston Ship Channel. The case was settled at the conclusion of the arbitration proceeding on terms favorable to the client.
  • Represented a manufacturer of certain construction powders in toxic exposure litigation in Texas state court. The case involved more than 250 plaintiffs and almost 200 defendants. Obtained the transfer of claims against the client to another county, where the cases were later dismissed.
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Experience

Energy Litigation
  • Defended a Houston-based operator of oil and gas wells in Louisiana in a $12.5 million litigation matter brought in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana, by working-interest owners in the wells. The case was tried and settled on terms favorable to the client during the plaintiff’s appeal.
  • Represented a Houston-based company in a multimillion-dollar action against a major energy company arising out of its operation of a gas processing plant in West Texas. The case was pending in Texas state court and settled prior to trial on terms favorable to the client.
  • Handled the defense of two private equity firms and related entities in a lender liability action related to the purchase of oil and gas properties brought in Texas state court, which included obtaining an emergency stay of temporary injunction and the further appeal of that injunction. Case settled on terms favorable to the client after the injunction was stayed by the court of appeals. 
  • Represented a Houston-based pipeline company in a dispute over the delivery of gas due to a meter error. The case settled on favorable terms to the client after a preemptive action was filed in federal court in Louisiana, because Louisiana law was more favorable to the client’s position. 
  • Acted as counsel for a Houston-based oil and gas company as it ceased operations and sold its assets. Handled asbestos claims brought against the company, as well as environmental claims brought by government and private individuals.
  • Represented a Houston energy company in two matters brought by former officers in the company relating to their termination. Matters were pending in Texas state court and settled before trial on terms favorable to the client. 
  • Represented a Houston-based energy company in an arbitration matter arising out of the purchase of certain assets from another company. The case settled before the hearing for a fraction of what had been claimed. The settlement was even less than previous offers to settle made by the client before the firm’s involvement.
Healthcare and False Claims Act
  • Represented several hospitals (both in Texas and elsewhere in the U.S.) in False Claims Act (FCA) matters and related government investigations, including U.S. ex rel. Riley v. St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, 196 F.3d 514 (5th Cir. 1999).
  • Represented a Houston-based hospital in a wrongful death claim brought by a Louisiana resident in Louisiana federal court. The case was dismissed by the trial court, and the dismissal was affirmed by the court of appeals.
  • Represented a Louisiana hospital in an action brought by a hospital in another state alleging that the Louisiana hospital did not disclose its suspicion that a physician on its staff was misusing prescription drugs. The doctor allegedly committed malpractice while on staff at the plaintiff hospital. The Louisiana hospital was dismissed from the case by the court of appeals. 
  • Represented a rehabilitation hospital in an FCA matter brought by an alleged whistleblower. When the case began, the government believed the alleged violations to be very serious and even advised that there were potential criminal violations. The case was settled for a relatively minor amount, and no criminal charges were brought. 
  • Represented a California-based company in an FCA case brought by an alleged whistleblower involving the remediation of a closed military base. The case involved allegations involving the Truth in Negotiation Act. The case was settled on favorable terms. 
Commercial Litigation
  • Handled an international arbitration matter for a Houston company involving a contract to market excess wastewater capacity at its plant on the Houston Ship Channel. The case was settled at the conclusion of the arbitration proceeding on terms favorable to the client.
  • Represented a manufacturer of certain construction powders in toxic exposure litigation in Texas state court. The case involved more than 250 plaintiffs and almost 200 defendants. Obtained the transfer of claims against the client to another county, where the cases were later dismissed.
  • Acted as counsel to a Houston-based paper mill as it ceased operation after being shut down as a result of Hurricane Rita. Included handling lawsuits and claims brought against the company by creditors, as well as dealing with labor issues and other matters relating to the sale of assets. 
  • Represented a Houston-based insurance company in a $16 million coverage claim. The case was settled on terms favorable to the client.
  • Represented a Beaumont, Texas-based manufacturer in a product liability case brought in Texas state court. Obtained a voluntary dismissal for the client with no payment to the plaintiff. 
  • Represented a prior owner of an office building in a construction litigation matter brought by the current owner of the building when problems developed with the building’s simulated brick façade, which was installed while the client owned the building. The case was settled with no payment by the client. A portion of the client’s attorney’s fees and expenses were recovered from the plaintiff. 
  • Represented a property owner accused of causing nearby property to flood due to an improperly blocked drainage easement. Obtained summary judgment dismissing all claims. 

Recognitions

  • The Best Lawyers in America© (2016, 2017)
    • Houston: Energy Law
  • Texas "Super Lawyer" (2008 to 2013)
  • Martindale-Hubbell: AV Preeminent

Memberships

  • American Bar Association
  • State Bar of Texas
    • District 4-E Grievance Committee Member (1988 to 1995)
  • Houston Bar Association

Community

  • CHRISTUS Foundation for Healthcare: Chair

Services

Industries

Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Louisiana
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Louisiana
  • Louisiana
  • Texas

Education

  • J.D., Louisiana State University Law Center, 1986, Order of the Coif, Phi Kappa Phi, Louisiana Law Review
  • B.A., University of St. Thomas, 1982