Paul S. Francis

Partner

Houston
T +1.713.646.1334
F +1.713.751.1717

Overview

Paul Francis practices complex business litigation and arbitration, focusing on the oil and gas, construction, financial and real estate industries. His experience includes more than 50 trials in state and federal courts around the country. Paul combines that experience and meticulous preparation to ensure his clients’ cases are appropriately presented.

Select Experience

  • Served as lead counsel in the representation of 110 shareholders dissenting from a squeeze-out merger and seeking recovery of full “fair value” of their shares, which was found to be substantially higher than what had been offered by the company. The primary issue was fair value of corporate shares of stock. A jury trial in San Antonio, Texas, resulted in a $14 million judgment for the clients. Anderson et al. v. Broadway Bancshares Inc.
  • Served as lead counsel in the defense of a bank as trustee of 21 trusts of securitized residential mortgage pools against claims of failure to perform duties of the trustee, resulting in lost value of the investors’ interests in the trusts. The case was filed in U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas, and transferred on motion to U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York. Obtained a dismissal of most claims and a settlement with no payment by the client. Ellington Credit Fund v. Select Portfolio Servicing et al.
  • Served as lead counsel prosecuting construction change order, schedule and acceleration claims for a contractor that built an electric power plant in Northern California. Defended against back charge claims by the project owner and arbitration administered by the American Arbitration Administration (AAA). Obtained a settlement for all amounts due to the client.
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Experience

  • Served as lead counsel in the representation of 110 shareholders dissenting from a squeeze-out merger and seeking recovery of full “fair value” of their shares, which was found to be substantially higher than what had been offered by the company. The primary issue was fair value of corporate shares of stock. A jury trial in San Antonio, Texas, resulted in a $14 million judgment for the clients. Anderson et al. v. Broadway Bancshares Inc.
  • Served as lead counsel in the defense of a bank as trustee of 21 trusts of securitized residential mortgage pools against claims of failure to perform duties of the trustee, resulting in lost value of the investors’ interests in the trusts. The case was filed in U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas, and transferred on motion to U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York. Obtained a dismissal of most claims and a settlement with no payment by the client. Ellington Credit Fund v. Select Portfolio Servicing et al.
  • Served as lead counsel prosecuting construction change order, schedule and acceleration claims for a contractor that built an electric power plant in Northern California. Defended against back charge claims by the project owner and arbitration administered by the American Arbitration Administration (AAA). Obtained a settlement for all amounts due to the client.
  • Served as lead counsel in the defense of an oil and gas exploration company against claims of bad faith pooling, breach of mineral leases and fraud in multiple similar suits filed by mineral owner lessors. Cases were filed in Victoria, Goliad and De Witt counties in South Texas. Two cases were tried and the other was settled. Obtained a unanimous jury verdict exonerating the client in one trial and settled the other matter very favorably during trial.
  • Served as lead counsel in the representation of a major gas pipeline construction company in two arbitration cases enforcing construction contracts and prosecuting change order and acceleration claims for two pipeline projects in Tennessee-Virginia and New Hampshire- Massachusetts. Both cases were arbitrated, one in Houston and one in Boston. The first case received a favorable award and the second case settled during the hearing, resulting in the recovery of all amounts due to the client plus all attorneys’ fees and costs.
  • Served as lead counsel in cases involving alleged negligence and breach of contract by commercial and residential real estate developers and contractors in projects found to be built on geographic faults, without adequate site preparation, with substandard foundations and without adequate protections against water penetration.
  • Has represented creditors and debtors in adversary proceedings before U.S. bankruptcy courts in the Northern and Southern districts of Texas, including evidentiary hearings, defending against alleged fraudulent transfer claims, seeking automatic stays and enforcement stays. 

Recognitions and Memberships

Recognitions

  • The Best Lawyers in America© (2016 to 2018)
    • Houston: Commercial Litigation
  • Martindale-Hubbell: AV Preeminent
  • Texas "Super Lawyer" (2006 to 2017)

Memberships

  • American Bar Association
  • Texas State Bar Association
  • Houston Bar Association
  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • Texas Association of Defense Counsel
  • American Arbitration Association, Houston: Panelist (1995 to 2000)
  • Houston Bar Foundation: Fellow

Publications

Alerts

Community

  • Houston Yacht Club: Officer
  • Texas Sailing Association: Officer

Industries

Admissions

  • U.S. Tax Court, 1989
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1992
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, 1994
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, 1981
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, 1976
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 2001
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas, 1974
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas, 1976
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas, 1990
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas, 1997
  • Texas, 1973

Education

  • J.D., The University of Texas School of Law, 1973
  • B.A., Government, Dartmouth College, 1970