Houston Lawyer John H. Kim Scores Appellate Defense Win for Oilfield Clients

Court reinstates jury finding, reverses trial judge’s $4 million ruling

HOUSTON – Houston trial lawyer John H. Kim, founder of The Kim Law Firm, has won an important appellate defense victory for Houston-based clients Texas Standard Oil & Gas L.P., Grimes Energy Co., and PetroVal Inc. in a dispute with Houston’s Frankel Offshore Energy Inc. over the development of offshore oil and gas interests.

 In late December, the Texas 14th Court of Appeals reversed an earlier ruling from a Harris County trial judge that ordered Mr. Kim’s clients to pay $4 million to Frankel Offshore. The trial judge ordered the payment despite a jury finding that Mr. Kim’s clients owed nothing, and that Frankel Offshore itself had “unclean hands.” The 14th Court’s majority opinion noted the jury’s finding that Frankel Offshore “did perpetuate an actual fraud.”

“It is gratifying to see the appellate court agree with our clients and the jury in this case,” says Mr. Kim.

In the original 2008 lawsuit, Frankel Offshore claimed it was improperly cut out of a deal to develop offshore oil and gas interests by the three companies represented by Mr. Kim.

In June 2010, after a two-week trial, a Houston jury found there was no conspiracy by Mr. Kim’s clients, and that any breach of the agreement by his clients was excused in light of Frankel Offshore’s actions. Despite the jury’s findings, the trial judge in Harris County’s 127th District Court awarded Frankel Offshore more than $4 million in a post-trial ruling entered in November 2010. The appellate panel from the 14th Court found the judge erred in doing so.

The case is Texas Standard Oil & Gas, L.P., Grimes Energy Co., and PetroVal, Inc. v. Frankel Offshore Energy, Inc., No. 14-11-00125-CV.

Mr. Kim successfully represented the three companies with Houston attorneys Robert M. “Randy” Roach Jr. of Roach & Newton LLP and Charles Sharman of Kergosien & Sharman, PLLC.

The Kim Law Firm has recovered more than half a billion dollars for clients through aggressive litigation and has also successfully defended clients against takings of at least a half a billion dollars. The firm represents entrepreneurs, business start-ups, mid-sized companies, and established national and international corporations in everything from contract and complex business disputes to insider trading allegations, trade secrets and other intellectual property disputes.