Joe is an aggressive advocate who helps clients both avoid disputes through pre-litigation counseling and resolve disputes through negotiation, mediation, arbitration, trial, and appeals. Joe’s Texas and nationwide clients include public and governmental entities, as well as businesses in the health care, oil and gas, construction, commercial finance, computer software, marketing technology, and large retail industries.

He’s the recent past Chair of the Construction Law Section of the Austin Bar Association, a trustee on the board of Mo-Ranch Conference Center, in Hunt, Texas, and has served as a member of the City of Austin Ethics Review Commission. He speaks regularly on topics unique to public entities, such as governmental immunity and ultra vires litigation.


  • Practice Areasopen

  • Educationopen


    • J.D., University of Texas (1995) (Associate Editor, The Review of Litigation; Teaching Quizmaster)
    • B.A., Plan II Honors, University of Texas (1992)


  • Professional Licensesopen


    • Admitted to State Bar of Texas (1995)
    • Admitted to U.S. District Courts for Western, Eastern, Northern, and Southern Districts of Texas


  • Representative Experienceopen


    • Represented municipal and electric cooperative wholesale electric customers in contract litigation with their wholesale electric provider, with all cases resolved by agreement
    • Represented a municipality in successful defense against a bond validation lawsuit involving issues of permissible water and wastewater services
    • Represented public entities in successful challenge of bond validation lawsuit relating to the issue of water rights, including dismissal of suit at trial court and successful defense of result at the Court of Appeals
    • Representing a municipality in successful contest of a bond validation lawsuit, with over $1.5 billion at issue
    • Representing a large solid waste company in a variety of disputes and litigation involving both contract and regulatory issues, in both state and Federal Court
    • Representing a municipality in defense of an environmental preferential purchasing resolution in Federal Court, obtaining the dismissal of the majority of plaintiff’s claims, and resolution of remaining issues by favorable settlement
    • Representing governmental entities and private enterprises in constitutional and civil rights litigation, including racial discrimination, Fair Housing Act and freedom of speech cases, including defense of federal court litigation at trial and appeal to the Fifth Circuit
    • Representing claimants in Clean Water Act cases, including obtaining the largest civil penalty ever assessed up to that time for violations of the Clean Water Act
    • Resolving complex construction disputes, including claims relating to moisture incursion and other structural defects, and contract claims relating to performance and payment disputes
    • Trial and judgment in breach of contract case in favor of a regional hospital and defense of the judgment on appeal
    • Successful arbitration on behalf of a regional hospital in physician recruiting agreement dispute
    • Representing physician practice group in pre-dispute counseling and settlement of contract disputes
    • Obtaining emergency injunctive relief to prevent potential contamination of municipal water source
    • Representing governmental entities and private parties in disputes arising from pipeline failures and spills, including contamination and product liability disputes
    • Successful arbitration in defense of national technology services company in a dispute regarding stock purchase rights pursuant to merger agreement
    • Successful jury trials to defense verdict in wrongful termination cases, including cases relating to race discrimination and workers’ compensation claim retaliation
    • Negotiating and drafting complex indemnity and risk-sharing agreements
    • Representing a video game software company in a vendor contract dispute
    • Representing physicians and practice groups when subpoenaed as third-party witnesses
    • Representing private correctional facilities in wrongful death and personal injury litigation
    • Representing a college athletic organization at trial and appeal to Texas Supreme Court
    • Successful jury trials of insurance premium fraud cases
    • Obtaining summary judgment for defense in multi-party lender liability case
    • Appeals to Courts of Appeals and the Texas Supreme Court


  • Publications & Presentationsopen


    • “Immunity in Contract Cases,” paper and presentation at Advanced Government Law Conference, July 2015
    • “Are Proprietary Contracts Putting Cities at Risk?,” paper and presentation at Texas City Attorneys Association, July 2014
    • “Preparing an Environmental Lawsuit for Filing and Conducting Discovery: Tasks and Strategies,” Paper and panelist at Texas Environmental Superconference, August 2012
    • “Arbitration’s Lucky Charms,” paper and presentation to Texas Public Power Association, October, 2007
    • “Legal Issues for Directors of Non-Profit Corporations,” paper and presentation, July, 2007
    • “The Federal Fair Housing Act and Municipal Zoning and Regulation: New Developments That May Affect “New Developments,” paper and presentation to Texas City Attorneys Association, June, 2007
    • “Cross-Examination Dos and Don’ts,” paper and panelist, Austin Bar Association Ultimate Trial Notebook Seminar, May, 2006
    • “Developments in Substantive Law: Alternative Dispute Resolution ‘Arbitration Tango,’“ Texas Lawyer, December 19, 2005


  • Professional Associations & Membershipsopen


    • State Bar of Texas
    • Austin Bar Association; Past Chair, Construction Law Secion
    • American Inns of Court


  • Honors & Awardsopen


    • Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation
    • Member, Robert W. Calvert American Inn of Court
    • Recipient of 2010 IMLA Amicus Service Award


  • Personal Profileopen


    Joe counts cooking as one of his favorite hobbies, and has mastered the elusive culinary skill of making the perfect roux. He enjoys fishing, hunting, chess, and UT sports. Joe spends his free time with his wife, Sarah and two kids, Anna and Thomas.