Isaac Villarreal

Partner

Biography

Isaac Villarreal is a Partner at McCathern’s Houston office.  Isaac is an accomplished business and complex commercial litigation trial attorney representing clients in a wide array of industries.  He helps his clients avoid, manage, fix, and/or resolve business and commercial disputes.  Mr. Villarreal’s focus on various areas of litigation includes disputes involving contract claims and business torts, real estate matters, residential and commercial construction defects, mechanic’s and materialman’s liens and bond claims, probate and estate disputes, and commercial and consumer collections.  He also provides advice to his clients on various transactional matters related to their businesses.

Understanding that his clients’ business goals and objectives come first, Mr. Villarreal utilizes his experience and successes to provide his clients with multiple options that might allow them to avoid and/or limit the time and expense typically associated with prolonged litigation.

Mr. Villarreal’s accomplishments include many successful bench and jury trials in Texas State and federal courts including claims asserted and/or defended that have been valued well into the many millions of dollars.

An example of Mr. Villarreal’s successes include a 2013 matter where Mr. Villarreal was recognized by The Texas Lawyer as the “Litigator of the Week”for the results that he obtained on behalf of his client, a Mexican legal entity, in a multi-day jury trial in a Federal District Court in the Southern District of Texas.  In this “bet the company” lawsuit, Mr. Villarreal successfully obtained a take nothing judgment in defense of claims of approximately $1 million, but more importantly obtained a jury finding and declaration from the trial court that contracts that serve as the life-blood of his client’s business in Mexico remain valid and enforceable.  As a cherry on top, Mr. Villarreal was also able to obtain an award of all of the attorneys’ fees and costs incurred by his client through trial and then also successfully defended the final judgment through an appeal to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and collected 100% of the amounts awarded to his client.  5th Cir. Decision is at 2014 WL 5462530.

Business clients of all shapes and sizes rely upon Mr. Villarreal’s skills and experience. His clients include locally owned businesses and their owners, mid-sized domestic companies, much larger international companies, and individuals. No business is too big or too small for Mr. Villarreal. He always strives to provide his clients with results that meet or exceed their specific business objectives.

Select Representative Matters:

  • Lead trial counsel on behalf of a client and his company in a complex business lawsuit that generally centered on the joint ownership of a concrete ready-mix company and the parties’ respective rights and obligations related to the running of the business. After jury trial, the jury returned a favorable verdict  awarding the client more than $1 million in damages, plus attorney’s fees . The court’s final judgment also included a declaration generally allowing the clients to expel the Defendant from the concrete company, which would result in Mr. Villarreal’s client owning 100% of the concrete company and its assets going forward.  The final judgment also included a complete defense victory on the opposing party’s counterclaims.
  • Lead trial counsel on behalf of a Canadian drilling company and its U.S. based subsidiary in a multi-week jury trial in Harris County. The lengthy trial  resulted in a favorable jury verdict and final judgment awarding the clients assets worth several million  dollars, damages in excess of $1 million, and the entry of a take nothing judgment on counterclaims seeking damages from the clients in excess of $6 million. Mr. Villarreal then served as lead appellate counsel in the successful defense of the final judgment through Defendants’ appeal to the 14th Court of Appeals.
  • Lead trial/arbitration counsel on behalf of a general partner in the prosecution and defense of claims for breach of fiduciary duty and misappropriation of partnership assets. After successfully negotiating an agreement to avoid a costly trial and instead submit to binding arbitration, the arbitration resulted in an award to the client of all of the partnership’s property (valued in excess of $400,000), plus actual damages and attorneys fees totaling more than $125,000.  The award also included a complete defense victory and the entry of a take nothing judgment on the opposing party’s claims.
  • Trial counsel for clients that own and operate a bar and grill in successful defense and entry of a take nothing judgment after Plaintiffs brought a Dram Shop action seeking more than $6 million in damages.
  • Lead trial counsel for Descendants of Olivewood, Inc. in the first-ever contested suit in Texas seeking statutory custodianship of a historic cemetery resulting in a successful petition and the granting of custodianship of historic Olivewood Cemetery in Houston, Texas.
  • Trial counsel for a real estate broker and sales agent in successful defense on take-nothing summary judgment of a complex, multi-million dollar, mortgage fraud lawsuit concerning multiple properties and brought by multiple plaintiffs against numerous defendants.
  • Lead trial counsel for board certified family law attorney in successful defense of legal malpractice claim seeking in excess of $320,000 on summary judgment followed by a successful bench trial on client’s counterclaims resulting in a money judgment, plus attorneys’ fees and costs in her favor.
  • Trial counsel for real estate developer in successful defense of a complex, multi-million dollar lawsuit brought by a national homebuilder during the 2008-2009 recession by which the homebuilder sought to escape its obligations under a lot purchase agreement. Obtained summary judgments rejecting homebuilder’s legal theories for which it should not be obligated to continue purchasing lots.
  • Representation of property owners in quiet title actions and other property disputes to resolve undocumented and improperly documented transfers of title to real property.
  • Significant representation in a multitude of collection matters on behalf of financial institutions and other businesses.
  • Representation of local businesses in the perfection and filing of mechanic’s and materialman’s liens securing payment for services rendered and/or materials provided for the improvement of real property.
  • Representation of general contractors, subcontractors, materialmen, vendors, and also of property owners concerning disputes arising from construction related claims, construction defects, and bond claims, including the review and/or preparation of various agreements and ancillary documents tailored to best protect construction industry client’s interests.

Admitted to Practice:

  • State of Texas (Texas Bar License No. 24054553)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern, Western, Northern, and Eastern Districts of Texas
  • All Courts for the State of Minnesota—Voluntary Restricted Status

Professional Affiliations:

  • American Bar Association
  • State Bar of Texas (Alternative Dispute Resolution and Litigation Sections)
  • Houston Bar Association (Alternative Dispute Resolution Section)
  • Hispanic Bar Association
  • Galveston Bar Association
  • Garland Walker American Inns of Court
  • Texas Association of Mediators

Education:

  • Juris Doctor, Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University, magna cum laude, (Editor-in-Chief, Thurgood Marshall Law Review)—May 2008
  • Master of Arts in Legal Studies, Southwest Texas State University—May 2004
  • Bachelor of Arts in English, Southwest Texas State University—May 2002

Publications:

Mr. Villarreal has authored a number of articles published by the State Bar of Texas, Alternative Dispute Resolution Section, as continuing education materials for mediators.

Awards