The construction industry is fraught with costly legal traps. Let us guide you around the danger spots, and take your side when trouble arises.

James J. Burnett

  • Of Counsel

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James Burnett is an experienced trial attorney licensed to practice in all Texas courts and in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas and before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Appeared as counsel of record in cases in the U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Eastern Districts of Texas, the District of Arizona, and the Central District of California. He has many years of experience representing clients before municipal, county, state, and federal regulatory and governmental entities.

Commercial Litigation and Appeals: Active representation of businesses and key personnel in a variety of professions and industries, ranging from small, closely held enterprises to large companies with national and international corporate endeavors. Numerous mediations, arbitrations, trials, and appeals in state and federal court in a number of diverse situations, on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants, including the following:

• Construction Litigation: Suing for and defending builders, developers, general contractors and subcontractors, and the customers acquiring and using services in residential and commercial construction, and in trials and appeals regarding claims of structural or construction defects. Represented condominium regime sued for mismanagement of the reconstruction of fire-damaged units whose owners alleged fraud and fiduciary breaches as well as negligence, obtaining a dismissal with prejudice of all claims against the clients.

• Consumer Protection: Representation of individuals in a wide range of cases involving the Deceptive Trade Practices Act, the Residential Construction Liability Act, and fraud in real estate litigation.

• Oil and Gas Exploration Litigation: Specialized experience representing oil and gas exploration contractors including three seismic dimensional survey projects in the continuing exploration for petroleum resources throughout Texas. Represented one client sued in 46 simultaneous lawsuits in different venues in Texas, which cases involved over 600 plaintiffs alleging both extreme property damage and mass tort personal injuries; obtained decisive findings solidly in favor of the client in all cases, including summary judgments and both directed verdicts and jury verdicts at trial. Appellate courts uniformly upheld all verdicts appealed by plaintiffs. All cases obtained findings of no liability on behalf of the contractor.

• Litigation Against Governmental Entities: Successfully represented a non-profit cultural and performing arts entity in a suit by, and a countersuit against, a municipal economic development corporation. Successfully defended repeated attempts to assert governmental immunity, resulting in a unanimous decision by the Texas Supreme Court ruling that such entities have no immunity from suit, which resulted in a near-immediate settlement of the suit with no liability against the client and an agreed-upon settlement from the ECD. Extensive experience in disciplinary, employment discrimination, Title VI and VII, and related claims against school districts and universities.

• Chemical Litigation: Over 15 years' experience representing distributors, re-packagers, and sellers of water treatment, industrial, and petroleum industry chemicals. Active and successful defense of negligence, intentional tort, environmental discharge, remediation, and CERCLA claims. Represented clients in all manners of commercial disputes concerning the chemical industry and commercial matters including unfair competition, Lanham Act, violation of non-competition agreements, and related matters. Numerous appearances for clients before state and federal agricultural, environmental, and other regulatory agencies.

• ERISA Litigation: Solely responsible for the preparation, presentation, and negotiation of Level 1 and Level 2 administrative appeals and then the judicial actions for damages and equitable relief on behalf of health care providers under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. Prepared and filed complaints, undertook discovery, prepared cases for mediation, and where mediation was unsuccessful conducted the cases to trial before federal judges.

• Computer Hardware and Software Technology Litigation: Appeared as counsel in state and federal litigation relating to the development, marketing, licensing, or infringement of licenses, copyrights, or other proprietary rights, on a variety of computer software and other technologies. Other litigation has involved issues of defective design, manufacture, or implementation of systems. Extensive knowledge of and litigation experience involving Cloud Computing, including IAAS, PAAS, and SAAS.

• White Collar Crime: Active and decisive civil prosecution of employees and former employees who embezzled company funds and misappropriated company property for profit. Obtained and collected from $350,000 to over $7,200,000.

• Industrial Equipment Litigation: Suits on behalf of multinational turbo-machinery and other heavy industrial equipment enterprises in state and federal litigation involving diesel, electric, and gas turbine generators, and related turbine equipment, including litigation with international implications.

• Regulatory Disputes: Protected clients before a wide variety of state and federal regulatory agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, OSHA, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Texas Board of Professional Engineers, and the Texas Workforce Commission. Represented client in case where the Federal Aviation Administration alleged that client had violated hazardous materials shipping regulations and sought maximum penalties for over 20 specific regulatory violations, if sustained, would have exceeded $1,000,000 in liability; resolved the dispute for $40,000 with a non-liability finding on behalf of the client.

• Employment-Related Litigation: Representation of businesses in litigation arising from employment agreements and employment relationships. Claims included lawsuits filed by former employees, suits to enforce non-competition or trade secret agreements, and disputes arising from unfair competition and business defamation actions by former employees or individuals acting with their information or under their direction.

• Professional Practitioner Litigation: Served broad group of professionals including aerospace engineers, chemical engineers, mechanical engineers, and a variety of physicians, physical therapists, and others, in cases involving professional activities and conduct.

• General Commercial Litigation: Represented clients in general commercial matters ranging from contract disputes and negligence claims to intentional torts including complaints of civil fraud, conspiracy, RICO violations, and similar claims.

• Insurance Defense Litigation and Appeals: Trial and appellate experience in above- described categories involved representing both plaintiffs and defendants; in defense litigation, especially in regard to the oil and gas exploration, chemical, industrial equipment, professional practitioner, and general commercial matters, involved representing clients through their insurance carriers, including American General, Travelers, and Union America. Additionally, extensive experience in both commercial and individual (principally automobile collision) insurance defense matters as both assigned counsel and counsel under reservation of rights.

Commercial Transactional Matters: Representation of clients in a variety of corporate transactions ranging from contracts for goods and/or services to commercial real estate leases and sales, franchise agreements, intellectual property agreements, non-disclosure and non- competition agreements, and other related matters. These have ranged from local endeavors to enterprises with interstate, national, and international involvement. Representative transactions have included:

• Technology: Represented clients in a variety of technology-related transactions including Cloud Computing, licensing, marketing, and e-commerce, computer hardware and software and network licensing and marketing agreements and operations, intellectual property copyrights, trademark, patent and service mark issues, technology development and transfer agreements and transactions, reverse-engineering and re-engineering agreements, and international software development transactions involving individuals and companies in the United States, Canada, and Japan simultaneously.

• Industrial: Extensive experience in negotiating, drafting, modifying, finalizing, and enforcing all manners of commercial transactions in all aforementioned fields. Agreements in multinational turbo-machinery equipment transactions and complex contractual agreements between clients and various American and foreign owned business entities, including the negotiation of the acquisition contract of turbine equipment from four power companies in Japan, the establishment of new Texas and Arizona corporations for the receipt and refurbishment of the equipment, negotiations with Hong Kong corporation purchasing the refurbished machinery, and with the Manila municipal authorities purchasing them from Hong Kong in turn for installation in the Philippine Islands, and with the Dutch shipping company responsible for transporting the equipment by sea from the United States. Represented clients in transactions involving the purchase, operation, sale, and warranty issues of various types of equipment and machinery ranging from small office equipment to large networked computer systems and major industrial and factory equipment.

• Energy: Represented three-dimensional seismic survey monitoring and risk-management companies with transactions involving all aspects of petrochemical exploration and development, onshore and offshore, with exploration, production, and transmission entities. Transactions have included contract negotiation, drafting, and revision in matters from single subdivisions to multistate pipeline contracts and international natural gas purchase and sale agreements.

• Chemical: Served all aspects of the sale, distribution, packaging, and repackaging of chemicals from master sales agreements for a broad range of products to specialized contracts for unique niche compounds. Transaction work includes constant due diligence and structuring to ensure compliance with state and federal laws and regulations regarding environmental, import/export, strategic materials, and other chemical restrictions.

• Employment and Labor: Initiated actions by and handled the defense of businesses from small, family-owned entities, to multinational combines, in a variety of employment-related transactions including, drafting, review, and updating of personnel policies, employment manuals, and guidelines; the oversight of human resources personnel to ensure compliance with state and federal employment regulatory requirements, review and amendment of safety protocols, drafting, review, and amendment of document retention and preservation procedures, employment agreements with employees and independent contractors, corporate records review and modification regarding stock purchase, sale agreements, and "key man" processes, retirement and severance agreements, and negotiation of employment disputes not requiring litigation.

• Corporate Counsel and General Business Transactions: Comprehensively handled all facets of business formation, organization, operation, and winding down. These ranged from formation of business entities through restructuring and changes of ownership to end- strategy transactions. Handled sale, purchase, lease, and operating agreements on a variety of corporate entities, types, and operational variations.

Areas Of Practice

  • Commercial Litigation
  • Commercial Transactions

Bar Admissions

  • Texas, 1983
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Texas, 1984
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit, 1984

Education

  • The University of Texas School of Law, Austin, Texas
    • J.D. - 1983
    • Honors: Dean's List
    • Honors: American Jurisprudence Award in Marital Law and Divorce, 1983
    • Honors: American Jurisprudence Award in Constitutional Law, 1981
    • Honors: American Jurisprudence Award in Federal Civil Procedure, 1980
  • The University of Texas at Austin
    • B.A. - 1992
    • Honors: With High Honors
    • Honors: Dean's List
    • Honors: Fellow, the University of Texas at Austin, 1980
    • Honors: Junior Fellow, the University of Texas at Austin, 1977
    • Honors: Phi Beta Kappa, 1976
    • Honors: Phi Eta Sigma, 1975
    • Honors: Brown University Man of Letters, 1975
    • Major: History

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • State Bar of Texas, Civil Litigation, Commercial, Computer, and Corporate Counsel Sections, Member
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association, Member
  • International Intellectual Property Law Association, Member

Languages

  • English
  • Spanish
  • German

Contact us today

awards & recognition

Avvo Rating 10.0 superb
Houstonia Top lawyers
Super Lawyers

I have used Mr. Weaver on two occasions. The first case was a rather complicated financial real estate deal gone bad with a former partner. Through his dedication, he accomplished my primary goal and my secondary goal. He took my case to trial and won. I recommend him to all of those who need representation on such issues. Additionally, he also was a kind and understanding individual.

Latigo
Houston, Texas

When my husband and I decided to expand our business and create a new charity organization in Houston, we sought out an attorney who was not only professional, knowledgeable, and timely, but also personable and accessible. Attorney Richard Weaver has exceeded our expectations in all of the categories that were important to us. It is so refreshing to have someone who listens and gives honest advice on how to conduct our business and personal affairs. Mr. Weaver has been with us every step of the way. He was there with us in the beginning stages and gave us advice on everything from becoming incorporated to website content! I love his attention to detail and ability to listen. When my father passed away in 2010, he was right there to walk us through the probate of his will. I felt an immediate ease once I placed those documents in Richard's hands because I knew he'd take care of it all. In all, we will be clients of Richard's for life because we never think twice of who we need to call when we need legal advice and/or services. We consider him a part of both our business and family because he has proven to be trustworthy and dependable. Thanks so much Richard for being more that we could've ever hoped for in an attorney!

Rodney Hampton (Super Bowl Champion, Former New York Giants Running Back)
& Andetria Hampton

Richard and The Weaver Law Firm have been very committed to seeing our case through to success. His diligence in discovery and superior litigation skills helped obtain a favorable award and a very favorable judgment. It's never a pleasant experience to be sued, but we sued back and won. We found a trustworthy attorney and a good friend throughout the experience.

Thai Klam
Remax 360

I would like to thank The Weaver Law Firm. After I was injured from a consumer product, The Weaver Law Firm helped me get compensation I deserved. I was very pleased with the quality, attentiveness and responsiveness of their services. I would gladly recommend this law firm to anyone who has a problem of any kind.

Kimberly Velez
Houston, Texas

It is with great pleasure that I recommend the services of The Weaver Law Firm. I have utilized the firm for over three years. Richard Weaver has provided legal representation crucial to my business. During these years, Richard has served us in various areas that include representing the company, business planning, company formation, litigation and court proceedings. He has a professional and personal commitment to my company. We consider The Weaver Law Firm an essential part of our business. It is our utmost true belief that he will provide the same high quality of service to you.

Richard Peinado, President
Peace of Mind Services, LLC
Houston, Texas

My company and I started working with the firm since the beginning of 2012. This is an honest firm, hard at work. We never had to hire a law firm prior to 2012, and we are not going anywhere else. Thank you, Richard. And thank you to all your staff for all the great help, service and attention to our needs.

Josué Munguía, President
Trinity Distribution, LLC
Humble, Texas

The Weaver Law Firm was highly professional, easy to work with and most importantly, time-sensitive to the clients' needs. During our lease negotiations, Richard Weaver was readily available and was very helpful in making progress to finalize the deal. I will recommend The Weaver Law Firm to my future clients and look forward to working with Richard again.

Richard E. Buxbaum, RADIUS Realty Advisors
Houston, Texas 77057

As a small business enterprise, it's important to have a good support network. The Weaver Law Firm is a valuable resource providing professionalism, expertise and reliability for my company. Whether it's contract review or filing with the state for corporate requirements, I know I can count on Richard and his team.

Enrique Cortez, President
Enitial Advanced Communications
San Antonio, Texas and Washington, D.C.

Richard Weaver and The Weaver Law Firm are very thorough and professional. They get the job done. I enjoy doing business with them. They explain everything in layman's terms and I would recommend this firm to anyone in the construction field. Thanks Richard!!

Terry Bynum, Owner
Able Paving
Houston, Texas 77205

My husband and I asked Richard Weaver to form a partnership agreement for a beach property when we were selling half our interest to another party. Richard did an outstanding job. He produced the necessary documents in a timely manner that thoroughly covered all aspects of our transfer of ownership. It was a pleasure to do business with such a professional and ethical firm.

Mary Ann Wosenitz
Houston, Texas

I have used The Weaver Law firm for quite some time. Richard's knowledge and experience have always helped me. He has also saved me plenty of headaches. He is always straightforward and honest. He clearly explains what my options are and always answers all my questions promptly. In the future, if I ever need someone to represent me, or advise me on my commercial lease contracts it's always going to be Richard Weaver. I always recommend his law firm to everyone I know.

Rafael Garcia, President
Sav-On Mattress Outlet LLC

Richard is a skilled, hardworking attorney who is passionate about his client's success.

Isaac W. Kyle, CEO
iCityCondo, Inc.

During the real estate boom, my wife and I invested in more than 10 houses in Houston mainly due to low entry prices and positive cash flow even though we lived in California. Naturally, we had to hire a property manager to take care of those houses for us. It was going fine for several months. But the property manager started sending money late and in the end, the property manager went in hiding after taking all of our rent income for several months. My wife and I decided to hire Richard Weaver as our lawyer after learning about his client reviews and background. At first, we did not know what to expect, but we didn't want to give up. We were not sure whether we would be able to recover anything. But Richard worked hard on our case and kept us informed during the process. Richard was wonderfully patient and understanding. Finally, to our pleasant surprise, he brought us a successful civil case when other lawyers had simply given up. His attention to detail surely helped win this case. On top of that, Richard is also very resourceful and worked within the budget we gave him. We can't say enough about the work Richard did on our behalf and highly recommend him for any real estate related legal matters.

and Hee
El Segundo, California

As a client of The Weaver Law Firm, I was extremely pleased with their services. In 2008, I sold my home in a short sell. The property transaction closed and title to the property passed to the new buyers. But the title agent/Esquire Title, LLC, failed to pay off the lien holder/lender, Wells Fargo. Evidently, Esquire initially tried to pay off the wrong lender. Before Esquire could or did pay Wells Fargo the new pay-off amount, the Texas Department of Insurance took over Esquire's operations, discontinued all residential real estate transactions being handled by Esquire, and froze Esquire's bank accounts. Thus, the funds intended to pay Wells Fargo were trapped in Esquire's bank account and never used to pay Wells Fargo. And Wells Fargo looked to me for payment. Wells Fargo sued me and the new owners of the property. After finding Mr. Weaver, he handled everything for me and kept me up to date on how the case was going. He was able to get a settlement showing that I owe nothing, which cleared me of all claims. Wells Fargo dropped their claims against me. It was reassuring to know that I had an attorney taking care of everything on my behalf. Mr. Weaver was very knowledgeable in real estate laws and looked out for my best interest. Thank you, Mr. Weaver.

Nikki Blaze
Houston, Texas

The Weaver firm efficiently handled some small business filings for me at a reasonable cost. I plan to continue to use the firm to meet my needs.

Joe Adams
Houston, Texas

Realtors are responsible for making real estate transactions run as smooth as possible, however, when there are problems, a real estate lawyer is necessary. For our family, Richard Weaver was just the lawyer for us.

I can safely say that Richard Weaver is a knowledgeable real estate lawyer from the point of drafting of the purchase agreement through and post closing.

Our issues involved environmental issues, seller disclosure and financing. Without Mr. Weaver's expertise, our situation could have been far more expensive to fix than if he had been involved post closing.

I now know that as buyers or sellers of real estate, people should consult an attorney before they sign the purchase agreement. This agreement spells out the terms of the transaction. By the time it is signed, it is often too late for the attorney to do anything about a problem with the real estate.

In our case we had already unknowingly signed a purchase agreement. Fortunately, Mr. Weaver was able to move swiftly and accurately towards resolution. He was able to lower the purchase price substantially and save us tens of thousands of dollars on the purchase of our dream home.

I liken hiring Richard Weaver to purchasing an insurance policy. When people wait until they know they need a lawyer, it is usually too late to find one. And if it isn't too late, it will usually cost much more to get a lawyer involved once the deal has gone awry. Many real estate transactions are time-sensitive and a responsive and attentive attorney can save the transaction or at least advise clients on the best options they have available.

In our specific case, we found Richard Weaver, who moved quickly and aggressively, charged fair attorney fees, and was able to make the fairest deal possible for our situation.

Believe me, in the future Mr. Weaver will review all of our real estate transactions beforehand. As a matter of fact, we found Richard Weaver to be so personable, intelligent and responsible. He is now our family attorney for all legal matters, which we may face in the future.

Jennifer Burke Tomball, Texas