Clay Steely has tried cases to a jury verdict and arbitrated cases to a final award for more than two decades. Since 1994, he has been responsible for and has extensive experience in negotiating and litigating contract, tort, property, and environmental matters mainly in the energy, infrastructure, and medical/health care fields, including mediation, arbitration, temporary restraining orders, injunctions, and trials.

His cases have been related to, among other matters, airborne, surface and groundwater releases/contamination; construction, including defect and delay claims; commercial leases; condemnation/eminent domain; easements; employment agreements, including non-compete and non-solicitation claims; fraud and misrepresentation; partnership disputes; pipelines, storage, and related facilities/equipment; prompt payment; purchase and sale agreements; and trade secrets.

Additionally, handles personal injury matters involving auto and trucking, products liability, premises and work-related accidents, and mass tort claims involving exposure to asbestos, silica, benzene, and other compounds. He routinely handles personal injury and commercial work on both an hourly and contingent fee basis.

Honors & Recognitions

Listed, Texas Super Lawyers, Business Litigation, 2012-2018

Recognized, "Top-Rated Lawyer for Energy, Environmental and Natural Resources" ALM, 2013

Listed, "Houston Top Lawyer," Business Litigation, H Texas Magazine

Credentials

Education

J.D., South Texas College of Law, 1994

B.A., Texas A&M University, 1991

Admissions

Texas

United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

United States District Court Colorado

United States Supreme Court

Experience

Commercial Matters

  • Lead counsel in a libel case involving environmental consulting.
  • Lead counsel for a nationwide subcontractor in cases against owners for breach of contract and non-payment and involving liens.
  • Co-counsel on matters in bankruptcy or with bankruptcy implications involving real property, notes, and liens.
  • Lead counsel on several contract matters for an international product supplier of equipment to the shipping and oil and gas industries, as well as a False Claims Act investigation.
  • Lead counsel on a motion to dissolve an injunction and garnishment for investment entities.
  • Lead counsel for defendants in federal kickback and fraud investigation and claims.
  • Lead counsel for a natural gas storage and transportation company in a breach of contract and fraud claim surrounding the construction of a gas handling facility and associated meter/interconnect sites and pipelines. 
  • Lead counsel on breach of contract claims involving rail cars and equipment in the rail industry.
  • Lead counsel on fraud and Texas Theft Act claims surrounding theft of oil field tankers.
  • Lead counsel on breach of contract claims on service agreements for oilfield services and equipment.
  • Lead counsel on negotiations of several pipeline construction and purchase contracts.
  • Lead counsel on breach of contract claims and product defect claims related to gas handling and storage facility equipment.
  • Trial counsel and jury verdict for a publicly traded real estate investment trust in declaratory judgment, breach of contract and promissory estoppel claim surrounding roof damage to a commercial warehouse facility and associated deductible.
  • Trial counsel and jury verdict in a case involving breach of contract and negligence related to construction and demolition services.
  • Lead counsel on a construction indemnity claim, including pipeline construction defect and property contamination issues.
  • Lead counsel for a national hardware co-op in a breach of membership agreement claim against a member and multi-million-dollar counterclaims of breach of contract, promissory estoppel, fraud, and negligent misrepresentation, as well as claims under the Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Texas Business Opportunities Act.
  • Trial counsel and jury verdict for a leading manufacturer of corrugated material on breach of contract, breach of warranty, and negligent misrepresentation claims, as well as counterclaims for breach of contract claims.
  • Lead counsel on a contractual indemnity claim by a third party against an international transportation client for settlement of a personal injury claim.
  • Trial counsel and jury verdict for an equipment manufacturer on a breach of contract claim with counterclaims of negligence, fraud, and misrepresentation.
  • Trial counsel and jury verdict for a franchisor in a dispute over unpaid royalties and breach of license agreement with counterclaims of breach of contract, promissory estoppel, fraud, and negligent misrepresentation, as well as claims under the Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Texas Business Opportunities Act.
  • Representation of various franchisors in commercial litigation involving allegations of breach of franchise contracts and alleged fraud associated with a franchisor/franchisee relationship.
  • Lead arbitration counsel in a successful arbitration for an international ground transportation company in a case involving contract and indemnity claims arising out of a purchase agreement for a taxi business in Denver, Colorado.
  • Lead arbitration counsel in a successful arbitration for a sculpted specialized concrete company in a construction contract dispute involving defect and delay claims.

Real Estate/Environmental/Mass Tort Matters

  • Lead counsel for the owner of a shopping center on common area use and reimbursement agreements.
  • Lead counsel for a large property owner on claims of adverse possession and easements by use.
  • Lead counsel in injunction proceedings against the State of Texas involving access to property and oil and gas leases.
  • Lead counsel in a review of natural gas storage facility and related contracts for potential purchase.
  • Lead counsel on a pipeline easement dispute on trespass and conversion claims for lines running from Texas City to Chocolate Bayou.
  • Lead counsel on a downhole oil and gas trespass and conversion suit.
  • Lead counsel for a Fortune 500 company in a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act
  • CERCLA cost recovery case involving alleged disposal of oil field waste products.
  • Lead counsel for a realty trust company for breach of contract, fraud, breach of warranty, and Solid Waste Disposal Act claims involving the sale of allegedly contaminated property (surface and groundwater issues).
  • Lead counsel in a negligence, nuisance, and trespass case surrounding an alleged improper disposal in a landfill for a Fortune 500 company in Texas.
  • Lead counsel on behalf of a major energy services company in two cases involving negligence, nuisance and trespass claims surrounding groundwater contamination in Harris County, Texas.
  • Lead counsel for a realty company in a CERCLA case involving abandoned containers of unlabeled waste and lubricating oils.
  • Lead counsel for a chemical company in claims of personal injury, nuisance, and trespass of multiple plaintiffs due to alleged improper air emissions in Jefferson County, Texas.
  • Trial counsel and jury verdict for a Fortune 500 company in a breach of contract/lease case involving alleged contamination of multiple sites in Houston, Texas.
  • Lead counsel and judgment in the client's favor dismissing more than 3,000 claims arising from multi-party litigation surrounding alleged airborne chemical releases.
  • Lead counsel to various companies on asbestos claims, including boiler, heat exchanger, and premise defendants.

Condemnation Proceedings

  • Lead counsel on multiple pipeline cases in Brazoria, Wharton, Harris, Galveston, Denton, Kerns, and Dallas Counties.
  • Lead counsel on proceedings with the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) on an electrical transmission project.
  • Lead counsel in a highway expansion case for various tenants in a shopping center in Houston, Texas.
  • Lead counsel in a highway expansion case in Dallas, Texas.
  • Lead counsel in negotiations of electrical transmission line and substation easements.
  • Lead counsel on a pipeline eminent domain case involving the right to condemn and value issues against a landfill gas company.
  • Trial counsel in a pipeline condemnation proceeding, including counterclaims of negligence and trespass due to contamination.
  • Lead counsel on several natural gas as well as crude pipeline condemnation proceedings.
  • Lead counsel to a Fortune 500 company in condemnation proceedings relating to the construction of a professional sports stadium in Arlington, Texas.
  • Lead counsel for an industry-leading provider of track and transit system construction services in condemnation proceedings with a municipality.
  • Lead counsel for a business park owner in condemnation proceedings over a highway expansion project and value of easement issues.
  • Lead counsel in an easement dispute over the alleged improper placement of a pipeline placed across the plaintiff's property and successful resolution of client's counter-claim of damages for pipeline repair.
  • Trial counsel in a condemnation proceeding involving pipeline easement and bad faith trespass issues.

Employment Disputes

  • Lead counsel including a temporary restraining order and temporary injunction proceedings in a non-compete, non-solicitation, and alleged theft of trade secrets dispute involving multi-level marketing.
  • Lead counsel in a non-compete, non-solicitation and theft of trade secrets dispute involving the manufacturing of fracking material.
  • Lead counsel in a non-compete, non-solicitation, theft of trade secrets and conversion/theft including temporary restraining order and temporary injunction proceedings case between partners in veterinarian medicine.
  • Lead counsel in a partnership dispute involving severance and client ownership issues.
  • Lead counsel on an employment dispute including a temporary restraining order and temporary injunction proceedings for an oil & gas field services provider on breach of contract, tortuous interference, non-compete, and non-solicitation claims.
  • Lead counsel for an energy management company in a case involving breach of contract, misrepresentation, and fraud claims surrounding commissions allegedly due to a former employee in an employment agreement.
  • Lead counsel to a professional Indy Racing League driver in an action against a team owner surrounding the driver's written employment contract.
  • Lead arbitration counsel in a successful arbitration for a major transportation company in a case involving contract claims and employment disputes regarding the termination of a former owner of a company sold to the client.
  • Arbitration counsel in a successful arbitration for a financial management and advisory company in an employment dispute involving alleged breach of contract, fraud, misrepresentation, and defamation claims.

Medical and Health Care Matters

  • Lead counsel on a partnership dispute involving freestanding medical facilities.
  • Lead counsel on shareholder claims of fraud, misrepresentation, and breach of fiduciary claims against medical facility management and operators.
  • Lead counsel for medial entities over equipment leases (IT), breach of contract, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and negligence claims.
  • Lead counsel for a medical provider in claims with a hospital over prompt payment of services and violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practice Act and the Texas Insurance Code.
  • Lead counsel for a large medical system (hospital and physicians group) based in Houston Texas over prompt payment of medical invoices from insurers.
  • Lead counsel in civil and criminal proceedings involving pharmacists and the False Claims Act.
  • Lead counsel in a partnership dispute involving allergists.

Personal Injury Litigation

  • Lead counsel on a double operated/fractured hip case.
  • Lead counsel in head on a truck collision case involving fusion of the client's foot and ankle.
  • Lead counsel in a wrongful death and survival claim involving foundry equipment.
  • Lead counsel for a transportation company in a dual fatality involving a motorcycle collision with a company vehicle.
  • Counsel in various wrongful death cases including claims surrounding equipment maintenance and operation, work procedures, and various OSHA violations.
  • Trial counsel defending several personal injury matters, including chemical exposure, product liability, negligence, gross negligence, Federal Employers Liability Act, and indemnity issues.

Newsroom

Affiliations

State Bar of Texas, Member

American Bar Association, Member

American Board of Trial Advocates, Member

Houston Bar Association, Member

Texas Association of Defense Counsel, Member

Association of Defense Trial Attorneys, Member

Texas Bar Foundation Fellow, Member

National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel, Former Member

Houston Young Lawyers Association, Former Member