Joe Thompson handles complex commercial litigation and arbitration, with a primary emphasis on oil and gas related disputes. He is Board Certified in Oil, Gas and Mineral Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and serves as a member of the Board’s Oil and Gas Advisory Commission.

Joe has tried and arbitrated disputes ranging from prospect generation fights in the Eagle Ford Shale to disputes involving exploration joint ventures in the Middle East. He has represented clients in connection with oil and gas operations in Texas, Louisiana, Colorado, Alabama, Florida, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming.

Joe also has significant experience in insurance related matters, unfair competition, and business-related torts, as well as personal injury and product liability matters.

Honors & Recognitions

Chambers USA, Leading Lawyer in Oil & Gas Litigation (Nationwide)

Texas Super Lawyers, Oil & Gas Law

Best Lawyers in America, Oil & Gas Law and Commercial Litigation

Houstonia Magazine, “Top Lawyers in Houston”

AVVO, Listed as “Superb”

  • Board Certified - Oil Gas Mineral
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • Chambers 2024
  • Legal 500 (Use for current year Accolade)



J.D., University of Texas School of Law, with honors, 1993

Order of the Coif
Member, Texas Law Review

B.A., University of Michigan, with honors, 1990

Phi Beta Kappa

Board Certified, Oil, Gas and Mineral Law, by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization



United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

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


  • Represented a seller of $155 million in Barnett Shale assets in an arbitration alleging fraud and title defects.
  • Represented an E&P company in a suit alleging misappropriation of trade secrets in Pearsall Field, Texas.
  • Represented joint venture partner in arbitration concerning obligations in Eagle Ford Shale.
  • Represented major oil company in arbitration concerning cost allocations to royalty trust in relation to Oklahoma oil and gas properties.
  • Represented a purchaser of Marcellus Shale assets in an arbitration concerning a scope of purchase agreement.
  • Represented a major oil company in adverse possession/title disputes in Piceance Basin, Colorado.
  • Represented producer in Pinedale Anticline, Wyoming, in bankruptcy adversary proceedings related to calculation of net profits payments and allocation disputes.
  • Represented an oil & gas company concerning a joint venture/operatorship dispute arising from an exploration concession in the Dead Sea area of Jordan.
  • Represented an oil & gas company in multiple matters arising out of operations in Deep Bossier in central Texas.
  • Represented an operator in a suit arising under the Arkansas Prompt Payment statute in Fayetteville Shale, Arkansas.
  • Represented non-operating working interest owners in a matter involving the drilling of a well in the wrong location in the inland waters South Louisiana.
  • Represented an oil & gas company in a dispute concerning the calculation of transportation charges for natural gas.
  • Represented mineral owners challenging the administrative authority of the National Park Service to restrict exploration and development of minerals underlying a national park.
  • Represented a major oil & gas company in a suit alleging lease termination for cessation of production and/or failure to produce in paying quantities.
  • Represented a geophysical company in a variety of suits alleging surface damages and trespass.
  • Represented an oil & gas company in a suit to enforce preferential rights in the Permian Basin.
  • Represented an oil & gas company in a dispute concerning preferential rights and asset acquisition in Robertson County, Texas.
  • Represented an operator in a suit alleging the invalidity of a unit in Brazoria County, Texas.
  • Represented an operator in a breach of contract suit involving alleged compensatory royalties in Brazoria County, Texas.
  • Represented an operator in blowout related insurance matters.
  • Represented an exploration company in a suit concerning alleged breach of a lease acquisition agreement.
  • Represented a general partner in an exploration venture in an injunction suit to remove it as general partner.
  • Represented a party to a participation agreement in a suit concerning multiple agreements for the acquisition of working and net profits interests.
  • Represented an oil & gas company in an alleged breach of a confidentiality agreement contained in a lease agreement regarding seismic data.
  • Represented a landman in an alleged fraud and breach of fiduciary duty suit.
  • Represented a royalty trust in drainage suit concerning calculation of net proceeds from operations on the Outer Continental Shelf.

Business Litigation


  • Represented a company in a breach of contract case and bankruptcy proceeding arising out of a contract to acquire a chain of jewelry stores.
  • Represented a pressure vessel manufacturer in a breach of contract dispute and injunction matter.
  • Represented executives in a suit with a former healthcare employer alleging fraud and breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Represented a commercial lessee in an injunction involving an easement.
  • Represented a software company in a suit alleging fraud and breach of contract.
  • Represented a fraternal benefit organization in suits alleging liability for agents allegedly "selling away."

Class Actions

  • Represented an insurance company in a putative class action regarding its method of issuing salvage titles after a total loss of vehicles.

Tort Litigation

Products Liability and Catastrophic Accidents

  • Represented large pharmaceutical companies against hundreds of suits relating to withdrawn medicines.
  • Represented a Japanese seat belt manufacturer in defending product liability claims regarding alleged defects in several wrongful death and injury cases.
  • Represented a hand tool manufacturer for an allegedly defective awl.
  • Represented a portable air conditioning manufacturer for an allegedly defective unit.
  • Represented a worker killed by defective automated palletizing equipment.
  • Represented a medical device manufacturer in suit alleging defective manufacture of fingertip lancets.
  • Represented a trucking company in multiple wrongful death lawsuits.
  • Represented a relief agency in a wrongful death lawsuit arising out of Tropical Storm Allison.


  • Represented a vessel classification bureau in a coverage dispute involving defamation claims.
  • Represented an insurer in coverage analysis concerning a catastrophic vehicle accident.
  • Represented a biosolids company in a $20 million insurance coverage dispute involving liquidation of the insurance company.
  • Represented operators in blowout-related insurance coverage matters.
  • Represented a waste treatment company in an insurance coverage dispute concerning operation/condition of a treatment facility.



Houston Bar Association, Member

Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow