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About Steve

A seasoned business litigator in his 29th year of practice at Bracewell, Steve Benesh brings his experience and judgment to bear in helping his clients reach the best resolution of their issues, whether that means vigorously protecting those interests in the courtroom or working collaboratively to reach a common-sense resolution outside the courtroom. He has represented clients in diverse matters, including securities, class action, business torts, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, deceptive trade practices, breach of contract, and products liability. Steve has first chair jury and non-jury trial experience representing plaintiffs and defendants in state and federal courts, as well as arbitration and mediation experience.

A former president of the Austin Bar Association and State Bar of Texas director, Steve has built a reputation as a competent and effective trial lawyer. He is recognized (2009-2017) by Woodward White, Inc., Best Lawyers in the areas of bet-the-company litigation, commercial litigation, banking and finance litigation and construction litigation. He has twice been honored by the same publication, in 2014 and again in 2016, as the Austin Lawyer of the Year in the area of banking and finance litigation. He is a frequent author and lecturer on legal topics, and he has been quoted in numerous publications.

In addition to his service to the legal profession, Steve is active in the community, where he is a past board chair of Leadership Austin and former president of the board of trustees of his local school district. He currently serves on the executive board of the Capitol Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

Experience

Recent Notable Matters

National banking association — sought and won dismissal of all claims brought by trust investor against client in securities case in Colorado federal court

Oil and gas royalty trusts — sought and won dismissal of all claims against clients in class action, securities case in Oklahoma federal court

Internet advertising company — obtained favorable arbitration award on behalf of client in connection with claim brought by competitor relating to “click-thru” internet marketing technology

Investor — obtained jury verdict in Houston federal court against private mint for misminting of Belarusian rubles, based on vital testimony derived during Steve's examination of the Belarusian Prime Minister at trial

National homebuilding company — lawsuits across Texas brought by competitors, landowners, homebuyers and regulatory entities, obtaining favorable dismissals and settlements

Federal defense contractor — variety of claims in several states arising from aircraft construction and shipbuilding activities

Military support services company — obtained dismissal of claims asserted in Texas state court against a Dubai-based provider of support services for U.S. military installations, relating to an incident in Afghanistan

Industrial manufacturer — chemical and petrochemical operations in Texas, obtaining numerous dismissals and settlements

National automobile leasing company — variety of lawsuits across Texas brought by regulatory entities, customers, landowners and third-parties, obtaining favorable dismissals and settlements

Investor and investment management company — obtained lucrative settlement in Texas lawsuit on behalf of renowned Hollywood actor and his management company in connection with investments in multi-family housing

International technology manufacturer/distributor of touch-screen displays — variety of claims by customers, retailers, component part providers and other third-parties, obtaining favorable dismissals and settlements

Commercial construction company — lawsuits across southwestern U.S. brought by customers, subcontractors, landowners, competitors and governmental entities, obtaining favorable dismissals and settlements

Funeral and cemetery services company — variety of lawsuits across Texas brought by landowners, regulatory entities and customers, obtaining favorable dismissals and settlements

National retailer — variety of product claims asserted by customers

Industrial battery manufacturer — successful representation of manufacturer of industrial batteries in two lawsuits arising out of catastrophic fire at wind generation facility on Oahu, Hawaii

Publications and Speeches

“The Impact of Full Disclosure,” Construction Today, April 2017

"Bench Strength-Preparing New Attorneys for the Courtroom," AustinLawyer, Dec 2016/Jan 2017.

"Denied Rule Petitions in Texas Will Have No Day in Court," Law 360, July 30, 2014.

"Finally, Clarity On Spoliation Under Texas Law," Law360, July 11, 2014.

Credentials

Education

The University of Texas School of Law,
J.D.
1987
The University of Texas at Austin,
Bachelor of Business Administration
1984

Bar Admissions

Texas

Affiliations

State Bar of Texas
Annual Meeting Chair, 2014; Board of Directors, 2008 - 2011
Texas Bar Foundation
Board of Directors, 2010 - 2011; Sustaining Life Fellow
Texas Legal Protection Plan
Chair, 2013 - 2014; Board of Directors, 2011 - 2015
Austin Bar Association
President, 2006 - 2007; Board of Directors, 2004 - 2008
Austin Bar Foundation
Chair, 2007 - 2008; Board of Directors, 2011; Life Fellow
Robert W. Calvert American Inn of Court
Executive Committee, 2014 - Present
Leadership Austin
Chair, 2008 - 2009; Board of Directors, 2005 - 2010

News

News

The Impact of Full Disclosure

April 17, 2017
Construction Today - Online

Noteworthy

Noteworthy

Woodward White, Inc.
Best Lawyers
2009 - 2017; Austin Lawyer of the Year, Banking and Finance Litigation, 2014, 2016
The Legal 500 United States
Construction (including Construction Litigation), 2017; Real Estate and Construction, 2016; Construction, 2013 - 2014
Thomson Reuters
Texas Super Lawyers
2006 - 2013; 2016
Thomson Reuters
Super Lawyers
Corporate Counsel Edition, 2008 - 2013
American City Business Journals
Austin Business Journal
Person of Power, 2006; Best of Business Attorneys, 2004, 2005
State Bar of Texas
Presidential Citation for Outstanding Service, 2014
Austin Bar Association
President's Award for Outstanding Service, 2002, 2003
Internet Brands, Inc.
Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™ Rating