Education & Clerkship

  • J.D., summa cum laude, University of Houston (1997)
  • B.A., Economics, summa cum laude, University of Houston (1994)
  • Law Clerk to the Hon. Carolyn Dineen King, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (1997-98)


Justin Waggoner is a skilled trial and appellate advocate. He has tried cases in state and federal court and handled appeals and mandamus proceedings at all levels of both the state and federal judicial systems. 

Throughout his career, Mr. Waggoner has been hired—often on the recommendation of his opposing counsel in prior matters—to handle complex litigation matters at the trial and appellate stages.  His clients often consult him outside the litigation context to assist them in structuring their business affairs and transactions in the manner calculated to mitigate litigation risk. 

Effective advocacy requires both a firm grasp of the big picture and a mastery of the underlying factual and legal details.  Mr. Waggoner delivers both of these components, combining deep experience and sound judgment with meticulous preparation at all stages of litigation, both in and out of the courtroom.  He prides himself on listening to his clients, understanding their challenges, and guiding them toward the solution that best serves their needs and goals.  

Mr. Waggoner’s primary practice areas include civil appellate law and commercial litigation, and his experience extends to wide array of other areas, including legal malpractice defense, energy and health law, and securities and shareholder derivative litigation. 

Mr. Waggoner is Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He has tried cases in both U.S. District Court and Texas District Court and arbitrated matters under the auspices of the American Arbitration Association and the International Center for Dispute Resolution.  Mr. Waggoner has briefed and argued appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, as well as the First, Fifth, Eleventh and Fourteenth Courts of Appeals of Texas. He has responded to petitions for review and mandamus petitions in the Texas Supreme Court and has filed petitions for writs of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court.

Mr. Waggoner graduated from the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, summa cum laude, finishing first in his class. He also graduated summa cum laude, first in his class, from the University of Houston Law Center, where he served as an articles editor on the Houston Law Review. Upon graduation, Mr. Waggoner clerked for the Honorable Carolyn Dineen King on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Representative Matters


  • Received a unanimous take-nothing award plus an award if attorneys’ fees in confidential arbitration on behalf of a defendant energy company in a dispute with a Fortune 500 customer concerning plant capacity agreement.
  • Secured $3.7 million jury verdict in shareholder derivative suit on behalf of professional association of emergency room physicians based on claims of breach of fiduciary duty and usurpation of business opportunities by management of the association.
  • Defeated application for a temporary injunction in federal court after a three-day evidentiary hearing on behalf of a foreign pipe manufacturer in a case alleging trade secret theft and seeking injunctive relief that would have required suspending sales of a product line responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars of annual revenue.
  • Secured summary judgment for defendant law firm in fee dispute concerning underlying multi-million-dollar contract action.
  • Secured summary judgment for defendant law firm in fee dispute concerning underlying toxic tort action.
  • Secured dismissal of putative securities class action against public company that owned and operated ambulatory surgery centers.
  • Secured summary judgment on behalf of a law firm in legal malpractice case brought by dozens of the firm’s former clients in a mass toxic tort case.
  • Successfully represented the nation’s largest railroad in a series of arbitrations against one of the country’s largest electric power generation corporations that resulted in a favorable global settlement on the first day of the first arbitration hearing.


  • Secured reversal of summary judgment in multi-million-dollar contract dispute involving partnership interests in international mining plays.
  • Defeated applications for mandamus relief in intermediate court of appeals and Texas supreme court from trial court denial of motion to transfer under mandatory venue provision.
  • Secured affirmance of summary judgment in legal malpractice action involving underlying contract dispute
  • Secured affirmance of summary judgments in legal malpractice actions against defendant law firms based on representation of former clients in toxic tort actions.
  • Justin Waggoner served as a local counsel for a class one railroad and assisted in securing an appellate affirmance of the trial court’s dismissal for improper venue of a trespass to try title action brought by a counterparty under oil and gas leases providing for Nebraska venue in all disputes arising under the leases.


  • Craig Smyser, Justin Waggoner, and Rick Houghton represent a number of present and former military contractors with backgrounds ranging from domestic law enforcement to special forces in a False Claims Act case against AECOM, in which the firm seeks $120 million in damages associated with a multi-year contract for provision of atmospherics services in connection with military operations in Afghanistan. The case recently substantially survived AECOM’s motion to dismiss, in which AECOM argued that SKV’s clients had failed to satisfy the heightened pleading standard required of fraud allegations under the federal rules of civil procedure.


  • Craig Smyser, Justin Waggoner, and Razvan Ungureanu successfully defended a prominent energy company in a confidential arbitration in a breach of contract suit, securing a take nothing award on the adverse party’s claim and a full recovery of their client’s attorney’s fees.
  • Ultra Premium Services, LLC and IPSCO Tubulars, Inc. v. PAO TMK and TMK Premium Services, LLC, Civil Action No. H-21-305, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas; Lee Kaplan, Justin Waggoner, David Isaak, and Razvan Ungureanu represented defendant TMK in an alleged trade secrets dispute involving a pipe technology licensing agreement, defeated IPSCO’s application for a preliminary injunction, and secured an order compelling arbitration of the remaining matters in dispute.


  • Craig Smyser, Karima Maloney, Justin Waggoner, and Razvan Ungureanu successfully defended an Affordable Care Act insurer in an action by a private-equity-backed emergency room physician staffing company alleging insufficient reimbursement rates for ER services. The firm secured a jury verdict that was less than the client’s pre-trial settlement offer and less than a fifth of the ER staffing company’s demand.




  • American Bar Association
  • Texas Bar Foundation
  • Houston Bar Foundation
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