Texas Lawyer has recognized McKool Smith Dallas principals Lewis LeClair and Ted Stevenson as 2020 “Texas Trailblazers.” Texas Trailblazers is a special supplement developed by Texas Lawyer to recognize professionals who have made significant marks on the state’s legal profession.
Lew LeClair has nearly 40 years’ experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants in high-stakes commercial litigation disputes across a broad range of industries. His recent victories include serving as lead counsel in securing a significant appellate victory on behalf of Soaring Wind Energy, LLC and its investors before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, affirming a $63 million arbitration award for the plaintiffs against Catic USA following a failed wind energy joint venture. He also secured a favorable Fifth Circuit decision on behalf of Archer & White Sales that blocked arbitration of the suit, clearing the way for trial. On the eve of trial, Henry Schein petitioned the United States Supreme Court (USSC) to consider whether a carve-out in an arbitration agreement negates a provision allowing arbitrators to rule on their own jurisdiction. On June 15, 2020, the USSC agreed to hear the case.
Ted Stevenson is recognized as a leading IP trial lawyers in Texas based on his success in securing high-stakes courtroom victories involving innovative technologies used in many of the world’s most popular devices, particularly in the telecommunications sector. Ted’s recent victories include serving as lead counsel in securing a defense verdict for Ericsson in a suit brought by HTC Corporation and HTC America, Inc. alleging that Ericsson violated its contractual obligation to license its essential cellular patents on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms. Following a five-day trial, the jury returned a verdict finding Ericsson’s requested royalty rates were not in excess of FRAND. Ted also helped secure a significant appellate victory for Ericsson in a long-running patent-licensing dispute against TCL. After the district court denied Ericsson’s request for a jury trial in 2017, Ericsson appealed to the Federal Circuit and argued that the district court had violated Ericsson’s Seventh Amendment rights. In a precedential opinion, the Federal Circuit unanimously agreed with Ericsson and remanded the case for a jury trial.