Gary Cruciani is a principal in McKool Smith’s Dallas office. He has handled complex commercial litigation for a wide variety of clients for more than 30 years.
His commercial litigation expertise includes antitrust claims, copyright infringement, oil and gas contracts, tax disputes, fraudulent transfer litigation, trade secret misappropriation, construction claims, breach of fiduciary duty and partnership disputes, and general contract cases. Gary's courtroom track record includes representing both plaintiffs and defendants, with a particular emphasis on plaintiffs’ contingency and class action cases.
Gary has served as first chair counsel in numerous cases tried to judgment in state and federal courts nationwide, including work in Texas, New York, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Mississippi, Hawaii, Nevada and others. In addition to his litigation experience, he also has argued numerous appeals before state and federal courts of appeals across the U.S.
- Osram Sylvania, Inc. v. Photographic Illustrators Corp. Lead counsel in representing a photographer in a claim for copyright infringement and breach of contract in an arbitration that resulted in an award of approximately $15 million.
- Navarro Photography LLC v. Procter & Gamble et al. Lead counsel representing a photographer in a substantial copyright infringement case involving novel legal issues regarding the infringing use of photographs on packing of consumer products.
- Canyon Ridge Resort LLC et al. v. Sterne Agee & Leach Inc. et al. Represented a hotel development client in a seven-week jury trial against an investment bank for fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of contract that resulted in a judgment of approximately $30 million that was reported to be the largest in the history of Hamilton County (Chattanooga, Tennessee).
- State of Hawaii tax litigation. Lead counsel representing the State of Hawaii in two separate tax cases against online travel companies involving hotel occupancy taxes and general excise taxes that resulted in judgments in the approximate total amount of $75 million. Both cases resulted in landmark decisions by the Hawaii Supreme Court and Gary argued both appeals.
- City of San Antonio, Texas, et al. v. Hotels.com L.P. Lead counsel representing the City of San Antonio and a certified class of more than 170 other Texas municipalities in a four-week jury trial against online travel companies for non-payment of transient occupancy taxes that resulted in a judgment of approximately $85 million. The judgment was later reversed on Erie
- R&D Business Systems v. Xerox. Represented thousands of class members in a major antitrust lawsuit against Xerox in a case involving alleged monopolistic conduct in the high-volume copier market. The class was certified, and the case settled on favorable terms.
- Kopies, Inc. v. Eastman Kodak Company. Represented thousands of class members in a major antitrust lawsuit against Kodak in a case involving tying arrangements in the high-volume copier market. The case settled on favorable terms.
- Feerer v. Amoco Production.. Represented hundreds of royalty owners in federal court in a certified class action against Amoco and other oil companies for alleged underpayment of royalties in one of the world's largest carbon dioxide gas units. The class was certified, and the case settled for approximately $50 million plus substantial additional non-monetary relief involving changes in Defendants' business practices.
Kerr v. Jones. Lead counsel for a class of bondholders for the Dallas Cowboys in a suit against the Dallas Cowboys and Jerry Jones for alleged breach of the terms of the bond ordinance that had been used to fund the construction of Texas Stadium and for certain equitable relief. The class was certified, and the defendants discontinued the practices that allegedly violated the ordinance and agreed to substantial additional equitable relief sought by the class members.
Innovative Business Solutions v. Westinghouse. Lead counsel represented a small software company in a breach of contract and theft of trade secret case involving the security alarm industry. Following a $50 million summary jury verdict, the case settled on favorable terms.
Dr. Pepper Bottling Company of Texas. Represented Dr. Pepper in a lawsuit claiming breach of a franchise agreement against Del Monte Corporation in federal court. Following a two-week jury trial, the jury returned a multi-million dollar judgment in favor of Dr. Pepper.
Holly Corporation. Part of a team of lawyers who successfully defended Holly in a lawsuit filed by Frontier Oil Company over a proposed merger that failed to close. Following a trial in Delaware Chancery Court, the court issued a 116-page ruling addressing seminal legal issues under Delaware law, which resulted in a finding that the plaintiff had repudiated the agreement and entered a take-nothing judgment in favor of Holly.
Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst. Successfully defended one of the nation's largest private equity firms that was sued for $500 million as a result of a proposed merger that did not close due to an alleged material adverse change. Following Gary's argument of a summary judgment motion that resulted in the dismissal of the plaintiff's primary damages claims, the case settled on favorable terms for Hicks Muse.
LaSalle v. Nomura. Represented a large Japanese financial institution in federal court in New York City in a case involving novel and significant legal issues relating to the commercial mortgage backed securities industry. Following a favorable Second Circuit opinion, the parties entered into a confidential settlement on terms that were extremely favorable.
Archer Dental v. Schein, et. al. Currently represents a dental distributor asserting price-fixing and group boycott claims in a lawsuit that has been before the U.S. Supreme Court on two separate occasions involving novel arbitration issues.
Rankings & Honors
- Ranked in Chambers USA as a leading general commercial litigation lawyer. The 2022 edition notes that "He's very persistent and detailed. He's a true commercial litigator and has created an excellent practice." "He's a knowledgeable and talented commercial litigator."
- Recognized among Lawdragon's 500 Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyers (2019-2021)
- Ranked in the Best Lawyers in America as a leading lawyer in Litigation: Commercial, Banking & Finance, Tax, M&A, and Securities (2015-2022)
Media & Events
- 17 McKool Smith principals recognized in the 2022 Edition of "Best Lawyers in America" and 11 attorneys recognized in "Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch"08.19.2021
- 17 McKool Smith Principals Recognized in Lawdragon's 2021 guide to the 500 Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyers08.18.2021
- 17 McKool Smith Principals Recognized in Lawdragon's 2020 guide to the 500 Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyers08.26.2020
- 24 McKool Smith principals recognized in the 2021 Edition of "Best Lawyers in America" and 11 attorneys recognized in "Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch"08.18.2020
- 15 McKool Smith Principals Recognized in Lawdragon's 2019 guide to the 500 Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyers09.19.2019
- Bloomberg report: "Canyon Ridge lawsuit ends after four years and millions in payments to developer"07.07.2015
- McKool Smith successfully secured $3.5 million jury award for six individual clients’ breach-of contract case against Zimmer Biomet08.11.2021
- McKool Smith Secures Verdict for Texas Cities in Class Action Against Online Hotel Booking Companies10.30.2009
J.D., with High Honors, 1987, University of Tennessee Law School
- Order of the Coif
- Associate editor of the law review
B.A., Economics and Business Administration, University of Pittsburgh, 1982
- State of Texas
- The U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Eastern, Southern, and Western Districts of Texas
- The U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
- The U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fifth and Tenth Circuits
- State Bar of Texas
- Dallas Bar Association
- Fifth Circuit Bar Association