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Overview

Kaitlyn Dawson is an Associate in McKool Smith’s Houston office, focusing on complex commercial litigation. She has represented clients across a variety of industries, including, but not limited to, the oil and gas sector, general business disputes, the seedstock cattle industry, and construction related disputes. Kaitlyn has handled all aspects of the litigation process—including depositions, hearings, trials, and appeals. She gained trial experience in a breach of contract and fraud dispute in the cattle seedstock industry, where the jury returned a $30 million verdict in her client’s favor. Kaitlyn also served as second chair in a construction arbitration that was favorably resolved. Prior to joining the firm, Kaitlyn also served as a third chair in a $30 million shareholders derivative lawsuit where the jury returned a take nothing verdict in her client’s favor. Kaitlyn has also served as an intern to the Honorable Ewing Werlein, Jr. in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

While attending law school, Kaitlyn participated in mock trial and moot court competitions. She was the champion & best advocate of the Strasburger & Price Mock Trial Competition and the vice-champion of the Gardere Novice Mock Trial Tournament. She also received an award for best opening statement at the Judge Paul Joseph Kelly Invitational Trial Competition. Kaitlyn also served as a Student Member of the Alumni Association Executive Committee.

Experience

Representative Matters

  • Served as third chair for a cattle seedstock company in a breach of contract, fraud, and tortious interference lawsuit that resulted in a $30 million verdict in her client’s favor. During trial, Kaitlyn conducted direct and cross examinations of multiple witnesses, including industry experts and argued several evidentiary hearings before the court. During discovery, Kaitlyn took depositions, presented an expert for a Daubert hearing, argued discovery motions before the Court, and drafted a motion for summary judgment the Court granted.
  • Served as second chair in a construction arbitration dispute that was resolved in our client’s favor. During the arbitration, Kaitlyn examined multiple witnesses, including presenting our client representative and cross examining Respondent’s client representative. Kaitlyn also took and defended multiple depositions throughout the case and lead all-pretrial preparations.
  • Represented a construction company in a $300 million adversary proceeding relating to construction of a toll road. Kaitlyn defended several depositions, drafted motions for summary judgment, and prepared the case for trial.

Prior to joining the firm:

  • Served as lead associate for the outside directors of a closely-held corporation in a shareholders’ derivative lawsuit. Drafted and argued motions in limine, all discovery-related motions, motions for summary judgment, motion for attorney’s fees, and motions to strike experts. Led the discovery process and all pre-trial preparation, including defending six depositions. The jury ultimately rendered a take-nothing verdict.
  • Served as lead associate for an international oil and gas midstream services company in a breach of contract lawsuit. Led discovery process, including taking four depositions. Drafted multiple motions for summary judgment, and successfully defeated the opposing party’s motion for summary judgment.
  • Represented home builder in a construction-defect lawsuit. Took and defended the parties’ damages experts.

Recognition

Rankings & Honors

Named a "Rising Star" by Super Lawyers, 2021

Affiliations

Community & Professional Activities

  • Houston Bar Association
    • Law Week Committee, June 2021 - Present
    • Bench Bar Committee, June 2021 - Present
  • Houston Young Lawyers’ Association; Director, February 2019 – May 2020
  • Houston Young Lawyers’ Association; Chair, Arts & Entertainment Committee, June 2019 – May 2020
  • Houston Young Lawyers’ Foundation; Fellow, January 2018 – Present
  • American Women’s Association; Member, June 2019 – Present

Media & Events

Education

J.D., cum laude, The University of Texas School of Law, 2016.

B.A., cum laude, English and Sociology, Texas A&M University, 2011.

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
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