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Tony Buzbee

Biography

There are thousands of nameless, faceless attorneys who fill the top floors of many of the office buildings in every major city in the United States — there is no one like Tony Buzbee. Buzbee is a leader in his field and at the top of his profession. The Texas Lawyer agrees, naming Tony Buzbee “Attorney of the Year” for 2015.

In the Sixth edition (2013) of Benchmark Litigation, the definitive guide to America’s leading litigation firms and attorneys, Tony Buzbee was named as litigation star for plaintiff’s litigation in Texas and The Buzbee Law Firm was named as one of five “Highly Recommended” firms. (Link to the article can be found here).

The New York Times Magazine described Buzbee as: “One of the most successful trial lawyers in the country.” Texas Monthly said of Buzbee: “Buzbee has made his name going after corporations, and he usually wins big.” The New York Times stated it best when it described Buzbee like this: “Mr. Buzbee is a big, mean, ambitious, tenacious, fire-breathing Texas trial lawyer. Really big. Poster boy big.”

The results speak for themselves:

After being indicted on Abuse of Power charges, facing 99 years in prison, Governor Rick Perry hired Tony Buzbee to lead his defense. Buzbee quickly became the Governor’s spokesman regarding the charges, and lead the all-start trial team. After multiple court hearings and appearing before two appeals courts, all charges were ultimately dismissed by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, completely vindicating and exonerating Governor Perry.

After more than two and a half years of litigation, Buzbee was brought in to try a breach of contract and tortious interference with contract case on behalf of one of the largest Mexican grocery store chains in the country. After a two-week trial, the jury returned a verdict exceeding $30 million, with more than $5 million in punitive damages.

Hired by the family of a dredge worker who was bit by a spider aboard a dredge, Buzbee tried the case to verdict. After a two-week trial, the jury returned a verdict in excess of $44 million.

Hired by the family of three brothers involved in a plant explosion in Memphis, Buzbee’s team went to work. Ultimately, Buzbee tried the case, receiving a verdict in excess of $159 million. Most of the verdict was upheld on appeal.

Hired after almost two years of litigation, Buzbee tried a case for the family of a facilities worker who was killed when a lithium battery exploded. The case was brought against the battery manufacturer under a products liability theory, and against the deceased’s employer alleging gross negligence. Midway through the trial, the manufacturer of the battery settled; at the end of the two-week trial, the jury entered a verdict of $29.1 million for the family.

After more than thirty depositions, and three years, Buzbee went to trial against a General Contractor and Subcontractor who negligently started a fire resulting in more than $12 million in damages to a condo project. After two days of trial, the General Contractor settled on favorable terms. Buzbee kept going and obtained a significant verdict against the Subcontractor reported by The Galveston Daily News to be more than $30 million and a finding of “no liability” against his clients.

Retained by famed recording artist and businessman Jimmy Buffet to protect various trade marks and intellectual property, Buzbee not only stopped the infringing company in its tracks, but through his efforts, had the owner temporarily jailed. The case settled on extremely favorable terms shortly thereafter.

Offered only $100,000 to settle a hotly disputed, high profile toxic release case on the day of trial, Buzbee rejected and obtained a record-setting verdict reported in the national press to exceed $100 million. The case, which was reported to be one of the largest of the year in the country, and the largest ever against BP, settled confidentially thereafter. Hired to defend a business client in a contempt hearing, whereby the Plaintiff in the case was trying to force Buzbee’s client to turn over customer lists and other proprietary information, Buzbee stepped in. After a two-hour hearing, the Federal Judge ordered the Plaintiff to deposit a significant sum into the registry of the Court, and set a trial date to determine whether Buzbee’s client was the owner of those funds: exactly what Buzbee’s client had been trying to accomplish in over two years of litigation.

Retained to attempt to vacate a two-year injunction preventing the development of valuable property near protected wetlands, Buzbee convinced the Court–from the bench–to lift the injunction. The client was thus able to save his substantial investment, while paying Buzbee in kind with property for his valuable work.

Hired on a Thursday to try a commercial dispute on the next Monday, Buzbee went to work. After a four-day trial, the jury returned a substantial verdict in excess of $2.8 million, over twice Buzbee’s client’s settlement demand. The case settled shortly after the jury verdict.

Fourteen product liability cases in a row, raising the exact same issue, had been won by Ford Motor Company across the United States–After a two and a half week trial, Buzbee obtained a substantial jury verdict in excess of $16 million for his clients. The case settled confidentially thereafter.

Hired by the Port of Galveston on a breach of contract case, after receiving a meager offer of settlement of only $280,000–Buzbee went to work; the case settled within nine months for more than $9 million.

Seeking answers surrounding the death of her husband, and turned down by five other law firms–Buzbee took the case for a widow whose husband was killed on an offshore drilling rig off the Coast of Saudi Arabia, and obtained a significant verdict exceeding $6 million. The case settled confidentially thereafter.

Seeking to change how business was done offshore Buzbee took a case for the family of a young man mysteriously killed due to what the company described as a “freak accident” on an offshore drilling rig. The case resulted in a multimillion dollar, confidential settlement and changed the way business is done offshore.

Tony Buzbee is a former Recon Marine officer. His mettle has been tested time and again through some of the most demanding training in the armed services, and due to his involvement in the some of the most intense Marine operations in various countries. Buzbee didn’t just survive or endure as a Marine officer, he excelled. In the Marine Corps, officers are taught to lead from the front, to do more with less, to work smart, to hit fast and exploit weaknesses and to be creative. Tony Buzbee, and the firm he has built, use these same principles and attitudes in the practice of law.

Tony Buzbee is a nationwide figure, who is sought out in every kind of case, all over the country. He believes in the wisdom of juries. He deeply respects the practice of law and the system as a whole. Tony Buzbee has earned the luxury of selecting the cases upon which he personally chooses to work.

Tony Buzbee is the son of a butcher and high school cafeteria worker. After earning a ROTC scholarship, Buzbee attended Texas A&M University. While there, he served as a Battalion Commander in the Corps of Cadets. Upon graduation, Buzbee was named a Distinguished Naval Graduate, Distinguished Student, and was recognized as the Outstanding NROTC Senior in the Corps of Cadets, as well as the Outstanding Commander in the Corps of Cadets. Buzbee now has the honor of having the Buzbee Leadership Learning Center named after him.

After college, Buzbee entered the United States Marine Corps. In his initial Marine Corps training, Buzbee was recognized as an Honor Graduate, receiving the top leadership score out of more than 200 other Marine Lieutenants. Buzbee then continued his service as a Marine Corps infantry officer, serving in the Persian Gulf and Somalian conflicts, where he commanded various Marine SOC (special operation capable) infantry units. After rigorous physical and mental screening, Buzbee was selected by the Marines to become a Recon officer, commanding the elite Recon Company of the historic First Marine Regiment. While serving as a Recon officer, Buzbee received various awards, including top leadership awards from the rigorous Navy Dive School and the daunting Amphibious Reconnaissance Course. Ultimately, Buzbee earned the rank of Captain, and for his Marine Corps service was awarded the prestigious Navy Commendation Medal.

After leaving the Marine Corps, Buzbee entered law school at the University of Houston Law Center. While there, Buzbee was the Managing Editor of the Houston Law Review, was elected Class Captain by his peers, and was also a member of the Order of the Coif, Order of the Barristers, and Order of the Barons. Buzbee was also state and regional mock trial champion and was voted best advocate in every competition in which he competed. Buzbee ultimately graduated Summa Cum Laude, second in his class.

After graduation, Buzbee was selected to serve as a briefing attorney for a federal district judge in the Southern District of Texas, Galveston Division. Upon completing that assignment, he was hired by one of the most prestigious litigation boutiques in the country. He then founded his own firm.

Aside from his legal practice, Buzbee is also a business owner, responsible for various well-known retail endeavors, commercial buildings, and hotels. Buzbee also serves on the Board of Directors of Hometown Bank, the Board of the Bay Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and has served on the Board of Visitors of Texas A&M Galveston. Buzbee is also a member of the Board of Regents of Texas A&M University.

In 2002, Buzbee was recognized by his peers in the Texas Lawyer, as one of the Top 5 “Go To” Lawyers for Commercial Litigation in the State of Texas. Buzbee was the youngest attorney on the list, in any category. Tony Buzbee has been repeatedly recognized as a Texas “Super Lawyer” by Thomson Reuters. Buzbee has been profiled in several books, and has appeared on the cover of the New York Times Magazine. He has been named Texas Lawyer of the year, and Texas Aggie Lawyer of the Year.

Tony Buzbee is frequently sought out for his courtroom skill and oratory talent. Buzbee is also a frequent commentator on national news programs. Due to his skill set, he has been retained to help a U.S Senate candidate prepare himself for a series of televised debates, and even was called upon to assist a presidential candidate in multiple, nationally televised presidential debates.

Tony Buzbee became the trial lawyer he is today by applying the skills he learned in the Marines—comprehensive preparation and ruthless execution. Buzbee believes that the only way to reach a fair settlement for his clients is to prepare each case as if it will be tried. There is a real difference between those who “litigate” cases and those who try cases to verdict, in a court of law. Tony Buzbee has a proven track record of trying and winning cases, period.

 

Education

  • University of Houston College of Law, Houston, Texas
    • J.D.
    • Honors: summa cum laude
    • Honors: Elected Class Captain by his peers
    • Honors: Member of the Order of the Coif, Order of the Barristers, and Order of the Barons
    • Honors: State and Regional mock trial champion
    • Law Review: Houston Law Review, Managing Editor
  • Texas A&M University
    • B.S.
    • Major: Psychology

Classes & Seminars

  • University of Houston Law Center, Guest Lecturer, Arbitration
  • Guest Speaker, Vessel Casualties and Oil Spills, Who has the Liability? presented to the Lawyers Association of Cuba upon special invitation
  • Adjunct Professor, University of Houston Law Center, Litigating Commercial Disputes

Past Positions

  • Susman Godfrey LLP, Attorney
  • Southern District of Texas, Briefing Attorney
  • United States Marine Corps, Captain

Published Works

  • When Arbitrable Claims Are Mixed with Nonarbitrable Claims, What's a Court to Do?, Law Review, South Texas College of Law
  • Who Will Speak for the Teachers?, Houston Law Review
  • Venue Transfer in Federal Court, Houston Lawyer
  • "Appearing on Behalf of Galveston County," in Book "Texas Justice Tall Tales", Red Bandana Publishing

Professional Associations

  • Adjunct Professor, University of Houston Law Center, Litigating Commercial Disputes
  • University of Houston Law Center, Guest Lecturer, Arbitration, Contracts, Etc
  • Various CLE’s on topics ranging from trial practice, jury selection, and the taking of depositions.

Practice Areas

  • 18-Wheeler Accidents
  • Burn Injuries and Deaths
  • Class Action Lawsuits
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Environmental Damage and Toxic Torts
  • Industrial Plant Accidents
  • Jones Act
  • Maritime Injury and Death (Offshore)
  • Oil Field Accidents
  • Personal Injury
  • Recovery from Ins. Companies
  • Technology
  • Real Estate

Honors

  • Recognized by his peers in the Texas Lawyer, as one of the Top 5 “Go To” Lawyers for Commercial Litigation in the State of Texas, 2002
  • Recognized as a Texas “Super Lawyer” by Thomson Reuters