Graig J. Alvarez
Throughout his 22-year career, Graig has served primarily oil and gas and commercial clients, both large and small, on a wide array of litigation and arbitration matters. Graig couples his legal experience with a technical understanding of energy-based clients’ business through his past experience as a design engineer and project manager for Houston-based Cameron Iron Works. He has utilized this experience to handle complex commercial oil industry matters, insurance claims and coverage issues arising in the oil industry, and legal management/litigation of catastrophic events for energy-based clients.
Graig started his legal career in the Energy Litigation Group of Fulbright & Jaworski LLP’s Houston Office and was named Partner in 2007. Graig participated in a wide assortment of royalty litigation, working interest owner disputes, and various complex oil and gas litigation matters, including participation in several trials and arbitrations. From the outset of his career, Graig’s technical background and legal training allowed him to assume vital roles in high profile catastrophic incident matters for clients. This invaluable experience gave him both a legal and practical understanding of how to identify and work with internal client systems in the management and litigation of such catastrophic events. Graig co-founded Fernelius Alvarez PLLC in January 2010, continuing the same practice he enjoyed at Fulbright and further developing his niche in complex commercial litigation matters and catastrophic incident legal response and management.
In July 2016, Graig and two colleagues, Kara Stauffer and Lance Bremer, whom he has worked closely with for years, opened Alvarez Stauffer Bremer PLLC to continue to serve the same and new clientele with the same level of expertise, professionalism, and enthusiasm for the practice of law that they have always provided.
Graig has trial and arbitration experience and has successfully argued before both the Texas Supreme Court and the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Representing an insured oil and gas distribution company, Graig argued and won a Texas Supreme Court case, that was identified as one of the Top 10 Insurance Opinions in the United States in 2015.
Graig’s prior experience includes:
- Successfully settled dispute against broker/dealer in FINRA arbitration for former NFL athlete; continued representation of athlete against legal and accounting professionals in Texas state court.
- Successfully handled arbitration matter before AAA-Construction Industry for oilfield equipment distributor against chemical company resulting in settlement.
- Represented state agency with Texas AG’s office and resolved twelve wrongful death matters arising from Texas state prison system in 2011 and 2012.
- Successfully resolved indemnity dispute for oil and gas company arising from personal injury dispute against contractor and contractor’s insurer.
- Briefed, argued, and won appeal for an oil and gas component distributor before the United States Fifth Circuit and the Texas Supreme Court successfully establishing insurance coverage and liability against Liberty Insurance Corporation. Reported Opinion: 490 S.W.3d 20.
- Represented co-owner of a small business in a management dispute with multinational company over the operation of the business, including allegations of mismanagement and breach of fiduciary duty. Case settled after one day of trial.
- Successfully handled a breach of gas purchase agreement arising from shift in production balance caused by shale gas boom in the Permian basin between producers and purchaser.
- Successfully represented an independent E&P company against water treatment vendor arising from its shale gas fracking operations in Pennsylvania.
- Successfully defended an oilfield equipment distributor in defective-product claim against refinery by obtaining favorable settlement of dispute. Subsequently handled distributor’s claim against insurance carrier for failure to defend and indemnify under CGL policy.
- Successfully litigated claim of misappropriation of fiduciary property against employee utilizing eDiscovery to investigate and bring swift resolution of claim.
- Successfully arbitrated claims and defenses for a physician association in an employment dispute with one of its employee-physicians
- Represented an international pipeline company regarding rupture of line pipe against the manufacturer of the pipe, receiving a favorable settlement.
- Represented an international oil and gas company regarding an explosion and fire at its Texas City refinery.
- Represented a chemical company regarding an explosion at one of its Texas facilities.
- Successfully obtained a temporary injunction in federal court for a Brazilian manufacturer resolving the matter within weeks due to strategic advantages of injunction process.
- Successfully obtained a multimillion-dollar award in an ICC arbitration for an international oil and gas company against a Nigerian engineering firm.
- Successfully defended and tried to verdict a multimillion-dollar case asserted against a parent company on claims of Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, fraud and related claims.
- Successfully represented an oil and gas exploration company against an insurer, asserting claims for breach of duty to defend and statutory bad-faith claims.
- Successfully briefed and argued a FOIA appeal against the Department of Labor before the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in a case involving an explosion at a petrochemical facility, Reported Opinion: 280 F.3d 539 (5th Cir. 2002).
- Successfully represented a retail electric provider against an electricity supplier regarding breach of contract and related claims.
- Represented a professional athlete in a case regarding allegations of breach of contract against his former car-racing team owner; the matter was tried and successfully concluded in favor of the client.
- Represented an oil and gas operator in a case involving breach of a joint-operating agreement; the parties eventually entered into a settlement agreement post-trial.
- Represented a manufacturer of oil-field and pipeline valves in a products liability and wrongful-death lawsuit; the case was settled successfully for the client.
- Successfully represented an environmental engineering company against landowners who alleged property damages and personal injury arising from Superfund remediation.
- Successfully represented and settled a dispute between an oil and gas operator and South Texas landowners who made environmental claims associated with oil-field operations.
Education and Bar Admissions
- Licensed in Texas since 1997
- S. District Courts of Texas: Northern, Eastern, Southern, and Western Districts
- S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit
South Texas College of Law, Houston, Texas
J.D., Doctor of Jurisprudence – 1997; cum laude
Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Honors and Professional Affiliations
- Texas Super Lawyer
- American Bar Association
- Houston Bar Association
- ESCAPE Family Resource Center, Member of Board of Directors, 2007-2014
- Texas Transnational Law Quarterly, Member of Editorial Board, 2006-2008
- National Moot Court Championship Team, 1997
Speeches and Publications
- Speaker, “Who Are Best Positioned to Decide Disputes Arising Out of the Shale Gas Boom: Arbitrators or Judges,” International Energy Arbitration Conference, February 2014
- Speaker, “Are you Ready? Managing the Major Corporate Crisis,” Texas CLE Presentation, 2012, 2013
- Speaker, “Catastrophic Events: Assisting Your Client to Plan and Deal with a Crisis,” Advanced Oil & Gas Short Course, February 2009
- Instructor, “International Litigation, Arbitration and Mediation,” Universidad Panamerica, December 2008
- Speaker, Panel Discussion, “Catastrophic Events,” October 2008
- Contributor, “International Litigation: Defending and Suing Foreign Parties in U.S. Federal Courts”, American Bar Association, 2003
- Co-author, Practical Guide for Conducting Extraterritorial Discovery for Use in U.S. Litigation, 2001
- Author, “Adarand v. Pena-The Supreme Court’s Continuing Journey to the Legal High Ground”, South Texas Law Review, 1995