About Yetter Coleman LLP
Formidable Texan litigation boutique firm Yetter Coleman is adept at achieving complete reversals, no-payment judgments and hefty settlements on million-dollar claims.It’s no wonder that Fortune 10 and similarly high-profile corporations such as IBM, General Electric, American Airlines, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, CenterPoint and Bic Pen Corp. entrust the firm with their high-stakes litigation needs.
Litigation + Appellate = Yetter Coleman
Yetter Coleman was born in Houston in 1997 as Yetter Warden LLP, named after its founding partners Paul Yetter and David Warden. Yetter and Warden were former Baker Botts partners, and three years later yet another BigLaw alum, Greg Coleman from Weil, Gotshal, joined the firm in 2007; accompanying him was a troupe of appellate lawyers from Austin, which allowed the firm to extend its presence to a second Texan location. The firm changed its name in 2010 to echo its combined prowess.
In no time, Yetter Coleman rose to the ranks of the top litigation boutiques in the country, being named American Lawyer’s Litigation Boutique of the Year twice, in 2005 and 2009 and making lists like the National Law Journal’s ten-firm“2012 Litigation Boutique Hot List” and “2010 Appellate Hot List,” Chambers USA’s2011 Leading Lawyers for Business and Best Lawyers in America 2013 in areas of appellate, antitrust, business, IP litigation and securities. Today, Yetter Coleman remains a small yet strong litigation boutique, with specialties in appellate, governmental, technology, complex commercial, energy and IP litigation, and it is one of the few boutiques located outside of Washington DC to have Supreme Court Practice.
Airlines, Software, Oil Spills, and Big Banks
Name partners Yetter and Coleman set a decisive tone for the firm in the 2005 Supreme Court case Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Saudi Basic Industries Corp. by upholding a $417 million judgment on behalf of client ExxonMobil against appeal by previous defendant Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC). Yetter Coleman continued its winning streak and specialized in high-profile antitrust suits. The firm represented American Airlines as lead trial counsel in its $1 billion in damages antitrust claim against Sabre, the biggest Global Distribution System in the world. AA alleged that Sabre manipulated travelers’ booking technologies to malign the flight provider. Yetter Coleman helped AA reach a settlement with Sabre, which was also had cases filed against it by Orbitz and Travelport. Yetter Coleman found itself on the other side of the antitrust suit during its 2011 defense of IBM against Neon, which alleged the tech giant was using unfair competition practices in the software market.
But the firm doesn’t always represent big companies; it has a history of sticking it to them, too. Yetter Coleman represented British Petroleum shareholders, primarily New York and Ohio state pension funds, that had lost $200 million to the oil company in the 2010 Gulf oil spill. In 2011, the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Texas appointed Yetter Coleman co-lead counsel in a multi-district litigation suit against Wachovia Mortgage Corp. and Wells Fargo Bank concerning employee overtime compensation claims specifically on the basis of the firm’s complex litigation experience.
In the Interest of Texas
Yetter Coleman won the title of Pro Bono Hero for taking on the Texas Department of Public Safety for undocumented immigrants in a driver’s license case. Other mantles Yetter Coleman has taken up include improvement of the Texas foster care system and representation of Occupy Austin protesters challenging the city’s congregation ban.
IN THE NEWS
First Win Against Industry Boycotts
Needing emergency relief for luxury theater circuit iPic-Gold Class to protect its right to license hit movies, Yetter Coleman sued under the Texas Antitrust Act to stop a campaign by the nation’s largest cinema chains to coerce studios to cut off iPic from first-run films. We won an injunction against Regal’s attacks, the first favorable merits ruling among similar pending suits by small theaters across the country. When AMC sought to escape liability, the court found sufficient evidence of a horizontal conspiracy and set the case for trial.
Life and Death Ruling for Foster Children
Yetter Coleman is impacting the lives of 12,000 children in the Texas foster care system, in a federal class action to remedy the State’s ongoing violations of the constitutional rights of these children. After years of litigation and appeals, the trial court issued a masterful 255-page verdict finding systemic violations. The ruling has received widespread state and national press attention. While the State continues to fight, the court has moved forward with final injunctive relief, appointing two experts to investigate and recommend remedies for this “broken” system.
Smart Meter Patent Suit Win
Yetter Coleman successfully defended Oklahoma Gas & Electric in a multi-district patent case targeting its “smart meters”—digital electric meters which measure power consumption and wirelessly communicate date back to the utility. After five years of litigation, during which the patents were upheld by the U.S. Patent Office, we won a summary judgment and no-payment dismissal for OG&E. And the win paved the way for the meter manufacturer to reach a favorable settlement.
$160 Million Antitrust Victory
After a five-week jury trial, Yetter Coleman won a landmark verdict for a start-up steel distributor that was put out of business by competitor steel distributors and mills which conspired to cut off its access to steel plate. The jury ruled unanimously for our client, after which the trial court entered judgment for $160 million, including trebling and fees, and the judgment was affirmed by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. In one of the few per se cases to go to trial in decades, this may be the largest antitrust judgment ever upheld in the Fifth Circuit.
Two Houston Center
909 Fannin ~ Suite 3600
Managing Partner: Paul Yetter
Summer associate: $3,000/week
Houston, TX (HQ)
Complex Commercial Litigation and Arbitration
Governmental and Constitutional Law
Intellectual Property Litigation