Meet Our Attorneys
Debbie Simon Pacholder PARTNER
Debbie Simon Pacholder specializes in helping diverse types of chemical and industrial companies, oil and gas and healthcare businesses. She fights every case as if it were her own and collaborates closely with her clients. Debbie reveals the nuances that others overlook, creatively turning crises into calm and confident wins.
Debbie has an unprecedented track record of highlighting the strengths of her clients’ positions and exploiting the weaknesses of her opponents’ claims to win pretrial dismissals as well as negotiate auspicious settlement terms when appropriate. Her victories have earned her a “Verdict of the Week” by Texas Bluesheet, numerous dismissals of hotly contested matters, and the Distinguished Martindale-Hubbell rating. She has successfully resolved cases emphasizing breach of contract, fraud, product liability, and misappropriation for both plaintiffs and defendants.
Debbie has represented major crude refiners and transporters, a major oilfield equipment provider, manufacturers of tools and chemicals for oil well completions, a nationwide healthcare services company, valve supplier, a staffing company for offshore oil and gas platforms, and major parts suppliers to the oil and gas and automotive industries. She has also represented businesses and their owners in high-stakes litigation and employment matters.
- Successfully defended publicly held oil tool manufacturing client in product liability suit for millions in damages to a well based on alleged casing patch failure.
- Won million-dollar settlement for medical practice owner’s counterclaims in suit alleging owner had mismanaged the practice and committed fraud.
- Won summary judgment and dismissal of all claims for a major oil refiner in a 1.9-million-dollar breach of contract suit brought in Delaware Superior Court by a crude transportation company. The Court adopted Debbie’s argument on the contract’s liquidated damages provision.
- Constructed an innovative counterclaim in a multi-million-dollar patent dispute involving transportation of fracking materials. The client resolved the suit without paying any settlement amount.
- Won summary judgment for an industrial tool supplier in a suit alleging product liability as the cause of a catastrophic burn injury, shortly after presenting the company’s corporate representative for deposition.
- Wrote and argued summary judgment motion on competitor’s counterclaim for fraud in trade secret litigation for subsea exploration company. The competitor dismissed its counterclaim hours later and the client received a lucrative settlement soon after.
- Arbitrated and secured millions of dollars for an oil and gas completions client against an auditor who failed to advise the company of millions of dollars in fraudulent transactions by its president. Reached a substantial settlement with the widow of the company president for the return of her shares after his death.
- Secured walk away dismissal of all claims against oil and gas completions client in suit brought by supplier seeking millions of dollars for goods the supplier claimed the company had ordered based on its salesman’s fraudulent invoices.
- Won dismissal of a $10 million qui tam action by a former employee alleging illegal environmental releases by the client, a staffing company for offshore oil and gas platforms.
- Prepared employees of staffing company for offshore oil and gas platforms to testify before U.S Grand Jury regarding alleged illegal environmental releases, preventing indictment of individual employees and the company. Diverted threatened action for indemnity against the company by platform operator through analysis of Master Agreement and applicable insurance policies.
- Obtained summary judgment and dismissal, upheld by the 14th Court of Appeals, on a former employee’s claim of alleged disability discrimination for an oilfield equipment provider.
- Drafted winning motion for summary judgment for her pipeline client in multi-million-dollar oil and gas litigation by an operator claiming liens on crude oil. The plaintiff nonsuited the case while the summary judgment motion was pending.
- Won six figures in sanctions against oil equipment provider on behalf of a former executive sued for fraud in Venezuela and in Harris County District Court. Texas Bluesheet identified this result as the “verdict of the week” after Debbie won a dismissal of all claims against the executive on summary judgment.
- Successfully argued to have an insurance coverage decision against her oil and gas staffing client overturned in the 14th Court of Appeals. The client recovered the majority of the fees expended. The case, Comsys Information Technology Services, Inc. v. Twin City Fire Ins. Co., 130 S.W.3d 181 (Tex. App. — Houston [14th Dist.] 2003, review denied) is cited frequently in reported decisions involving insurance coverage issues.
- Defended a nationwide auto and travel organization in a breach of contract and tortious interference action in which the plaintiff sought $8 million in damages. At the end of a five-week trial, the jury returned a zero verdict in favor of the defense on all claims. Successfully defended verdict on appeal.
- Won a take-nothing jury verdict for a local valve supplier sued for alleged violation of trade secrets.
- Defended nationwide health services company sued for negligence in a wrongful death suit. After filing for summary judgment, the plaintiffs settled with a co-defendant, and dismissed the client without settlement payment. Later, recovered the client’s attorney’s fees incurred in defense of the medical malpractice suit in an action before the AAA for indemnity against the company’s settling co-defendant.
- Won $2 million default judgment sum, which the company collected, for health services company in a breach of contract against a physician.
- Successfully resolved a complex action for health services company involving supply chain and price management issues within the pharmaceutical industry brought against it by a former pharmaceutical giant.
- Obtained dismissal of two hotly contested actions brought by a major laboratory services company against nationwide health services company, with no settlement payment by the company.
- Won summary judgment via the “one satisfaction rule” against a law firm asserting a claim for damages arising out of the client’s involvement in a sale in which the law firm had sought a million-dollar contingency fee. Judge Ken Wise granted summary judgment, agreeing the law firm had already been fully compensated for its alleged loss.
- Won a motion to dismiss on behalf of light heavyweight boxing champion Chad Dawson in a suit filed against him by former boxing promoter James Prince. Mr. Prince previously attempted to obtain an injunction preventing Dawson from defending his title in Las Vegas by filing suit in Houston, seeking a temporary restraining order. U.S. District Judge David Hittner granted Dawson’s motion for summary judgment based on personal jurisdiction and transferred the case to the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada, Southern Division.
- Defeated motion for protective order in a lawsuit seeking millions in damages for breach of contract against a publicly traded telecommunications corporation. The plaintiffs immediately dismissed their claims against the corporation.
- Won summary judgment on all allegations of race and sex discrimination and racial and sexual harassment against a major manufacturer of agricultural products, upheld on appeal by the Fifth Circuit en banc.
- Secured judgments to have commercial tenants evicted for non-payment of rent and recovered lease payments owed for a major shopping mall.
- Successfully defended a major local property management company in a claim for unpaid commissions, and also recovered unpaid commissions on behalf of another major commercial real estate firm.
- Defended a major automobile manufacturer against a claim of deceptive trade practices by a corporation and its individual proprietors seeking more than a million dollars in damages. Won abatement of the corporation’s claim due to its non-payment of state franchise taxes.
- University of Houston Law Center, Juris Doctorate, 1992
- Blakely Moot Court Semifinalist, Phi Delta Phi Honors Society
- University of Texas at Austin, Bachelor of Journalism With Honors, 1989
- Award-winning Features and News Writer, copy editor for the school’s nationally recognized news publication The Daily Texan
- Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas
- United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
- United States District Court for the Western District of Texas
AWARDS AND HONORS
- Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished Rating
- WEN Houston Chapter of Women in Energy, Mentor since 2018
- State Bar of Texas
- Houston Bar Association, Literacy Committee (former committee member)
- Montgomery County Bar Association
- The Joy School
- The HUB
- Jewish Family Service of Houston, pro bono legal work
- Speaker: State Bar of Texas’ 19th Annual Texas Minority Counsel Program (2011) on “Obtaining and Avoiding Sanctions Awards”