Business Problems and Transactions
- Acquisitions, sales, and financing of business enterprises and significant assets
- Employment and personnel matters
- Entity organization, enterprise structure, and planning
- Business succession and exit planning
- Contracts, business forms, licenses, easements, and leases for equipment and premises
- Problems among owners
- Commercial disputes and business litigation
- Collecting money owed, and enforcing creditors rights
- Trademark registration and protection, competition, and goodwill protection issues
By reviewing the specific litigation areas, you can see that our firm has tried as lead counsel scores of cases to juries as well as assisted as local counsel in many more. That experience also allows our firm to make extensive use of alternative dispute resolution techniques, including mediation and arbitration. In order to litigate any case successfully, you must know where you are and who your audience is. Our firm can certainly help you with this part of South Texas. Our firm’s experience includes the following types of cases:
- Professional Negligence
- Toxic Tort
- Oil and Gas
- Gender Discrimination
- National Origin Discrimination
- Race Discrimination
- Worker’s Compensation Retaliation
- Deceptive Trade Practices
- Will Contests
Personal Injury claims have long been a central focus of litigation in South Texas. We have tried numerous personal injury cases to successful jury verdicts and are the primary counsel for two of the largest international companies with industrial facilities in our region. Additionally, we regularly serve as local counsel in all types of personal injury litigation. We routinely provide such clients with the following services:
- Traditional personal injury litigation
- Bad faith, insurance code violations, and other first party litigation
- Litigation related to malpractice and employment matters
- Civil Trial Defense involving premises liability, tort, general negligence
- Civil Trial Defense involving your employees and workplace accidents
Commercial Real Estate
The firm’s real estate clients include industrial plant owners, business premises owners, mortgagors, mortgagees, developers, commercial lessees and lessors, agricultural concerns, individuals, partnerships and governmental entities. Our experience covers the spectrum of real estate transactions, from assisting with due diligence in making the decision to purchase, to negotiating the financing and closing the deal. We handle:
- Real estate financing, development, and exchange transactions
- Property purchases and disposals
- Commercial, industrial, agricultural, and recreational leasing transactions
- Real estate partition, boundary, title, and possession disputes
- Eminent domain litigation, both for condemnees and condemnor
- Environmental issues and disputes
Oil and Gas
The energy industry is a huge part of the South Texas economy. We have represented large and small landowners in dealing with oil and gas companies. Our representation has ranged from negotiating leases to litigation involving major oil and gas fields for both the landowners and energy companies. We represent clients in connection with:
- Leasing transactions
- Seismic and exploration agreements
- Lease litigation
- Commercial disputes and business litigation
- Contracts and business forms, technology agreements, licensing and joint operating agreements
- Water regulatory, development and transportation issues
Our firm represents clients seeking to extend credit as well as those seeking to obtain it. With a long history and experience of representing banks and financial institutions, the firm’s professionals possess uncommon insight when it comes to structuring and negotiating the terms of commercial financing transactions, helping our clients communicate with potential financing parties on a level that gives the best assurance of a positive outcome. The firm also has extensive experience representing both lenders and borrowers after the deal is done and in those circumstances where things have not gone as planned or when change is needed or inevitable. We also work with corporate trustees and fiduciaries in many different contexts, including litigation and dispute resolution.
We provide banks, financial institutions, businesses and investors with:
- Negotiating and structuring commercial and secured lending transactions
- Documenting secured transactions, and other corporate financing arrangements
- Real estate mortgage loan negotiation, documentation, and structuring
- Modifications, work out negotiations, foreclosure, and collection services
Labor & Employment
Our attorneys provide advice, review policies and represent clients in all types of labor and employment related matters. When disputes are not resolved in the administrative phase, our attorneys represent our clients in state and federal courts and in private arbitration proceedings.
Our experience also extends to claims for interference with contracts and prospective contracts, and breach of contract brought in the employment context.
Our attorneys have represented clients in employment related matters in such industries as petroleum, petrochemical, pipeline, banking, healthcare and utility. Our firm represents clients with matters pertaining to
Our firm represented several pipeline companies in development of the infrastructure for the Eagle Ford Shale production in several counties.
We also have experience representing parties involved in hearings on administrative/local level in addition to having the capacity and expertise to carry your case through litigation if necessary.
Our firm represents companies obtaining hundred of miles of pipeline easement serving the Eagle Ford Shale. We also represent landowners in eminent domain cases in areas such as electric easements and government taking.
Estate Planning and Probate
The firm assist our clients in the preparation of wills, medical and statutory powers of attorney along with other planning documents. We advise heirs, administrators and executors in heirship proceedings, muniment of title proceedings, the probate process and in managing, settling and distributing estates. The firm is also experienced in lawsuits involving will contests and other types of probate litigation such as breaches of fiduciary duty causes of action. The goal is to assist our clients in insuring their planning documents reflect their wishes. We travel to homes, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and nursing homes to make sure the client’s objectives are met.
Business Exit Planning
Everyone who has a business is going leave it at some time. The key is leaving on your own terms. Walker Keeling can help you determine what you want and need from the transition out of your business, and help you plan for and reach those goals. The firm’s professionals can help you:
- Prioritize your interests and determine a path for successfully leaving your business
- Evaluate alternatives to selling the business as a means of making your exit
- Identify challenges to meeting your goals and plan to manage them
- Assess and enhance your business’s ability to sustain your chosen path and reach your goals
- Handle the exit transaction and implement your plan
- Bankruptcy chapter 7, 11, and other necessary options that may require the need to utilize the US Bankruptcy court to facilitate a restructure or finalization of your business
Toxic and Mass Tort
Our firm has defended toxic tort matters for some of the largest companies in the country. We have appeared in claims involving single plaintiffs and matters where entire communities have filed suit against our clients. We are experienced in all areas of toxic and mass tort, including litigation involving:
- Ground water contamination
- Welding fumes
Local GovernmentThe firm represents municipalities and other government entities, such as municipal utility districts and water control and improvement districts. We provide services to these entities from formation and creation, basic governance advice (including Open Meetings Act issues, annual reporting procedures, drafting rules and regulations) to election procedures. The firm offers advice and guidance on compliance issues (for example, bond ordinances, Texas Public Information Act and interlocal government agreements) to ensure our clients operate in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. The services our firm provides local government clients are many and include:
- condemnation issues and proceedings
- regulatory compliance
- financing of improvements including utilizing state agency programs
- real estate acquisition and divesture
- easements and rights-of-way
- drafting employee policies and handbooks
- entity policies and enforcement
- interlocal government agreements
- contract drafting, review, and negotiation (for banking services, personnel or independent contractors, and construction)
WHITE COLLAR DEFENSE
The prosecution of what are commonly referred to as White Collar Crimes is becoming more prevalent. The intricacies of Criminal investigations, audits, regulatory investigations, civil fraud and contract fraud cases have grown increasingly more complex at both the federal and state levels with the abundance of information accessible from the Internet. The economic wellbeing of companies now depends greatly on solid compliance and interaction with the government. White Collar Crimes include federal crimes such as tax fraud, embezzlement, money laundering, bank fraud, health care fraud, and environmental violations to name a few.
Micah W. Hatley has nearly 14 years of experience in criminal law. He works with a strong network of experts and specialists to assist in the investigation and interpretation of evidence associated with being accused of a White Collar Crime. Including defense Mr. Halley represents individuals and corporations through all areas of government inquiries regarding internal investigations, federal and state administrative investigations, grand jury investigations, trial, and appeal. Our objective at Walker Keeling is to help our clients prevent, resolve or mitigate the impact of government investigations and enforcement actions when they arise.
Mr. Hatley is aggressive and thorough when analyzing and preparing for trial and his experience in both State and Federal Court could mean the difference between an acquittal and a conviction. Walker Keeling offers its clients free consultations regarding white collar criminal defense, internal investigations, civil and regulatory investigations or prosecutions at our office.
Mr. Hatley also closely evaluates cases involving persons accused by the government and the state for violation that could include criminal penalties. Having tried a multitude of first chair Federal and State court felony offenses, Mr. Hatley is uniquely experienced to navigate you from a Driving While Intoxicated charge to the most serious accusations. If you need experienced criminal defense, let Mr. Haltey guide you to a resolution.