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Paul Heyburn

Paul Heyburn Shareholder

Houston, Austin
  • t: 713-210-8918
  • PaulHeyburn@MehaffyWeber.com

Paul Heyburn specializes in complex litigation matters with an emphasis in products, premises, environmental, commercial, and personal injury cases. His clients have ranged from family-owned businesses to Fortune 500 corporations. Paul has coordinated multi-state litigation for national clients and has successfully tried to verdict cases with damages alleged in the tens of millions of dollars.

Prior to attending law school, Mr. Heyburn worked as a commercial lines underwriter for Aetna Casualty & Surety. This experience gave him insight and understanding into complex insurance issues that have proved invaluable to his clients. Mr. Heyburn joined MehaffyWeber in 1994 after serving for one year as a briefing attorney to the Honorable Chief Justice J. Curtiss Brown of the Fourteenth Court of Appeals. Mr. Heyburn’s dedication to his clients and leadership skills led to him to become a shareholder in 2000 and he has continued to lead the firm as a member of the compensation, marketing, and management committees.

In addition to his work at MehaffyWeber, Mr. Heyburn is an active member of Mackrell International, a global network of independent law firms comprised of 90 members representing a total of 4,500 lawyers and attorneys working out of 170 offices in 60 countries. Currently, Mr. Heyburn serves as the Head of Practice Groups, leading over 1,000 attorneys around the world. His has also served as the Chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Practice Group, as well as the Chair of the Environmental Law Practice Group for Mackrell International.

EDUCATION
  • Texas Tech Law School, Juris Doctor, 1993
    • Order of the Coif (Top 10%)
    • Phi Kappa Phi
    • Board of Barristers
    • Texas Tech Law Review, Comment Editor
  • University of Texas at Austin, B.B.A., 1988
  • State of Texas
  • State of Arkansas
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • Mackrell International
    • Texas Delegate
    • Energy and Natural Resources Practice Group, Chair (2018-Present)
    • Environmental Law Practice Group, Chair (2012-2014)
  • International Institute for Natural Resources, Energy, and Environmental Law
    • Chair (2018- Present)
    • Chair-Elect (2015-2017)
    • Vice Chair Practice Development (2012-2014)
  • Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow
  • Complex Commercial Law Institute
  • US China Global Investment & Trade Alliance, Texas Delegate
  • Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Houston Young Lawyer Foundation, Life Fellow
  • Houston Bar Foundation
  • Diversity Law Institute
  • The Trial Law Institute
  • Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society
  • Super Lawyers
    • Selected to the Texas Super Lawyer list by Thomson Reuters (2006, 2012-2019)
    • Selected to the Texas Rising Star list by Thomson Reuters (2005-2006)
  • AV Preeminent® 5.0 out of 5.0 Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Selected as a “Top Lawyer in Houston” by H Texas Magazine (2008, 2013, 2015, 2017-2018)
  • “Rein in the Reptile – Methods to Combat the Reptile Trial Strategy,” Mackrell International, 2017
  • “Anti-Corruption Efforts in Latin America: A parallel between local regulation and FCPA,” Mackrell International, 2016
  • “When Money is Not Enough – Protecting Your Company’s Interests with Injunctive Relief in the US, UK and Worldwide,” Mackrell International, 2016.
  • “Vital Updates for In-House Counsel – Complex Commercial Litigation 2015,” Complex Commercial Law Institute (CCLI), 2015
  • “Updates on Current Environmental Issues: Self-Disclosure, Energy Reforms in Mexico, and Traps,” Mackrell International, 2015
  • “Defending Damages Claims in Complex Litigation,” Mackrell International, 2015
  • “Food Fight: What’s Cookin’ in the Food Industry,” Mackrell International, 2015
  • “Environmental Law Update: Defense of Third Party Challenges to Compliance and Permits; EPA’s E-Enterprise Initiative and Next Gen Enforcement; and Pollution Liability Claims Under the Federal Oil Pollution Act and Dig Alert Scheme,” Mackrell International, 2015
  • “Response to Chemical Spills in the United States, Canada, and Mexico,” Mackrell International, 2014
  • “Insurance MDL Litigation: How to Get Them, How to Get Out of Them, and What to Do Once You Are in Them,“ TexasBar CLE- 11th Annual Advanced Insurance Law Seminar, 2014
  • “Hydraulic Fracturing from Multiple Angles: Trade Secrets; Regulatory; and Environmental Issues,” International Institute of Natural Resources, Energy, and Environmental Law (IINREEL), 2013
  • “CERCLA Update: BNSF – 4 Years Later; End Run Attempts Around CERCLA Contribution Protection; and CERCLA Under the Obama Administration,” Mackrell International, 2013
  • “Current Environmental Issues Across the United States: Hydraulic Fracturing, Vapor Intrusion of PCE, and Green Gasoline,” Mackrell International, 2012
  • “Closing Argument,” HarrisMartin – Texas Asbestos Litigation Conference 2008.
  • “Ethical Issues in Mass Torts,” Asbestos/Personal Injury Seminar, Defense Research Institute (DRI); November 1996
  • “The Inherent Conflict Between the Reasonable Ratio and Net Worth Tests in Ascertaining Punitive Damages in Texas,” 23 Tex. Tech L. Rev. 1059
  • “Premises Liability for Criminal Conduct: When is Foreseeability Established?” The Houston Lawyer, 1998

Lyondell Chemical v. Albermarle Corp.
Paul Heyburn, Toxic Tort

Paul Heyburn represented several multi-national corporations in a five week trial involving CERCLA cost recovery for a $30,000,000.00+ Superfund site. Mr. Heyburn obtained a finding of no liability for his clients.

More Info: Lyondell Chemical Co., et al, Plaintiffs, v. Albemarle Corp., et al, Defendants, (USDC E.D.Tex.)

 

Janie Wolf, et al vs. The Dow Chemical Co.
Art Almquist, Sandra Clark, Paul Heyburn, Premises Liability

MehaffyWeber represented Dow Chemical Co. and obtained a defense verdict on February 1, 2008. In 1999, Alton Wolf died of lung cancer, at the age of 65. Wolf’s widow and adult children sued Dow for gross negligence, alleging that Mr. Wolf’s cancer was caused by exposure to asbestos in the workplace and that the workplace was unsafe. Alton Wolf held various jobs, such as a pipefitter and operator from 1952 to 1987 as an employee of The Dow Chemical Co. in Freeport. Dow Chemical contended that it operated its facility in a safe manner, that Mr. Wolf’s asbestos exposure was minimal and his cancer was caused by his smoking history of at least 40 pack-years.

More Info: Janie Wolf, et al vs. The Dow Chemical Co.; Cause Number 16383*BH01, District Court of Texas, 23rd Judicial District, Brazoria County

 

Carol J. Wortham Individually and as Independent Administratrix of the Estate of Hugh Wortham, Deceased v. A.C. & S., Inc., et al
Paul Heyburn, Arthur Almquist, Premises Liability

MehaffyWeber obtained a summary judgment on successor liability claims made by personal injury claimant against a Fortune 100 client.. The judgment was sustained on appeal.

More Info: – Wortham v. Dow Chemical Co., 179 S.W.3rd 189 (Tex.App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 2005, no pet.).

 

Dewayne Rogers Logging, Inc. v. Deere & Company
Paul Heyburn, Products Liability; Subrogation

MehaffyWeber successfully represented a Fortune 100 company in a product liability lawsuit regarding heavy equipment used in the logging industry. The plaintiff was the insurance company of a logging company that purchased an excavator with a logging attachment. Several years later, the machine caught fire and was totally destroyed. The plaintiff argued that a defect in the machine resulted in the fire; however, Mr. Heyburn obtained a dismissal based on no evidence of manufacturing or design defect as well as the economic loss rule. He successfully defended the appeal through the Texas Supreme Court.

More Info: Dewayne Rogers Logging, Inc. v. Deere & Company, 299 S.W.3d 374, 391 (Tex. App.-Tyler 2009, pet. denied, October 21, 2011 ) (the Texas Supreme Court denied plaintiff’s petition for review after requesting full briefs on the merits).

 

King v. Bigler LP
Paul Heyburn, Personal Injury

Paul Heyburn obtained a finding of no liability for a Fortune 1000 client for a plaintiff seeking recovery for personal injury sustained as a result of a collision between a train and a tractor-trailer.

More Info: King v. Bigler LP, 2011 WL 1542737 (S.D.Tex. 2011)

 

U.S.A. v. Atlantic Richfield Co.
Paul Heyburn, Toxic Tort, Environmental Law

Paul Heyburn successfully defended multiple clients in CERCLA cost recovery suit related to a $120,000,000.00 Superfund site.

More Info: U.S.A. v. Atlantic Richfield Co., No. 98 CV 0408; In the United States District Court (S.D. Texas 2002)

 

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