Tracey K. Rice

Partner

Phone: 832-849-1805

Fax: 832-849-1799

trice@copelandrice.com

I’ve spent my career as a trial attorney helping energy companies resolve complex business disputes inside and outside the courtroom.  Clients value my focus on boiling complex issues down to the most important facts they need to make decisions – or that I will need to advocate successfully to a judge or jury.  My clients and their business teams want direct, actionable solutions to facilitate their work.  I have the experience and judgment to provide the concise, insightful advice sophisticated clients demand.

Honored as a Texas Rising Star, my litigation practice has spanned a broad range of commercial litigation issues, including breach of contract disputes, environmental and toxic tort matters, trade secret claims, personal injury and product liability cases, and white collar criminal investigations.  Whether preparing cases for court, working side-by-side with corporate clients in their offices, or interviewing pipeline engineers, forensic accountants, or other experts in the field, my goal is always to help clients efficiently achieve success as they define it.

My attention to business results and financial impact is rooted in my education and affinity for numbers.  I graduated first in my class in Finance from the Business Honors Program at Texas A&M University.  Later, applying that analytical approach to legal problem-solving, I attained my law degree from the University of Houston Law Center magna cum laude and Order of the Coif.  I spent the first half of my career in the Litigation Department of Vinson & Elkins LLP, where I worked closely with Morgan Copeland.  Now, as partners at Copeland & Rice LLP, we have the privilege of resolving complicated disputes by providing high quality legal services in a more flexible, less costly environment with fewer conflicts.

I previously served as a Board Member for Aurora Picture Show and enjoy spending time with my husband and three children.  I also volunteer at Dress for Success Houston.

Publications & Presentations

  • Proving Your Attorney Fees in Litigation – Presented to 38th Annual Page Keeton Civil Litigation Conference, October 23, 2014
  • “Disaster Response – A Trial Lawyer’s Perspective”, The State Bar of Texas Corporate Counsel Section Newsletter, Summer 2012 (co-author)
  • Dealing with Foreign Counsel – Presented to the International Law Section of the State Bar of Texas, February 25, 2011
  • “Proportionate Responsibility,” State Bar of Texas 26th Annual Advanced Personal Injury Law Course, 2010 (co-author)
  • “Litigation Planning and Responding to the Next Disaster – A Litigator’s Perspective,” Energy Litigation Journal, American Bar Association, Winter 2008 (co-author)
  • “Attorney’s Fees Update,” 16th Annual Advanced Civil Trial Law Conference, South Texas College of Law, February 2008 (co-author)

Representative Matters

  • In federal court, represented private equity firm holding majority ownership interest in oilfield services company in defense of trade secret misappropriation claims brought by supplier of downhole gas separators in connection with firm’s sale of company to third-party, which was sued for misappropriation, patent infringement, and fraud.
  • Represented joint venture owner of pipeline in suit brought by construction company claiming breach of contract and fraud, and seeking $120 million in damages, arising from a construction project covering a 95 mile segment of a 20 inch crude oil pipeline.
  • Representing gas marketing subsidiary of major E&P company in seeking declaratory judgment that construction contract for gas storage facility in Wyoming terminated by its terms for defendant’s failure to achieve commercial service by date certain, relieving subsidiary from obligation under dependent long-term storage agreement.
  • Assisted in the representation of the owner and operator of a large natural gas pipeline that was struck by a third-party contractor resulting in an explosion that killed one person and injured others and resulted in multiple lawsuits and regulatory actions. My involvement began in the immediate aftermath of the incident and continued through the resolution of the litigation.
  • Assisted in the representation of Firestone in a products liability lawsuit arising from a bus accident involving hundreds of plaintiffs.  Also represented Firestone in dozens of other products liability cases arising from accidents occurring in both Texas and Mexico; such cases often presented forum non conveniens, venue, and foreign law issues.
  • Assisted in the representation of an interstate common carrier of petroleum products in a suit arising from accident at an industrial facility.
  • Assisted in the representation of a major international mining company in a case filed by a public entity asserting property damage to a road system allegedly arising from the historical use of byproducts taken from a nearby smelter (that ceased operations decades before suit was filed) over a long period of time for the construction and maintenance of roads and bridges. The case involved claims of soil contamination from arsenic, lead, and cadmium, and allegations of nuisance, trespass, and strict liability, and plaintiff sought damages and injunctive relief. The mining company obtained a significant victory on dispositive motions and the case was subsequently resolved prior to trial.
  • Represented a leading chemical manufacturer in several personal injury and products cases, including a case arising from a chemical explosion that was ultimately dismissed after the court granted the manufacturer’s dispositive motion.
  • Assisted in the representation of a client in several state and federal court cases against claims of extortion and fraud from hundreds of plaintiffs in connection with a global silica settlement; the case settled during the second week of trial.
  • Assisted in the representation of a major energy company in an 18-month, worldwide investigation related to potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act associated with the use of a freight forwarding agent.
  • Assisted in the successful prosecution of a breach of contract claim at trial in Kentucky against a major coal producer related to a contract mining agreement.

Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.