I recommend Daniel Charest without reservation for handling high-stakes litigation. Daniel is one of the hardest working, most talented, and easiest to work with trial attorneys I have come across.
Proven hustle. Unrivaled grit. Bold execution.
Daniel has spent years on the front lines of high-stakes litigation in both federal and state courts throughout the country, coast to coast, and international arbitrations around the world. He is equally comfortable in a courtroom talking to a jury as he is in a boardroom talking to executives or on a gravel road talking to witnesses. Daniel uses a combination of experience, intellect, grit, and compassion to achieve his client’s goals.
And Daniel’s excellent work and achievements are regularly recognized in various peer- and industry-driven rating publications. Those honors include being named “Attorney of the Year” in 2020 by Texas Lawyer, called a "Winning Litgiator" by National Law Journal, and listed as both "Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyer" and "Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyer" by Lawdragon. And he backs up those honors by actually winning in court day-by-day, including recently earning at $41,000,000 jury verdict in an oil & gas matter Denver District Court.
Daniel’s breadth of experience goes deep. He has handed everything from antitrust, breach of contract, business torts (like trade secret misappropriation, executive employment disputes, and unfair competition), to government takings claims, consumer protection issues, oil and gas disputes of many types, class actions, fraud, insurance bad faith, and wrongful death. His docket has also included nearly every type of procedural and jurisdictional challenges such as removal and remand, class certification, venue transfers, forum non conveniens, temporary restraining orders, temporary injunctions, and appeals.
After his federal appellate clerkship, Daniel joined a nationally recognized litigation boutique firm where he became a partner before paving his own path and co-founding Burns Charest to bring skilled, trial-savvy lawyers together as a team. The Burns Charest team is modeled after his watchwords: efficiency and effectiveness.
Outside work, Daniel is a proud husband to Melanie and father to Madeline and John.
Clients’ and Contributors' Reviews
“Daniel and Burns Charest handle virtually all of my litigation needs, and they do so with great results. Having Daniel on my team provides a commercial advantage to me, our firm, and our portfolio companies. Daniel brings strategic thinking, intelligence, and an intense work ethic to each case. His experience in oil and gas litigation lets us get to the key issues immediately.”
— Ryan Turner, Founder and Managing Partner of Stronghold Resource Partners
"Daniel led an outstanding litigation team. Clearly the strongest of the many I have worked with. The Burns Charest team combined a deep understanding of the oil and gas industry with a clinical, forensic analysis of a very large number of documents produce a compelling, wining result for the client."
— Stephen Rogers, Exploration Geologist & Expert Witness
"I cannot tell you the enormous satisfaction I Received from working with you on the Costa Rica case. Your natural leadership abilities and laser focus created a great win for my family. We had a complex contract case spanning 20 years, two countries, and two languages. Each day we entered the court you had a detailed plan of attach and executed it. And, when thrown a curve ball, you handled it with such finesse it appeared to be part of your plan.
"As you know the higest compliment a Marine can pay is: 'Well Done.' So, to you Daniel Charest, WELL DONE!"
— George Mallon, Jr., Principal and Member of GT Resources, LLC
“Daniel understands leadership as well as he understands the law. He represents me as a leader, not as an abstraction of the law. His counsel leads to my success.”
— J. Scott Drennan, Founder and CEO of Drennan Innovation
“Dan outworked opposing counsel in every matter he has represented our firm. He and his team give us both intelligence and speed. And we have been very pleased with the results in each case.”
— Reid Swanson, General Counsel of Stronghold Resource Partners
“Having engaged Daniel for two complex matters in the last several years, and worked closely with him on the matters, I definitely would recommend him for energy-related litigation matters. Daniel quickly grasps the business issues and works well with the clients and quickly grasps the business issues. His technical knowledge and strategic thinking have served us well. And he also has a great team supporting him.”
— Alissa Eason, Vice-President, Legal and Contracts at Kosmos Energy, LLC
“Daniel did great work on our multi-billion-dollar case. His representation was diligent and tenacious. Daniel is hard working and this attribute coupled with his unique insight was of significant assistance to us in our case.”
— Jacob Cherner, President of CSG Investments
“Daniel is the kind of lawyer I need in difficult, time-constrained matters. Tenacious, aggressive but practical. He is looking out for clients’ interests at all times. Decisive and prepared—what else can I say?”
— David Brooks, Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel of Ashford Hospitality Trust
“I have always been impressed with Daniel’s legal abilities. He is a smart, thorough attorney and always has a firm grasp of the big picture and objectives of the litigation as well as being on top of all the small details. He is easy to work with and responsive. What I like best about him, though, is that he is creative, and I feel he truly has the client’s best interests in mind. He has come up with some great strategies in a couple of our cases that have allowed us to get out of the matter early.”
— Timothy M. Walsh, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, C & C North American
“Due to our difficult circumstances, I have been at a loss as to how to convey our deepest gratitude to Daniel for the manner and expertise in which he handled our case both personally and professionally. His understanding and compassion for our tragedy aided us in getting through a devastating period of time. As we continue to try to recover, we will be eternally grateful for the support that he provided.”
— Client from personal injury and wrongful-death case
“[A]ll of y’all had really good representation, which you have to know. These are very good lawyers that did an excellent job regardless of the outcome in this case. And I don’t see that all the time. I get a lot of big firm, crummy lawyers from time to time, but these guys really know what they were doing.”
— Honorable Ed Kinkeade, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
“I have been on the bench 19 years and I have dealt with my fair share of bankruptcy cases. I have never had such talented advocates before me, and I’m grateful for that. Kudos to both sides.”
— Honorable Keith P. Ellison, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
“I’d like to thank the parties and their counsel for excellent work, hard work, very challenging schedule, and you guys really rose to the occasion. I appreciate it very much. I know tempers got short and people get tired, but I appreciate the job everybody did.”
— Arbitrator William Keffer, after the conclusion of an AAA Arbitration
“I think the clients ought to know that your lawyers have done a superb job. No matter how this comes down, they have done an excellent job in the presentation of the evidence and in the submission of documents to us, and that’s really important, I think, for clients to understand, and I commend the trial team of both sides.”
— Arbitrator Susan Soussan, after the conclusion of an ICDR Arbitration
Tulane University Law School, J.D., summa cum laude (2004)
U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, B.S. Marine Transportation, cum laude (1994)
Cheverus High School, Portland, Maine (1990)
The Honorable Edith Brown Clement, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (clerkship 2005-2006)
The Honorable Martin L.C. Feldman, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana (externship 2003-2004)
Admissions & Honors
Admitted to practice in Texas, Virginia (inactive), the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and several federal district courts and courts of appeal, including all Texas federal courts
Committee Member, Pattern Jury Charges – Oil and Gas Committee, State Bar of Texas (2019-2021)
Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America (since 2020)
Fellow, American Bar Foundation (since 2020)
“Attorney of the Year” by Texas Lawyer (2020)
Ranked for “Litigation: General Commercial - Texas: Dallas, Fort Worth & Surrounds” by Chambers USA (2021)
Named “Winning Litigator” by National Law Journal (2020)
Named “Litigation Star” by Benchmark Litigation: The Definitive Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys (2020-2022)
Named “Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyer” by Lawdragon (2021)
Named “Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyer” by Lawdragon (2021-2022)
Recognized as among “Best Lawyers in Dallas” by D Magazine (2020-2021)
Recognized by Super Lawyers (2019-2021)
Recognized by Best Lawyers in America (2017-2022)
Managing Editor of the Tulane Law Review (2003-2004)
Order of the Coif (2004)
Chief Mate, unlimited tonnage, U.S. Coast Guard
Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy (Reserve), with an honorable discharge
Authored the published comment, A Fresh Look at the Treatment of Vessel Managers Under COGSA, 78 Tul. L. Rev. 885 (2003)
“Disputes over Production in Paying Quantities,” CLE Series; Dallas Bar Association, Energy Law Section (June 2019)
“Disputes over Production in Paying Quantities,” Oil and Gas Disputes 2019; State Bar of Texas, Oil, Gas & Energy Resources Section (Jan. 2019)
“Royalty Disputes & Litigation,” 35th Annual Course, Advanced Oil, Gas & Energy Resources; State Bar of Texas, Oil, Gas & Energy Resources Section (Sept. 2017)
“Litigation Trends in the $50 Era,” 2015 Energy and Environmental Law Summit (Oct. 2015)
Daniel’s experience spans federal and state courts throughout the country, coast to coast, and his international arbitrations span the globe.
- In re Upstream Addicks and Barker (Texas) Flood-Control Reservoirs, Sub-Master Docket No. 17-cv-9001L (Fed. Cl.).
- Court-appointed co-lead counsel for Hurricane Harvey upstream flood victims.
- “The largest Fifth Amendment takings cases in history” according to the federal government.
- Led plaintiffs’ trial team to a historic liability trial win against the federal government.
- In trial, opened, presented key witnesses, crossed key witnesses, and closed.
- Working to establish the quantum of compensation.
- Kosmos Energy Sao Tome and Principe v. ERHC Energy, Inc., No. 201771987 (157th District Court, Harris County, Texas), and Kosmos Energy Sao Tome and Principe v. ERHC Energy (BVI), LTD, No. 23177/TO (ICC International Court of Arbitration).
- Led international arbitration and a Texas State Court action in a fight over rights to a deep-water offshore drilling block off the coast of Africa
- Obtained temporary injunction in Texas State Court and permanent injunctive relief from the ICC arbitration panel in London to preserve the deep-water offshore asset for the client.
- Total victory for Burns Charest client after multi-day arbitration proceeding in London.
- In arbitration, presented key third party witness and damages expert and cross damages expert.
- Scola v. Facebook Inc. and Pro Unlimited Inc., No.18-CIV05135, (Superior Court, San Mateo County, California).
- Represented a class of nearly 14,000 content moderators who suffered injuries in the course of their work on behalf of Facebook.
- Class settlement approved for $52 million plus injuctive relief for current content moderators.
- GT Resources, LLC v. Black Hills Corporation, No. 2020CV30751, In the District Court for Denver County
- Represented oil & gas plaintiff for claims of breach of good faith and fair dealing and tortious interference with a prospective business advantage involving the award and eventual loss of an oil & gas concession in Costa Rica.
- Obtained $41,000,000 jury verdict after six days of trial (and one day of deliberation).
- In trial, opened, presented the main fact witness, presented the main damages expert, crossed the main fact witness, crossed the main damages expert, and closed.
- In re LTL Management, LLC, No. 21-30589-MBK (D.N.J. Bankr.).
- Worked from “First Day” Hearings through TRO and temporary injunction phases to limit effects of bankruptcy on talcum powder ovarian cancer claims.
- Obtained transfer from venue of debtor’s choice to appropriate venue.
- Fighting against Johnson & Johnson’s efforts to employ the “Texas two-step” bankruptcy procedure to avoid liability for over 38,000 talcum powder ovarian cancer victims.
- Whitton Petroleum Services Ltd. v. Tavakoli, Plan Administrator (In re: Cobalt Int’l Energy, Inc.), No. 17-36709(MI), Adv. No. 18-03172 (S.D. Tex. Bankr.).
- Led team to recover multi-million-dollar claim in the Cobalt International Energy bankruptcy.
- Oversaw both international arbitration to validate the claim amount and bankruptcy adversary proceeding to challenge six billion dollars as intercompany payables and over two billion dollars as intercompany receivables.
- Achieved favorable settlement for Burns Charest client.
- Devillier v. The State of Texas, Case No. 3:20-cv-00223 (S.D. Tex.).
- Representing a proposed class of landowners whose private property was used to store detained storm water.
- Defeated defendant’s motion to dismiss (on appeal to U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit).
- Novoa, et al. v. The GEO Group, Inc., No. 5:17-cv-02514 (C.D. Cal.).
- Representing classes of thousands of detainees for minimum wage and forced labor claims.
- Defeated defendant’s motions to dismiss.
- Obtained affirmative summary judgment ruling in favor of the class that provides for payment of California minimum wages to detained immigrants in GEO facility.
- In re Chesapeake Barnett Royalty Litigation #2, MDL No. 48-000000-15 (48th District Court, Tarrant County, Texas)
- Served as co-liaison counsel for all royalty plaintiffs.
- Represented royalty plaintiffs, including the largest royalty buyers in the Barnett Shale and mineral owners, including the largest mineral owner in the United States.
- Obtained settlements for all clients against all non-bankrupt defendants.
- Bell Textron, Inc. v. Drennan and Hyundai America Technical Center, Inc., No. 96-316532-20 (96th District Court, Tarrant County, Texas).
- Represented key executive and his team as they transitioned to new employment under noncompete agreement.
- Secured favorable settlement that allowed desired work at new position.
- WEH-SLMP Investments, LLC, et al. v. Wrangler Energy, LLC, et al., No. 01-18-0002-8763 (American Arbitration Association).
- Represented oil & gas acquisition funder in dispute with funded mineral acquisition team.
- Led trial team through defense of TRO application, motion to compel arbitration, and accelerated discovery in advance of arbitration.
- Achieved total victory for Burns Charest client after multi-day arbitration proceeding.
- In arbitration, opened, presented main fact witness, crossed main fact witness, and closed.
- In re Asbestos, Catalyst, and Silica Toxic Dust Exposure Litigation, (U.S.V.I. Superior Court.).
- Representing several hundred individual workers exposed to asbestos while working in a refinery on St. Croix, U.S.V.I.
- Achieved favorable settlement for hundreds of clients.
- Working to advance other clients’ claims.
- Black Stone Minerals Company, L.P. et al. v. Chesapeake Louisiana, L.L.C. et al., No. 77645-A (42nd District Court, DeSoto Parish, Louisiana), and Black Stone Minerals Company, L.P. v. Chesapeake Operating, L.L.C. et al., No. DC-C201600447 (249th District Court, Johnson County, Texas).
- Represented the largest mineral owner in the United States in gas royalty underpayment case.
- Led trial team through discovery, experts, summary judgment, and pretrial preparations.
- Achieved favorable settlement for Burns Charest clients on the eve of trial.
- Trinity Valley School, et al. v. Chesapeake Operating Inc., et al., No. 3:13-cv-01082-K (N.D. Tex.).
- Represented Ed Bass, related Bass entities, and associated royalty owners in gas royalty underpayment case.
- Led trial team through discovery, experts, summary judgment, and pretrial preparations.
- Secured summary judgment on liability for Burns Charest clients.
- Achieved favorable settlement for Burns Charest clients on the eve of trial.
Additional Cases and Results
- IOG Resources, LLC v. Staghorn STACK, LLC and Staghorn Petroleum II, LLC, No. DC-20-06899 (192d District Court, Dallas, County, Texas) (obtained dismissal for Burns Charest clients).
- Dunlap v. Reese, No. 324-692290-20 (324th District Court, Tarrant County, Texas) (summary judgment for Burns Charest pro bono client).
- Turtle Creek Exploration, LLC v. Roan Resources LLC and Citizen Energy III, LLC, No. CJ-2019-288 (District Court of Grady County, Oklahoma) (favorable settlement for Burns Charest client).
- Kay Brooke-Willbanks v. Energen Resources Corp., No. 53258 (118th District Court, Howard County, Texas) (summary judgment for Burns Charest client).
- Cara Nichols and Cynthia Morris v. Fireborn Energy LLC., No. 6:19-cv-154 (E.D. Ky.) (summary judgment for Burns Charest clients).
- Turtle Creek Exploration, LLC v. Stack Energy Partners, LLC, No. CJ-2019-9 (District Court of Grady County, Oklahoma) (summary judgment on liability for Burns Charest client).
- Cara Nichols and Cynthia Morris v. Nomad Land and Energy Resources, LLC, No. 53695 (118th District Court, Howard County, Texas) (summary judgment for Burns Charest clients).
- Expedition Royalty Co, LLC. v. Nomad Land and Energy Resources, LLC, No. DC-18-17113 (191st District Court, Dallas County, Texas) (summary judgment for Burns Charest client).
- McNeill v. Citation Oil & Gas Corp., No. 6:17-cv-00121-KEW (E.D. Okla.) (class action settlement approved for $2.875 million).
- Beck v. Texas Dow Employees Credit Union, No. 202070129 (152d District Court, Harris County, Texas) (class action settlement approved for cash payment of $4,000,000 and forgiveness of $1,255,398 in uncollected fees).
- Dodge Resource Partners, LLC v. Zahav Land Group, LLC, No. DC-CV54372 (142nd District Court, Midland County, Texas) (summary judgment for Burns Charest client).
- Four Leaf Ventures, LLC and Ibarguengoytia v. DFW POP Restaurants, LLC, et al., No. DC-17-13178 (95th District Court, Dallas County, Texas) (favorable settlement for Burns Charest clients).
- Dilworth v. Chesapeake Operating, L.L.C., No. M-16-0011-CV-C (343rd District Court, McMullen County, Texas) (favorable settlement for Burns Charest client).
- Mueller v. SCOOP Energy Company Holdings, LLC, et al., No. CJ-2016-5774 (District Court of Oklahoma County, Oklahoma) (summary judgment on liability for Burns Charest client) (favorable settlement for Burns Charest clients on eve of trial).
- In re Crude Oil Commodity Futures Litigation, No. 11-cv-3600 (S.D.N.Y.) (class action settlement approved for $16.5 million).