Our Team

Kate H. Easterling

Senior Attorney

Phone: (713) 337-8852

Fax: (713) 333-5985

Email: kate.easterling@mhllp.com

Office Location: Houston


Kate Easterling is a Senior Attorney in the firm’s Houston office. There she represents McDowell Hetherington’s clients as not only a veteran litigator but also an experienced trial lawyer. Her clients will tell you firsthand that Kate’s enthusiasm for trial sets her apart. Kate embraces the challenge of distilling complex topics and crafting key arguments for court. Her battle-tested skills allow clients to feel confident when they have Kate on their side. These strengths coupled with her energy and wit are perhaps why Kate’s clients enjoy—or at least don’t dread—talking to their lawyer.

Kate’s practice focuses on commercial disputes, energy litigation, financial-products litigation, and personal-injury claims. She effectively handles a variety of complex civil matters in state and federal courts across the nation. In these areas, for instance, she’s represented the drilling contractor in the BP Macondo oil-spill litigation, advised energy and power services companies, represented royalty owners in royalty disputes, defended casinos in contracts cases, and defended construction equipment manufacturers against defective-product, personal injury, and wrongful death claims.

Kate has been honored as a Texas Super Lawyer Rising Star for the years of 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. Before joining McDowell Hetherington, Kate was a partner at Goforth Easterling LLP. She graduated cum laude from South Texas College of Law in 2005. And in law school, Kate competed in South Texas’s nationally recognized Moot Court and Mock Trial teams—receiving the awards of Dean’s Outstanding Advocate and Best Speaker at the National Product Liability Moot Court Competition. Kate attended the University of Texas on a soccer scholarship and was a member of the 2001 Big XII Conference Championship team.

Outside of the office, Kate enjoys spending time with her husband and three children, cheering on the Texas Longhorns, and running (for exercise and to keep up with her kids).


HONORS

Texas Super Lawyer Rising Star for the years of 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019.

REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE

  • Represented the offshore driller in the federal multi-district litigation of the BP Macondo Oil Spill. Deposed numerous fact and expert witnesses, worked with the internal investigation team, and helped defend personal injury and wrongful death claims.
  • Defended construction-equipment manufacturer at trial, which resulted in the jury finding that the plaintiff’s negligence caused the injuries, the crane manufacturer was not negligent, and the crane was not defective.
  • Represented a group of royalty owners against Chesapeake Exploration, LLC in a breach of contract dispute for improper payment and underpayment of royalties.
  • Served as outside general counsel for energy and power services companies. Provided legal advice and represented the companies on legal matters, including contract negotiation, dispute resolution, and litigation management. Handled disputes and negotiations related to Purchase and Sale Agreements, partnership agreements, limited liability agreements, indemnity agreements, and escrow agreements.
  • Represented the owner and operator of natural gas processing plants in a fraudulent transfer case against the seller of natural gas to recover payments made for gas that was never supplied. Worked directly with the client’s in-house counsel, accountant, and expert to develop strategies and prepare the case for trial.
  • Defended the seller in a post-acquisition dispute over the indemnity provision of the Purchase and Sale Agreement and the scope of the duty to indemnify.
  • Reviewed and negotiated non-compete, employment, and severance agreements. Resolved labor and employment disputes prior to litigation.

ADMISSIONS

  • Texas
  • Florida
  • 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 Eastern District of Texas
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Texas
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida

EDUCATION

  • South Texas College of Law, J.D., cum laude, 2005
  • The University of Texas at Austin, B.S., Corporate Communication/Business Foundations, 2002