Renee T. Wilkerson
Phone: (713) 221-3726
Fax: (713) 337-8850
Renee T. Wilkerson is a litigator in the firm’s Houston office, with a focus on complex commercial litigation.
Prior to joining McDowell Hetherington, Renee spent her legal career as a litigation attorney in the Houston office of a top-tier international law firm. She focused her litigation practice on technical-based matters, including representation of clients in commercial, environmental, mass tort, patent, product liability, and trade secret disputes. She has represented clients in matters spanning a wide range of market sectors and complex technologies/issues including banking and securities, pharmaceuticals, software, construction, telecommunications, and energy. As a seasoned trial attorney, Renee brings to McDowell Hetherington a depth of experience handling cases before state, federal and arbitration courts.
Complex Commercial Litigation / Arbitration
- Representing waste disposal company in high profile environmental litigation pending in Texas state court involving more than 600 individual plaintiffs claiming severe personal injuries and property damages from alleged hazardous chemicals contained in paper-mill waste that was deposited at waste disposal site on the San Jacinto River more than 50 years ago.
- In a case the Texas Lawbook touted as “one of the greatest defense victories in Texas history,” successfully defended a waste disposal company against a $4.8 billion environmental civil penalties lawsuit filed by Harris County and the State of Texas relating to hazardous chemicals from paper-mill waste that was deposited at a waste disposal site on the San Jacinto River. After ten weeks of trial, a favorable settlement was secured minutes before closing arguments.
- Representing a multi-national financial institution in a high-stakes breach of contract and trade secret misappropriation action, successfully securing a dismissal of all claims on summary judgment.
- Representing international manufacturer of cell culture technologies in high stakes breach of contract, trade secret misappropriation, and patent inventorship dispute.
- Successfully represented multi-national computer technology company in breach of contract, fraudulent inducement, fraudulent misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, and unjust enrichment dispute in Texas state court, and received favorable summary judgment rulings that resulted in the dismissal of the litigation.
- Successfully represented a major oil company in Texas state court proceedings relating to the construction of a fifty-year-old contract and the obligations of the parties relating to dismantlement, removal, and restoration (DR&R) responsibilities.
- Successfully represented high-profile sports figure against Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 202 petition for pre-suit discovery in Texas state court and securing a dismissal of the action.
- Successfully represented a real estate investment company resolve a three-year contractual dispute by identifying and litigating issues that had been overlooked by prior counsel, and successfully compelled the case to arbitration prior to the case being favorably settled.
- Represented national healthcare company in False Claims Act litigation relating to purported fraudulent billing practices in the Eastern District of Texas and secured settlement and dismissal of all claims.
- Defended an international oilfield services company in a multi-million-dollar breach of contact proceeding before the ICC Arbitration arising out of the termination of an exclusive dealer, and assisted in negotiating and securing a favorable settlement on the last day of the arbitration hearing.
Intellectual Property Litigation and Counseling
- In a case recognized as one of the top 100 verdicts of 2015, represented the nation’s largest supplier of post-tensioning systems in a copyright and trade secret theft case. After proving that a former employee and others conspired to steal proprietary information and started a competing company during a five-day trial, the federal jury awarded $24.5 million in damages and the district court later awarded attorneys’ fees and pre-judgment interest, bringing the final verdict to almost $28 million.
- Representing international oilfield services company in patent infringement action pending in the District of Delaware against a direct competitor relating to patented downhole underreaming technologies.
- Representing international oilfield services company against retaliatory patent infringement action pending in the Southern District of Texas relating to downhole underreaming technologies.
- Represented two offshore drilling contractors in related patent infringement actions pending in the Southern District of Texas regarding to drill ship technologies, and achieved successful resolution of both cases prior to trial.
- Counseled pre-eminent semiconductor and software design company regarding technology licensing and indemnification issues.
- Counseled industrial water, energy, and air treatment provider regarding issues relating to maintenance and enforcement of patents in its portfolio of more than 800 patents worldwide.
- Counseled international oilfield services company regarding maintaining compliance with the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, including virtual patent marking requirements.
Pro Bono Matters
- Served as first-chair trial attorney in international child abduction case in the Southern District of Texas that resulted in a favorable judgment and the safe return of the minor child to her home country.
- Secured favorable monetary settlement for LGBTQ high school student in a civil rights litigation in the Eastern District of Texas, and secured a favorable monetary settlement and changes to the school district’s policies relating to the privacy rights of students.
- Successfully defended a pro bono client accused of defamation in an Anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) lawsuit that was appealed to the Texas Supreme Court.
Employee Noncompetition Law, Thomson Reuters
- Chief editor, 2016 – 2020
- Editor, 2013 – 2015
• Man vs. Nature: Should the Offspring of Transgenic Animals be Patentable Subject Matter?, 37 U. Dayton L. Rev. 257 (2012).
- Best Lawyers – Ones to Watch in America 2023
- Super Lawyers: Rising Star, 2020 – 2022
- Managing Intellectual Property’s IP Stars – Rising star, 2020 – 2021
- United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
- United States District Court for the Western District of Texas
- The University of Dayton School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 2012
- Texas A&M University, B.S., Biomedical Science, cum laude, 2006