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Deborah (Carly) C. Milner

Deborah (Carly) C. Milner Counsel, Commercial & Business Litigation

Carly’s practice focuses on complex business disputes across a broad range of industries, and her experience includes both plaintiff and defense work.

She has represented clients in contractual disputes, disputes involving business torts, disputes over property rights (including disputes between surface owners and mineral-rights owners), securities litigation, and tort litigation. Carly has experience with multijurisdictional disputes and personal jurisdiction issues. 

Experience Highlights

  • (Tex. Dist. − Harris Cnty.) — Representing a private equity company in a dispute involving a former investor in a portfolio company
  • (S.D. Tex.) — Representing an oil trading company in U.S. litigation and discovery proceedings related to litigation in the Netherlands regarding a dispute with a shareholder, including obtaining dismissal of state-court claims
  • (Tex. Dist. – Harris Cnty.) — Part of a trial team that obtained a multimillion dollar monetary verdict (net) on behalf of a commercial landlord in a breach of contract dispute with a publicly-traded commercial tenant after a six-week jury trial; V&E was trial counsel; presented fact witnesses at trial
  • Part of an arbitration team that obtained a multimillion dollar (net) monetary arbitration award for a biotechnology company in a dispute concerning a licensing agreement; V&E was arbitration counsel for plaintiff 
  • (Tex. Dist.) — Represented natural gas producers in litigation in state court in South Texas brought by surface owners for trespass, conversion, and related claims. Obtained summary judgment on key claims
  • (S.D. Tex.) — Obtained complete dismissal on summary judgment and a motion to dismiss in two cases against a natural gas marketing and transportation company in litigation in federal court in the Southern District of Texas involving allegations of conversion of natural gas condensate
  • (S.D. Tex.) — Obtained complete dismissal for lack of personal jurisdiction of claims against a family-owned Canadian company and related individuals

Commercial Disputes

  • (Tex. Dist. – Harris Cnty.) — Representing former parent and affiliates of a company against another former parent in a dispute regarding asbestos liabilities and contractual indemnities
  • (S.D. Tex.); (S.D. Fla); (5th Cir.) — Representing an aviation company in a contract dispute with a former service provider
  • (Ga. Super) — Successfully assisted in the representation of a defendant polymer manufacturer in two lawsuits in Georgia seeking over $10 million
  • (Tex. Dist. − Harris Cnty.) — Successfully assisted in obtaining dismissal of claims against a London insurance broker in an action alleging negligence in obtaining insurance coverage leading to alleged damages of over $40 million
  • (Del. Super.) — Successfully assisted in the representation of a midstream natural gas company in unitholder litigation arising out of a merger transaction

Energy Litigation

  • (Tex. Dist. − Harris Cnty.) — Successfully assisted in the representation of an oil pipe trading company in an action alleging breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty. Obtained dismissal of all claims
  • (S.D. Tex.) — Obtained summary judgment for an oil pipe manufacturer and trading company in litigation in federal court in the Southern District of Texas concerning breach of contract claims against a former joint venture partner

Other Litigation

  • Representing a developer in a dispute with Fort Bend County over subdivision approvals
  • (S.D. Tex.) — Represented a grocery company in a class action in federal court in the Southern District of Texas concerning ATM fees
  • (5th Cir.) — Represented a pro bono client in an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in a civil rights matter

Contact Details


T +1.713.758.2381
F +1.713.615.5040
1001 Fannin Street
Suite 2500
Houston, TX 77002
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Carly's Practices

  • University of Virginia School of Law, J.D., 2004 (Editorial Board Member, Virginia Journal of International Law)
  • The University of Texas at Austin, B.A. Plan II and Government with highest honors and Special Honors in Plan II, 2001
  • Admitted to practice: Texas; District of Columbia; Virginia; U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • Judicial clerk to the Honorable Samuel B. Kent, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, 2004–2005 and 2007–2008
    • Legal 500 U.S., Antitrust - Merger Control, 2018
    • Member: Houston Bar Association (HAY Center Committee, Gender Fairness Committee); American Bar Association
    • Participant: Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program
    • Houston Advisory Board Member: Texas Civil Rights Project
    • Member: Women’s Energy Network
    • Fellow: Texas Bar Foundation