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Jason M. Powers
Jason M. Powers
Partner — Commercial & Business Litigation
Partner — Commercial & Business Litigation

Jason M. Powers

Jason M. Powers
Houston

1001 Fannin Street
Suite 2500
Houston, TX 77002

start quote symbolI want my clients to feel comfortable that I understand their business and where they're coming from. I want to learn what they do, how they do it, and why they do it. I talk to everyone I can, from the general counsel to the person in the field. You can’t write a brief or craft an argument that has the drama and verity of good storytelling unless you can tell the story in the client’s voice.end quote symbol
Jason M. Powers

Jason Powers is a commercial and business litigator who handles large-scale controversies between businesses, including disputes relating to joint ventures and the joint development of business opportunities. Energy related litigation, especially litigation concerning the financial side of the oil and gas industry, makes up a large part of his work. Jason also focuses on matters related to antitrust law and trade regulation, including class actions.

Jason’s practice often involves collaborating with economists and other experts to develop sophisticated market analyses or damages models on behalf of his clients. In addition to antitrust, he has extensive experience in securities disputes, business torts, and contracts cases spanning a variety of industries, such as energy, transportation, chemicals, retail, and technology.

Jason is the former Chairman of the Houston Bar Association Antitrust & Trade Regulation Section and served on the Editorial Board of The Antitrust Practitioner, the publication of the ABA Section of Antitrust Law Civil Practice & Procedure Committee. He is also on the Board of Directors of the Houston Urban Debate League, a nonprofit organization that champions interscholastic debate programs in inner-city schools.

Experience Highlights

  • Energy trading venture: In a $250 million ICDR arbitration, defended a Fortune 100 energy company against its partner’s allegations that it breached fiduciary duties in the management of one of the nation’s largest energy traders; helped obtain a favorable settlement to resolve the litigation and facilitate the wind down of the joint venture

  • Retail monopolization: Obtained dismissal with prejudice of a bankrupted produce supplier’s Sherman Act Section 1 (distribution channel foreclosure), Sherman Act Section 2 (attempted monopolization), and Clayton Act Section 7 (merger-to-monopoly) claims against a large grocery chain; demonstrated that limitations barred supplier’s claims, notwithstanding its “continuing violation” theory, and that supplier lacked antitrust standing to pursue retail monopolization claims

  • RICO and fraud claims: Defended a public company against claims that its former officers used the company’s stock in a criminal scheme to entice investors to participate in the officers’ separate business enterprise; managed the defense of seven federal court lawsuits seeking more than $1.3 billion in damages in a multidistrict litigation proceeding; teamed with other V&E lawyers to obtain a highly favorable settlement

  • Retail monopolization: Successfully represented producer of Akaushi Beef against claims of conspiracy to restrain trade and monopolization in the market for premium beef in the United States; after a seven day trial, the jury found in favor of the client, awarding both actual and exemplary damages

  • Investment in retail operations: Defended a national gasoline retailer against a supplier seeking tens of millions of dollars in damages over a nationwide contract for a sales channel presence in the retailer’s stores; teamed up with other V&E lawyers to obtain a take-nothing award in a CPR arbitration over breach of contract, tort, and RICO claims

  • HMO patient dumping: Represented a premier pediatric hospital pursuing state court claims against a health maintenance organization for millions of dollars in uncompensated emergency care provided to its members; worked with other V&E lawyers to recover for past services and establish a new going-forward business relationship between the hospital and the HMO

  • False Claims Act: Defended a government contractor against allegations of falsifying and manipulating records to overcharge the government. Reached a settlement under which all qui tam claims were dismissed without any payment to

  • Economic credentialing: Successfully defended a general hospital against state court antitrust claims brought by a physician who became ineligible to practice at the hospital after he acquired a competing specialty hospital; preserved the general hospital’s conflict of interest policy, defeating a request for injunction sought under state antitrust law and state health codes

  • Bundling: Represented a global medical products manufacturer in federal court litigation alleging that the manufacturer’s product bundling and exclusive-distribution discounting violated antitrust law; teamed with other V&E lawyers to obtain a highly favorable settlement

  • Hospital acquisition: Successfully defended a state court antitrust action to enjoin a hospital acquisition, allowing the merger to go forward without restrictions

  • Compliance: Designed and presented an antitrust compliance program for a large integrated chemicals concern, speaking on compliance issues to thousands of employees across the U.S

  • E&P spinoff dispute: Represented a publicly traded international gas producer in a dispute with its former parent company, defending the producer’s ownership of its key oil and gas assets and blocking the former parent’s attempt to re-assert control of the spun-off company; worked with a team of V&E lawyers to defend five separate lawsuits and arbitration proceedings in two states involving allegations of breach of contract, torts, mineral title disputes, and shareholder derivative claims; helped position the suits for a settlement to which the market responded with immediate and significant gains in the client’s share price

  • AMI litigation: Retained by an unconventional producer to step into a three-year-old dispute its new subsidiary faced over an alleged area of mutual interest (AMI) in the Fayetteville Shale. With trial approaching, worked with other V&E lawyers to negotiate a settlement that unwound the AMI, preserved the client’s key assets and its rights to continue its development program, and resulted in dismissal of parallel proceedings in two states

  • Asset sale price adjuster dispute: Represented a multinational energy company in federal court contract litigation in California over the sale of its oil producing assets; teamed with other V&E lawyers to defeat the opponent’s eight-figure damages claim based on a price adjuster clause in the sale agreement; then recovered an additional eight-figure settlement in our client’s favor on its counterclaims

  • Chemical products litigation: Represented a large refiner in seven lawsuits brought by end users over alleged defects in plastic resins, all of which were defeated on summary judgment or settled on highly favorable terms

  • Vanishing premium litigation: Represented a multinational life insurer in a putative consumer class action involving claims in contract, good faith and fair dealing, and unjust enrichment; obtained summary judgment in Texas state court, and then successfully argued to uphold the decision in the Austin Court of Appeals

  • Antitrust consumer class action: Defended a Fortune 500 auto retailer against consumer classes alleging price-fixing and deceptive trade practices; briefed and helped to obtain reversal of federal court class certification of antitrust claims; helped obtain approval for a favorable class settlement in state court; oversaw the class notice and administration process on behalf of the settling defendants

  • ATM consumer fee class: Defended a large retail chain against allegations that it failed to comply with the Federal Reserve Board’s fee disclosure requirements for automatic teller machine operators; developed evidence that positioned the case for a favorable settlement

  • 10b-5 claims: Represented a large software company in putative class securities fraud litigation, teaming up with other V&E lawyers to successfully obtain dismissal under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act and cut off a potential eleven-figure damages claim

  • Wrongful buyout claims: Defended limited partners against a state court lawsuit alleging that they conspired to squeeze out a fellow partner prior to selling the partnership entity for a gain; drew on the partnership documents and plaintiff’s conduct to contest the plaintiff’s fraud and fiduciary duty theories, positioning the case for a favorable settlement

  • Internal investigation: Participated in an audit committee investigation of accounting irregularities at a safety products manufacturer, helping to turn up evidence and information needed to complete the manufacturer’s independent audit process, so that financial statements could be issued to investors and filed with the SEC

Credentials

  • The University of Texas School of Law, J.D. with high honors, 1998 (Associate Editor, Texas Law Review; Chancellors; Order of the Coif)
  • The University of Texas, B.B.A. with highest honors, 1995 (Business Honors Program)
  • The University of Texas, B.A. with highest honors, 1995 (Plan II Honors Program; Phi Beta Kappa; Alpha Lambda Delta; Phi Eta Sigma)
  • Legal 500 U.S., Antitrust: Civil Litigation/Class Actions, 2017, 2018 and 2020; General Commercial Disputes, 2020
  • Euromoney’s Benchmark Litigation, “Future Litigation Star” in Texas, 2009, 2012–2018
  • Who’s Who Legal (Law Business Research Ltd.); Competition, 2016
  • “Partner to Know,” Global Arbitration Review’s GAR 100, 2009
  • Selected to the Texas Rising Stars list, Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters), 2004–2006 and 2008–2012
  • Recognized as a “Top Lawyer” in Houstonia Magazine’s Top Lawyers list, 2016
  • “Lawyers on the Fast Track,” HTexas magazine, 2004
  • Board of Directors, Houston Urban Debate League, a nonprofit organization devoted to restoring interscholastic debate programs in inner-city schools
  • Former Chairman, Houston Bar Association Antitrust and Trade Regulation Section
  • Editorial Board, The Antitrust Practitioner(The publication of the ABA Section of Antitrust Law Civil Practice & Procedure Committee)
  • Member: Section of Antitrust Law, American Bar Association; Houston Bar Association; Houston Young Lawyer’s Association
  • Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • “2018 Antitrust Developments in the Energy and Chemical Industries,” Energy Series, V&E Houston Office, January 17, 2019 (speaker)
  • “What You Don’t Know About Competition Law Can Hurt You: An Update on Key Antitrust Issues,” V&E Houston Office, December 5, 2017 (speaker)
  • Faculty, 2012 Texas College of Judicial Studies, Texas Center for the Judiciary (lecturing on “Business Litigation: Theories, Claims, & Causes of Action”)
  • Faculty, 16th Annual Advanced Civil Trial Law Conference, Houston College of Law (presented paper: “Attorney’s Fees Update”)
  • “How to Ethically and Efficiently Manage Litigation Costs,” Corporate Counsel Institute CLE program, 2012
  • “Antitrust Compliance,” Houston Bar Association Corporate Counsel Section CLE program,  2011
  • “FTC Seeks Supreme Court Review of “State Action” Immunity Decision Involving Public Hospital Authority,” Antitrust News & Notes, April 2012
  • “Did American Needle Take the Air Out of Dagher?”, Bloomberg Law Reports, Vol. 4, No. 9, 2011
  • “District Court Rules that Public Hospital Authority Acquisition of Main Competitor Entitled to “State Action” Immunity, Despite Involvement of Private Nonprofit,” Antitrust News & Notes, August 2011
  • “Suit Alleging Hospital and Insurer Conspired to Lock Up Pittsburgh Hospital Market Can Go Forward, Says Third Circuit,” Antitrust News & Notes, January 2011
  • “An Introduction to Written Discovery,” CLE presentation, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
  • “Mediation Strategies,” CLE presentation, 2009, 2011, 2013