“I’ve represented clients in a lot of trials, and I’ve got a deep familiarity with the ins and outs of litigation, from inception to trial. I understand how asking the right questions early in an investigation or deposition can come full circle and make an impact on a jury. I strategize creatively – always collaborating closely with my clients. No matter what their role is in their organization, they offer a lot of valuable insight, and together we can plot the best course.“
An innovative advocate and crisis manager, Scott Riddle represents clients in litigation, investigations, and crisis planning and management. In service to his clients, Scott brings both an old-school work ethic and an ability to craft innovative strategies. He pays great attention to detail at every stage, helping cut through complex legal issues to develop inventive and unique arguments. With extensive courtroom experience, Scott has been lead counsel for seven trials and received a winning verdict each time.
As an attorney who clients turn to when things get tough, Scott has distinguished himself as a top-notch legal crisis manager. He represents individuals and companies in high-profile and highly confidential critical matters often involving civil litigation and related regulatory, congressional, and criminal investigations and enforcement actions. In this role, Scott guides teams of employees, attorneys, and outside consultants in the development and implementation of crisis management and public relations strategies to protect reputational interests, minimize harm to business assets, and achieve the most favorable outcomes.
Scott has advised manufacturers, motor carriers, railroad companies, an international airliner, and others in the transportation industry. His clients have faced perilous situations including casualty incidents, congressional subpoenas, unwanted connections to national tragedies and terrorist attacks, mass tort and class action lawsuits, product recalls and plant shutdowns, and intense media scrutiny. Two clients have even been directly targeted in presidential tweets. In every instance Scott puts his clients first and works tirelessly to mitigate negative fallout.
Always working to bring his clients peace of mind, Scott wants them to sleep well at night knowing that he and his team are on the job handling their cases. He keeps clients updated on pressing matters and stays connected with them even if they have nothing on the docket at a particular moment. Whether clients are big or small, Scott truly enjoys building solid and long-lasting relationships, working closely with them, and bringing home good results.
Away from the Office
Scott was born and raised in New Orleans, but moved to Arkansas when his dad, a 30-year veteran of Walmart, relocated to the home office in Bentonville. Scott likes to spend time with his family and friends. He enjoys the outdoors, dive bars, and traveling with his wife. A past season ticket holder, Scott is a passionate third-generation Saints fan.
For some of the country’s leading transportation companies, Scott handles a wide variety of litigation, as well as investigations and regulatory matters. Scott has a deep understanding of the transportation industry with noteworthy experience to help companies avoid, settle or prevail in litigation.
- Scott represented a regional trucking company in a breach of contract trial. The opposing party, a multinational waste collection company, attempted to terminate a long-term exclusive hauling contract under false pretenses so the company could bring the work in-house. Scott’s client filed suit, “bet the company,” and tried the case to a jury. After a one-week trial, the jury awarded all requested damages and attorneys’ fees. The case settled during appeal on favorable terms.
- Scott was part of a trial team that convinced a Texas state judge to dismiss a wrongful death lawsuit after six days of trial. The plaintiffs argued the client, a waste management company, and its driver caused an accident that led to the death of their family member. In a motion for directed verdict, Scott argued the uniqueness of the decedent’s injury and death required specific expert testimony that plaintiffs failed to present at trial. Although there was no on-point appellate precedent to support the creative argument, the judge agreed and dismissed the lawsuit in its entirety.
- The founders of an innovative telecommunications company were embroiled in an internal dispute over alleged breach of fiduciary duty and mishandling of millions in investments. The company develops technology that allows for continuous wireless access along any paved surface. Shareholders filed a derivative lawsuit. Scott, serving as second-chair, argued and won a summary judgment dismissing all of the plaintiffs’ claims against the founders. Scott also sought a declaratory judgment on behalf of the company to dilute the plaintiffs’ ownership. It was granted with an award for attorneys’ fees. Scott used this judgment to obtain an ex parte turnover order, which in turn was used to reclaim the entirety of the plaintiffs’ ownership in the company.
- Scott served on a trial team hired by a national trucking company to try a high-damages lawsuit filed by a police officer. The officer, responding to a call with lights and sirens, was gravely injured when the company’s truck struck his police cruiser in an intersection. The collision occurred at 1 a.m. During preparation, Scott discovered the truck driver, who had exceeded his permissible driving hours at the time of the collision, doctored his logbooks and lied in his deposition. The prior defense team was unaware of the issue, but the officer’s lawyer was not. Scott and the trial team were able to adapt, prepare a solid defense, and convince a jury to issue a defense verdict.
- Scott’s client, a regional trucking company, suspected a high-level employee of diverting contracts to a new trucking entity the employee created, in secrecy, as a direct competitor. Scott quickly assembled investigative and litigation teams. The litigation team swiftly obtained an ex parte temporary restraining order. The investigative team, using a computer forensics expert and an emergency discovery order, established ample evidence to support the client’s suspicions. Scott put the now-fired employee through a grueling deposition that made it clear he was dead to rights. The parties reached a favorable settlement before the completion of a temporary injunction hearing.
- Scott represented a Texas corporation in a battle with an aircraft management company charged with managing its corporate jet. Scott’s client discovered the management company was defrauding it under the guise of its charter services. Scott’s client was fearful the management company would destroy the aircraft’s maintenance logbooks when served with the lawsuit. Scott obtained an ex parte writ of sequestration to permit a sheriff deputy and flight crew to secure the logbooks and fly the jet to a safe airport. Once litigation ensued, the management company took an aggressive posture, asserted counterclaims, and accused Scott’s client of making false and misleading statements. Scott meticulously tracked the jet’s three-year history, uncovering the underlying fraud and “cooked books.” The case settled on very favorable terms.
Scott has also developed a crisis management practice employing a strategic and business-focused approach for clients facing emergencies. From transportation disasters and terrorist attacks to corporate criminality and mass layoffs, Scott and his teams have guided clients through complex crises.
- Scott helps transportation clients create detailed, client-specific emergency response/crisis management plans and tailored response teams. Scott’s clients benefit from a proactive approach towards accidents and other potential crises. Scott provides pragmatic, battle-tested protocols and plans based on best practices developed through a decade of experience and careful consideration of crisis patterns and strategies.
- Scott represented a company following its connection to a mass shooting. Scott quickly organized a multidisciplinary team to address unprecedented pressure on the company. The team, led by Scott, dealt with a bevy of issues: analysis of complex risk exposure and preparedness for looming high-volume litigation; numerous governmental investigations; intense media attention; insurance coverage dispute; and likely reputational ruin. Scott and the team combined rapid response with strategic guidance to mitigate long-term legal, business, regulatory, and public relations impacts from the crisis.
- Scott’s client was forced to close a manufacturing plant and lay off the entire workforce. Scott organized and led an employment/public relations team to assist in the closing. The team designed employee separation packages to eliminate legal exposure, afford advance notice, and provide significant post-closing compensation. Because the President of the United States had attacked the company in social media, the team prepared a detailed communications strategy. The sophisticated and thoughtful strategy paid off as the closing quickly fell from the news cycle.
- Scott advised a company in an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice. Scott immediately performed an internal investigation, developed a strategy for responding to document subpoenas, and prepared the company’s CEO for testimony before a grand jury. The case was resolved with no charges filed.
- At the request of the majority investor in an oilfield trucking company, Scott conducted an internal investigation into the company’s spending practices and management of financial capital. Scott teamed up with an accounting firm and quickly identified misuse of confidential information; tortious interference with existing and prospective business relationships; and breaches of fiduciary duties by the operating partners. Under threat of litigation, the targeted partners forfeited their ownership. Creative steps were taken to recover lost capital.
- Aviation Emergency Response Organization
- International Air & Transportation Safety Bar Association (formerly the National Transportation Safety Board Bar Association)
- State Bar of Texas, Aviation Law Section
- Transportation Lawyers Association
- Team Inspiration Texas, Board Member (2010 – 2014)
- Junior Achievement of Dallas Young Executive Society, Board Member (2015 – 2017)
- TYLA National Trial Competition: Committee Member (2016 – 2020)